Saturday, January 23, 2010


During my prelim last summer, I had a lot more free time than you might have imagined. I had eliminated all commitments other than the prelim, and no one expected me to work on anything else. This, combined with the fact that I could really only write productively for 6-7 hours (at most) each day, meant that I had a lot of free evenings, and even some free afternoons. Just a week or so before prelims, I’d remembered a Christmas gift from my brother – an herb container garden – and wanted to get it started. Despite some initial complications that cost me most of the marjoram and parsley and nearly all of the cilantro, I had a healthy crop of basil seedlings and a few other miscellaneous plants. With all of this free time, I decided to start transplanting the little plants into larger containers so that they would stop fighting over the limited resources in their small pots. Though there was substantial attrition through this transition, many of the little seedlings grew into happy plants and are still flourishing now… As I’ve been limited to taking photos mostly in the house (since it’s been dark outside any time I’ve wanted to play with the camera), the basil has been my primary subject.
Isn’t it pretty?

In addition to photographing the basil, I’ve been cooking with it and have been considering trying my hand at a few other container crops. (After my prospectus defense I realized that I’d forgotten to water things for a while and was left with a few more empty pots.) Here is a picture of the potato soup I made last night, made tastier by some pesto cubes from the freezer and fresh basil from the window.

As an aside, these photos are compressed to deal with my tragic internet situation... It should be fixed on Monday (fingers crossed).

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