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.

Cora got a new pair of shorts

They were suppose to be for me to replace one that was falling apart. But it was slightly too tight for me around the hips. I used the old pair as a pattern and tested it out using old pillow case. On the pillow case version, I made a few adjustments to the pattern and I thought it was ready for the real thing. I added front and back pockets using the old version as my placement guide.

Partially taken apart, the waist band was attached it to the pillow case version to test the rest of the pattern out

As I was finishing up the final version, I was excited as it was coming out great. I like how the stitching was looking. I was a little worried about the waistband as the original version had 2″ elastic. I decided that two rows of 1″ elastic within the ribbing waistband would work.

I was not quite sure how I was going to do it. I inserted the top row of elastic up to the fold edge and stitched it down 1/8″ from the edge. For the second row, I slightly overlapped the first, stitching the overlapped area. The elastic slightly shifted and I had to and another row of stitching be make sure it was secured.

The try on

It didn’t quite fit. Waistband slightly too big, the hip area just fit, uncomfortable to sit, and the back pockets were too low. I asked my mom to try it on to see if it fit her and it did and that’s how she got a new pair of shorts.

Luckily I had extra material to cut another shorts with the adjusted pattern.

Hiking: Kuaokala Trail

At the trailhead

Another wet and windy hike in the books, Kuaokala Trail. The forecast was to be scattered showers with gusty winds. As we entered Waianae, it started to pour. But we decided it would passing, and by the time we get to the trailhead, it would be clear.

A little bit of sunshine

Kuaokala is a permitted hike because the hike is on military land. To get the trailhead, you enter at Kaena point Satellite Tracking Station. Besides the permit, you will need ids for everyone in the car. The military police let you in through the three gates. You will need to call them on using call box if they are not around.

View of Makua Valley

The weather turned not in our favorite as it became more wet and windy as we hiked. It made parts of the trail slippery and our views obstructed by clouds and rain. But I did managed to catch a few shot when the sun peaked out.

gusty winds on the ridge
going over the red boulders
The crew during a break in from the rain. Cousin “E, “T”, “J”, and “L”
“L” amongst the red boulder
“J” and “T” making good use of fencing

This trail was worth going on wet and windy day. The rain made it a little tougher but it was great to get out amongst the trees.