Harvest Monday, February 23, 2015 – Sprouting Adzuki Beans

Was not going to publish a post today as I was annoyed at myself for spilling my 2nd batch of successfully sprouted adzuki bean before I took photos. No sprouts no new recipe.

After I calmed down, realized there is a lesson to be learned here. Decided to work with the photos I had and reblog photos and recipes from previous posts.

As I had suspected, reason for the failure in the first batch was because the beans were too “old”. Most were not viable and would not germinate (still good for soup and other bean dishes but not for sprouting).

The newly purchased adzuki beans sprouted without any issues.

Note the differences between the 2 photos below:

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Adzuki beans after overnight soaking.

The adzuki beans in the above photo were the beans I had in the pantry for a while, may be 2 years or more, after overnight soaking I did notice that more than half of the beans did not plump up but did not think anything of it.

The beans that plumped up sprouted but the un-plumped (is there such a word?) beans did not.

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adzuki beans (07184)

Adzuki beans after overnight soaking.

The adzuki beans in the above photo were the newly purchased beans. Notice how all the beans are plumped and ready to germinate. Yes, all the beans sprouted.

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The 3 photos below (previously published on 1/22/13, click on link for the complete post) show the different stages of the sprouts.

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This is what the sprouts look like after 24 hours. The tiny roots are just appearing.

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This is what the sprouts look like after 48 hours (on the second day) The roots are about ¼ inch long. This is the stage I prefer.

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This is what the sprouts look like after 72 hours (on the third day) The roots are about ½ inches long

NOTE: Sprouts will sprout quicker if you live in warmer climate or is sprouting during warmer weather. If it is hot and humid, you may need to rinse your sprouts 3 times a day instead of 2. Since I sprout during the winter, I rinse twice daily, in the morning and in the evening.

Lesson learned:
When soaking beans for sprouting, if many of the beans did not plump up after the required soaking period, forget about sprouting, make soup or other bean dishes with the soaked beans instead.

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Below are photos of 2 dishes I created using adzuki beans sprouts.

Adzuki Bean Sprouts & Winter Root Vegetables Stew

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Adzuki Bean Sprouts & Winter Root Vegetables Stew

Click here for recipe

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Adzuki Bean Sprouts Salad with Sesame Dressing

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Adzuki Bean Sprouts Salad with Sesame Dressing

Click here for recipe

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I do need to get into my shed to retrieve my seed starting supplies. Hoping there would not be any more significant snow fall decided, on Wednesday, to clear away the snow from the front of my shed door. Guess what? Woke up to more than 3 inches of additional snow fall yesterday (Sunday) morning, I was not a happy trooper.

shed door (07237)Even though I cleared away the snow I could not open the shed door. The ramp had shifted a bit preventing the door from opening, a big disappointment. Will have to wait until the ground thaw to reposition the ramp. Hoping for warm weather.

Still without my seed starting supplies so off to the garden center to buy what I needed.  Found cell packs and trays but no pro-mix. I need my pro-mix! Hope the supply arrives at the garden center soon.

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The deep snow did not keep the deer away, in the photo below are some foot prints they left in the snow between my back door and the shed.

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Deer foot prints in the snow

First day of spring is only 25 days away!

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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Harvest Monday, February 16, 2015 – New Varieties + Snow

This is going to be an exciting gardening year.

Every year I grow something new in my garden. But this year I will be trialling more new crops than previous years.

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Trialling 3 different varieties of chicory/radicchio

All 3 are so different in appearance. Very beautiful! Hope they grow well in my garden, may try growing 1 or 2 of each variety in containers.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Also new this year, Ruby Streaks Mustard, Large Smooth Prague Celeriac & Red Burgundy Okra

Growing Ruby Streaks Mustard for the looks, no idea how to use it, but will learn.Will I like the taste? Will find out.

For the past few years I have been growing Brilliant celeriac, a variety recommended by Cornell for growing in the area, Cornell also recommends Large Smooth Prague for the area and because the name has the word “smooth” in it, perhaps the root is not as knobby, reason I am trialling.

Growing Red Burgundy Okra not only for the looks but hopefully it will perform better than the Clemson Spineless I have been growing.

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Also new to my garden this year will be Hesaiko Evergreen Bunching Onion and Cabernet F1 Hybrid Red Onion, gifts from my garden friend Mary of Mary’s Veggie Garden (click on link to visit).

Another new item is Ya Ya carrots that many gardeners wrote about on their blogs, May also try a few new tomato varieties, but not sure if there is room in the garden.

To make this an even more exciting gardening year Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden (click on link to visit) is trialling 4 new varieties of sweet potatoes. Mary is also trialling 4 new varieties (but different from LGHVG’s), that’s 8 new varieties of sweet potatoes. Anxious to see how they perform in the Hudson Valley and how they taste. (Both Mary and I are volunteers at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden).

I will be continuing my carrot transplant experiment that I started last fall and Okinawan sweet potato experiment as well. Also continuing containers gardening.

