Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I am the only person I know who likes to eat rice alone. And by alone I mean without anything else besides butter and good salt. By alone I also mean sans companions. Flying solo. Table for one.
Only occasionally do I actually eat rice all by itself. It seems so much more healthful and adult to add something else: veggies, the chicken breast or fish, even the side green salad.
Tonight, just before dishing up my plate with chicken and leafy green salad, I stirred some butter and salt into my little pot of brown rice. Soon enough the rice would be adulterated by the chicken juices and the vinaigrette. But for just a moment it was just rice with butter and salt: vaguely creamy and salty but with plenty of nuttiness. It was warm and delicious and totally comforting. I wanted to eat the entire pot.
But reason ruled, and instead I ate my brown rice with butter and salt alongside some browned chicken and green salad, just as a grown up girl should. But next time, I might not be so well behaved...
Read more about Massa Organics at: http://massaorganics.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
So last night we got gussied up and went out on the town. It has been awhile since I have dined out in SF. In fact, when I thought about it I realized I had not been out to eat in San Francisco since a fantastic meal at NOPA in Mid March. It had been too long!
And how can you tell that the seasons have changed! Spring is officially here and there was green green green on the menu, with only occasional hints of that wintery wind that still blows here from time to time.
I had the most amazing soup, big white beans with swirls of dark turnip greens, and thick croutons. It was perfect for the sunny but slightly chilly early evening and the nearly icy wind that blew me across the street into the restaurant.
We had spinach and favas and artichokes too, which got me thinking about the weekend. Yes, it's Tuesday but I am already thinking of Saturday morning, a trip to the farmer's market, a bagful of favas, and what I am going to make for dinner. Does fresh pasta with asparagus, favas, and fresh ricotta sound good to anyone but me?
Monday, April 27, 2009
So we did -- M. made a makeshift/DIY compost container and I saved all the breakfast scraps. Luckily we'd had seven people over for brunch so we had lots to start with: egg shells, onion skins, strawberry tops, grapefruit, lime and orange rinds, pepper and banana peels all went into the bin. Now it will start "cooking" (I guess).
How long do we have to wait before we get new healthy dirt to spread in our new garden plot? Is there anything we can't compost?
I think some research might be in order. Until then, lunch's banana peel is going straight to compost as I head out the door to Office Max.
Oh my exciting life!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
"Whatever. I just assumed we'd have vegetables over farro... You know, your usual."
But it got me thinking. Had I fallen into a vegetarian, roasted vegetables served over whole grains rut? Truthfully, I was kind of aware of it. All of my clipped recipes looked sort of the same: heavy on the veggies, often with thai flavors or in some sort of curry sauce, served over rice or another grain. I was trying to keep us healthy and eating lots of greens, but maybe I had gone a tad too far?
Clearly it was time to mix up my repertoire. I poured over recipes -- I searched cookbooks, the internet, my overflowing blue file full of newspaper clippings and magazine pages. Nothing was inspiring me, or even worse, the things that looked fabulous and inventive were vegetarian dishes served over whole grains.
I was stymied by the fact that M. is a great cook, and I am seriously intimidated by him. This is why I usually venture in the direction of things he is not inclined to cook -- random roasted vegetables and hard-to-find nutty whole grains. My careful choices make it less likely that I will disappoint his palate or that he'll offer kind but pointed criticism that might bring me to tears of frustration at the dinner table.
After much searching for a stunning menu that had no greens or grains, I decided I was making this whole thing harder than it needed to be. We have a lifetime of dinners ahead of us, and I'm pretty sure he thinks I am a capable (maybe even a good) cook. Instead of worrying about it, I was going to make what I felt like eating. If he didn't like it he could whip himself up some braised greens over white rice. That's his go-to meal, by the way, and doesn't it sound suspiciously like mine? It's just that I prefer my veggies to be of the lighter green variety and my rice to be brown.
