Friday, March 21, 2008

welcome spring!

Last night we celebrated the eve of the vernal equinox with a St. Patty's Day dinner. That may seem contradictory, but as we had other plans for Monday, and I do get cranky if I have to go more than a year without corned beef (unlike Cass, I grew up on this stuff - he's not a huge fan, but he puts up with it). Plus, spring equinox, spring meal ... what's not to love?

The rhubarb-raspberry rolypoly (above) was something I'd never made or tried before. It had come up in one of the plays I'm using for my thesis, so when I saw it in the March 2007 Bon Appetit, described as a British version of a jelly roll using a scone-like dough, I was sold on the idea! As instructed, we served it with a big dollop of the raspberry-rhubarb filling and we poured a happy pool of cream around it instead of making the vanilla custard sauce that I couldn't eat.

For dinner we served a bacon and cabbage soup (from and an Irish soda bread that I tinkered with (I soaked the golden raisins in whiskey and poured all the extra whiskey into the dough, I used milk and lowfat sour cream instead of buttermilk, which I didn't have on hand, and I spiced it up with fennel seeds and a dash of cardamom), steamed asparagus spears and the corned beef with onions, carrots and potatoes, with a mustard sauce to pair with all.

Afterward, Clareann and I had our fire. This year we used dried peppermint stalks as tinder, for a fire of eucalyptus branches, and for sweet smoke, we used pineapple sage, rosemary, and lavendar from the garden. Lavendar flowers, when burnt, produce an amazing burst of lavendar smoke. We watched the smoke, a fine white haze, drift upward a long time, and hovered around the embers till they darkened.

1 comment:

Felicia said...

That dessert looks delicious :)