Tuesday, June 25, 2019

City summer


The first muggy days have arrived in Brooklyn. We have supper on the terrace, and are entertained - soon after 8pm - by the fireflies, who first appeared on the 24th. We wondered if we would see them from this terrace, and are very happy that we do. The gardens below - ranging from indifferent, to lovely,  to barren - are mostly empty of people but are flashing with those little swooping lights.

We have central air, now, which seems very luxurious after 1st Place, where we couldn't even squeeze a wall unit into the windows because of their - thankfully very pretty - wrought iron burglar bars. But turning on the oven still seems a crime, so suppers are increasingly salad-like, or we braai. I did cheat tonight and baked a clafoutis with some wonderful cherries.

Those skylights on the big roof across from us are mysterious. They are all covered by cloths. Sometimes a strong wind whips one away and then men come up to attach new ones. We can only assume that the building below becomes very hot and that the extra sunlight doesn't help. We see no roof units for air conditioning, even though there is a huge fan or machine that roars all day - possibly extraction for the laundry business below. It is a rare remnant of industria in a residential neighborhood. An episode of The Sopranos (I am only watching it now!) suddenly tuned me in to the fact it is mafia-founded and owned, or at least owned now by the sons of mafia. The long green wall of Boston ivy on the southern wall must help with cooling. This vilified climber deserves more respect for its ability to lower building temperatures (and it is beautiful - like a thick green pelt). It is embraced in Europe and herbicided, here.

Once, we saw a raccoon trundle across that roof in the moonlight.

I have a new botanical walk schedule up - you'll find it on my Forage Walks and Talks page. The next one is this Sunday in nearby historic Green-Wood Cemetery, where the gorgeous trees should help to cool us (You can read about it in the August chapter of my first book, 66 Square Feet- A Delicious Life).

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Serviceberries this Saturday



One of the best things about New York in June is serviceberries. Juneberries. Saskatoon. Shad. Mespilus (if you are European). Amelanchier, if you know the botanical name.

The local Brooklyn serviceberries are delicious. I know, because I have eaten them (nearly) all. But I left some for you.

Come and meet them this Saturday on a Scents and Serviceberries walk (book via PayPal below). Our picnic will feature, well, yes: Serviceberries.

We will identify many other edible plants too, and some of them smell very good. Really. Pineapple weed. Common milkweed. Not to mention the wild greens.


Serviceberries freeze very well, which is how I come to make serviceberry ice cream out of season, with an equally freezable compĂ´te of beach plums (which ripen at the very end of summer). Two delicious North American fruits, happy together.

Lots (and lots) of recipes in Forage Harvest Feast - A Wild-Inspired Cuisine.

Or just come and eat some of them this Saturday. I will do the work for you.


WALK COMPLETE
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