Posted on 24 Comments

Growing Yams by Propagation

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This project of growing yams began on June 11, 2020. Gee loves yams, and though it is not a favorite of mine I wanted to try growing some for him.

Pieces of yams cut up in preparation for propagation.

I cut the yams into the pieces you see above then coated the cut sides with the ashes. The ashes helps to prevent bugs from eating the yam pieces before they begin growing.

I let the ashes adhere for about 1 hour then I planted them approximately 1 inch from the surface, I watered them and let nature do the rest.

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This is ashes I used from the BBQ grill.

Soil in a pot for growing my yams.

The yams are freshly planted and watered, I did not water them heavily as I did not want to wash out the ashes too much and I lightly sprinkled some ashes on top of the soil.

2 tiny fuscia buds that signals my yams are growing.

Two weeks later the purple yams came up, I was overjoyed. The two purple pieces are the buds of purple yams that was among the regular white yams. Those peeked out first and were a bright fuchsia in color. I was ecstatic. They were growing.

Young leaf from yam planted 2 weeks ago growing.

They began growing quite rapidly.

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Three weeks later the white yams peeked out  (they began growing out one week after the purple).

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I watch these plants every day like they are my babies.

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By one month yams the yams were really growing and I began to relax as more and more were growing out.

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The yam plants today, they are growing well, the heat does not seem to deter them in any way and I patiently await to see the final results. It is a beautiful plant.

I will update when I reap, lol.

Stay safe and be blessed!

Posted on 24 Comments

Beer Battered Chicken Strips

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Back in early April before our lives got turned upside down. My Gee was always the chef du jour, and not for just that day either.

We were home deciding what to cook for dinner and finally settled on was Gee’s Beer Battered Chicken. In our current climate we are trying to raid the refrigerator and the freezer and come up with innovative ways to eat what was already in the home. So here is Gee’s twist on things.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 beer or seltzer water
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • Sazon seasoning (gives color & flavor)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano

Prepare batter:

  • Mix all dry ingredients together, you may use a whisk.
  • Add the beer or seltzer water (your preference) to the dry mixture
  • Gently fold beer / seltzer into the dry mixture (do not beat the mixture, you want to keep the bubbles)
  • Mix gently for smooth consistency

Directions:

Clean, wash and prep chicken breasts, pat dry with paper towel and place in a bowl. Slice the thickness of chicken breast in half. Add seasonings to your taste. You may allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.

  1. Dredge seasoned chicken into dry mixture containing salt, pepper, 3 tbsps flour, 3 tbsps corn starch.
  2. Gently shake off excess dry ingredients and immerse in batter, gently shake off excess.

Cooking:

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  • Use medium sized frying pan and 1/2 of oil to heat.
  • Slowly lower chicken 2/3rd moving chicken gently back and forth in hot oil but not allowing it to stick to bottom until it is cooked enough to float.
  • Cook until golden brown on both sides
  • Place on a cooling rack
  • Enjoy!

You may enjoy with fries, a salad, as a sandwich, with rice and vegetables or any other way you choose.

Bon appetit!  &  God bless!

 

Posted on 48 Comments

Beauty I see

A yellow and beautiful mushroom
Saw this beautiful yellow mushroom (maybe a telluride, I am not sure).

Below in my mother’s garden, this little guy may be a vegetarian.

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Mr Lizard was hanging out in the garden. The green is another type of spinach (called malabar) I will document its growth in a week or two.

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Brilliant violet flower
This lone purple guy was so bright he needed showing off.

 

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These flowers looked so beautiful, I just had to take a pic.

 

2 children sitting on a large rock.
My children taking a rest on our walk, the young ones are not built like the old folks, lol.

 

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I saw this turtle crossing the park. They are such shy creatures. 
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Met this one a different day while walking.
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This is broad-leaf thyme we use for cooking, its scientific name is Plectranthus amboinicus, we planted it and curiously it began growing in this odd rose-like pattern. Even though it has regular leves now, the rose-like pattern still remains. I had never seen it grow like that before. 

I find beauty in many things and in many places.

Stay well, stay safe … keep exploring

Posted on 34 Comments

Home Grown — A Wall of Soil

Yesterday my mom and I went to Lowe’s Hardware Store to stock up on our plant food and I was amazed and pleased to see this wall of soil. It seems a lot of folks are planting and the demand for plants and planting items have drastically increased.

I have been seeking some onion plants so I keep checking, none so far.

As avid planters, we have never seen this much soil being stocked or sold. The gardening section is currently one of the busiest at the stores.

