edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
six pepper seedlings in black plastic planters . five pepper seedlings in plastic planters and pots

1. peppers A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, and B5 - Monday, 19 June 2017
2. peppers C2, C4, C6, D1, and D3


three images under the cut )


As you can see, I have rearranged my peppers. Actually I had them rearranged for a while -- not in this exact configuration, which I adopted a couple days ago because I wanted to space out the squash planters a little -- but differently from the groups-of-six I was using for photos. This is because Landlord Dude has yet to fix the damn gutter on the back of the house, and consequently any rain harder than a drizzle (or that lasts longer than half an hour) turns the gutter into a waterfall that happens to be right over one of my kitchen windows/my back porch. So I make sure none of my poor plants are right under the cascade, because they are small and tender and do not deserve to be punched repeatedly in the metaphorical face. *wry*

As you can also see, I have staked sixteen of the peppers. I did not stake E6 because it's growing noticeably slower than the others, but I think I will do so Wednesday evening because I will be leaving on vacation Thursday morning and I am quite sure it will need a stake before I get home a week later. I also didn't stake B5 because the poor dear is only just beginning to recover from its savage beheading -- it is growing a new leaf! Life finds a way!

Pepper D5 has something wrong with its leaves. I suspect it may have caught some residue from the fungicide/insecticide I sprayed on the Lazarus pepper a couple weeks ago, but the newest tiny leave seem on track to be normal rather than crumpled, so I trust it will do all right in the long run.


two images under the cut )


tiny green bell pepper on a pepper plant

8. the Lazarus pepper - Monday, 19 June 2017 (OMG AN ACTUALFAX PEPPER!!!)


And last but not least, the Lazarus pepper bloomed! The first bud opened on Wednesday, and as of today that first flower has lost its petals (heavy rain, what can you do?) to reveal an ACTUALFAX PEPPER. It is so tiny. And so cute. :DDD

I continue to fight a rearguard action against the evils of the white mulberry tree. You have no idea how many berries I have to sweep off the porch every day, or pick out of the pots and planters, to say nothing of the infinite mulberry seedlings I have to uproot and toss away.

(If you haven't realized by now? I hate mulberry trees. I mean, they are probably lovely trees in an orchard, or out in the woods where they can do their own thing without bothering anyone, but trust me, you do NOT want them in your yard. Not in a million years. They are a MENACE.

Also they attract squirrels, but that is a separate problem.)


four images under the cut )


Meanwhile, unidentified marauders (*cough* squirrels *cough*) tried to uproot Tan and/or shred its stem again, but so far as I can tell the leaves retain enough connection to the root system to stay alive. Also I have buried the long, floppy part of the stem under even more potting soil -- I did the same for Sethera while I was at it -- and have tried to prop up the vertical parts of the plants such that they have proper support and won't tip over under their own weight as the grow.

Azer and Covera, of course, do not suffer from this problem as they never went through a floppy phase of growing sideways in search of the sun, and are both growing great guns. I am fairly sure their mutual end goal is to devour my porch. Sethera and Tan probably share this ambition, though they are not quite as well-placed to follow through on it. *wry*

I have spaced out the four planters a little bit, but I am beginning to think that I may have to move one or two of them off the porch entirely. I am not sure where else they could go. Down in the yard among the raspberry canes? (Which survived last year's drought and have put up slightly alarming amounts of new growth; I think they want to devour my porch as well, though from below rather than from above.) In the front yard behind the shelter of the hedge? In the driveway beside the trash cans?

I will have to consider this before they get too big to move...


[[original Tumblr post (peppers), for when the embedded images inevitably break ; original Tumblr post (squash), for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
chicken and vegetables on rice, topped with lemon yogurt, with a bottle of hard cider to the right


I finally made the third Blue Apron dinner tonight, so.

What Blue Apron assumes you have: stove, oven, cutting board, knife, small cooking pot with a functional lid, pan of reasonable size, a zester, several bowls and plates, measuring spoons, measuring cup, a whisk, a baking tray, a cooling rack, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

What Blue Apron provides: chicken (pre-cut!!!), 1 zucchini, 1 onion, 1 lemon, some parsley, a small packet of whole almonds, a small container of currants, a pat of salted butter, a packet of spice mix (cardamom, cumin, and turmeric), 1/2 cup jasmine rice, and 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt.

