Thursday, November 29, 2012

Persimmon - Fruits of the Gods

My beloved Fuyu Persimmon tree continues to reward me with delicious fruits despite my neglect. I cannot say that I have always attended to it well but this year, life has truly overwhelm me. Caring for two houses and gardens, an hour and half apart plus the stress of a teenage son applying to college.......

Before the Fuyu started taking color, the only time I paid attention to the tree this year was to take pictures of the Persimmon flowers for Autumn Belle- a promise I made when I was harvesting last years crop. It was the ruckus of wild chirping and flapping of wings that emanating  from the vicinity of the Fuyu Persimmon tree that woke me up from my stupor. Those birds were fighting each other to get at the fruits! I do not know what angered me more, the delicious ripe persimmon eaten by the birds or the beautiful green unripe persimmon needlessly pecked by the birds? Every gardener with a persimmon tree knows you have to share some fruits with the birds, the keyword here is SOME.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Year of the Dragon - Fruit!

For the last 3 years, my Pitaya /Dragon Fruit plant Hylocereus undatus had teased me with beautiful blossoms but never rewarding me with any fruit. It seems it was just waiting for Year of the Dragon to start fruiting! I was pleasantly surprised to see that the blossom did not just fall off but two dragon fruits had formed on the plant. One of them has develop a beautiful pinky red color and the other has just a blush of color. I am not sure if they are of the same plant. It am excited to taste the fruit finally!!

September - flower 

 This blossom will turn into the blush colored Pitaya

One of the blossom turned yellow and will not grow to be a Pitaya

 The remaining blossom has developed into a pinky red Pitaya

Just a touch of blush on this Pitaya

Mason Jar Salads

If you are a fan of Pinterest,  you would have seen the use of Mason Jars for everything from storage, planting, lighting to premixes. Recently, in an effort to eat more healthy, I made some Mason Jar Salads. Really easy! Just gather together mason jars, your favorite salad dressing, salad greens and tomatoes. You can also include beans, cucumber, olives and even fruits if you like. Essentially, whatever you normally use to make your favorite salad.

The main thing is to keep the salad green away from the salad dressing. The first layer in the jar is the salad dressing. I like adding the tomatoes, carrots or cucumbers next. For some jars, I added pears cut into cubes. The layer on top of the salad dressing should be firmer to `lift' the salad greens away from the dressing. Fill with salad greens. Top with nuts or fruits if you like. Mandarin orange segments, watermelon cubes, and berries are good choices. These Mason Jar salads last for about a week. I was addicted to these salads, sometimes I would have a jar for lunch and dinner!! A little shopping, a few minutes of assembly and you are set for the week. Delicious!!

 Layers- salad dressing, tomatoes, salad greens.

 Grab and go Mason Jar salads for work

 Shake the mason jar to distribute the salad dressing

Poppy seed dressing and the addition of chickpeas. Yum!

You can add grill chicken to make it a complete meal