Spring has sprung
The grass is riz;

I wonder where the birdies is.

Although many think that Ogden Nash penned this little ditty (or a variation of it), in fact its true authorship is unknown. Whoever created the cheerful rhyme may have done so on a day like today, where we have been liberated from a deep freeze and skyrocketed to a blistering 12ºC. Sunny and almost too bright, I might add.

What a perfect day to pick up the newly released Spring issue of the LCBO Food & Drink magazine.

I have my copy marked up already with my wishlist of dishes to try in the weeks and months ahead as produce comes into season:

  • Rhubarb Punch and Lemonade Punch (From Bowled Over by Michelle P.E. Hunt & Laura Panter)
  • Golden Beet & Fennel Soup with Fennel Horseradish Cream (From Signs of Spring by Christopher St. Onge)
  • Fresh Rhubarb Chutney (From Hamming It Up! by Monda Rosenberg)
  • Risotto with Braised Short Ribs and Porcini Mushrooms (From Risotto Rapture by Michael Fagan)
  • Maple Pecan Squares and Salmon with Hoisin & Maple (From Sweet on Maple by Heather Trim)
  • Warm Spring Slaw (From Cuts Above by Monda Rosenberg)
  • Pot Stickers with Mango Sauce (From Mango by Marilyn Bentz-Crowley)

Trend Spotting by Nancy Won highlights the hottest foods and drinks for the coming year. My take on her list?

  • I AGREE ABSOLUTELY: Bitters; Offal 2.0; Root to Leaf; Snack Food
  • I’M A DOUBTING THOMAS: Bottle Aged Cocktails; Greek Wines
  • NEEDS TO TAKE A BACK SEAT: Bacon
  • MISSING: Artisan Doughnuts (the new cupcake); Slaw (any thing, any time, any way); Arancini Rice Balls; Artisan Meatballs; Preserving

It is a fun read. Of course I felt wooed by some of the delicious accompanying recipes (even if I have to wait until late June for those garlic scapes) –Sweetbread “Double Down”; Garlic Scape and Spinach Salsa with Chicken; Bacon Smoked Cheddar and Tomato Crostini with Asparagus; Fire Roasted Shrimp with Guacamole and Chili Honey.

Are there any trends you see coming that should be added to Nancy’s list?

Lastly, I have to give a shout out to Sandra Van Aert, organic & free-run egg farmer from Watford, Ontario. (Approximately 60 kms west of London). She is a second generation farmer at that! Sandra is featured in Cynthia David’s Spotlight segment called The Shell Game. I just can’t imagine housing 24,000 hens. Back in my day, all our hens had names. Unfortunately you will not see ‘Van Aert’ on an egg carton. Something that I hope will change as more and more consumers are wanting to know their food source and who is being entrusted to deliver a superior product. Hey Sandra, I prefer my eggs soft-boiled too!

Plan ahead: The Early Summer issue hits the stores 8 weeks from today on Wednesday, May 2nd.

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