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A few green things...

parsley loving caterpillar

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).

parsley after caterpillar was done

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.

puerto rico peppers

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!

greasy beans

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Comments (9)

ohh...my favorite color!

He looks like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland!

Fabulous photos! I agree with Jill. Definitely something straight out of Alice in Wonderland!

The peppers and beans look so delicous! Yum!!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, normally I go ewwww when I see a crawly thing, however it does (as Jills said) looks like something from Alice and Wonderland and so it doesn't seem as bad. Your poor parsley plant though. Those Puerto Rico peppers looks really different and from your description it sounds like they are very tasty. Yum!

Your photos are wonderful. And I can just picture Maria & Lulu batting around one of those pods. I can't say that I would blame them for preferring the pod to the bean. :)
Have a great day today.


Annie, your photos are so beautiful that even the creepy-crawly creature looks appealing!

I love the idea of your cats chasing green beans -- I imagine they would be fun to play with, with the stringy bits sticking out.

You took some amazing photos. Each one is as beautiful as the next! I would have sworn those were scotch bonnet peppers & was waiting for you to say that you got a nasty surprise when you bit into one! :-)

What a great find! I love ají dulce! This is the one we use in the sofrito and it's used in all kinds of stews. I usually throw a few whole ones in the stews 'cause I love to eat them whole. I can't find them here in AZ but I do buy them in Atlanta and keep them in the freezer. They will turn red as they mature; the ones in my freezer are green and red.

The caterpillar is a real beauty. I think his cousin ate my grape plant. He left all the leaves in their skeleton.

I can imagine what fun it is to watch LuLu and Maria chasing after a pod. Funny how kittens don't need toys to keep them busy.

Annie, I love these pictures. I have a strange facination with catapillers. If you still have the full resolution image, would you mind emailing it to me? I'd like to frame if for my office. Weird, I know...:grin:

Thanks for your comments everyone.

RJ Flamingo, they do look like scotch bonnets, don't they?

Maria, when you freeze them, do you just freeze them whole? Do you blanch them first? I don't think the farmer has them anymore, but next summer I'd like to freeze some for winter soups.

Deborah, I emailed the pic. Thanks!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 15, 2009 1:15 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Sunday Small Bites: Crab.

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