The April Issue

I was pleasantly surprised by the cover of the April issue when it arrived in my mailbox: a radiant image of Martha's cutting garden at her farm in Bedford, New York. It had been a very long time since a garden had graced the cover of Martha Stewart Living magazine - especially during a month when Easter usually takes center stage  - and it was a welcome glimpse of the verdant outdoors after a year of so much indoor time. (Easter still plays a big role in the content of the magazine, however). The issue, on the whole, is a welcome breath of fresh air with spring cleaning tips, new takes on salad and a delicious spread on citrus desserts that had me taking notes. 

The Good Things section opens with a fun take on the Easter egg: blending one of our favourite flooring materials (terrazzo) with Easter jubilance. A matte adhesive holds multi-hued craft flakes to the surface of wooden, ceramic, blown-out or hard-cooked eggs for a sophisticated look, with a nod to interior design. 

In the Good Living section, it's all about ways to 'green' your indoor spaces, room by room, by making smart choices when it comes to the materials you surround yourself with, how often you reach for the light switch and the air-conditioning dial, and choosing cleaning products that are as eco-friendly as they are effective. When choosing soaps and detergents, for instance, avoid ones with damaging additives, such as formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate and synthetic fragrances - which are basically just pretty-smelling chemicals.

The Everyday Food section was a nod to nostalgia - at least for me - with fresh takes on some of my favourite, classic Easter dishes, such as baked ham and scalloped potatoes: a perfect pairing, in my opinion. Innovative ways to incorporate frozen seafood into quick and delicious weeknight dinners, such as crispy oven-baked fish wraps and wild salmon Kedgeree, appealed to my sense of adventure and my love of pescatarian meals.

I loved seeing Martha's cutting garden at her farm in Bedford, New York, in full bloom. This area was once her vegetable garden but a mole-cricket invasion several summers ago forced a change; the area is now planted with hundreds and hundreds of breathtaking perennials.
Many of the climbing roses that once bloomed at her home in East Hampton, Lily Pond Lane, now reside in this garden, cascading over archways and trellises. 
I also really loved the Easter feature, which employed traditional Japanese craft techniques and artistic philosophies to decorate Easter eggs. There were some beautiful examples of Shibori, Sashiko, Sumi-e, Temari, and Kintsugi - all used on the delicate surface of the humble egg at Easter time. 

I'm not the biggest salad eater, I must admit - although I do love vegetables. Still, the interesting recipes in "Salad Days" got my mouth watering, especially those that incorporated a mix of unusual ingredients and dressings. 
In the words of cookbook author Claire Saffitz, I'm a dessert person. I cannot tell a lie. I often eat smaller portions of my dinner just so I can indulge a little more sinfully in the dessert course, which is inevitably the best course. Therefore, the feature on citrus desserts, was the perfect closer for the issue with beautiful photographs by Paola + Murray.


Favourite Recipe: Citrus Upside-Down Cake

Favourite Feature: "Garden of Delights" by Melissa Ozawa and Ngoc Minh Ngo

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