Asparagus, avocado, feta tacos

May 24, 2012 § 28 Comments

What do you call a large group of guests about to arrive?  A gaggle?  A bevy?  A pod?  A platoon?

How about a gift of guests?  I suppose one does not without fail feel this way about one’s guests.  But, it’s how I think of our guests who are coming for this weekend, so let’s go with it.

We have a gift of guests on their way, trickling in throughout today and tomorrow.  And, although it truly does feel like a gift that folks are coming to visit, let me tell you, I could be a circus act with my frenzy of activity today.

With my hands I’m juggling meal planning, cooking, and last minute cleaning (of course the dog would choose to shed her winter coat right now).  With the right foot I’m fending off the lions of hostess anxiety, and with the left I’m stomping out a couple of little work/research fires.  And on my head is teetering the rest of the to-do list. (Call the vet, water the garden, write that memo…)  All I need is a flower that squirts water and a big red nose!

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Lasagne with asparagus and mushrooms

May 6, 2011 § 9 Comments

For some reason I want to tell you all “quick, quick, make this lasagne!”  I have an odd sort of urgency about it, and I have no idea why.  Maybe it’s that I think the asparagus is going to go scurrying off into hiding before too long, or that soon it will be too hot to even consider baking something 45 minutes, let alone having that something include a creamy sauce.  Or maybe it’s just that it’s delicious and we should all hurry up and make it so we can eat it (or eat it again, if you’re me).

Not that lasagne is something you can really hurry.  Its architectural layers require some care and engineering to assemble if you want it to come out with beautiful, colored striations, which you do because then it looks a bit like a cool white, green, and brown sandstone cliff.  And, it takes some time to bake, no way around that.  But, all the more reason to get right to it, and not wait around hemming and hawing about whether lasagne should be on the weekend agenda!

I love lasagne.  It feels so pleasantly familial to eat it.  Yet, I don’t make it very often, and I’m not sure why.  Wait, scratch that.  I do know why.  It’s because much of the time there are just the two of us here at dinner, and lasagne is the food of the large crowd.  The family reunion potluck, the ski-team dinner, the 13 kids are coming for a sleep over what on earth am I going to make, occasions.  Often it doesn’t seem quite worth it for two.  And though it makes splendid leftovers – I always think lasagne tastes even better the second day – well, if you make a really big one, it can take a little uncomfortably long to work your way through it.

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Asparagus with lemon and mustard

June 8, 2010 § 3 Comments

I just love the misty purple and green of asparagus stalks.  It makes me think of the colors of a high school sports team, or maybe some atrocious yet gorgeous wall paper by a trendy design company.

Some things in life are meant to be ephemeral.  They only work because they don’t last. Like a streak of lightning snaking through a stormy sky, or the rose and coral glow of a sunrise, or your relationship with your middle school boyfriend…ahem.  I, quite romantically, have been used to thinking about spring in this way as well.  But, I’m reconsidering.  Actually, I’d like to submit an official request for a change of opinion.  Spring!  Come back!!  Just a few more weeks!  Please!

The balmy days, and profusion of lilacs have evaporated like a morning fog and given way to sweltering, thick, lazy heat.  Summer came early this year – and I’m considering moving back to the artic circle.  (I’m a terribly obnoxious whiner when it comes to heat and mugginess, I hope you can forgive me.  Also, I can’t complain too much, given that today happens to be spectacularly lovely, but it won’t last.)

With the sudden onset of summer weather has come a rapid transition in the growing season, and spring vegetables have phased themselves out, practically before we even had a chance to greet them.  Goodbye to the ramps, and the rhubarb, and the favas, and the fiddleheads, and the asparagus. « Read the rest of this entry »

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