Archive for July, 2010

July 22nd, 2010


Summer's Bounty!

Otherwise known as YUM.  This is when all of that hard work* pays off.  In tomatoes, which to New Yorkers in the summer are like squishy red cash**.   And I get to go to my bedroom window, throw up the sash and just pick them.  So cool.  Time for eating tomatoes fresh off the vine or in one of thousands of delicious tomato based recipes.   I’ll include my favorite below – In fact this is what I had for lunch today, and yesterday, and the day before that.


3 Tomatoes

2 pinches NaCl (kosher/fleur de sel)


serves 1, prep time: 2 minutes

Pick 3 tomatoes.  Core and slice tomatoes, then arrange flat on plate.  Sprinkle tomatoes with salt.  Eat with your fingers while standing over the sink.   Gloat about fabulous tomatoes.

Wonder if Gwyneth would post that one on Goop?  Still, it’s a killer recipe and its guaranteed not to heat up your kitchen.  Plus, it’s very rich in lycopene and all kinds of other good stuff.

Anyway, lets look at some more tomatoes.

All in a day's work

These are the tomatoes that used to be on the vines at the beginning of the post.  The littlest ones are Black Plums from that plant I bought at the farmer’s market in May.  They’re good but with a little less sweetness than the others, although they hold up to cooking very well indeed, and may be better in a sauce – none of them have made it that far yet, though.  The others a mix of patio tomatoes and early girls, and to be honest I cannot tell them apart at all, either by eating or by looking.  I mean the plants look really different, but the tomatoes?  Not exactly full of distinguishing characteristics.  Red, roundish, about 2.5 inches in diameter, little green hat.  I’m just saying that it would be hard to pick one out of a line-up.  But delicious just the same.  Bon Appétit!  (apparently channeling Julia Child today.  worrisome.)

* Ha! Okay, what I really mean is patience.  I mean, except for watering every day and fertilizing every other week, this took maybe 1 day to do.  Oh, except for that time I had to go to New Jersey to buy 25 lbs of manure.  People in your building do look at you a bit differently after that elevator ride.  Good times…

**This is so untrue that I fear charges of criminal insanity.  But also, some tomatoes are $6/lb at the farmer’s market.  So who’s crazy now?

July 20th, 2010

Going Green

Imagine you have limited space, but you want a garden. Now imagine you have really limited space and are a hotel in an extremely congested urban area where square footage is expen$ive (look if whoever Ke$ha is can do it, so can I)… What else can you do but go vertical? And I’m not talking hanging gardens here, I’m talking *X-TREME* gardening.  <Insert flashy lights and reality show music here>

Why, yes, it was a foggy day in London town.  Took this between rain showers.

That’s right, the garden here is growing in the walls. This is the Athenaeum Hotel in London and they have embraced going green to the extent that the whole facade of the (lovely) building is covered in plants.  They grow in small cups or slats that are part of the wall’s surface and are fed by tiny mice carrying thimbles of water*.   Anyway, Patrick Blanc, who is tops in my book, created this and it’s pretty fabulous.

I’m pretty sure that practicality is not the name of the game here, but wouldn’t it be nice if this was your wallpaper?

And isn't it pretty?

*Wait, sorry, not a Beatrix Potter story.  They’re actually watered by a really sophisicated irragation/hydroponics system