Monday, April 13, 2009

Swinging into Ohio Spring

It is Spring in Cincinnati. And Spring is wonderful. You really don't have Spring in California- the weather doesn't vary that much from season to season in San Fran- and all the rain comes in the winter- not the spring.

We did have one good indicator of the seasons in San Francisco. All you had to do was take a look at what all the young women were wearing. In the Winter, they wore sweaters, coats, gloves, boots and hats. In the summer they wore shorts, flip flops and short sleeves. The interesting part was that the temperatures were pretty close to the same regardless of whether it was February or July. But when you have lots of young women with wardrobes to wear, they used the clothes they had and it worked about as well as a calendar.

But Ohio does Spring- in a Big, Big Way. I think the real factor that dictates Spring is the fact that we also have Winter. If you don't have a cold winter, how would you know when Spring came? So sandwiched in between the cold and wet days- and the nights that plunge back down to a frost, there are these gorgeous days. And when those rains go away- and the sun breaks out in a big smile you almost feel an obligation to get outside and enjoy. So we did! So off to the neighborhood park we went! The other real indicator is the Spring flowers. Tulips, daffodils, pear trees, saucer magnolias, croacus, and hyacinths all are indicators of Spring and they out did themselves this year.

And there were swings... and swingers.

And of course the slide...

Some were fearless....

And some of us tried to act fearless...


And just hanging out on a beautiful day in Ohio!

Sarah was trying to do her Pippi Longstocking imitation.

And if I see the ASPARAGUS- It has to be spring- It costs 1/2 as much and tastes twice as good. And this is the year for Pickled Asparagus- Homemade Pickled Asparagus:

See Mom always did Pickled Okra- why I've seen the "boys" fight over the last jar of pickled okra. But we just don't get very "pretty" okra here in Ohio. In fact the okra is so puny I'm not sure folks in Oklahoma would even recognize it as okra. But we do get asparagus- and asparagus can be pickled. So we (that is the Don and me) decided to get "pickled" for the spring. We used Mom's Pickled Okra recipe- just substituted the asparagus.

So here it is- you'll love it- you just gotta try it!


2 cups cider vinegar (Mom used "Hinze")
2 cups of water
2 TBSP of "pickling" salt (she had another recipe that said 4 tbsp- we used this one- but it's a bit too salty so next time I'm just going to use the 2)
1/4 tsp of alum

Bring to a boil to dissolve the salt.

Cut asparagus - enough for 4 pints- to fit the jars- tips standing up- and put them in each pint jar. Add a couple of peppers (in two jars we used Jalapeno- and then in another two we used the little Thai peppers- and add two whole cloves of garlic to each jar.

Divide the "pickling" liquid in half- in one half add 1 TBSP of whole mustard seed and 2 tsp of whole dill seed- And in the other half add 2 tsp of cumin seed and 2 tsp of coriander seed.

Cover the tops of the asparagus in two jars with the "mustard/dill" and two with the "coriander/cumin".

Seal the jars. Place the jars into boiling water for a water "pack" for 5 minutes to get a good seal. Let them set for a few days and then refrigerate until they are cold.

Yum! They are so, so good. You'll just have to make some for yourself- or maybe just come for a visit and I'll serve them up on a platter with deviled eggs. It really is SPRING!


Lucas said...

I left all my photo comments on FB when you posted them a while back but that's no reason not to leave a blog comment. Love that you guys are enjoying spring. We are too. It's so great to see all the neighbors hanging around outside. We all just sort of wander up and down the block saying hello and catching up. And seeing the kids playing ball in the intersection or riding their razors up and back and up and back would melt any frost! Spring has sprung, thank the LORD!

Liz said...

The pickled okra looks like it will be wonderful tasting!

Beyond The Strip said...

The swings and slide look like fun!

Anonymous said...

I LOVED those pictures, miss everyone there! :( Maybe you might come to Darby and Lucas' dance recital? It's on June 10th and 11th!