Blizzards and late winter cooking

How will I know when things start growing under there?  My hoops are rather difficult to get to this week.  The cold frame was completely under a drift, but now is "insulated" by 2 feet of snow in all directions.  Hard to believe last year we had crocus blooming by March 12.  I'm still loving winter though--we are out every day snowshoeing and skiing (if not shoveling) and you can definitely feel the sun getting stronger. The birds can tell too--I heard the cardinal singing a courtship song and the sparrows are chatty and making plans.

And the eating is good too.  I'm out of a few local staples like onions and potatoes, due to the blizzard I stuck to organic grocery store options this week to avoid driving more than I had too.  But definitely reaching into the homegrown stocks for some good meals without leaving the house!  We had a few meaty dishes (Turkey enchiladas with mole sauce, and a hearty beef stew) which put me in the mood for some veggie fare:

Veggie Tagine:  an amalgamation of a Bittman recipe and some veggie ones I had looked at online.  This had chickpeas, the last of the local onions and some local carrots, plus homegrown eggplant, green beans, garlic, tomatoes, chiles, and butternut squash.Flavored with all those "C" spices:  cumin, coriander, cinnamon,  cayenne.  Homemade turkey broth added for sauciness, raisins for sweetness, and toasted almonds thrown in at the end gave some crunch.  Seriously good stuff.

Burger night: 

My mother-in-law has a tradition of mailing us avocados every winter from her friend's yard in Florida.  They're the gigantic (and slightly watery) variety, and it's amusing to pull them out of the box on a cold day.  We've been eating a LOT of guacamole the last week!  Thought we'd use some up on burger night.  Followed Trout Caviar's methods mostly, though our beef was pre-ground--and, since we had some southwest flavors going on, added some finely chopped jalapeno and onion before forming the patties.  We "grilled" on a cast iron grill pan, (the best of both worlds perhaps? ) and served on a homemade bun with oven fries, pickles, and green bean casserole.  I've had a hankering for this, using our homegrown frozen beans, a white sauce made with local milk, flour, garlic, and mushrooms.  For the top, I shallow-fried thinly sliced onions tossed with some flour and panko.  Very effective and so tasty they almost didn't last until dinner.   Just realized I forgot the freezer slaw!  Oh well, we were stuffed as it is, though it would have have added some color!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Sara: I love your cocotte, and the tagine looks great. We are very fortunate, us squash lovers of the north--I ate butternut two ways yesterday, and am not sick of it at all. Pleased to see the mention on your burger night--it all looks great.

    I've noticed our goldfinches starting to take on some color, but haven't heard the chickadees' spring song yet. And it's minus 10 here this morning, so we won't be breaking out the Bermuda shorts quite yet....

    Cheers~ Brett


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