Viewing comments posted by Gymgirl

8 found:

[ Red Mustard (Brassica juncea 'Osaka Purple Mustard') | Posted on December 7, 2011 ]

The Osaka Purple Mustard (Red Mustard) would be a wonderful addition to an edible landscape garden! The striking, iridescent purple and silver leaves would be spectacular alongside some Dusty Miller.

When the plant bolts and goes to seed in the springtime, harvesting is EZ. Simply allow the seed pods to dry on the plant. Watch carefully for signs of worms, as they will be hatching and looking for something to munch on. If they start attacking your Osaka before the seed pods dry out completely, simply cut the stalks from the plant and bundle them together. Hang them upside down in your garage to continue drying out.

When the pods are thoroughly dry, enclose the entire bundle in a large garbage bag. The seed pods are so brittle at this point that they will break open very easily -- you don't want to lose your seeds all over the floor! Once you enclose the stalks in the bag, simply toss it around a couple times, or beat it with a broom, or gently step all over it. The pods will crack and release a GAZILLION tiny seeds (amazing how small a mustard seed really is!!!).

Have a container ready, and cut a small triangle in the bottom corner of your bag. The seeds should pour out easily into your container. Shake it a couple more times. Once you think you've gotten all the seeds poured out, cut the bag open and pull the stalks out one by one, carefully examining for any that didn't break open. And, yes, there will be some that didn't!

Label your seed packet with the seed name, growing conditions, time of year, germination time frame, etc. and tuck away for next fall!

Enjoy!

[ Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) | Posted on September 23, 2011 ]

Careful when reaching in to harvest seeds from a female plant blossom, as some people can (unknowingly) have an allergic reaction to the blossom. Always wear long sleeves and gloves to avoid an itchy, burning, sensation along your arms. It's very similar to what you experience after laying fiberglass insulation!

[ Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Azoychka') | Posted on September 22, 2011 ]

Stinkbugs seem to prefer to congregate on this plant, out of all the other tomato plants sitting side by side in my garden. Consequently, I plant it as a "decoy" crop, specifically for them.

Azoychas have a mild, citrus-y flavor.

[ Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera 'Catskill') | Posted on September 21, 2011 ]

The leaves on a Brussels Sprout plant are large, almost like a medium-sized fig leaf. Also, the texture of the leaves is very, very soft, and moist, like a wet car chamois feels.

This particular plant was direct seeded in February, 2011, in a community garden plot. The shot of the growing sprouts was taken in September, approximately 150 days later.

Patience is a virtue!

But, the seeding timing was spot on, because the sprouts will grow into our moderately cold Houston winter, and encounter at least one frost (possibly two) before the sprouts mature fully. The frost will cause them to be "sweeter!"

[ Red Mustard (Brassica juncea 'Osaka Purple Mustard') | Posted on September 21, 2011 ]

The Osaka Purple Mustard is a beautiful plant in and of itself. I'd plant it just for the brilliant, iridescent purple color and the curly texture of the leaves. Second, when eaten raw, this plant gets hot (capsacin) as you chew it. The more you masticate the juices, the hotter it gets in your mouth...

But -- and here's the fascinating part -- while you get all the taste of hot in your mouth, your mouth does not burn! And even though your brain is saying, "my mouth is on fire," once you stop getting the juices, you realize your mouth is not burning!

It sorta reminds you of horse radish, and I imagine chewing a large piece would probably hit you just like a mouthful of horse radish (and, no, I haven't been that brave!)

Tiny pieces of the leaves would be great broken up in a fresh green salad.

But, the whole hot/taste thing doesn't happen once it's cooked. Last fall season I loved taking folks on walking tours of my veggie garden and having them chew on a tiny piece! They loved it!

I harvested the seed pods in April 2009, and would be happy to share with those who'd like to try them from seed. Just send me a SASE (Self-addressed, STAMPED return envelope). I'll dispatch the seeds until I run out and then I'll post that this offer is closed.

Linda

Send me a treemail if you'd like to send me a SASE for seeds, and I'll send you my addy.

