A few years ago I had my very own vegetable garden in the backyard. The first year I started small and then when the vegetables kept coming I felt brave to try and expand the range of herbs, vegetables and fruits. I started reading about backyard gardening and planted strawberries, figs, mint, patty squash, okra, corn, cauliflower, melons, pumpkin, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, karela to name some. I did not have a fenced backyard and we did have deer in the neighborhood, but somehow my vegetable garden was never touched and it thrived. It was a great feeling to pick my own vegetables and cook dinner with it. I had to distribute the extras to friends. Now when I think back I feel that I was able to do all that because I had the space and also the time that is needed to take care of the plants.
We have moved since then and although I have a fenced backyard with space for a vegetable garden I have not been successful here. I only plant that has survived is a fig tree. The rest have been eaten mercilessly by deer who apparently are very good at high jumps and other nocturnal creatures I don’t know about. But they have grazed to the ground whatever I have planted with my all my heart. That includes my roses, hostas, hydrangeas, and my vegetable saplings. I planted some hot peppers and onion to ward them off but they chewed that up too.
|Betel leaf (pan) plant|
Here is a recipe for sweet potato kheer. I often make this kheer to make some picky eaters eat the vegetable.
|Saffron, pistachios, slivered almonds|
Ingredients2 sweet potatoes boiled, peeled and mashed
1 can condensed milk
2 cups milk
Slivered pistachios and almonds
1 tsp. cardamom
A pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp. milk
Boil the 2 cups of milk till it begins to reduce then add the mashed sweet potatoes. Boil for another 10 minutes. Now pour the condensed milk and keep stirring. Let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes. That’s it! Once it cools add the saffron and the chopped pistachios and almonds.