Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bring Spring to the Table (Alley Flowers Optional)

Wildflowers are lining backroads and highways and the pecans are starting to show their leaves. It is time for spring, although I'm not sure we ever got a glimpse of winter. The rains should make the wildflower show a good one this year and I can tell by email inbox that spring has truly arrived. Gardening events, preserving classes and outdoor potlucks are filling up our calendar quickly. If only there was more time in a day. 

I've been busy in the garden with the abundance that the rain and early spring has brought us and our table has been filled with veggies and fruit from our own garden and local farmers. It seems so easy these days to just start with a bed of lettuce and pop in a few things from the garden. 
Clay has been busy collecting flowers from our alley and his little garden to decorate the table. I'm amazed at the beauty of the simple blossoms on our apple tree and the bees that circle our meyer lemon tree, that is no doubt fooled into thinking we've moved to California. Usually our lemon tree produces lemons in November and December then drops its leaves to rest until spring when we see bright white blooms. This year, however, we were able to pick fresh lemons until February, have small lemons and new blossoms. I was even able to make a little Vanilla Meyer Lemon Syrup. 

Try this Vanilla Meyer Lemon Syrup Recipe from Cooking Light (replace sugar with local honey and add vanilla bean - omit whipped cream and use cashew creme or rice whip if you are dairy free). Or, try this recipe for Raw Meyer Lemon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake or Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking's Meyer Limoncello
Our recent trip to Fredericksburg reminded us of how breathtaking the Hill Country can be during the spring. Row after row of little pink peach blossoms lining the fields eager to produce sweet peaches. Is there anything better than stopping at a roadside stand to pick up a box of warm peaches in the summer? 

Before the heat arrives along with the mosquitoes, get outside, visit your local farmers' market and attend one of the many great events happening around Austin. 

Slow Money Austin

Slow Money Potluck 

Slow Money Austin & 5 Mile Farms is having a potluck on Tuesday, March 27th from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. at 5213 Jim Hogg. Please bring your own dish and label local ingredients.

Slow Money Film Series
Thursday, April 12th
Forks Over Knives
Thursday, April 19th
Farmer John
Thursday, April 26th

Potluck at 6:00 p.m.
Film at 6:30

Location: UT Concho Community Garden
Back up rain-site location is Texas Hillel

Markley Farms U-Pick Strawberries

Be sure to visit Markley Farms to pick your own strawberries. Call first to find out availability. Our strawberries and my new raspberry bush and last year's blackberry bush are looking promising, so we hope to have some of our our berry harvest very soon!

Try one of these recipes with your harvest.  
Lemon Balm Infused Berries 
Strawberry and Raspberry Fool (first photo on my blog post)

Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking - Canning and Preserving Classes

I love her tips on great things to do with the last few weeks of citrus season!

March 25 Austin, TX: Hip Girl's Guide to Spring Preserves. 5-7:30pm, Central Market 
March 29 Austin, TX: Beets and Sweet Pickling Class with JBG Organics 6-8pm, Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts
April 29 Wells Branch, TX: Fridge Pickling and Beginning Fermentation Workshop 1-3:30pm, Wells Branch Community Library
Register for classes at the Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking Site

May 10, 2012

25 top chefs prepare a lovely, local meal at the beautiful and historic Barr Mansion. Benefits the Sustainable Food Center of Austin. 

Be sure to check the site bar on my blog for more upcoming events this spring and summer. If you know of one I've missed, please leave a comment below. 

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