Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fleeting spring, and flowers are flying

Tuesday evening.

What's in the glass? Red chokeberry syrup, gin and fir and fir gin. Shaken up.

One of the garden's garlic crops in the foreground - I planted several late last year, in different microclimates in the vegetable plot (even a few feet this way or that make a mound of difference in terms of sunlight). Safe to say this one was an interesting but technical failure. Tiny bulbs, a little larger than thumb sized, and the greens so peaky I pulled them now. But perfectly formed and very sweet. The others are very robust, thankfully. These cloves were planted from store bought organic garlic bulbs. I have chopped them up finely into our chicken wing supper where they join some ramps - a gift from my Gowanus garden friend, who popped in late this afternoon with a beautiful bunch of milkweed shoots for me.

Friends have been very helpful with forages for my recipe testing. Having wild things arrive at my door has allowed me to save some time as I deal with the mad flood of spring deliciousness that demands to be collected, cleaned, cooked, photographed and written up.

We have wisteria blossoms this year. I pruned the huge, old vine that tops our English ivy fence hard, last year. It still threatens to take over the world. Sweet, scented and edible, I am catching as many as I can to enjoy later in the season (note that the green wisteria 'beans' are poisonous). Then there was the cataract of ramps from our friend Steven Schwartz, proprietor of Delaware Valley Ramps. Pickled, salted, turned into oils and butters, and eaten fresh, too. Lots of processing and preserving happening.

Inbetween this and that, a gravel path has been laid in the garden, lettuces have been planted, fiddlehead tarts have been baked (in Quebec, no less - we flew north briefly for a Canadian mother's birthday), and squirrel varmints have been chastised soundly: the little [... bleeped out...] have eaten every last green fig on my tree. That was the breba crop - no doubt they will do the same with the main crop that appears on new, green growth. I may net it.

Last night the Frenchman and I sat in the garden after landing at La Guardia and sipped drinks in air that said autumn, rather than spring. It is crisp, cool and dry, inbetween torrential rainfalls.

Two more forage walks with picnics happen over the next two weekends, a TV crew comes to visit, and another dozen recipes will be come to light. Spring is good.

And if I am not here, you can find me daily on Instagram, @66squarefeet.



  1. Wow, you are one busy lady, Marie! Can't wait to see the new cookbook!

  2. Busy, indeed! How do you keep it all organized? So, wisteria blossoms are edible? "Who knew?" Will have to do some alley foraging with my clippers soon.
    Is gin made with fir (berries?) sweeter than regular juniper-based gin, do you think?
    Cheers as always, Marie and please keep fitting in the Blog when you can.
    It is SO appreciated.

    Diane at exactly a mile high.


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