SPRING IN HOUSTON

We’ve had an exceptionally nice Spring on the Gulf Coast this year, and it seems that we’ve had more than the usual number of days that beckon you outside and make it hard to go to work.  Before the heat, humidity, and hurricanes of summer arrive, I’ve been making an effort to enjoy the many gifts of Spring.

Couldn’t help but notice the Texas Mountain Laurel, which were heavy with flowers this year:

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I had a little Spring visitor on my miniature roses (and I’m now watching after its offspring on my butterfly weed):

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The Urban Harvest Saturday Farmers Market on Eastside (off the 3000 block of Richmond) has had a wonderful selection of spring vegetables these past few weeks:

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Baby leeks and fennel from Gundermann Acres

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 A kaleidoscope of carrots from Animal Farm

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 And more carrots from Gundermann Acres

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Radishes in red, white, and every shade in between from Animal Farm

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This was new to me — broccoli flowers

In addition to the colorful produce, there have been lots of spring flowers at the Farmers Market:

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 Gorgeous mixed bouquets from Animal Farm

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A graceful wild orchid for my backyard 

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A stunning orchid from Orchid Obsession 

If you’re looking for a delicious splash of color, the macarons from Maison Burdisso are the best in town (maybe the best anywhere).  If you think you might like an assortment for your holiday table, call ahead, as they always sell out:

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Do you see the scarlet red ones?  Can you guess what flavor they are?  No?  They’re Poppy!

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Poppy macaron — brilliant!

Picking up some Spring color at Home Depot’s garden center, I felt a little like Patty Duke, only it wasn’t a hot dog making me lose control, it was petunias.  The racks were filled with big, beautiful baskets of petunias, and it took me forever to choose which ones were coming home with me.

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Snowy white petunias

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 Velvety black petunias

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 Gorgeous striped rose-colored petunias

 And the one that I am completely smitten with, called Crazytunia:

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There was also a new pretty pink variety of lantana:

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Even at the grocery store, bunches of Spring tulips were calling my name (hard to beat for $10):

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Of course, the star of the Texas Spring show is the bluebonnet.  This has turned out to be a great year for wildflowers, and the roadsides are ablaze in color.

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We’ve been enjoying some light meals, incorporating some of our finds from the Farmers Market.  No real recipes, just easy dishes based on super fresh ingredients and good quality olive oil.  (If you’d like a recipe for any of the following dishes, please email me and I’ll write one out for you.)  First up, my husband’s delicious creation — fresh Gulf Coast red snapper from Airline Seafood (catch them on Saturdays at the Farmers Market), sautéed in olive oil, with burst cherry tomatoes, a sprinkle of sea salt, a squeeze of lemon, a few grinds of black pepper, and those beautiful broccoli flowers (I can honestly say this was the best fish I have had in ages):

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A salad of Rio Star grapefruit supremes, baby fennel, and treviso radicchio (the elongated variety), with olive oil, white wine vinegar, and fennel fronds:

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And a roasted golden beet salad with olive oil, champagne vinegar, feta cheese, and arugula sprouts:

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Wishing everyone a wonderful Spring, and that you find inspiration in the scents, flavors, and colors of the season.

I'd love to hear from you!