Friday, June 24, 2011

When Spinach Bolts

Spinach is always included on lists of the top 5/10/100 healthiest foods and we always grow it in our garden. My computer tells me that it is 54 degrees in Snohomish, Washington -at midday mind you- only a few days past the summer equinox, and a week before the Fourth of July. Both of my daughters (loudly) wish they lived some place else, and are working towards achieving that goal, but my son absolutely loves the climate and weather of the Puget Sound area. On days like today, he declares it to be the PERFECT weather. Spinach loves it here, too, and June is peak spinach season in our garden. We have been eating LOTS of spinach in our salads, and I made Spinach with Thai Peanut Sauce (click here) the other night (which I LOVE!!). Sooner or later, even with cool temperatures, the spinach will bolt, signalling the end of its season, and that it's time for me to make creamed spinach and crepes. I made Spinach Crepes (click here) a few days ago and served them with chicken-fried cubed beef steaks and gravy made from the pan drippings. It was great. Spinach Crepes may not sound that inviting, but they really are fantastic. And if I freeze quantities of spinach now, we can also have them this winter. They make a great vegetarian meal when served with rice pilaf and a vegetable such as roasted beets or baked butternut squash, they can be made lactose-free by using soy or almond milk and omitting the cheese, and/or omnivorous when serving steak alongside. Making the crepe batter in the morning or the night before, allows me to walk in the door in the evening and rather effortlessly have dinner on the table within the hour. And I can't help but feel quite smug knowing I cooked a 32 cup bowl full of torn spinach, one of the healthiest foods, and my family ate it all by noon the next day. Sure, gravy made with steak pan drippings is on a completely different list of foods than spinach, but never mind that part -this is just the thing to do when spinach bolts.

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