But I digress. This was dinner, nary a green garden vegetable in sight:
Balsamic Chicken and Peppers
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt and fresh ground pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 seeded and sliced red bell pepper
1 seeded and sliced yellow bell pepper
1 large, thinly sliced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1. Cook the chicken: season chicken generously with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
2. Cook the vegetables: Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the same pan over medium high heat. Add the peppers and onion and saute until softened about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
3. Finish the chicken: add the vinegar and half each of the basil and thyme and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the pan's bottom. Return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the pan, spooning the peppers over the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining basil and thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among four plates and serve with roasted potato wedges, or if you dare, a big green salad.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I have a very dear friend that works designing and building window displays for Anthropologie. A few years ago, when she had just started working for the company, she was occasionally given "Inspiration Days." Inspiration days were paid work days, but instead of going to the office, she got to go to the museum, or antique hunting, anything that might inspire creative work.
Today I took an inspiration day. I went to Blue Bottle for coffee, took a walk in the sun, did a little shopping, attended a yoga class, and took a picnic lunch to the Embarcadero and ate while watching the blue bay. I came home mid-afternoon, stared out the window, ate an apple and peanut butter, wrote (for fun!) and read a few more pages of the John Cheever biography I am plugging away at -- it is 678 pages of pure biographic pleasure.
I feel so much better I think I might head into the kitchen. I am a bit rusty and am eating alone, so I think I might keep it simple: farro with roasted asparagus, an egg, and a liberal does of Maldon salt and some fresh pepper. I think the egg might be fried. It sounds so much more decadent and self-indulgent than a poached egg.
Some light fog is rolling in, I am popping the cork on a bottle of white wine from British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, and I am feeling -- dare I say it? -- inspired.
I know these slow, easy days are sometimes hard to come by, but if you have been feeling in need of a mental or creative re-boot, please find yourself an inspiration day.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
It might seem like I haven't been cooking lately. And I haven't. In fact, I can't recall the last time I really made dinner... It must have been sometime last week but I can't exactly remember when. Is that a bad sign?
I've been eating dinner, of course, but its mostly been leftovers (meals cooked by M.) or basic, scrambled eggs or leftover soup type meals eaten alone while M. is on the road. My goal is to cook sometime this week. But with M. on the road and a fridge full of leftovers, I don't know exactly when I'll make it back into the kitchen.
But I have been baking. Oh yes, I have been baking. On Saturday morning I made Coffee Crunch Bars to take to a potluck BBQ The bars come direct from Molly Wizenber's February 2009 column in Bon Appetit and it's actually the second time I've made these buttery, chocolatey little bars.
I baked them somewhat begrudgingly. I wanted to make something new, something I could really get excited about. But for some reason I had no luck finding a recipe that would be spashy enough to shine among the desserts at a potluck and still slightly sophisticated.
So I made more Coffee Crunch Bars. These little cookie bars are good, very good. Molly called them the best cookie she had ever tasted.
Are they THE BEST? I don't know. But really, that is a pretty high bar to set.
In the meantime, while I search for a cookie recipe I am daring enough to call the best, I give you Coffee Crunch Bars a la Orangette:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus two tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature.
1 and 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 325. Whisk first three ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another medium bowl until blended, about two minutes. Add espresso powder and almond extract, beat one minute. Stir in flour mixture in three batches, mixing until just incoroprated. Stir in chocolate chips and almonds (dough will be thick).
Turn dough out onto ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Using hands, press dough into 12 inch square. Pierce all over with fork at one inch intervals.
Bake until edges are lightly browned and beginning to crisp about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on sheet for one minute, then cut into 48 bars. Immediately transfer to rack to cool. The bars will crisp as they cool.
* As I type this I realize that the second time I made this I used 1 cup butter instead of 1 cup + 2 tablespoons. And I used coffee extract instead of the espresso powder and milk chocolate chips instead of the semi sweet. And I forgot to prick the bars all over before baking. But guess what? They still turned out fab. In fact, when I left our Saturday evening dinner party to do the dishes I returned to find a very nearly empty plate. So someone liked them...
