This week was the first one we’ve had of temperatures above 15 degrees EVERY DAY. Sunny, warm, and humid. Nobody super loves incredibly humid weather, but I find myself less and less bothered by it. Maybe that year and a half living in Florida really did affect my tolerance levels. We’ll see. Ask me again in August how I feel about it.
I can’t wait to get planting on the balcony. Last year’s pots are cleaned out, table and chairs are out, and three huge bags of soil sit piled up in waiting. I’d like to try our hand at hot peppers again this year. The chilis were great last season but the habanero plant came down with a serious case of aphids. I actually suspect that the aphids on that particular plant when purchased- were the culprit of our partial balcony-crop fail. I’d say we lost about 30% of our plants nearing the end of the season due to bug infestation. Part of the problem with buying plants in a more advanced stage of growth is just that: they may have issues you can’t see right away, or don’t inspect well enough for. This year I’ll inspect better and pot younger plants in their beginning stages. Also keep a bottle of insecticide handy just in case.
Any balcony crop ideas? Has anyone had particularly good or bad luck with their urban farming? Do share!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: yields 1 dozen
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar
2 TB cocoa powder
1 tsp soda
1/3 cup peanuts, halved or chopped
-Preheat oven to 360 F.
-Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and paddle on low to medium speed until the batter comes together in a smooth mass, and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
-Scoop cookie dough into 1+1/2 TB portions, roll into balls gently, and press each one half way down with a fork. Dip the edge of each cookie in some sugar if you feel like it.
-Bake for 12 minutes, then cool on the same tray for five minutes. Move the cookies to a cooling rack after five minutes out of the oven, and continue cooling until room temperature.