Savoring the Seasons: Spring Synchronicity
By MARY MCCLINTOCK
I love “synchronicities” — those “small world” magical happenings where people, topics, and places come together unexpectedly — and I seem to experience them a lot. Last Saturday, I roamed the Greenfield Farmers Market, checking out what fresh vegetables the farmers were offering as the growing season progresses. Several farms had kohlrabi, broccoli, chard, kale, radishes, and lettuce. When I asked Caroline Pam of the Kitchen Garden Farm about spring garlic, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the conversation that developed.
Caroline said “You can use spring garlic in any dish you’d use garlic. My favorite way to cook them is with eggs.” She described a dish that is one of many marvelous recipes on the “Vegetable Pages” on the Kitchen Garden Farm website ( www.kitchengardenfarm.com , see below).
A woman I’d never seen before standing next to me chimed in, “You can share that recipe in your column next week.” I laughed and said, “Yes, I had the same thought.” Then, she said, “I just emailed you some information about a farmers market in Bath, Maine.” I laughed again and said, “Are you Susan Pelis?” She said, “Yes!”
Before going to the market, I replied to some email messages, including one from Susan Pelis, responding to my column about farmers markets I visit in my travels. Susan noticed I’m going to Bangor and encouraged me to stop at the Bath farmers market en route. I had never met Susan, although I shared a great strawberry pie recipe a few years ago. We chatted about Maine and farmers markets.
Susan wasn’t the only person to respond to last week’s column. My on-the-other-side-of-Conway neighbor, Kristen Strange, wrote, saying “I’m going to be selling baked goods at the Conway farmers market this year. Today’s treats include blueberry muffins with Benson Place berries and a rhubarb cake with my own organic rhubarb. Hope you’re in the mood for something sweet! I hope to have at least one fresh local ingredient each week, plus always Carol Grossman’s eggs. Eventually, there will be carrot muffins and carrot cake, zucchini in everything, possibly focaccia with berries and peaches, and more. It’s too bad there’s no local chocolate, but I’ll make do!”
When I went to the Conway farmers market last week (Wednesdays, 4 to 7 p.m., in front of Conway library on Route 116), I did indeed indulge in some of Kristen’s baked goods! Wow, is she a great baker! I shared some of Kristen’s baked goodies with Sue Bridge during my weekly Thursday morning of helping out at Wildside Gardens.
Kristen’s mention of Benson Place blueberries reminded me that I’d heard from Meredith and Andrew that this year’s Benson Place blueberry crop is doing well. July 1 is the day they start scheduling orders for pre-picked berries and weekday pick-your-own days. Visit www.bensonplace.org for information and to reserve berries.
This week we’re eating ...
SPRING GARLIC & EGGS
By Caroline Pam, Kitchen Garden Farm, Sunderland and Hadley (from www.kitchengardenfarm.com)
Spring garlic is a seasonal delicacy only to be enjoyed in June. Similar to scallions, you can eat both the white stalk and the green leaves — both have a sweet flavor and are bursting with garlicky juice. This recipe is also terrific with garlic scapes, the flower bud that forms on certain types of garlic just before the bulb starts to bulge and divide into cloves.
1 C. chopped spring garlic
2 T. olive oil
¼ C. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
salt & pepper
Saute garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes or so, until soft and starting to brown. Add cheese in an even layer and immediately crack eggs on top. Fry eggs over high, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then flip. The bottom should be a slightly charred mass of crispy, salty, garlicky goodness. Cook yolks easy or hard as desired. Serves two for breakfast with toast and orange juice.