Wednesday, July 24, 2013



Vince and I sat on the roof last night, the sun still high, the hose nozzle set to mist to keep us cool, and sipped our drinks and talked about things: Red Hook (the water, the old streets, the bad public transport, shopping at Fairway). The South African Consulate. The apartment next door. Staying put. Our basic necessities. Outdoor space and plants for me, also sunlight and a horizon. A place to run for him, and the all-important commute to work (soon to be the Empire State Building, when his company moves north, from the Financial District).

While we talked, I burned supper. It was celery, destined for a sauce for pasta, braising gently but too long, down below. I knew the minute I walked in the door. Sniff, sniff.

I had nothing else fresh in the fridge. In the Light of Uncertainty, I have imposed new austerity measures in the kitchen and I was using those outer celery ribs rather self righteously (the heart went into a recent chopped salad). Nothing edible on the roof, yet, either, except...pigweed.

Up I went, armed with a bowl and a pair of scissors.

Down I came with luscious weeds. I really do like them. It's not an act.

I scooped the gelatinous pulp from a preserved Meyer lemon, and sliced the skin into ribbons before chopping it finely. I wilted the pigweed in a hot pan with some butter and olive oil and lemon juice. In the blender I put the lemon, pigweed, pine nuts, more butter, a raw garlic clove, a few tablespoons of field garlic oil from the long-ago spring, finely rasped parmesan from the L-shaped heel of cheese, and pressed Destruct.

Boiled some tender egg tagliatelle. Drained, mixed and plated.

I'm glad the celery burned.

We ate supper on the terrace and watched huge cumulus clouds turn pink beyond the skyline of downtown Brooklyn. Later they lit up within as an electrical storm let loose, a silent morse in light. Above the terrace the sky was dark blue and clear with stars. I looked at the sky very carefully, as if it might break. I looked at the church spire in the east, beyond the silver roofs, and at the tendrils of the autumn clematis growing through the New Dawn rose in the corner, the mint like a forest in the gravel. 

Then I took myself back inside, also carefully.

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