no regrets...

[my dream of composing a new post every day this week did not go quite as planned. oh well... life goes on.]

we live with two cats. i would not go so far as to claim them as property, as i feel more owned than owning on an average day. still, they are my two best girls, and they seem to be of the firm opinion that my balcony garden is their private space.

Baby Bear is content to lay in the fresh air, watching the wildlife flutter by...

... but i am certain that Mama Kitty hears the voice of David Attenborough narrating her adventures. "here we see the elder majestic hunter using the natural foliage for cover as she lays in wait for her prey". it sounds far better than "she is napping between the celery and the beans, waiting to scare off any pigeons that land on the rail". if only i could convince her to show the same territorial spirit where the squirrels are concerned.

we started the balcony garden project with zero objectives in mind, other than to add some element of amusement to the mundanity of everyday life. the potato plants are still lush and green, while the eggplant leaves are approaching the size of dinner plates.

however, we have seen very little by way of produce thus far. unless, of course, you count the many zucchini blossoms. the zukes were starting to show signs of powdery mildew, so we decided to cut out the plants before it had a chance to spread. this is literally the last of this year's squash blossom harvest. so much sadness.

on the up side, we have been eating lots of yummy herb-flavored things. in addition to the odd sprig of thyme, oregano, or rosemary tossed into a sauce, i have been thinning out the Genovese Basil, which is a great excuse for making pesto (a pasta-sauce/sandwich-spread/salad-dressing that, in my humble opinion, deserves its own tier on the food pyramid)...

...and deadheading the Thai Basil, the flowers of which will be added to a delicious coconut milk curry in the next day or two.

the weather has been all over the place this summer, going from a steaming thirty-something degrees (C) one day to the low-teens the next. the plants would practically double in size on the hotter days, then show zero sign of growth when the temperature drops off. i am used to growing vegetables in the middle of Brooklyn, NYC, which is its own micro-zone that is usually several degrees warmer than the surrounding region. getting used to the conditions in Montreal has proven to be the biggest challenge of this adventure. while i have no regrets about the time (or money) invested thus far, i was beginning to question whether i wanted to do it again next year.

then the beans began to flower...

and, before i knew it, the first pods started to appear.

and, yes, they do turn that beautiful, deep-purple color as the beans grow (sadly, the color disappears when they are cooked). so, now i am already looking forward to next summer, which is the best possible outcome of any adventure.

oh, about that Berry Minty Lemon Sorbet i mentioned last time around? a day or two ago, i was stumbling groggily toward the bedroom for a mid-afternoon nap, when i heard the voice of my favorite animator echoing down the hall. "if you want to take a picture of that sorbet, you better do it now, 'cause it will probably be gone by the time you wake up". pretty much.

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