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New cookbook: Taste Spring, Sacramento Digs Gardening style

Find our recipes for seasonal fruit and vegetables all in one place

This Floating Island dessert is among several strawberry recipes featured in our Taste Spring! e-cookbook.

This Floating Island dessert is among several strawberry recipes featured in our Taste Spring! e-cookbook.

Kathy Morrison

Every Sunday, Sacramento Digs Gardening publishes a seasonal recipe featuring fresh fruit or vegetables. Almost always, these recipes are inspired by what we’ve harvested from our own gardens or found at farmers markets and farm stands. We alternate weeks -- Debbie one Sunday, Kathy the next -- but the recipes always have a taste of Sacramento in every bite.

As SDG approaches its fifth anniversary, we realized: We have enough recipes for a cookbook!

Make that four cookbooks, one planned for each season.

Debuting now online is “Taste Spring!” – our first Sacramento Digs Gardening e-cookbook. It contains more than 60 recipes, each featuring our wonderful Spring bounty.

In the Sacramento region and all of California, Spring offers an amazing assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables – the first taste of a new harvest or the farewell to cool-season favorites. There’s so much inspiration for us gardening cooks!

We admit: We’re partial to strawberries – there are a dozen strawberry-centric recipes in this assortment. But we go way beyond your basic shortcake. Instead, we feature strawberry salad with edible violets, and strawberry slaw with fig balsamic vinaigrette. Strawberries stud a quick bread, flavor a no-bake cheesecake and top French toast (with cream). They also star in desserts with evocative names such as Angel’s Mess and Floating Island. (And in a strawberry shortcake with a twist: Hard-boiled eggs.)

Why stop there? Besides berry-good delights, this collection features nine more Spring fruits: Apricot, blueberry, cherry, orange, lemon, loquat, nectarine, peach and rhubarb. (Yes, rhubarb is technically a veggie, but we’re counting it as a fruit for recipe purposes.)

And we love Spring vegetables! In this cookbook, we feature 18: Artichoke, asparagus, beet, carrot, chard, corn, fava bean, fava greens, fennel, green bean, green garlic, green onion, kale, lettuce, pea, potato, spinach and zucchini.

We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did creating and testing them. Now, you can find our best Spring recipes, all with one click.

Check it out at Taste Spring! 


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Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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