Summer blockbuster

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Korean pancakes

Korean pancakes (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune)

Gardening is slow going. Drop a seed; harvest a carrot. In between there's watering, weeding, waiting. No chase scene, no explosion, no big reveal.

The jump-cut can be spliced together from sprouted potato, zucchini seedling or cabbage transplant. Speeds things along. A little.

Still, it's less action flick than documentary: plodding.

The storyboard for my own garden rom-com calls for copious hedges, the better to background frolic or picnic. But little boxwoods take time, and big boxwoods take money.

Then the guy at the garden center let me in on strike propagation.

Plot twist! Snip a clipping, dip it in rooting powder, plant. Turning one shrub into dozens. I stayed out past midnight, clipping, dipping, digging. I decided to hedge every bed. I envisioned a box-office hit: Gardeners With Borders.

Turns out not every plant likes to be snipped. Not every clipping likes to be dipped. But working out the details has turned my summer into a thriller.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at

Twitter @leaheskin

Korean vegetable pancakes

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: About 12 minutes per pancake

Makes: 4 pancakes, serves 2

1 egg white

¼ cup water

½ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup shredded sweet potato*

½ cup each shredded zucchini, carrot, cabbage*

½ cup mung bean sprouts

½ teaspoon kosher salt

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