30 March 2012

Raabed of Sunshine

Our PSU Farmers Market opens Saturday, March 31st at 8:30 & closes at 2. Last week we had sunshine and rhubarb, this week we should have more rhubarb.

Well rhubarb and Raab. Raab, the very thing I am having for dinner tonight with olive oil, red pepper flakes and pecorino, is the cause of some controversy. And by controversy, I mean it’s not very controversial at all, rather just something to disagree about: Purist believe raab is rapini – the green tops of a plant that is a variety of turnip, brassica rapa. The less rigid, feel raab describes the the flowering portion of any brassica plant. I’m not going to weigh in on who’s right or wrong, only point out that technically a hamburger is a chopped steak, prepared Hamburg style – rendering the diminutive ‘burger’ as in cheeseburger or gardenburger meaningless. Do we really want to be that way? Language conveys thoughts, ideas and emotions. Engineering denotes specificity.

Also with my raab dinner there will be a small green salad. Our colleague Jamie claims the greens from GardenRipe are a joy of spring, while Anna votes for Springhill’s chicory and Asian salad mixes. Jamie also wanted to note that Persephone’s purple cauliflower, which she claims was so pretty it was hard to eat, but once she did, it was delicious. Anna also mentioned Oak Villa’s prunes as noteable, knowing that I am a prune enthusiast – a designation I’m unsure about.

This isn’t a promise but asparagus is getting close to being ready. Really close. If the crop cooperates with the market schedule, there could be a very limited supply available – Early birds get the spears. Winters and Rick Steffen are good starting points on the asparagus quest.

There are vegetable starts and perennials ready to stick in the ground. Blue Heron, French Prairie and SunGold will all make you look like a master gardener by sundown. Flowers from Simply Daffodils or Lucky Flowers will mitigate the lack of sunshine and if not, Alma’s Chocolates will help you assuage the feeling that sometimes accompanies the gray skies.

Easter and Passover are a little over a week away, check with SuDan, Pine Mt, Sexton Ranches, Pono, Columbia River Fish if you need to order a special lamb, roast, fish for Easter or Passover meals. Check back on this blog Sunday when friend of the Market, Elizabeth Miller will have instructions on how to dye eggs naturally.