Sunday, August 17, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We have added on to the array of plants and herbs squashed into our tiny garden balcony now.

Bamboo: I love this plant, it emits a rustling sound when the wind blows and if I close my eyes when it's very quiet in the dead of the night I can imagine that I am in the middle of a bamboo forest.

Thai Basil: Lovely herb, I bought this to make Taiwanese "three cup chicken" and Vietnamese Pork Terrine. Will post recipes and photos up at a later date.

Basil: Needs lots of constant transplantation as it seems to die soon after it flowers (a perennial?). Great with roast chicken, grilled fish, tomato based dishes, and all Italian dishes. I use it to make pesto and basil-flavoured vinaigrette for salads too.

Chilli Padi: Died. Another plant that seems to die after flowering.

Rosemary: Got a nice species from my colleague with broad leaves and nice but not overly sharp pine-woody scent. Great with roast chicken, fish, and lamb.

Mint: I like this in desserts and for Vietnamese beef soup noodles, but E thinks that it has too strong a scent. But this creeper doesn't seem to thrive that well in the hot direct afternoon sun my balcony gets.

Potato: My latest little experiment. If all goes well, I should be able to harvest say 5 to 6 little new potatos in 2 months time :-)

Pandan: Indispensable when cooking chicken rice and asian desserts. It's a pain to extract the juice though, which is why I have not used it for baking.

Dill: Also given to me by a colleague. Doesn't seem to have much scent though, have not used it to date.

Chives: Still in the stage of straggling little saplings.

And at various times, we have also planted onions (fresh spring onions!), garlic, alfafa sprouts (very easy, you grow it in a jam jar but we don't really like the strong green taste) and tried Chinese parsley too. When I was a little girl, I also planted red beans and green beans and did harvest enough for one bowl of red bean soup (over a few months).

Gardening is great fun, especially if it's coupled with a love of cooking :-)

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