Starting in early spring (which here in California means February), bags and boxes of homegrown fruits and vegetables start showing up around our offices. Lots of employees have edible gardens and, more important, are moved to share what they grow. To me, after working in Manhattan for a decade, where “home garden” meant “pot of basil on the fire escape”, this kind of bounty and generosity is nothing short of amazing.
And it’s not all zucchini, either. Spencer from the photo department sets out a crate of fat figs (he just can’t keep up with his tree). Trina in Copy has a green-thumbed father who loads her up with persimmons, nectarines, apricots, kiwis, and avocados—enough for all of us. My food colleague Elaine once brought in a mountain of gorgeous pomegranates from her backyard tree. And the garden girls—Johanna and Lauren—are always bringing in heaps of whatever’s growing in the test garden; a couple of weeks ago, it was tender, sweet Romano beans, which I steamed and marinated while hot in a shallot red-wine vinaigrette. Beautiful.
Sure, the staff at InStyle probably get free lipstick and heels. They can have their glitter. This, on the other hand, is the taste of where we live.