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I have shoots!

Or now, as the irony would have it, more shoots than I know what to do with. Two weeks ago, in a mild panic because nothing was sprouting from my EarthBoxes, I tried seeding a sample of each vegetable I had in an old egg carton. The basil seeds were the first to appear, and I know this because I recognised them bubbling into little frog eggs first. The gelatinous qualities of basil seeds are used for decoration and to add texture to air bandung in Malaysia, a milk and rose syrup drink usually popular around Ramadan. It's kind of like drinking bubble tea but with miniature bubbles. Then came the carrot sprouts, then one tomato sprout, then another, and another, then the Vietnamese mint, then what I think is a tiny lone purple shiso sprout.

In rather the same order, so too came the sprouts in the EarthBox, albeit days slower, and not growing tall nearly as quickly from being out in colder circumstances. Even the one tomato plant I thought I poked to death a week ago. Suddenly, today, two tiny leaves showed up where a dead plant should be. And the shiso, or what I hope are the shiso, sprouting after a particularly warm day coupled with two really cold nights this spring. My superstitious nature attributes the sprouting of the plants outside to my gently blanketing even the surface sprouters with used tea leaves when they were but seeds, in a vain and untested hope that this would encourage them to bear shoots. The next day, the snow vegetables and carrots emerged.

Under the circumstances, my experimental egg tray of sprouts will henceforth be turned into a sprouty topping for one of our dinners, and the tomatoes chucked outside, where they will hopefully not survive. I fully believe that the sprouts in the EarthBoxes, having survived the vigours of cold and wet, will be much stronger sans transplant shock than their fellows sprouted indoors. And while I do feel a little sad wasting sprouts like this, I don't feel nearly brave enough to ask my admittedly disinterested and potentially contentious HOA if I could plop a few of my experiments in some of our empty patches. They are experiments, and were quite a lovely learning experience.

Made a delicious carrot cake, which I am quite proud of. It tastes even better with cream cheese frosting on top. Also made a very good rendang. Thanks to the manifold tubs of homemade hot sauce we collect from the local taqueria, I no longer have to make sambal. I was able to simmer the beef this time around for about 5 hours, resulting in meat that melted on touch, connective tissue, fats at all. Was very impressed by results. Looking forward to harvesting my first herbs, the most likely candidates to grow into adult vegetables before the others. Especially the shiso. I very much want to make pickled shiso leaf to go with my rices. I particularly want to see if I can grow enough to perhaps pickle daikon in. The last batch of pickled daikon I made was way too salty, and although soaking it in warm water before serving helps, the turmeric-coloured ones have started developing the astringent flavour of turmeric. I may resort to soaking and chopping them fine as a flavourant and colourant on rice from now on.

Also, also -- roasted and ground shiso leaf! Mmmmm. One of these months.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 14th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
*drools uncontrollably*
Mar. 14th, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
You can eat the sprouts like a hip microgreen salad? :)
Mar. 14th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
Was hoping to, but I think by the time I pluck out these guys, it will be a very micro hip salad. They would at best make a garnish. :)
Mar. 15th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
*shows up with an itty-bitty trowel and inexpertly wielded Kuàizi, overshadowed by a big-eyed hopeful expression*


Edited at 2012-03-15 05:21 pm (UTC)
Mar. 15th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
Spurrrrrr-owts! Carrot sproutlings! They are supposed to grow into round, golf ball-sized carrots, er, I think in 3 months.

Also, where are you these days, Sir? It's been a damn long time.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )