(Written for The River Current Publication)
Planning a Mother’s Day Celebration
Today as I write this, my thoughts are all about spring. I’m not sure why, but this year the arrival of spring and ‘all things green’ have made my spirits soar. Was it just that it was such a long winter? I hope that you too are finding a new skip in your step, (as my father says) as we open doors and windows and let the fresh air of spring back into our homes. Good bye Winter, we will see you later this year…and don’t feel like you have to hurry back any time soon!
With the arrival of spring means lawn mowing, flower bed revival, tulips, daffodils and…asparagus! I remember for years my parents tried to master growing asparagus. It was almost a sacred ritual when my Mother would harvest the very small crop that she would find at the edge of their garden and carefully prepare for my Father…creamed asparagus over toast. I’m fairly certain that their asparagus crop never really amounted to much of a harvest. I think for them, it was the thrill of the effort and the reward of their special dinner that warmly welcomed spring.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I have been researching recipes and my hope is to have a pretty luncheon for my mother. It is times like this that I miss the beautiful tea room that I once had. For every holiday, there was a celebration in the tea room. I would carefully plan the menu and every little detail, and then thrill with the delight of presenting it to those who came for the event. For me, it is often all about the presentation…and perhaps even more important, the company of those that surround us.
It was fun for me to be able to invite my mother to be a guest at these events. My mother was a large part of my inspiration in the kitchen. She is the one who taught us to celebrate any special occasion that would pass over our calendar. She is the one who proudly presented her carefully prepared meals to those of us that she gathered around our table.
This recipe will be a part of the Mother’s Day luncheon that I will prepare for my mother this year. Be sure to follow us on buttergirlgoesorganic.com, as I will be sharing more scrumptious recipe ideas that we will be enjoying on this very special day!
Mother’s Day Strata*
3 slices dense multigrain bread
1 ¼ cup organic half and half
¼ cup white wine (optional)
4 organic eggs
1 tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. oregano
¾ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. cream of tarter
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. EVOO or coconut oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small bunch organic asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 slices good quality ham, cut into strips (if you really want to impress…use prosciutto)
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
*Always use fresh and organic ingredients whenever possible.
1. Cut bread into ¼ inch cubes.
2. Whisk eggs in large bowl and then add: milk, wine (if using), dry mustard, nutmeg, cream of tartar, ¼ cup of the cheese, salt and pepper.
3. Gently stir in the bread cubes and let set while you prepare the veggies.
4. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they have a little color; approx. 30 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes.
5. While the onions are sautéing, bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a med skillet. Add asparagus, reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool; pat dry.
6. Lightly spray a deep dish pie plate. Transfer the onions to the prepared pie plate, spreading in an even layer. Sprinkle the asparagus over the onion mixture and then scatter ham over the veggie layer.
7. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the veggies and ham. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese and oregano.
Bake at 375 degrees or until puffed and golden brown.
Too many steps? Too difficult? Not really. Besides, it’s for your mom…she deserves it!