One of the things about organic gardening is that you sometimes run into some very interesting creepy-crawly creatures, and here's one I found munching away on one of my parsley plants. He was very big and kinda freaky, but also kinda beautiful. I googled "caterpillar eating parsley" and the first match was a picture of one of his relatives. Turns out he's a caterpillar who will eventually turn into a black swallowtail butterfly. I haven't seen the butterfly yet but I expect a beauty because he sure did a number on my poor parsley. I don't mind sharing some of my garden and fortunately, I'd planted several other parsley plants that he didn't eat (plus, the one he ate is starting to leaf out again).
I'm curious to see if this pepper looks familar to Maria. I found these at the Farmer's Market and the sign said, "Puerto Rico Peppers: All Flavor, No Fire." I bought some and they are probably the most delicious pepper I've ever had. I googled and found that they are also known as aji dolce, rocotillo, and cachucha peppers. They look like they'd be hot but they aren't, just packed with flavor and delicious.
Another find at the market, these beans have the rather unappetizing name, Greasy Beans, because the pods are kinda shiny and oily looking. These are heirloom old-fashioned beans also called string beans because you have to pull the tough string off the sides before you cook and eat them. I remember my grandmothers sitting around stringing beans when I was a kid, but most beans you find today are hybrids without the string.
Not only are these beans incredibly delicious, they are fragrant like no other beans I've ever seen. When I walked up to the table below, there was this strong, fresh green fragrance. I steamed these beans, and they were so good that I ate them plain (they didn't need butter or salt or anything!). Truly worth the trouble of stringing them first.
I've mentioned this before, but LuLu loves beans and Maria has developed an interest in them too. So when I was stringing the greasy beans, both cats were hovering around and trying to steal a pod to play with. They like to knock them on the floor and chase them around. But if I try to give them a bean, they don't want it. It's all about the thrill of the hunt for them. Cats!