Cora’s Garden: I guess it’s Spring

Seasons in Hawaii is much more subtle than on the mainland. Winter kind of shows up around Chinese’s New Year, the lows are low–mid 60s and highs are mid–high 70s and it may be rainy. This last about 2-3 week. For me, this is the perfect weather and last much too short. Then spring shows up with lows in the mid–high 60s and highs in the high 70s–mid 80s with rain and windy.

I’m not sure what triggers all the blossoming, the longer days or the moist conditions (it’s been very wet winter/spring) but they are happening in the last couple of weeks. Here’s some of the pictures I got.

Anthurium

Orchids

There are blooms everywhere. The roses are doing well with tons of buds. This year’s iris crop seems a little small, but every morning watering brings a new bud or two. The hydrangea has tiny bloom. And the self seeding snapdragons keep popup up in the front.

Coming in next is my mom’s beloved honohono. The buds are popping out from the leafless stems. The first time I saw this happening I thought they were dying. But she said the leaves drop before the buds come out. I’ll post the picture of the blossom when they arrive.

And for the weeds, they are even doing better than the flowers. I can’t keep up especially in the front yard. I spend about an hour a day pulling weeds but that’s not enough. The pentas are doing great which Mom considers as weeds as they show up every where. I try and get as much of them as I can but the bees love their flowers so I leave any that started flowering.

I was trying to get the weed patch in the front yard but Bulbul family was mad me for watering baby by accident. He’s sitting in mom’s Desert Rose bed and got a bath this morning. Mom and dad scream at me. So later in the morning when went out to get a pictures of our weed patch, Mom and dad started to get excited again.

He (I don’t know if he is a he) looks fluffy and fine. Mom and dad better what for the neighborhood strays that love our yard. Oh, look you can see the edge of the weed patch at the bottom of the picture.

How could I forget to . . .

The beginning

Post about Scheepjes CAL (crochet-along) 2020: d’Historie Naturelle. This pattern was designed by Scheepjes Blogger Christina Hadderigh from A Spoonful of Yarn. I’ve been working on it since October. This is was my first CAL and a pretty dificult one to boot. It comes as a kit and seeing all the posting about it on FB and Insta, that persuaded me to purchase it. I got the color way Herbarium and pink, orange, and green color way.

If you read the information about the CAL, it takes about 11 weeks. And yes, it’s 5 months since I started and I’m only half way done. I kind lost steam mid-January. I’m hoping this post will shame me into finally finishing it. Here are picture of what I’ve done. Remember there were a lot of ripping out as I would find mistakes.

Sometimes you just have to let the mistake be a happy one.

-princesshotflash

With this CAL, there were YouTube video for each section. Without those I probably would have a pile of yarn, trying to figure out what to do. A Scheepjes Blogger Esther Dijkstra from It’s all in a Nutshell did the videos. She had a calming voice and pointing out area where to watch out for as it was difficult section.

one of four corners

This is where I’m at, all four corner ready to be attached to the blanket. I know this this will need all my attention and time. That’s my excuse I’ve been using to get to the next step. I need to get to next step because the elephants are there. Hopefully, I’ll be done by my birthday so I can buy another kit. I’ve gained a lot of confidence and knowledge from this project. I’m still in AWE of Christina Hadderingh design skills. I can even figure out how she visualized in her head. I’ll hope she know she made many people happy and proud their work.

Quick post: Laamia Tree

Spent my Saturday sitting under the giant banyan tree at the Hawaii Plantation Village, helping out at their first farmers market. Their volunteers are so knowledgeable about the plants and trees on their property, they told me about the Laamia or calabash tree. They produce these egg-shaped gourd. These gourds are used to make ‘uli ‘uli, feathered gourd rattles used in hula. I also found out from one of docent that the Portuguese used them to make castanets. Here’s an article I found on other uses for these fruits.

close-up one of the gourds

One of the volunteers, was using the dried out gourds as hanging containers for air plants. I’m sure there are tons of other uses for these gourds.

many gourds hanging from this on tree

Cora’s Garden: Blooms

I guess spring has sprung in Cora’s Garden. There are buds and bloom everywhere, especially on the phalaenopsis orchids (Moth orchid) that we save from the distress plant rack at our local Lowes. Now that I’m the official waterer, I get to see changes every day.

