Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pasta with an Asian Touch...and the flowery spring garden

It's been awhile since I have discovered tagliatelle goes well with red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. This time, however, I added pea shoots, soy sauce, and omelette strips.

Soy sauce imparts a lovely golden colour

While the pasta--throw in the shoots after five minutes--is cooking, make a thin omelette with one or two large eggs. When it is set, flip over and brown that side. Remove to a cutting surface and let cool a bit. Slice into long, one-inch-wide sections and reserve.  Mince pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger and saute them lightly in a little oil in the omelette pan. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Toss the tagliatelle, shoots, and egg with the garlic, red pepper, and ginger in the skillet. Sprinkle, or in my case, slosh with soy sauce and stir well.

The flower garden is coming into being with such ease -- mostly pink there, red here, and white over there but also with a splash of blue and a glint of gold.

Cottage pinks are good for hiding the knobby knees of rose bushes

Roses are continuing to astound. The seven Queen Elizabeth hedge roses are in the middle of their first blooming flush. We should get several such flurries of pinkness until autumn.

I suspect this glowing, deeply coral-coloured rose is Tropicana.

The repeat-flowering bourbon rose, Ferdinand Pichard, is a robust bush with clusters of fragrant, white-and-red striped blooms.

The cute bud on the right can't wait to embrace maturity

Cottage pinks (Dianthus plumarius) rank way high on my favourite flower list. They are not named for the colour pink but for their distinctive edging, as if a pinking shears had its way with them.

A double blossom variety with a red center and petals flushed light pink

Sweetness cottage pinks will flower all through the summer and autumn. Like many varieties of this species, they are easy, evergreen, and rewarding perennials, that is to say, they will give many, many, many, fragrant flowers that come back again and again and again. However, these are the only variety that will put on a summer display from seed planted in late winter. With all the others, the propagation can be done more easily via cuttings from a few nursery plants. 

The messy split calyx of Mrs. Sinkins cottage pinks is more than compensated by its fabulous fragrance.

Miniature glads chez nous prefer to volunteer in already densely planted beds, especially of the iris and lavender persuasion.

Behind the gladiolus are early season potatoes

Though I sowed soapwort last spring and transplanted them just this past autumn, they are already generously covering not only the ground but their own foliage with pink flowers.

A soapy liquid can be made by boiling crushed leaves and roots in water

Herbs like thyme and sage (below photo) contribute to the flower show by happily presenting some blues now that the irises, bluebells, and lilacs are no more.

Can you spot the small beetle-like insect?

It is always a thrill when the fruit-bearing stock of our garden show their abundance of flowers/immature fruit.


The green fuzzy ovoid is a peach-to-be.

A soft wave of white petals is harbouring the developing blackberry.

À la prochaine!