Monday, April 20, 2009
It was so warm today that it brought back memories of life in San Diego. All I wanted to do was play hookey, sit in the sun, read, and drink iced coffee.
Instead, I tried to enjoy the pre-summer moments where I could: a bowl of lentils for lunch topped with baby tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, and hallumi cheese. A sit on the couch with the windows wide open, watching the sun go down with a nice, tall, glass of water.
And what's better on a hot day than not having to cook? I was lucky. There were dinner party leftovers, so instead of firing up the stove, all I had to do was pull out a plate. My dinner of halibut and salad with avocado, beets, and goat cheese was nearly perfect.
But, there is one thing that's missing -- a freezer full of ice cream! M. and I went on a long walk yesterday afternoon and even he couldn't resist standing in the long line at Bi-Rite Creamery for a little dish of salted caramel ice cream topped with another scoop of brown sugar ginger ice cream.
Feeling giving, he shared a few bites. Both were amazing, but the salted caramel ice cream is what I will fall asleep thinking about.
It is time to locate the box where the ice cream maker has been spent the past six months.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Yesterday we were at the grocery store buying cheese for a dinner party. The guest of honor was a Frenchman, and the cheese was to be served as it traditionally is in France: after the first and second courses, alongside a big green salad.
M. was perusing the cheeses and I was eating green peas straight from the bag. He held each cheese delicately, occasionally giving one a sniff, trying to pick just the right thing. He considered for a moment picking all domestic cheeses, but then put the Cowgirl Creamery St. Pat's back on the shelf. "I just can't," he said. "I love French cheese too much."
I don't disagree. The French cheeses he picked for dinner were marvelous: Brillat-Savarin, a goat cheese, and Comte. But really, he is kind of a snob. We have some great cheeses stateside and some lovely ones that are made locally.
Case in point: the souvenir cheese I brought home from Utah last week. Direct from the Beehive Cheese Co., the Promontory Point Cheddar is very sharp and full flavored, even a tad smokey. I like it most alone, sans cracker or bread so that the nutty sharp flavor can really shine. I cut it straight from the loaf, a nibble here and there while dinner is cooking.
What I like best is that a bought it straight from the source. A kind man from Beehive fed me samples of several cheeses last week at the farmer's market and I liked this one best. I piked my small block, I paid him directly, we both ended up happy.
Sadly, it takes a lot more to get my cheeses direct from France. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't jump at the chance if it were offered!
P.S. And for those of you who really think there aren't fine food things happening in Utah, check out the Beehive Cheese Co. story.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I am just a little bit of a brat. When I found out that M. was going to Paris for the weekend without me I demanded a fancy French souvenir. Nothing specific, just something distinctly French and pretty that would help take the sting out of missing the adventure. No pressure.
But I am just a tad capricious too. So even though I made demands for a fancy French souvenir, I forgot about them. I had my own weekend adventure, bought myself a nice bottle of local honey and some yummy jam and a couple of new, great white t-shirts to wear into spring. I was perfectly satisfied.
Which is not to say I wasn't happy when a lovely, mint green bag was pulled out of the suitcase. Inside was an equally beautiful green container, embossed in beautiful gold script with the name Laduree.
Have you heard of Laduree? It is a tea salon and patisserie that has been in operation since the late 1860s. They are famous for their divine pastel colored macaroons. I am now in possession of a large package of Laduree cocoa powder, which I imagine is probably the finest cocoa powder I will ever own in my life.
I can't imagine what to make with this marvelous gift. It will have to be something quite special, something that will tempt even a non-chocolate love (one of M.'s only faults). Most of all it will have to be good.
But no pressure.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Two weeks ago I spent one very harried day at the Young Library at U.C.L.A. I was digging around in the personal archive of Lawrence Clark Powell. He was a life-long friend of M.F.K. Fisher's. The two first met when she encouraged him to move to Dijon, France to continue his academic studies.
