Carving It up—and We Don’t Mean Ham. How We’re Observing Spring (and Easter)
From little getaways to giant eggs, here’s how we’re observing the arrival of spring and its holidays. It’s Best of the West, spring renewal edition.
Devilishly Good Eggs
Easter is, was, and always will be my favorite holiday. For years, we’ve hosted a backyard brunch for a crowd with an egg hunt, homemade biscuits, Benton’s Tennessee ham, grapefruit mimosas, spring vegetable salad, waffles with berries, and, yes, deviled eggs. Now I understand that there are deviled egg lovers and loathers, but I am firmly in the love category. I may even be a deviled egg savant, having tried them with anchovies, caviar, a dash of curry powder, dill, or a crumble of crispy bacon. (By the way, there are NINE different deviled egg recipes on the Sunset site, if you’re in an experimental mood.) In the end I’m a traditionalist, preferring a hint of Dijon, a little mayo, paprika, and sea salt mixed with creamy yolks and a snip of fresh chives to garnish. Shockingly—if you saw my overfull kitchen cabinets you’d understand the shock—I do not have a specially designed deviled egg tray. Or at least I didn’t, until I hunted down this simple one from the chic kitchenware pros at Hudson Grace San Francisco. It’s heirloom quality, and only $39—worth clearing space in the cupboard for. —Christine Lennon, home and design editor
The Littlest Big Green Egg
My favorite kind of egg is ceramic, too big to hide in an Easter egg hunt, at its best around 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and always the color green. I’m going to sound like a broken record to anyone who knows me, but it bears repeating: My Big Green Egg XL has brought immeasurable joy into my cooking life thanks to its ability to crank out juicy evenly cooked chickens, smoky tender brisket, caramelized roast vegetables, flatbreads, and more. As we head into camping season I’d like to take that deliciousness on the road and am hoping the Easter Bunny will bring the petite Big Green Egg mini into my life. It’s got the same good looks and heat retention but weighs a fraction of what the backyard models do and is small enough to stow in the back of my SUV.
—Hugh Garvey, editor in chief
Renewal in the Desert
All of the spring cleaning I’ve been doing really left me wanting fresh air. This month, I decided to descend into the desert and visit Death Valley National Park. It was the first time I’ve escaped into the desert during the spring season and it blew my expectations away. What I enjoyed most about the trip was the weather, which is not something many people who go to Death Valley can say. There was a high of 75 and a low of 58, meaning perfect camping conditions. Mother nature didn’t disappoint either. The springtime is the only time to catch a glimpse of wildflowers within the park and we ran into some friendly wild donkeys along the way. I also checked out an entirely new planet and headed to Tatooine (the home of Luke Skywalker)! I did not see any signs of R2-D2 or C-3PO but still stood awestruck by The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. It’s safe to say that spring is slowly becoming my new favorite season. —Teaghan Skulszki, editorial intern
Hollowing out Traditions
I didn’t care all that much for eggs as a child but in the lead-up to Easter, I used to eat them like a tiny body builder. This wasn’t some sort of ascetic Lenten compulsion; it was because I knew there would be a payoff Easter morning. For a few weeks every spring, whenever my mother cracked an egg, she was careful to lop off only a small portion of the more pointed end. She’d save the bigger section of shell and thoroughly clean out the inside. Then just before Easter, my sister and I would dye the shells using supermarket kits—you know, the kind with the vinegar and the bank robber-grade dye pellets. (The color takes particularly well to the inside of the shell—who knew?) On Easter morning, we’d discover that the Easter Bunny had somehow found the stash of shells and filled them all with candy and trinkets—a true Easter miracle. (And the fact that my cholesterol level is not still through the roof? That’s miraculous, too.)
Pro tip: A swift chop with a serrated knife makes the cleanest cut. Best to do this on a cutting board placed inside a clean tray to catch the inevitable runoff. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer
There aren’t many indicators of spring’s arrival more welcoming than stunning flora, sunny skies, warm temps, and the allure of the ocean breeze in your hair.
These essential southern California vibes make this season an especially great time to dust off–or pick up for the first time–the ol’ longboard and rip down one of the region’s many oceanfront paths. (I’m especially partial to cruising alongside the 101 in Carlsbad.)
As a loyalist of the San Diego-based board company Sector 9, I’d be remiss if I didn’t send any of you in the market for some carving, freeriding, cruising, or downhill shredding a little encouragement to check them out.
And given the season, why not snag one of these island/beach-themed cruisers with a rad art scheme courtesy of a Sector 9 collaboration with ridiculously talented artist Kenny Vidinich? Out of his OneVibe Studios in Honolulu, O’ahu, Kenny pieced together an explosion of color inspired by the island’s natural wonders that, with the 9 Ball’s unparalleled quality, make this creation the perfect toy for that evening cruise. —J.D. Simkins, staff writer
Straight from This Family Owned Nursery to My Front Porch
While I try my best to regularly shop at the farmers market throughout the year, something about the market in spring is especially exciting. My favorite booths are stocked with seasonal veggies like artichokes, pea shoots, beets, carrots, and more. This past week I not only scooped up a pound of fresh prawns from Wild Local Seafood to whip up Nik Sharma’s Masala Shrimp, I eagerly arrived early to grab a raised bed’s worth of seedlings from Logan’s Garden. Logan’s is a local family-owned nursery in Los Angeles that offers all sorts of veggies, herbs, and fruit seedlings and trees at their Silver Lake nursery and at rotating farmers markets across Los Angeles.
With an Earthbox sitting outside of my front door begging me to plant it for months, and as spring brings longer days and warmer weather, this past weekend felt so spring-like I was compelled to get my hands dirty and my garden-a-growin’. Logan’s helped me pick a variety of herbs and vegetables that would grow well together and would be rather difficult for a beginner like me to kill. I chose a variety of habaneros, scotch bonnet peppers, parsley, and cherry tomatoes, and rushed home with them. With a perfect planting season upon us, nurseries and gardeners like Logan’s give hope to newbies like myself that growing our own goods can be attainable and easy. Try your hand at growing yourself with one of our favorite raised bed kits! —Magdalena O’Neal, assistant editor