It’s been beyond gorgeous here in Knox Vegas. A purple carpet of crocuses have already taken over my neighbors’ lawn, incited a bee orgy and faded quietly away.
Bulbs are coming up everywhere I look with some already in bloom.
Forsythia is blooming all around, causing me to break out in my usual tirade against the people who prune them into little squares or balls. Why, for the love of all that is holy, do people plant a shrub that is notorious for it’s sprawling growth habit and then prune it to within an inch of its life? They look ridiculous – like the Iggy Pops of the shrub world have been shaved, shorn and popped into 3-piece suits with Dexter Poindexter glasses. And I’m going to stop now before I start ranting about people who top trees and prune crepe myrtles into little stubs.
Birds wake us up every morning in the noisy mating ritual. And since I live in the city, our favorite mockingbird has been sitting outside our bedroom window every morning, doing his best impersonation of a car alarm. It’s beautiful – this music of springtime. Sometimes he gets really creative and throws in a firetruck siren.
The air feels soft, warm and moist. You can almost hear things growing. When I walk through the lawn, I can smell the crush of violets, wild onions, parsley, catnip and other herbs that have escaped their garden confines and help me disguise the fact that we have all of 3 blades of real grass growing in our “lawn”.
East Tennessee is getting the Crayola haze – everything looks a bit misty and colored by my favorite colors in the crayon box. It’s almost a cliche how green things look but I know it’s only going to get more breath taking
It’s been in the 60s every day and as I stand outside on my concrete patio, feeling the warmth of the sun soaking into my feet, I’m looking forward to the fresh peas that I’ll be harvesting from my garden in the next weeks. That is, if dogwood winter doesn’t get us.
Spring is teasing us, murmuring to us with a husky come hither tone but I’m trying not to be too tempted by its siren song. East Tennessee Spring has suckered us in before, teasing us with her husky warm breath before slamming the door in our face like a petulant lover.
I think of the spring several years ago where Marcus and I decided to eat only local fruit. We were blessed with an early spring and we watched our strawberry patch flower more profusely than it ever had before. That was the same strawberry patch we coated in row cover fabric & plastic, finally resorting to sticking actual lamps in the bed to coax it through the 12 degree night. That was the summer we refer to as the Melon Summer.
I am a sucker for anything that involves, includes, alludes or even hints of deviled eggs. They’re like the cupcakes of the egg world. I’ve actually heard people squeal out loud at parties when they realize deviled eggs are being served. I’m actually chagrined that I don’t have a proper platter for serving deviled eggs. My excuse is that my kitchen is in a crazy state of transition and there’s no room for it but the Southern woman in me weeps at my disgrace.
But as awesome as deviled eggs are, imagine them crisped up a bit and caramelized around the edges. Imagine a tiny bit of resistance on your teeth before you bite down into that buttery, sun-shiny yellow of a yolk. And imagine a deviled egg that’s been souped up – Spring-style with garlicky overtones and the greenness of parsley. When I bite into these eggs, it reminds me of my lawn with all of its wild onion and parsley seedlings. These yolks taste like a dandelion should taste – all buttery and full of springtime. And if you scatter them on a carpet of fresh greens dressed with a piquant vinaigrette? Dogwood winter – do your worst. Spring is here to stay in my kitchen.
PS – As I hit publish on this post, I’m giggling because there’s a winter storm warning in the mountains tonight. BRING IT DOGWOOD WINTER!!!!
Pan-Crisped Deviled Eggs Salad
Adapted from The Splendid Table’s How To Eat Supper
4 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
1/2 scant teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons minced onion
1 1/2 tightly packed tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 teaspoons mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Leftover egg stuffing
1 1/2 extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/4 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Salt & fresh-ground black pepper
4 generous handfuls mixed greens
Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and place the yolks in a bowl and set whites aside. Add mustard through vinegar and mash and mix thoroughly. I usually use a regular fork for this. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the mixture into the hollows of the reserved egg whites. Make sure you don’t mound them up, the mixture should come to the top of the whites but not above. You will have some of the yolk mixture left over.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Place eggs stuffed side down in the pan. Cook for around 5 minutes or until browned. Mine cooked for just over 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp of salt and a few grinds of pepper as they cook.
While the eggs are sauteing in a large bowl, mix the leftover egg yolk mixture with the dressing ingredients. Whisk together thoroughly. Toss the salad greens with the dressing. Divide greens onto two plates. Remove the egg halves from the pan (4 halves per plate) then serve.