Distressed Phals with blooms
one of mom’s old pals

Besides the Phalaenopsis’ yearly blooms, the first amaryllis decide to bloom. there are three flower spikes. It shares the pot with another plant and I was so surprised it bloomed.

orange Amaryllis

The anthuriums are always blooming. This is still mom’s territory. I haven’t graduated from waterer, pot mover, and cleaner of dead leaves. She been trying something new out with used coffee filters. She puts them in the pot on top of the potting media. Not too sure what this is suppose to do. But the few pots that she tried it out on, are looking pretty healthy.

Another constant bloomer are the geraniums. They are from an original plant from my cousin L. That one is a giant plant. There are several other plants from cutting from the original. They are hardy plant, constant bloomers with light pink buds turn into dark pink blooms. I’m trying to start the pink cherry blooms plant I had in NJ with seeds. So far, not luck. It took several month to take when it was started in NJ. Original plant was from my sister’s old house in Elk Grove, CA. I’ll keep posted if get a plant.

Recipe Testing: Brussel Sprout Shiozuke

My parents never had brussel sprouts before I roasted some up for dinner the other night. My Auntie M was telling my mom how delicious they were so I decided to make some and my parents enjoyed them. My mom kept asking about them and how they grew and that they reminded her of little cabbage. This made me think I could make some pickles with them.

pre-prepped sprouts

I’m not sure if I every explained what tsukemono is. Tsukemono is Japanese pickles. You may have gotten them with your meal at a Japanese restaurant. There are several different styles of pickles. For the brussel sprouts, I’ll be using shiozuke, salt pickling. Just One Cookbook has a great description on shiozuke. Here’s the link: https://www.justonecookbook.com/tsukemono-shiozuke-salt-pickling/

I still had half a bag of sprouts and I decided to try them out with the cabbage tsukemono recipe from justonecookbook.com. This recipe has cucumbers in it. I didn’t have any so it was all Brussel sprouts, little dried chili, and sliced Kombu (seaweed).

Brussel Sprout Shiozuke
adapted from justonecookbook’s Japanese Pickled Cabbage

1/2 bag of organic Brussel sprouts (about 750gm), cored and quartered
1 3/4 t sea salt
1 dried chili, sliced
2″ x 2″ piece of Kombu, sliced

Add sprouts into a ziplock bag. Then add the rest of the ingredients and massage salt into the sprouts. Squeeze out as much of the air from the bag. I place the bag into a baking pan and add weights to it. I try and get at least 5 pounds on it. I usually flip it and massage the sprouts after the first couple of hours to see if it has produce some water. I leave it on the counter with the weight for the rest of the day. Then refrigerate it. It’s ready to eat the next morning. We eat with our meals just a little side dish for everyone. It’s crunchy and sweet from the brussel sprouts. We finish it in a week or so.*


*I feel like I need to add a giant note here. I’m a newbie at tsukemono and this is my first batch with Brussel sprouts. I wish I took better notes but I didn’t. And I didn’t realize so many people would be show interest in this recipe. Please bear with me with this recipe. Thanks.

For the salt, it’s approx. 2% of salt to the weight of sprouts. I may have add slight more, maybe 2 t. because I thought it would help soften up the firmness of sprout.

The chili that I use isn’t too hot. Not sure what type it is, it’s red, about and 1″ to 1.5″ long. If you don’t like hot you probably can leave it out. I’ve used to add fresh chili when I didn’t have dried but that is much hotter. I use a kitchen scissors to chop it up

Kombu is edible dried seaweed. It comes is sheets or strips. I used a strips version, like this can be order from Amazon. You also can eliminate or substitute it with sliced ginger or lemon rind. It will slight change the taste but still I’m sure it will be delicious.

The only other note I wanted to add was I thought this recipe turn out delicious and I think a Kimchi version would be great, too. I haven’t tried kimchi yet but when I do, I’ll make a sprout version.