Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy Second Advent Sunday and Some Plant-Related Nerdiness...

As is the custom, today I lit two candles on my Advent wreath:

The Adventskranz amongst some of my plants

I am spending today baking two cakes (Reine de Saba from Julia Child's classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Turkish Yoghurt Cake from Claudia Roden's Arabesque) for a holiday party and otherwise working on two term papers. For one of them I am translating a section from an obscure agricultural manual written in Persian in Bihar in northern India in the early 19th century. The portion I am dealing with contains charts of vegetables to be planted in the various seasons, and I am having rather too much fun hunting down the exact species behind the colloquial and sometimes regional names used in the text. Some of the vegetables listed turn out to be quite exotic and make me want to get some hands-on experience growing them. Amorphophallus campanulatus or Trichosanthes cucumerina anyone?


  1. No thanks, trying to quit. Actually I could use a didgeridoo so maybe the Trichosanthes.

  2. The Amorphophallus campanulatus is known as "Suvarna gedde" and the Trichosanthes cucumerina is known as "Paduvalakaayi" in my regional language, Kannada. We use these vegetables to make several dishes (or delicious curries).

    I haven't grown these plants at my terrace garden, but have seen the Amorphophallus campanulatus grow at my friend's house; takes 8-9 months to harvest. The Trichosanthes cucumerina can be grown similar to any other gourd.

    Hopefully, this information in this blog helps:


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