Spring Cooking Projects

I have so many projects I’ve been working on this week, and somehow there hasn’t been any time to write about them here. I’ll go to sleep at night and think: tomorrow I’m going to have a relaxing morning and write about that violet syrup I made the other day.  Then, when I wake up, I realize that I actually have this list a mile long of less relaxing things that really need to get dealt with right away. I think it’s just interesting, for any creative profession, to work on finding that balance between keeping your head in the clouds, being inspired and thinking about beautiful things, and then keeping your feet firmly grounded in real life to make sure you can pay your bills.  blossoms

Anyway, enough of the responsible adult stuff, I think it’s time for a break so I can tell you about the projects I’m excited for this spring.

First up: Pickled Artichoke Hearts. Last year I made three quart jars using this recipe from Hunter Gardener Angler Cook. They were so delicious that I’m going to try and make them more of a pantry staple this year, up there with the tomatoes. They can go in pasta, quiche, vegetable salads, antipasti plates and more…. three jars did not cut it at all.  They’re pretty tedious to make but well worth it. If you’re in the Mendocino County area, I’d recommend Inland Ranch Organics as a source for reasonably priced baby artichokes.pickledartichokeheartI’m also really craving this radish butter that I wrote about last year in this post about preserving radishes.  It’s s crisp and bright, wonderful on sourdough toast.  radish butter

Of course, I’m dying to make a rhubarb pie.  and rhubarb cake. and jam. and syrup. If you need some rhubarb recipes, check this post from last year for a roundup of my favorites. the beginnings of rhubarb crisp

Spring also means that the perennial herbs are growing in full force. We have these two monster marjoram bushes that I planted years ago, not having any understanding of how big they’d get, and so we always make a lot of this marjoram pesto from The Hungry Tigress.  It’s great on pasta, spread on toast, even as a condiment for steaks on the grill (that was my husband’s idea, and it was brilliant). marjoram pesto pasta

….and speaking of green things: I got these gorgeous mustard greens from my friend Jen at Salt Hollow Flower Farm, and she mentioned she was going to make kimchi soon with some of hers. Kimchi is never a bad idea, so now I have a batch fermenting on the counter for us.  With all the lovely greens at the farmers market right now, it’s the perfect time to play around with new kimchi combinations. You don’t have to use savoy cabbage at all- any greens will work.  mustardgreens

Last but not least: I’m trying to get a recipe fine-tuned for pickled asparagus. I made these the other day and I’m not sure the flavor is quite there yet, but it might just need a few more days to mellow out. I’ll report back when I get it finished. pickled asparagusWhat are you excited to make this spring? If you have special recipes, feel free to share them in the comments section.

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4 thoughts on “Spring Cooking Projects

  1. I’m going to have to try that radish butter! Sounds delicious. I’m so glad you have the rhubarb recipes, too, I’m so excited that my rhubarb I planted last year is growing back and I can’t wait to make something tasty with my very own rhubarb!

  2. It was so nice to meet you at the farmers market yesterday! I’ve been making a lot of pickled beets. Every time I buy a bunch I tell myself I’ll do something new with them, but somehow they end up pickled…

  3. How do you keep your pickled asparagus from shriveling after it is canned? I’ve tried several things, but they always shrivel!

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