My busy season at work appeared to have sped up the flow of time, dramatically, and before I realized, we are now at the end of May.
May was the month of onigiri experimentation, and although I enjoy the convenience and zen of making the rice balls, I know I need to continue experimenting to keep my daughter’s lunches fun and interesting.
Today’s lunch included:
Boiled egg – in a bear shape
Mini-onigiri with dried seaweed, sesame seeds and salmon furikake (store-bought, conventional seasoning for rice)
Mini-frank flowers (conventional) in a blanched broccoli floret forest. I cut the small sausages in half, and scored the cut surfaces. I then dropped them into boiling water for a few minutes until cooked through, and the pieces curled outward
My daughter’s school is closed tomorrow, so she is off to daycare with her younger sister. I hope to get out of work early, so I can pick them up early, and play outside with them.
The vegetables in our garden are starting to pick up some steam, and we recently harvested the season’s first lettuce leaves. This year, we planted broccoli rabe, kale, lettuce, pole beans, soybeans, three types of tomatoes, sweet peas, two types of Japanese cucumbers, zucchini, scallions, and artichoke. It is our third year growing vegetables, and we are starting to learn from our past mistakes.
Our top 10 mistakes are listed below – and I chuckle as I recall each one:
#1. There is no need to plant more than ONE grape or cherry tomato plant
#2. Do not plant more than one zucchini plant in a row, especially in the sunny spot
#3. Do not plant and stake bush beans next to the trellis
#4. Watermelon and eggplant do not grow well in a pot
#5. Determined rabbits will squeeze through fencing to devour soybean sprouts – protect your garden with a fence + chicken wire, or you will be left with stubby stems throughout the garden
#6. Do not prune zucchini leaves in the hopes you can remove powdery mildew, especially if it is on every leaf
#7. Guide and monitor your children when they are helping to weed the garden – otherwise they may pull up entire rows of broccoli rabe and sweet pea sprouts
#8. Tomato plants are extremely resilient. Therefore, your neighbor may find a renegade tomato patch in their yard, most likely sprouted from the tomatoes from YOUR garden
#9. Slugs/bees/worms/ants (and any other insect) are not frightened of you – as much as you may be frightened, disgusted, or fearful of their slimy bodies munching through the tender leaves of your young vegetables. Screaming, jumping or wringing hands do not make them go away.
#10. If planting from seed, mark your rows. I’m currently trying to figure out if the row of eggplant I thought I planted actually sprouted, or the weeds are taking advantage of the fact I can’t discern which is what.
Hope to have some dishes/recipes based on our garden soon.
P.S. I must add to my commentary regarding the Bento box song, Baba originally suggested to Jiji to search for the lyrics on-line. Thank you, both Jiji AND Baba.