Friday, September 29, 2017

Close Enough

The longer I live in town, the more I appreciate native plants. The Great Big Hiking Co-op's urban forest is an island of tranquility in the middle of the South Lake Union boomtown. The Burke Museum on the UW campus has a teaching garden of native varieties.

A few imported plants resemble natives closely enough to suit my purposes on this small lot. Rhubarb, the species Japanese anemone, Shasta daisy "Alaska", carrots gone to seed, leggy boxwood in deep shade all suggest local woods without requiring feats of acquisition -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Edible Hand Warmer

The Geeks's Favorite grocery chain sells bags of unusually small organic baking potatoes that have become a favorite convenience food. I bake half a dozen at a time. One is just the right size to accompany a piece of grilled meat, and the leftovers have many uses.

Refrigerated, a small just-barely baked potato is easy to cut up and turn into potato salad. Cut up and fried in a generous slosh of olive oil, the potato makes a delicious junk-food quality addition to breakfast or left-overs. The rare remainder is even tastier used as a crouton on green salad.

Preliminary baking amplifies the flavor of the tuber. Sprouters go to live in the compost heap -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


A tussie mussie is a small bouquet of flowers. I learned to compose one as a gift from the garden when going to visit a friend or for a guest who is leaving. A tussie mussie has the stems trimmed evenly and is bound with a long stem of grass or a ribbon for special occasions.

English designer David Hicks, who wrote the book on Sixties interior design, recommended gathering flowers in one hand, cutting and adding at will, composing as one goes, and then simply setting it into a container. He cites a jam jar as a suitable vessel. Hicks is master of the casual. 

A dear friend stopped by recently for a cup of tea and a brief discussion of her sudden bereavement. I asked my partner to make up some flowers before he left on an errand, and I found a disposable coffee cup sitting on the table with a spectacular zucchini blossom and auxiliary greenery anchored in crisscross holes in the plastic lid. The tussie mussie was intended to fit into the cup holder of my friend's car. With irresistible wit and charm, Anna called yesterday to ask if she could come by for a refill -30-

More after the jump.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Rational Wedding

An acquaintance mentioned that her daughter simply ordered two promising short lace dresses by mail, returned one, and boarded a plane to the distant state where her fiancee's elders lived, too frail to travel. The rest of the details were equally straightforward. I applaud her priorities -30-
More after the jump.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Write On

A friend who is rigorously educated in the mysteries of commercial food production sharpened my focus on food safety. She pointed out that commercial packaging has medical-quality sanitation embedded in it.

I love freshly prepared food and chose a small refrigerator to reduce waste. A few years ago I ran across easy-peel date and content labels at a local food wholesaler. I bought a few but couldn't rationalize their price. The other day I realized I can label the rim of the plastic lid of a stacking glass storage tray using a dry-erase marker. A label slashes browsing time spent with the door of the refrigerator wide open -30-
More after the jump.