Friday, May 13, 2005

Two seasonal items

We have turned the corner that we turn every year around this time, when I know I won't wear anything with sleeves or toes again until October. It seemed so sudden. Now it is irrevocable.

I would be tempted to bitch about this (what happened to the refreshingness of SPRING?), but nature and humanity have conspired to remind me how beautiful this season, too, can be. The honeysuckles have bloomed. Suddenly the whole outdoors is erotic and dreamy. The smell is strongest at night; I always smell the flowers before I see them.

Sometimes I wonder if I would love Georgia as much as I do if it weren't so full of spectacular invasive exotics. It is a love/hate relationship, but the love can be overwhelmingly strong.

This is also the time of year when I start to feel a little twinge of desperation, wondering how I am going to use all our turnips. I managed to work a bunch of the greens into a colcannon the other day, and it was very successful. Then I was paging through Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant and saw an intriguing Finnish recipe, which I adapted as follows:

2 small tart apples, peeled, cored, and halved
1 medium turnip, trimmed and quartered
a handful of chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vegetable oil

Put the apple and turnip chunks in the food processor and pulse until coarsely grated. Remove to a medium bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and toss well. Chill.

It is a little sweet, a little biting, and surprisingly delicious, especially as a counterpoint to heavier or richer foods.