Goodbye Sweet April

How can it possibly be May 1! April was a puff of smoke that lingered for only a brief moment and then dissipated, leaving dream-like images that I eagerly savor as I write my monthly newsletter. I am touched by all I crammed into the short month by scrolling through my photos.
The month began with clear, crisp weather, not snow! If you don’t live in New England, you might not realize that April is not free of snow.

Fortunately, this year respected the calendar as far as snowstorms, yet April was a cold month. On April 30, the temperature was a chilly 29°. Mother nature knows best, and my gorgeous Star Magnolias, the spring harbinger, did not disappoint, blooming gloriously despite the frosty temperature.

Once the spring arrives, I enjoy making lighter meals and embracing the warmer weather. It’s time salads nudge comfort food away from the table, and this year I’ve been exceedingly creative with texture, color, and flavors. I recently discovered at Whole Foods yellow mangos, which are so exotically sweet when ripened! I’ve added these golden jewels to salads, salsa, and chutneys, and you can eat them alone. Let them ripen a few days after purchase until they are entirely yellow!

April was unique with a trip to California to visit Mandi, Dan, Cooper, and Maddi. We saw all our favorite LA places, and after a long absence, we went to the Getty Villa. If you travel to Los Angeles, a stop at the Getty Villa is a must! The former home of the richest man in the world, during his era, JP Getty, is the site of his mansion, but more importantly, a recreation of an antediluvian Roman villa. The location of the initially Getty Museum now explores over 4,000 years of ancient art from the stone age to the end of the Roman Empire.

Also, visit the Travel Town Museum at Griffin Park, a treat for children and train aficionados. You can ride a miniature train around the park. The variety of trains is fascinating!

And a visit to California would not be complete without a visit to Santa Monica Pier!

As hard as it was to bid farewell to our LA family, we flew back on Good Friday to spend Easter with our son Chris Jr’s family, Jackie, Charlotte, and Alexander. Jackie created a lovely tablescape with an Easter feast; ham, turkey, and delicious sides.

My contribution was my Ricotta Cheesecake with Tiramisu topping. You can find the recipe on my blog.

Now that we celebrate spring, a walk at the Needham Reservoir is a joy. Hidden away on Route 135 in Needham Ma, a charming New England town outside Boston, the reservoir is a peaceful reprieve from our busy lives. Swans, herons, ducks, and fish frolic in the water!

Although I was busy with traveling and family, I did manage to cook in April. I was raised in an Italian family, and artichokes were regularly on my mother’s menu. She stuffed artichokes and then steamed them to perfection. I recreated her recipe perfectly. I served the artichokes with a Mushroom Ragu.

I am reconnecting with friends and family after the pandemic has shaped the last two years, especially in social interactions. And an evening with friends from the Dedham Junior Women’s club was so special as my friend Ellen and I were feted for our contributions to the club, especially as chairs of the successful fundraiser, the annual Craft Fair.

Spring fever captured me again, and I could not resist purchasing this gorgeous fern as I strolled through Whole Foods.

My newsletter would not be complete without a photo dumb of April’s favorite drinks!




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