If you aren’t already in the know, spring is possibly the most glorious event here in the Driftless region. Nothing compares to the jewel green of the hills just before sunset. I’ve seen cows jogging in the pastures and no longer needing to be side by side to keep warm. The sheep are out naked, freshly sheared from their winter coat. The flowers have been like a display of fireworks starting with the crocus, then the daffodils, tulips, violets, lilacs, and the lilies of the valley. Mineral Point is heady with the scent of daffodils, lilacs, and lilies of the valley. Even more spectacular was being at the Tippy Top Orchard with over three hundred fifty pear and apple trees in peak bloom. Bazile proudly showed me their latest addition, a hive of bees and Mike planted comfrey around the garden to fertilize the soil. He exclaimed, “I think this just might be the best year yet at the orchard!”
Tippy Top Orchard
We never go home emty handed from a Tippy Top visit. Below is one of the prize foods of the season, fresh asparagus. Keith and I simply roasted it in a cast iron pan and finished it with a bit of sea salt and good Wisconsin butter. Eating asparagus this way and cooking it just half and hour from being picked is simply one of the most delicious things on earth!
Freshly Picked Asparagus
Here the asparagus stalks sit in a bowl made by Diana Johnston. I bought it from the recent Clay in May weekend along with some cups that will be perfect for a tea party or two this season. Another event that we always look forward to is the Windy Ridge Pottery spring kiln firing. The event was the weekend before Clay in May. I bought this pretty spectacular bowl made by Joe Cole.
Johnston Pottery + Asparagus
The other day, I visited with Jean and Ayla at the Silver Star Inn. Ayla and I looked for morels on the property. After about two hours, we came up with some fiddleheads, pheasant back polypores, and each of us found one morel!
We were a bit disappointed to have found only two morels but took our woodland treats and made a fine salad. Quinoa topped with garlicky and butter mushrooms, fiddleheads, and peas.
This morning I planted some daisies and dahlias then I harvested the first stalks of rhubarb from the garden. After gardening, I thought it would be nice to make rhubarb crisp. Because the dandelions had just freshly opened, I infused the rhubarb and sugar mixture with the flower petals.
It was a wonderful combo! Thank goodness for spring and for the many more beautiful things to come. Cheers and happy weekend!
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