Monday, March 14, 2011
This photo represents the most ridiculous extreme ever in the world of mise en place.
In fact, I'm not even going to say what it is. But if all goes well, this will be a featured ingredient in a couple of dishes coming up from the Babbo cookbook.
I have five things growing right now, and plan to grow at least three more things for in the fall. I haven't had much luck in growing things in the past, so I'm keeping my optimism in check. But according to the seed packet, we might be able to have them by mid April.
I got the seeds through mail order from a place in Maine. Last fall when I was in Napa, Calif., I met Aaron at the garden of the French Laundry, and he told me about Johnny's Seed in Maine. Here is my personal policy: If someone associated with the French Laundry makes a food-related suggestion to me, I follow it. In fact, Aaron also suggested a place for dinner that night near our hotel in Santa Rosa. (Rosso Pizzeria and Wine Bar, in case you're wondering. And it was a great suggestion.)
I started the seeds about a month ago. Here is what they looked like after a week …
And after two weeks, I transplanted them into Earthboxes …
I also have a planter of herbs going.
I have thyme on the right and oregano on the left. Those I bought as plants from Home Depot because I figured I needed them as soon as possible. Thyme and oregano seemed to be the herbs called for most in the book, so I figured growing my own made more sense than constantly buying it. There's also basil in there, just because I like basil.
Caveat: The oregano is Greek and the thyme was German. If there are Italian-specific versions of those things, my Home Depot didn't have them. Oh, well.
There is also some rosemary called for in the book. But we have one of those in the front yard that I hit all the time.
We'll check in with the progress of the plants every now and then. Now I just have to figure out how to keep the raccoons away.
We'll check in on the plants again along the way including if they totally fail. And admit it, that would be more fun. Eventually I'll even tell you what they all are.
Up next: staples