As I toy with whether to write up my Coq au Vin recipe with spring just a stone's throw away, the LCBO Food & Magazine's Spring issue sports a big fat roasty toasty stick to your ribs chicken dinner on its front cover.
Who hasn't said that this has been Ontario's longest winter ever? Magically winter is the same length every year but as far as the conditions, we have endured more than our fair share of storms, deep freezes, and dark days.
This particular chicken photographed by James Tse, fronts Jennifer MacKenzie's article Chicken Coup. Jennifer helps us through the new chicken lexicon - heritage breeds, organic, free-range versus free-run, grain fed, chilling. No quiz at the end but you might want to brush up on the chicken lingo popularized by our Small Flock Farmers in Ontario. Jennifer has included mouth-watering recipes for us to snack on while we study.
Fear not. This issue is more than chicken. Spring awaits you inside with colourful jam drinks, Easter feasts, and brightly coloured dishes, including the ubiquitous beet. You will even find tulips housed in glass.
The other must-read article is Better With Bitters by Charlene Rooke. She says "bitters are often called a bartender's salt and pepper." We recently purchased bitters (lemon and also cranberry) from Dillon's Small Batch Distillers in Beamsville since this seems to be a The Decade of The Cocktail. Lucy Waverman shares with us a range of recipes to make sure our bitters don't all go to drink. For Ottawa shoppers, the Ottawa Bagelshop and Deli on Wellington carries a decent selection of Fee Brothers bitters.
My Must-Try recipes have me seeing red. Rhubarb Red. I have 10 pounds in the freezer I need to use up before the new crop sprouts forth this spring. I welcome their ideas.
- Rhubarb Raspberry Bundt Cakes (From Best Bundts by Joanne Yolles)
- Rhubarb Custard Tart (From Easter Lunch by Lucy Waverman)
- Bitter Orange Cake with Rhubarb Compote, Candied Orange & Goat Cheese Ice Cream (From Better With Bitters by Lucy Waverman)
Plan ahead: The Early Summer issue hits the stores in eight weeks on Wednesday, April 30th.