Spring has sprung
Mar 24, 2012 / 5:00 am
Okay, it’s official. The pussywillows are out, the grass is getting greener and soon the Easter Bunny will hopping down the trail. Snowy mornings frustrate us because now we have itchy feet and want it all to explode into the full wonder of what will soon be summer…such is life in Paradise.
Aren’t we spoiled? It’s not even the end of March and here we sit, visiting the nurseries and warming up the lawn mowers. It’s not dark in the morning when you get ready for work or at night when you come home. And we’re thinking of eating salad again instead of stew and roast and all that rich hearty stuff. Some have even planted seeds of their own to ring in the green season.
I thought this week would be a good time to offer some ideas of how to get into the swing of it all, in case you’re feeling “rusty”… some places to go, recipes to try and ways to enjoy these longer, warmer days. Maybe I’ll see you out and about, now that we have shaken off the covers of hibernation.
PLACES TO GO
The outdoors Farmers’ Market in Kelowna starts in April. It has been going on at Parkinson Rec Centre all winter on Saturdays, but if you’re like me the outdoor setting really makes it seem more official. There is not too much so early, but you’ll get great advice on what to start planting in your garden. In Penticton, you have to hang tough until May 1, but the Penticton Farmers’ Market is worth a trip down the scenic road even if you live in Kelowna.
Okanagan Street Food is a great place for breakfast anytime of year, but on a spring Saturday morning, you can stop in for a breakfast burrito and then zip next door to pick up goodies from Urban Harvest, and have some of the season’s bounty inspire your dinner plans.
If you’d rather go out for dinner, then there lots of places that preach the support of local suppliers and show good old-fashioned hospitality. Some of our favourites:
Ricardos’ Mediterranean Kitchen – Sue and Ricardo run a family place, and they welcome you like long lost relatives when you arrive at the door. Martin likes their Soprano Pasta.
Raudz Regional Table – it’s a show of food and drink, with a full mixology team at the bar and host Audrey Surrao with Chef Rod Butters rounding out your complete experience. The flavours on the plate and in the glass show off the Okanagan very well in this welcoming space.
Local Lounge & Grille – this Summerland favourite is a bit of a drive, but well worth it. And when patio weather hits, they rule. Chef Paul Cecconi changes his menu often to showcase seasonal treats while Christa Lee and Cameron Bond lead a friendly team out front.
RECIPES TO TRY
Both Martin and I are posting recipes on our Facebook pages – his is The Chef Instead, and mine is Happy Gourmand. I also have a blog where I post recipes, and we are happy to respond to requests if somehow you are stumped for a particular favourite. Try the Tart n’ Tangy Salmon with your favourite Okanagan Riesling for that refreshing taste of early spring.
Remember, life is short. If you don’t seize the moment, soon it will be summer already and you’ll have missed the chance to celebrate the start of it all. Make a plan to share a meal with friends and toast to those hearty new spring shoots!
Read more Happy Gourmand articles
- A foodie kind of day in the Okanagan May 11
- A day in the life of an Okanagan foodie May 4
- Slow and sweet Apr 27
- Do you have to eat dirt on Earth Day? Apr 20
- Recipes across the miles Apr 13
- Haggis, neeps & tatties Apr 6
- Foolish food Mar 30
- Good food, good friends Mar 23
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