Tuesday, December 23, 2014

dealing with greens

Our weekly shares from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group we belong/subscribe to are huge. It takes about a week of cooking to get through this pile of fruits, vegetables and greens. One advantage to joining a CSA is being confronted with unfamiliar plants, and learning new recipes. And sometimes, we just have to improvise...

Monday, December 8, 2014

garden, avocado-as-substitute-for-egg-salad edition

Eureka. This week we invented a cholesterol-free (and vegan) substitute for egg salad. We simply mashed up half of one of our enormous avocados, added a chopped stalk of celery and some chopped pickles, seasoned it with vinegar, turmeric, paprika, pepper and salt, and served it on slices of country white bread from Zak the Baker.

In our next version, I think we'll mix in small slices of very dry tofu, to add protein and calcium, and to take the place of the egg whites.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

garden, sweet potato edition

Clearing out the summer cover crops to make way for the fall planting season yielded us a few sweet potatoes and a lot of basil. These ended up in a simple curry, adapted from a recipe on Epicurious. This is simply a sauté of red peppers, onion and garlic, to which the potatoes are added (along with coconut milk and water), as well as snow peas. Their recipe calls for Thai green curry paste, for which I substituted red, and cilantro, which I replaced with Thai basil from the garden. I also added some dried hot pepper from the garden, since online recipes are never, ever hot enough. It's a relatively quick, filling, comfort-food-like meal, and goes great with Basmati or Jasmine rice.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

garden, cow pea edition

Admit it: ever since you first saw Casablanca you've wondered, "just what does a hill of beans look like?"

More importantly, why would anyone have a hill of beans, and what would such a person do with a hill of beans? In our case, it starts with climate and soil, and ends with lunch...

Monday, July 21, 2014

community supported agriculture

We're fortunate to have a number of excellent sources for locally-grown produce here in South Florida, including weekly farmers' markets and numerous growers who participate in community supported agriculture (CSA) programs. CSAs are a terrific way to support local growers; community members purchase shares which entitle them to weekly package of that week's harvest. One of our favorite local farms, the Little River Cooperative, has launched a new CSA. They offer pick-ups at two locations: the Upper East Side Farmers Market (Saturdays, 10am-2pm, at Legion Park, Biscayne Blvd. and 66th Street) and the Grove Green Market (Thursdays, 3-8pm, Coconut Grove Playhouse parking lot, 3500 Main Highway). Check them out!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

garden, future fruit edition

A number of plants in the back yards are flowering or starting to fruit. We hope to enjoy some summer crops. At left is the lone flower on our passion fruit vine, which has the triple benefits of offering a beautiful butterfly habitat plant (the streak on the left is a zebra longwing butterfly), producing stunning flowers, and rewarding us with delicious fruit. This vine does not produce much fruit, however, despite growing thickly (and quickly) on a sunny fence. We should look into figuring out how to get more flowers and fruit out of it.

What else is growing?

Friday, March 7, 2014

day job: edited volume edition

Four years ago, my friend Elie Haddad hatched the idea of editing a survey of architecture built around the globe during the last half century. Elie,  who I first met at the (then) Boston Architectural Center and is now Dean of the School of Architecture and Design at Lebanese American University, approached me with the idea of compiling what we hoped would become a standard text for scholars, teachers and students interested in the great diversity of architectural production in the contemporary world. We enlisted twenty collaborators, found a publisher (thank you, Ashgate!) and slowly assembled a book that carefully examines the broad range of approaches to the built environment that characterize this age of pluralism and globalization. The first copy of A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture just arrived, and I can't wait to start sharing it with colleagues and students. You can find a copy at Ashgate's website, or ask your local bookstore to order a copy.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Been meaning to upload these photographs of tin box taken by Dana Hoff, a gifted South Florida-based photographer who frequently works for the American Institute of Architects. Several of these images were published in the Architect Magazine article, "Home Inspection," last September. They are far, far better than our instamatic shots, I have been told.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

garden, banana edition

Harvested our first bunch of Ice Cream bananas today. It'll be some time before they ripen and we get to find out just what, exactly, an Ice Cream banana tastes like. Typically, bananas will ripen once the bunch is cut off and hung indoors. We harvested our first bunch of bananas (the more commonly eaten Cavendish variety) back in the fall, and they took several weeks to start ripening. Interestingly, the Cavendish bananas we grew stayed firm long after their peels turned brown, unlike the ones we typically buy in stores.