Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A day in Jamaica Plain

It's Kousa Dogwood season and this is a good year for them. After stats class at Harvard last night (which I am barely following, but I find the nerd level entertaining) I noticed a great kousa (there are lots in Harvard yard) right next to my bike so I loaded up.

I've basically given up trying to get other people to enjoy this fruit. I guess the skin wigs people out. Maybe it's because I eat kiwis with the skin on that I'm used to it. Or because I'm stubborn and have decided to like all foraged food.

This was anna's last weekend here. Another person moving through the revolving doors of Cambridge. She was here for a while and was a good seed. Never a bad word for anyone. Here she is with rob and ZARAH under an apple tree by J.P. pond.

An anna creation.

The apples looked runty but were good, especially the red ones that we shook down. Not quite like shaking mulberries down, but, effective nonetheless. Some guy came whipping by us during this and proceeded, in the span of about 3 minutes, to enlighten us on protein content of apples, paw paws, how many people the earth can sustain, according to his own calculations (less than 1 billion), and that there are 4 amino acids. Interestingly, he told us about paw paws and about Peter's hill in the arboretum, where there were lots of apples (worst protein food there is, said he), but he didn't know that there were in fact two paw paw trees over there, which we were heading to. I told him, but I don't think he listened. The paw paws were perfect for eating and we gathered and munched a bunch. Bad year for the quince though, there were almost none. But I grabbed some of the small ones from the flowering quince shrubs, and will see if they are any good in a jam.

After a brief pitstop at the Ukranian club (Andrew, a friend of anna's, is Ukranian), we headed over to the old Franklin park zoo. With all the rain and stories coming in from the boston mycological club, I was on the high lookout for hens. And sure enough, even in over-picked Franklin park I spotted a few. Which of course made my day because hens are great. I saw some for sale at the Cambridgeport farmer's market the other day. Forgetting to take a picture in situ, I propped this guy by another oak tree for a photo, and flipped a piece over to reveal an identifying characteristic of the fungus: brown on top, white underneath. Later the next night, spicy potato, mushroom, pasta soup.

In totally unrelated news, today is the first patient treatment using the MCO software I've been working towards for the past 7 years. A big day for IMRT treatment planning!


Sam @ Parenthetical said...

What do you do with the kousa? I've always wondered if they're edible; they look so pretty!

Julia said...

Yay for MCO!!

There are so many beautiful-looking big red kousa berries right by University Hall (gray building) in Harvard Yard!

Shannon McDonough said...

Nice post, D. Also, congratulations on the launch of your software! So excited for you.

David at the Gallery said...

Sam - you just pop em in! You want to find ones that are round. The ones that are spiky on the outside are always dry and bitter and no good. The round ones, bursting like a balloon, are sweet and tasty. Watch out for the seeds, they are hard as stones [stone fruit, after all].