Friday, January 20, 2006

January's Garden

The January heat wave came just in time to turn my Serranos red - perfect for another batch of Trinidadian Pepper Sauce. Yummmmmmm.

Fennel comes up wild in my garden - one of the benefits of being a laissez faire gardener is to end up with edible weeds. Fennel bulbs like this one pair nicely with in season citrus.

Barely blossoms - future Meyer Lemons. Sadly, since my apartment building is For Sale, and I may be leaving for a Peace Corps assignment in September, I may never get to enjoy the fruit from this recently planted tree. I've been told that to grow a healthy tree, it should be prevented from fruiting the first year to encourage healthy root growth. I don't know if I have the heart to pluck its baby blossoms though. If I do get to harvest these puppies, you can bet I'll be making Meyer Lemon Mousse and Lemon Curd. Their frangrance knocks me over!

We may finally be blessed with artichokes this spring. I thought after last year's rains this plants was a goner-it was in the lowest and therefore wettest part of the garden. Then after the landlord leveled the garden at the end of May 05, I thought it was a goner again. But, noooooo. This plant just keeps coming back.

Cabbage and wild chard.

I used to think that growing cabbage was so unsatisfying. But last year I changed my mind. It's true it does take most of the winter to grow (>6 mos), but it is so satisfying to stroll out to the garden in early springtime (when the lettuce is starting to die back from exhaustion) and pull one up for recipes and salads for the next week. Cabbage may be my favorite vegetable these days - whether making Salvadoran Curtido or sauteeing it with onions and sausage or making cabbage salad with mango, lime and chile. Que sabroso! Wild chard is a perfect addition to Panade (check out the Zuni Cafe cookbook for a perfect panade recipe!).