Once he arrived, the trio (M.F.K., her husband Al, and Larry) had a grand old time. They went to cafes, drank too much wine and coffee, read poetry at night, and went sightseeing. One of the boxes at the U.C.L.A. library that I searched through was a box of photos that captured some of these fun times: the three on the beach in Cros-de-Cagnes, France, sitting on the edge of the famous fountain in Dijon, and on numerous unnamed streets and avenues in France.
It made me think about my photos. Since I went digital they are all stored on my computer, a computer that has been on "life support" for quite a few weeks now. I look at the photos occasionally and am glad they aren't taking up space in our small home, but mostly they go unnoticed.
Flipping the pages of Larry's large and dusty memory book, I began to reconsider. I think I want my photos in albums. I want to be able to turn the pages and run my fingers across the shiny printed memories. I want there to be something left behind.
P.S. The photo above is of my grandmother, Frances Fawcett Bonner, on the beach in Ventura, California. It is one of my most favorite posessions.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
So good, so fun, so needed.
But today had to be productive. There were chapters to edit and hopefully mail before the end of the day. I was left to scavenge in the kitchen, making meals out of nothing, hoping to stay satisfied.
Breakfast was oatmeal with dried fruit, milk, and maple agave syrup.
Lunch was a peanut butter and jelly smoothie -- a.k.a. plain yogurt, frozen mixed fruit, and peanut butter. Inventive, huh?
There was a grapefruit and granola bar to see me through my mid- afternoon slump.
And jelly beans, don't forget the jelly beans.
Dinner (defrosting as we speak) will be frozen homemade soup, crackers, cream cheese, and olives.
It was a fun experiment but a trip to the store is in order. And my stomach growls when I think of the good leftovers still stocking the fridge at my mom's house.
What do you eat when there is nothing to eat? We all have those days.
I was glad for all that fruit in various forms. Without it, it would have been a day filled with either bland food or very weird combinations...
Friday, April 10, 2009
So -- I went in search of a new recipe with spring flavors. I ended up with the Lemon Sable recipe from Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser. I have longed to make these cookies for some time but never had a reason. Springtime, Easter, birthdays... finally I had an excuse.
The sables (French for sand) are light and crumbly and a glorious yellow from all that lemon zest and the four egg yolks. They also have a very nice balance between sweet, tart, and just a little salty. You will be tempted to eat more than one.
I baked the sables the other evening and they have gotten better and better each and every day. This means they should be just about perfect by the time they arrive on my friend's doorstep in New York. And for those I am spending the weekend with, get ready, these cookies are flying your direction.
(P.S. Sorry no photo, they are all packed up. Trust me, they are pretty, tasty little bites.)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest from 2 to 3 lemons
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
4 egg yolks
1. Combine flour and baking powder in small bowl. Mix butter until creamy, add powdered sugar and beat for a minute, add regular sugar and beat for a minute more. Add lemon zest and salt and mix briefly. Drop in the egg yolks one at a time and mix just to combine. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mix and blend just until the dough is combined. Use a spatula if needed to for final mixing.
2. Divide the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. The dough will be quite soft, but shape it as best you can into two logs. I made my logs long and skinny because I wanted bite size sables. Wrap plastic around the dough and store in fridge or freezer for at least 2 hours, up to a couple of days.
3. When you are ready to bake the cookies pre-heat the oven to 350 and set a rack in the middle of the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice logs into 1/4 inch slices and place on baking sheet. If you want, sprinkle a little sanding sugar on the top of each cookie for a bit of extra sparkle.
4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning the sheets 180 halfway through, till the cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on baking racks. Store in tins -- these cookies get better with time, wait to eat them, if you dare!
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Both trips are exotic in their own way, don't you think?
My trip is very last minute, which means that in the past couple of days there has been a flurry of messages as Mom and I plan our menu. Should we have ham, lamb, or something else for Sunday dinner? Should it be a traditional Easter meal or simply influenced by the abundance of spring? Which markets do we need to hit, and for what? [You may think there are no good markets in Salt Lake, but I'll see you at Liberty Heights Fresh or Tony Caputo's on Saturday morning and then we will talk...]
