Sipping wine with the hubs on our tiny balcony this past weekend, I had the opportunity to make an observation.
Namely: that most of our neighbors seem to have things growing on their tiny balconies. And I don’t mean mold. Flowers. Plants. Shrubs. Things that need to be watered and…well, watered. I guess that’s all you really have to do with most flora. I mean…right? Remind me of why they are so intimidating?
“We should get some plants to put out here,” I remarked casually to the hubs, swirling the wine in my glass. He paused, mid-sip, and looked at me like I’d just grown an extra nose.
“Um. I don’t see that ending well.”
“But look!” I pressed. “Those plants inside, the ones that I got last fall. They’re still alive.” It was true. The snake plants are indeed still alive. I mean, they are essentially cacti that only need to be watered like once a month, but still. Alive is alive!
Well. Perhaps I’ve grown overconfident in my abilities, but today I bit the bullet. I made an investment. I purchased a set of terra cotta planters and a host of tender young herblings.
And as soon as I unloaded them, I realized that I’d probably just wasted $50.
Because…the poor little things. They’ve hardly had a chance at life. And here they find themselves at the mercy of my dubious botanical abilities. In the square pot: we’ve got mint. The round pot on the top: rosemary. And buddied up in the round pot on the bottom: oregano, thyme and sage. (I can only hope that particular pot doesn’t become a mass grave.)
And then we’ve got the basil.
Sissy-footed little basil. Apparently it needs to be “taken in at night” for the next few weeks because it can’t handle the cold. According to the guy at the garden store.
I’m not sure he realized that the cold would be least of this little guy’s problems. Wait until it meets the cat. Or the oops-I-forgot-to-water-you-for-three-weeks.
When you buy plants, apparently you also must buy dirt. I didn’t realize that I needed to pay for something that coats most of the earth’s terrestrial surface, but…okay.
$15 worth of Organic Dirt. Packaged in a tidy plastic bag. Pretty sure I’m going to have some left over. (Anyone want to come over and make Organic Mud Pies? To fling on to those neighboring balconies with their thriving container gardens?)
Anyway. Tomorrow is planting day. Is there a green thumb under that glove – or will this be the hand that rocks the cradle straight into the grave?
Only time will tell.
Today’s EAT: I wanted to make fish tacos for dinner. And I really thought I had a pack of corn tortillas in the freezer somewhere. Turns out, not so much.
Improvisation: a massive flour tortilla, cut in to chunks and baked in a muffin tin to create crispy “cups.”
This worked out quite well! I stuffed each cup with battered and fried mahi mahi chunks…
….and then topped them with avocado and grapefruit salsa and greek yogurt.
A little messy to eat, but totally tasty! And no, you don’t have to fry the fish. I fried it because I like fried things and by my rough mental math, the whole dish seemed to be rather lacking in calories so I figured I had some leeway. But it would be almost as great with grilled fish, or shrimp, or chicken, or tofu, or whatever the hell else you want to put in there.
Recipe: Mahi Taco Cups with Pink Grapefruit Salsa (original)
Today’s DRINK: I’d been hanging on to this Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale for a few weeks now. It seemed like it would go well with my citrus-y dinner, so I finally popped it open tonight!
I loved it. It was…well, fresh. While I feel like some pale ales can get a little cloying and flowery (*cough*SierraNevada*cough*), this Fresh Hop had none of that. It was light and refreshing. Definitely some strong citrus flavors in there too, which complimented dinner nicely.
Today’s RUN: An easy 7 miler. Yesterday ended up being an impromptu rest day, so I tacked a couple of extra miles on to today’s run. Now it’s all downhill until Shamrock, mileage-wise. Five days to go!
Today’s QUESTION: Um…anyone have any tips on growing sage, thyme or oregano?
With the basil, I know not to let it get frost exposure (I’ve got it all tucked in for the night indoors!)
And the guy at the nursery said that mint is basically indestructible (“mint would take over the world if it could,” I believe were his exact words.)
Rosemary is basically a pine tree in shrub form so I’m not too worried about it.
But the others…they just seem so tender and destructible! I’ll take any advice I can get to avoid accidental herbicide.