Thursday, May 26, 2011

late may flowers, mini croissant bento

Hi bento pals! I'm so happy with the tropical-colored rose pictured above; it is blooming on a rose bush that has struggled in past years and this month is producing several radiant blossoms...

Today's lunch was simple, sunny and French-inspired, featuring a mini-croissant filled with crab remoulade salad. It keeps company with haricots verts and artichoke hearts almondine, mint, an apricot and a pistachio macaron:

Some favorite sweet things...

Looking forward to a fun weekend, hope you'll have one too!

Monday, May 23, 2011

18th century market fair and bento

Hi bento pals! This weekend we attended the Spring Market Fair at Claude Moore Colonial Farm, a living history museum that re-creates the life of a pre-Revolutionary war era tobacco farm here in Northern Virginia.

  In spring, summer and at the fall harvest, the Farm holds a wonderful fair on its rambling green grounds where visitors can see heritage farm animals and interact with blacksmiths, milliners, woodworkers, tinsmiths, farmers, bakers and dressmakers.

The farm grounds in May have a lush beauty with tendriling green leaves and vines dancing in the breeze before humidity has descended for the summer. It was a perfect day to enjoy the Fair, with the music of this green landscape in tune with the festival's flute, dulcimer and piccolo players....

Some scenes from the day...mama pig and her piglets! A guide explained that this breed, originally from the Pyrenees was the type raised by Colonial-era farmers in Virginia and that they are known for their intelligence (and, I'd add, cuteness!)

Jamison's capture of a peacefully resting sheep...

here's its more alert companion

The air was scented with rosemary-laced chickens on wood rotisseries...

A delicious lunch with local asparagus and buttered whole grain bread...

Various handcrafted items were for sale...

including all natural soaps and lotions

We brought home this delicious black raspberry preserve made at the farm:

Friends visited for a late lunch on Sunday, and Jamison made one of his magical glazed whole chickens with the preserves...yum! I saved a leg for today's bento, which also features red fingerling potatoes, romaine, mint, fennel and cucumber, blackberries and a mini cupcake with a black raspberry preserve frosting (garnished with a baby wild strawberry from the garden):

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

lemony salmon salad bento

Today's lunch features a lemony salmon salad in a crisp endive leaf, springy snow pea tops, sugar snap peas, radish and roasted sweet potato slices. The bright golden orange roses are sun substitutes amid a rainy and overcast week!

Lemony Salmon Salad

To one can of red or pink salmon, flaked, add the juice of one plump lemon, half a diced orange pepper, a small diced red onion, several thin-sliced scallions, mayo to taste.

Simple, refreshing, nutritious and quick! Happy Friday, pals...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

first roses of may

Hi bento pals! What a beautiful May weekend we've just enjoyed, mostly mild and bright with refreshing evening rain. Roses and peonies have burst into fragrant bloom...

Some fresh selections at the farmer's market on Saturday:

This cute border collie surveyed the crowds from the farm truck:

As part of our ongoing explorations of local historic towns, we visited charming Culpeper, VA for the first time on a misty Saturday afternoon...

Fried catfish at the friendly Frost Cafe was made with care. Great lima beans, too.

Iris and peony outside the Culpeper History Museum

Monday's bento features chicken in Thai red curry sauce that I made for Sunday's lunch with cilantro, avocado, green beans and egg noodles, a snow pea shots and viola salad, apricot and strawberries....