And then there's the most important question? What is for dessert? I scoured all the food mags that have recently arrived for ideas: lemon cornmeal cake with blueberry sauce, rhubarb galette, cherry-ricotta-almond cookie parfaits. And then I peeked into one cookbook (just one!) and found a recipe for a towering coconut cake and panacotta with strawberries and balsamic vinegar. The ideas are endless.
Now I just have to decide what I am hungry for -- besides home, of course.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Last week I took a one day trip to U.C.L.A. to do some book research. My trip was just before pay day and money was tight. So I decided to pack an entire day's worth of F.S.A. sanctioned food with me on the trip. I rightly assumed that anything I could cobble together (even if it was liquid-less) was going to be much better, and significantly less expensive, than anything I could purchase in SFO or LAX.
I was right.
I ate three delicious, interesting, and filling meals on the road. For breakfast (eaten in two batches: in the car & at the gate) I had a cornmeal bagel with cream cheese and golden raspberry jam, a banana, and a latte. For lunch, eaten sitting in the So. Cal sun outside the Charles E. Young Library at U.C.L.A. I ate crackers and manchego cheese, a hard boiled egg, kumquats, and lots of water. In the late afternoon there was an iced coffee from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. For dinner, just before take-off I had tiny black lentils and asparagus toppped with a bit of sour cream and some roasted almonds.
Once I got home there was some hot tea with honey and a good sit on the couch. It was a long, intense day but I had no "travel hangover" the next morning. Maybe it was secret arsenal of healthy foods to get me through the day?
Though it seemed crazy at 6:45AM when I was gathering my loot, it was definitely worth the effort!
Monday, April 06, 2009
On Friday night I decided to bake M. a treat. There were browning bananas in the fruit bowl and an open container of buttermilk in the fridge. My mind started to wander towards banana bread, but I wanted it to be special banana bread. M. had been on the road all week in Santa Barbara and was due to roll back into town at close to 9 o'clock at night. We had a busy weekend. I wanted something tempting but not decadent. Something that would make the house smell good but that would also be interesting.
When we were in New York in December M. was completely blown away by the Green Curry Banana Bread at Momofuku Milk Bar. On my most recent visit, in February, my girlfriends were equally besotted with the dense banana bread with just a hint of green curry. I was a bit more nonplussed. Apparently I am a bit of a purist. I like my banana bread chock full of bananas and not much else. Maybe a walnut or a pecan, but that's it. No need to mess with perfection.
But this foray into baking was not about me, and I was curious to see if I could create something that rivals, even a bit, the Momofuku treat. I did not, however, think that I would be successful. I found a recipe that would allow me to use buttermilk and then gently stirred a teaspoon of green curry paste into my batter, hoping that this was the right amount.
An hour later, the house was smelling great, M. had arrived home, and I pulled the bread out of the oven. I cut it while it was still steaming hot and brought him a slice with butter. He pronounced it "Good. Really good." Then he went back to watching re-runs of House. I wasn't convinced. I tried some hot, then some cold the next morning, and finally a bit last night.
This is a quick bread but it is not a sweet bread. Because of this, it is good for a not-to-sweet breakfast, snack, or even dessert. It is dense but not overly buttery or greasy. It is perfect for toasting and eating warm, slathered with butter.
I am still surprised M. liked it so much. Ever the connoisseur, he has mild criticism for just about everything food related. I was hardly expecting to conquer this food challenge so quickly. Maybe he was tired, maybe he's in love, or maybe, just maybe, I really did nail it.
But I sort of doubt it.
So here it is, my first try at the Green Curry Banana Bread. If there are others, and if they are good, I will let you know.