The recipe is as follows:

1. Cut onion into thin slices
2. Cut zucchini into quarters (lengthwise) and then into slices
3. Chop parsley and almonds (they can go into the same dish)
4. Zest lemon, then cut into quarters
5. Dump currants into a bowl and squeeze two lemon quarters over them so they can soak in lemon juice for a while

At some point in here, start the rice (the exact time will depend on how efficient you are at cutting and zesting):

1. Dump 1 cup water, the rice packet, and some salt into a small cooking pot
2. Bring to a boil
3. Cover and reduce heat to low
4. Cook ~13 minutes, or until all water is absorbed
5. Transfer ~half the rice to a baking tray and spread into an even layer
6. Set the rest aside in a warm place (I suggest removing it from the pot to avoid sticking)

At some point in the rice-cooking process, you will want to start pre-heating the oven to 475F.

While the rice is cooking, you can start the chicken:

1. Rinse and dry the chicken.
2. In a bowl, mix spice packet, salt, and black pepper
3. Dump the chicken in and mess it around until fully coated
4. Heat olive oil in a pan
5. Add chicken, cook on medium-high for ~7 minutes
6. Put chicken in a dish and set aside in a warm place

At this point you start the vegetables:

1. DO NOT CLEAN THE PAN; YOU WANT THE SPICE AND OIL AND CHICKEN GUNK
2. Add the onion and cook ~7 minutes
3. Once onion is soft, add the zucchini and cook ~7 minutes
4. Once zucchini is cooked, add the parsley, almonds, and chicken
5. Cook 1-2 minutes to mix flavors
6. You can add salt and pepper to taste at any point in this process

While the vegetables are cooking:

1. Drizzle olive oil over the baking tray
2. Bake the rice for ~8 minutes, stirring halfway through
3. Theoretically it should turn lightly brown and crispy
(NOTE: I did not cook the rice this long, because noticeably crunchy rice is kind of texturally gross to me)
4. Set aside to cool for 2-3 minutes
5. Mix into normal rice
6. Add the currants and lemon juice, mix thoroughly

Also while the vegetables are cooking:

1. Mix yogurt, lemon zest, and 1 tsp water in a bowl
2. Squeeze the remaining two lemon quarters into the mixture
3. Whisk everything together
4. Add salt and pepper if you want (I don't think it needs any)

Then you put the rice on a plate, dump some of the chicken and vegetable mix over it, and top everything with a blob of the lemon yogurt. The rice makes two portions, but the chicken-veggie mix makes three, so I guess I will be making some rice (and squirting it with lemon juice?) on Sunday night to go along with the third portion.

I was a little skeptical of the lemon yogurt, both as a general concept and as an accompaniment to this dish in particular, but trust me, you WANT to make and use it. It really pulls the whole meal together!

Also, this time the super-dry hard cider was the correct beverage choice. ;)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Over the past week, my plants have suffered depredations from passing animals. (Probably squirrels.) They bit the stem and leaves off poor pepper B5, knocked over pepper B3, and made a serious gash on Tan's exposed stem.


six pepper seedlings in black plastic planters . six pepper seedlings in black plastic planters

1. peppers A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, and B5 - Monday, 12 June 2017
2. peppers C2, C4, C6, D1, D3, and D5


six images under the cut )


All the plants in question are still alive (though I don't know if B5 will recover and put forth new leaves), but I think sometime this coming week I will tie all the peppers to stakes -- not because they're especially floppy, but because stakes discourage squirrels from squishing them while they're still tiny and tender. I also want to make sure that all of Tan and Sethera's horizontal and non-prickly stem sections are covered by soil to protect them from casual bites.


one pepper plant in a terracotta pot

9. the Lazarus pepper


Meanwhile the Lazarus pepper continues to look somewhat undernourished, so I gave it some more fertilizer this morning. I expect it to start flowering over the next week or two.

And that is pretty much that. (Well. Aside from the infernal mulberry sprouts. But my war with the white mulberry tree that grows bang up against my porch railing is a long and tedious tale, which I will summarize by saying that if you are thinking of planting a mulberry anywhere near a building or a patch of ground you want to use as a garden? DON'T.)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
rare steak and a vegetable and potato medley on a plate, with a bottle of hard cider to the right


I forgot to take process photos this time, but here is the finished product!

You may notice that I put the salsa verde on the side rather than spreading it over the vegetables and/or the meat. That's because, given how terrible the charred lime from the last recipe ended up being, I wasn't sure the flavors would actually mesh well. But they do, and when I reheat the leftovers I'm totally dumping it over everything. :)

(Note: I chose the wrong hard cider. This meal really needs something fruity, but I grabbed the driest option in my variety pack. Oops.)

