A Break From The Cold

I generally avoid posting about more than one thing at a time, but there was a lot happening on this day. First thing in the morning I started a batch of pickled (fermented) onions. I sliced sweet onions, packed them into a jar, added kosher salt at a ratio of 2% salt per weight of the onions. To that I added water to cover the onions a couple inches below the rim of the jar. I positioned an open sandwich baggie in the top of the jar and folded it over the sides, then poured saline water into the sandwich bag to almost the top of the jar. This is to seal out undesirable bacteria and keep the onions submerged in the solution. The jar was capped loosely with a lid. I will check back on the onions in a week or so.



I also began another project making idli/dosa batter. I usually take the easy way out by using instant mixes, but this time I wanted to do it from scratch. Idli rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds were washed and left to soak in water. In a later post I will report on how that turned out.



Here it is, almost a month of winter to go and we have been enjoying temperatures in the upper 70s (F) with the expectation it will continue a few more days. Evidences of approaching spring are everywhere.

warm weather

warm weather

warm weather

warm weather


It so happens that I am involved in the process of making mango pickle at the moment. I was planning to skip the part where the salted mangoes are dried in the sun for two days, but with sunny skies and temps as high as 80ºF I thought, why not? I will report on how the mango pickle turns out in a future post.

mango pickle


Winter is not over. The cold will undoubtedly make itself felt a few more times before the official change of seasons, but this period of warm weather was a window of opportunity to get a head start on the garden. I cleaned up several planting beds and planted seeds of plants which tolerate or even prefer colder weather but need warmth for germination, things like spinach, peas, radishes, lettuce. If the seeds sprout before the next cold spell they should survive the remaining weeks of winter.



Cilantro and rutabagas survived just fine the extreme cold snaps we endured this winter.

garden (4).jpg


I was surprised to find a couple overgrown asparagus spears.


garden (3).jpg



While I was occupied outside in the garden Faye prepared a delicious meal of portobello mushroom and poblano tacos.





I’ve also started some seeds indoors that require a long growing season and need a head start, things like jicama, roselle and moringa. The trays of seedlings will be taken outside on warm days.



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