Saturday, April 16, 2011

My window garden, post 8 - beans, beans the musical fruit

Well, lots of growth since my last post - and my beans have begun producing. Boy, have they.

There have been some setbacks. The garlic is busy dying off; I watered it too heavily to begin with, and it never recovered properly. The mint's aphids simply will not die, so it has been sequestered outside to prevent spread. It'll live or die out there. And last, the soybeans simply refuse to germinate. No idea why. They just hate me I guess.

Everything else is doing great - starting with the beans.

This gives some idea how well they've done.

Several of the beans ready for harvest.

Preston likes beans!

Part of one day's harvest.

Beans on the right, Marconi red pepper in the middle, cantaloupe on the left.

The largest okra. The other two are also thriving; I've had to re-pot them. I really only have room for one, so I'll probably give the other two to my dad and see how they do in the garden. Really hard to grow them around here under regular circumstances tho.

The other two okra and the eggplant in the background.


Eggplant closest, tomatillo next, and the continuously producing Chilean insanity (rocoto) pepper.

Another tomatillo!

Lavender, ready to produce its first flower!


The purple sage lives!

Garlic chives and rosemary. Thank goodness the black aphids never came back.

The massive pea riot. Still waiting for flowers....

That's about it. Mostly going pretty well. Keep wishing me luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yakiniku and spinach with peanut dressing

Its yummy. Trust me. Maybe the best pork chop I've ever had.

Spinach with peanut dressing

1/3 cup unsalted peanut butter (I like the natural stuff)
2 tbl soy sauce
2 teaspoons mirin
2 tbls bonito flakes
package of baby spinach
reserved water from cooking the spinach

Heat up some water and boil the spinach until its *just* wilted. Shouldn't take more than a minute or two. Reserve about a 1/4 cup of the spinach water, dump the rest of the spinach in a collender and spray cold water over it to stop the cooking. Once the spinach is cool wring it out against the side of the collender as best you can. Form into loaf or roll, put on paper towels in the fridge; let chill for a half an hour or so. In the meantime, mix together the peanut butter, soy sauce, and mirin. Once they are throughly mixed, add reserved spinach water in small increments until a liquid consistancy is reached. After a half an hour take spinach out of the fridge, remove towels. Pour peanut dressing over or next to spinach loaf, sprinkle with bonito flakes. Yum!

Yakiniku pork chops

Traditionally yakiniku would be done with bite size pieces of meat, but as I don't have a shichirin yet (much smaller screen than the big bars on my grill), and I had boneless pork chops, I went with them instead.

2-3 thick cut (3/4 inch) boneless pork chops
1 1/2 tablespoons miso paste
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (I like marukin)
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (optional, to taste)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon wasabi powder

Combine all ingredients except pork chops until smooth, and marinate chops in it (in a non-reactive bowl) for at least 30min, up to 8 hours. Heat up grill for about 10 minutes on high, and grill about 5-6 min per side. Serve with sticky white rice.