Monday, March 9, 2009

Tilling and Thai food...

After thinking about it, talking about it, buying and starting seeds, we finally broke ground on a garden spot on Saturday. This is our first vegetable garden, so we are trying to keep it simple for now. We are hoping to grow some corn, Roma tomatoes, Big Boy tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, basil, Thai basil, cilantro, oregano, jalapeños, habañeros and watermelons in the garden this year. So based on our estimations, we tilled up a square plot about twenty feet by twenty feet next to our young fruit orchard. We picked out as many grass clumps as we could, spread peat moss over the area and tilled it again. While we had the use of my brother-in-law's tiller, we went ahead and extended the blueberry bed to accommodate another three or four blueberry bushes in it.

Last year we planted three blueberry bushes and three semi-dwarf peach trees. It will probably be another year or two before we get any blueberries, but we are hoping to perhaps get a few peaches this year.

After all of this hard work, we whipped up a delicious dinner of Thai style curry chicken and angel hair pasta. It was generally based on a recipe for chiang mai curry noodles from quick and easy thai by Nancie McDermott.

First I started some water boiling in our large pasta pot. Then I added about 2 Tbs. olive oil to a hot wok, then I added four cloves worth of chopped garlic and two Tbs. of Thai red curry paste. I mashed the paste to mix it with the hot oil, then added the meat of two boneless chicken breasts, cut up into bite sized chunks. I browned the chicken for a few minutes, then I added 1¾ cups of chicken broth, one 13.5 oz. can of unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tsp. curry powder, 1 tsp. turmeric, 2 Tbs. soy sauce, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp. salt. I brought it all up to a boil, then lowered the heat to a simmer and simmered it for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, I boiled a box of angel hair pasta. When the pasta was done, I drained it. I then turned the heat off on the wok with the curry mixture and added the fresh squeezed juice of two limes to it. We put some pasta in our bowls, ladeled some chicken and curry sauce over the pasta, then topped it all off with some fresh chopped shallots, green onions and cilantro. It turned out delicious.

Next time I make this dish, I will probably add the shallots to the wok when I'm browning the chicken and cook them, as the raw shallots combined with the raw green onion was a little too oniony (is that a word?) for us and will probably taste better cooked. I also think I will add chopped tomato and some raisins to the toppings, to add some coolness and sweetness.

After all of this, our backs and legs were sore, our bellies were full and we were ready for rest.

I hope you all had a blessed weekend and took time to join with your friends and family in praising God. He is indeed worthy of praise!

Blessings from the holler, y'all!


TennZen said...

Good luck with your garden this year!

A word of advice...
You'll need a lot more room than you think, if you're going to try to grow watermelons.

Best bet for small space melons is a mini variety like Sugar Baby. You can grow those upright, on a trellis!

YD said...

Is that Ellie in those pictures? Looks like she hard at work supervising, making sure that the job is done right! :)

Good luck with your garden. TennZen is right, watermelons take up lots of space. Also keep in mind that for good pollination, you should plant at least 4 rows of corn.

Mmmm...Thai food. Have you ever tried Tom Yum before?

Mrs. JP said...

YD, that's Daisy. She and Ellie look lots alike but Ellie is the GSD we found the home for.
The work was hard but hopefully it will pay off. The food was great and we have leftovers! We have had Tom Yum soup before. Actually, JP was talking about it this weekend.
Thank you both for the garden advice. Have a great week.

rab said...

thank you for your support. LOVE the pix of the puppers!

TennZen said...

JP left a comment on my blog, asking about Middle TN resources for mushroom compost.

I have a couple of resources for you.

There's The Compost Farm in Franklin:
(They have compost other than mushroom)

Southern Nurseries in Nashville has mushroom compost, among other things:

Soil Products Inc in Hermitage sells compost ($28 for a 3/4 cu.yd. scoop - not bad):

Hopefully this helps

Lena said...

Your garden addition looks wonderful! Mine has a GSD too - they make good garden watchdogs. lol

What kind of blueberry bushes do you have?
We've been thinking about getting some, and I know we're supposed to get the rabbiteye kind, but I don't know anything after that.

JP said...

@TennZen: Thank you for all of the great information! We will definitely look into these for our compost needs.

@Lena: Last year we ordered Stark Bros Southern Blueberry Assortment, because they have done the homework of finding varieties that grow well in the south and cross-pollinate each other. This year we are going to try to find plants from one of our local growers and perhaps save a little money. The semi-dwarf peach trees we planted were also from Stark Bros, and they do provide good quality plants.