May 4, 2007
It is always an adventure finding out upon arrival what is blooming, what trees have fruit, what is in the garden. Today was no exception. Look at these luscious artichokes...les petit violet de Provence. I have a picture from my files that shows a larger variety of an artichoke that has been allowed to go to flower...that flower is the choke that we remove before eating.
Walk into the kitchen this morning and there are two big containers of fresh strawberries...and not just any strawberries. These are the berries from Carpentras which is known for these luscious gems. These berries are about the size of the end of my ring finger and really taste and smell like strawberries. They have not been hybridized to the point of being huge with no flavor. This is what strawberries are supposed to be. Rarely, do we find them in the States. It hasn't been long since my arrival and between Xavier and myself (mostly me), the baskets are empty. I transferred some to a dish for photgraphing....maybe you can catch a whiff.....YUM..
Now, on tap for tonight's dinner are white asparagus....Having had many last Spring when I was here, I am looking forward to the evening repas (actually, I look forward to it every night if the truth be known). But, I have never liked those that I purchase in the grocery stores at home. Maybe I don't do something right but they are always tough and bitter for me. These are tender and succulent....and even more so with Xavier's vinaigrette.
I was looking forward to picking the cherries from the tree at my house in a couple of weeks....the usual time for them to be ready, but Xavier tells me that Spring came early.........and between that and a frost at an inopportune time, there are few cherries to be had....It seems to be the same scenario that was played out in North Carolina this year.