Sunday, May 22, 2011

First 2011 Pumpkin Harvest and Saturday Dinner

We had our first pumpkin harvest for this year yesterday. Hazel Dene had such a fantastic pumpkin harvest this year and so colourful too, very inspiring. Other vegetables that we managed to harvest on Saturday are Leeks, Lebanese eggplants, Lemon grasses, beans, corianders, snow peas, chilies, tomatoes, radish thinnings and 4 different variety of capsicum. The rain keep us indoors so I decided to cook and cook, gave me a chance to try many new recipes that I have been keeping in my favourites. Wendy's Garden to Table Challenge has also motivated me to fully appreciate our harvest and the way we used them in the kitchen.
The pumpkin that we harvested was growing vertically (photo taken in March) and in container. I almost forgot about that pumpkin because tomato foliage were covering it from view. I have to admit it is not easy to grow rambling pumpkin on a small limited space. We had to train the pumpkin veins so it won't annoyed other neighbouring plants. During rainy weeks or high humidity, have to make sure there is lot of space for air circulation so the plants are not succeptible to powdery mildew. I tried to grow bush pumpkin but birds keep on uprooting young seedlings that it was too late anymore to grow them.  In 2010, we only harvested one pumpkin. Hopefully this year will be a bit of improvement. Does anyone know the reason or how to avoid when your pumpkin is growing the size bigger than a tennis ball suddenly it become rotten and died? We have this problem every year.
Our main dishes with warm rice for Saturday night are P.F.Chang's Stir-Fried Spicy Eggplants from Joyce recipe and Cencalok Prawn from CikManggis kitchen recipe. Together with the Labanese Eggplants are beans and leeks used for P.F. Chang's Stir-Fries Spicy Eggplants. Joyce told me that snake bean is also good for this dish but I don't have any fresh snake bean in our garden substitute it with french bean.

This was the first time I tried making this exotic Cencalok (cincalok) prawn cuisine as we have a lot of home-grown chilies and lemon grass to use. This dish is an instant hit on the dinner table. My husband had 3rd helpings.
On Sunday morning, with the help of tomatoes, radish thinnings, capsicum, coriander, chili and leek , I made Mee Goreng (Fried Noodles) before we went off to the state museum for the kids.
No gardening this weekend due to heavy rain and strong wind.

20 comments:

One said...

The other day, when I was at Joyce's blog, she posted on her productive garden and for a moment I thought it was your blog.

Today, I thought I am in Joyce's blog. Everything looks just so yummy.

cikmanggis said...

memang sesuai dengan selera orang melayu:) jika Cm hidang udang cencalok pada menantu mat salleh Cm tu mahu dia pengsan terus jika bau cencalok haha...

Nak cuba tanam labu sebelum kami pindah kerumah baru kami awal tahun depan.Agaknya berapa lama labu dapat mengeluarkan hasil ya..jika tak dapat makan buah labu dapat makan pucuknya pun dah kira ok..masak lemak pucuk labu:)

Daphne said...

That is a really pretty pumpkin. What variety is it?

catmint said...

That first photo is so creatively arranged - beautiful. And mee goreng is one of my favourite dishes, with home grown veg must be extra wonderful. I can't help with pumpkin problem of course but I would if I could.

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Diana! Haha! One is so cheeky!
Thank you for the link and am glad that you are enjoying the eggplant dish. I must give the cincalok dish from cikmanggis a try! Looks so delicious!
Your pumpkin is beautiful! You can even grow it vertically and that is amazing! I don't have experience with growing pumpkin, mine died on me, so I do not know what causes it to rot! Any sign of pests eating the pumpkin, causing it to rot in the end? Wish I could give some advice!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

One~ I can't garden since its raining so ended up in the kitchen cooking and keeping warm.

Cikmanggis~Menantu cikmanggis boleh tahan belacan tak?hehehe... Lebih kurang 4 bulan tapi mungkin kat mesia awal lagi kut dapat.

