Despite all evidence to the contrary, I decided that it would be a good idea to try my hand at patio gardening this summer. My tender ministrations have killed a whole host of plants over the years–everything from ivy to rosemary to cacti. I even managed to kill a snake plant, and lord knows those things are supposed to outlive you. I had all kinds of excuses up my sleeve–“I live in a basement!” “Who could have predicted those flash floods?” “You need to water them how often?!”– but my friends and loved ones knew the truth: I was cursed with two black thumbs.
But since we’ve got a little south-facing balcony at my new home, I figured I’d give it a another shot. And, with the exception of one aphid-infested pot of kale (which was promptly disposed of while I shouted “Thank god it was the kale and not something we actually wanted to eat!”), it’s been largely a success! No one could have been more surprised about this turn of events than me.
Last weekend, I may or may not have ignored my better judgement and purchased a flat and a half of strawberries. I believe I had jam in mind. But once the strawberries are on your counter and they’re gleaming and red, it’s hard to ignore them. I decided to throw together a quick lunch from the berries, some greens, and the purple basil we were growing on the balcony.
I’d also picked up a jar of buckwheat honey from the market, and knew right away that I wanted to pair it with the berries. The honey is rich and nutty and tastes much less sweet than other honeys. If you didn’t happen to have any at home, you could always substitute it with regular honey and you’d be just fine. Likewise, regular basil would be a fine substitute for the purple stuff.
(Oh, and if your strawberries are a touch on the sour side, just sprinkle them with a little sugar and let them macerate for 15 minutes before using them.)
Get ’em before it’s too late!
Until next time!
(p.s. in the off chance anyone is wondering, those blossoms, as well as the leaves shaped like lily pads, are from our patio nasturtiums! Edible and peppery–yum!)