Nature is really showing off around the Bay Area lately. Maybe it’s just after all that cold and rain, the appeal of being provocative and showing off the equivalent of a lot of skin is just too enticing. Go check out the verdant green and wildflower brocade of Bernal Hill if you don’t know what I mean.
In addition to windy walks, I’ve savored a couple incredible beach days and have been especially enjoying some farmers market forays. I don’t usually go to the Heart of the City one at the Civic Center on Wednesdays, but since I had to hit the Steps Sale at the San Francisco Public Library this week, it was an easy add-on. I think the most astonishing award has to go to the tables of gigantic cauliflower heads that really drove home the fact that these are actually flowers. If they had longer stems, I would be making vase arrangements for sure.
A huge rosemary harvest and a large $2 bunch of lemongrass has also led me to make some delicious simple syrups I am at this moment enjoying in cocktail form. C’mon, it is Friday evening, after all!
At the Bakesale for Japan at Bi-rite last weekend, it was heart-warming to see how everyone rallied to the cause and donated an incredible array of goodies. I did my part by bringing home some coffee-passion caramels from the Tell Tale Preserve Co., a jar of lemon curd, sunflower butter cups, peanut butter apricot cookies and a piece of matcha pound cake. I am still trying to find out who made the phenomenal sunflower butter cups - they were amazing.
On the home front, I planted some herb starters in containers on the deck including a lime-scented geranium that I can’t wait to do something exciting with once it’s grown a bit larger and can give up some of its fragrant leaves.
Lastly, today I made Pickled Chard Stems! While sometimes I definitely cook the stems with whatever dish I’m using the chard in, lately I’ve been going right to the leaves, and just discarding those gorgeous red stems seems like such a waste. I had literally set aside a bunch of them in order to do something useful with them later, when I came across this recipe on the Local Kitchen blog. It felt extremely satisfying to get such a beautiful result from something I otherwise wasn’t going to use.
Happy weekend friends, hope wherever you are spring is rearing its magical head for you too.