Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bone Marrow and Gardening

Dave and I had the good fortune to be sent to Craigie on Main for his birthday last month. We had a delightful meal which included bone marrow. I'd had it once or twice before, and I have to say, it's one of the best things I've eaten. It's not for the faint of heart, nor people averse to fat. You really check into your basic animal instincts when eating it. I decided to make it myself, so got some frozen beef bones at Whole Foods. They usually sell them to people for their dogs, so the price is right. The butcher split them in half, lengthwise, for me.

I roasted them in a cast iron frying pan at 425 for 30 minutes. I put a few slices of whole grain bread in the oven at the same time, to dry out. When the marrow was bubbly, I pulled the pan from the oven, put it on the table, and gave everyone a spoon. We sprinkled sea salt on top, and smeared the marrow on the bread. Any that had melted on the bottom of the pan was sopped up with extra bread. I think this is the quintessential soul food.

This year, I am drastically altering my plans for the garden.  For the past few years, I've tried to fit in a little of everything, which resulted in a lot of nothing. So, I am going for the "more bang for your buck" approach. What is expensive at the farmers' market, something you always want more of, easy to grow at home, and prolific? Why, tomatoes! So, instead of one eggplant, two peppers, 5 beans, one cucumber, and a squash or two, none of which produce more than one or two fruits, I am doing only tomatoes. And garlic. And lettuce. And melon. But that's it! And, in the raised bed, I'm only doing tomatoes and garlic. Everything else is in pots and bags. The farmers' market and CSA farmers are so much better at everything else I want to eat, so why compete with that? Instead, I will be rolling in tomatoes and garlic and happy. Stay tuned.

Herb planter
The other new addition to the back yard is an herb planter. I was inspired by a gorgeous green wall by Recover Green Roofs in Somerville. I was really tempted to try it myself but felt a bit overwhelmed at the materials and expense, and then lightning struck, and I realized all I had to do was get a $25 linen shoe rack.


My sister, daughter, and I spent a few lovely hours buying herb seedlings and seeds, and then planting them in the planter. It hangs off the side of the porch, thus saving tons of space, and providing some shade. We added parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender, dill and cilantro seeds, nasturtiums, chamomile.
Dill sprouts
Chamomile