UH-OH. MY HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS (a.k.a. pumpkins) are frozen solid to the front steps, and at the next thaw will become orangey puddles, I suspect. Christmas lights? Similarly a bit behind schedule—and I haven’t even pondered any holiday shopping. But I saw that my crafty gardening friend Gayla Trail had once again outshone me with a roundup of homemade gift ideas, including lavender-laced caramels, herbed salts, bath “tea bags” and more. She visited with me on this week’s radio show to give us the details (including a chance to win one of the fun garden T-shirts she designed). [read more…]
How to grow herbs and create an herb garden, including planting, harvesting and curing garlic. And: Which oregano is best; how to grow and preserve a year of parsley, basil and other green herbs. All these and more herb gardening topics to browse.
HAIL HAMMERED MY GARDEN in late May, and among the casualties: much of my garlic crop. Yes, even the narrow, strappy leaves of my favorite Allium were slashed to ribbons, with many plants hit squarely and decapitated altogether. About half of my 75 ‘German Extra Hardy’ plants failed to make the big, fat bulbs I have been growing for more than a decade. While I gradually build my stock back up, the loss presents an opportunity to try new varieties, both of which I’m planting this week, like this: [read more…]
THE ADVENTURE IN Mollie Katzen’s “The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation,” begins even before the first recipe page. It starts in the delicious, intimate endpapers—which came from illustrated journals that the author has been keeping since she was a teenager, which were also the origin of her beloved, bestselling “Moosewood Cookbook.” The musings (that’s one in the photo above), in drawings and hand-lettered words, speak to how Mollie—a keen gardener, and the guest on my latest radio show—approaches food today. Learn how she suggests we re-define “vegetarian;” how she “paints [her] rice,” and makes her simplest, most delicious tomato sauce. And maybe win her newest book, too. [read more…]
I CALL IT ‘TOMATO JUNK,’ and it’s my last-dash, mad-stash remedy for everything that’s still edible in the garden when frost threatens, or when I’m just too tired to keep at it, and ready to pull it all. I talked about Tomato Junk today with Amy Eddings of NPR’s New York City affiliate, WNYC (listen in now!)–about how to transform the final, precious hauls from garden or farmer’s market into colorful bricks of frozen goodness. Use it in the offseason as a base for soups (such as minestrone); chili; stews, or in any other recipe that calls for the usual can of tomatoes, assorted vegetables and water. I’ve even made curries and an improvised tikka masala-style dish with Tomato Junk as the starter. Like this: [read more…]