There’s nothing like biting into a strawberry at its height of sweetness. Ready as early as April in warmer climates, they’re ripe in most of the country in June. Berries from the grocery store are delicious, but nothing beats popping one into your mouth straight from the plant at a pick-your-own farm. For a field near you, visit pickyourown.org.
This refreshing smoothie has a whopping 514 mg of bone-boosting calcium and just 264 calories:
Thick Strawberry Smoothie Recipe
- 6 large strawberries
- ½ cup low-fat yogurt
- ½ cup low-fat strawberry ice cream
- ½ cup low-fat milk
Blend strawberries and milk until strawberries are well-blended. Then add ice cream and yogurt and whip for just a bit so smoothie remains thick. Enjoy!
More from the garden just in time for spring:
A member of the onion family, the ramp is beloved by chefs all over the country for its earthy, oniony flavor. In many areas of the country, its green shoots — which grow wild — are the first sign of spring. You can buy ramp bulbs at earthydelights.com.
Morel mushrooms, harvested from under leaves and other debris in the woods, make their debut in North America come spring, quite a sight with their unique honeycomb-like structure. They need little more than a few minutes in a saute pan with some butter and salt to bring out an unparalleled earthiness. (Note: If you want to try foraging for morels yourself, be sure to bring along an expert.)
California asparagus appear as early as February, but for the rest of the country, these green spears signal the arrival of spring. A member of the lily family, the asparagus plant can be harvested only after waiting a full year after planting.
If it’s spring, it’s time to get those seeds into the ground. But it’s hard to choose which heirloom tomato to grow when you look at the catalog from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Of the 135 varieties available — Cherokee Purple, Black Brandywine, and Ozark Pink, to name a few — all have an intense tomato sweetness and come in beautiful shapes and colors. SESE is also a great source for seeds for other vegetables, flowers, herbs and grains. Take a look at southernexposure.com.
A big-screen Bridezilla to make you laugh
Fans of director/writer/producer Judd Apatow will be happy to see Bridesmaids in theaters on May 13, when Kristen Wiig (of Saturday Night Live fame) plays a maid of honor to bride-to-be Maya Rudolph (another SNL alum). And needless to say, things don’t go just as planned.
Don’t miss these on the big screen, too:
A n’er-do-well unintentionally hurts (and must nurse back to health) the Easter Bunny in the family-friendly animated movie Hop, which comes out April 1 and stars James Marsden, Russell Brand and Hugh Laurie.
A new Arthur is coming to the big screen on April 8, with Russell Brand in the title role of a millionaire alcoholic — Dudley Moore, of course, made it a classic in 1981. Comedy ensues after he falls in love with a waitress with a penchant for five-finger discounts.
Eva Longoria and Gwyneth Paltrow cook
Two new cookbooks written by actresses give us a peek inside their family recipe boxes. Mexican cuisine by way of Texas (and Hollywood) is what’s cooking in Eva’s Kitchen, out from Eva Longoria on April 5. And on April 13, Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter hits bookstores with recipes and stories of cooking with her late dad, Bruce Paltrow.
Color me coral rose
The trendy colors of spring, as declared by the Pantone Color Institute, include honeysuckle, coral rose, peapod, beeswax and six other eye-popping hues. Expect to see these in clothes, home design and more.
Go fly a kite
April is National Kite Month. To celebrate, visit the kid-friendly Santa Maria Family Kite Festival April 17 in Santa Maria, Calif., where you can go kite shopping and learn to fly from one of the many pros doing demonstrations throughout the day. For info, visit smvdiscoverymuseum.org.
Here’s another fun outing:
The Cincinnati Zoo has always had a world-renowned collection of cats, but now they join other nocturnal animals for a new exhibit called Night Hunters. On display are giant fruit bats, aardvarks, vampire bats and others whose day begins when ours ends. In fact, visitors can stay overnight to see these animals when they’re most active. And don’t miss a peek behind-the-scenes at the kitchen prep area, where staff portions out blood for the vampire bats. Visit cincinnatizoo.org.