We take a break from failed macarons today to introduce The Zen Garden.
Yes, the NyonyaCelup — as well as her entire family — is unhealthily addicted to Plants vs. Zombies.
Circa early May 2012, half of The Zen Garden looked like this…
And while, like any gardener, I do enjoy flowering plants & orchids;
you can see that my true passion lies in edible plants: more precisely herbs.
I can still remember my first potted herb: chives.
Circa 2007, a Cold Storage had just opened in Malacca, and along with its atas imported food and live, but miserable, lobsters in a tank; it also brought along with it small pots of herbs selling @ RM 4.99.
The Cold Storage has since closed down — apparently Malaccans don’t appreciate atas food as much as our cousins up North or down South — and the price of a small pot of herbs now goes for RM 5.00. Talk about inflation. But I digress —
My housemate’s boyfriend, who was then the better cook, had snapped up most of the good stuff — amongst them a pot of Genovese basil — hence why I was stuck with a pot full of chives.
Not to be underestimated, though; these resilient tufts have flavoured many a bowl of mashed potatoes for me.
Many days of coveting later, a better cook was not necessarily a better gardener — and I mean no offence if you or your wife are reading this, I did call you a better cook — and I was given a handful of basil stalks on the brink of death.
We had apparently thought that basil, being associate with Western cooking, was a temperate plant and therefore kept it indoors in an air-conditioned room.
Of course I now know that we had thought wrong.
Anyways, a few hours of Googling later, and I was equipped with all the necessary knowledge to raise my own herb garden.
A week later…
Pretty neat, eh?
I can also remember my first harvest of basil:
the smell that filled my kitchen as I snipped all the tips off
— it is NOTHING like the spinach smelling / tasting junk that that tries to pass off for fresh basil in the supermarket aisles.
Let’s not even get started on the dried varieties. People if there is only one herb that you absolutely must grow and harvest fresh, let it be basil.
Five years later, I have that for a herb garden.
And I have the pleasure of snipping all my herbs fresh for my meals.
Not bad, if I must say so myself, for a Google-it gardener. 😉