May 2, 2015
It is now officially spring.
The annual herbs are planted (well, all except the tarragon, because I can’t stinking FIND tarragon!), and the Farmers’ Market is open. There’s local asparagus and local strawberries tonight, fried green tomatoes tomorrow.
Lucy and I got up and got moving early this morning, as I’ve learned if you want asparagus at the market, you have to beat the crowd. I spent a sum total of 30 bucks at the market, 10 of which was on asparagus; a bundle of green spears, and a bundle of purple, as I have never had purple asparagus.
Lucy was delighted to go back out to the market and see her friends. I was amused to be walking down past a booth and hear one of the vendors say, “Oh, there’s Lucy!” and come out and pet her. He has no idea of my name, nor I of his, but he knows Lucy! She got lots of petting from her old friends and assorted children, and is now snoozing exhaustedly on the couch. It’s hard work, being loveable.
Besides asparagus, the haul included strawberries, radishes, green onions, two pounds of country breakfast sausage, green tomatoes and kettle corn for Child A. My sausage vendor had his sausage on sale for three bucks a pound; I should’ve bought about 10 pounds at that price. He makes marvelous sausage.
So tonight, we will have steaks, hasselback potatoes and asparagus; tomorrow, a smoked barbecue-bacon meat loaf, peas, mac-n-cheese, asparagus and fried green tomatoes. If I get ambitious and make creme anglaise, we’ll have it with strawberries over pound cake, or just with strawberries; if not, we’ll have strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar.
The Amish farmer from whom I got my green tomatoes is the one who does the greenhouse tomatoes. He said he hopes to have ripe ones by next weekend, certainly by the week after. That will be just fine by me; I see BLTs and capreses in my near future. He also had a few cucumbers and one little basket of early green beans that I passed on. I still have several jars of canned green beans which taste fairly close to fresh. I started to get leaf lettuce but didn’t, as I am running out of refrigerator room, again.
Then we came home and I made myself a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Added a bit of honey to it this time. Good addition.
There were lots of baked goods and lots of crafts, including the marvelously intricate pine needle basket made by an elderly Asian lady. Lots of herbs and tomato plants, but no tarragon, dang it.
I am on a search for tarragon. After I’d decided sometime last week we were through with the danger of frost (weather has just been WEIRD!), I went out and bought the annual herbs to plant. The rosemany, oregano, thyme, sage and mint overwinter pretty nicely, but the basil, parsley, cilantro, chives and tarragon have to be put in new every year. I found everything but the tarragon, so now I am on a tarragon hunt.
I had never cooked with tarragon until a few years ago, when I bought a bunch at the farmers market. It’s wonderful with any sort of green vegetable — I love it with sugar snap peas, or with ribbons of zucchini made by vigorous use of a carrot peeler. And it’s wonderful sauteed in with corn, shrimp and butter for an offbeat, but excellent, light entree. It has a light, licorice-y flavor, not nearly so much as fennel or anise, and a sort of a citrus note. So I try to keep tarragon growing at all times. If I could just find the stuff. I shall go out on a tarragon search, I guess.
The basil won’t be ready in time for the first capreses of the season, but it’ll come along shortly. There’s cilantro for Mexican and Indian and Southeast Asian stuff. I’ve got mint for a julep later today if I decide I want one with the Derby.
AGC 2 is on his way over and we’re going to play outside until lunchtime, and then I’m going to watch the Cardinals while he naps. I’ll put that meatloaf on the grill to smoke while he’s asleep, and then he can play outside again while I grill steaks. We’ll have us a fine Saturday. Hope you and y’mama ‘n ’em do as well, and let me know if you find tarragon.