Friday, July 31, 2009

My first tiny tomato

I'll be the first to admit, lots of the things I've grown this year haven't produced anything in the way of crops. I bought this tomato plant out of peer pressure, but any tomato plants my mom ever tried to grow usually end up getting some kind of vascular wilt and passing on before producing any tomatoes. My hopes were anything but high. So imagine my very great surprise, when after 3 fruitless little cymes of flowers, I saw the above little tomato poking out from the calyx! Success at last!!

This is one of the first two cucumbers I've managed to grow from my 2 cucumber plants. The bees aren't doing much in the way of pollinating this year, and I finally managed to get this guy to start ripening after hand-pollinating the flowers. It's still about ring-finger size, but I've got my eye on it. If the fungus that seems to be working its way up the plant gets anywhere near it, it'll be harvested before you can say "pickle".

Eggs for breakfast

Normally a bit of buttered toast and a coffee will be fine for fueling the first few hours of my day. However, we were out of all kinds of toast yesterday. 

No-one was more surprised than my sleepy self when I quickly whipped up this scramble, with a few local orange peppers, free range eggs, knob of leftover pepper jack cheese and some garden chives on top. Garnished with some corn tortillas, for added evil content. 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Return of the Starry Fork

Also, in case you were wondering what the starry fork looks like, here 'tis. Bolting butter lettuce background. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I heart fennel

One of the most satisfying things about my new gardening experiences this year has been the fennel. You see here the biggest one that I have thus far harvested. I have several more in various degrees of plumping up. 

Perhaps I should explain. Until late last year, I was living in this ridiculous slum building in Strathcona, with no yard, no balcony and no opportunity for window boxes that did not immediately become prey to the various species of pests* that plagued us. 

My parents always used to garden back in the old house in Poco (TriCities Pride!), and I missed having a kitchen garden more than I realized. When we finally moved to a (relatively) pestless place with a patio, I immediately began accumulating pots and planning my garden. 

I picked up lots of seeds in the spring, mostly stuff I knew I could grow, like lettuce, carrots, arugula, peas, etc. And then I picked up some fennel seeds on a whim, because I freakin' love fennel, and I buy it all the time when it's in season. 
I don't really have much first hand gardening experience, and I had no idea that fennel would be so easy to grow. Easy to germinate the seeds, easy to maintain the seedlings, easy to protect from insects - really the only hard part has been resisting the urge to eat them before they get bigger. 

Somewhere along the way this pot of chives picked up a fennel sidekick. 

*Raccoons and pigeons in the ceiling, plus rats, mice, moths and flies

The Starry Fork and Bowl of Blue

I've got to admit, I'm a bit of a dork* when it comes to my cooking and eating tools.

I'm not saying I won't eat or drink out of whatever plate or cup is clean, but there are some that I find myself reaching for again and again. Reaching for first. 

Such is the starry fork. Light as a feather. Sturdy as the hardest steel. First amongst all my forks. 

I hope to explore in this space some of the things that I'm cooking at home, and photo-blog some of the fruits of my urban patio garden. I also hope that you will continue to read it! 

*Please note, I'm actually a gigantic nerd, but not really for the purposes of this food blog.