Thursday, June 30, 2011

Even Newer 'Ticles

Excuse the lack of posts -- I'm in the process of building a website and am still deciding how best to integrate the blog. In the meantime, here's a story I just did for Splashlife about bitter melon, and here's one from the Globe about Gary Nabhan, hero of chiles and runoff everywhere.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New 'Ticles

Cuban food, burrata, wild edibles and bitter melon have been the subjects of my latest stories in the Globe. See here for links and let me know if you can think up a dish that combines all four subjects:

Cuban classics that feel like home

Burrata requires a master to make it in Vermont

Berkshires’ farm and forage fete

Cultivating a fan club for bitter melon

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Fig Pride, or Higo Ego

I am thrilled to report that my fig tree shows signs of bearing its first fruit.

I'd wanted one ever since reading about a fig farmer in Edible Pioneer Valley, and I finally found a sapling at the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange, MA last fall (the only time you want garlic in orange). My friend Ari also bought one, which he took back to Brighton. He named his Aaron, I named mine Ari. It was very confusing any time we shared updates, such as an email I received yesterday that said "Aaron has yet to fruit but he's looking healthy and more leaves are still sprouting. I gave him some ash from our fireplace as fertilizer and he seemed to like it."

Of course figs aren't native, nor are they frost hardy, so Ari and Aaron spent the winter indoors and only recently ventured outside. Apparently the farmer does the same thing on a larger scale with all of his trees, probably making his one of the world's few container orchards.

I brought Ari inside last night when the mercury threatened to dip into the low forties (just days after it had been nearly 90), and that's when I noticed the little, green immature fruits. Since that discovery it's taken all of my self control to not check on them every five minutes. Hang on... nope, not ready to be soaked in brandy yet.

Of course they may not make it to maturity, but if they do, I'll be eating fresh, locally grown Mediterranean fruit that spent most of the year in my living room. If it works I may just have to start my own container orchard.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

On Kurdistan

The Good Doctor Jon Dworkin, one of my best friends, just returned from Kurdistan, and is writing a three part blog series about his experience for Kevin Drum over at Mother Jones. He writes:

"'Basis of life is sleep, sex, nutrition. I am nutrition.' That’s what the cook said, and then he handed me a meatball."

For the rest, see

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