I love New Hampshire; I truly do. I love the snow in the winter and the red leaves in the fall. I love the summer and long, lazy evenings at the beach. But nothing is perfect, not even my love affair with New Hampshire. The blemish on the State’s almost flawless granite facade is spring. Or, to be more precise – the lack thereof.
While warmer climes are enjoying cherry blossoms, daffodils and tulips, we are enjoying sand, mud and potholes. Okay, I admit it; a few brave crocuses have popped their little heads up through the sand in my front garden. As for the buds on the trees, they are closed up tight. Most days, New Hampshire is shrouded in gray; gray skies, gray trees, gray sand.
It’s clear; it’s time for a vacation. The school district agrees. April vacation is this very week. All the lucky kids are in Florida or the Bahamas, Washington DC or maybe New York City. The rest of us are stuck here, surrounded by gray. (Okay, I confess. I already had my ten days in Florida at the beginning of the month. It was warm, sunny and green.)
For everyone stuck here, here are a few suggestions for an April stay-cation:
Dress like you are in sunny Florida or balmy Bermuda. It may be too chilly for shorts but you can dig into the closet for those fabulous pink sneakers or mellow yellow jeans.
Go for a swim. Think warm and sunny thoughts as you swim laps up and down the pool at Hogan. If you want to get in shape for swimsuit season, now is as good a time as any to start.
Have a spa day. Do-it-yourself or let the professionals pamper you. Massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, a day of luxury will help you forget the six-inch layer of sand in your front yard.
Get going on your garden. Start seedlings, clean out your beds and check your planters. If you have pots filled with herbs and other plants in the garage, move them outside. Just be prepared to move them back again. Temperatures could still plummet for a night or two.
Build a birdhouse. Welcome your feathered friends back with a cheery, new abode. Now, to paint or not to paint, that is the question. If you decorate your little house, be sure to stay away from toxic paints. In addition, the color scheme should blend with its surroundings. Otherwise, it could attract predators. Bright pink is fine in a colorful flower garden but not so great in a muted shade garden.
Cook as if the sun were shining. Roll out the grill, stock up on limes and have a party. Make it as plain or fancy as you like. You can keep it simple with burgers or throw a few shrimp on the barbie. Unless of course, you’d rather go nuts. Whip up a batch of amazing barbeque sauce for chicken or a fabulous salsa for beef or pork. As for limes, they’re good for everything from cocktails to a marinade or salsa and, of course, dessert!
Or forget the sunny south and spend a day in Paris. Sleep in, drink strong coffee and nibble a croissant. Go shopping, buy something fabulous and then enjoy a chatty (never gossipy) lunch with a friend. Take a stroll and imagine chestnuts in blossom. End the day with a long and lazy dinner with wonderful food, great wine and fascinating conversation.
Happy spring and bon appétit!
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Grated zest of 2 limes
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2-3/4 cup very cold heavy cream
Set a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a 9-inch glass pie plate and whisk with a fork to combine. Add the melted butter, mix until well combined and firmly press the crumbs into the pan. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 7 minutes and cool on a rack.
While the crust bakes and cools, put the yolks in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale yellow and thick. Add the condensed milk and lime zest and beat again until well-combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the lime and orange juices, increase the speed and continue beating until smooth.
Pour the filling into the crust and bake in middle of oven for 15 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To serve: whip the cream with an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks. Cut the pie into wedges, garnish with fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream.
Print-friendly version of this post.
One Year Ago – Quinoa Salad
Two Years Ago – Latkes
Three Years Ago – Cheddar-Sage Biscuits
Four Years Ago – Peanut-y Chocolate Chip Cookies
Five Years Ago – Espresso Brownies
Six Years Ago – Lemon Scones
Seven Years Ago – Shrimp with Jicama Slaw
Eight Years Ago – Pork Mole
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
What about you? Is a spring vacation in your plans this year? Feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2017