Sunday, June 29, 2014
Today I made my first ever batch of harissa......better than what I was served at Petra where I learned of it and MUCH hotter. I used "Filipino Mexican Tree Peppers" in my Magic Bullet blender. Pita bread dabbed in it and cucumber yogurt sauce is wonderful.
Monday, June 23, 2014
I see what Paul Zmoda meant about that shortcoming of the "Indian Shallot" we both got from that Indian guy at the Tampa Rare Fruit Council......I did not lift them immediately for summer when the tops died back recently so yesterday fished around with my hands in that container garden and found just one bulb! I guess the rest rotted. Since the plants and bulbs are very petite and grow only in the cooler half of the year I'll likely just stick with my years old strain of Allium fistulosum that is truly perennial here, and the VERY promising "EcoFarm Replicating Onion" that I got from Jon and and Debbie Butts that grows year round and that resembles a smaller form of my A. fistulosum but that, oddly, sends up viviparous stalks.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
AC conduit sleeve hanging from a branch of my Jamaican Cherry tree has deterred birds in THAT area, but they still feast too much elsewhere. Let's see if plastic snakes from Dollar Tree help too...since my propagation tables are beneath the tree and I work in that area daily it will be no trouble to put the snakes in new locations each day to hopefully make them seem alive. The tree is LOADED with an incredible number of green fruits!
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Since so many people this year are having a rough time with fruits being stolen by birds and squirrels I want to share this new development....as I thought might happen, once my Jamaican Cherry tree was laden with ripening/ripe fruits the birds started ignoring the CDs on fishing line. So when Cracker and I took a walk a few nights ago I pulled out of the construction dumpster where a home is being built at the west end of my block a 6 foot length of the shiny mylar sleeve on AC conduit and tied it to a NW branch....I am right back to eating many daily!
Monday, June 9, 2014
I've been asked about the recipe for the yellow split pea dal I brought to the Rare Fruit Council meeting yesterday, but I always just wing it when I cook vs. use recipes and measure but here is the gist: I sauteed chopped yellow onions and garlic in coconut and roasted sesame oil, added a lot of water then the yellow split peas plus sea salt, tanduri masala curry powder, several sprinkles of asa feotida, maybe two heaping tablespoons of an Indian chutney called 'kerala vadu mango', maybe 15 "Filipino Mexican Tree Peppers", simmered until the peas fell apart, then added maybe 2 cups of dry parboiled rice, simmered, let cool, stored overnight in the fridge so the flavors could meld, then the next morning added some water as it had thickened a LOT then reheated slowly before the meeting. I've used garam masala for easily 30 years but am really liking the tanduri masala I got on impulse/curiosity at Oceanic Market in downtown Tampa.
I wondered if the birds would adapt to the CDs hanging from the branches of the Jamaican Cherry tree....they have, and I am getting 6-8 berries daily all of a sudden. A house is being built at the end of my block so I am pulling out of the construction dumpster the strong SHINY silver mylar sheathing from discarded AC conduits and just now hung the first one....about 6 feet long and a foot wide. Next I'll bring home the ones on the large diameter conduits and hang those too.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Folks here have discussed this and our many efforts before but I MAY have stumbled onto something...my Denver years had me thinking that the hard neck garlics that have purple skin and that grow SO well there need cold weather, and that the white skinned soft neck types grown commercially in southern California prefer a mild climate. Recently I noticed that my Publix now has a BIG bin of garlic with purple skin and great flavor. When I inquired where it came from he showed me the sign saying "From Mexico". So here is my hunch....I've heard before of mild climate "Creole Garlics" that do well even in Cuba to the point that one nickname is "Cuban Purple". A little bit of Googling QUICKLY left me feeling that this Publix garlic might well be a Creole type, so I'll plant a few cloves now as a VERY long shot, then buy several bulbs and keep them in the fridge until this fall in case it is not being sold then (in Denver July was garlic harvesting month so maybe June is for Mexico?). I can't help but get excited that this MIGHT be what many of us have long wanted....a garlic that will grow and SET BULBS vs. just making tops in central Florida. But the rational part of me feels I won't know until late next spring or early summer. Fingers crossed as I just can't cook without onions and garlic!