Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Holes in the garden. And summer's best dinner.

Very few tomatoes this year. And another thing: white flies are everywhere, or are they something else? Everything has holes in it. The new acanthus (planted last year from neighbourhood seeds) leaves are like colanders. The parsley is all pitted. Even the normally untouchable geraniums (which are really pelargoniums) are shot to bits. I don't want to spray unless I can find something that won't kill the spiders, ladybirds, etc. This garden warfare is too hard. I might concrete the whole lot. My father started doing that back in the sixties; covered probably 30% of the yard in concrete to make riding space for our bikes.

Meanwhile, you still can't beat fresh pasta with garden tomatoes and ricotta for a summer meal. The dish makes itself. Cook pasta; slice tomatoes; press a garlic clove into serving dishes to impart flavour; top cooked pasta with tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil; top with ricotta; scatter fresh basil leaves over. Crack pepper over the lot.

I've just noticed. Not a single hole in the basil. Basil is indestructible in the garden.

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