Sunday, July 10, 2022

Saturday in the city

Summer Saturdays have a rhythm. Well, one of two: One - much faster - would be a plant walk with last-minute picnic prep. But on Saturdays when I am free, they begin with a coffee on the terrace, where I sit and look at plants. Then it's a bicycle ride to the farmers market at Grand Army Plaza. I fill my basket with more plants (the edible sort), and come home. Stash everything. Escape to a park (to see plants) with the Frenchman, and come home to think about supper, which will be informed by whatever the market yielded. (Yesterday we came home a little faster than usual because our chosen park on Staten Island was swarmed by lanternfly nymphs. It was also parched.)

Warm-evening drinks are tall and cool. This one is perfumed by candied yuzu, made late last year with the few fruit from my tree, and fresh Meyer lemon. An ounce of mezcal, a lot of tonic water, and a splash of gingerbeer (both Fever Tree). Smoky, citrussy, bittersweet.

The terrace lights come on. All the Silk Road lilies are now open. I light a fire to grill the first ears of corn we have eaten this year.

Indoors, the rest of supper is cooking. A market curry, with a base of ginger and green garlic, coconut milk, and a dash of fish sauce. To which I add a flock of tender summer squash, and dried daylily flowers (read all about those in Forage, Harvest, Feast - A Wild-Inspired Cuisine). The dried flowers plump up and become silky, thickening the gravy. I squeeze in some lemon juice and stir it in with a pinch of sugar. Just before we eat, I will add a bouquet of squash blossoms. It's a riff on my zucchini and daylily curry recipe.

It has been very dry for the last few weeks, and I worry about this summer's rain-reliant crops. Will the corn stay plump enough? Our corn fixings include (to be added in this order): butter, curry powder, Aleppo pepper, lemon for squeezing, and microplaned parmesan. As exceptionally odd as that all sounds, it works.

No, I don't eat corn with a fork. I used it for scooping cheese!

As we eat a gang of herons flies above us, high, and north. I have never seen herons in a gang. Are they dry, too? I think drought is coming.

The Chicago glasses. Bought many years ago at a thrift store in that city.

By now it is almost dark, and the curry has arrived, the squash silky and soft, the sauce reduced, the blossoms wilted across the top. We use forks and spoons, to scoop up the last drops.

After supper, I pickle the baby cucumbers that have been sitting in salt in the fridge (this makes them crisp). And eat many of the apricots I was supposed to jam. They are so sweet. I am lucky: The same seller (Williams Fruit Farms) will be at our corner greenmarket on Sunday. I can re-stock.



  1. What wouldn't I give for a good apricot? Here, always mushy and flat tasting.

  2. Corn dressed so extravagantly would make a meal!

    (I don't know why, but some Blogger sites, like yours, will not let me comment with either my WordPress URL OR my Google account.)

    Gretchen Joanna

    1. It's a very good meal, yes! Apologies about the posting issues - that is frustrating.


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