Tag Archives: sweet potato

Try It Tuesday: Grow Something!

26 Jul

A couple of months ago I bought a sweet potato and somehow didn’t eat it. Distressing enough. Even more distressing is that when I picked it up it was sprouting things, *shudder* I find the sight of a potato with shoots growing from it highly disturbing. Normally when this happens I throw it out. This time, for reasons I can’t explain, I had an urge to see if I could grow another sweet potato from this one.

After much research, thank goodness for Google!, I learned that step one is to chop the potato and put it in a water bath. Basically you chop off the end, stick toothpicks in the potato, then rest the potato in a glass (I put mine in a small tupperware container) so that the flat part is immersed in water but not touching the bottom of the glass (or in my case, tupperware). You have to change out the water every couple days or so and have the patience of a saint because you are waiting for roots to grow. The roots look like thin, stringy, pale white / almost see through hairs…think something that looks like it belongs to a jellyfish.

While waiting for the roots to grow the shoots kept getting taller and taller, to the point that the tallest one was flopping over so I piled tupperware beside it so it had something to lean on. Along the stalk / stem there were these very tiny little bumps, I have noooooo idea what they are, or if they are good or bad, but I’m leaning toward good because, well, the idea that they are something gross and were living in my kitchen for months is distressing. πŸ˜›

So finally, roots have grown, yay! Back to google I went and I learned that growing this thing in a pot is going to take a bit of effort, sigh. If it was not yet full on summer, when I planted it I’d have to make a little tent over the dirt it was planted in to help the dirt stay warm enough for it. I kid you not! A freakin tent! Lucky for me it is summer, full on summer, lots of heat happening over here, so no tent is needed. I however did have to buy a pot, and dirt, and take care of assembly.

Another way I lucked out is having a friend that grows stuff, lots of stuff, an entire garden worth of plants and veggies and fruit. She basically knows everything there is to know aaaaand has tools!

Mr. Pots and I (that is what I named the sweet potato) went over to her place, along with the dirt and the pot I purchased and she helped a lot!

This is during transport. You can see in the picture on the left the toothpicks that were in Mr. Pots. I put soaking wet paper towel in a small container and rested Mr. Pots on top, I couldn’t travel with the water because it would slosh everywhere so that was my compromise. I added the picture on the right to show how tall the one shoot got. Oh and see that spade at the bottom? That is my one and only garden tool, it still has the tag on it and I still haven’t used it cause my friend had a better one lol

Once at my friends place she pulled out her drill and kindly put four holes in the bottom of the pot for me. See, when growing a sweet potato in a pot you need to water it a lot because they are thirsty little guys but you have to provide an escape for the excess water so you don’t drown the sweet potato. They are a tad finicky. Also, you have to line the pot with a mesh sheet so that when the water drains from the pot the dirt doesn’t go with it. Lisa, my friend, had some of that stuff also, I swear, she has everything!, so she let me have some. We lined the entire pot, I would have only thought to line the bottom but she suggested it go all the way up the sides of the pot so that is what we did. I bow to her knowledge. πŸ™‚

Once the pot was lined I used her massive spade shovel thing to fill most of the pot, then we made a bit of a hole, plopped in Mr. Pots sans toothpicks and wet paper towel, buried him and voila! We planted a sweet potato!

Because I was going to be bringing him home in my suv we gave him some water but not too much, didn’t want to mess up my vehicle. Once I got him home I thoroughly watered him and got him a snazzy spot in the garden. He has to be watered every day but I don’t have to worry about that because my landlords, whose garden Mr. Pots now resides in, have their sprinkler system on a timer so Mr. Pots gets watered every morning around 5:30am. I check on him every couple days, make sure his dirt is wet, and basically leave him to do his thing…not that I know what that is…I did notice some ants crawling on his dirt which worries me, what if the ants hurt him? I don’t like him being outside and exposed to things but he seems to be ok with it because he has noticeably grown since being put out there. I figure he’s highly enjoying photosynthesizing, since while in my place he wasn’t able to do that and we all know that’s what leaves like to do.

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Mr. Bartholomue Pots

He is much taller now, and those short little shoots you can see in the picture have shot up, I’m taking that as a sign he is thriving.

Now I have to figure out how to tell when he is ready to dig up, that is something Google has yet to teach me but I’m sure I’ll find an article somewhere. So far everything I read mostly talks about how to grow sweet potatoes and seems to assume once it is growing I will psychically know how to figure out the rest…silly internet, thinking I know something! lol πŸ˜‰

 

Try It Tuesday: Chipotle Black Beans

28 Jun

I missed last weeks Try It Tuesday, not because I didn’t have something to write about but because time was not on my side. Lets get back on track shall we? πŸ™‚

Jamie Oliver’s Brazilian-style Chipotle Black Beans- it is a stew with chunks of sweet potato and sweet red peppers. Lemme tell ya, none of the “sweet” veg took away from the spicy which maybe I would have clued in to ahead of time if I had noticed the two little jalapenos on the bottom area of the front of the box. Apparently Jamie has a warning system that I didn’t notice, oops!

This is a side dish, something else I also didn’t notice and according to Jamie is best served with “crispy griddled chicken thighs, brown rice, fresh greens and a spicy tomato salsa or in a fluffy baked potato with grated strong cheddar and a dollop of soured cream”. Despite Jamie’s so thoughtful suggestions I went my own way and ate it as a stand alone stew – I’m such a rebel! πŸ˜‰ lol

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It heats up the same way all frozen meals do, take the tray out of the box, puncture the plastic top, pop in the oven for a while and boom! Food that took no effort on my part! This one takes 40-45 minutes at 350F. I could have microwaved it but I am already cheating by heating up a frozen meal, putting it in the microwave is just taking this whole lazy “cooking” thing too far.

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Not the prettiest thing when frozen, and I kinda failed at the whole piercing the plastic thing but meh, it all worked out in the end, shrug.

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I don’t know about you but I think that looks goooooood! Maybe it is because I am a sucker for sweet potatos, and stew, and easy cooking…who knows? After it is pulled out of the oven you are supposed to let it sit for a couple minutes and that helps it thicken up a bit. I left it a little longer than the box suggested because I like stews to be quite thick and it worked, it also made it so I didn’t have to blow on the spoon before every bite which was nice cause ya know, burning my mouth is not a thing I enjoy.

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It however lost some of its charming, yummy look once put in to a bowl, sigh. Now it looks like green mush, or slime, or something icky. It tastes way better than it looks, honest!

I tried some of it on its own and it was too spicy for me, sadness. I like spice but there has to be flavour along with the spice, not juuuust spice. So I added some ranch dressing to it, weird yes, but it works, lol, and it helped. If I had cheese in the apartment I would have topped it with that and I bet that would have cut down just enough on the spice while adding flavour and take it up that extra notch.

The entire package fit in to one of my small bowls so if you are eating it on your own it is a good size to be a meal by itself but if you are sharing it you’ll definitely need something else to go with it -perhaps one of Jamie’s suggestions?

 

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