Posts categorized as Food

Learning, One Bite At A Time

Edible Rockweed can be found right here on the peninsula!

As I mentioned last week, I want to elaborate on a few more edible plants I discovered at Fort Tilden while on a walking tour with naturalist, and Northern Eastern forager expert Wildman Steve Brill.* Barbarea (Wintercress or Yellow Rocket).  We stumbled upon a low growing plant in a rosette formation. Brill directed us to tear a leaf and he asked what flavor it reminds us of. I thought it tasted spicy. Someone blurted out, mustard. “Correct!” Brill said with excitement, “This native edible is an Herbaceous plant (herb or […]

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The Wildman

Wildman Steve Brill ready to sample the bitter Winged Sumac. Make pink lemonade with this plant!

His appearance is what you’d expect: utilitarian. The Wildman is wearing a long-sleeved blue windbreaker and khaki pants with multiple pockets. A strap holds a shovel and an iPad. A safari hat shades his face. His fingernails have already been in the soil.  “Take a quick look at my books and then we’ll get started,” he says. Several cooking and foraging books are laid out on the front window of his dusty car. As the parents get their kids’ jackets zipped and the snacks packed up, the Wildman breaks out […]

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Red Hot Chili Peppers

My column this week isn’t about the 90s funk-rock band out of L.A., rather I’m discussing the spicy, hot fruits that I grew in my garden this year. It started this spring. I must have picked up a cayenne pepper plant by mistake or maybe it was mislabeled, who knows. I didn’t realize I had chili peppers growing in my garden until a few  weeks ago when they began turning red. All along I thought they were stunted shintos! I found cayenne very easy to grow, unlike bell peppers* which […]

Wild About Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms

When my husband and I went upstate a few weeks ago, we stopped at a farm stand on the side of the road. I bought lots of produce, including shiitake mushrooms. Since then, I’ve been pretty obsessed. I like to sauté them in butter with sea salt and pepper, sometimes adding goat cheese. It’s a quick little meal with so much flavor power. The taste is rich, smokey and “meaty”. Interestingly, shiitake contains many of the same amino acids as meat, perhaps that’s why it has a savory flavor. Unlike […]

Tomato Time

Campars, one precious Italian Heirloom and my cat Fivey who just celebrated his 6th birthday!!

This is what I wait for all year: sweet, ripe, explosively delicious homegrown tomatoes! There’s nothing that compares. This season I planted three varieties: Italian Heirloom, Campar, and Burpee Beefsteak. My friend Rob Bryn’s mother, Roberta gave me the beefsteak. They’re doing the best. The plants are three feet tall and the huge tomatoes are just turning color now. She ordered them from QVC because the company name is Roberta’s. The good karma is working. I always plant at least one heirloom.They are the “pure-breeds” of their kind. Also known […]

No Dill-emma Here

My Dill from the Beach 91st Street Community Garden

A few weeks ago I wrote about the abundance of kale in my garden. Well, the dill I planted is also growing wild now. It’s called dill “weed” for a reason. And the plant bolts in the heat, so it makes sense with the heat wave last week that my herb plant is three feet tall! The lemony, sweet and bitter flavor of dill is most pungent when it begins to flower. Snip the feathered leaves for immediate use. Wait until the flowers mature and snip those off at the […]

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Two Easy Summer Side dishes

A refreshing summer snack

I have two quick and easy recipes to share with you. They’re perfect accompaniments for your summer BBQ. The first is my fiesta corn. It’s a spin-off of a spiced corn I had at PICO a while back. (419 Beach 129th St, Belle Harbor). It’s best to buy corn from a farmstand or from a farmers market (ahem… Edgemere Farm). Maize loses its sweetness rapidly after harvest so the sooner it goes from the farm to your table the better flavor it will have.  Choose corn that is in bright […]

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Garlic is everything.

garlic

Garlic has been a part of my life since I can recall smelling. It was  “the aroma of the home”. When I was about 10 years old, my mother showed me how to chop and slice it THIN. I take garlic for granted I suppose. It’s like water, a necessity to life! Maybe that’s why I’ve never thought to write about this precious culinary ingredient, until now. The thought came about when I heard that my friend Diane Cardwell, also a member of the Beach 91st Street Community Garden, planted […]

Whata Week.

rockaway surf club

The week before last was non-stop. It started on Friday night. It was my friend Rob Bryn’s Birthday and the Surf Club opened just for his party. Headlining was the Ye Mighty Wave with special guests from Rob’s main band — Wild Yaks. Speaking of, they have a new album coming out on June 21st entitled Great Admirer! I’ve heard it and it’s amazing! Opening the show was Tiffany Lyons. Did you catch The Wave article about her a few weeks ago?  She sang a few songs and got everyone […]

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Bananas

banana bread

Recently, I’ve learned a few interesting facts about bananas. As I was enjoying a banana at my desk a few weeks ago, my co-worker Mark Hogan mentioned that apes and monkeys peel bananas the opposite way we do, from the bottom not the top. They pinch the softer bottom and it splits clean. The top stem then becomes a sturdy handle. These mammals are intelligent beings. Maybe humans have been doing it wrong all along? Give it a try next time and see what you think. In my quest to […]

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