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Jan 18, 201811:18 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Cold Weather and Gardens

 

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had the sort of temperatures we’ve had the last couple of weeks. I’ve lived in New Orleans for 48 years, and I can only recall two or three times when we’ve had multiple nights below freezing as well as snow.

I covered a few plants in my garden, and put my potted plants in my shed, but I’m not optimistic about some of them. My curry tree, which is really more a shrub, did not do well during the first freeze we had and while I’ve covered it again, I think it’s unlikely to survive. That’s a shame, because it’s not a common plant, and I don’t know where I’ll find another, but for the most part, I’m optimistic about my garden going forward.

I’ve never had a great deal of luck with things like peas and pole beans, and until recently I didn’t have a lot of room for crops like that. I never seem to plant enough arugula, either. I’ve been saving seeds from various chile peppers I’ve bought over the last year or so, including one variety that has the shape and thickness of a bell, but the heat of a serrano and is more floral than either.

I suspect that the longer I garden, the more I’ll learn about what I can grow and what I can’t. I’m still hit or miss with tomatoes, for example, though a few of the “grape” varieties have self-seeded and have done pretty well. I’ve had good results with cucumbers, but I may be the only person to fail at growing zucchini.

The frost has also killed a bunch of plants that we inherited when we bought this house; mainly canna lilies and elephant ears, but those will come back. The ginger and galangal I’d planted may not make it, but I can always plant ginger from roots that sprout before I can cook with them.

I hope your gardens have weathered the freeze, and if you have any advice as to what you’ve grown successfully and how you did it, I’d be grateful. 

 

 

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived here his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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