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (I used only 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1 cup mashed bananas (2 to 3, roasted in skins in 425 degree oven for 12 minutes)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tbl. butter, melted
1 tbl. vanilla
1 tsp. green curry paste
1 and 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat eggs and sugar well. Mix in melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla, green curry paste, and bananas.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well blended.
Pour into greased and floured loaf pan, bake for about an hour.
Friday, April 03, 2009
But imagine that bridge... it really is quite pretty. And may your weekend be full of only good things. This is what is on the docket for ours:
An early Saturday lunch at La Taqueria in the Mission with new friends.
A walk down to Dynamo Donuts to see if the mythic maple-bacon donut is available for a post-lunch afternoon snack. (Do I really want or need the maple bacon donut in my life? I'm not altogether sure. I'll check it out and report back.)
Basketball. I know there will be basketball.
Meal planning, marketing, cooking, and conversation. Books. Rest.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
I was trying to cook using the things I had in the pantry. And this is what I had: a small head of radicchio, some fresh cheese, and a pantry full of goods including red wine, arborio rice, an onion, and spices. So radicchio risotto it was. It was an admittedly bastardized risotto too. I used feta cheese instead of parm (it didn't melt as well but added a nice sharpness to the risotto) and I also stirred in a couple of tablespoons of sour cream for creaminess and richness. It's a trick cookbook author Sally Schneider recommends.
I am a sucker for authentic risotto and I was shocked at the creative liberties I took. But it was a long day, and above all, I wanted the meal to be good. I was worried, so I improvised a bit with good results.
Radicchio risotto is pretty yummy. And its a pretty pink color too, which made my day. Add lots and lots of salt and fresh ground pepper to the finished risotto and make up a huge green salad and enjoy. Even though it isn't the most seasonal of dishes it was satisfying. There were lots of leftovers that I have eaten cold for lunch and enjoyed immensely as I stare out the window at the sunshine.
5 cups (about) stock -- I used vegetable
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (about 10 ounces)
1/2 cups dry red wine -- I used pinot noir
2 cups finely chopped radicchio
1/4 feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Lots and lots of good salt and pepper
Bring 5 cups stock to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low; keep stock hot.
Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir 2 minutes. Add wine; reduce heat to medium low. Simmer until wine is absorbed, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of hot stock; simmer until stock is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time until rice is tender but still slightly firm in center and mixture is creamy, simmering until stock is absorbed before each addition and stirring often, about 20 minutes.
Mix in cheese, sour cream, and thyme. Mix in radicchio into risotto; simmer 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove risotto from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer risotto to shallow serving bowl. Serve.
One of the best parts about fraternizing with someone who grew up in the wild fields outside of Santa Cruz is their knowledge of wild things. M. knows all sorts of stuff about grasses, and leaves, and foliage and what can and can't be consumed by humans.
I thought the delicate white flowers that topped green, leggy stalks in our back yard were a pretty first sign of spring. They seemed perfect for petite bouquets to put by the bedside or in the bathroom. But it turns out this pretty flower is actually green garlic, and our back yard is full of it. It creeps up through the cracks in the stairs, mixes in with the regular weeds, and grows taller and even more hearty.
Lately we have been harvesting the green garlic. By we, I mean M. The one time I was sent to pick the garlic it was nearly dark and I instead picked a bunch of weeds. Apparently my green thumb does not get any more astute in the dark.
M. picks the green garlic then picks through it to remove weeds or other inedibles, pulls off the lovely white flowered tips, washes it good, boils it good, and then purees it into a delightful green sauce that has been in omelets, on bowls of black bean soup, or artfully drizzled over seared fish.
It is fun to eat something that is grown in your very own yard, even if you didn't plant it there or do anything at all to help it grow. I am inspired to start fixing up the wild space that I peer at out the back window. It is weird and terraced, at a very steep angle and overrun with all sorts of growing stuff. It is hard to imagine a real garden growing back there, but maybe it could happen. I am dreaming of something small -- maybe a little herb garden or a patch of tomatoes?
I am hopeful my urban farmer will be on board, my black thumb has never gotten me very far.