Last night, I picked up my first medicinal herb share. Making medicine is new for me and I’m excited to get fresh, locally grown herbs from Taryn and Michelle at Myriad Growers and start making tinctures, salves, liniments, and teas. Honestly, though, while the horseradish, chickweed, sweet flag, and dandelion all present interesting possibilities, both as medicine and food, I was most excited about the nettles in my share. I’ve been craving them for a couple weeks now, but haven’t had time to scout them out. We have a bit of Mike’s smoked salmon and home made cream cheese and for a week now, I’ve been obsessing about making this stinging nettle cheese cake, using almond flour in place of the bread crumbs for a grain-free base.
Oh, and thinking of salmon I’m reminded that the Columbia River Chinook run begins right about now. And halibut season is underway up in Alaska. Time to pick up fish frames and make some stock.
Pausing my revere for a snack, I notice that the jar of gingered peach leather is almost empty. Peach season is at least five months off. Distressed and wondering what I’ll do without my “grown up” fruit leather, I soothe myself thinking about another spring favorite, gingered-rhubarb and pear crisp, and suddenly realize that I could easily make enough gingered rhubarb leather to last me ’til August. Phew!
And soon, but never soon enough, the asparagus spears will start poking up through the soil and I can make this.
One of the less tangible benefits of eating locally and with the seasons is the joyful anticipation that comes with awaiting one’s loves. And at least with vegetables, there’s no one to get jealous about your multiple affections. Nettles, asparagus, rhubarb, I’ve been waiting for you, all of you.
What are your favorite foods of spring?