I spent some time wandering around with my camera last week, going a little overboard with the snapshots because suddenly everything is blooming and gorgeous. I want to hang onto every sweet smell and delicious image in the same way I want to cling to my children’s childhood.
Here’s my herb garden, planted in aluminum feed bins perforated to let the water drain. Herbs are some of the most forgiving plants to grow: an excellent place to try your hand at gardening. Your kids might get a kick out of being sent to harvest basil or oregano and help you ready it for a salad or pot of soup.
One of my favorite ways to play with herbs is in pesto, which is heavenly in Spring pastas accented with English peas, asparagus, or tender new potatoes. No need to stick exclusively with basil; consider embellishing with fresh mint, cilantro, and parsley. I’ll be testing out this Basic Basil Pesto from Eating Well magazine, which uses walnuts instead of the more traditional pinenuts and a more moderate amount of olive oil than many recipes.
When my herbs are overly abundant, I get aggressive with the garden shears, arranging little edible bouquets for the house or for gifts. They smell amazing and make a delicate centerpiece for the table.
Artichokes are also a Spring favorite. They thrive in the garden I plant each year at our family’s retreat, located just outside the city, which we call “the creek.”
My kids have come to love them, braised whole when they are teeny, or steamed when they turn into giant globes like these fat boys. I am jonesing to try out this recipe for grilled artichokes from Cheryl Sternman Rule, author of the inspiring, lusciously photographed new cookbook Ripe.
I would be remiss in talking about Spring without mentioning these charming beauties
This time of year they’re hard to improve upon gently wash and eaten bare naked. But if you want to go to a little bit of trouble, try Berries on a Cloud, a combination of Greek yogurt folded with whipped cream, just lightly sweetened. I’m also tickled pink about Strawberry Milk from Weelicious, a blog by Catherine McCord, who is as lovely, inside and out, as these berries.
This is a branch from a tree in my yard that produces crisp Granny Smith apples each Fall. Now, though, it’s festooned with blossoms that are days away from fluttering to the ground, a reminder that Spring is fleeting.
We need to gobble up all the gorgeousness of the season while we can, because before we know it, summer will be here