Thursday, March 3, 2011

Flowers, Seeds, and Cooking Dinosaur Kale

Snow pea flower

It's been raining on a regular basis for the last few weeks in the Bay Area. I have taken every chance I got in between the rain to check on the plants and take a few pictures. The snow peas are flowering and some pea pods are growing.

I often leave some leafy vegetables to flower for the bees and the seeds. I am still learning different seeds and how to collect them. Speaking of seeds, this Friday, March 4, 2011, from 7 - 9 PM, is the Bay Area Seed Interchange Library's 12th Annual Seed Swap at the Ecology Center at 2530 San Pablo Ave and Dwight Way on the SW corner of the intersection in Berkeley. Please see Ecology Center's event calendar for details on cost if you are interested in going.

dinosaur kale

I have one big plant of dinosaur kale. One seed got mixed in with my spinach seeds last year. While all the spinach from last year are long gone, the kale has kept on growing and thriving. Now it is flowering. I just recently found out it is commonly called "dinosaur" kale. It's a fitting name for its appearance. I had no idea how to cook it, and honestly, it didn't look all that appetizing although I was sure this dark green leafy vegetable has to be highly nutritious.

My opportunity came when I brought home the leftover Szechwan spicy boiled fish fillet from China Village Restaurant. By the way, that dish is excellent if you are into tongue numbing super spicy Chinese food. What I brought home was mostly that garlicky super spicy sauce, and I thought, why not cook a bunch dinosaur kale leaves in it? 

It was so good, and I am not sure how I did it but I ate it all - kale and all the sauce. Just typing it makes my face start to perspire and mouth water. The lesson here is that if you are not sure how to cook something, cook it in some leftover sauce/broth that you love.

calla lilies

All the calla lilies are blooming in the front and back gardens. They come back every year and are a sure sign of spring that's just around the corner.

I have made several jars of pickled daikon. There are more daikons and some of them have started to flower. I am not sure whether the flowers will produce seeds. I will find out after the flowers die off.

Daikon flowers

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