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Everything posted by stevea

  1. I try to get the scarlet runners when they are young enough to be treated like green beens (steamed). If they get too big, the pods are stringy and no amount of steaming or boiling will change that. Then, I shuck and and enjoy the fresh seeds as I would any other fresh bean seed. Delicious.
  2. It's called ferti-lome Yield Booster. But upon looking at the ingredients, I see that the ingredient is calcium (10%) derived from calcium chloride. So this is probably the same as what you're not planning to buy. Sorry.
  3. I have a little bit of blossom end rot on my big boys, but not on the rest of the varieties. I confess that I went to the nursery and bought whatever chemical they said would work on it and doused the tomato plant. I'm not sure how well it will work, but I feel a little better about it. Other than not being organic any more.
  4. There's also the companionate theory that some plants do better when planted close to one another. One such combination is tomatoes and basil. So I always plant basil in the same beds as my tomatoes. Sweet or genovese basil usually work better in my tomato beds than the thai or holy basil I also plant (which seem to do better standing out on their own).
  5. The newspaper article listed the addresses of the latino flea markets, but I don't think the online version does. Here are the addresses: The Oregon Flea Market 18340 SE Stark St Gresham 11AM to 5:30PM Th-Fr 9AM to 5PM Sa-Su 250 vendors Fantastic Flea Market 19340 SE Stark St Gresham 9AM-5PM Sa-Su 140 vendors M$M Swap Meet 346 SW Walnut St Hillsboro 10AM-7PM Sa-Su 60 vendors
  6. tejon -- I haven't planted brussels sprouts before because I thought they usually have a lot of problems with aphids and other pests. Have you found this to be so? And if so, what do you do to counteract them?
  7. We just had a tomato taste-off at our house today. Four people total. I had ripe tomatoes from all seven varieties that I planted, and we did direct taste comparisons of the individual tomatoes (no salt, no nothing, just tomato) and made comments on the tomatoes and ranked them. I find this a very interesting exercise because even though all home grown tomatoes are wonderful, tasting different varieties side by side really brings home the differences in texture, sweetness, and acidity. Results are of course very subjective, but here's the general rank order of the tomatoes I planted. 1. Sweet Million -- A cherry tomato that had the most acidity and sweetness. It was the favorite of all four of us. 2. First Lady II. Three of the four named it their favorite large tomato. The other had it last. Go figure. This will definitely be on my "to plant" list next year. It has a good balance of sweetness and acidity. 3. Early Girl. In our last year's taste-off, this was the favorite. And even though it's an early tomato, it has a lot of flavor. Will definitely plant again. 4. Big Boy. Very good texture. This tasting was the first ripe tomato on this plant. So good things could be coming later. 5. Early Cascade. Nice texture and extremely prolific. But the top halfs of the tomatoes often have some tougher, yellower parts that might need to be cut away. i.e. the bottoms are very ripe and the tops aren't quite. 6.Pik Red. One person had this as their favorite, others had it last or next to. I thought it was mushy and not as flavorful. 7. Celebrity. Perhaps a little tarter than Pik Red, but a bit mushy too. Of course, YMMV. And it was clear in our tasting that one person preferred a less tart tomato. But I came away with a better appreciation for First Lady II and continued appreciation of Early Girl.
  8. Yes indeed tomatoes! I have bowls full of Sweet Million cherry tomatoes. I've also been eating Early Cascades, Early Girls, First Lady II, and Pik Red. It seems to be a really good tomato year in Portland. I've also had a lot of purple pole beans. But the scarlet runner beans seem to be a problem. There have been lots of blooms, but no beans as a result. Anyone have a hint why that could be?
  9. Here's an update on my holy basil situation, even though it's a little late I did manage to find holy basil at Portland Nursery a few weeks after my last post on the subject here. However, the plants didn't look exactly the same as the ones I had last year. The leaves were a little lighter shade of green (more of a mint green instead of the dark green) and didn't look quite as substantial. However, I bought a couple of plants and they are doing quite well. However, just a few weeks ago, I was out in my garden and noticed what I first thought were a couple of weeds growing amidst the thyme in my herb garden, close to the spot where I planted the holy basil last year. Just before I yanked them out, I realized that they looked familiar. Sure enough, they were holy basil, volunteers from the dropped seeds of last year's plant. The plants are definitely a different variety from the ones I got this year, and the taste is a little different too. This year's holy basil has a slightly "greasy" flavor (if that's the right word), similar to what you get from curry leaves. I mean this in a good way. Both work very well in thai curries and noodle dishes.
  10. I've made many different pizza dough recipes. One day recipes, two day recipes, even three day recipes, with various starters and retarding in the fridge, etc. And actually, the best recipe I've found is the one listed in the Gourmet cookbook (the big yellow one). It claims to be a variation of the dough used at Pizza Bianco in Phoenix, and it's really simple and good. Very chewy and flavorful, and it's ready to use in just a couple of hours. I don't have the book handy, but I recommend it highly. It's the only recipe I use now.
  11. Pastini is better than Olive Garden, no question. But really fine dining it's not. My wife has been there several times (the downtown restaurant) and liked it. But when I went with her, I thought the pastas were a bit overdone and mushy. I think their aim is reasonably priced fare whose quality is a cut above the franchises (although they now are a franchise). And I think they succeed in that. You could certainly do worse, especially since any suggestion you make will be rejected.
  12. A couple of other places to consider: Three Doors Down. An "Italian" place I went to years ago for their tomato vodka sauce. A friend of mine is raving about it again. It's just off Hawthorne in SE Portland. Ginos. Another "Italian" place on SE 13th in Sellwood. Their Ceasar salad is to die for. Even the small size is too much for one ordinary person to handle. I've heard that their steaks are also extremely good, but I haven't had them myself. It's a funky Portland place in an old tavern, that's more about food than decor. Good luck and hope you enjoy the trip.
  13. stevea

