Ten Food Projects For The Lockdown

Call it “lockdown”, “Isolation”, “Self-Quarantine” or whatever else the fact is just about everyone is home right now with quite a bit of free time. Those with families are now coping with a lot of mouths to feed more frequently and a dwindling supply of recipes to keep them happy.

Although I am not among those bunkering down I do have a few suggestions for anyone looking to start a new kitchen-related project and I also know quite a few industry folk who are using this time to hone their skills while hey wait for the food service world to start spinning again.

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Heirloomin 1I’m a bad gardener. I know this about myself and have accepted it. But once a year, amidst mountains of bolted, fibrous rejects destined for the compost I get something really right; one vegetable or another fights through my tortuously under-watered and over-acidic wasteland of topsoil and emerges to prove that yes, I can successfully grow something. These precious few successes are what keep me coming back to break the soil every year. Read More

Gone To Seed

Gone To Seed1Still alive I am.
At the end of a long dream.
On my journey,
fall of an Autumn day.

          Matsuo Bashō, The records of a weather-exposed skeleton (1684)

I sit in my living room, coffee in hand with the fire from the wood stove sputtering and popping behind me, toasty and content, while outside my austere little zen garden shivers and rots in the autumn frost…  It’s all gone to seed. Read More

Radishes Gone Wild!

RadishPod1Seeds are incredible things. They can lay dormant for eons in the most inhospitable soil, waiting for environmental equilibrium and then for no rhyme or reason (perceptible to us big, lumbering bipedal mammals) it will hit that perfect balance of this or that and go Boom! And a living thing will spurt up out of the scrub and welcome the new day. It’s crazy stuff.

The same thing happens once the seed grows into a big, strong, adult, taxpaying plant. The sun and soil send those mysterious vibrations through the ether and the plant goes nuts. Shazam! It sloughs off it’s fruit and abandons any plans to expand it’s meticulously constructed root system and instead builds up and up, higher and higher until it towers above the garden. There, swaying crazily in the breeze it covers itself in flowers and (with a bit of luck) will score some pollination and grow tiny triffid-like capsules meant for the future.

It’s the plant equivalent of leaving a steady job and family and just trucking out to burning man. It’s plants gone wild! And, I’m sorry to report… It’s what most of my garden looks like right now. Read More