Thursday, December 31, 2009

Frying Tempura, Gluten Free

Here I am caught off guard while frying some tempura for the New Year's Eve "Toshikoshi Soba". In Japanese culture these noodles are usually eaten to wish the person who eats the long noodles to have a prosperous long life.
I was cooking outdoors since I don't want the greasy, oily film to cling around the kitchen and house walls.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Homegrown, Homemade food!

Homegrown salad with persimmons and Homegrown Bell Peppers in the Fajita filling. Meyer Lemons from our neighbor
Hot pot with homegrown napa cabbage and traded shyungiku
Homegrown/Homemade preserves and mandarins for my son's teacher

Garden Updates

The super cold snap hurt our Mandarin crop. It froze the fruits and we didn't notice the damage until there were many with mold growing from the frost damage.
Mom harvesting what's remaining.
the damaged crops, can't tell from this pic, but they do have black mold on them. sigh...
The Persimmon Tree was finally planted. Unfortunately, some cats got into a scratching fever and scratched the small trunk of the tree, so up went the tree cages.
Here's a close up on the tree cage
T and C preparing the newest garden bed. This will be our 7th rectangular bed

Guava Jam
Persimmon Jam
Peeling the mandarins for canning
caught in doing the grunt work
the finished mandarins, many of them went as gifts for Christmas

Harvest Updates

Guavas in December
Satsuma Mandarins
MORE mandarins!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cooooold! Frozen!

After the rains, the clouds left and the wind grew colder and colder. Last night, when I came back from class (10:30) I knew the cold will be deep and the tender crops would be damaged. So, I rustle up my husband and Mom and we all went out in the cold to cover up some of the tender plants. We moved our potted avocado and mango tree into the garage and pushed the potted tomato right up against the warmer northeast wall under the eaves. Good thing we did, it really froze last night. Here's some pics I snapped this morning:
"someone" left the wheel barrel out again, WITH rainwater in it... the water froze!
frost on the peas
baby Lettuce being protected by cardboard as a quick fix.
Cucumber tented up

Monday, December 7, 2009


It rained quite a bit on Monday, I was thrilled! But disappointed at myself for not getting ready for the rainy season by getting rain-barrels to harvest the rainwater. Rain is a rare commodity here in Southern California and every little bit counts! I was able to fill 2 large garbage cans with the rainwater though! Only problem, I have no more containers to fill and there's more rain supposedly coming on Thursday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Garden Updates

Southern California's Autumn/Winter is a bit strange, we have things growing that like spring temps and some even summer temps. We get the chilly frost in Jan for the most part, but the last few nights have been pretty cold.
Green tomatoes still growing
Peppers...we harvested and cut down the plants today. Cilantro seedlings were growing under it so now they have a chance to enjoy the mellow winter sun
Peas in full bloom
Backyard Satsuma Mandarin curtain!
Getting ready for a new bed
Nappa Cabbages starting to pick up speed. We can see it's growth daily.
Baby Lettuce
Cucumbers in December
Kale starting to grow their true leaves
Asian Pear displaying full Autumn color
Flowers still blooming? yep
I don't even know what this plant is called, beautiful leaves tho.
Violets that reseeded themselves are blooming
taken from the breakfast nook inside the house

Harvest Updates

Yummy Romaine Lettuce
Lotsa Persimmons
Miffy the bunny shaped persimmon
Persimmon and Mandarin Overflow
Baby Lettuce
25 lbs of Mandarins!
Ugly Peppers, why?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Garden Updates

Chrysanthemum in a pot by the lettuce and Garlic
Loquat blossoms in full bloom. They smell like honey and the bees love 'em.
Our loner tomato
The Japanese Cukes that are preventing the 6th raised bed from going in!
What a pretty Romaine, lettuce that is.
Shelling peas coming along
Peppers in November, yup!
Napa cabbages are everywhere!
Can you find the "Confused Pear"? Yes, the leaves are starting to change color, it's Nov. But the tree flowered after we had our first load of pears and it produced a few more in the same season!
African Blue Basil, we are so amazed by this plant. Our bee-keeper friend brought it as a gift in the summer. We've cloned it and it's just taken over the herb garden.
The ever bearing bitter melon. There's 3 just in this pic and it's still flowering.
Satsuma Mikans are ripening! (backyard)