Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Love thai food? Try these great thai barbeque recipes for spring and summer. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) in front of OSU's Payne Ellis Dorm

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Phlox (Phlox subulata)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) with Phlox

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana)

Tulip magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) close up

Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica)

Flowering quince (Chaenomeles)

One of the first spring flowers in Oklahoma, Flowering Quince, begins opening a few delicate blooms in late winter. It forms peach-colored blossoms and later darker pink to red flowers in early March. Along with Forsythia, Flowering Quince, brings the first shades of color in the dead of winter. Unfortunately, I could not get a clear shot as it was very windy the day I took this picture. But I guess this will do for now.


For me, Forsythia heralds the coming of spring! The bright-yellow, four-lobed petals of Forsythia blooms are produced late in winter before the leaves start to form. The breathtaking flush of color amid the bleakness of winter definitely makes Forsythia one of my favorite flowers.

Winter melon (Benincasa hispida)

Winter melon is a delicious gourd. This one was given to us by our friend Baida Sun who grew it in his garden in Dallas. I made a delicate and soothing soup with chunks of winter melon in a chicken soup base with thin slivers of ginger, turkey bacon (in place of ham)and green onions. Warm and comforting! I may make "kondol candy" or winter melon candy if I come across a recipe for this before it is all gone.

Kabocha (Cucurbita moschata)

Calamondin (Citrus mitis)

Calamondin or kalamansi is believed to be a hybrid of lime and mandarin, or lime and kumquat. It looks like kumquat but is more rounded and the skin is not sweet. The juice of calamondin is tart but has a very distinct, sweet aroma and unusual flavor unlike any lime. Ice-cold calamondin juice, sweetened with cane sugar, makes a delicious, refreshing drink. I remember an incident when we met a Japanese fellow who said the best fruit juice he ever had was at a five-star hotel in the Philippines. We named all the delicious tropical fruits we could think of and later it turned out that it was just kalamansi juice!!
Calamondin mixed with Kikkoman soy sauce or fish sauce also makes an excellent dip for grilled fish or kebabs. Yummy! These freshly-picked, ripe calamondin are from my indoor container garden.