Posts Tagged With: habanero

November Flowering in My Garden

Shrimp plant (Justicea brandegeeana)

This post is going to be quick and dirty. The purpose will mostly be to serve as documentation for myself as to what was flowering on November 12, 2020. Images included do not represent the entire yard, but I’m in the middle of a large photo editing project, so I must be brief.

I wasn’t supposed to be outside. Honestly, I was cleaning up the kitchen after baking a loaf of bread, when I was distracted by several yellow sulphur butterflies around one of my shrimp plants.

And there I was. Standing in the garden. Cell ph in hand. The butterflies were too fast for me. Normally, I can’t view shrimp plant from the kitchen, however, these plants were potted. I took cuttings to propagate a bunch of plants in the early summer.

Not wanting to get back to my sink of dishes too quickly, I snapped several shots of what was flowering around the rear patio garden. Camellia, featured above, with its lovely corsage-like stout blossom. I don’t know the variety, because these were already planted at our home when we moved here.

The same goes for this lovely azalea. I am thankful to the person who planted them for us to enjoy. But the variety, not sure. I’m not that picky about varieties. I try to keep name tags and write notes of what I add to the garden. If I lose a tag? Well, I’m not going to beat myself up trying to id it.

Osmanthus fragrans

Fragrant tea olive. Well, that’s a story I’ve told here. When we moved to the home, we were ill advised, that a lovely shrub outside our garage was a nasty invasive. We got out the chainsaw and…well, cut it down. Turns out it was this lovely (not the one featured above), fragrant tea olive. The good news is it grew back from the stump, and I apologize every year as I pat it on the head. But, in the meanwhile, I planted a couple more. To ease my guilt. This is a fabulously fragrant flowering shrub.

Banana

For the first time ever, we had a banana flower. Above this flower, we have a nice cluster of bananas. I’m not sure when to pick them. But I guess you’d say only one of the flower clusters was pollinated on this long stem, because each time a new flower opens, the individual flowers fall, and well, no bananas.

blue butterfly shrub (Clerodendrum ugandense Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’)

If you want to call anything a “butterfly” this or that, it ought to look like it, eh? I present my blue butterfly shrub. It has undergone a scientific name change (not by my hands) and is currently listed as Rotheca myricoides ‘Ugandense’. I’ll try to remember this by singing U GAN DENSE if you want to, like a little blue butterfly.

Continuing with the “butterfly” theme, we move along to butterfly ginger. These are waning, and I am probably seeing my last few flowers opening this week. I have been transplanting the “escaped” ones and starting new beds.

A few flower heads are left on my hydrangeas. I didn’t manage to cut and dry any this year. In spring I found several “self-rooted” plant stems at the base, gave them a good whack with my trowel, and planted them in other sections of the yard. I love free plants.

I have several of these begonias. They have overwintered pretty well for three years; however, this year they didn’t grow to half the size they have before. Maybe I didn’t love them as much as they wanted- as it evident by the “weeds”.

This little rose that was gifted to me about 9 years ago is a pretty tough cookie. It goes through cycles, but for the most part, it blooms nearly year-round.

pineapple sage

I added a small pot of pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) to my garden last year, in a raised bed. Last year it grew to 4′, after spring planting. This year it really struggled. In fact, it only started flowering in early October, but it is surely a champion out there right now. I’m not sure why, but it only grew to about 12″ this year. I need to use it in the kitchen! Note to self.

Habanero: No, this is not a flower. However, I took his photo and I wasn’t going to leave him out.

My habaneros are coming on strong. I’ve been overwintering most of my pepper plants. This particular plant is two years old. The mother plant was three years old. I have way too many pepper fruit now. I’d like to produce these for a local brewery to make up some batches of spicy chili beer. I give you peppers, you give me beer. There is only so much you can do at home with peppers exhibiting a heat such as habanero, ghost, scotch bonnet, etc. And I have cayenne peppers coming out my ears. I bottle up a “hot sauce”, dry them. Use them fresh in salsa and various other recipes. I tried adding them to bird seed to piss off the squirrels. No such luck. On occasion I’m lucky to find my husband has made me a spicy pepper margarita. Cheers!

I don’t think I’m going to edit this post. I’m tired. My back hurts. My shoulder pain in returning which flares from typing. I’m working on some stuff, so I haven’t had much time to do any blog posting. However, the bill just arrived to renew my domain name on wordpress, so…….here I am.

