Peter is still asleep. Our dear little Truffle the Terrorist woke us up early this morning. He was lucky to get back to sleep. I love the mornings and have been up working.
It is a beautiful sunny morning here. The week has been cloudy with a few spurts of rain – kind of like it has been since December. I’m ready for our consistent sunny days to return.
My garden is doing pretty well though I haven’t spent enough time in it to make it really grow and be productive. Most of the productivity will happen without my help; observing my mango tree that was a “dead” stump when we moved in, had a single mango last year and is covered (all 25′ of it) in blooms and tiny mangos now. My “little” mango that produced about 200 mangos last year has several almost ready to ripen but is also still blooming.
Here is my garden log:
- Basil – new plants doing very well. Old plants are back and producing again. Time to start a new batch though! I love picking fresh basil and parsley daily. Parsely is about same as basil. It is time to dig out my “old plants”.
- Tomatoes– have picked 3 cherry tomatoes and several more are ripening. Not a huge crop or huge growth yet. I forgot to fertilize yet this week.
- Eggplant – Planted 2 and I think I’m going to lose one. It looks like something chewed through the stem of the weaker one.
- Broccoli – I’ve been picking cabbage moth eggs/larvae daily. It looks a little chewed up but is doing ok. I bought stuff to make covers but haven’t made them yet. Hope to have brocolli in a few weeks. Probably time to start more.
- Peppers are all doing well. No harvests yet.
- Onions are growing slowly.
- Bok Choy – I left it in it’s start container too long and transplanted last week. Plants are starting to grow but also getting bugs.
- Cucumbers — Planted 3, still have 2 but they look pretty sick
- Sweet Potatoes – growing well. Put in several purple slips this week with full moon and they seem to be doing well.
- Spiders — my Argiope spiders have taken over many areas a create AMAZING webs. I can knock a web down and it will be back up in a single day. If last summer is any indication, they will soon be gone. Since they are not poisonous and I have plenty of bugs for them, I leave them be for the most part. I suspect it is their normal lifecycle which is a little different than the mainland where they appear in late summer and eggs “overwinter”. My guess is that they have adapted primarily due to our tradewinds…when the winds blow the webs can be destroyed. This is the season of the lowest winds.
- I tried to do some research on cuttings that they told me were “tapioca” plants. They said the fruits grew on the stem. All tapioca plants that I can find produce a root that is edible. I planted them and they are growing… such an experiment!
- My “nursery” is in disarray. That will be my project for the week because it is supposed to be rainy.
- Sprinkler system is turned on again …watering my weeds.
I am too busy with too many projects at work and not enough clients!
The mangos are winning! Every morning, I pick up a few and we try to keep up with the supply. Everywhere in Maui you see FREE mangos. We have more mangos than we know what to do with. Mango season is fairly short here with mango trees producing for about a month. But during that month we are blessed with sweet tropical fruits. A typical day starts with mango eggs, followed by a mango and chicken salad for lunch, mango slurry for snack, mango chicken, pork or fish for dinner and mango sorbet for dessert. Here are my husband’s best recipes.
Asian-inspired Mango Salsa
By Peter Liu
2 large ripe mangos, finely chopped (squeeze the remnants around the pit into the bowl)
Fresh ginger, about twice the size of your thumb, peeled and finely chopped
1 large shallot or 2 scallions (green onions) finely chopped
1 teaspoon Ponzu (Kikkoman is best. Ponzu is just a seasoned soy + citrus so you may get similar results w/splash of soy)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
The juice of 1 calamansi (or 1/2 lemon or lime)
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon of salt (just enough until you taste the shallots/onions)
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Fresh chile pepper or dried red pepper flakes to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and allow to sit for a 1/2 hour. Serve with chips or use with chicken, pork or fish.
Mango Pork Roast
By Peter Liu
Pork butt roast (shoulder), about 3 lbs.
2 ripe mangos, finely chopped
Fresh ginger, about twice the size of your thumb, chopped into large pieces for easy removal later. Smash to release flavor.
1 large onion, sliced
Several cloves of fresh garlic, smashed to release flavor
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Ponzu (Kikkoman is best)
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Handful of fresh herbs — whatever you have on hand: basil, parsley, rosemary, etc.
Pile the onion slices in the middle of a piece of aluminum foil about twice the size of the pork. Rub the pork with salt and pepper and place on top of the onions. Place the smashed garlic cloves on top of the pork. Place the mango pieces on top of the pork and garlic. Distribute the smashed ginger around the pork. Place the handful of fresh herbs on top of the pile and sprinkle the Ponzu and white wine on the whole thing. Wrap the foil up tightly around the pile to trap as much moisture as possible inside. Wrap the whole thing in another piece of foil to ensure good insulation. Bake at 300F 6 hours in an oven or outdoor grill (do not allow temperature to go any higher).
After 6 hours, remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes undisturbed. Cut open the foil from the top and extract the pork. Discard the spent herbs and ginger. Tease apart with forks and serve. Use the remaining mango, onions and garlic cloves as desired.