    Curing olives

    Oh great, now I have to worry about olive flies too. This after I recently found out that the reason my lime tree has ants crawling all over it is because they are herding aphids or scale up the tree and forcing them to produce honeydew, which they then eat. I now spray my lime tree, so I suppose I'll have to learn how to deal with the olive tree too. Snowangel, thanks for merging my thread with this one. For some reason, I couldn't find this one when I posted originally. There's lots of good info here. Thanks everyone.
  14. Some other places to consider for fine dining: Wildwood, for lunch or dinner. Bluehour, for lunch or dinner. Higgins, for lunch or dinner. They have an excellent selection of bottled Belgian beer. Sungari or Sungari Pearl, for excellent upscale Chinese, lunch or dinner. For pub food, I've a fondness for Hedge House and the new Oaks Bottom Public House, both of which are part of the "New Old Lompoc" family. Oaks Bottom is near where I live, so I go there more often. They have great fries and a small but very eclectic list of beers on tap, which changes almost daily (on a recent visit I had two IPAs I'd never heard of before!).
  15. Actually, if you're heading to Lincoln City from the airport, almost anyplace in Portland is sort of on the way. Since clarklewis is no longer open for lunch, my current favorite is: Park Kitchen 422 NW 8th Ave (503) 223-7275 Lots of other good lunch places in Portland too: Higgins Carafe Le Bouchon Bluehour (and many more)
  16. Unless it just happened, clarklewis didn't close. They just stopped serving lunch. Gotham Tavern and Ripe did close however. And, I would recommend going to clarklewis. It was my favorite lunch spot in town with innovative salads and delicious house made pastas.
  17. stevea

    Curing olives

    This may be a bit premature, but we just planted an empeltre olive tree in our front yard. Our gardener friend says the climate here in the Portland, OR area will be OK for this variety, and what I've read on the internet seems to support that. Under the assumption that I will get olives one day, does anyone have suggestions on the best (and or easiest) way to cure this type of olive (a spanish olive that is described some places as sweet and nutty)? Also, what equipment or containers do I need to have on hand? Of course, there's probably no hurry right now. The tree is about four feet tall. I'm not sure when they start producing fruit. But it is fun to think about trying something new.
  18. And sister restaurant clarklewis has stopped serving lunch. That was my favorite lunch spot in Portland.
  19. This is a good article. I planted a Koralik last year and it was a fine cherry tomato. Very productive and tasty. I mentioned earlier that I had Purple Calabash too. It was also productive, and a very sprawling plant. One of the difficulties of Purple Calabash is deciding when it is actually ripe, because the color is so different than I'm used to. Finally, I just relied on touch -- when it felt soft and ripe. I had a Brandywine last year too, and I agree with the author. It just wasn't very productive here (Portland). And when we tasted it against the others we planted, it was just average. Perhaps the climate here affected the flavor too. I got several of my plants last year from Territorial. I was concerned about how well they would survive being shipped, and they did look a little battered when they arrived. But they perked up when planted.
  20. We have a meyer lemon tree and a lime tree (I'm not sure it's actually a kaffir lime, but it's close if not). We take them indoors during the winter and put them under a skylight. If the porch is protected and you can protect them from the few days of frost (assuming Portland, Oregon), they should do fine.
  21. Well, I couldn't wait any longer. I put in my tomatoes, basil and parsley today here in Portland. I have raised beds, and this is about the time I put them in every year. Last year I went (almost) totally heirloom. But the one non-heirloom I planted (an early girl) was much more productive and in a not very scientific taste test scored in the top three by everybody who tasted. And I had one heirloom (a German Johnson) that grew huge but didn't produce a single fruit. I don't have much room, but this year I want more production, so I planted: 1 Early Girl -I 1 Early Cascade -I 1 Celebrity -D 1 Pik Red -D 1 First Lady II -I 1 Burpee Big Boy -I 1 Sweet Million cherry tomato -D (I think) I planted Genovese, Sweet, and Thai basil. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a holy basil plant yet. But I hope to try the Portland Farmer's Market Saturday. BTW, the one heirloom I planted last year that was very productive and extremely tasty was a Purple Calabash. It's a very different looking fruit -- greenish red to purple on the inside -- and very pleated. But it's tasty, more acid than some, and it kept setting fruit up until the frost.
  22. Well, I never got to Region, but I did get to Chilango's. I thought it was a wonderful experience, with a lot of different dishes to choose from, complex and delicious salsa, and beans to die for.
  23. Where did you get the Holy Basil plant? --Dave ← I got it at Portland Nursery. I haven't checked this year yet to see if they have more.
  24. I keep a garden journal about what I plant, where I plant it, and when I plant it. And, concerning green beans, I never seem to listen to myself. Every year I plant them around the first of May, and every year they don't come up. So about three weeks later I plant them all again and they do come up. Maybe this year I'll have a little patience. I've got spinach that wintered over and started producing again. Of the new seeds, the arugula is up and we've had salad for two nights now. Other salad greens are up too, and we're eating radishes, although they seem to be small. I planted some broccoli for the first time (supposedly a smaller or more compact variety) and there are a couple of leaves on each seedling. I've also got bok choi (or maybe it's joy choi) and chard barely peeking through. And the potatoes are for the most part up and leafing. I can't wait to get tomatoes. And I'm eager to get basil, thyme, and parsley plants in too. Last year I got a holy basil plant, which was SUPER productive and great in thai dishes. However, it died off in the winter. This year I hope to have another and plant it in a pot and take it in in the fall. It's supposed to be a perennial, I think.
  25. kalypso -- thanks so much for the suggestions. And just in time, too.
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