a few photos

My homemade chili oil:

My tempeh-making luck ran out and I ended up with another bad batch this weekend. I’m not sure why. The only thing I can think of is that the Ziploc bag was too full and the soybeans therefore layered too deeply. I didn’t weigh the soybeans; I just guessed at the 8 ounces I was going for, but possibly it was more than that and therefore too much. At any rate, here is what tempeh looks like when it doesn’t turn out. It didn’t smell that great either.

I want you to know that I am very careful about the food I buy and I would never, ever buy anything made of wheat flour that had been breached.

Here are two of my tomato plants. The one on the left is Roma and the one on the right is San Marzano. (Mark’s hot peppers are in the background.)

I grow them in Earth Boxes, which my mother-in-law turned me on to and which are great. In fact, here’s the San Marzano plant I put in a regular container:

It’s not nearly as big and healthy. Unfortunately, the Earth Box isn’t doing wonders for the two heirloom varieties I have, Mr Stripy (which I totally bought just because I wanted to grow Tigger Tomatoes) and Brandywine. Those plants don’t look as healthy.

While I was outside photographing the tomatoes, I scanned the yard for anything colorful I could photograph. The only color I could find in the entire yard was this tiger lily. Everything else is green, green, green.

Well, unless you count my tiny little tomato blossom:

Or the incredibly tiny flowers on Tigger’s catnip:

Much of our backyard looks like this:

As you can imagine, we have a lot of problems with pandas! And ninjas.

The cats can’t stand it when we’re outside without them. They sit forlornly at the door and meow piteously.

They often hang out on the patio with us, on leashes, but it was about to starting raining again, so instead of bringing them out, I went back inside and began pondering dinner…in which I hope to feature:


  1. Cindy Said,

    June 24, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

    The tempeh looks all right to me. It looks like what I buy in the store.

  2. renae Said,

    June 24, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

    Maybe the photo doesn’t really show it, but the tempeh isn’t being “held together” by the mold. It was still just a bag of loose soy beans. Moreover, the soy beans seemed to have actually shrunk in size, because the bag wasn’t packed as tightly as it had been. Some of them also turned darker and glossy, which I don’t think is good. There’s very little of the mold. And it smelled nasty. So back to the drawing board. I think it must have been layered too thick. I ordered a copy of the New Farm cookbook, which someone here said contained directions on making tempeh (and growing more of the Rhizopus oligosporus from what you have), and I’m hoping to get more pointers from that.

  3. Cindy Said,

    June 25, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

    Thanks for the explanation. I doubt I’ll ever make tempeh, it is too easy to get it off the salad bar at Whole Foods.

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