Eye Candy – Spring color teasers: Beets at the farmers market

Beet rainbow

Early Spring is such a tease.

I know we’re still technically in Winter, but with my crocuses popping up and the tulips starting to break ground, not to mention the leaves on the Aspens starting to burst, it’s official. I’m totally over Winter and I’m more than ready for Spring.

We haven’t had a lot of snow here in the Denver area this Winter.  I’m totally okay with this.  I’m not a big fan of snow.  They’ve had a lot in the mountains and that’s great for the ski freaks around here, of which I am not.  Since things aren’t very white around here with a covering of snow, there’s an overwhelming brown all over from the brown, crispy lawns and fields of dried up weeds and flowers from last year.

Spring and its colors just can’t come soon enough.

So here’s a hint of things to come: when the grass turns green, the flowers return and the wonderful local produce starts showing up at the farmers market again.

The Boulder Farmers Market starts up their 2011 season on April 2nd.  That’s only three weeks away.  I can’t wait.

PS – Best way to use those beets?  Remove the greens (save them for adding to pastas or saute for a side dish) and place the beets in a small foil packet with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper.  Seal up the packet tight and place in a small shallow roasting pan (just in case the foil packet leaks).  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until beets are knife tender. The time will depend on the size of your beets.  Roast longer, obviously, if they’re pretty large.  Remove and let cool.  Peel the skins off and slice on top of salads of green tender lettuce with some crumbled chevre and a light vinagrette.  They’ll keep nicely in a covered container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Eye Candy – Cherry lattice pie

It came from the bottom of the freezer

Okay, okay.  I’ve uploaded a ton of old stuff.  So it’s only fair I upload something new.

(Well, new to BlogWorld.  I made this pie last year.  But still.)

One morning, while digging around the bottom of our big freezer, I found a 6 pound container of frozen pitted sour cherries.  I had totally forgotten about them.  We bought them at the Boulder Farmers Market during the hieght of Colorado cherry season.  And, as often happens, other things get put in the freezer on top of it.  Bread. Chicken.  Large Costco-sized bags of corn.  Until surprisingly, it’s uncovered and suddenly, your mouth starts to water and you start craving pie.

So I pulled out the Tenderflake (that’s Canadian lard, which I had gotten a few pounds of during my last trip up north).  Sure, I like to make pie with butter and shortening, but there’s still nothing better than lard.  Screw you, food police.  Lard does make a flakier and tastier crust.

It was really good.  Bad cherry pie is…well…horrible.  But a good cherry pie will have you dreaming of running through the cool, green grass in your bare feet on a hot Summer day.  And trust me, during the Winter, that’s a nice dream.