Blog - Playing with Food

Spring Fling

Spring produce is my favorite. It's not the most plentiful, colorful or unusual, but it is the FIRST produce of the year and that makes it special.

Asparagus. Strawberries. Rhubarb. 

At the markets I'm always horrified to see people actually buying under ripe tomatoes. Grown somewhere far away and picked green they actually don't resemble a real tomato very much at all. A real tomato won't arrive until summer. But people do it and I wonder: "Why bother?"

Produce that's local, fresh and organic tastes like produce SHOULD taste. Ever had a strawberry right off the vine? You know what I'm talking about. I still can conjure up the scent and the sight of the huge strawberry fields I picked as a kid (before child labor laws...) all summer. We'd pick in the hot sun and when a berry would feel too soft, I'd eat it. I didn't make a lot of money picking berries but I learned the enormous difference between a local berry and something trucked in from California.

Right now we're having a freakishly warm spring and yes, the strawberries are coming on. The rhubarb is sending out enormous leaves and bright red stalks. Soon i will introduce the berries tot he stalks and we'll have one of the finest creations there is: good old fashioned strawberry-rhubarb pie. It's my spring fling. I can still remember cutting stalks of fresh rhubarb and dipping the end into sugar then eating it. I can smell the strawberries. Yep. It's time for spring. 

Do yourself a favor: plant strawberries, even if you only have a small pot on a shelf in a crowded apartment. When they are ripe and the sun hits them, look at the glistening shiny red and breathe in the sweet, perfect scent. Then eat it and create a memory of your own.