22 March 2010

The first day of spring

This weekend was one of those that reminded me the warmer days of summer cannot be too far away. It was about 70 degrees here Saturday with lots of sun, and, as if that was not enough, it was the opening weekend of the farmer's market. My apologies to my family in Oklahoma who suffered a cruel joke of a heaping snow on the first day of spring.

We spent our Saturday mostly in our backyard, working in our garden, so excited about the months to come. We just prepped the beds and transplanted some herbs that had overstayed their welcome. When you see how crazy mint grows, you'll laugh the rest of your life when you see a $4 bundle of it in the grocery store.

We also spent time doing things like this.

We got three chicks about a week ago and have been having fun watching them grow, literally, day to day. Jasper is cute and pulls his tiny lawn chair into the garage where we're keeping them for now and sets it up just outside their bin to watch them bounce around under the red light. On Saturday, we pulled them out into the yard for the first time. It was fun to watch them, although I think they were pretty scared at the expanse our tiny back yard must have appeared to them.

Before the sun sank too low, we fired up our Weber and grilled buffalo burgers and carrots tossed in olive oil and a Moroccan spice mix. Sharp shredded cheddar went atop the burgers and the carrots were tossed with arugula for a salad. It was a happy meal.

To tide us over, I pulled together a little snack. I suppose you could call it a dip or a salsa, but it seems most like a relish to me. It's simple and quick and so flexible, it can indeed find a place on your table through summer.

It's just diced avocado, a can of black beans, corn and lime juice. In the summer, I will no doubt serve up the same dish with cilantro from the garden, bright orange cherry tomatoes and sliced peppers. It's great with chips or put it atop rice, fish, chicken, tacos or quesadillas. It's addictive and simple, and you will not have to worry about leftovers. Promise.

Avocado, Black Bean and Corn Relish

1 ripe avocado, large dice

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup of corn (rinsed canned or thawed frozen)
Juice of 1 small ripe lime

Coriander and salt to season

Combine ingredients and let stand at room temp for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Stir gently and serve immediately.

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