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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tip Toe Through the Tulips

You literally have to tiptoe through the tulips to get to my front door.  I like to think we have the best tulips in Squirrel Hill, although I am sure there's someone else who thinks theirs are the best.  They would be wrong.

Up until nine years ago, I lived in Los Angeles.  Los Angeles is not a city known for it's beautiful spring flowers.  Sure, there are lots of flowers around, but nothing like the explosion of colorful bulbs that comes in this part of the country.  It almost makes up for all the cloudy skies.

My house looks particularly lovely in the spring.  My hideously overpriced gardening service makes sure of that.  Every fall, just before it gets cold, they call to ask what color tulips I would like to line the walkway up to my house.  I'm partial to a soft yellow and while combination.  Every year Ted tries to sell me on a multi-color theme, but I'm just not into that Disneyland look.

So, we go with what I know works best, and every spring I'm happy that I did.  For far too short a time, my lovely tulips stand tall and proud along the walkway, welcoming everyone that comes to visit.  The tulips may only last a couple of weeks before I substitute in geraniums, but I enjoy every moment.

Once the tulips bloom, I know spring is officially here.  And once spring is officially here, I know that lighter food is ahead.  Lots of grilling and lots of lighter side dishes.  

This year I'm going to try something new.  I'm going to buy some of my produce directly from the farmers through the Penn Alliance.  There isn't a really nice farmer's market around here, so this seems like it might be the next best thing.

In the meantime, here's a lovely light recipe for sugar snap peas, which are easily available even if you don't have a farmer's market handy.

Recipe:  Fresh Green Peas and Sugar Snap Peas in Sesame Dressing
Bon Appetit, July 2004

*  Note:  I know shelling peas can be a pain so you can take the lazy (my) route.  Trader Joe's often has fresh shelled peas prepackaged in their veggie department.  Quick and easy, these peas are easier than shelling and tastier than frozen.


3 cups fresh shelled peas (from 3 pounds peas in pods)
12 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook shelled peas in large saucepan of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add sugar snap peas to same pan and continue boiling 30 seconds. Drain; rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer to large bowl.

Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. (Peas and dressing can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand separately at room temperature.) Pour dressing over peas in large bowl; toss to coat. Season salad to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. The tulips look absolutely beautiful! Certainly looks like spring has arrived :)