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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label cooking. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label cooking. Show all posts

      Thursday, January 19, 2012

      Mud Pies & Other Recipes

      I've always loved books. Books were my favorite presents growing up, and as an adult I occasionally buy children's books for myself. It's like catching up with an old friend.

      So imagine my delight when Sara surprised me with Mud Pies and Other Recipes, by Marjorie Winslow, illustrated by Erik Blegvad. Published in 1961, it is self-described as a cookbook for dolls, and it's true, the recipes aren't intended for human consumption. I was fascinated by this book as a child, convinced that if I followed the instructions precisely, I'd end up with something wonderful. Which I did. Although I couldn't eat it.

      No matter. As I thumb through this reprint (thanks to the folks at The New York Review's Childrens Collection for bringing it back into print), I wonder, "Is this where it all began?"

      The gardening, the foraging, the cooking? Maybe the spark was lit by the recipe for Marigold Madness, lo these many years.

      Sunday, July 12, 2009

      photo contest: blue ribbon herbs

      Garden Bytes from the Big Apple announces our first photo contest: culinary herbs in the garden.

      Chives (Allium shoenoprasum) in a community garden in Riverside Park, NYC. I use both the flowers and the chopped leaves in omelets and the dried flowers to decorate an allium themed summer hat.

      We two Ellens are appreciative eaters and we're especially fond of cooking what we grow. We wouldn't dream of having a garden without a healthy complement of culinary herbs. But these tasty plants aren't merely edible...some of them are downright gorgeous.

      Creeping Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, prostrate group) in California. No originality here, I love rosemary on lamb.

      If you agree, and if you'd like to show us your most photogenic herbs, here's how you can enter. Post your best image to your own blog, website, or web gallery. Then, in the comment section for this post, post a link to your entry. If you're posting your image to a blog, please reference our contest with a link.

      Our talented and entirely impartial judge is Joe De Sciose. Joe is an award-winning photographer whose photographs have appeared in numerous Condé Nast, Hearst and Meredith magazines and books, as well as in print media for the New York Botanical Garden and The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. From 2003 to 2008, Joe was a Senior Staff Photographer at Southern Living Magazine. He was the sole photographer for Garden Guide: New York City (The Little Bookroom, 2002) and The Flower Gardener’s Bible (Storey Books, 2003), which was awarded a Garden Globe Award in 2004 by the Garden Writers Association for Best Photography for a Garden Book.

      Nasturtium, a spicy member of the watercress family, in a half barrel with geraniums. I use nasturtium flowers and leaves for a tasty garnish on anything from cold soups to desserts.

      THE RULES:

      1) You may enter up to three photographs.
      2) Include the names for the herb(s) in your image; extra credit if you give both the botanical and common names.
      3) Write a brief caption (1 or 2 sentences) telling us your favorite way to use the herb in cooking.
      4) Points given for light, composition, and originality. We're not looking for closeups; we want to see the herb(s) in a garden setting.
      5) Remember, gardens can be indoors OR outdoors! This is NYC after all, and we don't all have outdoor gardens of our own.
      6) We're not limiting this contest to New York City gardens because we have so many readers from away, but extra points will be given to photos showing herbs in an urban setting.
      7) The contest ends at midnight on August 5, 2009.

      Indoor herb garden on my livingroom window sill: from left back row, oregano, basil, variegated sage, front row from left, tiny bush basil, and cilantro.

      We'll announce the winner in our Byte Now Column on August 12, 2009. And the lucky winner will receive a goody bag of prizes including: 'The New Book of Salvias' by Betsy Clebsch, a pair of garden gloves (women's size, sorry guys), and bypass pruners by OXO.

      ESP's images and captions (throughout this post) should give you a good idea of how to start!

      Bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) at the Queens Botanical Garden, herb section. Use leaves, seeds, flowers or stems in corn bread stuffing.

      Calendula (Calendula officinalis) borders vegetable beds in George Washington's garden on a misty morning at Mt. Vernon. I use petals of calendula to garnish salads, and to color and flavor white rice.

      We plan to make this a regular feature at Garden Bytes. Hint: you might want to start photographing your photogenic pets in the garden. Meow.

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