Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day everyone! I decided to push my "Seasonal Saturday" post to Sunday so I can combine my love of seasonal ingredients with one of my favorite days.
Every year I make a big brunch for my family as per my mother's request. When a mother says, "I would rather eat your food than any restaurants," you'd better take it seriously.
So I go all out....deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce, quiche...a real smorgasbord. In fact, I'd better head over there now!
So for this "Seasonal Sunday" post, I decided to focus on the midwest and as I've said before, there are a lot of great resources available online to help you find what is in season in your area. Two of my favorites come from and the National Resources Defense Council. You simply enter your state and month and voila, you have your ingredients. Epicurious' interactive map not only allows you to find these ingredients but also leads you to further information about the ingredient as well as recipes featuring the item. The NRDC's handy program allows you to choose time of the month (early, mid, late) and also helps you locate farmer's markets in your area.
In early May rhubarb is in season in Michigan. Here are a few insights into rhubarb:
  • Like its relative sorrel, rhubarb has a very tart flavor that is usually softened by pairing it with other fruits or cooking it with honey or sugar.  
  • Store rhubarb in your refrigerator, wrapped in plastic so that it doesn’t dry out. 
  • If you find rhubarb on sale you can purchase a lot and freeze it. Unlike other vegetables, rhubarb can be frozen raw – without first being blanched.  Just clean the stems, and cut them into small pieces. 
  • The stalks resemble ribs of celery and can range in color from dark green tinged with red to completely red.
  • Beware of the leaves! They are toxic and can cause symptoms which range from mild and include vomiting to extreme poisoning causing death. 
  • Do not be afraid to handle rhubarb if it has its leaves, touching them won’t hurt you.  Just cut them off the stalks and throw them away.
Here's my "Best of the Web" with a "brunchy" slant ;)
Hope you like these recipes! Are you making Mother's Day Brunch this year? Will you be using rhubarb?
Try these recipes out and let me know what you think!

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