I’m down to 2 boonie pepper plants as the others managed to die. I suspect, after some consideration, that surrounding peat pellets with fertilized potting soil just isn’t enough, and that you need to fertilize the plants in the pellets. I’ve been doing that (using Miracle Gro at indoor strength) and the size increase in my remaining two plants is substantial. They are in pop bottle greenhouses for now, which does wonders for their humidity:

Boonie pepper in 2 liter soda bottle greenhouse.

Boonie pepper in 2 liter soda bottle greenhouse.

And in the meantime, 12 seeds from floralys are in a Jiffy ‘box’ for now:

floralys boonie seeds in jiffy peat pellets

floralys boonie seeds in jiffy peat pellets

I’ve been collecting links about banh mi, reading them when I can.  Articles in the New York Times and in the Village Voice reference a food writer named Andrea Nguyen in part of their stories. Andrea’s blog, Viet World Kitchen, is certainly a worthwhile read. Andrea’s claim is that banh mi is not a Vietnamese-French hybrid, but rather distinctly Vietnamese. What interests me in this trio of stories is the evolution of the sandwich and the care necessary to make it. For example, in the Times article, they note that to be really good banh mi, the bread can be no more than three hours old.

But to run a banh mi shop is to race against death.

“Bread dies after three hours,” said Michael Huynh, a Vietnamese-American chef who has recently opened two new-style banh mi shops, both called Baoguette, in Manhattan.

The Vietnamese dedication to excellent, fresh baguettes is total. Using stale bread is the gravest offense a maker of banh mi can commit. In Vietnam, and in high-tech local bakeries (like Paris Bakery, in Manhattan’s Chinatown), baguettes for banh mi are baked all day long; one chain in California claims fresh baguettes every 20 minutes.

For those who might be interested in making banh mi, there is this intriguing post by the blogging couple A Good Appetite, who riffs off an Emeril recipe to make their own banh mi.

In Lilburn, a block east of the turnoff to Ronald Reagan on Pleasant Hill, there are a pair of Dominican stores, one of which calls itself a Dominican restaurant and bakery. I’m hoping to find time to visit there in the near future.

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