Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yard Update: June 2010

So...a month later, the yard looks much more lush in green. Thanks to cleome (pink & white flowers) and orange mint, the garbage can is now invisible beneath the thick green curtain. The hostas are about to flower (foreground). Lettuce plants in the green planter (mid-right) are providing enough young leaves for a sandwich everyday.

Some of the early tomato plants are getting bigger! Next to the tomato pot, sunflowers are totally loving this spot where strong sunshine is abundant.

Closer look at the cleome flowers: in between you can see the deep purple cluster of lavender flowers as well. Orange mint is really going strong - almost too strong - so I cut back quite often. Then I let the bruised leaves infuse the water, mix in some lime juice and bit of sugar. Very refreshing.

So far, so good. It's easier to control the weeds this year because the allotted area is significantly small. Yeah, that was a good plan.

Ku Cake

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To The Dad...

Mother's Day gets all the attention...

Ku Cake

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rooftop Farm!

A few Sundays ago I participated in the free composting seminar held at the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm. I heard about this place a while ago, and ever since I have been very curious. So it was a great reason to finally check out this operation.

I used to get invited to watch the rooftop viewing of glorious July 4th Fireworks up close when this building was an AIR. Now it is a converted shooting studio and full-fledged, albeit small scale, farm overlooking the East River on top. Somehow it feels fitting; to see the rows of growing vegetables against the Manhattan skyline evokes comfort and strange satisfaction.

Yes, chickens live there, too!

Plenty of practical information was given at this seminar. Now I'm ready to fill my compost bin in the yard! Sounds like I can put almost anything from the kitchen and the yard: fruits & vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds & filters (great!!!), seaweed (wha...???), and food-soiled paper towels & napkins (good news because these cannot be put out to recycling in NYC), dead leaves, pine needles, etc. Technically grains, cereals, breads are OK to compost too, but probably wise not to because these foods attract unwanted attention from certain small creatures. Well then I can feed them to the sparrows, blue jays and cardinals instead.

Now, let the compost begin!

Ku Cake

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Faux Gras

Ok, ok, I have to admit it's not the greatest pun... Well, the point is: I love monkfish livers! I consider them as "foie gras" of the sea.

In Japanese restaurants you may encounter them as "ankimo", often steamed and with grated daikon radish and dipping sauce. But my favorite way of cooking this rich, sweet liver is to quickly pan fry it (dredged in thin layer of flour) and marinate a la escabeche, in hot & sweet soy sauce vinaigrette - nanban style.

Its flavor is thick, almost sea urchin like briny sweet mousse, so a few pieces goes a long way. Not metallic or bitter at all; the characteristic sometimes associated with the liver from other species. This dish came together as I sometimes get the illogical craving for spaghetti. So I simply combined the said marinated monkfish liver and broiled squids. For the green, because you need some greens in your lunch, I sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic and hot pepper flake. A pickled ramp bulb completes the ensemble.

Ku Cake

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kitten Dilemma

Look at this cute kitten! Just look at it!

Well, we spotted it (not sure if it's a boy or a girl) in the backyard with its nursing mother on Friday morning. Then it got us terribly worried: The mother disappears hours at a time, leaving the baby by itself. The internet tells me the baby should be fed every few hours at this stage (we're guessing, about 3 weeks old). What should we do? Intervene? Leave it alone as the nature takes its course?

There are numerous cats roaming our neighborhood. Some are house cats allowed to spend time outdoors. Others are feral, fending off on their own. This kitten's mother is clearly the latter. That means this little one will follow her pawsteps and grows to become another feral cat, procreating the offspring at will. But if it's given the proper food, shots, necessary surgery and home, we think it may live a long and considerably happy life. Or is it just our arrogance to think that...?

Well, right now we're leaving it alone. It's probably better to have the mother nurse it until it can eat the solid food and learn about the certain facts of life. But the situation is closely monitored. And we're ready to step in when necessary.

Our weekend was totally ruined! Total distraction! Oh well...(but we didn't mind.)

Ku Cake