Monday, February 6, 2017

What's in my kitchen, February 2017

I'd originally intended to talk about what I've been cooking and eating lately, but I had some other photographs ready, so this is more of a hybrid between a proper in my kitchen crossed with what's growing in my garden. With the weather being as hot as it has been recently, I've been loathe to plant anything new in the garden. I grow most of my produce from seeds, and it's far too hot for brand new seedlings to be outdoors. That, and my brand of gardening means my plants need to be hardy enough to thrive on careful neglect means I don't have the time to baby along new plants.

I do however like to see things grow and I thought in the interests of being scientific and letting the smalls get involved, that we might put a few things in water and watch what happens from the relative cool of my kitchen window sill, where we can easily top up the water as it evaporates.

When avocado prices dropped a few months ago, I was on those little green/black morsels like a pig in mud. Eventually, I got tired of just throwing the seeds into the compost... they take so long to break down so I thought we'd grow one. I admit, I was spurred on by an ad that seems to be appearing regularly on my Facebook page, where someone has invented a sort of floating mini boat to put an avocado seed in and grow. I thought that it seemed a bit ridiculous to need a specific device so I determined to do it armed with nothing more than a tall glass and some toothpicks.

I peeled the avocado seed, then impaled it on a trio of toothpicks and submerged about half of it into a glass of water. A monokuro boo glass as a matter of fact; I love those little black and white pigs! I digress. It took some time, but eventually, we saw progress. This seed has probably been growing for at least 6 weeks, possibly a bit longer.
It has shoots and roots, and the interesting thing in my opinion is that as that shoot grew, it cleaved the seed entirely in half! The only thing holding it together now is the shoot/root structure. I don't know whether it's providing any fuel or its now purely decorative, but it's sure interesting. The kids are more interested in the fact that if they turn the glass around, the shoot will orient itself to point out the window toward the light. I'm debating where to plant it in the garden when it gets big enough. I'm not sure how long avocado trees take to produce fruit but I suspect a long time.
I saved the top of my tiny piney and let it dry out a little after scraping off the bulk of the flesh so that it didn't get smelly. When it was dry, we strategically placed some toothpicks (left over from a cheese tasting from the look of them) to stop it from falling into the jar, and left the bottom part submerged in water. A few weeks later we have tiny roots growing (you can see one at about 7 o'clock in the jar), and the top is getting a bit taller as well. When the root system is better established and the days are less hot, I'll relocate this little baby into the garden. While we likely won't get any fruit for at last two years, rough leaf pineapples are so delicious and the chickens decimated my last bed of pineapples so I'm starting over.
We've also been saving the roots of spring onions and planting those directly in the garden, and re-establishing a sweet potato patch from a sweet potato that was neglected and sprouted in storage. These have gone directly into the soil in the hope that I will again have thriving sweet potato vines to use for cooking (turns out the chickens were huge fans of them as well).

I guess this post demonstrates that I've been growing a lot of things on my kitchen windowsill lately, which is true. In the heat, I've tended toward not cooking as much as possible, so many of our meals have been simple, fast and not very photogenic. Hopefully as summer rolls to a close, I will start posting more food posts!

I'm sending this to Lizzy, of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things for linking in to her monthly IMK roundup.

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