Category Archives: Nutrition

Like a Bumblebee, Baby

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a few things from the garden

Wow! Where did the time go?  Long time no blog, or much of anything else but harvest, can, water, and look for new recipes for all of these veggies.

I’ve also been out and about trying to get support and endorsements for California’s Prop. 37.  Hanging out at farmer’s markets, pounding the pavement up and down some of the busier streets in our small town.  I’m amazed at the difference between the lack of awareness about this subject we have here in North County, as opposed to those in South County who actually applauded our protest signs as we marched in the 4th of July parade.  In south county children are even aware of what GMOs are and they came out in the street pointing to our signs and said so.  On the other hand, here in north county, very few folks even know what I am talking about.  Same county . . . strange . . . .like Twilight Zone weirdness to me.

I have had some horrible reception here in north county, but it hasn’t stopped me.  Life is hard sometimes, that’s why they call it life.   Attendance at the meetings seems to be dropping due mainly to season and folks traveling during this time of year.   And then there is the conservative, small town factor.   I did meet a man at one of the farmer’s markets who actually had manufactured biotech seeds.  He told me he believed it was the only way the planet is going to make it.  When I asked about the horrific mutations and birth defects they have been known to cause as well as the cancer, diabetes, nerve disorders, and more, he looked away and then back at me and said the industry had simply grown too fast too soon, without proper regulation.  Given the biotech industry has been doing this to our food for over 2 decades I asked him if that wasn’t time enough to get some of these regulations in place, and would labeling GMOs be a bad thing if they are so wonderful?  At that point in the conversation he was being led away by his wife.  I thanked him for giving me his point of view and told him he was the first human being I’d ever met in person who was actually pro-GMO.  He never answered as to why we should not label.

I don’t know that we will beat Monsanto, they have already spent 25 million to tell the state how the cost of putting a few more letters on a label will cause food prices to skyrocket.  So sick of their BS. However, the campaign is about more than just winning.  It is a reason to educate.  It is a means by which conversation on the subject can be started.  I will continue to work at this until the election and past that day.  Hopefully one day we will join the 50 other countries who demand that GMOs are labeled.

Meanwhile, I need to eat some of this organic squash that is taking over my world.  The other day I thought I would try something and it turned out delicious.  So simple, so fast, so yummy!!  Don’t you wish life was more like that?

Super Simple Summer Squash

Slice any type of summer squash in thin slices, about 1/8″ thick.  Place in a large bowl.  Pour a vinaigrette over the top of all and toss to coat.  Add Parmesan cheese to the bowl and toss to cover pieces as best you can.  Lay slices on baking sheet and add more cheese to the empty spots.  Bake for approx. 15-20 minutes on 350 degrees or until browned.  Eat while hot, but still good cold!

Hope you enjoy this dish and if you are a Californian, please remember to vote YES on #37 in November.

Dig a Little Deeper

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I’ve recently seen pictures sent by a friend via fb that shows where he is staying in Katmandu.  There is a community well there that has been there for perhaps centuries.  Beautifully sculpted stone lions serve as spouts with water flowing from their mouths.  The colorfully dressed people were lined up waiting with the equally colorful plastic jugs neatly in rows beside them.  It looked like maybe 75-100 people at the well. I think some were washing babies and rinsing out clothes.  It sent my mind wondering about what that would be like to live with no running water.  Be careful what you think, it may come true.

