Skip to main content

Answers to a few of your questions, Part Two

Here is the second installment with the rest of the varieties I'm growing.

Peppers - I love peppers of all types. I enjoy traditional bell peppers and the hot ones and I wanted grow some that were a bit different.

  • Ozark Giant - A traditional bell pepper, which will give you lots of stunning large peppers.
  • Purple Jalapeño - A traditional jalapeño which changes to a rich purple color before shifting to red. Most people pick jalapeños when they are green and frankly they aren't that good. If you leave them on the plant, they go to purple, chocolate and then red and they are hotter and taste much better with a really nice sweet taste.
  • Corno di Toro - The "horn of the bull".  A wonderful pepper which is almost impossible to find in any market outside of Italy. Sweet with a hint of spice, they are amazing when roasted.
  • Sigaretta de Bergamo - Another Italian variety which is very hard to find. Fry them or throw them in a salad.
  • India Jwala - If you like hot chilies, this is the one. This is the primary chili grown in India and used in the spicy Indian dishes. Extra hot and if you let it mature to red, it takes on a sweet flavor. You can dry these as well.

Carrots - So easy to grow. Just seed them directly in the bed, then and then havest as needed. you can reseed for a late crop.

  • Jaune Obtuse du Doubs - An heirloom Frech market carrot, which is very old. Mentioned in 1894, as originally for livestock. Those were some lucky cows. Safe to say you will never find this one at your local market.

Potatoes - I have order seed potatoes which should arrive by first week of February, which is perfect time for planting here in California. Honestly can't remember which ones I ordered, which means I likely ordered too much. :)

Watermelon - This might be my undoing, as I don't have space to grow them in the raised beds, so I am taking a chance and growing them along the borders of my yard. The squirrels may have a feast.

  • Sugar Baby - I am growing these, as my grandparents always did and I remember them as being so sweet and good. Guess it's safe to say I got my love of gardening and farming from them. 

Collard Greens - I have decided to grow Georgia Southern as every catalog says they are the best collards. 

Onion - I am going to give these a try and see how it goes. I remember as a boy, that they are really earthy and wonderful, so I hope mine turn out as well.

  • Juane Paille des Vertus - Described as a lovely French market onion, which is very old and known to have been the one onion that supplied Paris throughout the winters for two hundred years, so it must be good!


Popular posts from this blog

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.

Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 

After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper

Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

Oven Roasted Salmon

This has to be one of the easiest and best tasting recipes I have. I developed it so I could always pull together a healthy dinner in a few minutes and then have beautiful cold salmon leftovers for the next day.

All you need is a nice piece of fresh salmon and a few basic spices. The real key is to get the oven very hot, so it sears the outside of the salmon and locks in the juices.


2 lb filet of Fresh Salmon, skin on is best, but not essential.
Celery Salt
Dill Weed
Roasted Garlic Powder
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Butter
Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 550F. Take your parchment paper and put it onto a 1/2 sheet baking pan and lay your salmon onto the paper.

Melt your butter and brush it onto the salmon filet. Sprinkle on your spices to taste and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove and allow it to rest for 3 minutes before serving. It goes well with the seafood rice pilaf I featured in an earlier post.

Note: All of these spices can be…

Vegetarian Sichuan Dry Sautéed Green Beans - Gan Bian Si Ji Dou

I can honestly say that this is my favorite Sichuan dish, second only to MaPo Tofu. I’ve eaten it many times, but had never made it. Well, that has changed. This was really incredible.

I found so many different recipes, but sort of merged a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe and a Wok of Life recipe to create this vegetarian version, which replaces the standard ground pork with Shiitake mushrooms. I’m very happy with how it turned out.


1 pound Green Beans, trimmed.
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Ginger, minced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Sichuan Peppercorns, crushed
2 Tien Tsin Chilis, crushed
2 ounces dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked in hot water and chopped.
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 drop of Liquid Smoke
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Dash of Toasted Sesame Oil

You will want to prepare everything up front, because the cooking time is very quick. 

Start your wok and pour your oil in the wok. Once it is up to temperature, add your green beans and cook them for 6 to 7 minut…