The original Okinawan sweet potato slips were gifts (last year) from Angie of The Novice Gardener (click on link to visit). I planted both slips in containers, but that was not a good idea, they needed more room to spread so this year I am planting the slips in the ground.

Okinawan sweet potatoes require a long growing season (130 – 140 days) and is really not suited for the Hudson Valley but I did get tiny sweet potatoes last year even though I planted the slips in July in container so I am hoping by planting in June in the ground I will get a decent harvest, worth a try as I really like the taste and texture.

Okinawan Sweet Potato

Okinawan Sweet Potato

Rooted 3 Okinawan sweet potatoes cuttings last fall that I am growing as houseplants. Will be taking a few cuttings around April/May for rooting to plant in the garden in June.

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So hoping spring will hurry up and get to the Hudson Valley. But judging from the photos below it will be a long, long while before we see any signs of spring. (Photos were taken before the additional snow fall over the weekend).

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Depth of snow by the backdoor

After opening the back door, I pushed hard on the screen door to open a little crack and got one hand through. Using my garden shovel I chipped away the ice and snow from the screen door a bit at a time allowing a little more opening for both hands to go through, continuing to slowly chip away, until I had an opening large enough for me to squeeze through.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Snow by shed door. I need to enter the shed to get my seed starting supplies.

Went into the shed before the snow fell to get the seed starting supplies. Gathered what I needed but managed to exit the shed without the supplies. I am such a scatterbrain.

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More snow photos ……….

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With ice by the snow bank in front of the mailbox, retrieving the mail is a challenge.

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Fortunately most of the Walkway from the driveway to the front door is free of ice.

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The snow pile along the driveway is getting much too high.

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The red and white stake is 48 inches tall

The good news is, February is a short month, only 28 days and first day of spring is March 20 only 32 days away.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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Harvest Monday, February 9, 2015 – Hardy Thyme + A No Recipe Stew

Today’s post is a very short one.

This past week I tried to sprout adzuki beans, but for some reason the beans are not sprouting. Went to the health food store to buy a new batch of organic adzuki beans to try again, will publish results in a future posts.


Thyme poking through the snow. Photo taken 1/26, 2015

I have a small herb patch by my back door. When I opened my back door on 1/26, I was most surprised to see thyme poking through the snow (above photo). The sight cheered me up and brought a smile to me face. Quickly got my camera for a photo. Decided to leave it alone and harvest at a later date when needed.

Since then, we have had numerous snow storms with no thawing in between so its been snow on top of snow on top of snow not to mention bitterly cold. Will be a long, long time before I see my lawn.

I need comfort food! Stew is one of my go to comfort food so that’s what I made this past week, a nice big pot of hearty stew.

Not wanting to venture out to the store again decided to see what I could put together using whatever is in my fridge, freezer and storage.

The following is the results. Like the tofu soup I posted last week, this is also a NO recipe kind of dish.

beef stew (07083)

Beef Stew with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and onions

Beef Stew with Carrots, Potatoes, Mushrooms & Onions
Shin beef and homemade tomato sauce from the freezer (because these were solidly frozen had to thaw in the fridge overnight and wait for the following day to make the stew)
Onions, garlic, potatoes and orange carrots from storage, last fall’s harvest from my garden
Yellow carrots from storage, fall’s harvest from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden
Mushrooms and watercress from the store

Season meat with S&P and brown in a bit of oil, add minced garlic, couple bay leaves, slices of fresh ginger, tomato sauce, some wine and broth as needed. Bring to a boil and simmer covered until meat is almost tender (about 45 – 60 minutes). Add all vegetables, bring to a boil, simmer until meat is tender and veggies reached desired doneness, adjust seasoning. Tasted so good!

Needed the above mentioned thyme for to the stew. Got my coat and boots on and clippers in hand ready to harvest. Opened the back door but could not open the screen door, no matter how hard I tried, the deep snow was right up to the screen door, too bad. There was,

No thyme for the stew.

It is snowing again this morning, heavy at times, as I am writing and will be for most of the day. My backyard is beautiful, should go out and take some photos.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

Posted in Gardening, Harvest Monday, Herbs, Heritage vegetable garden, Locust Grove, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Harvest Monday, February 2, 2015 – Growing Mung Bean Sprouts (Reblogged)

I am back!!!!! Miss you all and missed a lot of posts. Will try to catch up.

Had planned to resume blogging in January, but nothing was going as planned.

Started the year feeling very tired and unmotivated. Was blaming the conditions on overdoing things during the holiday season and decided to just chill out for a few days. Did not help. Was having digestive problem as well and no appetite. After giving this some thoughts, concluded it had to do with my diet so decided to start eliminating one food at a time from my diet to see if that was the case. First to be eliminated was dairy, within a few hours my bloating problem disappeared and I felt hungry. Cooked and ate a full meal and I felt alive again, after a few days, like magic, my skin started to clear up and my finger joints were no longer swollen. Problem solved? I am hoping.

