May 2013

Chinatown 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

5.31.13 Orient Express

It was a sweltering day in the city yesterday but I had a bee in my bonnet about getting down to Chinatown to score some young ginger. I was so inspired by this post but I despaired of getting my hands on the right ginger, and then a Japanese friend told me the Chinatown street vendors had it. Having lived in close proximity to New York City's Chinatown in my time, I'm quite familiar with how the heat ratchets up its already heady perfume and by midday it was quite ripe. But so were the beautiful tropical fruits!

It's been two years since I was in Asia (remember?) and I yearn to traipse through sultry streets to foreign markets where unknown produce is piled high and the sweet scent of tuberose mingles with those of smoke, sweat and cooking. How amazing it is to feel like a visitor in an exotic land just walking up and down Canal Street. If you've never shopped for mangoes, yellow chives or fresh lychees down there, you must treat yourself to the experience.
Ben Jonson —
As he brews, so shall he drink.
Glass 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

5.28.13 Home Brew

You can't knock water, especially if you're drinking it fresh from your own artesian well, as I am. If I weren't lucky enough to have this, I would probably be using a filter on my tap. Bottled water? I try to avoid it. I object to all that plastic from an environmental standpoint, not to mention whatever it's off-gassing into my system. But drinking water seems so virtuous, doesn't it? The hydration, the lack of calories... On a hot day or after a workout, it's just the ticket. Other times, it can be a trifle dull. Come on, I know I'm not alone here. Yes, I add fresh lemon or a few slices of cucumber or sprigs of mint, but stil. Unsweetened tea works but I prefer it with a bit of sugar or honey, and then it starts to feel like something I shouldn't be drinking lots of on a regular basis. I've already ruled out fruit juice (unless significantly watered down) and soda was never in the picture so, until recently, the options for quenching my thirst had been rather limited. Until, that is, I discovered kombucha.
Oscar Wilde —
Too much work, and no vacation, deserves at least a small libation.
Mustard 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

5.24.13 Hot Links for May

My husband has a green thumb. It turns out that, in addition to gorgeous, generous and good (and George, of course), G stands for gardener. Not only has he built three new enclosed raised bed areas to add to the two we already had, but he has planted them with a chef's dream of choice vegetables and herbs. Last night I picked succulent fresh mustard greens and tender young garlic, sauteed them up with little chunks of chorizo and tossed it all with some brown rice pasta. Dinner happens in an instant when it comes from your backyard. At first I was a little cranky that I have been working too hard to be involved in the planting this year, but now I just feel spoiled. But enough about me. How are you spending this first holiday weekend of the season? If you've got any free time, check out some of these interesting ideas and resources I have been collecting for you this month.
Frances Hodgson Burnett —
To write as one should of a garden one must write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden.
Redbud 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

5.22.13 Garden Variety

I wish you were here. I would lead you down the garden path. Pause with you under the redbud so you could hear the gentle drone of the bees as they gorge on sweet nectar. Guide you through the gauntlet of green, tender shoots brushing your legs as you pass. I would crouch down with you and show you how to crush the fronds of chamomile between your fingers to release the strong scent of tart apples. I would take you to the cool woodland corner where trillums bloom and ferns unfurl. I would remind you to look at every leaf and blade, every bud and sprig, every flower and sprout and in this way, with the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair, you would feel so alive. Walk with me.
Florence Fabricant —
Peanut butter is the pâté of childhood.
Crackers 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

5.19.13 Nutter Butter

As I write this, it's another grey, drizzly day outside and the world is glowing with a jade-green intensity that is almost unsettling. The chartreuse hues of early spring are seductive. The lilac is blooming, sending out its sweet perfume. The columbines are about to unfurl their showy blossoms. The early morning birdsong is loud enough to wake the dead. Yesterday I dug into the damp earth and planted lavender, rosemary, lemon verbena and my beloved scented geraniums. Also a few purple-striped jack-in-the-pulpit, trillium and bloodroot that were carefully and respectfully foraged from a nearby woodland. Time in the garden is precious as I have been inundated with client work. It's also kept me from the kitchen and from you, dearest readers. I've got a new recipe for you, though it's nothing fancy. Just something simple and practical that has become a popular staple in our house.
Wiiliam Wordsworth —
A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable.