Garden Update

4 big tomatoes + lots of flowers

16 cherry tomatoes + lots of flowers
6 zucchini blooms
I think today will be a 180oz of water day. The plants weren’t droopy when I got home and I set up the bean trellis, tied up some of the tomatoes, and spread some fertilizer. I can just about taste those tomatoes…

Picture Post

I’ve been busy lately. Here are some pictures.

My first (cherry) tomatoes! I currently have 14 tomatoes growing, with lots more buds on the way. In addition, between last night and this morning, my zucchini plant has flowered as well. So now I am conflicted as to whether I should stuff and fry the squash blossoms or wait for the zucchinis. My poor plants have had their water dosage upped as well. They have been getting 120 oz of water a day. Yesterday we had a high of 94. They looked very droopy and sad when I got home, so they ended up with 240 oz of water yesterday. Today they’ve already had 120 oz, so hopefully they won’t be too droopy by the time I get home. (High is currently 94 and rising)
This weekend I was invited to go to the performance of the Ramsey’s Braggarts Morris Men. There’s a very complicated story as to why I was invited, but I’ll save that. Watching made me miss dancing, and I think I’m going to go check out the dance scene later this summer.

After the dance performances, all the dancers and watchers got on the trolley that goes between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun. It was made especially fun by the fact that all the dancers were singing songs, some of which had multiple parts. There was even a round.

Yesterday they began digging up our street. Or the end of our street really. We were notified about this last week and the construction will go until October. They’ve closed the standard entrance to the street and made the street two way instead of one way as it usually is. Apparently they have to dig down 20 feet and move some pipes around. 

Container Gardening

I have WAY too much growing on our tiny little communal balcony. Here’s a glimpse:

Tomatoes (large), yellow cherry tomatoes, yellow pear cherry tomatoes, Kentucky Wonder beans, Zucchini, leaf lettuce, spinach, basil, and carrots

Plus we have two orphan tomato plants and two of the neighbors basil plants. Mmm. Can’t wait for some veggies.

What I’m reading

These days I’ve been doing a lot of reading about food. Checked out from the library I have Food Matters by Mark Bittman and A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. In addition, I’m also in the process of reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.

A Homemade Life is a collection of stories and recipes. The stories are memories and the recipes are the associated tastes and foods of those stories. Molly started as a blogger ( though due to the book and her husband’s pizza restaurant, hasn’t been blogging much lately. But reading her stories today made me go back in the archives, and, following a couple of links, I found this gem: Shortbread Waffles. I’m making those this weekend FOR SURE!. Mmm.

A Homemade Life, in some ways, could be my story. She sees things very much the way I do, so while my family, friends, and obsession with a country may be different (her’s France, mine England-where food is not the forefront mostly) our ideas about food are much the same.

Here are some passages from the book:
“Like most people who love to cook, I like the tangible things. I like the way the knife claps when it meets the cutting board. I like the haze of sweet air that hovers over a hot cake as it sits, cooling, on the counter. I like the way a strip of orange peel looks on an empty plate. But what I like even more are the intangible things: the familiar voices that fall out of the folds of an old cookbook, or the scenes that replay like a film reel across my kitchen wall. When we fall in love with a certain dish, I think that’s what we’re often responding to: that something else behind the fork or the spoon, the familiar story that food tells.”

“Every girl needs a little incubating from time to time, especially when she’s about to become someone’s wife. She needs ten days with her mother, a solid supply of baguette sandwiches, some well-aged cheese, a lot of chocolate, and some old-fashioned, fat-rippled, devil-may-care eating, which, for future reference, is immensely fortifying.”

How could you not love a book like that? Especially when each chapter is attached to a recipe like Custard-Filled Corn Bread or Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake with Glazed Oranges and Creme Fraiche. Molly even manages to make her recipe for Stewed Prunes with Citrus and Cinnamon sound appealing…and that’s a feat.

Go find a copy and immerse yourself in it. My copy came to me courtesy of the public library, but I may have to go and buy one soon. It’s back to the book for me though, I need to read about pickling. And then it will be on to my next tome: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. I need to get some pancetta or bacon made this summer to participate in Ruhlman’s BLT challenge.