Gardening is like cooking is like painting. My husband gets upset when I grind pigments with the kitchen mortar and pestle and when I borrow the double boiler to cook glue. This morning I am mixing potting soil with water in his pasta cooking pot.
There was the time I ruined his favorite enamel pot when I decided to make charcoal following a 15th century recipe from Cennino Cennini. Fill the pot with straight, quarter inch width twigs of willow, wrapped in little bundles with a wire; seal the pot (lute it) with clay; and place it in the embers of a fire, with more embers piled on top. Cook slowly over night. Well, the pot was destroyed, but I got some fine drawing charcoals!
I am transplanting the exuberant Bok Choi, which begs to go outside under a tunnel. Not yet. Recipes, recipes, recipes. "Mix six cups of water with nine quarts of soil." I estimate – how many quarts of soil in a pasta pot and how much water? Out come the measuring cups, the spatula, and, don’t tell, a tiny silver spoon that used to belong to John’s grandmother. It is the just right size for spooning in potting soil around the seedlings I have pricked out, their delicate roots dangling for a second. Will this work? I plant some leek seeds with the silver spoon while I am at it.
I order a few more seeds online. There are never enough, and these are seeds for things I have never grown, that Barbara loves to grow: Fava Beans, Lemon Grass, and Epazote. I am hoping to expand my cooking palate. In the spirit of Bok Choi.
I hear from my friend Vint in Connecticut who is going to share some tomato seeds with me. I call my friends Margy and Jordan. We're planning our communal raspberry patch over supper this evening. Not only that, they are going to order chicks for me -- and one turkey. Since we don't have room, we're going to share their henhouse.