I have much work to do in my flower beds and I mean, all the tasks you would list when beginning your spring clean-up; raking, hoeing, old growth pulling, planting, field stone border straightening and mulching. I have quite a collection of rusty items from work days past that display amongst the new green and the soon blooms. They all need a new arrangement. And the old, weathered bench, it has been retired to Ďplant stand no more sittiní on this one.í
Itís been a struggle to get into the woods and do a little morel mushroom hunting. Either the time is not good or the weather mix of rain and then hot sun just isnít on schedule. Fortunately, and greatly appreciated, our future son-in-law Justin sent over a plate full or mushrooms for our dinner appetizers the other night. Honestly, I could go for a meaty, morel mushroom sandwich! Looks like this might be the week to get out there; letís hope the forest floor is kind to us hunters of the Great Mushroom.
Our kitties, I mean, my kitties, have been sitting in their nearly frozen observation position under Aprilís pine tree in the circle yard. They sit in portrait form, their heads tilted upwards, waiting; just waiting for the nesting mother bird to fly out.
As I approach the area, watching my favorite orange kitty patiently waiting, I am suddenly startled by another cat, climbing out of the pine. I didnít see that one coming. I understand that nature runs its course and that nature takes its path through the seasons; yet is sad to see a broken, blue egg shell on the ground or a tiny bird fallen from its nest.
It is a careful garden tender that lives in the house where the plantings are put to bed at night, covered with a sheet just in case a frost falls in an unpredicted freeze. Sad are the tulips at the restaurant in town, they have bending stems, holding the weight of large, dropped blooms. They never had a chance to see much of the spring.
Outdoor auctions and markets are my fun of the season. The auction is one of my most favorite social assemblies. The chatter amongst the crowd, the fresh coffee in the morning, and that quarter-pound dog in the afternoon are what I enjoy, and of course, a full truckload at the end of the day. Flea market weekends; if youíve heard of early birds that would be us. We are the birds up before the rooster crows, even before the rooster thinks about crowing. Spring is fun.
Fresh is the word of the season! Send your recipes to Country Cupboard, 5973 Blachleyville Rd., Wooster 44691. Emails are also welcome at email@example.com
Dilled Spring Potato Salad
2 pounds new white potatoes
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise, as needed
First, cook the potatoes in a large pan of lightly boiling, salted water until they can be pierced with a thin paring knife (they will continue cooking as they cool in their jackets). Drain well, return to the pan and let cool to room temperature. Second, peel the cooled potatoes and slice 1/4 inch thick into a glass or stainless mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Third, toss the potatoes with the celery, dill, green onions and mustard. Fold in the sour cream and then add in enough of the mayonnaise to bind the salad together. The potatoes may absorb some of the moisture if you prepare the salad ahead of time. You may want to add a little extra mayonnaise as needed just before serving.
Spring Fruit Salad
1 large can peaches
2 big boxes of strawberries
1 large can apricots
1 (3 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
1 large can chunk pineapple
Drain all fruit, except strawberries. Mix strawberries with pudding mix and other fruits. Mix well and chill. Note: You may use canned, frozen or fresh (peeled and trimmed) fruit for any or all portions of this dessert.
Spring Pea Salad
10 ounce fresh or frozen peas
1 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped fresh cauliflower florets
1/4 cup diced green onion
2 tablespoons chopped pimento
1 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup cooked crumbled bacon
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup prepared buttermilk ranch salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
Rinse peas in hot water or steam if fresh; drain. Combine vegetables, nuts, and bacon with sour cream. Mix dressing, mustard, and garlic together; pour over salad mixture. Toss gently. Chill. Macadamia nuts or salted sunflower seeds are a good alternative.
Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad
2-3 cups uncooked rotini pasta
1 small bottle Italian dressing
2 cups sliced cucumbers (cut in half also)
1 1/2 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
Cook pasta until firm, but do not overcook. Add above ingredients with adding the Italian dressing last. Then in separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard and dill weed. Blend mixture into ingredients. Chill at least 4 hours. May add 1 small can tiny shrimp.
Spring Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 large bunch spinach
10 large firm strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup white wine or white vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 rounded tablespoon poppy seeds
Wash, drain and tear spinach into serving size pieces. Place in large salad bowl; chill. Slice strawberries in half (may also leave whole, if desired), set aside. Mix dressing ingredients (except poppy seeds) together in blender. Stir in poppy seeds. Just before serving, mix dressing with spinach and reserved strawberries.
Spring Rhubarb Salad
4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar or 12 packets artificial sweetener
1 (6 ounce) package strawberry gelatin mix
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
Combine rhubarb, water and sugar in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat; add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Add orange juice and rind. Chill until syrupy. Add strawberries. If using artificial sweetener, add after adding sugar free gelatin mix. Pour into mold and chill until set.
Mountain Spring Fruit Salad
1/2 cup apple chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup mandarin or fresh orange slices
1 cup sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup banana slices
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup sugar
Mix all together and serve cold with whipped cream or over pound cake.
Wilted Lettuce or Spring Salad
2 strips bacon
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/3 cup water
2-3 green onions
4-6 cup leaf lettuce or other greens, torn into bite size
2-3 green onions, finely cut tops and all
Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain. Pour off all drippings but 3 tablespoons. Add vinegar, salt, sugar and water. Bring to boil. Pour over lettuce and onions. Add crumbled bacon. Toss and serve.
Spring Salad Tossed Salad
3 cup torn iceberg lettuce
3 cup torn Romaine
2 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
3 green onions, sliced
Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
In large salad bowl combine lettuce, Romaine, zucchini, radishes, mushrooms and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Toss lightly with Italian dressing to coat vegetables. Sprinkle blue cheese atop.
1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon minced dried onion
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
Dash garlic powder
4 cups mixed torn greens, such as Romaine, Bibb or leaf lettuce, spinach or turnip greens
1 cup carrots, bias-sliced
1/2 cup radishes, sliced
1 large tomato, cut in wedges
To make dressing, combine mayonnaise, buttermilk, Parmesan cheese, onion, paprika, celery seed, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Chill several hours to allow flavors to blend. At serving time, toss together torn greens, carrots, tomato wedges, and radishes. Pour chilled dressing over vegetable mixture; toss to coat.
Published: April 30, 2012