Friday, September 5, 2008

Eggplant, Luka, and A New Blogger

The rain came last night, and the outside world around me is wet and dreary. But I am extremely excited about it. Hopefully some of my vegetables will perk up and continue to grow strong. Obviously, the season is over for some of them. But there is always a hope that the others continue to yield more vegetables and fruit until the October frost.

I harvested those two beautiful eggplants that were growing strong. After considering all my options, I decided to cook a Vietnamese stir-fry with garlic, Thai chilies from my garden, and some Vietnamese soy condiments.

Below: The beautiful, long eggplants

Unlike the first eggplants I harvested, which looked completely seedless and young, these had small seeds. Its flesh was soft, which made cutting it very easy. The knife cut into its flesh, and it was a clean cut each time. I loved the contrasting colors between its white flesh and its purple body.

Below: The eggplants’ flesh (on our bamboo cutting board)

The final product was delicious. I ate it over white rice. No need for extra seasoning. It was spicy because of the Thai peppers, but I like things a little hot. I also cut up one small cucumber (the remainder from the garden) and ate that on the side. Delicious meal!

Below: Yummy in the Tummy

And now some overdue photos of Luka. She’s growing and is SO hyper. I do love that wherever I go, whatever room I am in, that’s where you’ll find her. She sleeps most of the day when I am working, but at night, she gets all crazy and tries to attack my legs. It’s not her claws that bother me, it’s her teeth. It’s annoying, and I play fetch with her to try to calm her down. But this is no regular cat. She seems to have more energy than anything I’ve ever seen. She will continue to play for hours at a time. I’ll be playing with her sometimes, and she’ll start to pant like a dog. I stop because I think she’s too tired. But she runs up and down the stairs for fun, even when she’s panting. She doesn’t want to stop.

Is this odd for a cat to pant?

Anyway, enjoy!

On a final note, I want to introduce my friend Jan to the Gardening community. After working in the publishing world, Jan made a career move to become an artist. And she is a beautiful artist at that! Check out her art blog.

Recently, Jan decided to start gardening. Because fall is upon us, she has decided to try some veggies in containers. Please check out her gardening blog and welcome her to the community. Her gardening blog is at

Welcome Jan!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Death of the Cucumbers

All things must come to an end, and it is now that time for my cucumber plants. This is a sad realization, but it is time to pull up all the plants. I've harvested the last of the cucumbers. They were small tiny things, barely larger than the palm of my hand. Although when I cut them up, they were not bitter and their seeds were regular size. They still tasted just as delicious as their larger brothers and sisters. Can you believe it? I was surprised. So I am still munching on the last of my crop.

Two months of cucumber production is pretty good, I think. And boy, did those plants produce. It seemed I was harvesting one or two large sized cucumbers each day. My family really ate them very quickly. I had dreams of pickling, but nope--we ate them like they were big cherries. Just ate them raw and also in salads.

Below: The end of the line...

As you can see in the pictures, there was one plant, one vine that was trying to survive and produce more. It was green, and there was a beautiful female flower with hope for new fruit. I was excited, but I decided that it probably wouldn't produce a decent size cucumber.

Below: New growth, new excitement
So I'm about to pull up all the cucumber plants. I want to plant more seeds for the fall and even winter, but I am wondering what to get. I think I'll have to order the seeds online because they no longer carry them at the Lowe's or Home Depot near my house.

I have some fall crops started, but what are some good winter crops that will survive? I'll be planting garlic bulbs this October, but what other options do I have?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cabbage and Betty

My lone cabbage head is slowly growing into an actual head. It looks pretty cool. I'm thinking it'll be October before I can actually harvest it. But it looks very pretty as it grows. And the bug problems that I had earlier in the summer are now just an old memory. The leaves look very healthy.

Below: The cabbage head

I have an update on Betty, the cantaloupe. She is looking pretty good, and it won't be long before I can harvest her and eat her delicious flesh.

Below: A picture of Betty from last week

Betty is actually a small cantaloupe, but I think her small size means that she will be much sweeter once I eat her.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thai Peppers

Despite my lack of success with bell peppers this year, our Thai peppers are growing strong. We have several bushes. These peppers are small but they do kick a nice punch.

Below: Thai peppers... and lots of flowers

My parents have grown Thai peppers in their garden for years. My entire life, I cannot recall a time when my dad did not eat these very hot peppers. He eats them raw with his rice. He'll take a bite of rice and take a bite of a Thai pepper.

I could never eat something so spicy, but I've been working on building my tolerance to these peppers. This year, I've been able to eat these peppers raw with my food and in Vietnamese dishes. It is strong, but I do like extra kick. Plus, I think Thai peppers do have added health benefits. I think it has vitamin C, B1, B2, D, and other good minerals that your body likes. My father has been eating these peppers since he was a young child, and he rarely goes to the doctor. Since moving to the US in 1991, I believe he's only been to see a doctor a few times. I think that's pretty cool.

Below: A few red Thai peppers

We only harvest the peppers when they are turn the bright red. There's a Vietnamese legend that says the hotness of the pepper depends on the person harvesting it. If it is a nicer person, the peppers won't taste as strong or hot. If it's a mean, cold person, the peppers will be extremely HOT!!!!

This year, they are HOT, lol. My mom was the one who harvested them. My dad says, "Guess what means about her?" LoL.

Both my parents are good people. So I guess the legend is false. =)

Happy Sunday.