Miss Ginsu: About/Bio


Black Eyes, Green Thumbs: Roller Derby Gardening

I'm convinced that if there's ever an apocalypse, you really want a roller derby girl on your side. Not only do they have rough and tumble skills and mighty muscles for fighting off the zombie hordes, derby girls tend to be some of the most ambitious, multi-talented people I know.

Case in point: Suzy Hotrod — talented photographer, guitarist in a punk band, speed demon on a flat track, horchata aficionado... and urban gardener.

Out Standing in her Field

Suzy recently took me out to her little plot in the Two Coves Community Garden in Queens.

Community Toolshed

Assisting with weeding and vine tending tasks before Suzy's Gotham Girls practice, I'm surprised to see that Two Coves is surprisingly roomy for a city garden.

Suzy's plot stretches out about 8 foot by 6 foot (roughly the size of a Manhattan apartment) and is home to cucumbers, sunflowers, tomatoes, watermelons, mint, basil, Swiss chard, kale, beans, pink flamingoes and jolly garden gnomes.

"I always forget to bring something to put the vegetables in, so I end up putting them in my helmet." She says, passing me a stack of kale leaves as she piles up a haul of godzilla-sized cucumbers and fat tomatoes.

Suzy's Helmet/Basket

But Suzy's not the only GGRD girl on the block. On the way back from the compost pit, she shows off the a neatly rowed plot maintained by Bonnie Thunders, the first derby girl to roost in Two Coves.

One of the garden locals helps diagnose an unfortunate case of low water pressure and invites us to take some fresh-picked green beans, cherry tomatoes and zucchini.

"I had two cute little pumpkins. You should've seen them," he tells me, shaking his head. "But they're gone. Stolen. Well — maybe next year..."

Suzy nods. "That happened to me, too. One of my gnomes disappeared."

Jolly Garden Gnome

Ah, and there's the downside of community living. The wounds inflicted by contact sports heal, but what's to be done with the pain dealt by squash-snatchers and gnome grabbers?

Well, there's always next year. Luckily, derby girls are also pretty great at shrugging off bruises.

Go see more of Suzy's urban gardening in the flickr set here.

Yours in Veggie Worship,
Miss Ginsu

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This Is Just To Say...

The Season's First Tomato

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the tomato
that was on
the fire escape

and which
you were probably
for your return

Forgive me
it was delicious
so rich
and so ripe

Apologies to William Carlos Willaims

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Food Quote Friday: David Budbill

Purple Grapes in the Hand

Sometimes when day after day we have cloudless blue skies,
warm temperatures, colorful trees and brilliant sun, when
it seems like all this will go on forever,

when I harvest vegetables from the garden all day,
then drink tea and doze in the late afternoon sun,
and in the evening one night make pickled beets
and green tomato chutney, the next red tomato chutney,
and the day after that pick the fruits of my arbor
and make grape jam...

David Budbill from "Sometimes"

More colorful food quotes can be found within the food quote archive.

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FoodLink Roundup: 10.20.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Last week, Cupcake was reviewing flats of sweets in Istanbul, Turkey. Where in the world is Cupcake this week? Post your guess in the comments.

River Cottage Bramley lemon curd
A lovely photo series composed of lemon curd made with apples. Mmm...

i voted!
As if voting wasn't already its own reward... Now, there's ice cream.

Rancher’s Goat Meat Grabs Attention of Chefs
Niman dumps the cows, goes for the goat.

On recession gardens
The retro Victory Garden returns in new, credit-crunched clothing.

Credit Crunch Cooking
Cheap meats, thoughts of eating the pets and a return to MFK Fisher.

New food links — and another postcard from Cupcake — every Monday morning on missginsu.com

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FoodLink Roundup: 08.25.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Though he may have appeared to have been in Nova Scotia last week (a fine guess), Cupcake was actually located just down the way from Bonaparte Breads in Fells Point, Baltimore. Where in the world is Cupcake this week? Post your guess in the comments.

Conserving locally caught tuna, Italian style
Since I buy the Italian stuff by the case, it helps to know how to actually make it.

Not Just a Garden, but Cows
The latest thing in suburban status symbols: Jersey Cows.

The Essential Barbecue Guide
Duck, Venison... The Guardian's take on grilling looks a bit more adventurous than your standard US grill feature.

Dirt exposure boosts happiness
A little something gardeners have known all along...

Fish Tale Has DNA Hook
Teens testing restaurant dishes find some fishy business afoot.

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FoodLink Roundup: 05.12.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Last week, Cupcake was located at the Red Hook Ballparks in Brooklyn (Fine guesswork by the Cold, Cruel Beast!) Where in the world is Cupcake this week? A hint: He hasn't gone too far afield, but he's north of Brooklyn. Post your guess in the comments.

Google's Garden
in ur grdin... eetin ur vegeez.

What Motivates the Wine Shopper?
"the average oenophile can rejoice: 100 wines under $15 consistently outperformed their upscale cousins"

bio.display » and we can paint
Beneficial bacteria. Not just for breakfast anymore. A Hungarian friend experiments with luminescent lifeforms as a painting medium.

Lekváros fuckup (with marmalade)
Fun with translations!

All of Inflation’s Little Parts
Everybody loves an infographic. Note that we spend about as much on sodas as fresh veggies. No wonder we're obese.

xkcd on sporks
There's a secret in the mouseover...

Help the Honey Bees
More "virtue marketing"... Haagen Dazs encourages you to save the bees.

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Food Quote Friday: Andrew Marvell

Fruit at the Atwater Market in Montreal

The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass

Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) from "Thoughts in a Garden"

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Food Quote Friday: François Rabelais

Family of FSA client shredding cabbage
Family of FSA client shredding cabbage, from the peerless NYPL Digital Gallery

"Oh thrice and four times happy... those who plant cabbages."

François Rabelais

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A Moment of Tomato Bliss

Anything you're forced to eat over the sink or off the edge of the deck has got to be good eats.

Case in point: the Summer Tomato Sandwich.

My landlord leaves tomatoes and cucumbers on the ledge of my kitchen windowsill. These strange (but very welcome) offerings make their way into my meals in a whimsical, offhand fashion.

The Summer Tomato Sandwich is maybe the most simple, most beautiful of these celebratory dining moments.
1. Take one perfectly ripe garden-grown tomato.
2. Slice fresh-baked bread (my current favorite is the farmer's market garlic-cheese loaf).
3. Slather bread slices with a thin layer of mayonnaise for use as a flavor and moisture-barrier component.
4. Season tomato slices with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Place tomato slices atop slathered bread slices.
5. Close sandwich and eat immediately over the sink, astride the fire escape, or off the edge of the patio. Experience bliss.
6. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

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