Apparently many of us are returning our roots and in the process finding joy in the work of our hands, watching them grow and eating healthier in the process.

Plus our kids get to help while learning how to doing new things, which will serve them well in the future.

A 7 year old boy watering plants with an adult female looking on.
My 7 year old watering plants with his grandmother.

Planting is also great for our mental health.

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Yellow Squash flowering.

Isn’t this just lovely to watching things grow?

A peach - tree-ripened
This one is actually a Bounty Peach – first bearing from young tree planted about 2 months ago in our backyard — but the color is purple like a plum, it ripened on the tree
A tree-ripened plum
This one is the plum, first bearing planted from young trees planted 2 months ago.

So WP folks, please show us some pictures of your gardens…

 

 

 

Posted on 13 Comments

Gardening: Swiss Chard

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The leaves are so green.

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Look at these growing beauties, makes you feel healthier already. Lol

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The leaves took a beating during the storms.

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These are all edible plants, tomato on the left, the swiss chard, ochro in the black pot, the one with the red pigmentation is also an edible spinach.

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The plants look so healthy. (That is eggplant with the white flowers nearby)

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Ready for eating. And these are so so good to eat. 
Posted on 18 Comments

Fish Cakes – Easy Home Style

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PS: My mother decided to decorate it with all this celery, she really loves celery.

How to make fish cakes:

You will need:

  • 1 pound boneless fish.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 slices bread soaked in milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (to your taste)
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  • Blend onion, garlic and sweet pepper in food processor.
  • Steam fish and allow to cool.
  • Separate fish with a fork and add seasonings.
  • Add 2 whisked eggs.
  • Add the mashed potatoes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Next add bread crumbs.
  • Mix and check for consistency (so that you are able to shape it).
  • Use a table spoon as a measuring guide and mold into your desired shape.
  • Heat oil, flour lightly and cook until golden brown.

Enjoy as an appetizer, as a sandwich, with rice or vegetables.

God bless!!

 

 

Posted on 19 Comments

Aunty’s Chick Pea & Sweet Potato Dinner

Day of Worship Church Flyer (2)

Everyone wants to be healthy. Especially now that we are social distancing and may be visiting the refrigerator and the couch way too many times.

My Aunt sent this picture of her dinner a few nights ago. In an effort to maintain middle-aged weight and be healthy, this is “food for our soul”. This prompted this post about sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato:

Sweet potatoes scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas are healthier forms of carbohydrates that most others. It has a medium glycemic index of 63, according to HSPH.

The glycemic index (GI) refers to how quickly a certain food raises a person’s blood sugar after consumption.

White potatoes are a high-GI food, with a GI of 78. Previous research has implicated the consumption between a high-GI diet and type 2 diabetes.

Sweet potatoes are part of the family of root vegetables and are “delicious and nutritious.”

They are so tasty, contain zero fats and cholesterol, packed with vitamins and nutrients, and are delicious!

Did you know that despite being a “potato”, sweet potatoes are not closely related to white potatoes?

They are edible roots, while white potatoes are eligible tubers.

The difference between Tubers & Roots:

Root vegetables are underground parts of plants that act as storage organs and are enlarged to store carbohydrates that will be accessed for energy.

Tubers are the enlarged structures in some plants and are used as storage of nutrients. They contain no nodes, internodes or reduced leaves.

For e.g. carrot is a root and sweet potato is a root tuber.

White potatoes are part of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, eggplant, and hot peppers, according to the University of Wisconsin.

Sweet potatoes, are part of the morning glory family of flowering plants and are not closely related to white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are considered root vegetables, this means that we eat the root of the plant, while white potatoes are considered tubers, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

They are also one of the top sources of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. Great for preserving our excellent eyesight.

Different types of sweet potatoes

Day of Worship Church Flyer (2)

Everyone wants to be healthy. Especially now that we are social distancing and maybe visiting the refrigerator and the couch way too many times.

My Aunt sent this picture of her dinner a few nights ago. In an effort to maintain middle-aged weight and be healthy, this is “food for our soul”. This prompted this post about sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato:

Sweet potatoes  scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas are healthier forms of carbohydrates that most others. It has a medium glycemic index, according to HSPH, of 63.

The glycemic index (GI) refers to how quickly a certain food raises a person’s blood sugar after consumption.

White potatoes are a high-GI food, with a GI of 78. Previous research has implicated the consumption between a high-GI diet and type 2 diabetes.

Sweet potatoes are part of the family of root vegetables and are “delicious and nutritious.”

They are so tasty, contain zero fats and cholesterol, packed with vitamins and nutrients, and are delicious!

