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Lavender and Lemon Creme Brulee with Rosemary Shortbread

Cream, egg yolk, sugar, ginger, cardamom, meyer lemon zest, and lavender with burnt sugar topping. It was even better than I had expected.

I had to dig through several inches of snow and ice to get to the lavender in the garden. It survived these cold, sub-zero weeks blanketed by the snow. Yeah, it’s still alive under there, where I found a number of useable sprigs for this dessert. It’s Spring somewhere, here it can’t come soon enough.

The Ancient Beet, Crapaudine Beet

What an ugly, disgusting-looking vegetable. Even the name, Crapaudine means ‘toad-like one’. I must say, I haven’t been this excited about a beet in years.

So crude and vulgar, which would make sense as it’s a variety of Beta vulgaris; the lowly, unrespected, common beet. This variety with its rough, bark-like skin, is estimated to be the oldest, still cultivated variety of beet in existence with evidence of its cultivation around 1,000 years ago. It is supposed as well, to be very real tasting, sweet and earthy in flavor, and especially so after roasting. Beets are wonderful and if you’ve never tried them, don’t make the mistake of eating them pickled or canned for the first time. Trust me, you would appreciate them better freshly cooked.

I’ve never tried growing this beet before and have wanted to for awhile. I have heard much about it for some time, and now I’ve found a supplier. The packet from above came from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They have some very interesting, uncommon and unique vegetables.  http://www.rareseeds.com/crapaudine-beet/

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