Zucca melon seeds

Planting the zucca melon seed

So it turns out that zucca melon seed is not that easy to germinate. They require soil that is 70-85 degrees F, and they can take from 7 to 48 days to sprout. Yes, 7 to 48 days. I had to read that a few times to really get it to sink in. It could…

zucca melon circa 1940's

The Zucca Melon project – introduction

Last year, I decided to experiment with candied fruit. I made candied orange peel, candied pineapple, candied cherries, and a few other things. My mom saw my efforts and said to me “Oh, you should grow a zucca melon so you can candy it. That’s what they use in fruitcakes you know.” So, figuring that…

Radishes - Amethyst, a purple "easter egg", and altaglobe.

Radish love

Lately I’ve been a bit of a radish nerd. I’ve been collecting radish seeds from small seed companies that specialize in heirloom, endangered, and open-pollinated seeds. I’ve been growing them in pots on the balcony, which is working out quite well.  The soil in the pots is very loose, which gives the radishes plenty of…

Ice spikes in the hummingbird feeder.

Ice Spikes

This morning the hummingbird feeder had quite a surprise – a  large ice spike. This happened to my ice cubes a few years ago, and I  learned that this is because the water freezes unevenly. The liquid in the middle of the ice cube starts to seep out of a small, unfrozen hole. If conditions…

Crystallized syrup from making candied orange peel.

How to prevent sugar crystallization

What is sugar crystallization? You may have heard about sugar crystallization or experienced it for yourself. Have you ever had a jar of golden, syrupy honey turn into a solid, grainy mess? Have you ever made some simple syrup for your cake and discovered a few days later that it looked more like toothpaste than syrup?…

How to make simple syrup for cakes

Simple syrup for cakes

One of the best ways to keep your cake moist is to brush the top of each layer with simple syrup. Simple syrup adds moistness and flavour to any cake – it’s that magic ingredient that gets people talking about how good your cake tastes. Making simple syrup is easy, and only takes a few…