The day started soft with a gentle misty rain enough to dampen your shirt but not enough to provide opportunity for staying inside with a hot cup of coffee. So out we both went to play in the garden. Except sometimes that garden play is grueling work. Sixty years of maturity makes a 32 inch garden bed reach seem near impossible. This provided me with some missteps and even a few bad words when I tipped the tray of okra plants over dumping them right out of their little peat pots. It all worked out in the end though.
You can see how overcast it is by the lack of shadows – the best kind of tomato planting day you can ask for. These green zebra tomatoes went in the ground today along with the half-dozen Black Krim. I will plant some Celebrity’s and a cool sounding new variety (for me anyway) Japanese Black Trifele. Additionally I started a six seed hill of Long Green burpless cucumbers (more hills as the season progresses), planted a trellis worth of Contender pole beans (rattlesnake were my first choice but I seemed to have forgotten to order the seed!), transplanted nine Clemson Spineless okra, started a pot of cilantro from tap roots. I have no idea if doing that with cilantro will work but we should know in a few days. Gave the leeks and Tokyo Longs (onions) a haircut, pulled a few radishes and ate a handful of snow peas from the vine. Weeded. Did I mention weeding? The day was looking up.
Speaking of cilantro – I have never been good at growing this simple to grow herb and have never been able to get enough of it to eat. Until this past winter season. I have discovered that planting it thick, mulching lightly and forgetting about it over a season will get the best results. And winter growing in this protected kitchen garden spot seems to be beneficial also. I now have so much cilantro that I am pulling it out by the handful. That is how I came to realize it had a small but decided tap root. So I set a mess of it in a pot and topped it with potting soil.
Continuing to speak of cilantro, lunch was a new favorite of mine and an old one of Gene’s – kao dtom – Thai rice soup. It calls for a lot of cilantro. I mistakenly refered to it as cow dung soup and was sharply chastised. Kidding aside I am in love with this soup. I have no idea how authentic the recipe is. Gene acquired it while living in Thailand some years ago but we are certain it was Americanized to some degree.
This is what we did with the soup recipe.
Cook one cup rice in 1 quart chicken broth and one quart water until done leaving the lid off. Prepare vegetable as follows; chop one cup fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup tomato, 1/2 cup onion, 3 cloves garlic, a thumb of minced ginger, 1 cup mushrooms and 1/2 cup cooked chicken.
In a small skillet melt one tablespoon coconut oil and saute the onion for a couple of minutes. Then add the garlic, ginger, mushrooms and chicken. Add about 1 tablespoon fish sauce and a teaspoon red pepper flakes or some other Thai chili.
Combine all ingredients into the soup/rice pan. Add the cilantro and tomatoes. Heat through. Serve with fresh squeezed lime juice.
So then the sun came out and it was a balmy 67 degrees but we were tired and full and needed a nap by then. BUT it was nearly three o’clock and we had errands to run. So off we went to Ka Lee Ko Rock (there is a joke here but I will not share it with you right now).
Shopping with Joey, our local organic grower scored these beautiful delicate radishes – another thing I’ve been craving this spring. The radishes, a few herbs, Celebrity tomatoes and off we went to the next stop. At Harps we picked up marigolds which I refuse to start from seed. They just give me fits. My mother though can grow the heck out of marigolds. And ageratum! They had ageratum the very best thing to grow with marigolds. And one stray tomato – the organic Japanese Black Trifele from Peace Farm Organics. Who would have known!? I’m looking forward to this one for sure.
The post office held a special gift from Gene, “Thai Food” by David Thompson. I have been bitten by the Thai cooking bug and this book was so highly recommended it almost seems the standard by which all others are judged. I am so eager to start trying a few of the less difficult recipes soon. Maybe even a more authentic version of kao dtom.
So we had another easy meal for dinner. Quinoa salad with edamame, corn, celery, cilantro, onion, garlic, radishes, cranberry and pecans dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and some red pepper flakes. Feta would have worked. No phood fotos, sorry pholks.
Except for this little strawberry peach galette dessert thing. Yum. Just make your favorite pie crust, mix together 3 tablespoons of sugar and one tablespoon of flour, stir the flour/sugar into about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of lightly chopped fruit. Let that sit until juice starts to run. Roll the dough out and place the round on a pizza pan. Spread the filling to within a couple inches of the edge. Fold the edge up all the way around. Bake at 375 for about twenty minutes. Viola! Easy dessert rustica!
And last but not least there was this amazing package on the doorstep when we arrived back from our errands. A brand new pressure cooker from my mother. THANK YOU MOM!!
Canning just got a whole lot easier and safer too! It’s not even my birthday but it sure was a large day!
Bonnie appetite to you all!