Growing Cocktails and Spicy Foods

Egg carton seed kit from Backyard Safari. This one is chili peppers, growing on the windowsill. Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

With any luck, burritos and cocktails will soon poke their heads out of some soil on my window ledge and bring forth much-needed quarantine sustenance and mirth-making. And, I didn’t even have to go out and forage for burritos or cocktails and cut their stems off to plant them and watch them grow.  No! There is a nifty little seed planting kit that my mother sent to me for Easter, and I’m finally getting around to trying it out.  I figure, if I can grow a sourdough starter in my fridge (it’s still alive!) and my hair, maybe I could grow some plants from actual seeds, especially if those seeds come with recipes, growing instructions, and soil—all wrapped up in charming egg cartons.

These kits, which the Backyard Safari Company makes, come in several different varieties. Here is a link for the “Grow. Cocktails” version, which claims that you can “grow happiness in small spaces.” When I saw the package and the dare-to-dream-the-impossible promises cheerfully written on the label, I grabbed Nate by his “Hot! Sriracha Hot!” T-shirt (which he has been wearing for a month now), and screamed, “I believe! Oh, I believe!”

The cocktail kit comes with seeds for thyme, lavender, Thai basil, mint, lemon balm, and blue borage.  I had no idea what blue borage was—or how to pronounce it—but I didn’t want to look stupid in front of the cat, so I said, “Oh, yes! Bloo, Bore-ahhhh-ghee. I remember sampling this delicacy on a yacht when I was in pet grooming school. It has a snappy, rich creamy taste, but the name is deceiving. It’s not blue at all. It’s midnight blue.”*

*Disclaimer:  The things I say to impress the cat are never true. According to The Chef’s Garden site, blue borage is a blue edible flower that has a cucumber and honey taste.

My mother also sent the kit for growing several varieties of chili peppers.  The kit comes with seeds for tabasco, habañero, cayenne, jalapeño, poblano, and hot banana pepper plants.  Oh, what could go wrong if we grew all of those hot, hot peppers?  Here. Here is what could go wrong:

Poison Control Center: We are no longer taking calls for people who have used cleaning products in ways they were not intended to be used.

Me: No, this is different.  I’ve mixed several varieties of screaming hot peppers into a soup. It’s too spicy! It’s too spicy!

PCC:  Okay, remain calm. Do you have any Bloo Bore-ahhh-ghee in the house?

Me:  I think so. I think I do. Wait—do I know you from pet grooming school?

PCC:  Yes—I was on that yacht. Were you the one that got locked in the bathroom, and then threw up in a bucket?

Me: Yes! That always happens to me.

PCC: Well, I can see how you got into the spicy pepper problem—you were kind of a wreck back then.

Me: I was! Still am.

PCC:  Ha! What a hoot! In any case, you can mix the Bloo Bore-ahh-ghee with gin, club soda, and some simple syrup.

And that’s precisely how I would run out of Bloo Bore-ahh-ghee, but still have plenty of hot peppers.

In any case, I had a lot of fun planting these things.  The kits come with two chocolate-brownie- looking “cakes” of soil, which you’re supposed to drop into a cup of warm water. Then, you wait while this soil absorbs the water and puffs up. At this point, the soil looks like delicious chocolate, but it is most definitely not chocolate. It is soil. Believe me. I temporarily forgot where I was—and perhaps who I was—and snuck a bite. It tastes like soil.

Once the soil has absorbed all of the water, you just divide it into the egg carton cups, sprinkle in seeds of happiness, and cover with a little more soil.  There are also little wooden stakes and a pencil in the kit, so that you can keep track of your plants.

Oh, I can’t wait for them to grow! I check on them every day, while singing:


Grow for me!

Burritos in quarantine

Such a dream!

Feed my belly, bring me mirth

From tiny seeds in the earth.

What a way to pass my days!

Cocktails and peppers from egg paper trays.

Your Turn:  What’s your favorite most unusual plant?

38 thoughts on “Growing Cocktails and Spicy Foods

  1. Another delightful post! And, true, cats can be VERY judgmental. For starters, I’ll bet they would’ve correctly spelled ‘judgemental’ here on the first try and snorted derisively at me for not doing so. I’m quite excited for you. This sounds like a fantastic idea. I wonder if even *I* could manage to grow these things without screwing it up. I guess that depends on how properly I motivate my husband to take care of the entire process.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Cats are super judgmental. I have a Maine Coon. He is always judging.

    I don’t like spicy foods. It irritates the acid reflux I developed with my second child that never went away. Sad, but there it is. And once upon a time I could feast on New Orleans cuisine. *sigh*

    Are kids worth it? I will leave it you to answer that! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Growing things is exciting. I’m growing potatoes, because they’re very hard to kill and I have a poor track record with living things ^_^”
    Thankfully Merlin meows to remind me if I ever forget his food and water!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have a veggie garden and luv to grow things like Kale and Spinach and Broccoli. In fact, there are green leaves everywhere!
    This past year I’ve been buying ‘rocket’; you call it arugula. So instead of paying over and over again I planted some. Now I have a problem. The planted stuff is super peppery; not like the bought rocket that had a gentle spicy note. I stuff my homegrown rocket into all kinds of cooking to, hopefully, reduce its overpowering heat. It’s growing like weeds, taking over my garden. Thankfully, one row is going to seed.
    What I hope I’ve conveyed is:
    Be careful what you wish for; you just may get it….
    By the way – dogs are never judgmental.. They are way too dependent upon getting treats to think of doing such a thing!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I haven’t had the courage to eat borage, or the nerve to try nettles, but my particular preference is purslane. It’s has Omega-3 fatty acids, or something healthy, I guess, but I just kinda think it’s fun to chew, because it’s a bit rubbery, and tastes mildly peppery/lemony. You can throw it in a salad, makes it more interesting. My grandparents from a Penna. Dutch area used it in some sort of fritters, but I just chop it up and add it to pancakes.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Some summers, I see it growing all over the place, from cracks of sidewalks even. other summers, it just gets scarce for some reason. if you do have some growing around your garden, you don’t have to pull it out, just pinch off the the ends, and it will keep growing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. We have watercress growing wild and profuse in our froggy pond outside. The frogs and tadpoles can often be spotted swimming and jumping about in the thick green cressy midst, and the smaller frogs like to sit atop the leaves and sing and croak in the evenings. I give them (the leaves) a good rinse before adding to salads or making a watercress and almond pesto. Ps I love your suggestion of adding Borage to gin for a sundowner. And yes, it does taste like cucumber.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s funny that you mentioned the kits come with two chocolate-brownie- looking “cakes” of soil because when I looked at the photo, I thought you had made a bunch of cake pops the popsicle sticks. Burritos, cocktails, and cake pops all sound delicious — and now I’m depressed because I have none of the above.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cake pops sound like such a good idea right now! We do have cake mix and frosting in the pantry–and toothpicks. I might not show up to work today online. I might be making cake pops instead–Cheers!


  8. Ha, your posts are always a joy to read! As for plants, through the kindness of my neighbors who drop all kinds of items on my garden (perks of living in the ground level), I have a watermelon, a pumpkin and a passion fruit plant battling for the small soil space I have there! I wish all three of them would take and grow, because who doesn’t want free watermelons, pumpkins and passion fruits? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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