Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Easy breezy

I headed out to Breezy Point last weekend for a day of wave watching and hanging with friends. The food Google map in my head went off: taco alert!

Rockaway Taco (and environs) made me feel like I was transported to Southern California, in a good way. And while I made the mistake of getting only one fish taco (the carnitas could not compete), I was a very happy camper. The elote (corn) was also perfect. And the watermelon juice was a delight. There were other things to be tried but--despite nightly wishes to be transformed into a cow--I have only one stomach. We pulled up to the curb, spilled onto the grass and got covered in crema and guac.

I will go again--next summer, certainly, when we return to Breezy, but maybe before then, too.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Emperors Need Mentors, too

Oh dear, where have I been? Things got nutty, and blogging for pleasure went bye-bye.

In the meantime, I wrote this piece for Civil Eats, a sort of review, I guess, of a new book called My Empire of Dirt. It's about what it takes to learn to grow things. Last summer I learned to ride a bike, and this summer I promised myself I would learn to grow things.

As I wrote about earlier, I started with basil, anise hyssop and sungold tomatoes from seed. The anise and the tomatoes, sadly, didn't make it. I liken those losses to my early failed cooking & baking experiments.

So I bought a beautiful organic heirloom cherry tomato plant and a neato mint plant at the farmers market. I re-potted them with organic soil. I staked the tomato plant. I left town. I returned. I smelled something funny.

Soooooo my cat peed in the tomato plant (that damn pot was big enough for her to climb into. Blargh.). But the good news is that the mint plant isn't quite dead and the basil plant is thriving! I offer this night-time photo as evidence. I really am bursting with pride.