My First Compost Heap

Isn’t it cute?

With a sunny pomelo center.

With a sunny pomelo center.

Other news: I had my first jam stand last December at Firehouse-8, and I had a lot of fun. There was a horrific storm that day, but people liked the cookies and jam. I’ll post a pic soon.

Last week, my review of Bartavelle came out, and I heard good things about it — that the wine bar/ cafe got a bump in sales. I hope they continue to do well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shoobie Doo Wah

I wrote this and I didn’t hate it.

Love writing about music.
Another pic from the summer:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

End of summer

Our living room.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


August is a waiting month for suburban kids with not much to do. Too lonely for too long, with too much TV, school starts to sound like fun — Indian summer in a classroom, not listening to the teacher, keeping the time by watching the sunlight fall drip by measured drip.

For me, I admit, I look forward to it — the shadow of wheeling birds shattering the honeyed light. And all the quiet work that gets to be done — an excuse not to go out,  to work in the garden, to read, to write.

So my August is full of plans, especially for planting. If I were to graft a mulberry, now is the time to prepare. Also on the thoughtlist: poppy plantings, flowers.

I took a look at the East Bay Planting Guide. Here’s what I can plant: beets, broccoli (from plant), cauliflower, collards, lettuce, parsnip, pea, potato, radish, turnip. I admit I want to plant onions, shallots, and garlic, and probably will.

Meanwhile, the nettle patch has decided to reseed itself, and amongst the dying stems come little seedlings.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blackberry Rose Geranium Ice Cream

“Blackberries and rose geranium are magic together,” declared the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook.

So blackberries from my backyard and rose geranium leaves from someone else’s were pinched and dropped into my steaming cauldron. Voila, an ice cream that tastes like strawberry-flavored Starburst (the pink one).

This is based on a recipe from White on Rice Couple, to which I added rose geranium leaves.

Double bubble, toil and trouble.

Blackberry Rose Geranium Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: a little over 1 qt.
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

* 1 1/2 c (375ml) Whole Milk
* 1 1/2 c (300g) Sugar
* 1 1/2 c (375ml) Heavy Whipping Cream
* 4 lrg Egg Yolks
* 1 t (5ml) Vanilla Extract
* 2 c (480ml) pureed Blackberries (approx. 4 – 6 oz baskets of berries)
* 1 T (15ml) fresh Lemon Juice
* 6-8 rose geranium leaves

1. Combine the milk and sugar in a saucepan and gently warm to just less than scalding.
2. While milk warms, put heavy cream in a large bowl and cover with a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
3. Whisk egg yolks and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warm milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Next pour the egg/milk mix back into the saucepan. Add the rose geranium leaves.
4. Heat the milk/egg yolk mix over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of a spoon. Pour through the strainer into the heavy cream. Mix in the blackberry puree and the lemon juice.
5. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Cover and thoroughly chill in the refrigerator (at least a couple hours.)
6. Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

Magic plus: rose geranium ice cream with Christina Ng’s str-ubarb pie. Barbeque, 2012. (photo courtesy of Brandon Sheffield)

Posted in food, my house, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Liking this

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Neal’s Yard Dairy Film

I love this film, by Harry Darby. I first watched it here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment