What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Spring Fever

Spring is everywhere! I love it and really appreciate the netural beauty we are
fortunate enough to live in the mist of. Our native azaleas are in bloom as is the red honeysuckle we found on our driveway. The redbuds are about done but the dogwoods and several varieties of wild viburnum are in bloom.

This is year one for our asparagus. It looks good and although they say you can pick a little the first year but we are not so it will grow stronger for future years. We planted the early garden yesterday. We know it is late for an early garden but we let the grapes get the priority around here so the garden doesn't get planted until we get the time. We planted potatoes, lettuce, radishes, green onion, green peas and sugar snaps. Hopefully today, I'll get some of the fun stuff in, like sunflowers, zinnias and nasturtiums. The seed trays are planted, except corn, which I hope to get in today as well. Almost everything is up: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and herbs. When ever I start planting, I get hungry for all the things that are weeks and weeks away from being able to pick and eat.

So what are we eating? We found a deal on veal at Costco and made two different veal dishes: one with fontina and asparaus and the other rolled with pancetta.

They look springy to me. I took pesto out of the freezer (the basil is only an inch or two high in the seed trays) and shrimp to make a pesto shrimp pasta dish for dinner. We also just had jerk pork tenderloin grilled with basmati rice and pink eyed purple hulls (they are like black eyed peas, only they grow better here) cooked with harissa. We fell in love with jerk chicken at a little restaurant named Bananas on the island of Vieques off the coast of Puerto Rico. They served it with a sauce called Hot n Honey. The restaurant has changed hands and the original maker of Hot n Honey has sold it and the new-name-brand doesn't taste the same. I am still working on it and when I get it just right, I'll post the recipe. In the meantime, my standard recipe for jerk is on the website. recipes I just love it.

Enjoy this beautiful weather and keep cooking!


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