Tag Archives: zen garden

Grow-it-Yourself French Tarragon


I know I promised all of you a pesto recipe;
but truth be told, there are so many (ok, more like a dozen) photos that need to be edited,
and I haven’t had the time yet.

So, since we’re in the growing mood,
I thought I’d post up a quick lil’ ditty about French tarragon.

Growing Tarragon

Don’t go! There’s more!

All hail Basil, the undisputed King of Herbs

All hail Basil, the undisputed King of Herbs

A (rather long) while ago, I introduced all of you to my Zen Garden:

Zen Garden circa May 2012

It doesn’t look like that anymore.

For one, it now resembles a jungle (albeit a well-kept one) more than a garden:
with 7 sweet basil plants, 2 Thai basils, 1 each of cinnamon & lemon basil; 4 rosemary bush-lings; 3 French tarragon stick-lings; 3 thyme crawlies; 2 healthy dill weeds; 1 generous flat parsley & coriander each; 1 overhanging oregano; and 1 overgrown sage — amongst others.

But I am not here to boast.
OK lar, maybe slightly…

A long time ago, I realised that the only way for me to achieve the results that I craved for in the kitchen,
was to have full (or partial) control of the ingredients that I put into my pot (or pan… or wok… or oven… you get the picture).
While I won’t be able to breed my own chickens, catch my own salmon, or grain feed & massage my own cows anytime soon,
I have been able to achieve some success with herbs and vegetable produce. Remember my lil’ runt of a potato?!

And one plant / herb that I am eternally grateful for, for learning how to grow well, is basil.

Basil @thenyonyacelup

Click here for more yummy-ness!

Roast away!

Roast away!

Most Malaysians — or at least the ones that I know — have this misconception that Western cooking is difficult.
And it’s not just amateurs who won’t cook anything unless it came out of a box / packet;
I refer also to ladies who whip up mouth watering laksas, scrumptious curries, magnificent rendangs, etc.

They are quite reluctant to try their hand at cooking Western dishes;
and the excuse is usually that it looks too hard.

So they buy their roasts from the local supermarket;
add milk and water into their packet mac & cheese;
and stir minced meat into their bottled sauces.

Which shouldn’t be the case, because Western cooking is actually really simple. And straightforward.
Well, at least, the simple staple dishes are. 😉

The Nyonya for one appreciates the fact that she doesn’t need to pound and grind a-million-and-one spices before she actually starts cooking the dish.

So you may not be the next Gordon Ramsay;
and the spatially challenged — like me —may never present dishes that look like they came out from the French Laundry;
but you’ll never have to Q up to buy half price chicken roast at Tesco ever again!
Maybe that was just me and the Baba.

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Macaron lah: (Almost) perfect…

Macaron lah: (Almost) perfect…

So I planted a rosemary hedge over the weekend.
I already have one small bush, which is slowly getting kojak-ed by excessive use — rosemary potatoes are my fave, if you must know — and thought that a hedge might be a good long term investment.

Rosemary hedge

Note we had to fence it up because the Dog insists on burying everything in there.

I also thought that it’s high time I posted the pictures from Day 5 & 6 of Project Macaron lah.

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The Olive Tree

The Olive Tree

Blessed Easter, everyone!


So, I’m a little late; because technically, Easter proper (or Easter week) ended three Sundays ago — we’re in the 4th week of Easter, in case anyone was counting. But then again, technically, we still have a few more Sundays of Easter-tide before Pentecost, no?
Since you last heard from me on Holy Thursday, I was forced to buy a brand new iPad 2 — I dropped mine and broke its gawd-awfully impractical glass screen in four different places, only to be told by the local evangelists that they don’t replace broken iPad screens, just in case anyone was wondering — only to have the latest iOS 5.1 update brick it. To add insult to the injury, iTunes INSISTED on re-downloading the entire update before it allowed me to restore Lambda2.1 — what I call my iPad 2, again if anyone was wondering — PLUS, my carrier’s arrested development kept throttling my speed in the region of 90 kBps — not very funny considering it’s a 750+ MB file — a speed of which should have be made illegal after the death of dial-up! <– Only in Malaysia, people! After a week of dancing with such abysmal broadband speeds, I had to resort to travelling down to Kiaseeland to download the confounded file via my Singaporean hotel’s in-house internet service; and no, it wasn’t on the house. Even so, I still needed to re-restore Lambda’s original settings — a grand total of five times, usually in the middle of in these wee hours — because the new update & him were yet to become good friends.
It’s all good now, though: I threatened to can him for the New iPad and all was restored in iOS-Land. I still traded up with the New iPad though, and The Baba gets a brand new iPad 2. It was a win-win situation. *glee* Back to the belated Easter greeting…


For reasons unknown, I have been thinking of olives since Easter — or Holy Week, to be more exact.
Spilt over a sub, or sprinkled generously across a pizza, they are the closest that one can get to pickled culinary perfection.

How convenient then, that I happen to have an olive tree in my garden! 🙂

Don’t go! There’s more!