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September 2019



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ysilme in photo_scavenger

Catching up: Spice

I love cooking with spices, and to experiment with dishes from other cultures and cross-over cooking. Over time, my spice collection has grown, and to be honest I couldn't be bothered taking all the jars and glasses out for a shot. *g*. So when the Winterwizard, enthusiastic hobby botanist, ordered some "spicy" plants as an experiment to grow in the house, I decided to wait until the order came in and take pictures of these. The order took longer than expected, and then the weather was too bad to shoot them together with the local herbs growing in the garden, so have this indoor shot with some of them instead:

In the blue box, left to right, there is galangal/aromatic ginger, followed by a kaffir lime, a tiny curry tree and cardamom. Behind that in the pot is self-grown ginger with a "ginger man" sitting on the pot, as the root I had just bought looked like some kind of munchkin. *g*
The leaves from the curry tree will actually be a first to use, since I can't buy them anywhere fresh, and all my Indian cook books say that the dried ones don't give an idea of the aroma. I don't know if all these  will be growing well enough to harvest even kept in the house in our Central European climate, but we'll see - with the exception of the ginger, that works already well as we know. I still need much more than he can grow, but some of the ginger I cook with is from the own harvest!
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I'd never considered growing some of the more "exotic" spices. Cool!
I wouldn't have either, but one of the WW's hobbies is to see what he can grow despite the climate. Our garden is a very weird mixture of the practical useable stuff I grow, my love for medicinal and kitchen herbs, and his experiments... and it's all usually very decorative, too!
Your own curry tree! How marvelous.
:o) I hope it will be! It's still tiny and will be quite some time until leaves can be harvested. But I hope I can at least taste one or two in the coming months; I never have before. I'm a bit afraid it will lack ligth, and already suggested we get plant-lights for them, as we have triple-glazing which takes away too much UV-light for most plants.
How exciting to be experiment with that!
Yes, it is! Imagine a Swedish house, complete with Falu-röd and white colouring, and those spices growing in the windows... *g*
Hahaha, Falu-röd. Yes, I can imagine that. You seem to know Sweden well. :)
Well enough to know I only a small bit and very little. ;o)
Behind that in the pot is self-grown ginger with a "ginger man" sitting on the pot, as the root I had just bought looked like some kind of munchkin. *g*

Hee hee... it really does look like a little person back there. At my first glance, I thought it was a tiny Buddha statue, then I realized it was a ginger root.
A little Buddha! Now I can see it, too. Too bad that I have already cut off the "head" for some Tom Kha Gai just afterwards. Now I feel bad. We ated the Budda head!
We ated the Budda head!

I just want to say... this gave me mad giggles.
What an excellent thing - I feel as though I can smell them from here!
I don't know if the plants are going to smell; so far, they don't. But the dishes when you put the harvest in, of course, have a delicious aroma. (Now I'm hungry, *lol* )
Oh, wow, I've never seen fresh galangal! It's SO hard to find -- and I've kept dried around much longer, I'm sure, than is desired.

I'd love to try my hand at this little garden!
That one is not too difficult to get for me; at a Chinese food store in the next large city, where I also buy kaffir lime leaves (which I then freeze), cilantro/coriander and soy bean sprouts. Lemongrass I even can get at our local supermarket now, after ginger and peppers have become regulars. Of all the spices it makes the most beautiful plant already. ;o)
When I see things like this, I always wish I were a better cook. That is a great little window garden.
It looks lovely together, doesn't it? The plants were put there just for watering, though; they've long since been given their own pot each. The galangal provides a very beautiful plant now, and the ginger looks fascinating. One doesn't need to use them for cooking to have them as plants - to be honest, personally I wouldn't grow them for their kitchen use (with the exception of the curry tree), as the amount we will eventually harvest is in no relation to tending the plants in our climate. The WW's main interest in them is to see how well he can grow them and to see what he can grow at all in our garden and house. ;o) I don't mind as long as the result doesn't smell too bad (we have one that smells really weird when in bloom) or doesn't drop too much sticky sap on the floor.
What a lovely collection of growing spices, I hope they are continuing to thrive. I really love this picture.