Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A Taste of Procrastination

Japanese knotweed quick pickles, April

Back in Brooklyn from Cape Town, I am catching up on a lot of delayed freelance work (for Martha Stewart Living, mostly, and soon again for Gardenista), but there is another task that is long overdue: downloading and sorting about 3,500 images I shot last year. I know. It's something I should have set time aside for daily, but I didn't. Kyk hoe lyk jy nou, my father would say. Up that creek with a teaspoon for a paddle.

Feral asparagus, foraged in New York City

They are pictures of plants and food and foraging and gardening and animals and birds and seasons and flowers and tested recipes and food adventures and just of our lives, lived. All of them are potentially useful, some are an essential record, and all are still - dating back to about April 2021 - residing only my memory cards. That is terrible, and very insecure (should something happen to the cards). And very stupid. No back up. 

Peonies in the kitchen

So every day I bite off a chunk, for just one hour. It will get done. It helps that it is frigid January and that I am not adding - at least not wildly - to their numbers. Although I did just photograph my lunch. And breakfast. And the birds on the terrace. Oh dear.

The pictures here are just a fraction of images I looked at yesterday, and which made me smile to remember. 

This topping for pan-seared chicken breasts. Tell me I wrote it down. I know it's dandelion stems and anchovy. Plus a ton of caramelized garlic? Almost certainly lemon juice. I have a digital folder for the recipes I create. It's just called New Recipes, with sub-folders from 2017 to 2022, with recipes sorted by main - usually wild - ingredient, and almost always the name of a plant, or a mushroom. 2020's folder goes from Apples to Woodears. There's no dandelion folder. What is wrong with me? I almost always improvise when I cook and often something is so good and so simple that I'll think, Well, that was easy. I'll never forget that.


These were crisp vegetables that I had been lacto-fermenting for months. They became sweetly sour and kept their crunch. I piled them all onto a plate one warm May night with coriander and arugula flowers from our terrace, and added creamy burrata and olive oil, and dusted it all with pinches of cayenne. It was improbable, and delicious.

June Supper

And now I have an hour of photos to sort. If I want to escape for my walk before the 4.50pm sun sets.


1 comment:

  1. Procrastination, I know it well. I worked in IT for nearly 30 years and I still lost a ton of travel photos because I didn't...wait for it....back-up my PC. :-(


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