Lisa Abraham: Welcome, spring! You’ve been missed

By Lisa Abraham
Beacon Journal food writer

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My husband said something the other day that made me realize, once again, what a wise old sage he is. OK, not that old.

He said that unlike autumn, which is his favorite season, spring is the one season that everyone looks forward to.

I think he’s absolutely right.

Summer is fun, but it brings about its own challenges: heat, humidity, kids out of school and schedules turned upside down.

I love autumn too — the colors, the smells. But I know that it comes with a price to pay: Winter knocking on the door.

When winter does arrive, the cold and dreariness seems never-ending. Months of road salt, weather reports and slush. Folks gets vitamin D-deficient from being cooped up inside so much.

But spring is universally welcomed, like baseball season that comes with it, and the reopening of ice cream stands that were closed for the winter.

In my neighborhood, the first warm day brings out a flurry of people, as if everyone needs to take a collective breath of new air. Even if it stays cold, no one seems to mind as much because it’s spring and the end is in sight, and April snows never last long.

Next week, we’ll celebrate Passover and Easter, religious holidays that commemorate freedom and new life, respectively. The timing of both holidays are fixed to ancient calendars which are, not surprisingly, tied to the vernal equinox.

Spring is the new beginning and the re-awakening, always full of promise.

For someone whose life is focused on food, I just keep thinking about the culinary promise of this new season.

Spring is the time for planning and planting gardens and for enjoying the first tastes of the new harvest: Asparagus, baby greens, garlic scapes, ramps and eventually, rhubarb and peas.

There are still plenty of winter farmers markets lingering into April before the new summer market season takes off in May, including the Countryside Conservancy’s market from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Old Trail School, 2315 Ira Road, Bath Township.

To help welcome spring, this year Peninsula will host its first ramp festival, to celebrate these strong wild leeks. The festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 20, on the grounds of Brandy-Wine-Bar on Par 3 at the Brandywine Country Club, 5555 Akron-Peninsula Road, Boston Township.

But aside from fresh veggies, there are other signs that spring has sprung. The original Strickland’s on Triplett Boulevard reopened for another season about a week and a half ago, and Rita’s on State Road in Cuyahoga Falls (and all other locations) will be giving away free Italian ice until 9 p.m. today to mark our crossing of the vernal equinox into a new season.

Spring is about the chocolate and vanilla as much as the greens, you know.

So welcome, spring.

My husband says I’m safe speaking on behalf of everyone when I say, we really have been looking forward to you.

Lisa Abraham can be reached at 330-996-3737 or at Find me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @akronfoodie or visit my blog at

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