Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ramadan 2015

I feel like I have not been writing for so long. It has been hectic at work as well as on my personal life. Being a care provider was a challenge and I am glad my one demanding and fussy patient is recovering well. However, it feels like the job to care for the patient’s need is never ending. There are times I just wanted to scream out loud or to just drop everything that I was doing. Luckily, I have faith and patience and just moved on. Every day I have to make sure that my patient take his medications. I have to make sure the food I serve has the fibers and nutrients my patient needed.

I am fasting during the holy month in Islamic calendar, Ramadan starting on June 18th. The hours to fast this time are very long. In my neighborhood, it starts from 4 am and end around 8:40pm. By 6:30 pm I started to feel weak. I can handle not eating any solid food for a day but not without drinking any water. I keep reminding myself how the poor feel when they do not have any food to eat. Life is hard. I am very grateful with what I have.

The best part of observing Ramadan is the celebration at the end of the Ramadan month, Syawal. I can eat lots of good food. It was a victory after a hardship during the fasting month.
The vegetables in the garden are growing well. They have been getting a lot of rain water. I could not go to the garden today since it was raining from morning. Working in the garden with wet soil is never fun. I hope tomorrow's weather will be better.
My friends invite me to their house for breaking fast dinner. I try my best to go. It was fun to meet them and enjoy lots of Asian food. Unfortunately, I cannot stay for terawih prayer since dinner start around 9 pm.
Yesterday, I went to the departmental store looking for a nice dress. But I did not find any that I like. Today, I decided to cut and sewn my dress. I have a few fabric that I could use. It will be fun to use the sewing machine this weekend. The weather is not as hot as in the past. I can stay in the house without air conditioner and work on my sewing.
Happy weekend!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happening in the garden

We have been getting lots of rain lately. Tropical Storm Bill is finally here today and I cannot wait to see more growth in the garden.

The garden is doing very well. I have been harvesting if not every day or every other day some super sweet sugar snap peas. They are delicious to be eaten raw or sauté lightly with butter, salt and ground black pepper. Yummy!

I managed to snap some pictures last week before storm Bill arrived.  Below is a picture of the tomato plants. Finally, I was able to set up the fence for this yellow tomato. I started the plant from seeds indoor. They are doing well despite having less leaves. I have been trimming the leaves especially the lower leaves. The plant will not get any disease if the lower leaves didn't touch soil. I set up a bucket in the middle to water the deep root.
Here is the picture of my first tomato. They do look healthy. I cannot wait to see them turning yellow.
Beans, beans and rows of beans. Below is the bush beans. They do look great. I cannot wait to see them flowering and producing beans. I love string beans. They are delicious if saute with garlic, butter, salt and pepper. I could eat it just like that.
More beans. But the picture below is the yard long beans. In bahasa it is called Kacang Panjang. I set up the fence for the beans to climb up.
The lemongrass in the picture below has just kicked in. They are looking great. In between the lemongrass is the cucamelon also known as sour gherkin. This is my first year growing this tiny cucumber that supposedly to look like the skin of watermelon. It will be interesting to see them growing. I hope the fence is tall enough for the tendrils to climb.
In one of the raffle drawing, I won these eggplants. I have 4 plants. They are supposedly to be a long Japanese eggplant. In the past, the eggplants usually eaten by the bugs in my garden. I make sure to spray them with some insecticides. I hate to see the plants died. So far these 4 plants are growing very well. They look very healthy. I have to make sure to give some plant food so that they can grow bigger.
Below is a picture of my cucumber. Yes, I am growing tons of cucumber plants. I started them from seed directly sown in the garden. I have seen a few flowers and I think soon I will be getting some cucumbers. I am so excited.
Below is a picture of my broccoli. I am thrill to see the broccoli head started to form. They do look very cute. I must say thanks to the heavy rain. This plant is thriving! The leaves are huge and there are no bugs. Yes! I hate bugs. Bugs could eat the whole plant and leave me with nothing. They are just hungry and very bad creatures. So far, I am very happy with my hard labor in the garden.
The only plant that I see that did not doing well is the kohlrabi. They are tiny and didn't seem to perform. I might have buried their seeds too deep when I sown them in the early spring.
I have a few more patches that I need to weed. The carrot patch need to breath a little. If I let the weed grow bigger, they can choke the carrots.

Unfortunately storm Bill is here. The garden is too wet to work on.
I will wait a few days until the soil is dryer.

Ramadan is here. I am wishing happy fasting to my muslim reader.

Stay tuned for more garden story.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A trip to the Newark Farmer's market

I always like Saturday or Sunday market. Today's trip was to the Newark Farmer's market. I had so much fun tasting the cherries and nectarines and what not. Let's see what they have...
 Peanuts and all kinds of zucchini or summer squashes. I saw the eight ball zucchini, green zucchini, yellow zucchini and light pale green zucchini. They look so fresh and tasty.
 They do sell bitter gourd shoots. Yes, the leaves are very bitter. But it is probably good for the health.
This gigantic onions look so fresh. It was so huge. I wonder how they grow this giant vegetable.
 A huge garlic. It was so huge that I was afraid to eat them.
 There are so many varieties of kale and swiss chard. They cost about $1 to $2 a bunch.
 I like to see the shape of these eight ball zucchini. They look cute.
 Super huge radishes.
 Another picture of the bitter gourd shoots.
Pennywort...yes, I found Pennywort at the market. This vegetable is super food for the health. It can reduce the blood sugar level. Another name for this vegetable are Gotu Kola, Centella asiatica, Pegaga, or Rau Ma. I like to juice them with an apple. Super delicious and good for health.


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