lunedì 15 aprile 2013

April Thoughts

The day after Easter, I wrote a post on Facebook that elicited several compliments from my Italian readers.  A few days later I added a second part.  I decided to translate these little writings and share them with you, with some pertinent photos (even though they were taken last summer).

1 April 2013 (Easter Monday)

The first day of the season that I drink espresso outside, on the patio, is for me a very great day of the year.  Bostonian winters are cruel, with METERS of snow and temperatures of which you* have only read, never experienced. There had been a slightly warm day recently,** but I was too busy to have breakfast that morning.  But today!  60 degrees.  Little wind.  Lots of sun — but in the morning the patio is still in the shade, which in the furious heat of summer is like a benediction.  In a few days I will start to put a few little plants, a few seeds.  And every morning, sipping the espresso, I will see a few things — a weed to pull out ... a little plant to move, to give a little more space to its sister ... And so, one morning espresso at a time, the garden will be organized and fragrant.  Notwithstanding the great winter cold, many herbs will return: the oregano, the French tarragon, the sage, the thyme, the mint, the rosemary, the lavander ... The winter savory doesn't die, even under the snow! The basil and the parsley I will start from scratch.  And if the fennel survives, I will have all the Herbes de Provence.  

* = "You" meaning the readers of the Italian version of the post.
** = I consulted my journal.  The day was January 14.  It reached 60, but at night was 28!  Two days later, we awoke to snow.

4 April 2013

Darn, a huge omission: marjoram!  It completes the assortment of Herbes de Provence.  But more importantly, in my kitchen, spaghetti with zucchini, egg, onion, and marjoram is a dish without which I cannot live!  The question remains: will this marjoram come back, like the oregano that resides to its left? Or is it dead, like the basil to its right, which one replants every year?  This basil that I grow here in Boston, I must mention to you, is a marvel.  As extreme as the winter which recently departed, our summer has temperatures like Sicily, with humidity like Berlin.  Horrible summers.  But the basil that they produce!  Tall plants, with thick stalks and dark-green leaves ... No one who has tried my pesto forgets the experience — especially when I substitute the pine nuts with beautiful pistachios!

Photos of the famous patio (2012)

In the background you can see the delicata squash plants.  In the winter of 2012, my wife bought a delicata squash ONCE. The seeds went into the compost. In the spring the compost went into the garden.  And in the summer look what happened! Photo: 9 July 2012
An omelette with this beautiful delicata. (Yes, it's true: in America we eat frittatas even in the morning!) Look at the twigs of marjoram that are lying on top.  How I love the combination of squash and marjoram! Photo: 1 August 2012
A rather substantial brunch! From left to right: dandelion omelette, OJ & red wine, cavatappi with tomato sauce.  Photo: 25 July 2012
From left to right: purple sage, Mr. Toad, winter savory.  Photo: 2 October 2012
French tarragon! The best complement to chicken that exists in the world.  Photo: 2 October 2012

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