Saturday, August 7, 2010


Looking east: the crop on its way from the farm to the table. Millions of heirloom cherry tomatoes, the aubergine, the longest courgette, more bloody cucumbers.

The funny thing was I really didn't have any vegetables at home. Not that these are vegetables, of course. Aubergine, courgette, tomatoes, cucumber - fruit, all. I was such a dunce, though, and forgot to pick the reddening pepper. But it will be there for another day, waiting for some garlic and anchovies and fresh baguette.

And I found some little garden helpers. A real lady bug this time. Hopefully targeting the little brown marmorated stinkbuggers. And a very agile spider that behaved exactly like Thing in the Addams Family (and made me miss Raul Julia...).

Looking west. It really felt good to stand up there with the little basket of edible things that have been growing above our heads, on the satellite-dished tar top, with their view of the water and the boats, and the racing pigeons wheeling in their early evening flight like a school of silvery fish in the pool of vast summer sky, from their roof down the block.

Then I left the sunset over New York Harbour and disappeared back down the ladder with my precariously balanced harvest.

The arsenal.

From the terrace I fetched summer savoury and thyme.

Used the last of my little terrace garlics, and added a shallot.

Ratatouille and lamb chop. What a happy meal. And I fancy it was the most melting courgette, ever...

We drank a startling Lambrusco, a sparkling red wine - Le Tenute's Solo Reggiano. I can't declare myself to be a fan. It seemed to cut off mid-palate. But perhaps it was just the wrong wine for what we were eating.

By the way, the website I linked to above, Grape Aid, is worth a visit if you are interested in wine under $30 (hell, I'm interested in wine under $15...sigh). Or if you have a passing interest in wine at all. I stumbled across it looking for the Solo Reggiano, to link to an image, and have read though several reviews. Short, spare, neat and informative. Quite a rare combination.


  1. Wat 'n lieflike mandjie groente. Ek is jaloers.

  2. I feel like Arcadia,too!
    Then I remember what I pay for my wine and feel better.

  3. I was very proud of my little basket...

    dinahnow, never fear, I suppose we usually pay about $13 for wine. The cheapest Champagne comes in at about $25, and many 'good' wines hover at the $30 mark. The really good wines are $45 plus. And it is possible to find interesting wines at that under-$15 price, from all over the world. Except Bordeaux, heheh. What do you pay? Canada is even worse.

  4. I have been making ratatouille today too as 50 people are coming to lunch tomorrow to celebrate the 100th birthday of our house (in Copenhagen)....a lot of ratatouille

  5. Yesterday I canned 4 quarts of ratatouille (aka summer in a jar) because there was no way I could use up the vegetables as fast as they're ripening. Plus I added a little fennel root...because it was there!

  6. What do I pay? Well, probably I'd pay a lot more for boutique wines, or top winery wines(like Grange. As if!) but my everyday plonk I buy from a liquor chain and they have regular discounts which make me wonder how the heck they do it!
    eg: yesterday I bought 6 bottles of very drinkable sparkling wines (Chardonnay type)and a Merlot-Cabernet. With the discount I had change from $40.
    When we were in Vancouver it was horrendous! I drank beer most of the time!
    Oh! My local place has Black Chook! That's over $20, but I love the label!
    Sorry to hog your space.

  7. I love that little eggplant. It's so cute! What kind is it? Our eggplants are growing so so slowly.

  8. what a heavenly haul from your rooftop farm! And lovely to see the ladybug. Just today i got an email from my local Audubon Society about "the lost ladybug project." Hope you don't mind if i quote it here? It would be wonderful if you could send your photo along to them! The links don't seem to have copied..the site is

    "Seen a ladybug lately? If so, entomologists at Cornell University's Lost Ladybug Project would like to hear about it--and see it! Turns out three native species (the nine-spotted, the two-spotted, and the transverse ladybug, which has a long stripe instead of a spot on its back) are in serious decline. By uploading photos of found ladybugs, the public can help scientists determine what's going on with these beneficial insects."

  9. Here's a question: how do you remember the wines that you liked from, say, a year ago? Can you find them, or do you just move on?

  10. Thanks Dinahmow...ow reasonable!

    Meems, it was no name brand from Dig nursery...

    Frank - well, sometimes I don't remember and simply go on. But usually I buy a wine I like again and again, till it's regular.


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