In D.C., spring is definitely in the air! The sun has been shining, the birds have been chirping, and the Cherry Blossoms are out in full bloom. This past weekend, not only did we welcome springtime, we also welcomed my uncle, aunt, and cousins from Michigan. We were counting down the days until their visit and now, almost a week since they arrived, I’m sitting here wondering where the time went. It seems like just yesterday we were touring the museums, visiting the monuments, and enjoying the time spent with each other.
The weekend was completely jam-packed as my husband and I tried to give them a good taste of this amazing city. This city has so much to offer in terms of history, attractions, and activities so finding things to do was not difficult. However, it was difficult trying to squeeze everything into three days. Whenever people come to visit us in D.C., they are always fearful of boring us to tears by giving them tours of the monuments and the museums. Even though I have done this what seems like hundreds of times, to me, that’s what this city is all about.
As a resident, I have a tendency to take the attractions and beauty for granted. I drive by the monuments all the time, including the White House, and, as embarrassed as I am to admit this, every once in a while it gets to the point where I hardly notice them. There are moments when I force myself to sit back and remember what I am surrounded by as a resident of this city. The history, beauty, and power of D.C. are overwhelming. Having family and friends visit, and watching their jaws drop as they take in the beauty of the sights, really helps to put everything back into perspective. Their awe and wonderment at the city life, especially in D.C., is a friendly reminder of why I wanted to move to the city in the first place.
We had such a great time showing off this amazing city of ours as we visited the monuments, enjoyed the National Cherry Blossom Festival, visited a couple museums, ate at various restaurants, kicked back and enjoyed cocktails at our rowhouse, and even traveled up to Baltimore to watch our hometown Tigers play against the Orioles during Opening Day. With so much packed into each and every day, we were all left exhausted but with huge smiles on our faces. Having them visit was the perfect way to welcome spring in D.C…
…and this Green Spring Vegetable Medley isn’t a bad way to welcome spring either.
Green Spring Vegetable Medley
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 lb. French string beans, ends removed
- 1/4 lb. sugar snap peas, ends and strings removed
- 1/4 lb. asparagus, ends removed
- 1/2 lb. broccolini, ends removed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 15-20 pearl onions
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- Pepper and Lemon Pepper to taste
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil; salt. Fill a large bowl with water and ice.
- Blanch the string beans in the boiling water for 1 minute. Lift beans from water with slotted spoon or sieve and immerse in ice water.
- Add the snap peas into the boiling water for 1 minute, until al dente, and then remove from the hot water and add into the ice water.
- Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces and place into boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from the hot water and add into the ice water.
- Cut broccolini in half and place into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from the hot water and add into the ice water. When all vegetables are in the ice water, drain well using a colander.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan or large pot. Saute pearl onions until golden brown and add chopped garlic; continue to saute for one minute. Add drained vegetables and season with salt, pepper, and lemon pepper.
- Toss to coat vegetables with seasonings and juices. Serve hot.
* Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten, Better Homes and Gardens
What are your favorite springtime vegetables?