Did you know that despite being a “potato”, sweet potatoes are not closely related to white potatoes?

They are edible roots, while white potatoes are eligible tubers.

The difference between Tubers & Roots:

Root vegetables are underground parts of plants that act as storage organs and are enlarged to store carbohydrates that will be accessed for energy.

Tubers are the enlarged structures in some plants and are used as storage of nutrients. They contain no nodes, internodes, or reduced leaves.

For e.g. carrot is a root and sweet potato is a root tuber.

White potatoes are part of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, eggplant, and hot peppers, according to the University of Wisconsin.

Sweet potatoes, are part of the morning glory family of flowering plants and are not closely related to white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are considered root vegetables, this means that we eat the root of the plant, while white potatoes are considered tubers, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

They are also one of the top sources of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. Great for preserving our excellent eyesight.

Different types of sweet potatoes

Nutritional values of sweet potatoes:

Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 73 mg 3%
Potassium 448 mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 27 g 9%
Dietary fiber 4 g 16%
Sugar 6 g
Protein 2.1 g 4%
Vitamin A 377% Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 4% Iron 4%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 15%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium
The table above copied from livescience.com

Interesting facts:

  • In addition to the root, sweet potato leaves and shoots are also edible and commonly eaten in some countries.
  • Boiling sweet potatoes retains more of their beta-carotene making the nutrients more available for our use.
  • As much as 92% of the nutrients are retained by limiting the cooking time, such as boiling in a pot with a tightly covered lid for 20 minutes.
  • Cooking potatoes with the skin on further helps to minimize loss of nutrients including beta-carotene and vitamin C.
  • Their interesting bright colors are from “Phyto” chemicals. These phytochemicals are currently being studied for their potential role in human health.

Aunty’s menu:

  • Sweet potato boiled with a dash of salt.
  • Chickpeas, drained and tossed with 1 tbsp oil, curry, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Grape tomatoes, cucumber, and turkey bacon lettuce wrapped.
  • Drink of your choice.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Enjoy!

Blessings.

References:

Interesting facts:

  • In addition to the root, sweet potato leaves and shoots are also edible and commonly eaten in some countries.
  • Boiling sweet potatoes retains more of their beta-carotene making the nutrients more available for our use.
  • As much as 92% of the nutrients are retained by limiting the cooking time, such as boiling in a pot with a tightly covered lid for 20 minutes.
  • Cooking potatoes with the skin on further helps to minimize loss of nutrients including beta-carotene and vitamin C.
  • Their interesting bright colors are from “Phyto” chemicals. These phytochemicals are currently being studied for their potential role in human health.

Aunty’s menu:

  • Sweet potato boiled with a dash of salt.
  • Chickpeas, drained and tossed with 1 tbsp oil, curry, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Grape tomatoes, cucumber, and turkey bacon lettuce wrapped.
  • Drink of your choice.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Enjoy!

Blessings.

References:

Posted on 27 Comments

Turmeric Rice Recipe

A container with yellow turmeric powder and dried chickpeas
Turmeric Rice with Chickpeas Recipe

 

Hello my friends, some interest was shown in the recipe for turmeric rice I cooked a few days ago. I added turmeric and cumin seeds as I love the flavor of cumin seeds.

So here goes,

Ingredients:

1 cup rice (I like Jasmine)

1 1/2 cups water or stock of your choice

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 can drained chickpeas

1/2 cup mixed vegetables, if you like

2 large cloves of garlic chopped

1 onion chopped

1 stalk celery chopped

salt, and pepper to taste

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                                        Turmeric and cumin seasoned rice.

Directions:

  • Add oil to skillet and heat.
  • Place onions and garlic to cook, once softened add cumin seeds to bloom (1 minute).
  • Add 1 teaspoon turmeric to cook, stirring constantly (do not allow to burn).
  • Add celery, salt, pepper, etc and any meat of your choice to sear at this time.
  • Finally add rice, stirring to allow to coat with seasonings and to fry for another minute.
  • Next add any other desired seasonings and your water or stock to pot.
  • Check flavor and allow rice to cook 2/3 way through.
  • Add chickpeas.
  • Lower flame and cover to allow rice to be complete cooking.
  • Serve according to your liking.

Update: September 2020 — I made turmeric rice and decided to post an update picture.

Turmeric rice with shrimp, steamed okra and mushrooms simmering in a pot.
Image credit: Justpene

 

Yellow rice cooked with turmeric in a white plate decorated with grape tomatoes and steamed okra.
Turmeric Rice with cumin seeds,  shrimp, mushrooms and Lima beans. Image credit: Justpene

 

Once rice has completely cooked and is still warm I added the bits of bacon and my spring onions.

