Skip to main content

Rainy Day

It's raining in New York, i have plans of tidying up my mother's garden which obviously makes her happy. It is back breaking owing to my very minute size and besides, i never garden like this back home. I am confined to a few pots of herbs and that's it. Now it is official, sweet basil plants do not like it cold, kinda like me!! My sage, chives, spring onions and parsley have already grown to 2-3 inches but the basil is still less than an inch. They should be at least 3 inches in height by now, with 6 - 8 leaves, it's been a month already!!!

Anyway, we consume a lot of yogurts and fruit juices in large jugs here so i decided to use these containers to plant the seeds, not wanting to throw them away just yet.. I like to recycle the best possible way so i told my mother that we will plant some of the herbs in the larger plastic juice bottles, fill it up with organic composted materials which we have started a few months back and set them up in the deck where the temperature is a lot warmer. The tomatoes and peppers wilt and get stunted by the chill on the ground so i hope our newly bought plants will not suffer the same fate. In our area, you would need to spend $15-20 for a taxi ride to Walmart so you can get fresh fruits and veggies. I am a tomato addict and i need fruits and veggies fresh everyday so my solution? Plant some myself, and hopefully extend their growing season by putting them in a sort of covered cloched area in the deck. Most of the plants i started early this spring (naks, i can't believe i am including the words spring and winter in my sentences now ), are sitting happily in the deck, so maybe they really hate the cold in the garden.

We have a tarp so this will be our temporary shelter for the plants just in case the frost comes... Lord have mercy!!! Believe me, the whole thing is altering my sense of me at the moment. I sometimes forget who i am, what my name is and what i am doing here. Your routine gets changed, you see different people, no Pinoys around you, the tools and equipment i use to hold for 20 long years are gone. For 20 years or so you tread the same place, touch the same scoop and bang on the same table. All different now. One thing i am learning is that you try to pinch yourself just before you lift the covers off you when you wake up, no do not rush out of bed because you might answer to someone else's name! Make sure you utter a prayer to Him and hope the weather will be more conducive to your daily tasks. And yes, that you know you are still you.



Parsley on the front images on yogurt cups, on the left are the basil, top left are mixed flower plants on Maruchan noodle cups. One pot costs at least  a dollar and half here and that money can go to my enormous food bills. I dare not mention how much. For someone who has an aversion for meat and meat products, you know it is not cheap to splurge on fruits here in New York. I should have feasted on fruits and stuffed myself full when i was still in the Philippines, that way i could puke just at the very sight of fruits coming here. Just kidding.


On the ground, the herbs look lifeless and stunted. I pity my mother, she likes to garden after all, there is quite a space here but what's the point? Most need a warm greenhouse of some sort for starting the seeds early and we do not have one here. Then, when the seeds do grow, you harden it off on the deck, plant it out and they die due to the very low temperature. Tinatamad tuloy. So i told her, let's experiment and place all them in pots and create a mini garden in the deck instead of plotting them out in the garden.

Again, two of my most used herbs, chives and parsley. If you haven't started gardening as a hobby yet, please do, it is calming and quite an exercise, i think my waistline just shrank an inch!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

3rd Class Flour, What's It All About

For starters i cannot make this Hard Monay if i did not bring any 3rd class flour or soft weak flour to New York. Once i ran out of 3rd class and tried Cake Flour, it turned bad, do not even think of using All Purpose, it will be soft but not chewy as this one made with yes, 3rd class indeed. So third class is hard to find here in the US if you will use that term. You have to say or look for soft wheat flour, that's it, not hard wheat flour, not cake or All purpose but something in between these two. It is easy to find in the Phil., just ask your local bakery suppliers and they know it is Tercera. Tercera is not for bread, bakers use it basically for cookies, cakes and other pastries, but we bakers know how to create bread recipes using part of this flour with the bread flour or hard wheat flour. It makes a softer version of any of your fave breads, with a cheaper price tag. Plus if i own a bakery, i get to use the third class for my cakes and cookies, lowering my food cost i…

HOW TO MAKE A PUDDING, PINOY STYLE

ANY LEFTOVER BREADS, DRIED BREADS AS LONG AS THEY HAVE NO MOLDS IN THEM, YOU CAN USE THESE TO MAKE YOUR HOMESTYLE PUDDING.


MOIST BUT NOT DENSE, I MAKE THIS FOR MY MOTHER SINCE SHE LIKES SOFT FOODS AND SHE CANNOT CHEW ON THE CRUSTY BREADS AND COOKIES I REGULARLY BAKE. GOOD THING WE HAVE LEFTOVERS!!!! NO NUTS PLEASE!!!!

A GOOD PUDDING IS MADE USING A BAIN MARIE, PLACE THE PUDDING PAN ON A LARGER BAKING PAN WITH WATER AT THE BOTTOM. STEAM BAKE FOR 40 MINUTES OR UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN.

DO NOT FORGET TO GREASE THE BAKING DISH OR THE PUDDING WILL STICK A LITTLE, YOU WANT NICE CLEAN CUTS...


THE PUDDING PLACED ON A SQUARE DISH, PAT SOME BUTTER OR MARGARINE ON TOP IF YOU LIKE. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STEAM BAKE RIGHT AWAY, YOU CAN ALLOW THE RAISINS TO SOAK FOR AN HOUR TO SOFTEN THEM.

ADDING RAISINS TO THE PUDDING GIVES IT A TWIST... YOU MAY ADD SOME DRIED CRANBERRIES ALSO.

ADD SUGAR TO THE MIXTURE OF BREAD, MILK AND EGGS. ADJUST THE SWEETNESS.


SHRED LEFTOVER BREADS AND SOAK WITH MILK AND BEATEN EGGS.




THE PUDDI…

instant yeasts and active dry yeast in bread making

My first experience with yeast baking did not go well at first despite the many baking books i have in my collection( which were all wiped out by the typhoon Ondoy, sept 26, 2009). The most ridiculous thing is that in your attempt to proof the yeast, you actually just snuff the life out of it by using water that is too hot for the yeast to handle. So you throw it out and then try again. Later on, many years after, i found out from my teacher in class that i did not even have to do this, simply use tap water, add a teaspoon of sugar, then the yeast, stir and voila!!! Wait for the dough to bloom or froth and your done. This is if you are using active dry yeast. Instant means you simply dump it in the flour mix, no blooming necessary.

Shown here in these images, two types of yeasts, the active dry has to be bloomed first before using, then when the yeast froths, you can dump it into the mixing bowl.

The instant yeast on the other hand, is more convenient to use, i weigh it with the rest of…