Friday, July 4, 2014

Orange Magic!

My original title was just 'carrots'. But it felt so weak up there I changed it to 'orange magic' because that is what they are. This all time favorite veggie (only veggie that is acceptable to all)  in our household is magic indeed I say. I suspect its natural sweetness has something to do with the popularity:-)

I had despaired of ever growing carrots because they just only grew so much last time after taking care of the 6 plants that we had bought.. But this year I took the advice of a colleague who grew up in a Panjabi farm and had seen carrots grown all his life. Bought seeds in a packet and strew the seeds on my prepared veggie bed where there is mostly sunlight and some shade. Didn't replant to give them space. That could be why some of them were small but still there was only so much effort and the yield was so good! Preparing a soil bed that was loose and well fertilized helped a lot too. This way the carrot root can grow downwards without obstacles. Like I had suspected, the ones that had flowered yielded tough carrots with roots growing all over. Those had moved on to the seed producing stage. Apparently the weird  hot-one-week cold-one-week weather made some of them think winter is already here or something like that. Luckily only a few got confused and the rest of them yielded fine. Celery was just ok. See the pic below. They could be used to boil in soups but were not tender enough for snacking. Knowing when to harvest is the trick. Onions didn't grow as well but there is always a second time.  Tomatoes are the one surefire thing here in sunny California.

BTW, Happy 4th of July to all! My littlest nephew is also celebrating a birthday back home on July 4th. Happy Birthday kunjunni! 

We were all set to go camping on this 3-day weekend but cold, cough and throw-ups dictated otherwise. So I am chastely staying home looking up home remedies for cough as most over-the-counter medicines only tend to make the kiddos suffer more. Looks like green or regular tea with honey, lemon honey hot water (I knew this one!) and essential oil rubs are way better than the worthless medicines I keep buying in hopes of faster turnarounds. The cough symphony between the kiddos had reached a crescendo but is slowly subsiding and the home is quietening much to our relief. Each cough had felt like a stab at times esp when that is all you hear in the dark. I hate it when those little bodies rack up with coughs and I feel so helpless. What works for one may not work for the other. Steam inhalation works wonders and while my boy thrived on honey lemon water, my girl got relief only after having her pillows elevated at night. So much for the sick news. Hope it will be all over by the time we are setting sail (er.. flying) to Italy. Yup, we are visiting Rome, Florence and Venice this month. It is HAunt's 60th birthday this year and bless her heart she wanted that trip to Italy in lieu of celebrations. I took straight to that idea as it was so appealing:-) This is also the last summer that my son will be free for a while as he is going into high school and summers get very busy from what I know. It is just unfortunate that a project milestone decided to land right smack in the middle of the vacation. But hey I am not going to care (I hope) and will be enjoying Michael Angelo's Rome, Da Vinci's Florence and Vivaldi's Venice to the fullest. So what if it is sweltering hot in Italy this month? The ancient edifices, mesmerizing paintings and just plain history sleeping on those streets will make up for all that. Italia qui veniamo!