Sunday, March 2, 2014

I'm Baaaaack! Hope You're Hungry!

Dare I say, there are so many food celebrations going on in the month of March, my tummy thinks its October!!! Okay, I won't say it; you know what I mean:) Where oh where to begin?

First let me say how much I missed you all:) Lots! However, I sure did get a lot done while on my Junket. Remember those seeds I was going to plant? Well, let's just say, there will be peas! I was going to take a picture of them for you but hey, they aren't growing yet and who wants to look at a bunch of tiny pots filled with dirt anyway? Now, if I had been more creative, I would have made these Paper Pot Seed Cups as found on Pinterest. I think they are the coolest, coziest little darlins' ever! Don't you? And thrifty too!

They seem pretty simple to make. If you want the instructions, follow this link to the website:) The link is also on my Garden Delights Pinterest board. I'm thinking of trying my hand at making them when I plant herbs this year. Yea, we'll see how that goes:) Speaking of Herbs, here's a heads up for you, each year the International Herb Society chooses an herb of the year. The herb for 2014 is Artemisia! For those of you "in the know" of French culinary herbs, Artemisia dracunculus is the botanical name for French Tarragon. If you're able to get your hands on a back issue of Herb Companion Magazine, (April/May 1990) there's a wonderful article by M.J. McCormick titled A Taste for Tarragon that's filled with a wealth of information about growing French Tarragon. (FYI: French Tarragon does not grow from seed. It must be grown from cuttings:)
I had every intention of whipping up this recipe I found in the cookbook Vegetables The Italian Way by Teresa Gilardi Candler when I discovered, Marion does not like Tarragon. Sedano rapa al dragoncello or Celery Roots with Tarragon Sauce is a traditional Italian recipe and one we often had when growing up. My father was not much of an herb gardener but right along with Italian Parsley growing in the garden you were more than likely to also find French Tarragon. (FYI-be careful when buying tarragon, you do not want Russian Tarragon, it is very bitter! One of the reasons to go by the botanical name:) Celery Roots or Celeriac is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots. Since March is National Celery Month, you may just want to give this recipe a try! Save some for me!
We'll be talking about Tarragon more throughout the year especially on National Herb Day which is May 3rd this year. So for now, I'll just leave you a recipe for Béarnaise Sauce and a few Tarragon uses from a Better Homes and Garden cooking with herbs and spices leaflet published in 1967. Yes, 1967! (Did I mention March is National Sauce Month:)

March Food Celebrations

I have noted the monthly celebrations for March (and most of the other months) many times on this blog. If you want to see a list from a previous post, I'll leave you a link in the resource section. Today, I am just going to highlight a few of the more popular ones. (and a couple of my favorites too:)
National Frozen Food Month
I already mentioned that March is National Celery Month. It just so happens that John, over at Kitchen Riffs, has been celebrating Celery for the past couple of weeks on his blog. His latest recipe for Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade is an enticing way to experience the deliciousness of Celeriac. And just in case you're wondering about the nutritional value of celery, I crunched the facts back in 2010 after I was asked by a visitor, "What's Exciting About Celery?"
National Nutrition Month
Here's a food celebration that I'm late to the party with, March is Bake And Take Month! Who knew?
"The purpose of Bake and Take Month is to encourage participants to bake a product made from wheat and take it to a neighbor, friend or relative..."Participants who share their stories of the Bake and Take experience with the Kansas Wheat Commission by April 15, will be entered into a drawing for a "book bundle" prize including the Home Baking Association’s popular Baking with Friends cookbook by Kansas authors Charlene Patton and Sharon Davis. The prize will also include Kansas Gold, a 50-year history of the Kansas Wheat Commission complete with historical recipes and a $100 King Arthur Flour gift card donated by the Kansas Wheat Commission.
Sounds mighty neighborly to me! And, if there's a cookbook involved and historical recipes, I may just need to look into it!
National Peanut Month
And now for the Pièce de résistance! Drum roll...please...Ta Dah!
Happy March Everyone!

1. March Food Celebrations
2. Creamy Bistro Tarragon Chicken