This recipe is pretty simple in concept: steak plus roasted vegetables plus a bit of zing. I doubt I'll ever recreate it exactly, but I do like steak an awful lot so attempting a slightly simplified variation is not out of the question.

What Blue Apron assumes you have: an oven, a stove, a baking tray, a frying pan of decent size, paper towels to pat the steaks dry, a cutting board, a good knife, aluminum foil, a whisk, measuring spoons, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

What Blue Apron provides: 2 steaks, ~1/2lb fingerling potatoes, 3 radishes, a bunch of asparagus, 1 lemon, some garlic cloves, some parsley, and some capers.

The recipe is roughly as follows:

1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
2. Clean and chop all the vegetables.
3. Cut the lemon into quarters.
4. Smash or grate the garlic.
5. Put the potatoes (cut side down) on a baking tray.
6. Cover them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. (I would advise getting some oil UNDER the potatoes as well, if you want to remove them with any ease.)
7. Bake ~15 minutes. Turn the oven off and set them aside to cool.

While the potatoes are baking:

1. Clean the steaks and pat them dry.
2. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
3. Heat some olive oil in the frying pan.
4. Cook the steaks 3-5 minutes per side, depending on how rare or well done you want the meat.
5. Set the steaks aside on a cutting board and cover them loosely with aluminum foil.
6. Allow them to set for at least 5 minutes.

While the steaks are setting:

1. DO NOT CLEAN THE FRYING PAN; YOU WANT THE STEAK JUICE AND BROWN GUNK.
2. Dump the radishes into the frying pan and cook 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the asparagus and cook 3-4 minutes.
4. You can add more salt and pepper at any point here, if you want.
5. Add ~1/2 of the garlic and cook ~1 minute.
6. Turn off the heat, add the potatoes.
7. Squeeze 2 lemon quarters over the mix. Stir.

While the veggies are cooking:

1. Mix parsley, capers, ~1/2 of the garlic in a bowl.
2. Squeeze the other 2 lemon quarters into the bowl.
3. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and whisk together slowly.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the veggies are done:

1. Cut the steak (crosswise) into slices.
2. Plate and serve.

This time I think it really does serve two. (Well. I probably could have divided it into three portions, but as mentioned above, I am kind of a sucker for steak, so. Two it is!)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Picture time!


eight images under the cut )


curry in a bowl, with catfish and a charred lime on top . curry and fish in bowl, with a bottle of hard cider to the right

9. the finished meal (before I ditched the lime)
10. the finished meal plus a drink :)


The things Blue Apron assumes you have are: several plates, paper towels for blotting wet fish, a cutting board, a can opener, a good knife, a zester, a carrot peeler, a measuring cup, a teaspoon (I did not bother to measure my olive oil this carefully), a pan with high sides (or a big pot), a frying pan of decent size, access to clean water, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

The ingredients Blue Apron provides are: two catfish fillets, ~1lb Yukon Gold potatoes, 1 can (13.5oz) coconut milk, some bok choy, some carrots, some garlic cloves, 1 lime, cilantro (I didn't use this), 3 Tbsp rice flour, 1 lime leaf, 2 Tbsp red curry paste, and 1 Tbsp white sugar.

The curry recipe is as follows:

1. Clean and prep all the vegetables.
2. Zest the lime.
3. Cook potatoes in olive oil for ~15 minutes. (This is a lie. It will take more like 25 minutes.) Season them with salt and pepper at some point in this process.
4. Add the carrots, garlic, and curry paste (to taste). You can add more olive oil if you need to make everything mix well. Cook ~2 minutes.
5. Add the coconut milk, bok choy, sugar, lime leaf, and 1/4 cup water. Cook for another ~15 minutes, maybe less if you like your vegetables fimer.
6. When you have turned off the heat, remove the lime leaf and mix in lime zest instead. Add more salt and pepper if you want.

During the times the curry is cooking, you will be doing two other things! While you soften/brown the potatoes:

1. Cook the two lime halves (cut sides down) in olive oil for ~3 minutes, until charred.
2. Set them aside somewhere until you serve the meal.
3. Clean the frying pan; you will need it again.

