• February 23, 2024

Learning How to Grow Anything

You know what to say: when life still refuses to give you Gus Even after waiting patiently for weeks, plant some vegetable seeds and pretend you know what you are doing. Or so. At least this week I planted a micro vegetable garden with Swiss chard, shiso and edible flower seeds. They are sitting in small pots on my bathroom radiator and I pray to Mother Earth that they will sprout seedlings. Did I mention that I have no idea what I’m doing? I voraciously read everything I can get my hands on regarding gardening for dummies (including gardening for dummies). I love that Newbie’s Guide to the Vegetable Garden with advice from Jeni Afuso, but also all the recordings for your favorite IG gardeners, books, resources, etc.

Speaking of trying to keep things alive without a clue what I’m doing. I have a new pet: a sourdough starter that my friend gave me and that bakes exceptionally well Claire Saffitz;; I unofficially called it Claire Too. Maybe everyone else is fed up with home Sourdough madness That started around this time last year, but it’s a whole new world to me and I’m excited. I keep Claire Too outside on my kitchen counter, where I feed her twice a day and stare at her from my office all day (the dining table is three feet away). The bacteria and yeast in that sticky little quart jar have a very dramatic life that takes place over the course of a single day when they feed on flour and water, and I love the way it feels like everything and nothing is happening there . (It’s a metaphor for me in the quart container that is my apartment during a global pandemic, understand!)

A few more things worth sharing from my little corner of the universe:

What i cook

In the May issue of Bon Appétit, you can find a story I worked on about food waste and all the micro and macro effects it has on our lives. There’s a very thoughtful guide on how to compost (even if you’ve never done it before!), Written by Aliza Abarbanel, my personal phone friend for everything that is environmentally conscious. And there are also a handful of recipes that we have developed with the aim of reducing our leftover food like this and / or reusing it creatively Orange peel chai this works great on citrus peel to a throat-soothing tea. Or this one Fried noodles with chickenwho greet the random carrots and spring onions hanging on a string that hide in the back of your sharper drawer.

What I eat

Next week I’ll be checking out events at ADDED VALUE, a collaborative fundraising series running through May 2nd in NYC and the Hudson Valley that features pop-up dinners of all kinds, block parties, menu specials and more with a list of very cool restaurant partners including Kittys, Ha is special, The four riders, and more. It is a joint collaboration between the non-profit organizations Sky High Farm and basic collective COWARDLYAll funds go to work for community-controlled food systems. I couldn’t think of a better way to immerse yourself in a very special (and safe, but social) spring than eating something extremely delicious, made by people who band together to support a more equitable food system.

I will be back in two weeks with a report on the seedling activity and Claire Too.

Source these recipes:

Photo by Gentl & Hyers

Ricotta dumplings with asparagus and green garlic

Pea and ricotta potstickers with homemade dumpling wrappers

Chicken breast with peas and croutons

Fried rice with spring vegetables and fried eggs

Hot and sour spring soup

BA’s best bread

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