Tuesday, March 4, 2014


At least the snow on the terrace has melted. So there's that.

But the pots are still frozen solid. The new soil that I added to the built-in wooden troughs? Frozen solid. The fig is alive, though! And yes, I think the exclamation point is warranted. I gave one of the younger branches a thumbnail-scratch yesterday when I went out to feed the birds, and...green. Amazing.

Indoors, it's cabin feverish. Only that can explain my fascination with iceberg lettuce. Or perhaps I'm saying that because I think I have to. Iceberg is so uncool it's cool again if you're in a hipster diner.

Truth is, it can be really good. Why? - the crunch-factor, of course, the tightly layered leaves nested within one another's curves, the moisture. And also the relief after cosmopolitan years and years of baby arugula, adult arugula, wild arugula (arugula is the new iceberg) and the current avalanche of pea shoots.

For the two of us, I cut half an iceberg into three fat wedges, and then hauled out those newly ubiquitous peas. I'm not tired of them, yet. And you know what's weird? - they cost $2 less at Whole Foods at Columbus Circle than they do at the more humble Fine Fare on Lenox Avenue aka Malcolm X. Except the fact that they are at Fine Fare is cause for celebration in itself.

The dressing was soy, sugar, lime juice. Enough sugar and lime that the soy does not overpower. No oil at all. And into the dressing I tossed a knob of slivered and matchsticked ginger. Vincent has had a serial cold for what seems like our entire residence in Harlem, all almost-five months of it, bar a sunny break in South Africa. And ginger helps.

The salad was good. But he shivered every time he bit the leaves. He says iceberg squeaks.

So I ate the third wedge.

There's another salad next door, at 66 Square Feet (the Food). It's pink and white, and it won't squeak.

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