George grows complementary plants around his tomatoes and tomatillos, using nasturtiums, calendula, and ground cherries to help draw away predatory insects. In turn, I put the peppery nasturtium leaves in salads, make compound butter with the brilliant petals, and pickle the caper-like seed pods.
The great diversity of herbs inspires and transforms my cooking. Some of my favorites are epazote, essential for authentic Mexican dishes; delicate chervil; pungent rau ram (Vietnamese coriander); and several kinds of basil for pesto, pistou, flavored oils, and even cocktails.
A hard pruning made our black raspberries more prolific this month—and for once, the birds and chipmunks did not make off with every last one. I used the berries as topping for a delicious cornmeal skillet cake.
Girl Out of Water (Unabridged) (CD/Spoken Word) (Laura Silverman)