Friday, August 31, 2007

Chaya and more bananas

I don't know if this passion fruit is the edible kind

My healthy chaya tree. I think this one is chaya also.

It is too hot for me to go outside and work in the garden. Things don't look too bad but I need to work there one of these days. I need to cut back the cotton plants, the branches are very long. They are not flowering now so it should be a good time.

I saw that the banana tree had fallen to the side because of the weight of the banana stalk. I can't wait to eat them. I also saw that there was a flower bud in another tree (the same tree but another trunk?) I love them!!!

I also decided to eat some chaya. Lisa from GardenWeb gave me the cutting last year and it has grown very well. She told us how to cook it so I did it yesterday. You need to boil the leaves for 10 minutes and then discard the water and boil again. The leaves have some toxic substance that evaporates with boiling. The leaves were very thick and I didn't think I was going to like them but when I tasted one it was not bad. It doesn't really have a flavor and I liked the consistency, it felt like I was eating something substancial, not a green.

I looked for recipes online and found out that they use chaya in Mexico, in the Yucatan peninsula. I think it comes from there. I need to try some of those recipes. I ate some boiled chaya with olive oil, salt, pepper and some okra that I had cooked with tomatoes and onions. It was good. I liked it a lot. I had some chaya left and some brown rice so I decided to make a rice salad for dinner. I chopped the chaya, shredded a carrot and mixed them with the rice. Then I put some walnuts, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, honey, garlic powder and pepper. I liked it a lot. Later I put some curry powder and I liked it even better.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It is already August!!

It always surprises me how fast time goes by when I see that I havent' posted in a couple of months. We left for Guatemala on June 14 and the garden was all by itself for almost a whole month. I put all my potted orchids and house plants among the garden plants and just hoped for the best. I imagined some of the plants were going to die but I could not do anything. We were still only allowed to water the lawn and garden 1 time a week so the only thing that could help was rain.

Well, as soon as we came back from the airport on July 12 I went to see the garden and found almost everything in great shape. Everything was so green and lush! It always amazes me how well the plants do without my supervision. Maybe they like it better this way. It looked like it had been raining quite a lot. One of the orchids was about to bloom so I brought it into the screened patio but I left the other plants outside. It was too hot to do anything else. That is one thing I am still missing from Guatemala, the wonderful weather!!

We had a couple of surprises! The banana stalk had fallen and it was just resting on the ground but the bananas were still green. I cut one bunch and brought it inside. It took them 4 or 5 days to ripen. Don didn't like them much but Titi and I thought they were very good. We cut some other bunches but at the end I did not realize they had all ripen at once and some were too soft by the time we cut them. Well, the surprise was that the other two banana plants had bananas in them too. The one on the left has a lot of them and they are bigger in size. The one on the right has only a few but they seem to be small and fat ones, very different from the ones we just ate. I did not know we were going to have success in all 3 plants!!! Very happy about it!