Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tomatoes, cucumber, perilla, red shiso, rocoto, Japanese yam...

The rains continue to come...
Yesterday, we witnessed another session of blistering thunderstorms...
And yes, it is the season for tomatoes...
'Momotaro' is the strain...
And of course, cucumbers too...
Been chewing on these crunchies for some time now...
The Korean perilla has taken a really good hold on our potager... they are all over and the leaves are huge...
The 'ama-gaeru' (literally, rain-frogs) are also very comfortable in our garden...
My apologies to Green Dragonette for the long pause in responding to query on what we do with the red shiso...
The only two things we do with the red shiso are to use them as a coloring and preservative (together with salt) for our Japanese ume plums, and to make juice... 
The juice making is very simple indeed...

Ingredients:
red shiso 200 gm
sugar 600 gm
apple vinegar 1 cup

Wash red shiso well, use only the leaves
Put 6 cups of water and shiso into pot and boil for 20 mins.
Remove shiso leaves, squeeze the leaves and dispose
Add sugar and apple vinegar and boil for another 20 mins in low heat
Cool and store in clean flask or bottle in room temperature
Dilute accordingly, add ice or syrup, and enjoy
Grew rocoto chillies for the first time last year, with seeds given to me by a former student from Peru...
They are beginning to produce now...
The flowers are really pretty... the branches and leaves, hairy...
Am growing the Japanese yam again this year...
The root is a versatile and a lovely vegetable to eat... And the seeds ('mukago' in Japanese) that dangle off the vines also make good eating... we boil them together with rice...