Friday, May 20, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
In the sun today, a real taste of the spring that we have been missing, the violet-green swallows are swooping around eating the freshly hatched insects that have taken the wing in the warm afternoon. They are nesting nearby, although I can't see where, perhaps even on tope of our dormers on our house. Regardless, these birds are one of the indicators of deep spring. Once the Swainson's thrushes show up, we'll know that the natural world's summer has begun.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Roasted Asparagus quesadilla with asiago cheese and spinachServe and eat immediately.
1 pound local asparagus, ends trimmed
4Tbs fresh local rosemary
4Tbs olive oil
salt to taste
4 oz shaved asiago cheese
cup of fresh baby spinach, cleaned
1/2 cup of local chive and hazelnut pesto (see last week's recipe)
4 8" whole wheat tortillas.
1. Roast the asparagus with the olive oil, rosemary and salt for 10 minutes at 400 F, or until the tips are browned and the stalks are soft.
2. Spread a quarter of the pesto on half of a tortilla.
3. Lay a quarter of the asparagus, the cheese and the spinach on top of the pesto on each tortilla.
4. Fold the tortillas in half and bake for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the pesto is bubbling.
That was an incredible dinner actually. The trick with ultra-fresh local produce is to cook it as little as possible. If this whole dinner take you more than 30 minutes, you're doing it wrong! All the produce we are eating is available at the Ruddy Potato as well, so get some and get cookin'!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
This year we signed up as one of ten families piloting a community shared agriculture initiative here on Bowen Island. Tonight our first box arrived with asparagus, chives, rhubarb, rosemary and tender baby salad greens. Here's what I made.
Rotini with roasted asparagus, fiddleheads and chive pesto
Prepared the asparagus by drizzling with olive oil and placing under the broiler for ten minutes, then tossing with salt and pepper. Fiddleheads were picked yesterday, washed and thrown in with the pasta to cook in the pasta pot. The chive pesto followed this made up recipe:
Two cups of chopped Bowen chives
two garlic cloves
a quarter cup of chopped Fraser Valley hazelnuts
three quarters of a cup of olive oil
a quarter cup parmesan cheese
Throw it all in the blender and hit it for a minute.
For salad we had the Ruddy Garden tender baby greens tossed with a vineagrette I made using yet more of the local stuff:
A quarter cup white wine vineager
Three quarters of a cup of olive oil
1 Tbs mustard
Sea salt and pepper
3 Tbs Bowen chives
1 tsp Bowen rosemary
Same deal. Chuck it in the blender and hit "play."
Eaten gratefully out of a bowl crafted on Bowen by Catherine Epps with juice out of a Vonigo mug made by Sue Ritchie.
Friday, May 6, 2011
The other day I went out on the water with my friend Dave. We headed over to Vancouver in his boat, doing a little fishing and watching dolphins around Point Atkinson in English Bay. While I was waiting for him to arrive I watched this river otter eating a big Dungeness crab at the Union Steamship marina. The otter is eating next to a fresh water stream, and it keeps stopping to take big gulps of water, before ripping another leg of the still living crab.
This is the food chain in action. The otter had two long cuts in his back to that looked like it had run into something higher up the food chain. Incredible to watch from five meters away.
I can't tell you that these are facts, concrete proposals or certainties - but these are things I'm willing to work towards. I can see how elements of a park proposal give me starting places to pursue these ideas, and I can see that it is up to us to make those happen. So if we vote yes, much of what I have written will require the active participation of loads of Bowen Islanders to make it all work and to take advantage of the opportunity. Our engagement begins now and continues for all time, should we choose it.
Here's some more information on lady ferns, and a recipe. I've been eating them with pasta, risotto or on a curry plate for a couple of weeks now.