Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Welcome Easter Surprise


Never, ever allow a stomach virus to descend on your household when you have visitors. That is my lesson from the last two weeks. Over the course of three days, all five adults and two toddlers under our roof got violently ill. Food was just not on the radar for quite a while.

And then Easter showed up. I had resumed eating small, plain meals, but I hadn't had the energy to plan something tasty for Easter. Not that we're big on the religious celebrations anyway, but it's nice to have an excuse for a good meal. But there I was, without a plan, without much choice in ingredients, without a huge appetite. Then, Husband comes home from work bearing large bags of fresh produce from his co-worker's garden. Yes, we have one acquaintance who has lived in the desert long enough to coax miracles from the soil. And he sent just the right things at just the right time: asparagus and fresh herbs, the vegetable world's signs of spring.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened one of the bags to find about a dozen good-sized spears of asparagus; asparagus that had been picked an hour before it entered my kitchen. I combined the asparagus with the grill my parents gave us as a combined Christmas/housewarming gift (a grill the illness had left untested until this moment), used the herbs to make a slightly-thicker-than-I-meant-it-to-be sauce, and cooked up a package of Fresh and Easy's spinach-cheese ravioli. Easter Dinner was born.

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