Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sometimes I wonder why??

I don't know what I'm going to do with the kai choy veggies.  There are only about half a dozen left.  It is too bitter to be eaten, I guess that I have to take a drive to the Bukit Jalil pond and feed to the hundreds of tortoises there!  I wonder whether the tortoises will eat this bitter stuff!  If they are hungry enough, I think they probably would.  

I will need the containers for my other veggies soon, I hope they won't turn out bitter since I'll be using the same soil.  Maybe I should mix with some fresh soil.  Someone told me that if you use the same soil that was used to grow bitter gourd, then most likely your veggies will have a slight bitter taste.  Is it true?  Any explanation on this?  The kai choy was grown totally on new soil, so no relation there!  


My beautiful, perfect corn, photo taken in June.

My beautiful corn, photo taken in July

A close-up shot of the beautiful corn, after all, one photo is not enough!

Once upon a time, long, long, ago, there was a beautiful corn......  who doesn't like the month of August!

What happened ????****????,  Beats me.....!!!

What might have been.... Sigh.....
My sister planted two of this beauties, and they turned out exactly like mine!   Any of you familiar with growing corns?   Any pointers?


This is my pathetic chili plant no. 1

The two last chilies from this plant.  This plant was pruned and being sent to the corner for misbehaving badly! He! He!   I can see new leaves are growing!  Keeping my fingers crossed!

This is another pathetic chili plant no. 2

There are no. 3 and 4, need I say more?  Figure it out yourself.   I have come to the conclusion that I am a jinx with chili plants.  Never succeeded in growing a healthy plant full of chilies before.  The chilies are usually just a handful and after that, that's it!  It will wilt and die..... sigh again..... But I'm not giving up, I will just keep on trying. (JC, if you are reading this, you have a partner!)


Happy Gardening !

Monday, August 16, 2010


Thyme is a great herb to grow in our garden, it loves hot sunny location, with well-drained soil.  I love the smell of thyme, it is fragrant, though not overpowering, really pleasant.  It is not only used in cooking, but it looks pretty and very attractive, gracefully cascading over the pot.  I bought this pot of thyme, common thyme (thymus vulgaris), a couple of months back, and it is growing well. There are many varieties of  thymes, but this is the most popular.

Some interesting facts about tyhmes from Wikipedia :
"Thyme is a good source of iron and is used to flavour meat, soups, stews and baking.  It has medicinal value, it contains an essential oil, thymol, an antiseptic.  A tea made by infusing the herb in water can be used for cough and bronchitis. Because it is antiseptic, thymes boiled in water and cooled is very effective against inflammation of the throat when gargled 3 times a day. The inflammation will normally disappear 2-5 days."

This photo was taken a few days ago.

Thymes can be propagated in a number of ways, seed, root division and from cutting. The quickest way to grow is from root division. Thymes will start to become woody and produce fewer leaves after three or four years, and at this stage, the plant need to be separated by propagation and replanted.  I should really try this, it would be great if this works and I will have another pot of thyme and more to pass around!

The sprigs and leaves can be frozen or dried and will retain their original flavour.  During full bloom, cut 5-6 inch stems and allow them to air-dry.  After the leaves are thoroughly dry and brittle, remove them from the stem and store in an air-tight container. I'm going to try this soon, as I think that my pot is really full.

I have recently made a moist and delightful cake using this wonderful herb.  If you would like to try out this cake, please click Golden Pear and Thyme Cake.

If you do not have a pot of thyme in your garden, it's about time you do!  I bought mine at a nearby nursery and it cost me around RM8.00, but if you are around Sg. Buloh, you can easily buy it at RM5.00.  Growing them with seeds would take forever, for me, at least!  Since I would like to use them for cooking and baking, I just buy them from the nursery and let them grow for a bit before using them.  I am trying to grow dills by seeds.  I sowed the seeds a few days ago, but nothing so far.  But I am in no hurry, I have a pot of dill from the nursery too! 
 Happy Gardening!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kai Choy (Mustard Greens)

This is the most bitter vegetable that I have ever tasted!  It even overtakes the bitter gourd!  I bought the seeds by mistake, thinking that it was parsley.  Only upon planting the seeds, then did I realize that I have bought the wrong seeds. Well, I planted it anyway.  I have not seen this variety of mustard greens before, the ones that I usually buy from the market have really huge stamps and thick big leaves, which have a slight bitter and pungent taste, but not as bitter as this! 

Harvested this and a few more, as the stems are getting old and tough.

The flowers are pretty, though, similar to "choy sum"

Why do most vegetables have yellow flower??

Ready for my wok!

The packet of seeds

I stir-fry the kai choy with garlic and I'm the only one who ate this!  My kids and hubby took a bite and did not touch this dish again!  It was SO BITTER, I didn't even finish it.  When I search the web about this veggie, it was mentioned that to get rid of the bitter taste, boil it in salted water for a few minutes.  But I think that it won't make much difference!

Happy Gardening!