Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Inbetween steady rains the weather has been beautiful after two freak days days of bewildering heat at the end of last week. We have been eating supper outside. The garden is growing, fast. The first mosquitoes have appeared. By late summer last year they were a scourge. Plague like. Someone, somewhere nearby, must have some nice standing water for them. Or maybe they breed in the sewers. But they are a primordial reminder that we are not really in charge.

The supper above was Sunday's - lamb burgers, by special Frenchman request (still in the oven, so not pictured). That's what the mustard is for. Please note the ketchup in disguise in a little white dish. Also Aleppo pepper (RIP, Aleppo). Inside the lamb burgers, as a middle bite surprise, was a morsel of salted, dried ramp leaves, delicious beyond speech. Yes, the method will be in the new book. Dessert of organic strawberries drizzled with a very good balsamic that I bought at the butcher, just before they closed. We had just driven in from a beautiful day out on Staten Island and the line at the butcher was out the door. Everyone wanted lamb burgers, apparently.

Change of subject: There are a few spots left on Sunday's walk in the peaceful forest of Inwood Hill Park. Come and forest bathe and learn about plants and share a picnic with other enquiring minds. I am not sure what the snacks will be, yet, but I can guarantee happy quail eggs with ground elder dipping salt. I'm picking up the eggs tomorrow at Union Square Market.



  1. It's hard to remember the barren plot of dirt that used to be in that spot. I hope the landlord understands the gift you have provided to his property!

  2. Looks so lush. What a lovely refuge. Nice to see how your garden is coming along. Ground elder grows like mad here, going to have to try that dipping salt x

  3. Mosquitoes!you are not so far from the sea I think. You may want to have geraniums and basil. In pots. They act as repellents. Why not hang them along your left fence, high enough to stop the beasts. You may also consider introducing swallows, swifts, and bats in your neighbourhood

    1. I'd LOVE more bats. I'd pay the bats per skeeter. Luckily, we have a small posse of chimney swifts who dart about in the early evenings. The basil thing is a bit of myth - I have hedges of basil. They do need standing water of breeding, though - the sea is not really a factor.

  4. I'm wondering if the mayflies are as awful down there as they have been up here? THey are completely brutal this season so far....but we haven't seen too many mosquitos as of yet. I always saw a pair of bats at dusk and I was so grateful for them, but I haven't seen them yet this season. I'm hoping we have just missed each other and they haven't moved on. Your garden looks wonderful, as always! My veggies go in this weekend, can't wait. The seedlings are hardening off outside all week, hopefully they are strong enough to plant out now.


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