Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remember This?

I asked if you knew what this funny looking, cucumber looking, thing was. My buddy Lori at Pretty Things was correct. It is a bitter melon. We have a neighbor who grows just about everything in his front yard. His back yard (and I'm using the term yard to describe an area that is less than a quarter of a postage stamp) is filled with huge pots filled with citrus trees, star fruit, bitter melon and whatever else he can throw in. He is always sharing his goodies with us. I think he enjoys seeing our faces when he brings something over we have never seen. He's also one of the reasons that I grow tomatoes on our balcony -- I'm willing to try growing almost anything almost anywhere!

Back to the bitter melon. This is what it looks like on the inside. You remove the seeds. Our neighbor uses it in a number of different ways. He makes a juice out of it with cucumbers and tomatoes. Stir fries. In our case, I decided to use it in a stir fry. We were both a little concerned about how bitter it would be, but this light green melon is supposed to be less bitter than the dark green or so I read in this wonderful cookbook.

Since I usually review a book around this time of the week, I decided to share with you one of my all time favorite cookbooks (and the only cookbook I had with a bitter melon recipe). The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young is more than a cookbook. Grace tells family stories all centered around food and the kitchen. It is a pure delight and one I recommend highly for those of you who enjoy a good story along with a few good recipes!

Here is the stir fry recipe with the bitter melon along with directions for preparing the melon. If you click on the photo, it should become bigger and easier to read.

We didn't find the melon to be overly bitter and it added a little zing to the various tastes. You can see I added a few ingredients. I had asparagus left over so I threw it in along with some onion. I added a little garlic to the marinade. It made a complete meal with rice and was very good.

There really is something to trying something new!

Have a special something day.

Joy to You!


Pat - Arkansas said...

Thanks, Snap. Interesting post. I've not experienced the taste of Bitter Melon.. at least, not yet. My younger sister, who prepares Oriental dishes quite often, probably has done so. I'll query her for an opinion.

I'm feeling better today, thank you. Have just consumed a couple of slices of dry toast and some coffee. Things are looking up! I might even get dressed today! :)

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

So THAT'S what it was! I have never heard of it and obviously never eaten it, to my knowledge. What fun to have a neighbor like that!

Kate T. said...

How nice to have discovered something new. To keep things fresh in our kitchen, we usually try to pick up something we've never heard of before at our local farmer's market. Sometimes it's a good thing, some times... not so much.

But it's always good to stretch.


Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I have been waiting to find out what that little bugger was and now I know! I have never heard of it much less tasted it but am always up for a gastronomic spin! Lucky lady to have a neighbor that grows such eclectic produce.

I just passed on an award to you...uberlicious!!

Sharon said...

Snap that cookbook looks so interesting. Thanks for the info. Sharon PS I am growing lots of veggies and yes my tomatoes are on the balcony too. The elk ate all of them last year. Or should I say squished them.LOL

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Interesting, Snap... I had no idea what that melon was. Looked like a big cuke to me!!!!! Glad you found a way to use it. I love stirfry--and we have it quite often.

Glad you got to spend some time with your 'sister' Mar. I have some 'sisters by choice' also--since I am the only girl in my family (and I have three sons)...

Hope it's not TOO hot down there.

Janice said...

Never seen one of those before, very interesting.