More like Carolina Yellow. Or Green. Okay- all together now. Say "YUCCH!!!"
It's April in North Carolina and that means pine pollen time. Our screen porch becomes unuseable and our cars are all the same shade of sickly yellow-green.
This is the coffee table on my screen porch this morning- the black plastic-wrapped blob in the back is our couch which has been wrapped in a paltry attempt to salvage the upholstery.
Look at my poor fire table! By next week there will be yellow "snowdrifts" along the base of the siding
The upside is that it only lasts about a month and then we will know that Carolina summer is here! Everything will be power-washed and scrubbed squeaky clean, plants will be put out, and our Front Porch Fridays will begin again
Front Porch Friday started last year on our street. On Friday afternoons parents and kids walking back from the corner bus stop converge at one house- we take turns. And in our case, it's Back Porch (we don't have one in front-WAAH!) Everyone brings an appetizer or snack and the host house provides beverages. The kids run off and play while the adults catch up on the happenings of the week. Usually, we end up with pizzas made or delivered as it seems no one is in a hurry to go home.
Springtime in Long Island
That little horse and cart was sent fom Italy by my Grandparents. It was the only one in the neighborhood!
For me, this is a recap of my childhood. We lived in a 2 family house with my grandparents until I was 12 and there was an absolute open-door policy in effect. Grandma always cooked as though company was coming (probably why I CAN'T cook for less than a dozen people!) and Spring evenings found us at the picnic table in her back yard with platter after platter brought out the door from her basement kitchen.
My Dad was King of the Grill!
This picture was actually taken at my Uncle Frank's house on the beach in Patchogue, long Island
Of course, we spent our actual summers in Italy- this is my Nonna on a road trip to my Aunt's summer home in the Italian Alps
Back to reality. We've spent the morning wrapping the big pieces and storing all the cushions, scrubbing all my ironstone planter pots and bringing in the more fragile plants. Time for a quick lunch. What else- pasta, of course. This is a favorite of mine. I had the onions roasting while we were outside. Boil the water, cook the pasta and it's done. Ray, who won't touch Gorgonzola (I know, I know- what can I say?) had a huge sandwich with the leftover Easter ham
Penne with Roasted Onions, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts
adapted from a recipe by Diana Henry
3 large onions, halved (I used red)
6 Tblsp. olive oil
2 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
12 oz. penne ( I used calamarata)
4 oz. Gorgonzola, crumbled
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
5 Tblsp EVOO
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice each onion half a generous half inch thick. Toss in a roasting pan with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Roast for about 35 minutes giving an occasional quick stir till tender and starting to char.Cook and drain pasta. Place in bowl and stir in onions and remaining ingredients. Enjoy!
Did anyone say dessert? Years ago I learned how to "put up" fruits and veggies and sauces and herbs from a neighbor farmer's wife in the Hudson Valley where we lived. She started me collecting old community cookbooks at garage sales. This recipe was copied from one of hers. I used my homemade canned pears and Ginger/Pear preserves from last Fall.
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
4 eggs separated
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
scant 1/4 cup milk
1 cup sugar
Almond or any nut meal
Cream butter and sugar with yolks and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder alternately with milk. Spread in a well greased 10 or 11 inch springform pan. Beat egg whites till frothy at high speed. Keep beating while adding sugar very gradually till stiff. Spread over batter in pan. Sprinkle with nut meal Bake at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes. Cool and serve with small dollops of jam or preserves and fruit. Whipped cream optional :)
Buon Alimenti, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie