The weekend’s culinary adventures

The weekend just gone involved several culinary adventures, all of which provided some inspiration for the garden. It started on Friday night, when G called me from the shops to say he’d seen a strange citrus fruit called a Buddha’s hand and did I want him to bring one home? 

I quickly Googled it and then said yes – I wanted to see this strange-looking citrus fruit in the flesh. Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis is an oddly-shaped citrus fruit with finger-like sections and a lovely sweet citrus scent: I stored it in our pantry cupboard overnight and could smell it as soon as I opened the cupboard door the next morning.

Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis.

I’ve since tried it grated over salmon soba noodles and am now looking at how to candy some of it. And, being me, I’ve also been looking up whether or not I can grow it out here, as I’m not sure whether it will be frost-tolerant enough – does anyone know?

It might seem surprising that with over 20 fruit trees in the orchard already, I’m looking to add to the collection, but… I’ve already been looking into how to grow lemon, lime and makrut lime in large pots as all of these would be very useful in the kitchen. I like mandarin and grapefruit, both of which we already have growing in the garden, but I won’t have as much use for them (I’ll probably pass them on to Mum to make marmalade).

Making popcorn – the house smelled like a movie theatre for ages afterwards!

The culinary experiments continued on Saturday/Sunday, with G spotting popcorn on the cob while shopping on Saturday, buying some and then making popcorn on the stove on Sunday. He carefully removed the kernels from one cob, added them to some butter in a pan (we’ll melt the butter first next time) and put the lid on.

We both hovered around the stove, watching (through the clear lid) as the corn popped and enjoying the smell, which made me think immediately of going out to the movies. It was delicious and popcorn has gone on the list as something to definitely be grown in the garden – it was already down on the list as a maybe after I read about it in James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution, but I wanted to make sure we’d enjoy eating it first.

Spotting garlic in the orchard.

The third culinary-garden event of the weekend happened on Sunday morning when G set up the new compost bins and transferred some of the piles of leaves I’d raked up a few weeks ago into them. I helped as much as I could and while pausing to rest, spotted a shoot from one of the garlic bulbs I’d planted in the garden earlier in autumn.

I looked around under some of the other fruit trees and found more shoots. We still have other (I’m guessing) flowering bulbs appearing in the front yard, but I’m pretty sure that these particular shoots are the garlic bulbs, as they’re definitely where I planted them – we’re now awaiting the results!

Some of the other bulbs I’ve recently spotted appearing in the front garden.
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