Category Archives: Gardening

Gulkhand- A real tasty way to preserve roses.

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Last year I tried to make rose petal jam and what I made was not jam, more like rose glass candy. The concotion that I made was poured into a glass jar and hours later, it was solidified into a glass like mass and I needed a pickaxe to break into it : ) And for this year I was all ready with a new recipe.

Then, Anita came with gulkhand. That was my first real education about gulkhand. Armed with her recipe and rose blooms from our garden, I made my first batch of gulkhand.

The gulkhand station

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I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical. I like the fragrance of roses, but to eat something that would smell like roses was not an easy concept to digest. After bottling the petals, I forgot about them for the next 2 days. As soon as I remembered I left them in the sun for a day. After a night out and some time in the rain the next day, they were remembered and brought inside. A week later I took a small bite. And then a bigger bite and then a whole spoonful. The next day half the gulkhand and almost a whole loaf of Italian bread was gone.

As of today almost all the gulkhand is gone and I made small tea sandwiches to present my home made gulkhand to all of you.

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This is one of the best things I have tasted and I wish I had made more. Thank you Anita for introducing me to this elegant preperation.

Layering the petals:

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Layering with sugar

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I didn’t do exact measurements. For 3 roses, I used a tablespoon of sugar.

Layer rose petals and sugar till all the petals are done.

I poured honey on the top layer.

I used regular sugar for this batch. But the results were spectacular. Next time, I am using honey.

Want a serving of butter gulkhand?

T is for Thyme

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For this years herb garden, we have thyme, basil and parsley. We also have shallots, chives , rosemary and curry leaf from the previous years.

Thyme doesn’t need a lot of water. This is ideal for gardeners like us who don’t like to water too much.

The flowers of thyme are white and as tiny and delicate as the leaves. This flower is my entry for Flower Fest and the current alphabet is T.

Image of thyme flower at the Bookmann. 


Thyme leaves are very fragrant and goes well with veggies, rice, seafood and meat. I remember a Cajun dish with shrimp and thyme from a long time ago. That memory was the inspiration for this dish.

Shrimp with chili-thyme marinade

Recipe:

Garlic- 2 cloves

Thyme sprigs- 3 sprigs ( As the sprigs were tender, I used them whole. )

Crushed red pepper- 1 tsp

Olive oil- enough to make a paste approx. 1 tbsp

Salt to taste.

Shrimp- 1o or 12 cleaned.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind garlic, thyme sprigs, crushed red pepper. After coarsely grinding the above, add olive oil and make into a paste.

Add the paste to the cleaned shrimp and marinate for about half an hour.

Grill or saute the shrimp.

Shrimp served over wild rice

Note: I cooked the shrimp stove top on a cast iron pizza stone. Since the marinade already had oil, there was no need to add any oil to the stone.

The shrimp was very flavorful. I served it with some wild rice. The shrimp would be great as an appetiser.

Happy Birthday, Meeta.

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When summer comes, the roses in our garden steal the show. We have a climbing rose that blooms with a vengeance. Even better, once the summer blooms are gone, they bloom again around fall. What better flower to celebrate Meeta’s birthday. Her dishes are glamorous, her pictures captivating and sleek, and her writing is lots of fun. She has invited us over to celebrate, and I had to make something elegant! Got to keep up, right?

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Original recipe: Here

I made this dish when I was really hungry, and so measurements are approximate.

Make the pasta according to package instructions. I only made enough for one serving.

While the pasta is cooking, you can assemble ingredients for the pasta. I took about 15 basil leaves, a tbsp of pine nuts, a garlic clove, generous splash of rose water and streamed in olive oil into the food processor to make a pesto. Then I added parmesan cheese (grated), salt and pepper to complete the pesto.

Once the pasta is cooked, mix it with the pesto and decorate the dish using rose petals. You can leave the petals as it is. I made confetti like pattern by just slicing the petals into thin strips.

I was very very skeptical about the dish, but I ate every bite of it and enjoyed it. The aroma of the rose water is not overpowering. I think the aroma of the basil leaves blends well with the rose water. A simple dish made elegant with the sprinkling of rose flower confetti!!

Meeta, I hope you enjoy the dish and wish you a very happy Birthday!!

Radish Flowers

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Last year, I had planted some radish plants. They were the simplest things to grow, and I had a very good yield. Apart from crunchy radish, they also produce the most beautiful flowers. These pictures are from last year.

This years radish are still waiting to sprout. If anyone out there is a newbie to gardening, and want some easy-to-grow plants, radish is the way to go. I didn’t use the flowers in cooking last year, but I am sure they would be great as a garnish.

It’s been a while since I have participated in my favorite event. Submitting home grown radish flowers for Flower Fest.

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End Blogging Break

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My vacation is cancelled. Disappointed? Hell yeah!

But these beautiful tulips keep me cheerful.

And these lovely comments.

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Ashwini, I am not running away after you decided to ‘dis-hibernate’.

Thanks for all the wishes. The semester ended well. We had to reschedule our vacation and we are hoping to go in a couple of months.

Springing into action!

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Spring is such un an unbelievable season. There are all this bursts of life happening everywhere. Crocus blooming, birds returning..it is a high energy time. There will be some fish missing in our pond this spring. Actually all of them perished this winter, all 10 of them. Somehow the pond freezed up down to the bottom, killing all the fish.

But life goes on, and spring reminds that after the cold and gloom of winter, there is a bright and cheery spring waiting for us. That is why I love the North East and its change of seasons.

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Spinach sprouting ..


I is for iris

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Mind you, this is no ordinary flower. It is named after the Greek goddess Iris, and it is strongly believed to be the flower associated with the fleur-de-lis. Despite its grand associations, irises are relatively easy to grow. Bury the rhizome, and new plants sprout from it.

Around here, the weather has been acting all bizzare. No sign of snow so far. Sigh! And I noticed yesterday that some of my hyacinths have started to peek their heads. No good! If this weather lasts too long, I will soon have tulips and hyacinths blooming by February. We really need some snow!

The National Weather Service said that last month appeared to be the first December without a snowflake here since 1877 (Here)

Here is the iris patch in our garden. Last year they bloomed in May. This year…

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This is my entry for Flower Fest.

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