You learn to cook so that you don’t have to be a slave to recipes. You get what’s in season and you know what to do with it. ~Julia Child
What do you think about a renowned Chef who sold cookbooks and gave demonstrations on television and yet says, “you don’t have to be a slave to recipes?” I think she was a genius. Learn what you can do with what’s in season and what’s available where you are.
Many of you already know that I started my balcony garden here on the island of Okinawa only a few weeks ago. A few weeks is hardly enough time for some barely started plants to produce anything right? Not necessarily. With the right mix of store bought transplants, seed plants, farmer’s markets, and some knowledge of the climate zone and how to work with it, you can enjoy a fresh harvest all the time.
Allow me to demonstrate. Do you remember when I showed you a picture of a Lemon Balm plant I got at the Monkey Store?
It was pretty cute and fragrant then. Well here it is now:
Well the way it’s growing, I don’t feel bad harvesting leaves off of it already. I chose this Lemon Balm because I assumed that the lemony fragrance was unattractive to mosquitos (which turns out to be true). I also liked the smell and look of it myself so I decided that it was a winner. Well Lemon Balm is a great herb for tea and essentially can be used any way you would use mint. I have a great recipe for refreshing and cute summertime garnishes. Watch:
Freeze for a few hours then transfer to a freezer safe bag. Anytime you want to liven up a glass of water or sweet ice tea, you’re set!
Soon I intend to dry some Chamomile Flowers to save for Chamomile Tea. Don’t they look lovely?
It grew fast didn’t it? I have learned from my gardening research that many edible plants such as this will produce more if you prune them often. When you have a vegetable or flower on the plant, the plant will use extra energy for that item especially if you allow it to turn into seed. By clipping it cleanly away, you encourage that plant to use it’s energy to produce more.
Finally, we will soon be able to enjoy much desired vegetables of the pepper variety:
Hopefully they are Jalapeño Plants. Remember, I couldn’t read the Kanji label and my Jalapeño seeds still haven’t sprouted (this is the first time this has ever happened)? We will know when we taste them.
Until next time this is Marissa, The Garden Gal, signing off.
Makeman DIY Hardware Store
“The Cook’s Herb Garden” by Jeff Cox and Marie-Pierre Moine