While you cook down the coconut milk, etcetera:

1. Clean the catfish and pat it dry.
2. Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper.
3. Put the rice flour on a plate.
4. Cover one side of each fillet in flour.
5. Cook the fish (flour side DOWN) in olive oil for ~6 minutes.
6. Flip, then cook another ~3 minutes.

If you time it right, your curry and fish should be done at about the same time. Put the curry in a bowl, drop the fish on top, add a lime, and you are good to go. :)

Blue Apron claims this serves two. I am pretty sure it produces four portions of curry and three portions of fish, but eh, to each their own.


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
one squash seedling in a clear plastic tub . one squash seedling in a clear plastic tub

1. Tan, Monday, 5 June 2017
2. Sethera


two photos under the cut )


As previously mentioned, only one of the seeds in the fourth squash container sprouted, and its cotyledons were somewhat damaged -- brown spots at the edges and so on. But the seedling (henceforth known as Covera) has been growing, albeit a bit slowly, and its growth pattern (firm upright stem) follows that of Azer rather than the inside sprouts (Tan and Sethera), so I think it will be all right.

The other peppers are putting forth proper leaves, and while Azer is lagging Tan and Sethera in number of leaves, it certainly makes up for that in size and general health.


one pepper plant in a terracotta pot . six pepper seedlings in black plastic planters

4. the Lazarus pepper
5. peppers A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, and B5


two photos under the cut )


Meanwhile the Lazarus pepper is still looking a bit unhappy. I suspect soil leaching, since after all it's been in that pot for over twelve months now. I don't think sun shock is the problem, since it sits under the mulberry tree and is thus relatively shaded. The weather continues to be abnormally cold and wet, but I did give all the plants a small dose of MiracleGro this morning. (And they have probably lost it all to a thunderstorm this afternoon. *sigh* Well, I do try.) It also has a number of buds, which are probably a week or two from opening, and I think it's been putting forth some new leaf growth as well.

The baby peppers have take a while to properly settle into their new homes, but they are now beginning to grow in earnest and I expect the next couple weeks to show some significant height gains.


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
two photos under the cut )


two squash seedlings in a clear plastic tub

3. Azer and Hovera


It is nothing short of amazing what a difference it makes when squash seedlings spend at least a few hours outdoors in direct sunlight in the days immediately after they sprout, instead of living entirely indoors with inadequate supplemental artificial lighting, as you can see by the developmental differences between Tan and Sethera (indoor sprouts) on the one hand, and Azer and Hovera (outdoor sprouts) on the other.


Side note: Tethera's stem broke when I was checking it soil for moisture levels. I have planted two new seeds in that container, which have not yet sprouted. I've been keeping the seeds indoors for warmth, but will probably shift the container outside as soon as they sprout.


one pepper plant in a terracotta pot . six pepper seedlings in black plastic planters

4. the Lazarus pepper
5. peppers A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, and B5


two photos under the cut )


Meanwhile, the Lazarus pepper has been having some issues with its lower leaves, so I have sprayed it with my 3-in-1 fungicide, miticide, and insecticide. Hopefully that will help. It also has a whole bunch of buds, but none of them are particularly close to opening.

The baby peppers have now moved outside for good and for keeps (at least assuming the temperature doesn't drop below 50F at night in the next week or two, in which case I would bring them inside overnight), and this morning they enjoyed their first rainstorm, which has since been followed by delicious sunshine. :)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
(Back on my regular Monday schedule. *wry*)

two squash seedlings in clear plastic tubs . one squash seedling and two squash sprouts in clear plastic tubs

1. Tan and Tethera, Monday, 22 May 2017
2. Sethera, Azer, and Hovera


As you can see, the newest squash seeds (Azer and Hovera) have both sprouted. They peeked above the soil around 11pm Saturday night and have been going great guns since then. I will give them a week or two of growing before I decide which one gets to live.


six pepper seedlings in black plastic planters . six pepper seedlings in planters and assorted pots

3. peppers A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, and B5
4. peppers C2, C4, C6, D1, D3, and D5


six pepper seedlings in assorted pots . one pepper plant in a terracotta pot

5. peppers E2, E4, E6, F1, F3, and F5
6. the Lazarus pepper


All the peppers are enjoying another day trip outdoors. They will come back in around dinner time, because of the weather. (This has been a weirdly cold, wet spring, and that shows no sign of changing any time soon.) I think I will also bring the Lazarus pepper in tonight, though tomorrow I may finally be able to leave it out 24-7. I intended to do that over the weekend, but I've been a little jittery when temperatures keep dropping below 50F overnight.

