Tuesday, February 17, 2009

kohlrabi? in cuyutl√°n?

At yesterday's tiangues I spotted a bunch of pale green kolhrabi (colinabo) in my usual vendor's selection of verduras. I have never been a fan of this strange-looking vegetable so passed them up. But Jack, always looking for something different, bought them and then called me to ask me what to do with them. I didn't have a clue but did some on-line recipe sleuthing and found something that sounded pretty good. He decided to just peel away the woody exterior, dice them and boil them. He gave me three of them ~ they're about the size of a golf ball ~ to try. So I peeled them, diced them into julienne strips, sauteed them in garlic and oil, then threw in some chopped fresh spinach and let that wilt. Add salt and pepper (the Patient believes you can't eat spinach without vinegar so add that too, if you like). It was delicious; crunchy, fairly mild with a hint of the flavor of broccoli stems. Now I'll know what to do with them if I ever see them again. Which is doubtful. Nine years and this is the first time I've encountered them? And Jack has live here for 35 years and has never seen them.

Today has been one of those days when both the Patient and I have had great spirts of energy. First we, along with Fernando, hung the two new ceiling fans that have been sitting in boxes since we brought them down last year. (Don't even ask about the whys of the delay.) The problem with fans here is that the blades rust out after one season and even with heavy enameling and protection during the off season, i.e., removal and storage, the rust takes over. After researching this problem I found some fans with resin blades and housing. For indoor-outdoor use. Made in Florida. I decided they probably knew what they were doing with this product and ordered two of them. They are now up and moving the air around nicely. But it took two men, three ladders, and a female supervisor to get the job done.

Then we moved downstairs into the garden and managed to accomplish quite a bit. One of the first chores was to plant a palm tree that Fernando and Chuy had given the Patient for Christmas.It is a native of Mexicdo and is called pata de elefante, "elephant's foot." In the US it's called a Pony-Tale Palm, although it's not really a true palm. It has been thriving in a little plastic pot against the back wall, unseen and unadmired. We moved it into a roomier clay pot and put it in the front patio where it will get both sun and shade and we will be able to enjoy it.

If you look at the base of the fronds you can see the "elephant foot" bulb.

Next it was a huge pot of aloe with at least 10 "aloe-ettes" that had sprung from the mother plant. We rolled it out onto the grass, pulled it out of the pot and gently separated the little plants. The mother went back into her original home, freed from those pesky suckers.

The offspring were scattered around the garden, some in pots, some in the ground. But three wound up in this big pot on our living room balcony.

I've wanted something green and growing out there for a long time. However, although the balcony is nice and bright and sunny, and it would look pretty from the living room, when the wind whips through it shreds leaves and fronds, and knocks things off the ledges. I don't think it can do damage to the aloe spikes. And besides, the pot sits below the wind line.

Now if those little plants will just be happy without Mom. . .


At 8:31 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

I love when both of us have the "high energy day". Interesting about the fans, then do you replace the blades only next year? Or the entire fan? Or?

At 8:39 AM, Blogger The Fevered Brain said...

God willing we won't have to replace anything. The new fans are resin; no rust, ever! The housing (motor) is encased in a resin shell, no no rust there, either. These should see us out!


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