A Spring Palate

The arrival of spring promises a fresh new palate of colors, tastes and textures, and plates as pretty as pictures. Fading from the canvas are the earth-tone stews and roasted root vegetables. Tender crisp is now de rigueur, not fall-off-the-bone, fork tender.

Reflecting these seasonal tastes, Easter dinner heralds spring with a pastel spread of rosy ham, pink lamb, asparagus hollandaise, and lemon meringue pie. A festive side dish that will look much prettier on the plate than mashed potatoes is the following rice recipe.

Yellow Rice with Green Peas And Caramelized Onion

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 cup white rice

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup frozen peas

Saute chopped onion in butter until golden. Add rice and turmeric and continue cooking 2 minutes. Pour in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low. Cover and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. Add frozen peas, cover, and continue cooking on low for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Fluff with a fork and serve.

My Parents Went to Florida And All I Got Was...

A case of oranges. And they’re not even pretty. Pretty ugly in fact. But they sure are good. Consumers are so used to buying the perfectly orange, blemish-free supermarket variety, that an untreated, naturally blushing, organic orange pales in comparison.

Growers resort to artificially inducing that golden, grocery store glow by exposing the fruit to ethylene gas or injecting artificial dye into the skin in order to meet consumers’ aesthetic demands. This “degreening” process does not hasten internal ripening, so if the fruit has been picked too early, then the lovely orange hue hides a sour surprise. The verdict is still out as to whether such treatments compromise the nutritional value of the fruit.

So anyway, what to do with all those oranges? After all the healthful, just-squeezed OJ, avocado and orange salad, and ambrosia, it’s time for some baking. The following recipe is adapted from Land O’Lakes Festival Recipes.

Deedy’s Sweet Orange Pound Cake


2 sticks butter, softened

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan. Cream butter until light and fluffy for three minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating continuously. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add orange peel, vanilla and salt, mixing well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour all at once, mixing until incorporated. Pour into pan and bake 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Stir together glaze ingredients. Poke top of warm cake all over with toothpick (every 1/4 square inch). Pour glaze over cake. Cool two hours before inverting onto a cake plate. Serve garnished with sweetened whipped cream and fresh orange slices.