Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Orchids Galore

The Carter & Holmes minicatts have all settled in nicely, though I still haven't found ideal spots for a couple of them. They're all making new roots and new growths, even the 2 dug-ups whose roots were a bit sparse and I had to pot in sphagnum moss. They like the moss. Whew. I stopped using sphagnum moss years ago for anything but sickly plants, but I might re-think that and start using it for minis again.

A few of us went to Silva Orchids in January for their open house, and as usual found some nifty things. Paph (argus x niveum) has 2 big healthy growths. I'm such a sucker for paph primaries. Paph (Pinocchio x armeniacum) is a real honey, not the best shape in the world but great color and it lasts a long time. (see above) I also got Coelogyne mossiae even though I'll probably kill it even before summer begins. Guest vendor Cal-Orchid had brilliant offerings, and I picked up a fantastic Oeniella polystachys in spike, and a robust Leptotes bicolor in bud.

And then, the Deep Cut Orchid Show and all its vendors and splendors...I'm still wondering just where everything will end up, but I'm very pleased with the goodies I scored.

Uber Queen of Leftovers!

A typical meal can become not just 1 but 2 levels of leftover goodness! Observe:

Dinner ,#1. Lamb burgers: 2 lbs ground lamb, 1 slice soft bread, thyme, oregano, black pepper, salt. Form 4 patties per lb of meat. Cook in a very thin film of olive oil: don't turn them until the cooked part comes halfway up the sides. Then flip. 5 minutes later, flip back. 5 minutes later, flip back. Both sides should be very brown and crusty. The pan will be full of fat and juices. Turn off heat, remove burgers to a clean dish to sit 5 minutes. (Same as all cooked pieces of meat.)

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes, ketchup, and lots of veggies on the side (asparagus, broccoli, corn, whatever). 2 burgers per person is plenty. It's not a good idea calorie-wise to spoon the brown crusty pan juices over the starch, but it does taste wonderful.

Dinner, #2. Lamb burger hash: In olive oil, saute a chopped onion, some diced butternut squash and 1/2 bunch asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces. Frozen corn is good to add too. When nearing done-ness, add finely shredded Tuscan black kale and 1/2 cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes. Add leftover lamb burgers cut into bite-size pieces. Add a little water if the pan seems dry. Cover and let cook till the veggies are all tender. Serve with rice or potatoes or noodles.

Lunch, #3. Lamb burger bean hash: If you have more than 1 cup left of the hash, then put it in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil, and as it heats add 1 can drained/rinsed cannelini beans. Add leftover rice if you've got it. Cover and let cook till thoroughly heated. If you didn't add rice, serve over rice or couscous or whatever you've got.

I have made "hash" out of roast beef, corned beef, roast chicken, roast turkey, roast lamb, veal burgers, lamb burgers, and cooked salmon. General principles? Don't overcook the already cooked meat. Cut the vegs in nice small even pieces, and add them to the pan in some sort of order -- fastest cooking go in last. Diced potatoes are the foundation of most traditional beef hashes, but I'd rather spoon a potato-free hash over mashies.