Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday in rainy Harlem, with occasional thunder


Sunday evening's soundtrack in Harlem: Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall (Ella Fitzgerald and The Inkspots).

It is raining, and it is wonderful.


It has been a dry month.


Water runs and splashes and cleans and is used and lost.


In the wooden boxes that line the terrace's edge the herbs are growing fatter.


Tonight we eat the cilantro (about to bloom) with spicy leafwraps. 


Above: last week my rash purchase arrived. Five Nicotiana mutabilis plants from Annie's Annuals (California - eek), packed incredibly well. I can find no good seed for it online, and I want the height, tiny flowers and changing pinks on this year's summer terrace.


Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) - growing statuesque (which is good). The three seedlings from last year have produced dozens of offspring.


Indoors, in the 127th Street window. FDNY action outside.


And later, paging through Kobus van der Merwe's Strandveldfood cookbook, while sampling the quails eggs I did not have time to peel last night (for a foragers' drinks party) dipped in mugwort salt - somehow I had missed this lovely double page picture of Kobus and Rupert Koopman; like having them in the house, suddenly.

And now it's to those leaf wraps. Time to pick the cilantro (I don't have basil, yet) and quick-pickle some carrot-slivers. The meaty filling (beef, lemon grass, ginger, lime juice, tamarind, fish sauce) has been bubbling since 5pm.

Good luck with Monday. It's going to be a doozy.

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12 comments:

  1. Lovely photos and a good rain is the best watering that can be had. It's been dry here in Seattle, at least by our standards, so we started watering our planters and window boxes. Please post lots of photos of the terrace just love it!

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  2. You may have already said, but what is going on with those sparkly little lights? Are they around the window frame? Just Christmas lights or called something else? I have a dark bedroom that needs to be less depressing.

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    1. Hi Diane - yes, just Christmas lights, about three or four strands joined. They have definite tacky potential but mostly they lift the room up when it's feeling gloomy. Vince hung them inside the window frame one winter when he knew I dreaded the dark afternoons, and we have kept them ever since.

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    2. Thank you. Tacky is better than gloomy. I'm going to copy. Vince is a treasure.

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  3. Lovely photos! I am in northern Utah, and we've had rain for 30 days, and finally this weekend it's hot and sunny. I think it moved your way. My little patio garden is finally able to stretch and fruit after 30 days of clouds and rain. It was nice, though, not having to water the plants myself for all of May. Here we go into our hot and dry Summer! The tomatoes are loving it.

    I envy your terrace. I have only concrete, and everything in pots. I imagine the wood terrace makes it a little cooler than concrete. 89 degrees here today, but 105 on the patio because of the cement.

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  4. I probably missed it, but trying to sleuth out what is blooming, a variety of foxglove? Would also be interested to know if and how often you feed your plantings. My potted plantings often look weary.

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    1. The foxglove is a hybrid - Digitalis x somethingus 'Gold Crest.' It is supposed to re-bloom, once the spent flowers are cut back.

      http://www.66squarefeet.blogspot.com/2015/05/what-to-plant-in-semi-shade-urban-style.html

      Currently I'm feeding with Espoma's organic Plant Tone and Holly Tone (the later for the acid loving things like berries). It is in granular form and also contains beneficial microbes. I feed about every two weeks.

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  5. Oh lucky you, rain. Every day at week it was in the forecast, but it never came. Instead we have been sweltering with temps in the 90's. Why ow why did I plant pea and sweet peas.

    Your terrace looks lush and lovely. Off to check out the nicotiana. Xo J

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    1. The shipping is expensive, but considering how they were packed...some leaves did break but nothing fatal. I was impressed, and SO tempted by some of their other offerings - teeny weeny fuchsias (I think they'd hate the noonday sun blast). Otherwise try N. sylvestris - super tall and scented. Last year's seeded itself.

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  6. I'm one of the unfortunate few for which cilantro tastes like industrial soap. It's a recognized phenomenon but not genetic I guess, since Vince is not a sufferer.

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    1. Oh, poor you. I have some food-loving friends who feel the same. Very odd phenomenon. Odder still that it is indigenous to England and has no native tradition there (unless you count the Romans); instead, the SE Asians and Mexicans jumped on it.

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  7. I got Nicotiana mutabilis from Annie's Annuals after not being be able to find seed as well! Mine came at the end of April, though, because I also wanted a bunch of perpetual carnations and particular marigolds - the biggest, rangiest, least domesticated they offer - and was afraid those would run out. They called me all worried about sending those plants to Massachusetts when it had still been so cold and would only ship them after I promised that I would be able to tide them over inside for a little while should it still be too cold to plant when they arrived.

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