[ Collards (Brassica oleracea 'Cabbage Collards') | Posted on September 20, 2011 ]

LILLY MAE'S "GREENS" RECIPE
(Lilly Mae Boutte was my mother. She was a GREAT seamstress, and the original Martha Stewart! Cooking was not her forte, but she put her foot in this Greens recipe! I want you to share this recipe with any and everyone you want to, but I have only one request -- that in honor of my mother, you always remember to call this dish "Lilly Mae's Greens" and that you pass the name on when you share the recipe. Spread the word. Thanks!)

The details below are long but, once you get the hang of it, this recipe is super simple. Layer everything together together in 20 minutes and then go to bed...

1 or 2 bags each of chopped, frozen greens, depending on how much you want and how big your Crock Pot is. I use VIP brand or whatever's available. Keep your ratio even - 1 of each, 2 of each, etc. (2 bags of each serves approximately 10-15 people as a main dish -- 20-25 people if used only as a side dish).

Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, and Spinach (which usually comes in a bag twice the size of the others - use 1/2 the large bag of spinach to equal the 1:1 ratio). If using FRESH greens, approximate the 16 oz. frozen bag, and add 1 level teaspoon of sugar to the recipe -- it cuts the "game-y bitterness" of fresh greens.

1 whole large and 1 whole small onion, chopped (2 large for double batch)
2 large bell peppers, chopped (3 large for double batch)
1-1/2 cups of water (I usually measure in an 8 ounce yogurt cup) (3 cups for double batch)
1 heaping Tbsp. and 1/3 Tbsp. more Season All Brand seasoning (If using 2+ bags each, adjust the Season All to about 1-1/2 to 2 heaping Tbsps) I use a regular old kitchen tablespoon to measure.
1/2 Tbsp. ground Black pepper (1 whole Tbsp for 2+ bags of each)
Optional -- 3-4 tablespoons Bacon Grease (preferred)
4 Small to Medium Ham Hocks (Salted, fresh or smoked) (or, as many as will fit in the bottom of your crock pot). (You may substitute SMOKED TURKEY NECKS for Hamhocks for a Lower-Fat Option)

If using SMOKED Hocks or SMOKED Turkey: Proceed with recipe.
If using FRESH Hocks: Place hocks in a large pot and cover over with cold water. Add about 2-3 tablespoons raw table salt and boil for 1-1/2 hours. Proceed with recipe.
If using SALTED Ham Hocks: Place hocks in a large pot and cover over with cold water. Boil hocks 1-1/2 hours to leach out some of the salt. Add NO salt to the water. Proceed with recipe.

• Place one layer of hocks/turkey necks on bottom of large (5 quart) slow cooker. Squeeze them in.
• Layer the frozen greens on top of the meat in this order: collards, mustards, turnips and spinach. Squeeze them in. They may not all fit at first, but you can add the remaining greens as they cook down.
• [Sautéing the chopped onion and bell pepper in the bacon grease until slightly softened (does not need to be browned) is an optional step. I don’t sautee’ a thing and it’s still wonderful! If you do this step, pour the bacon grease in, too.] Otherwise simply layer the chopped, raw bell pepper and then the onion on top of the greens. And, yes, you will have a small mountain!
• Mix the Season All and black pepper in the water and pour evenly over the onions and bell pepper. Do not stir the pot. Gently force the lid down as far as it will go.
• Cook on high, overnight (8-10 hours). If you happen to wake up, go gently fold the onions and bell peppers into the greens, being careful not to tear up your meat. If you don't get up, fine. Fold the peppers and onions in after the cooking time is finished. I usually pull the greens off the meat and reserve the meat in another serving dish so it doesn't get all broken up in the greens.
• If you put the pot on at 8 p.m., it'll be ready when you wake up @ 6:00 a.m. in the morning!

Serve over steamed white rice with corn bread and Louisiana Red Hot Sauce, and sweet potatoes or yams on the side. ENJOY!

NOTE: ADD NO OTHER RAW SALT TO THIS RECIPE!!! (Except to pre-boil unsalted fresh hocks). DO NOT ADD SALT PORK TO THIS RECIPE!!!

Recipe Officially Updated 03/24/2010
(Linda James Arceneaux)

[ Mustard Greens (Brassica juncea 'Florida Broadleaf') | Posted on September 20, 2011 ]

LILLY MAE'S "GREENS" RECIPE
(Lilly Mae Boutte was my mother. She was a GREAT seamstress, and the original Martha Stewart! Cooking was not her forte, but she put her foot in this Greens recipe! I want you to share this recipe with any and everyone you want to, but I have only one request -- that in honor of my mother, you always remember to call this dish "Lilly Mae's Greens" and that you pass the name on when you share the recipe. Spread the word. Thanks!)