The cumin seeds provide another dimension of flavor, when you bite the seeds they add  beautiful texture as well as taste.

I hope you like it.

Bon appetit!

I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Posted on 72 Comments

What I Cooked Today

Well my dears,  today I am off work. I have been researching the benefits of turmeric for a post.

My mom and I had been using turmeric for over several years now for its anti-inflammatory properties.

She makes a drink of turmeric, ginger, lemon and honey. We have been consistently drinking this concoction, especially since the coronavirus, I try to have some every day, just to keep the immune system running at its optimum.

So I cooked some turmeric rice with chickpea or garbanzo beans. See picture below.

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Turmeric rice with garbanzo beans, grilled chicken and a sprinkle of bacon.

Now I am no Julia Childs, Gee is the official cook, but he is currently doing a travel nurse stint in NY.

In an effort to keep my mind off life I am finding “filler” things to do.

A little update, mr. celery is happily growing along with some basil and parsley for company. I love basil as well, love all herbs really. We had a few cold days last week so they took a little beating. One day it seemed like spring then we reverted to winter.

To see how to grow celery easily at home click here.

I love love cucumbers and I eat them almost every day. We’ve tried to grow them in the past with not too much success, they would be the picture of health one day then just drop dead the next.

My mom currently has a few cucumber plants in some pots and we will see how they grow.

But just a little on what I have been doing on my off days and of course being on WordPress, I could not get through the difficult times without you all. There is such a community of support here, it’s simply beautiful.

Take your vitamin supplements including zinc, selenium, vitamins C and D.

As always my friends pray, stay healthy, stay safe, keep your immune systems at peak performance.

God bless us all! Amen!

 

Posted on 37 Comments

Home Baked Bread — How To

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Fresh homemade bread made by my mother

I am considered a tall woman. I am 5 feet almost 10 inches. My mom is average height 5 ft  6 inches, my “father” is way above 6 ft tall.

My paternal grandmother was a whopping 4 ft 11 inches tall!

I can recall I was petite until the age of 17 yrs. Before that age it was often foretold that I would be as petite as my grandmother.

During my ‘petite’ phase, we lived with my maternal grandmother and every Saturday she would bake breads and pastries.

The oven was one she crafted in the yard as all the other women of her day did.

Since Guyana is located below sea level, most homes are built on stilts, so the oven is situated under the house, usually towards the rear and ventilated on one side.

GT
A typical old-world style house in Guyana
Social Distancing (1)
This Oven is made of mud infused with cow patties over a brick frame ( a relic that no longer exists)

Being my smaller self back then, us kids would sit comfortably on that oven, when it was not in use and talk.

That was not the primary purpose of that oven.

It required constant care as consistent use of heat often left it cracked as in the image above and needed to be daubed often.

So my grandma lovingly tended to her oven and she would put dough in there and magic emerged after a while.

Each Saturday afternoon we would eagerly wait eat the hot bread dripping with salted butter and/or cheese, deliciousness in a roll.

This was grandma’s recipe.

My mother is now the “grandma” and said as a little girl she would watch her mother intently then ask for a small amount of ingredients to practice. Now she is quite skilled.

With social distancing and everyone doing more in their kitchens, I thought a recipe or two would help.

This is the way the bread was made.

Bread Making

Ingredients:

  • 2 packs self-rising yeast (Rapid rise yeast)
  • 2 lbs all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb margarine
  • 1/2 lb shortening
  • 2 cups water

Directions

  1. Add 2 packs yeast to 1 cup tepid water along with 1 tbsp flour, stir well and allow time to develop.
  2. Add dry ingredients to clean dry bowl and mix together, using our hands (you can feel for any lumps) or a whisk.
  3. Add developed yeast and mix until all wet and dried ingredients are completely incorporated.
  4. Knead dough to smooth consistency and allow to rest and rise.
  5. Approx 1 hour later, dough has risen.
  6. Make small round shapes and cut a 1/3 inch cross at the top of each roll.
  7. Place on baking sheet and allow to rest a further 30 mins.
  8. Bake at 350° for approx 45 mins, until they are nice and brown.
  9. Allow to cool.

The pan on the right side are the formed rolls that were resting for approx 30 mins and has now risen and will be ready for baking.

Once they are brown, place on a cooling rack and you can base the tops with a light amount of butter to enhance their appearance and the eating experience.

The smell of freshly baked bread cannot be rivaled by much, you can decide how to eat and enjoy its yeasty goodness.

Bon appetit!

Be well, be safe, blessings!