In April, the gardener dreams of what the summer will bring. Emily Tepe’s lovely book, The Edible Landscape: Creating a Beautiful and Bountiful Garden with Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers, is the guidebook for those dreams. It shows gardeners—those with expanses of land or with pots on balconies—how to grow edible plants. These same dreamers occasionally imagine a few chickens, perhaps a flock to tend. Illustrator and gardener Lauren Scheuer’s endearing illustrated memoir Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens is delightful reading and will answer many readers’ poultry-related questions, including just what “brooding” means.
—Maureen Millea Smith, librarian at the Edina Library and Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.
Ahhh, the smells of April emerge from melting layers of winter snow. Spring flowers and a blooming landscape make the air smell fresh and perfumed. Just as a feeling can leave us with a memory, so can odors; studies have shown the brain can recall a memory or an instance from a familiar scent. This is one of my favorite things about wine: In an instant, you can be transported by a whiff of wine. Riesling is a grape that transcends the senses. Loaded with lively aromas of budding spring flowers and fresh stone fruit, this grape can range on the palate from very dry to lush, tropical tones. From the Pfalz region of Germany, the Villa Wolf Dry Riesling is an exemplary example of its dry style. Full and rich, with stone fruit aromas, yet textured with notes of dry minerals and sandstone, one sniff and your world becomes enveloped by fresh garden flowers, ripe fruit and bright summer rays. A lovely sipper for the senses! This wine can be found at Edina Munis or France 44 for $15. —Leslee Miller, certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm Amusee.
April showers might bring May flowers, but they also bring to mind a great CD from Al Jarreau, one that goes back to almost the beginning of his career. It’s called Breakin’ Away and on it are songs that launched Jarreau into stardom. “We’re In This Love Together” still warms the heart, but the song from this CD that sticks out in my mind is “Roof Garden.” When I saw Jarreau live at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis a couple of years ago, he broke out this song and the place went wild. “Does anyone wanna go dancing in the garden/Does anyone wanna go dance up on the roof?” Quite honestly, after a long cold winter, count me in! —Patty Peterson, award winning vocalist and Jazz 88-KBEM radio host, shares her CD pick of the month. pattypeterson.com