The details below are long but, once you get the hang of it, this recipe is super simple. Layer everything together together in 20 minutes and then go to bed...

1 or 2 bags each of chopped, frozen greens, depending on how much you want and how big your Crock Pot is. I use VIP brand or whatever's available. Keep your ratio even - 1 of each, 2 of each, etc. (2 bags of each serves approximately 10-15 people as a main dish -- 20-25 people if used only as a side dish).

Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, and Spinach (which usually comes in a bag twice the size of the others - use 1/2 the large bag of spinach to equal the 1:1 ratio). If using FRESH greens, approximate the 16 oz. frozen bag, and add 1 level teaspoon of sugar to the recipe -- it cuts the "game-y bitterness" of fresh greens.

1 whole large and 1 whole small onion, chopped (2 large for double batch)
2 large bell peppers, chopped (3 large for double batch)
1-1/2 cups of water (I usually measure in an 8 ounce yogurt cup) (3 cups for double batch)
1 heaping Tbsp. and 1/3 Tbsp. more Season All Brand seasoning (If using 2+ bags each, adjust the Season All to about 1-1/2 to 2 heaping Tbsps) I use a regular old kitchen tablespoon to measure.
1/2 Tbsp. ground Black pepper (1 whole Tbsp for 2+ bags of each)
Optional -- 3-4 tablespoons Bacon Grease (preferred)
4 Small to Medium Ham Hocks (Salted, fresh or smoked) (or, as many as will fit in the bottom of your crock pot). (You may substitute SMOKED TURKEY NECKS for Hamhocks for a Lower-Fat Option)

If using SMOKED Hocks or SMOKED Turkey: Proceed with recipe.
If using FRESH Hocks: Place hocks in a large pot and cover over with cold water. Add about 2-3 tablespoons raw table salt and boil for 1-1/2 hours. Proceed with recipe.
If using SALTED Ham Hocks: Place hocks in a large pot and cover over with cold water. Boil hocks 1-1/2 hours to leach out some of the salt. Add NO salt to the water. Proceed with recipe.

• Place one layer of hocks/turkey necks on bottom of large (5 quart) slow cooker. Squeeze them in.
• Layer the frozen greens on top of the meat in this order: collards, mustards, turnips and spinach. Squeeze them in. They may not all fit at first, but you can add the remaining greens as they cook down.
• [Sautéing the chopped onion and bell pepper in the bacon grease until slightly softened (does not need to be browned) is an optional step. I don’t sautee’ a thing and it’s still wonderful! If you do this step, pour the bacon grease in, too.] Otherwise simply layer the chopped, raw bell pepper and then the onion on top of the greens. And, yes, you will have a small mountain!
• Mix the Season All and black pepper in the water and pour evenly over the onions and bell pepper. Do not stir the pot. Gently force the lid down as far as it will go.
• Cook on high, overnight (8-10 hours). If you happen to wake up, go gently fold the onions and bell peppers into the greens, being careful not to tear up your meat. If you don't get up, fine. Fold the peppers and onions in after the cooking time is finished. I usually pull the greens off the meat and reserve the meat in another serving dish so it doesn't get all broken up in the greens.
• If you put the pot on at 8 p.m., it'll be ready when you wake up @ 6:00 a.m. in the morning!

Serve over steamed white rice with corn bread and Louisiana Red Hot Sauce, and sweet potatoes or yams on the side. ENJOY!

NOTE: ADD NO OTHER RAW SALT TO THIS RECIPE!!! (Except to pre-boil unsalted fresh hocks). DO NOT ADD SALT PORK TO THIS RECIPE!!!

Recipe Officially Updated 03/24/2010
(Linda James Arceneaux)

[ Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis 'Soloist') | Posted on September 20, 2011 ]

This is one of the prettiest veggie seedlings to grow!

The leaves are a deep, fuzzy, Emerald green, and grow out rather flat in the beginning, spreading like a green velvet carpet! Once planted out, the leaves start growing more vertically.

It is EXTREMELY fast growing, with only 40-50 DTM (days to maturity).

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