Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Flavors of Anticipation

Minnesotans have resumed their collective pursuit of all things spring. We quickly forgot the snow that fell a few days ago and happily don sandals and shorts. As long as the sun occasionally warms our skin and the rain encourages a few tulips to pop up, we won't complain about the weather until mid-June when the humidity kicks in and the Japanese beetles begin their annual feasting of our gardens.

The St. Paul Farmers Market official opening was this past weekend. I always feel like a kid on Christmas morning when the market finally beckons. I dance around the house collecting my market bags and giggle sort of uncontrollably. (It is the same giddy laughter I am overcome with when I win a few hands of cribbage, and I am grateful that T is forgiving of my weird unrestrained enthusiasm.)

The Market was quiet except for a few people handing out flyers protesting the lack of community involvement in planning the new Saints stadium. There were no produce vendors to be found, so I soothed myself by loading up on trout, chicken, and pork. We stopped on the corner for a cheddar brat and listened to a local business man complaining loudly about the parking situation. "I had to walk three blocks today! How can we keep people coming to the Market when there isn't any parking?" He threw in a few expletives and jogged across the street to talk with one of the flyer guys.  

At home we grilled trout burgers, fingerlings, and artichokes (Yes, artichokes can be grilled! Just steam them for about 10 minutes before grilling over direct heat.). Read my updated grilled trout burger recipe over at For dessert I had planned to use fresh rhubarb to bake Rhubarb Torte, a recipe from an old church cookbook. But since the local rhubarb isn't quite ready I used frozen. The torte reminds me of lemon bars, and I featured it in this week's Called to the Table. The flavors of our weekend were all about anticipation.
Note: This Saturday I'll be at Ingebretsen's. Mike from Gamle Ode will be talking about his fantastic locally distilled aquavit, and I'll be doing a demo and passing out samples of rye-dill blini topped with roe-butter.

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