Tuesday, July 19, 2011

brooklyn botanical garden

On my day off today, I decided to go up to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (after all, it is free on Tuesdays.  How could I not?)  Little did I know I was about to enter the most beautiful garden I'd ever seen.  Rock gardens, fragrance gardens, rose gardens, edible gardens - I was in heaven.  The whole place smelled like life.

 Entrance to the rose garden
 I stood in the way of the sprinkler to take this one.  It felt amazing!
 The herb and vegetable garden.  I wanted to eat the lettuces straight out of the dirt!
 Purple and Thai basil

Since I've been on an interest-in-gardening kick lately, I stopped in the garden shop and randomly selected a seed packet.  Turns out I made a lucky guess (Runway Arugula, by Renee's Garden) because arugula is a very sturdy plant, grows easily indoors (hello winter food in my house fall quarter!) and grows rather quickly.  Sounds perfect!  Additionally, I have always loved botanical drawings (the types you see in textbooks) and that was exactly what adorned the seed packet.  I can't wait to grow this.

The "Runway" variety has a more jagged leaf but same classic, peppery flavor.  I love it!
Some drawings I love

After my excursion at the garden, I went down to Barnes and Noble to look for a gardening book I've wanted (Grow Great Grub, for apartment gardening) but after much deliberation decided to wait until I actually had a more concrete idea of where I would be doing this.  As usual, I wandered over to the cookbook section and saw a few things I've wanted for a while.  Then a light yellow book caught my eye, "The Art of Simple Food" by Alice Waters.  I flipped through it and realized it was a compendium of lessons, notes, and recipes (more like a culinary course), and it occurred to me that while I do lots of cooking, all my recipes are pulled from multiple sources and I've never had one big book of everything to actually teach me the basics of the culinary arts, like baking bread, making the perfect rue (which after a week ago I finally learned - mine turned out more like mashed potatoes, and was rather scary - to use a T of butter and a T of flour per cup of milk).  I deliberated another few minutes until flipping to the inside cover, where I saw this:


I can't wait to pick my future vegetables and herbs and use them in my path to becoming a culinary master.  If you want to learn how to do it, DO IT

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