Yours in Gardening,

The Garden Maiden

thegardenmaiden.com copyright 2020

Categories: Observations from My Garden of Goods & Evils, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Spicy Bit of Garden Evil in the Kitchen

Today is my day to spend all day working in the garden and yard. I actually like to think of my entire outdoor space as a garden. No writing today. (wait, what?) Just working outside. But I do need to plan for and prepare dinner. On the menu: fried pork chops (from the local meat market-no not a dance club, an actual place where you can purchase meat), fried potatoes and onions, wilted lettuce (thank you Grandmother) and jalapeno cheese cornbread.

Before I head outside, I decided to bake my cornbread since from 3-6 p.m. we are on a “summer rate” time of use plan with electric co-op, so using the stove is off limits. The basis for my recipe is from Food.com. I tweak it to make it lower sodium with the following changes: use 1 no salt added (NSA) can of cream corn (thus reduce the milk to only 2C), fresh peppers (not canned or pickled), NSA baking powder, and Swiss cheese (about the lowest sodium cheese you can buy). I also use local honey instead of sugar and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. All of this goes into my trusty, old cast iron skillet (an amazing wedding gift from my Grandma-in-law, now deceased).

Anyway, there I was in the kitchen putting my ingredients together. My garden peppers are coming along fine, and those that I overwintered have started producing harvestable fruit, but not the jalapenos. So I mosey (yeah, I do that sometimes) on over to the fridge and pull out two jalapenos purchased from the grocery store. Then I remembered a baggie of frozen peppers in the freezer that a friend brought us from Stillwater, Oklahoma a couple of years ago. With the new peppers coming on, it was time to clean out the freezer, so I grabbed the baggie.  How many years ago was it? Two? Three? Nearly four? What kind of peppers were these? My memory was fuzzy. The last time I pulled one out to put on a pizza it was not spicy at all. I guess they brought us sweet peppers. It doesn’t seem right. However, I know the last pepper was sweet. Yellow and sweet.

I decided that to add color and texture I would put the last six remaining “sweet” peppers from Stillwater into my cornbread. I chopped each small yellow and red pepper into three or four chunks. I dumped them into my bowl of dry ingredients. As I was about to put the last pepper in, I paused. Erring on the side of caution, for kicks and giggles, I pop a piece into my mouth and move it around with my tongue.  Oh my Garden of Good and Evils!!!!! NOT A SWEET PEPPER. NOT A SWEET PEPPER. Now, I love hot peppers just as much as any other spicy food addicted fool, but I immediately spit out what I can only assume was a habanero.  As I gazed upon my bowl filled with chopped peppers that may be habaneros, I thought of a sticker at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Slidell, Louisiana: in queso emergency, pray to cheeses!

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I grabbed a fork and fished out all the flour and cornmeal-covered pieces that I could find.  I decided to go ahead and bake the cornbread. I just couldn’t waste all those ingredients, but I also knew I did not remove all the hot pepper pieces. Against all odds, I placed the batter-filled skillet into the oven, set the timer, and stepped away.

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Hating to have wasted all the peppers that now couldn’t be used for anything, I quickly remembered my nemesis in the garden. THE SQUIRRELS.

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Earlier this spring I was able to deter the squirrels out of some planted containers by sprinkling pizza peppers from the kitchen spice rack onto the soil. This seemed to work, although the sprouted pepper plants were a surprise. (oh, yes, they did germinate after eight years in a container!) However, for the last few weeks, I raised my fists in rage daily to find the squirrels had dug in numerous plant pots and raised beds, killing many seedlings and kicking out my new expensive soil amendments onto the ground. Racing to the trash can I gently fished out all the hot pepper pieces onto a napkin. Into the garden I sprinted with evil delight. I placed pepper pieces into the plant containers that I knew my dachshunds could not access.  SUCK IT SQUIRRELS, I laughed maniacally.

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Spicy peppers sprinkled among Passiflora seedlings to deter squirrels.

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Now, my cornbread is done baking. I cannot wait to try a slice.  Moreover, I cannot wait to see if the squirrels mess with my plants for the next few days.

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Cornbread which may have been baked with habanero peppers.

The moral of this story is ALWAYS label your stored peppers.  Time goes by and memory fades, and remembering incorrectly could really put you in hot water.

My brow is still sweating and my nose is still running, but now it is time to venture out into the garden and get to work.  Rain is coming tomorrow. Rain that will help all my peppers grow, including my ghost peppers.

 

Stay spicy my friends,

The Garden Maiden

PS I thought I wasn’t supposed to be writing today?

 

copyright 2017 The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Categories: Observations from My Garden of Goods & Evils | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment
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