Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sun Gold

Over the years I've been asking myself what the big deal is about 'Sun Gold' tomatoes. Why does everyone grow them around here? Why would I chose these over the really unusual varieties that I can start from seed?

Well, I'm now eating crow with a side of Sun Gold tomatoes.

I came across an extra plant at work and placed it in a hot sunny spot. Cherry-sized golden tomatoes were ripe before mine at home were flowering. And the balance of acidity and sweetness is just about perfect. Their flavor is even more intense if picked in the heat of the afternoon sun.

It will be hard to resist eating every single last one of these tomatoes. I'm going to let the ripe ones go to seed. I'm definitely growing this reliable variety next year! 

Monday, August 13, 2012


I would like to say I thoroughly enjoy growing vegetables of any type. Well, for the first time, I have met one that I do not like growing. Broccoli.

I love eating broccoli and any member of the mustard family (except the overly used choy sum in Chinese restaurants--it never looks or tastes good). So why is it that I would be fine never growing it again? From each plant, I don't get much bang for my buck. Aesthetically, they are boring with a plant smaller than kale with a clump of flowers in the middle that's for harvesting. Once they are harvested, they look odd with the middle head clipped out and side shoots start to grow.

I didn't yank them out of the ground yet. "That would be wasteful!" as I'm constantly telling my 3-year old when it comes to tossing out food. I made a second round of broccoli harvests this evening for my curry. Oliver followed me out into the garden asking if he could try some. I gave him a little side shoot bouquet while trying not to show my utter suprise given he's always asking me to take out the "green things" from his plate. It didn't last long, but hey it was an attempt!

Back to dinner, I chopped these up including the ends of the stems. The side shoot ends were still tender, but anything below of the main stalk was too woody for cooking.

My curry is super easy. I use Patak's mild curry paste and add a spoonful or two to a large pot over medium high heat with chopped onions (1 medium) and carrots (3 peeled and diced). Stir until the carrots and onion are coated with the curry paste then add one can of coconut milk. Add cubed potatoes once the carrots are just tender. If you want to add either diced chicken or shrimp tails, hold off on adding broccoli (or green beans, corn, etc) until the meat is thoroughly done. When I'm making a vegetarian version with tofu, I'll add the veggies at the same time. Serve with quinoa, rice, or pasta (preferrably penne or bowties).

Yum! Curry is my ultimate comfort food in any season.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Magnolia Sugar Snap Pea

I absolutely love the look of this sugar snap pea. A sucker for anything purple, when I read in the Adaptive Seeds catalogue that the pods were purple, I had to grow them and see for myself.

The flowers are sweet too. I'm usually not a fan of pink, but I like the two shades of pink here. The banner (that's the top part of the flower) is a light blush. The wings (the two petals underneath the banner) are a dark dusty rose hue. And the keel (the 5th petal in between the wings) is a bluish purple which you can see in the flower on the left.
The pods are longer and not as fat as the Cascadia variety. But I do like how nutty the flavor is. Maybe a little more water on the irrigation front will help.
I'm super excited these came through for me. I can't wait to include them in a summery Asian noodle salad. Yum!