Bonding with nature has long been a staple of the EIR NYC ethos, and we’ve been meditating on that further by expanding our at-home herb garden. There’s something so fulfilling about bringing healthy greenery to its prime, and it’s an especially grounding practice if you’ve been missing a sense of ritual in your day-to-day living.
What we've been growing
Because herbs are relatively unfussy to care for while also being extremely generous with the health benefits and flavor they provide, an herb garden is an ideal at-home project to set up on a shoestring budget. All you need is good soil and a source of light – for potting, you can repurpose cans or other fun, unassuming containers to house your new little friends.
For a running start, we recommend starting with rosemary (antioxidant powerhouse, protective against bacterial infection), thyme (lowers blood pressure and increases immunity), and basil (anti-inflammatory, and fabulous for digestional health). And what they all have in common? They’re delicious, and having them fresh is a game-changer in the kitchen.
If one dies, just try again. Plants can always be propagated or replaced, and like anything worthwhile in life, a true green thumb takes some practice. Once you find your groove, we recommend trying this Mixed Herb Pesto recipe with your lovely new bounty of ingredients.
What we’ve been watching
Every so often, a movie comes along that leaves you silent and slack-jawed when the credits roll: Babylon (1980), a frank and poetic look at the beginnings of London’s highly influential reggae culture and the complexities of the immigrant experience that fueled it, is now available for streaming across select services.
At 40 years old, the fervor of this film was ahead of its time: it was suppressed and slapped with an undeserved NC 17 rating upon its release for its unclouded depiction of racism and xenophobia, but has since garnered top praise and a passionate following over the years. As heavy as it is life-affirming, it’s soundtracked entirely to an original selection of reggae, dub, and lover’s rock anthems (we reached for our phone to Shazam songs from certain scenes at least four or five times). Plus, it’s shot masterfully, thanks to the talent of two-time Academy Award winner Chris Menges. More than just a portrait of the haves and have-nots, watching this movie felt like being swept in an undercurrent of moral distress and undying passion, a tribute to beauty and culture that so often blooms from a place of pain.
While it’s critical viewing for cinephiles and music junkies alike, Babylon is a perfect film for anyone looking to have a spellbound movie night, and one to underpin the importance of our present-day discourse.
What we’ve been reading
We just finished reading We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer a little over a month ago, and it hasn’t left our mind since. Rife with pointed statistics and clear-eyed research, Safran Foer addresses climate change head-on with an artfully presented call to action. While the information itself is arresting, it’s the heartfelt lucidity and urgency with which it’s written that makes this book feel deeply human, honest, and poignant.
In a time of COVID, accurate information is king. It enables us to make choices that make sense for our own well-being and the community around us. The worst thing we can do is turn a blind eye to knowledge, and especially at a time of highly politicized tension, having the bravery to unpack difficult conversations with those around us has never been more important. Though the urge to make a difference can sometimes get drowned out by the anxiety of never being able to do “enough”, this book reminded us that even small actions can bloom into necessary changes worth fighting for.
What we’ve been making
Bondi Harvest is one of our favorite sources of chef-spiration, and with more time spent indoors, it’s an opportune time to expand your kitchen creativity.
We’re a tad bit obsessed with this Miso Glazed Eggplant recipe in particular. With an inventive arrangement of choice veggie ingredients, it hits the trifecta of being healthy, delicious, and easy to make. A delicate, savory symphony with sweet and sour notes, we’d bet you’d enjoy whipping this up as much as we do.