And the garden is starting to rock and roll. The ramps are poking their heads up. They were one of the last things planted last fall and are also known as wild leeks. If you’re lucky enough to see them at a farmer’s market go for it. They have the combined tastes of onion and garlic, are rich in A and C vitamins and are sweet. What I like the most is, because they are so tender, I can use the whole plant, leaves and all, rather than just the white part as in cultivated leeks. I love to char-grill and include them on a veggie platter. My yard is very shady which the ramps love so they are actually planted in the woods. And, this should be a good year to harvest morels. I have not had much luck in the past but if I find some I’ll just sauté with a bit of butter and sea salt. My magnolias are bursting with buds and will be magnificent in a few weeks. There are lots of crocus and hyacinths poking up along with ferns and daffodils. And all the bird houses are filling up with my feathered friends getting ready to start new families. Speaking of which, do not clean out the old nests as the birds add new materials to the base nest each year. And I will say that I can’t keep the feeders full. Mama birds are hungry.
Speaking of mommies, mine just celebrated her 87th birthday. She is an amazing woman, who with my dad raised 7 children. YIKES… I’m tired thinking about it… She is just home from a few months in St. Pete and walked 9 holes, sometimes more, every day. I pray that I’m in the great physical shape that my Mom is when I’m her age.
My mother, Marjorie Edick-Smith, is one of 10 children who grew up in Buffalo, New York. The Edick’s are great cooks. I learned much of what I know from them -- basic, classic cooking skills. Nothing fancy, just good solid food. What we now call “farm to table.” They ate lean and mean. Back in their day, the depression era, proteins were very limited. Beans ruled. Reasonable cuts of meat that required long and slow cooking were the requisite. My Grandpa and uncle’s fished on the Niagara River for perch. Friday’s were fish and chip days. What a treat. What a memory. Forty aunts, uncles and cousins gathered every week to enjoy this glorious meal. How lucky was I?
Last week I attended the annual Meals on Wheels “Thanks for Giving Banquet.” I love to visit with the volunteers who attend this turkey-dressing-mashed potato and cranberry sauce dinner. It is interesting to me that most are fit physically and mentally and very vibrant and happy. There were no cell phones, just fusty conversation. There is something to be said for giving back. A bible quote is “It is in giving that we receive.” I’d like to thank everyone who has brought pet food contributions to the bistro. It’s been 3 years since we’ve teamed up with the Meals on Wheels team to collect food for our furry friends and to date nearly 4 tons have been donated. LET’S KEEP IT GOING! Open packages are acceptable too. They are thrilled with your generosity. And, great appreciation to Linda Koos, President of Hylant in Ann Arbor for her on-going challenge to her office members to bring in bags of food. She has been a major partner in our gathering of pet food. What a great role model for all of you out there to do the same. You all make me very proud.
AS A REMINDER--- we’re closed Easter Sunday. Tom and I always wanted to be home with family on holidays and Sharon and I continue the tradition.
Chalkboard Features are awesome as usual including Seafood Gumbo, a NY Strip Steak, Mahi and Cobia. Check them out at www.djbistro.com
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BISTRO!
WISHING YOU A MILLION DOLLAR DAY...
XXOO, MARY, NIKI, PICO, Z AND PICASSO