It seems that spring is finally here, although I’m never willing to bet that we won’t have some final burst of winter in the form of either a series of cold days or a late snow fall. Too many times we’ve seen the blossoms burst forth on the trees and then a heavy wet snow come down and break all the branches and cut down the tulips. Hopefully, we’ll dodge that bullet this year.
With the longer days and the warmer weather, the streets, parks, farmers’ markets, stoop sales, and neighborhood celebrations are in high gear. With April being the month we celebrate Earth Day, make sure that your family gets into contact with the natural wonders of this planet of ours. Visit your local botanic garden, take a walk along the waterways, visit a museum, shop at a flea market and get outdoors. Bicycle riding has always been popular, but never more in our city than now when there are so many bike lanes and rental bikes easily accessible in many areas of town.
And then there’s the beaches. Personally, I love to visit the beach all year round. Each season has its own beatific offerings. Obviously, we still have to bundle up somewhat, but on a sunny day especially, the kids will love the beach at this time of year. It’s a giant sand box and a great ball playing field. Also, the surfers are out there practically all year round and it’s a great show to watch them “doing their thing.”
Wonderful early spring vegetables are in season now, like artichokes (one of my favorites) and here’s my favorite recipe for cooking them. (2-4 artichokes) This is Roman style and is a staple around Easter.
Clean your artichoke and then cut off the stem. Cut the top off and then trim the remaining leaves with a scissors to make them more manageable.
In a dutch oven or saucepot, saute three sliced garlic cloves in two tablespoons of olive oil.
Add a small can of organic chicken broth.
Add salt, pepper and pepper flakes to taste.
Put in the artichokes and add the juice of half a lemon.
Cover and cook for 40 minutes or until the leaves pull off easily. If necessary, add a bit of water to your broth.
When ready, plate and eat. Make sure to add some of the broth to the bottom of your bowl for dipping. Crusty toasted bread and some good cheese like brie or herbed goat cheese make a good accompaniment.
Have a wonderful month. Happy Spring!
Thanks for reading.
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