Sunday, September 21, 2008


LET US NOW officially say "goodbye" to the SUMMER and I hope everyone had a great season. Mine was considerably wonderful and something to be grateful about despite of my BF's illness. I also thought I should pop in and say "HELLO" to everyone. It is gorgeous here in southern New England but our evenings are now dipping into the 40's or 50's.

I would also like to acknowledge everyone's continuous support, prayers and sweet e-mails about Joe. My posts are so scarce at this time but I just want to let you know that I still find time to visit yours.

Joe's spirits are surprisingly high after all that's been dealt to him. Although, it's been tough, we're taking it one day at a time.

Finally, some bounties from my tiny organic vegetable garden! I really thought that I wouldn't be able to reap and taste the fruit of my labor as it is now almost October.

And let me introduce you to the AMPALAYA (Momordica Charantia). Some of you might have recognized this veggie at your local farmer's market. It is both a nutritious vegetable and a trusted medicinal herb that grows abundant in many regions in Asia and South America. It is known in the west as CHINESE BITTER MELON or BITTER GOURD. The melon has a bitter taste due to the presence of Momordicin and it has the most documented scientific reports that cite its blood sugar-lowering benefit. It's really an ugly looking vegetable and considered an acquired taste because of its bitterness.

One way of enjoying this vegetable is to cook it with beaten egg - as an omelet or in scrambled eggs (fabulous!) or as a salad with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro in vinaigrette dressing. And the trick to minimize the bitterness? Rub the slices with rock salt. Rub them well! This part is fun...both me and the ampalaya get a salt scrub. When done, rinse ampalaya slices with water and let drain.


Brenda Kula said...

I was wondering about you yesterday. Hoping you're both okay. I usually whip up some scrambled Egg Beaters most every evening for supper, sometimes with fresh mushrooms. Wish I had some of your good-sounding veggie to put in it tonight!

FancyHorse said...

It looks sort of like a wrinkled cucumber!

Your garden produce looks great!

Mari said...

Glad to hear Joe is in high spirits.

I love bitter melon. Anyway it's done, I love it, and I don't rub off the bitterness...I'll eat it as is. :-)

Have a great day!

Alex said...

Hi Connie...I've been wondering about you. I said a prayer for you and Joe last night. Hang in there...and we understand the things that must come first for you right now. Don't worry about us. Joe is very blessed to have someone like you. I wish you a beautiful week! :)

Judy said...

Hi Connie. I'm glad Joe is doing OK. I've missed your posts and keep checking. I love the veggie, it looks very interesting. I'd love to try one sometime. I don't think I've ever seen one anywhere. And how much for the salmon recipe? LOL!!

Les Cotrions said...

Hello my friend! I see you are well and creative! I've never seen this strange melon! Your receipe look delicious!
Have a nice week!


Alex said...

Thinking of you and Joe. Hope you have a GREAT week! :) *hugs*

CIELO said...

Dear sweet Connie, look up, look up, and let your faith continually increase. Let this faith guide you along the narrow path that leads through the gates of the city into the great beyond, the wide, unbounded future of glory that is for the redeemed....

Love you


Virginia said...

My Dear Connie,
I heard about you and the illness of your husband Joe through sweet Cielo. I will keep both of you in my prayers, but I'm including this prayer, that has always helped and comforted me in difficult times.
"Be at Peace"
Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life;
Rather look to them with full hope that as they arise,God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things;
And when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care
of you today and everyday.
He will either shield you from suffering or will give you
unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
St. Francis de Sales
Blessings to you and Joe,

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Hi sweet friend,

I have to remember to some by here AFTER I have eaten, because your yummy posts make my stomach growl and my mouth water. (Hard to write an eloquent comment with drool threatening to splash onto the keyboard -- ugh!)

I love your petite harvest.

So many joyful things in a day . . . thanks for reminding me.


Nance said...

awww, connie, you're making me hungry for ginisang ampalaya!
As soon as my pinakbet is gone, I'll fix that a lot of bitter melon from a friend's garden.


FancyHorse said...

Thanks for your visit and comment. I'm keeping you and Joe in my prayers.



This looks like a delicious meal!

~ Gabriela ~

g said...

Your photos are wonderful. And although I've seen bitter melon in stores, and love its looks, I've never eaten it except in Chinese restaurants. You make it sound very simple!

Best to Joe - hope he is doing well.