Embracing Spring – Asparagus Oven Pancake

A guest spot, awesome! I have always considered myself to be an adequate cook–not great, not awful.  Observing my three now grown children, I am both surprised and pleased to discover that they have become interesting and creative cooks.  Who knew?!  Was it lurking somewhere in their subconscious or have their spouses inspired them??  They have also all become fairly avid gardeners.  That is not so surprising since my husband/their father began gardening, by himself, in his youth… a few years ago….

Jon asked what was growing right now in the Northwest where his Dad and I live, and if I might want to share about that.  Most things are just beginning to sprout–outside and in–but the first vegetable harbinger of spring is determinedly and gloriously pushing up from the dirt.  ASPARAGUS!!

We are still in the rapturous phase and are eagerly finding our old favorite recipes.  (In another few weeks, we will no doubt be reduced to making and freezing asparagus soup just to use it up.  The soup really is, however, a taste of early spring when you thaw it in late spring or early summer.)  Note: my husband planted a section of purple passion variety two years ago and so we are just getting a few slender stalks as seen in the picture.

Tonight’s recipe came from Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.  It is basically what we have always called Dutch Babies but with added veggies and cheese.  The recipe can be easily found on the internet (search “Simply in Season Vegetable Oven Pancake), and it’s quite easy!  I made it with steamed asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces, a few sliced mushrooms which were leftover in the crisper, and some cut-up baby peppers.  I sprinkled the top with fresh-from-the-herb-bed chopped thyme and some white cheddar cheese to finish it off.  (You will have surmised that I, unlike the Kitchener, am not abiding by the “local only” dictum.)  We just love eating from our own garden when able.  Next time, however, I’ll add some cut up scallions, more fresh herbs, and use parmesan instead of the heavier white cheddar.

If I get another guest spot, I’ll blog about the other early spring delight–RHUBARB!  What do you say, Kitchener?

Sandra Spee is the Kitchener’s mom, his Young Assistants’ Oma, and a great cook!  She has cooked real food for as long as the Kitchener can remember and always makes use of whatever is growing in the huge garden that she and her husband/Opa have next to their home.  She lives in Olympia, WA and prefers sunny weather.