Daphne~ I think it is either JAP or Kent pumpkin. I was experimanting on store-bought pumpkin seeds. That is the one that the birds did not bother. Our bought bush pumpkin seeds, everytime it sprouted or transplanted, it got uprooted.

Catmint~Mee goreng with home-grown vegetables taste good. I always found that green leaves on market mee goreng is a bit bitter.

Joyce~Do try cikmanggis cincalok dish it is sampai menjilat jari:). I don't see any pest. but I lost so many pumpkins because of this. They were growing so nicely at first. Then they turn yellow.

Charmcitybalconygarden said...

All the food looks yummy!! You are an amazing cook, I wish I can take some cooking lessons from you! Your harvest is beautiful too, of course:)

Sue@Green Lane Allotments said...

Do you always grow the pumpkins in the same place as there is a soil born disease that causes pumpkins to rot. Is it only the fruits that are affected?

Another reason is if the weather in early summer is cool and this causes inadequate pollination but I wouldn't think this was your problem with your climate.

Daffodil said...

What fantastic meals! I would have been there for thirds as well! We travel alot through South East Asia, and one of my favourite breakfasts is Mee Goreng, and Char Keow Teow, of course! You have me drooling over here in Melbourne.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

OH YUM ! Diana please cook for me! :)

Malar said...

Wow! That's handful of harvest! This is my first time putting effort on pumpkin! Hope to see some pumpkin too like you!
Your dishes look yummy!

~Holly~ said...

What a great harvest. Beautiful pumpkin!! I love the dishes you made this week. It has me hungry! =0)

One said...

IC. You cook delicious meals when it rains. Some people are perpetually productive. It's amazing. I have much to learn.

Congratulations! Your caption has been selected and is posted with a link to your site today.

Come over for some laughs. :)

Why I garden... said...

Your prawn dish looks delicious. We have heavy rain and strong winds at the weekend too. Its put a slight hold on my plans to harden off plants. All the best, Kelli.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Charmcitybalconygarden~I am learning how to cook from other bloggers:).

Sue~They are growing at different spots not the same place as last year. It only affected the fruits, no other part on the plants. I thought because we have harsh summer and UV here is pretty strong. Can be that it is too exposed to the sun because the fruit is hanging tall? Do you think I should try giving them clothes (wrap with newpaper) for protection like I did with my bitter gourds and angled luffa. Too much sun not a good thing?

Daffodil~ I have not cook Char Keow Teow for a while. Got to get some noodle this weekend:).

Mrs Bok~ You have to bring some towels, very spicy.

Malar~Good Luck with your pumpkin Malar.

Holly~It is getting colder here, make us more hungry now. I have to work more in the kitchen.

Kwee Peng~Just to move around cause it is so cold sitting in a period of time.

Kelli~Your plants look so ready to be transplanted now. Hope you have some fine day this week to harden them.

Sue@Green Lane Allotments said...

It's hard for me to judge Diana not having a 'too much sun' problem here. I don't suppose you have the space to grow it on the ground under the shade of other plants do you? If you 'clothes' worked for the other plants then it is worth a try

Lrong said...

Wow, impressive photos! And absolutely deliciously looking dishes... wooh...

tangledbranches said...

I love that pumpkin - so pretty! I have trouble growing them because there's an insect here in the US that makes tunnels in the vines and kills them (squash vine borer). So I have to admire other peoples' pumpkins.

I must remember to make Mee Goreng when our tomatoes and peppers are ready, but that will be at least six weeks from now.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Sue~ I probably try to grow pumpkin at the other side of our backyard fence next summer and see how it goes. As that area recieved only morning sun. But it will be very tempting for passerby:).

Lrong~Those cencaluk prawn were one the best dishes we had this month.

Tangledbranches~ Six week will fly away very fast and soon you will have your mee goreng. This pest is so persistant.

milka said...

God makes rainy days so gardener could get the housework done, lol.
You can cook so well :)~