The weather has also made it a little tricky to start moving the seedlings outdoors, since I don't want to just toss them out for twelve hours straight while I'm at work (yikes!) and my days off tend to be iffy on the weather front. I assume it can't stay cold forever, though.

And that's about it for the week. :)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
As you have doubtless noticed, I failed to post about my plants on Monday the 15th. This is because depression occasionally whacks me in the brain with a bag of sand for a while, whereupon I let stuff unrelated to immediate survival (or my job) slide until such time as I have the spoons to deal with it. Yes, even fun stuff like gardening. *sigh*

Anyway, I did scrape together a decent bunch of spoons today so here we are with the grand pepper repotting and squash thinning post. Better late than never, yeah? *wry*


four pepper seedlings in black plastic planters . two pepper seedlings in a black plastic planter

1. peppers A2, A4, A6, and B1 (Friday, 19 May 2017)
2. peppers B3 and B5


two more images under the cut )


I decided that this year I wanted to keep better track of my peppers, which is why I 'named' them on a grid system back when they were still in their little black plastic tray. I therefore painted those IDs onto the planters and pots and made sure to transfer each plant to the correct final home.

You may note that several of the seedlings have lost a cotyledon. This is because I was kind of a dumbass and left them out too long one afternoon last week, and then overwatered them in a slightly panicked reaction to their desperately wilted state. :( But they seem to be recovering (I think the fertilizer I gave them last weekend perked them up a bit) and I figure proper soil can only help in that process.


two squash seedlings in a clear plastic tub . one squash seedling in a clear plastic tub

5. Yan and Tan (Thursday, 18 May 2017)
6. Tethera


four more images under the cut )


Meanwhile, all the second-round squash seedlings were doing fairly well, but I had to murder two of them or the only eventual survivor would have been Tethera -- these tubs are not big enough to support two full-grown squash plants. So Yan and Pip got snipped, since Tan and Sethera, their pot-mates, were flourishing just that vital bit more. I hate this part of gardening, which is why I vastly prefer to plant single seeds and transplant the survivors. Alas, that is not practical for squash!

I should mention, at this point, that Meeny (my one surviving first-round squash seedling) died last Friday. I am not sure what went wrong. Perhaps I overwatered there as well? Perhaps Meeny did not cope well with being confined to my kitchen after several afternoons outdoors in proper sun? (I had to bring all the plants inside last week for temperature reasons.) It is a tragic mystery. But I have planted two new seeds in that tub -- henceforth to be known as Azer and Hovera -- and hopefully they will have better luck than their predecessor.

Lastly, I moved the Lazarus pepper outside for good and for keeps a couple days ago... except I think I'll bring it indoors one last time tonight, since the temperature will drop down to about 45F and I would prefer not to test its ability to withstand quite that much of a shock. *wry*

(Oh, PS: the onion was not able to recover from its mold infestation. So it goes.)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I mixed some MiracleGro into water this morning and gave all the peppers and squash a drink of fertilizer. Hopefully they will appreciate it.


a peeled onion, just sprouted, lying in a ceramic dish with a bit of water

1. my unexpected onion, Monday, 8 May 2017


The onion was having serious mold problems -- two separate kinds, one black and mostly under the skin, and one white and infesting its base where new roots were attempting to sprout. So I peeled it, cut out a couple particularly bad spots, and sprayed it with fungicide. I think that did in its first attempt at growing roots, but it seems to be trying again and at least these new attempts will not get strangled at birth by evil spores. *crosses fingers, wishes it well*


eighteen pepper seedlings, growing in peat cylinders in a black plastic container . small green pepper plant

2. eighteen pepper seedlings
3. the Lazarus pepper


I think all the plants miss going outside for the afternoons -- they really liked the direct sunlight -- but it's been low to mid 40s (Fahrenheit) and/or pouring rain for the past several days in Ithaca, so they're not getting back outdoors until Thursday at the earliest, and possibly not until next Monday depending on how the weather behaves.


four squash photos under the cut )


Methera-the-squash failed to sprout, which saves me from having to figure out which seedling to murder in one of my tubs. I will still have to decide who will survive in the Yan-vs.-Tan and Pip-vs.-Sethera matchups, though. I am hoping another week will make it more obvious which ones are more vigorous than the others.


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

Profile

edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    12 3
4 5 67 8 9 10
11 1213 1415 1617
18 1920 21 2223 24
252627282930 

Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags