Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gardening in Qaqortoq, Greenland 2014

July 1st, 2014

I will be adding to this particular post with additional photographs and writings in relationship to my gardening here in Qaqortoq this year.
     The biggest thing we have here in Qaqortoq which is in the Southern part of Greenland is slightly warmer temperatures and I mean slightly and the load of sun we get.  North of the Arctic circle the sun shines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  In the Southern part of Greenland, we get about 22 hours of sunlight.  So having said that, the sun shining that many hours does have an advantage.  I have noticed that plants that had just started turning green, would be flowering a week later at an amazing rate!  It's like they jump several days from seedling stage to full blown flowering stage within a few days.

     One of the biggest problems I'm currently experiencing is the fact that the soil outside seems to be too cold for seedlings to pop from seeds so therefore it's taking entirely to long to pop from the soil. So right now I'm probably a month behind those that know how to get around that here. I'm learning as I go along because I'm from Florida.  In Florida one knows when to plant seeds outdoors because we know when the colder temperatures will totally be gone.  Here though it's very different.  If there is several days of sunshine with little to no Northerly winds, then the soil can warm up enough to pop seeds.  If the wind is blowing, then I can forget it.

     Yesterday I went to the hardware store to pick up some plastic.  I am going to water my little planting bed tomorrow and then cover the top side with plastic along with the fishnet for protection and see if I can't heat up the bed enough to make the seeds go ahead and pop.


 I'm really wanting to have some fresh Mustard Greens and Spinach and Lettuce.

     Inside I am growing two tomato vines in one very large pot.  I have to say that these two tomato vines has grown at an exceedingly fast rate within two rates not to mention flower and set fruit already.





The plants had doubled in size within that two week period, started flowering with me shaking the blossoms to self pollinate and then discover about four days ago very small fruits already set on the plant.










     Today when I looked at them, the small fruits had already doubled in size.  I am so hoping they will be tasty once they reach the size they should make and start ripening.



     Of course the hours the sun shines will also start to decrease probably by the end of this month so I am hoping to have two vines loaded down with tomatoes before that occurs.  What amazes me the most though is the fact the tomatoes have grown so quickly already.



    I will start adding to this particular blog post every Tuesday till the garden is covered again in snow as well as giving a weekly account of my two tomato vines.  We will be renovating our house soon and one of the things that will get added is some additional windows and I am very excited about that because that means I can have additional space for growing indoor tomato plants and also a chance to test a theory on whether I can grow bell peppers indoors as well. I am encouraged so far by what has happened with the tomato vines. Lets just hope the fruits stay on the vine and not rot but do what they are supposed to do.

July 2nd, 2014

    


 Today I went out to check on the garden bed and I finally see some seedlings popping their new seedling leaves from below.



                                                          I am so excited because once they start getting a good growth on them, it won't be long and we will be eating from the small garden.  






   I also took some new photographs of the two tomato vines today as well. More new fruit and some new flowers.  




I am a little concerned that I only see two more flushes of flowers that will come soon.




The whole bottom half of the plant has no flowers or fruit.  





I really hope this is not a bad sign to say this is all that the plant will grow.  I need to pick up some 



     Update coming soon.  Hope you liked the photographs.







Oh I wanted to add a couple of extra photographs not related to the gardening part because I think they are awesome and I wanted to just share.





                                                                       Colors and nature go hand in hand.  Everywhere there is colors, some brighter than others. I think blossoms are the most unique thing that comes from nature other than specific land masses like icebergs and ice caps.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Whale Meat Stew
Note: Whale meat is used to feed the indigenous people and it is a way of life here. Do not post anything negative on here.  If you don't like what you have read, then turn away. 

Ingredients





1 - 1 1/2 pounds of Whale Meat







 3 - 4 large potatoes (peeled and cut into medium sized squares)













                                                 3 - 4 large carrots  (peeled and sliced )






1 medium onion (peeled and sliced)
2 shallots (peeled and sliced
1 cup sweet peas
1 cup green beans
1 cup corn




1 jar of sliced mushrooms
12 cups beef broth
Garlic seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter




Cut whale meat in medium sized pieces. Season whale meat with garlic seasoning and then flour lightly.
 Braise cut up meat on both sides till lightly browned. Remove from pan.  











Saute mushrooms, onion, shallots till onions are slightly translucent.


Pour a small amount of Sherry into the pan to deglaze. Pour all of the beef broth into the pot.  Bring to boil.  Add the Whale meat and carrots and potatoes to the broth. Bring back to boil. Turn down to medium heat and cook for about 30 minutes.  Add all of the rest of the vegetables into the pot and continue to cook on a lower heat until the stew has thickened.  



Once thickened serve in bowls with garlic bread or some other bread. My husband said it was tasty but different too. It was my first time making stew to begin with so it will probably take more than once to get it right. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chicken Breast Bacon House Salad

This is what I'm talking about!
 
I like to make a salad that has become a favorite of my heart light. He really enjoys it and we have shared it with a couple of our friends. It has become a favorite of theirs as well. I started making it based on a salad that I loved buying from Zaxby's. You could go and buy one of their chicken strip house salads with any dressings that you wanted along with any extra's that you might want. Being there is no such restaurant that even comes close to that I started creating my own based on theirs. I have since changed a couple of things and added a couple of additional ingredients. Sometimes I don't have access to an ingredient and have to compromise by either doing without it or exchanging it for something else.
So my recipe is based on what I put in it myself and how I make it is my own recipe. Getting salad dressings that I like here is extremely hard so I use mayo because it really makes the salad pop!

Chicken Breast-Bacon Pecan House Salad (Feeds up to 4 people)
1lb Boneless Chicken Breast
8 slices of Bacon
1 Head of Iceberg lettuce
1 ½ Dozen Cherry Tomatoes
2 Carrots
½ Red Bell Pepper
1 Shallots and/or small Onion
2 Boiled Eggs
1 ½ cup Shredded Cheddar or Havarti Cheese
1/3 cup chopped pecans
5 Tbsp Mayo or to taste
Butter and/or Olive Oil
Flour
Coarse Ground Garlic Salt
Croutons






Thaw out boneless chicken breast, rinse and pat dry with paper towel. Season with coarsely ground garlic salt and let it come to room temperature. Should take about 15 minutes.






Flour chicken breast next. Melt butter in a medium sized fry pan and place chicken breast in fry pan. (Or use Olive Oil) 









Brown chicken breast on both sides making sure that it is cooked through before taking from fry pan. Let cooked chicken breast rest on paper towels.





Cook Bacon in medium sized fry pan till crispy but do NOT burn it. Drain on paper towel. Boil eggs and then cool under running cold water. Peel eggs and set aside.
Take iceberg lettuce from plastic covering and remove the stem heart from the head of lettuce. DO NOT cut with knife to remove. Do it by hand. After stem heart is removed, place iceberg lettuce in a colander and allow cold water to run over it for a few minutes and then remove and drain.



After it has drained, by hand pull the lettuce apart tearing the leaves by hand to the size for salad that makes it easy to eat. Place in a large boil.

Rinse cherry tomatoes under cool water and remove. Slice tomatoes in half. Put in bowl with lettuce. Clean two carrots and then slice them thinly and put with lettuce as well. Pour pecans in the bowl. 

Slice a shallot or a very small onion into very thin slices and put in bowl.

Cut bell pepper in ½ and clean one side of it and thinly slice and put in bowl. 

Peel eggs and then slice them and place in bowl. 



Take two large spoons and gently mix all the ingredients so far together.




Take the flat side of a knife and crunch up the bacon and pour into bowl. Mix again with spoons. 






Add mayo to taste. Gently blend in the mayo.
Shred a small amount of Chedder cheese to use as a topping.

Slice chicken breast in thin slices. Place slices on a small place for serving. Place a bowl of croutons on table for serving as well.


Serve salad with breast and enjoy!
(I used to work in a restaurant and there was a cook that worked there and he knew everything or seemed like he did and he told me that the reason lettuce gets brown edges on it is because it was cut with a knife. Metal causes a reaction apparently with the leaves and I believe he is right on that. He told me to always run it under cold water and then let it drain and then pull apart to the size needed for salad. The cold water seems to keep the lettuce plump and lively while waiting to be eaten. I always do this with my lettuce and it never turns brown it is always crunchy and tasty.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Colors - Potential for Creativity

Colors - Potential for More Creativity

     I have finally finished my mandala by crocheting one.  The paintings below that I briefly wrote about gave me the inspiration along with the designer who created the star portion of this mandala.  


     I ended up changing the second part of the pattern because I had a strong desire to modify it and put my own interpretation into it. So here it is.  I hope that it will give someone some enjoyment as much as it did while I was creating it. I have to mention who is the designer of the star portion of the mandala due to it having been her creation and copyright laws that exist.  So as far as the pattern is concerned, the star part of this pattern came from her pattern called "Starflower Mandala" which you can find at the following web address. Starflower Mandala

The rest of the pattern is my own creation and I did not take the time to write it as I was creating it. The stitches came based on how I was feeling at that moment and there was times where I would rip parts out and try something different. There will be no written pattern for the rest of the mandala.  Sorry about that.  
Royal Greenland Offices

     The paintings below helped to give me some ideas with the colors. Of course not all of the colors in some of them were used in the mandala but some were.  I love colors so much. Makes life more enjoyable.

     When I was younger and my aunt introduced me to both crocheting and growing plants. The very first plant she introduced me to was a cutting from her Coleus plant. The plant has bright vivid colors and some of the other ones had deeper colors as well. 

     As I grew older I discovered more and more plants that displayed colors and before I knew it I had many plants. By the time I reached adulthood I had become knowledgeable about plants and started surrounding myself with plants of many textures and colors. Sometimes I wish I could display the colors in my mind onto some kind of canvas but of course it stays locked up inside my mind. 

    Since I have been living in Greenland for the past three years I have developed a strong desire to work with brighter colors when it comes to 
potential crochet projects.
                                       
     When I was younger I didn't give it much thought being I had surrounded myself with flowers and plants that had colors all to themselves and I so love what mother nature throws at us when it comes to plants and flowers.







     Being I live in Greenland now, there isn't so much relating to colorful fauna year around.  Most of the colors happen between June - September.






So having written that, I have taken to noticing more colors in things like artwork and well whatever else that might catch my eyes at the that given time.





     So while my husband had taken me on a short tour of his employer Royal Greenland I had a chance to take some photographs of some of the artwork on display in the offices.
     







I love how the artist used bright colors in the paintings.






    I will have to make sure my daughter Lynnette (the artist in our family) sees these paintings. I think she might enjoy them. I thought the paintings were also cute in light of the little text writings added to some of them about who is eating who. :)

I think the usage of colors makes the paintings even more fun to look at.
This is the center part of the mandala that is actually the Starflower Mandala pattern.  Thanks to Zooty for sharing her patterns too. 





Sunday, April 20, 2014

Occupation Nuuk


I had to fly to Nuuk so that I could have some medical test procedures done at the Nuuk Hospital facilities there. I will probably talk about this at a later time. For now I want to write about my visit to the Nuuk National Museum and discuss some of the things I saw there and was able to photograph.



I was a bit surprised at how much bigger the museum here in Nuuk is. The facility displays were done in good taste and many examples of the Inuit life is shown in this museum. One of the neatest parts of the museum is the mummy display case. I have never seen a mummy up close like this. I found it to be fascinating but at the same time a little well disturbing as well. I have never seen bodies put on display in this manner. If the soul could actually see this and have feelings about it, I wonder what it would feel? I am not sure how they are able to maintain the right environment to prevent degradation of the mummies. I have taken a few photo's and I hope that no one gets offended by my display of what I saw in the museum. I realize that I cannot please everybody.


About the mummies:

The museum says there is six women and two children. We saw three of the six. Apparently the rest of them are in another part of the museum. We didn't finish the entire museum tour. The mummies have been dated back to the 1400's. They were discovered in 1972 in an old Inuit settlement called Qilakitsoq which is located on the Nuussuaq peninsula on the west coast of Greenland.
The location of the settlement is about 450 km north of the Artic Circle. There were no men buried with the women and children. There seems to be a mystery surrounding why there weren't any men with them. One of the children was about six months old and buried alive with its mom.
The mother died from a turmor on the brain. The custom back then was to bury children with their mothers if there was no one to nurse and raise the child while the fathers were out hunting and trying to provide for their families.

If you are interested in more information you can visit the following links to read more about this interesting subject.





I will be posting more blogs with photographs that I took while visiting the Nuuk National Museum.

Kathy
April 2014