Spring!

Spring is my favorite season.

It could be that I’m a spring baby, or the sunshine, or the flowers (it’s probably all of the above) – these days, I think a big part of it is that life just seems to pick up again as the days grow longer.
Some quick shots:

Freshly foraged fiddleheads! The wonderful bourbonbaker hunted these down and passed some to me. (Thank you!) I’ve never tried them (I don’t think they’re very common in Alberta) and am very excited to add them to tonight’s dinner!

Fiddleheads, if I recall correctly, are the young shoots of the ostrich fern, and seem to be a culinary herald of spring in this area, along with ramps and asparagus. I know that fiddleheads can be blanched and tossed in with salads or pastas, but I think I’m going to keep it simple and saute them with some butter and maybe a pinch of black pepper and salt. (Other recommendations?)
This beauty is from Nick & Nat’s Uptown 21 – not only did I win their Poutine Friday contest but lucked into finding my favorite flatbread in recent memory. It featured roasted pecans, curly endive, herbed goat(?) cheese, and a sweet-savoury squash puree that I would happily eat by the spoonful. I would inevitably regret eating said puree by the spoonful, but I would be blissful until that regret hit! The mix of flavours, the perfectly chewy crust… my leftovers were equally delicious cold, as well. Definitely one of my favorite dishes in KW. Woefully, I discovered this on the second-last week of N&N’s lunch service – maybe it’ll be back in the fall!

I’m trying to brave my fear of baking this year. I enjoy baking (both the eating and the preparing parts), but am sometimes too spontaneous for an art that requires precision and attention to the recipe. ^^;; …I may also have set off fire alarms while baking things as elementary as cakes-from-a-box and puffed wheat squares in the past.
So, these pecan-apricot-orange-spice muffins, adapted from Food & Drink‘s Spring 2011 edition, were a good step forward. Handily, the original recipe is available online: Orange-Pistachio-Glazed Spiced Muffins.
Happy spring! I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine.
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