Okra

Taipei has been overcast, very rainy and hot for the past few days. That, in my opinion, is the worst kind of weather. For one thing, it is a challenge just to decide what footwear to wear. Sandals will get stretched out and ruined, but then it feels too muggy to wear shoes that require socks. The edges of slip-on styles rub my feet raw when my skin is wet and sneakers just get soggy. Crocs were very popular here a few years ago and I can see why, but I refuse to wear foam rubber boats on my feet. Anyway, I thought it would be refreshing to look at some photos of pretty green things taken on a gorgeous day (we’ve actually had a few uncharacteristically lovely, languid stretches of sunny weather lately, in between the stuffiness). These are vegetables or herbs grown by Suho Memorial Paper Museum (樹火紀念紙博物館) on their rooftop garden for A Dining Scenery (用餐風景:紙,在方寸之間). 

Shiso

I’ve always been curious about what kind of herbs used in Western cooking will hold up outdoors during a Taiwanese summer. Suho’s garden had rosemary, mint, lavender, basil and several other species that I can’t remember off the top of my head. That little okra up there was so cute that now I feel bad about eating them. Yes, I anthropomorphize my food (and every time I eat basil, I think of Fawlty Towers). If you can’t grow your own (we don’t because Taroko George likes to eat soil… our cat is the reason we can’t own nice things), Breeze Super in Breeze Center (微風廣場) has a good selection of fresh herbs. One of my favorite summer drinks is ginger, lemon, cucumber and mint water. It goes  well with spicy dishes like curry, especially if you are still tasting curry on your breath hours after you’ve eaten (I hate it when that happens!).

On a non-related note, the Web site Expat Arrivals asked me a few weeks ago to answer a questionnaire about my life in Taipei. Please take a look. I hope those of you who are new to Taipei (or hoping to move here) will find it useful.

Basil
Herbs at Suho
Not sure what this one is either
Rosemary and lavender