Monday, 4 March 2013 | 76 comments

A yellow split pea soup + some questions for you

At night, we bundle up and go down to the cellar. We decided to get hardcore about seed-starting this year and bought grow-lights. In the past, I’ve started seeds on windowsills, which works, sure, but the seedlings end up a bit leggy, and real estate is limited. Now, improbably, our windowless, 52-degree cellar is the home of seed-starting operations, spread across a big table with lights that shine 16 hours a day. We put on music, drink steaming tea, and get lost in the rhythm of poking holes, dropping in seeds, covering them up, watering them. All at 9 or 10 PM. It’s a little counterintuitive, and lends a certain drama to the work, like we’re growing something illicit in our basement.
It’s that silly time of year where we’re all pretty done with winter, but there’s still an interminable stretch until it’s honest-to-goodness spring. Even winter itself seems wan and ready to be put to bed, allowing some warming sun to poke through. On one or two afternoons, we’ve been able to move the garden prep outside for a few hours. But the nights still get very, very cold. The dirt still has a hard, frozen crust on its surface. I am still eating pantry-staple legumes. It is definitely not yet spring. » Click to read more

Sunday, 25 March 2012 | 63 comments

Garlicky pea shoots

A few of you asked me about the little green seedlings growing, packed together, in a photo a few posts ago—they’re pea shoots. I’ve been growing them on my windowsill through the later part of this winter. I thought I’d share the process with you a bit. They are silly-easy to grow, whether you’re a city slicker or country kid, and quite pretty. It’s satisfying to have some sweet, tender greens right at your kitchen window to clip and toss into a salad or sandwich for some texture. » Click to read more

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