I broke the well.  The dishwasher was going, the babies were watering the flowers for me,  pots and pans being washed in the sink, and the sprinkler was sprinkling.  Little did I know I was a toilet flush away from disaster.  The Hubster replaced some do hickies, tested other do hickies with a yellow plug-in thing with a gauge of some sort, and here we are with brand new parts for everything, and 80 hrs later he’s figured out it’s the breaker that switches on the pump.  YIKES!  So, it could be worse but not much.  Off to Medford to get a new one and then I’ll have water again.  Meanwhile, I used my emergency water and rainwater to get the plants the babies missed,  and in the toilet tank. The hubby is refilling the jugs for me at the farmhouse.  I can now shower with only 2 gallons of water! The worst part is we are having much warmer weather and my garden really needs extra  today.  I’ll have to make up for it all after the pump is back on.  C’mon Hubster, you can do it.  ( I really don’t know how he does these miracle repairs without prior experience or knowledge, must be some kind of savant) (It’s cool tho’)

It has been a wonderful lesson for me.  Out here in the mountains my water is free.  I only pay for the electricity to power the pump. So, I haven’t really been conserving it like I know I should for the sake of the planet. I do catch some rainwater and  I am great at conserving everything else, but I need a lot of water.  Large garden in the high desert, and I’m a woman that loves her bubbles, ’nuff said. I considered it my daily “hydrotherapy”.   Good place for meditation, planning the day ahead, making mental notes.  I learned much in the past 80 horas.  I don’t need so many bubbles.  You can do all the same in a lawn chair, or at the dining table.

I also had to harvest a bunch of kale to make into chips and sort of got carried away.  Coming back instead with a wheelbarrow full of not only kale, but about 25 lbs of cabbage, close to 30 lbs of broccoli, loads of chard and some snow peas.  Then after lugging it all back up to the house, I remembered I didn’t have water.

So this is me with no running water.  Now I have true empathy for the people at the community well.  Being as how I’m almost exactly like the villagers.  Well, my jugs aren’t as colorful.  There are a few other differences.   I don’t have a very long walk to the village square.  The big jugs are already in the garden, and the gallons are lined up on the kitchen counter.  My toilets flush. (I have toilets.) And I know it’s only a temporary situation. Sort of like we are camping, but at the house.

All that being said, I wonder how they do it day in and day out?  I did get my kale chips in the dehydrator and my cabbages chopped and crocked for kraut despite being thrown back a bit by having no running water.  I used what I had in my pantry, feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your taste.  It was a bit “Little House on the Prairie” but all in all things turned out and it sure didn’t slow me down.

Pizza flavored Kale Chips

Approx. 20 large kale leaves washed and ripped into chip size pieces.

1 C. almonds, cashews or hazelnuts

1C. water

1 Tbls. organic Italian Seasoning

15-20 sun-dried tomatoes

1 Tbls nutritional yeast

pinch of kosher salt

dash of cayenne

dash of vinegar (red wine is best, use what you have)

Put everything but the kale in a blender, and turn into a paste.  Wash kale, shake and pat dry, then tear into pieces. Scoop up a handful of paste  and massage into the leaves.  Make sure all leaves are covered evenly, cover and refrigerate any remaining paste.  Place leaves in the dehydrator on 115 for 8-10 hrs. rotate racks every 2 hours and check for crispness after 6 hours.  Turn leaves over on racks periodically.  In oven bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hrs at 200 degrees F.  When kale chips are done they should be crispy through and through with no soft areas.

(you may layer the chips carefully in the racks or pile them in randomly, either way is fine.  Of course if you pile you could have 2 or 3 stick together when you go to snack on them, not such a bad thing)

 

 

High Dessert Sauerkraut

Finely chop cabbage, layer in crock, wide mouth jar or food grade plastic container, alternating with kosher salt.  I do about a 2″ layer, then a fine sprinkle of salt, another 2″ of cabbage and a sprinkle of salt.  When you are done layering, place a sheet of plastic over the top and place a plate or saucer on top of the plastic. It has to fit inside of the container, rather than perch on top.  Place a heavy weight on the plate like a gallon of water, or clean (boiled) stone.  Then cover the whole thing with  a cloth or plastic cover to keep out pests. Make sure there are no gaps for ants, flies, or others to get into and ruin your batch.  Uncover and check after 24 hours if brine hasn’t naturally occurred and covered cabbage, add to it with cup of good water and a tablespoon of salt.  Stir to dissolve and then pour on top of kraut.  You can add caraway seed and juniper berries as I did or you may leave it as is.  For 4  large heads of cabbage I added 1/2 Tbls. of caraway and 8 fresh picked juniper  berries.  If you would like a stronger flavor by all means add more. You can also add other veggies like carrots, beets, purple cabbage, onion, turnips, or any winter veg really.  I hope you enjoy making your own and eating it too!

