GRAND STREET, Brooklyn: Spring is here, and the town is painted yellow. A little stroll through Williamsburg proper revealed these cute plantings outside 101, 163 & 203 Grand Street, respectively.
Archive for March, 2010
NYC: So I saw Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland tonight in 3d, with my fellow flower lover, Leann. As we sipped our Wood Chuck Cider & Blueberry beers, we were carried away to another place. Our seeds are sown and now all we can do is wait and hope our flowers will grow as big as the ones in Alice’s dreams.
This year I planted heirloom Russian Mammoth Sunflowers in the hopes of giant blooms that will grow faces and talk to me as i tend to my vegetables. What’s a girl to do?
Buzz, buzz, breaking news:
HUMBOLDT STREET, Brooklyn: Have been working on tidying up the yard this past weekend. It got really trashed over the winter with fallen branches, the blown away cold frame, and a mischievous and unsupervised young neighbor who had taken to throwing beer bottles, eggs, plates, light bulbs and whatever else he could get his hands on. Yikes.
The soil in the biggest bed was turned and supplemented with the entire garbage can of compost that has been stewing for the past two years. It is gorgeous!
I had big plans to get some seeds in the ground today, but I only had enough day light to plant 4 rows of carrots after everything was cleaned up and prepped. The seeds came from Sprout, from the supplier Seeds of Change. I haven’t grown carrots yet, so we’ll see what happens. It’s important for good carrot shapes that the soil is not too hard or lumpy. You want to easily be able to stick an entire finger in the ground, thinking about how a carrot grows, any resistance will push it to grow in another direction or not at all. Seeds can also be planted every three weeks through the fall for a steady crop. Carrots! Glorious carrots! I can’t wait, and this is just the beginning.
HUMBOLDT ST., Brooklyn: To cope with one of the hardest times of year I caved and bought an orchid. I needed the consistent beauty of the blooms to help me keep on the bright side when the winter has worn me out and the occasional sunny days only leave me more bitter the next day when it’s cold and gray again.
The pink is cheerful and reminds me spring is right around the corner, and outdoor planting can begin as early as next week! In Brooklyn, beets, broccoli, peas, spinach and onion sets can all be planted outdoors. If you have the set up for it, begin indoor seeds of pretty much everything else right now! If only the cold frame hadn’t blown away…
HUMBOLDT STREET, Brooklyn: Woah, it’s March! Time to start getting in to the serious stages of garden planning! And, for some, starting seedlings! Wow!
Since there is snow on the ground ’round these parts, I am still just trying to bake my way to that warmer weather. Here is a super simple bread recipe I adore:
3 cups flour (you can get experimental with the type if you are feeling adventurous)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (I once used 1 tablespoon white sugar + 1 tablespoon vanilla and it was fine)
1 tablespoon baking powder
a shake or two of salt, depending what kind of beer you are using
12 oz. of room temp. beer – any kind!
4 tablespoons butter (smart balance light for the vegans in your life)
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a pan, if you want it to have a bread shape, use a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Otherwise it will just be a mound.
In a large bowl stir together all dry ingredients including sugar. When you add the beer it will foam up a lot, so be ready, add it all at once and start stirring. Here is the thing, you want to stir it as little as possible, about 20 strokes max, or else it will get super heavy. But you don’t want any flour pockets! It should looking something like this:
Throw the lovely lump into the pan and top with chunks-o-butter.
Bake until crusty and knife comes out clean from the center, about 35 – 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes or so, it’s gunna be super hot but you should be really excited to eat it at this point! The smell will be amazing!
Turn the steamy mass out of the pan and serve as soon as possible, while still warm. This bread gets crazy hard as soon as it cools off, so it is best to eat it right away. I ate mine with some local cheese purchased at the Greenpoint Farmers’ Market. Lots of butter is also good. Yum!!