Better Luck This Time

Clearly, daily water changes and a little light did the trick. This batch took about a week to root and now seems rather happy in the dirt.

Phew.

If POD could kill mint, it was time to turn in any gardening cred it happened to possess.

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Yes, Fried Pickles

fried picklesOh, sweet fatty goodness, yes. (Fry sauce, not batter, pictured.)

The point of this post is not to tell you all about how fabulous, I mean, fanfabulous deep-fried pickles are, all crispy and salty sour, but to share a long overdue update about last year’s pickling adventures. The pickles? They worked really, really well. Thanks, Endurer.

The deep fried pickles? Divine. Thanks, Endurer.

Crispy fried…(fill in the blank):
Courtesy, more than less, of David Leite’s The New Portuguese Table.

1 tbs kosher salt
1 lb asparagus (or PICKLES or beans or cauliflower or whatever)
3/4 c. plus 2 tbs flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
3/4 c. very cold seltzer water
1/2 tsp piri-piri sauce (or sriacha)
vegetable oil for deep-frying

fry sauce for dipping (mayo, ketchup, sriacha [or gochujang] mixed to your taste preferences.)

  1. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet.
  2. Stir together the flour and baking powder in a small, shallow dish, and season with a pinch of salt. Whisk in the seltzer and piri-piri [sriacha] sauce; don’t worry about any small lumps. The consistency should be like thin pancake batter; if the mixture is too thick, pour in more seltzer.
  3. When the oil registers 350 on a deep-fat or candy thermometer, dip 5 spears in the batter and turn to coat. Carefully slide them into the oil and fry until golden brown, 3-7 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the asparagus [or pickles or whatever] to paper towel to drain. Sprinkle withg salt while still sizzling, then place them on the rack in the oven to keep warm. [POD: Seriously, David? People, this is where you hover in the kitchen, wait for a few seconds, pick a tasty looking spear and gingerly but enthusiastically and toss it from hand to hand, hopping and blowing. Dip in sauce, chew with your mouth open, repeat.]
  4. NOTE: if using asparagus, first you’ll want to trim and par boil the asparagus for 2-3 minutes and then drop them into ice water to stop the cooking. Transfer them to paper towels to dry. Then you can heat the oil, prepare the batter, and move along as detailed above.

Enlisted

This little volunteer came up out front, oh, about a month plus ago. Or, at least, that’s when it got noticed. A couple weeks later, it found itself being uprooted and transported to the little blue deck. Given the bugs and yellowing leaves the Celebrities are fighting as this is typed, we’re hoping for  the best.

And we’re hoping the volunteer’s a prolific Gold Nugget, but we’ll take what we get.

Dead Mint

rooting spearmint from cuttingsDidn’t think it was possible, but you can kill mint.

So, with the encouragement of the Endurer, POD’s minder took over a swath of the local pocket park and is in the process of transforming it into an herb garden. (The logic was: if there’s something edible out there, something rewarding,  it won’t seem like such a gigantic pain in the ass to water. And there’ll be  less bitching.) So far mint, thyme, tarragon, lemon balm, basil, parsley, and Thai basil have successfully taken root. As there’s spearmint growing happily in a window box, it seemed logical to give water rooting a try, because who wants to spend more money on starts. Of spearmint. Which is, you know, like a weed.rooting spearming from cutting

But it didn’t work.

Still, it seems like it should, so there’s another round in store. This time, instead of serving as a table centerpiece, we’ll see if a little windowsill action (and therefore, sunlight) might help things along. We’ll also make sure the growth nodes (those little nubbins seen at the base of the photograph above) are a little more pronounced, and that there are more of them. If it doesn’t work this time, there’s one more method to try out…