Sunday, September 9, 2018

Plants + Picnic + Friends = Detox

This was Saturday's satisfying end to a very good day. Stunned silence from regular audience...sound of crickets...she had a good day? Well, it's been a spectacularly shitty year, but sometimes the sun shines (even though it was totally overcast). Also, it was over 20 degrees cooler and the humidity lifted.

The planned forage walk at Dead Horse Bay was a lot of fun, with great people, and the plants were lush. Lots of impeccably sour winged sumac (Rhus copallina) to collect.

The figs above were a gift from Diane, who attends my walks often - they are from her mother's old tree, and they are delicious, with sour following sweet, a complexity that a Mission fig cannot deliver. The mouse melons were also from her and will go bobbing in a cucumber Martini this evening. Not pictured is the jar of delicious sansho miso, given to me by Kiyoko, another regular attendee who is endlessly curious and always gives me inspiring homemade Japanese tidbits to try. She is responsible for the prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum) chapter in Forage, Harvest, Feast. Sansho is its East Asian cousin, Zanthoxylum piperatum, and known better Stateside as Sichuan pepper. (For our supper I cooked a single thick steak, and while it was resting smeared the miso over it. It was incredible.)

The cocktail above used up some of the quick beach plum and bayberry sauce I made for the picnic - there was some left over. Blended it with gin and a bracing October vermouth made last year in Cape Town. Really good.

Humans and how they behave make all the difference. For the really bad behavior this year there has been more than its balance in utter, disinterested, genuine generosity that we have both experienced. It is humbling.

Just keep on getting up in the morning. The weather will change.


  1. Hope your house hunt is going well, Marie.

  2. Yes, you have both been on my mind...wondering about the house hunting. The change in weather has been abrupt here in Vermont, and I feel like myself again, not being a summer person at all. Beets, carrots, onions stashed in the root cellar. Garlic still drying in the woodshed. A raccoon got our first ever corn. Squash and pumpkins are curing on the porch. Raspberry cordial, percolating in a glass jar in the cellar. Harvesting and dyeing with the indigo. Relishing/mourning the chaos in Washington. Trying to stay in the present moment whenever I can. Sending you very best wishes for a successful search. Fingers crossed. xo

  3. Sounds lovely and I'm sure was a most excellent way to enjoy the day...

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  5. Still funny, even when you're content.


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