Bounty of the garden, Photography class and Sous Vide


Arugula is growing like weeds in my garden. Corn is about 3′ tall, pumpkin vines are starting to overtake my walking path, radish & beets are starting to sprout, no sign of shiso, fennel is a bit shy but I see a few, yellow and poblano peppers have sprouts and my herbs are exploding. What isn’t doing so well; kale is being eaten by something. I look for signs day and evening but nothing is on the plant. Whatever it is has a hearty appetite. I just ripped out my 2 zucchini plans. The zucchini would grow to about an inch then rot. When I tore one open, I noticed worms growing in it. They eventually killed the plant. My cantaloupe so far only has male flowers. I had a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes a few months ago but the flowers have just been falling off. Maybe the new location isn’t working. My beans shrivel before they reach 3″.

What I  thought was going to do well is not and things like arugula, that I thought needed a cooler client is growing wildly. I suppose this first crop is helping me weed out what I can and cannot plant. I do see little baby radish. I can’t wait for those!

I started my intro to digital photography class. Our first assignment was to photograph a building. We went to the King Kamehameha Clubhouse. The building was originally designed for Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller by Frank Lloyd Wright as their Connecticut home. They divorced before is was built. The plans were purchased by a couple in Texas, but never built as well. A businessman from Japan decided to build it as a clubhouse to a golf course. The modest original 7000 square feet was increased 10 times.

I love angles and lines so I was in heaven. My camera leaves little to be desired. I need to get a good DSLR but I’m undecided.

I love this shot. It’s of the grand skylight. From above, it looks like a space ship coming in for a landing on Maui.

I love the juxtaposition of the line, curve and shadow. This is kinda my favorite shot.

This was an interior shot of a privacy wall in the spa. Color, texture and curve.

A shot of the course, waterfall and clubhouse.

Our next class met at Kepaniwai park in the Iao Valley area. It was a pretty great day for me because as a child in the 3rd grade, I spent many a weekends here picnicking with friends.

There’s only one virgin in the house!

Reflection

Japanese garden

Clapboard house

Vietnam

My problem is that we have to choose 6-8 photos to submit for each assignment and I took 65. Ugh! Not too bad…

Now, I finally busted out my immersion circulator and decided that I was going to sous vide a nice rack of lamb.

The bag said it was Frenched.  Well, not Frenched enough in my opinion so I spent some time trying to clean it up a bit more. I was able to use the scraps to make an amazing lamb broth that was reduced down with red wine into a lamb demi glace.

I also busted out my mortar and pestle to make my Rosemary, Garlic and Olive Oil marinade.

Since I haven’t purchased a vacuum sealer yet, I had to go the ghetto way and I used a ziplock bag. It actually worked out just ok. I’m glad I bought this version of the circulator. It’s very portable and can be used with any container. I thought it would lose some heat and water but the water loss was minimal and the controls kept the heat constant. If you are interested SideKIC on Amazon for about $165.

I ended up using a plate to keep the bag submerged. I’m glad I researched this purchase to death. I’d like to do a tender cut of fish next.

One of the downsides to sous vide cooking is that it doesn’t caramelize on its own so, you either have to char it before bagging or after. I chose to do it after. Enter, my handy blowtorch.

I planted a lime tree in my yard last simmer. I thought it was a regular lime plant but it turned out to be a Kaffir lime plant. Unfortunately, you cannot eat the fruit, but you can use the leaves in cooking. I winged a rice pilaf with onions, bay leaf, kaffir lime leaves and a touch of cumin. The flavor of the lime leaves was so unusual and added a lot of flavor. I’ll definitely use more of it.

I gotta say that these chops were perfectly done and so tender. I’ve never roasted a rack of lamb so I can’t really compare it but this will be on my top 10 dinners to serve. The rosemary & garlic gremolata added some additional kick. I’ll have to plant some mint in my garden. I’d have loved to introduce that in the gremolata.

By next week, I’m certain that my pumpkin vines will have taken over a substantial part of the garden. I’ll have more photos then.

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About tinfoilduck

I had this wacky idea to go to culinary school, while maintaining another full time career. I will be blogging about the program and how it affects me as I try to manage my daily life and how I try to keep everything together.
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