Does this mean I have become lactose intolerant? Will I have to give up all dairy products? That would make me sad. I can do without milk and cream but I love cheese and ice cream and am a chocoholic. Perhaps I can eat some dairy products. Will be experimenting to see what is agreeable and what is not.

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The past few days I was feeling like my old energetic self again so decided to start my winter kitchen garden (am late, but better late than never). Grew some mung beans sprouts (scroll down for instructions).

Mung Bean Sprouts

Mung Bean Sprouts

Made a soup with some of the sprouts yesterday. The remainder will go into a noodle stir fry dish sometime this week.

tofu vegetable soup

Tofu Vegetable Soup

Wanted a quick and simple soup so I add some broth to a pot, toss in broccoli florets (from store) and sliced carrots (in storage from last fall harvest), bring to a boil, simmer until vegetables are just under desired doneness, add cubed tofu (I used soft but any kind will work), bring to a boil, stir in bean sprouts and a few drops of sesame oil, adjust seasoning and enjoy. Sorry, there is no recipe.This is one of those do as you please with what is in the fridge soup.

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Reblogging the following that was published on January 16, 1012.

Growing Mung Bean Sprouts

Mung bean sprouts are easy to grow and fun to eat. A versatile vegetable that requires no preparation and only brief cooking. Brief cooking retains the crunchiness and brings out the sweetness. Mung bean sprouts can be eaten at any stage. Use it in soup, stir fry, as a side alone or combined with other ingredients.

The benefit of growing your own bean sprouts is that you can grow as much or as little as you like. Because of the ease of growing and because it can be eaten at any stage you have the ability to control the timing so it is available at its peak, nice and fresh, at the stage you like, when you need it. Bean sprouts will keep in the refrigerator for a few days just make sure the sprouts are dry to the touch before placing in plastic bag.

There are many sprouts growing equipments on the market but I like to use what I have on hand in the kitchen and the simpler the better. I purchase my mung beans (organic) from the health food store. If you are purchasing elsewhere, check to make sure the beans are not treated.

What you will need:
a clean colander, preferable a flat bottom one
cheese cloth or paper towel
mung beans, picked over carefully to get rid of any debris and broken seeds


Left, dry mung beans; right, mung beans after soaking for 8 hours.

1. Rinse beans well in several changes of water. Place rinsed beans in a container, cover with at least 2 inches of warm water, soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
2. Line colander with a layer of cheese cloth (prefer) or paper towel, this is to prevent beans from falling into the holes and clogging them.
3. Drain mung beans and spread in lined colander, cover beans with a layer of cheese cloth or paper towel. Spray with cool water, drain well. Place colander in a warm spot. Do not place in a closed cabinet where there is no air circulation. I keep mine on the kitchen counter.
4. Rinse beans with cool water 2 – 3 times daily, drain well after each rinse. Return colander to warm spot. Do not allow cheese cloth or paper towel to dry out between rinses.

This is what the sprouts look like after 24 hours. The roots are about ¼ inch long.

This is what the sprouts look like 0n the 2nd day (48 hours). The roots are about ¾–1 inch long.

This is what the sprouts look like on the third day (72 hours). The roots are about 1½ inches long you can also see the stems.

This is what the sprouts look like on the 4th day. The roots are about 2 inches long.

The sprouted beans have a tint of green because each time I uncover to take photo they are exposed to light. Keep under cover at all time for white sprouts.

This is what the sprouts look like on the 5th day. The stems are now about 2 inches long. The roots did not grow much.

The sprouts on the left with the green tint are the ones on top of the pack and were exposed to light, the ones on the right are the ones at the bottom and were not exposed to light.
My sprouts are not as fat as the ones in the food markets. To get fat sprouts put a weight on top of the beans at the start.
I started out with 4 ounces (about ½ cup) of dry mung beans and harvest about 1½ pounds of sprouts at this stage. I sometimes let the sprouts grow another day or two.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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The Best of Fiesta Friday Anniversary

Norma Chang:

Peruse The Novice Gardener post and click on links for recipes, they are the best of the best.

Originally posted on The Novice Gardener:

These posts are the best of the best! Share them with your readers by posting the collages on your Facebook page, pinning on Pinterest or tweeting about them. You can also blog about them or reblog this post. You have my permission to reblog the post in its entirety. It’s not about me getting more views. It’s about spreading the word on these extraordinary recipes.

The Best of Appetizers

the best of appetizers

Here’s why they are the best:

Chaussons au Fromage et Épinard from Linda @La Petite Panière.

“Linda is an incredible cook – she made the puff, stuffed it with gorgeous ingredients and then dipped the ends in cheese. Yes please, I’ll have several – in fact, just leave the plate here – on my lap!” — Selma

“Linda MADE her own puff pastry??? She totally wowed my by this. Then she stuffed these little beauties with a gorgeous combo of cheese…

View original 1,088 more words

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