Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Catch it while you can


Spring. It's all happening so fast. Very soon, these Virginia bluebells will vanish from the late April woodlands and shady gardens (plant them where you have spring sunshine under tall deciduous trees that create summer shade). Kanzan cherries are about to shed their petals, crabapples have opened, dogwoods are starting. New York is in full bloom.

All that young garlic behind the bluebells on the counter has already been pickled, and the green apricots hiding to the right are now part syrup, part suppertime ingredient (last night they were cooked slowly with lamb, mugwort, pickled magnolia flowers and wedges of potato). The green apricot syrup is just sugar with an equal weight of apricots - their juices are drawn out slowly by the sugar and then ferment. A spoonful is wonderful stirred into a tall glass of cold sparkling water. Or added to the gin and tonic I sit and sip at six with the Frenchman. 

Or into this yuzu and lemon juice delight, beside my mayoral pick.

It's a year and two months and we have lived on top of one another for the length of a pandemic. And we're still okay. And still look forward to that evening ritual where we sit together and talk about what went on inside our heads all day, and watch birds, and plan outings. As of today we are both double-shot by Moderna. I was very sick after my second dose, he's fine. But being vaccinated against this beast that I never saw coming, and that I vastly underestimated a year ago, seems like a miracle. 

Inbetween, there have been walks, with and without forage picnics (Japanese knotweed and fava bean tartlets, above, on mugwort pastry).

And small but intensely precious escapes to a special spot in the Catskills. 

And there have been dandelions, I don't think I've ever seen as many dandelions. Leave them in your lawn - they are gorgeous. And course you can eat them, nose to tail. I've been including the petals in quiche fillings. Quiche is back. I've decided.


My NYBG Class, 27 May 2021


  1. For the very first time I made fried dandelion. Pick off the newly opened heads (of course making sure they haven't been sprayed in any way). Dip them in your favorite tempura batter and gently fry until crisp. They are delicious.
    I'm honestly not a fan of the leaves, a little too bitter for my taste, but the blossoms are quite yummy. Of course just about anything deep fried is yummy LOL

    1. I love everything about dandelions, I admit. The greens, the flower stems, the earliest spring rosettes. I do like bitter, though. If you blanch the leaves you'll find that bitterness disappears, btw. Your fritters sound delicious.

    2. I ask before I advise. Would you like an explanation why you reacted?

    3. Antares, what do you mean?

    4. Your immune reaction to the second dose.normal.

    5. Ah! (I thought you were commenting on dandelions.) Yes, I realize. Thank you!

  2. So glad you're both vaccinated - it truly does seem like a re-birth! We still mask up most of the time, but just knowing that one is almost totally safe is so wonderful after this long year of our discontent. I've even hopping a train to DC for a day in June. Can hardly wait!


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