Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Edible Balcony - potato crop

Daryl the building concierge has been looking after the balcony while we have been away (aren't I lucky?)
And I've come home to a fabulous crop of potatoes, beetroot and runner beans.

The beans are a heirloom mix of purple, striped and green

My two potato bags yielded about 4 kgs of desiree, symphonia, banana and royal blue. I roasted them up with some sea salt, rosemary and a little duck fat (it was a celebration afterall).
Easily the most delicious spuds I've tasted and definitely the freshest.
Given how easy they were to grow with no pest problems and the high yield, I'll be putting in several bags again next year.

All the other balcony tenants are faring well with the recent rain and summer burst.

It's a little late but I'm putting in some tomatoes and basil tomorrow. They should be ready to harvest at the end of January.

The nasturtiums are loving the sun...

And some lemon fruit are appearing..

The garlic should be ready in time for Christmas dinner.
As I sit back in my deckchair sipping a G&T, and munching on a crispy roast potato I realise an edible balcony certainly has its rewards.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New York - Eataly

You know how I love a good food emporium.... well Eataly on Fifth Avenue in New York left me gasping 
O. M. G !!! ...

It opened in October this year and is the brainchild of US super chefs Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, her son and Mario's restaurant partner Joe Bastianich - and Oscar Farinetti who started the original Eataly in Turin Italy.

This is a mega food temple without peer..

4,500 square metres of the best local and imported Italian produce.

Some of the produce is direct from Brooklyn Grange a rooftop farm in Queens.

There is a vegetable bar - ' The Vegetable Butcher - that will peel and prepare your produce for you. Think pesky artichokes or the peel on pumpkins...

The variety of citrus is incredible including Buddha Fingers

While it is largely an Italian-focussed complex the emphasis is on local produce grown organically

...and yes given this is Manhattan Fifth Avenue everything is styled Hollywood - 'Mr de Mille I'm ready for my close-up'

ga -ga blocks of Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano

fresh, salty, crumbling shards

a salumi counter...

And ten different eateries all featuring the produce

La Brea Bakery breads and focaccias wood-fired on site.

home-made pasta..

.. that can be made to order..

An indulgent supply of fresh black and white truffles...

milk in old-fashioned bottles with cream on the top

A pasticceria run by Italian pastry chef Luca Montersino

Saucy is too overwhelmed. I've been wondering around mouth agape for two hours now. I may have to make a pit stop here to recover...

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

New York - Central Park in Fall

We've made a dash to New York for work and a little play....

A glorious burst of fall weather has to be enjoyed with a stroll through Central Park.

... and maybe a little row

... a riot of autumnal colour...

...on patrol

picture perfect...

..this bridge dates back to the 1890s...

Central Park covers about 3 1/2 square kilometres...

Now that crime in the park has dropped dramatically, 27 million joggers, skateboarders, families and visitors use the park each year.

 On weekends and after 7pm during the week the park is closed to traffic..

Its about the only place in New York to escape the humdrum..

The Park's resident squirrels are like nimble rats able to bouce from trees to benches in seconds if they spy a feed

Most of the squirrel are Eastern-grey squirrels which are native to North America

Now this is my sort of garden