Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Asparagus dreams

Why is it, whenever I set a goal I manage to get worse at completing a task? As soon as I made a goal to write every week....well....a month goes by and nary a post! Rebelious nature? Ha, that's funny! Maybe the pressure creates a vaccum of ideas. Kind of like when someone tells you not to think of a pink elephant. Saw him, didn't you? Oh, who knows. Whatever the reason, I've decided to refrain from goals related to blog-land and have re-entered the fray with a new approach. Instead of a goal to diligantly write every week, I'm giving myself permission to dream freely at least once a week. If it leads to a blog post, yay. If not, yay. Yeah, I'm one of those people who set the bedroom alarm clock ten minutes faster than "real" time so I'm less likely to be late for things.

In other news, March as been a strange and wonderful creature this year. From snow and the first bulbs just pushing their heads through the soil...

...to all-out 70-degree-F temperatures and the wanton explosion of bud, flower and tendril (definitely need to take more pictures of this). And back to snow, sleet and hurricane-like winds again. We're riding the waves of this strange spring. Outside from sun-up to sun-down when we can...

...and finding good rainy-day activities when all we want to do it run outside and drink in the sun again.

And, as much as I'm feeling the urge to eat obscene amounts of asparagus, we are still too early for the local varieties here in the northeast. Even the grocery store is still carrying the Mexican-grown stalks, although I have a hard time believing there aren't farmers somewhere in the United States of American harvesting asparagus right this very second.

Instead, we're enjoying some lighter fare withough the customary spring staples. Mounds of asparagus and rhubarb recipes will follow when the time is right. Until then...

Citrus-scented Peanut Noodles

So I started out intending to make the Aromatic Noodles with Lime-Peanut Sauce in Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave. But, I didn't have limes and I didn't have broccoli and I didn't have snow or sugar snap peas. Um...so, basically, I really made this one up as I went along. But, the key element is the sauce. Hell, you could pour the stuff on an old shoe and I'd probably devour it!

12 oz (1 box) soba or lo mein noodles (or whatever pasta you have around)
2 cups frozen edamame (soybeans)--make sure they are already shelled
2 large carrots, julienned
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use tamari--doesn't seem as "salty")
1/4 cup water (I just used the pasta water from cooking the noodles)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
3/4-inch piece of ginger, finely grated
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold running water. While the pasta is cooking, steam the edamames and julienne carrots. Just 1-1/2 to 2 minutes in a covered dish in the microwave (with a little water) cooks both the edamames and the carrots just right. Make the sauce by whisking the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon and orange juices, ginger, brown sugar and red pepper flakes in a small bowl until smooth. (Ellie recommends making the sauce in a food processor or blender, but since we don't own a food processor and our blender is broken, good old elbow grease worked just fine.) Pour the noodles into a large serving bowl, top with the veggies and pour over the sauce. Toss to coat and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Consume with much gusto!

1 comment:

Aden Meyler said...

Sounds absolutely scrummy! I too could devour a whole neighbourhood of asparagus. I'm thinking asparagus quiche tomorrow for dinner.

It's been a strange March here, too.