Thursday, January 3, 2013

My tree is almost bare........

It is chilly and wet in the garden this time of year. I am lucky that in San Diego I still get to enjoy days of 70-80F sunshine filled days among the norm of 40-60F rainy days during the winter. It is now January and all the leaves have fallen off my Persimmon tree. A small number of paper bags still hang on the tree, hiding the remaining ripening persimmon from the birds! At this time of year, I call the tree my Paper Bag Tree!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Siew Yoke - Chinese Roast Pork

1/1/2013  Made Siew Yoke- Chinese Roast Pork for the first dinner of 2013!! A delicious, addictive basic Chinese dish but not easily available food here in the USA. Generally, it requires going to a Chinese restaurant or a specialized Chinese Supermarket to purchase Siew Yoke.

My brother in law makes a mean Siew Yoke and shared his secrets with me. However, I have been unable to obtain the right cut of pork i.e. belly meat with rind/ skin. A visit to the new Seafood City for new year meals cooking supply yielded the required cut of pork.

It is the simplest recipe. Mix equal part kosher salt with equal part of Chinese Five Spice powder - 1 teaspoon of each. Use enough of the mixture to generously season both side of the meat. Wrap the meat and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Next day, take it out and let it come to room temperature.

Preheat broiler to 420F degree. Place seasoned pork, meat side up on broiler pan. Broil until meat is brown. It could take 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the piece of pork. Turn the meat over to skin side and broil at 390F. Start with 10 minutes, after that rotate the pan every 5 minutes until skin is brown and crackly.

Succulent Basket

It is a miracle. It is January 1, 2013 and I am blogging!! Actually, I am blogging because I following through with my "resolution" to put me first this year. I signed up for a gym membership at the local YMCA with my daughter just before the new year so physically I will get back to being more active. Hoping to finally take some yoga and pilates classes. 2013 I am committed to devoting more time to my creative pursuits.

I started the year on the right note. I spent some time gardening- my first love. It was kind of chilly but the need to garden was overwhelming. I needed to create something not just potter around. I recycled an old metal toiletry metal basket/ container/ caddy for a lovely succulent garden. I lined the basket with damp sphaghum moss, tied the moss to the basket with some twine and filled the center with some fast draining soil and perlite mix.