Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Hot day and shaded vegetables and baba ganoush

It is hot again today....  41C (106F).
I should stop commenting on the weather... it is getting consistently hot now, and we have several months to go.
I have been out to make sure that the shade is still in place....

... some of the engineering looks a bit "iffy"  but it works (all bamboo poles,  poly-pipe hoops,  clothes pegs and second hand shade cloth.  (The kitchen window has its blind down too.)
The coriander "lawn" patch that I photographed yesterday is in the middle, on the RHS,  but look what happened to it....

... some of it is still there,  but the part that the sun could get to in the middle of the day is dead.   This is disappointing in one way, but it also indicates how well my shade is working!

Other bits and pieces from today....
These are baby zucchini plants.  I should be picking these by now,  but, as I have commented before,  I was a bit late getting started this year.  There is one advantage though... the earwigs seem to be much fewer.  This is quite useful information too.

And here is a baby soy bean plant (edamame) that at first I thought had had a leaf eaten off  of it.  The original cotyledons are still there and as it has grown,  there is only one leaf at a time.  At first, I assumed that something had eaten the other one,  but now that there are a few of them,  and they all look the same,  this must be normal.  It;s really useful to know what plants look like when they are tiny, especially when you plant them as seed, directly, as I often do.

Of course the cactus flowers are still lovely.  These are the very same ones as yesterday...the petals are looking just a bit more "worn" around the edges,  but it is amazing how they are undaunted by the hot dry day.  I know that they are adapted to this weather,  but they must have an incredible water transport system.  I have picked the flowers to bring them inside sometimes,  and within seconds they begin to wilt, rapidly,  though they can be coaxed back to "life" water again.

Inside... in the kitchen,  the temperature is about  30C (85F)  and I have the trusty cooler (below) going.  It is a water cooler with a fan that blows air through damp mesh, cooling it, and increasing the humidity... also good for breathing.

The weather is making me think again about climate change.  This is the weather that we are to expect from now on apparently.  The increase in carbon dioxide wil probably not be reduced in time to keep the global temperature under more than 2 degrees,  or even 3 or 4 degrees.  This will make things harder,  and it will take a sigificant change in food production to manage here.  I am increasing my "winter production"  and storing surplus for  the summer and I am also trying a  number of different food plants that might be better adapted to the heat and drier weather.

Today I bought three eggplants from the grocery shop.
I  should have my own to pick by now,  but the plants are jsut beginning to flower.  Eggplants are one vegetable that doesn't seem to mind the heat and I really like them.
I am making baba ganoush.
I have baked the three eggplants in the outside oven.  This is an old gas stove that is connected to a gas bottle... the bottle ahs lasted about five years so far, as I don't use it often...  but with the hot day and no further need for the stove,  it's an opportunity to give it a go.
The eggplants are peeled and blended with tahini, lemon juice,  ground cumin and salt,  and some garlic.
All of this is "to taste" and it ends up as a salad/dip that is delicious with pita bread.

This is sprinkled with olive oil and coriander leaves.  I would normally use parsley,  but mine has gone to seed,  so I cut some leaves from the "coriander lawn"  or what is left of it... after I photographed it.
It will go into the esky with some medical ice packs... and off to dinner at a friend's house.

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