The five little things that made my week…

Purple of Romagna artichokes

1. These artichokes. That color.


March 21 2014      Leave a comment     Linda Ly

A new sprout

No matter how many times I’ve seen it, the magic of germination still awes me as if it was the first time. I still don’t understand how bushels of juicy tomatoes will come from a single seed smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser, or how specks of basil seeds will turn into a forest of woody, fragrant herbs that grow over 3 feet tall.

From seed to sprout to seedling

It’s amazing what happens inside a seed before and after it sprouts, and being witness to such a process — something you can only experience by growing from seed — is truly one of the wonders of life.

Sometimes we simply bring home starter plants from the nursery, which have already been trained and nurtured from birth, and we don’t realize what it took to get them to that point. Then we think how hard it is just to keep those starter plants alive! Try raising them from seed, where it may take a few tries and a few rounds of natural selection before that perfect plant picks you.


March 19 2014      5 comments     Linda Ly
Jardín   Semillas

Creamy leek and sorrel soup

With weeks of recipe developing still ahead of me for my forthcoming cookbook, the recipes on the blog have been waning — mostly because at the end of a long day in the kitchen, the last thing I want to do is cook some more. It’s a little ironic that after making all these beautiful, healthful meals for my book, what I’m really craving as soon as the last dish is washed is a big. fat. greasy. helping of fast-food fries. !!! (Don’t tell my editor though.)

But when guilt gets the best of me, I whip up a big pot of this comforting soup. These days, I’m all about simple one-pot meals that will take me through the next day (or until I call for delivery). It’s just the thing I need when my feet are throbbing from standing all day, my back is aching from bending over the oven, and the couch is calling me to sit in front of the TV and eat bowls and bowls of this soup in my lap.


March 17 2014      5 comments     Linda Ly
En La Cocina   Verduras

Vintage clawfoot tub turned bathtub planter

Growing vegetables in an upcycled bathtub planter

For the last week I’ve fielded a few questions about the clawfoot tub from my previous post, so I thought I would share the process of how I repurposed mine into an outdoor planter — though there wasn’t much to it.


March 13 2014      3 comments     Linda Ly

The five little things that made my week…

Purple kohlrabi

1. The Sputnik has landed! (Kohlrabi definitely come from a different world, don’t you think?)


March 7 2014      25 comments     Linda Ly

I started a new garden bed last fall, and I didn’t dig a thing. It actually would’ve been pretty challenging to dig anything, as I started the new bed in an old bathtub. In my backyard! Four months later, the first plants seeded are finally thriving, thanks to the longer days.

The no-dig vegetable garden

I inherited this vintage, enameled-steel clawfoot tub from the previous owners after I moved into my house a few years ago. They had it propped up under the feijoa tree on a stack of stones, and for many summers it was our repurposed party cooler, filled to the brim with ice and stuffed with cases of beer. But having the tub sit empty the rest of the year seemed silly, especially since we weren’t using it as an actual tub to wash anything in the garden.


March 5 2014      49 comments     Linda Ly

Rare rainy day

We’ve had torrential rain for the last four days. It was utterly awesome. And not just because the rain was desperately needed in our drought, but because it gave me an excuse to make a fire every day and drink hot cider, the kind of wintery things I adore but don’t get to do that often (especially this year, with our bizarre 75°F winter).

Living in a place with year-round balmy weather sometimes gives me sun guilt. It might sound like an oh, boo-hoo type of thing to say, but it’s a real thing… like a reverse cabin fever. It happens when the days are so calm and clear, you’re guilted into spending all of your time outside instead of inside, vegging on the couch, when that’s all you actually feel like doing.


March 3 2014      21 comments     Linda Ly
En La Casa