Garden update

The peppers I blogged about a couple of weeks ago are coming along nicely.

The Apache chile plant, which has given me the most peppers so far
The Apache chile plant, which has given me the most peppers so far

 

From left to right: Apache (not fully visible), Black Cobra, Fresno. A lavender plant is peeking between the Black Cobra & the Apache, while a sage plant hides behind the Fresno chile
From left to right: Apache (not fully visible), Black Cobra, Fresno. A lavender plant is peeking between the Black Cobra & the Apache, while a sage plant hides behind the Fresno chile

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The Piquin, whose peppers have since ripened. The chiles de arbol are visible in the background
The Piquin, whose peppers have since ripened. The chiles de arbol are visible in the background

Here are the pickings from last week…

Mostly Apache peppers (on the right and at top), with a cute little heart-shaped Fresno (far left), a black cobra (the longest pepper), and a chile de arbol
Mostly Apache peppers (on the right and at top), with a cute little heart-shaped Fresno (far left), a black cobra (the longest pepper), and a chile de arbol

…and this week.

More Apaches (top), with a few ripened Piquins (bottom), and one each of the Black Cobra & the Chile de Arbol
More Apaches (top), with a few ripened Piquins (bottom), and one each of the Black Cobra & the Chile de Arbol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m also going to try to grow a jalapeño pepper plant from the seeds of this beauty, which I bought today at the farmers’ market.

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The “eco-can” pepper seeds I bought in San Diego haven’t germinated yet; I’m not sure if they will, since it’s been a week.

One more picture, of the mint that Marlene bought for her sister’s baby shower in late May.  We use its leaves in watermelon agua fresca.

The mint that Marlene bought for her sister's baby shower in May
The mint that Marlene bought for her sister’s baby shower in May

Chiles in the garden & a rose

A few months ago, a lady began selling plants, including a wide variety of chiles, at the Alhambra Farmers’ Market.  Inspired by Gustavo Arellano‘s Facebook posts on growing chiles and by the “Hot Peppers” episode of Visiting With Huell Howser, I bought a couple of plants from the lady at the farmers’ market.  I bought a few more over the next month or so, and I now have six chile plants:

* Fresno
* Apache
* Chile de arbol
* Black Cobra
* Bombero
* Piquin

Three weeks ago, I picked the first peppers from my little garden.  (I only thought to take pictures after I had eaten some of the first crop!)

I cooked up the first Fresno chile & the first chile de arbol with some cauliflower, shallots, and garlic.    I cooked the Apache chiles with a tofu scramble, but first I took a bite of the skin.

I am a rather cowardly person when it comes to physical pain.  The exceptions are in the garden and on the soccer field – and now the Apache pepper.  It burns, but its combination of sweetness and heat is heavenly.  Then it hurts, hurts, hurts, but it’s worth it.

And that’s just the skin!  I haven’t been brave enough to eat the seeds by themselves.  I cook with the seeds, but I balance the heat a bit with lime.

Here is last weekend’s pick, which includes the first Black Cobra as well as Apaches & chiles de arbol.

The small peppers are the potent Apaches, and the longer one is the Black Cobra.
The small peppers are the potent Apaches, and the longer one is the Black Cobra.
Though the large unripe pepper looks like a Fresno or a jalapeño, these are all chiles de arbol.
Though the large unripe pepper looks like a Fresno or a jalapeño, these are all chiles de arbol.

The Black Cobra is also delicious, hotter than the Apache even, but without the Apache’s sweetness.  The chile de arbol, which is common in Mexican cooking, is smokier and not as hot.

The Piquin, which is also advertised as smoky, has borne fruit but the peppers are still unripe.  The Bombero, last of the plants to blossom, has put out flowers but no fruit yet.

Finally, here are a few photos of a pink miniature rose that bloomed last week.  My interest in gardening is intimately linked to my memories of my grandpa, whose second career (after years in the Navy) was as a gardener at Balboa Park.  This is one of the roses that I was able to transplant from his garden eight years ago after he died and we had to sell his house.

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