Window Garden 2014

IMG_0129Our CSA has almost begun! And we are so ready to have farm veggies coming out of our ears. But in the meantime, our NYC window garden has given us a hearty head start in the veggie and herb department.

IMG_0135Below is a list of treats in our garden and plans for what to do with them. We are very proud to be growing:

  • Mesclun – For Big Potluck Salads
  • Mustard Greens – Cooked with Garlic, or Raw in a Salad
  • Sweet Peppers – Baked Stuffed Red Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes, Feta and Thyme (recipe courtesy of Martha)
  • Eggplant – Being asked to choose one eggplant dish is like being asked to choose between your children… am I right, Sophie?
  • Cherry Tomatoes – With which we will do any of these fabulous 10 Things
  • Parsley – Say, in an [Oh, My] Goddess Dressing?
  • Chives – In everything. (And also Cheddar-Chive Biscuits on the occasional adventurous Sunday)
  • ScallionsPeanut Noodles
  • ThymeRoasted Potatoes with Olive Oil and Thyme
  • Sage – Butternut Squash with Sage Oil
  • Basil Vegan Pesto
  • Lavender – Lavender Honey Ice Cream, and Teas
  • The Lemon Tree – Which somehow remains still alive to this day and with which we will enjoy Lavender-Lemon Infused Gin
  • Some Flowers – Mostly for joy
  • And a cat named Rufus Waddlesworth

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While the season has just begun, the leaves in our windows are just a harbinger of the harvest to come.

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Emergency Rations

As you may (or may not) have guessed from the complete lack of posts recently, things have been hectic.  The consequences of this stretch of mayhem are as follows: our regular writer’s fingers are officially tapped, so this post will be brought to you by the “ever supportive husband”; some posts in the next series may look like they happened weeks ago, and they did; cooking has been hard, and the time spent in the kitchen has been total utility; and we have accumulated a giant pile of food that needs to get used, stat.

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Since we both got a glorious work free night, which happened to coincide with our share pickup, we decided to take care of this food pile all at once by making a couple of soups and sauces and freezing everything.  The one night cooking marathon included:

  • Cucumber-melon soup
  • Summer squash soup
  • Tomato sauce
  • Zucchini and cherry tomato frittata with mashed potatoes (dinner)

We’ll post updates on the rest of the things soon, but here is the recipe for the squash soup:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Pattypan Squash (commonly known as Flying Saucer Squash)
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Ginger (powdered)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • Salt and Pepper

Start by toasting the cumin a little, then add the olive oil, garlic and onion.  Sauté until the onions are translucent and then add the curry and ginger.  Add the squash and cook until softened.  Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree (an immersion blender really comes in handy here).  Adjust seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.

This was really pretty simple to do, and since we had an ingredient surplus we were able to freeze enough for a few meals.  The next time the blog goes silent, you can bet we’ve hunkered down and are breaking into our new emergency stockpile.

Tomato Season!

Lest we should ever forget Annette Bening’s famous Kids Are All Right rant about heirloom tomatoes: “I just can’t.  With fucking hemp milk and the organic farming and if I hear one more person say they love heirloom tomatoes, I’m going to fucking kill myself, okay? And did you know that we’re composting now? Oh yeah. Oh no, don’t throw that in the trash. You have to put it in the composting bin where all of the beautiful worms will turn it into this organic mulch and then we’ll all feel good about ourselves.”

Well, sorry Annette. I flipping love heirloom tomatoes. (And you.)

It is officially tomato season! And what better way to start the celebration off then by visiting the farmer’s market and surveying the lumpy, bumpy, freaky-deakies and bringing them on a picnic with us for lunch?

Tomato Picnic Lunch

Paired with Humboldt Fog cheese, a scrumptious rye, and some mesclun with balsamic, tomato has never shone so bright.

Heirloom Tomato Insides

And in related news, our own window garden granted us our very first ripe cherry tomato this week! It’s of the less-bumpy variety, but just as juicy and just as quirky. Next year, we’ll give heirlooms a try.

(You’ll live, Annette.)

Windowsill Growings-Ons

We’ve made some mentions lately of goodies from our garden being thrown in our meals, like scallions in our peanut noodles and chives in our eggs, et cetera, but it’s been a while since we’ve given a progress report on our window garden’s goings-ons.

Our cherry tomato plants we were so dubious about are actual tomatoes… or tomatoes of the not-red-yet variety.  They’re cramped and could definitely be happier – drought not helping – but they’re fruiting, so I, for one, have big plans for their future.

Cherry Tomato Plant

Cherry Tomato Plant

We have added zucchini to our plot, knowing that it tends to grow copiously. And copious it has been! The zucchini greenery has spread like mad, and we now have little zuchi flowers a-bloomin’!

Zucchini Flowers

I’ve heard rumors you can cook with the flowers, but haven’t heard of any appealing recipes. Would be delighted by contributions.

And a certain someone demanded we have a lemon tree. I have no clue on earth how a lemon tree will survive in our apartment come winter, but I assume we’ll find out. And it must be going well enough as little buzzy bees have been visiting our windowsill!

Lemon Tree BeesAnd as our last addition, we grew some berries! They’ve quickly gotten squiggly with the heatwave we’ve been suffering, but when we get to them in time they’ve been a stupendous treat.

Strawberry Plant

In less good news, our spinach totally kicked the bucket. It was a comic failure. As were our mustard greens. And our mint has on days and off days. But I’m taking the optimistic view that for our first window garden ever, things are going in our favor.