(Happy to report that our water is back on and pump is working better than ever!)

Rubber Chicken is No Joke

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Click the chick for the story

There seems to be a trend of grotesque monstrosities within our food system.  Is this kid trying to get a job with “Monsatan”?  Andre Ford is an architect student, which makes me wonder what business he has in food or even chickens at all.  I don’t know how this could be cheaper or more convenient.  Look at the nighmarish apparatus the birds would be “matrixed” into.

Wild & Crazy

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taken by Sequoia Collier (2006)

We live in Blackberry heaven! They are even considered a nuisance up here to some folks. I haven’t found that to be the case and could eat them all year! It’s winter so we have to settle for frozen berries, but fresh picked is the best of course, and we have a couple of great spots for that. A slow, shaded creek full of mint and other wild herbs behind our friend Ralph’s studio is the best. He’s a love and asks only one thing in return for all the berries we can pick anytime we can pick them.  A pie seems to be small payment for all that fresh fruit.  I am glad to do it.  Here is a recipe for a blackberry goody I think you might enjoy.

Cobbler

note: if you don’t have a Pastry Cutter, you can substitute it by using a pair of butter knives (one in each hand) and drawing them across each other to “scissor” the flour and butter until crumbly.  This takes about 10 minutes in fast motion to do it right.  Use a rubber mat under your bowl or it will be annoyingly wobbly, and you will chase it all over the countertop.

Basic dough:

2 1/2 C. flour

1 C. cold butter

pinch of salt

1/4 C. cold water

Add salt to flour in large bowl, (no need to sift) and cut in butter that has been cut into quarters.  Knead with hands as you add water a little at a time.  If dough becomes too sticky sprinkle a bit more flour over it.  Wrap in a slightly damp towel and chill.

Filling:

Layer a larger casserole with about 4 1/2 C. berries, (really any fruit) and a sprinkle of sugar, with small dots of butter to equal about another 1/4 C. total.  When you are done layering and sprinkling and dotting, you will have a nice full dish ready to be topped.

Some folks like a biscuit type dough for the top of their cobbler, this is more flaky pastry type.  On a floured surface roll out your dough lightly to about 1/4″ thick.  Cut in 1″ strips and make a lattice or basket weave with them over the top of the sugared fruit. Leave small spaces between the woven dough to let air out. You can leave big spaces if you like.  Sprinkle top lightly with sugar before baking.  You can also brush dough with water,  butter, or milk before the sprinkle.

Place on a baking sheet to catch spills.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for 55 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Codes, Schmodes!!

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I was one who was fooled by this “myth”.  I’m beginning to have some major trust issues.

Whaddup gub’ment, why you do me this way?

http://www.examiner.com/green-culture-in-mankato/the-myth-of-plu-codes-and-gmo-foods

And then here at the top of page 17: http://www.plucodes.com/docs/IFPS-plu_codes_users_guide.pdf

If you make a code, shouldn’t you have to use it?

A Little Weird But Heart Shaped

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I was working with Farmer Dale at the Greenhouse, and we came across a huge Kohlrabi that was heart shaped.  After recognizing it as the obvious metaphor it is for my world, I wondered how I would use it. I didn’t really want the julianne strips in my salad kind of Kohlrabi so I went on a Google search.

I like this :     http://rosajackson.blogspot.com/2008/03/celeriac-and-kohlrabi-rsti.html

and I will definately try this  :    http://veggiecookbook.wordpress.com/2007/05/04/noolkol-kohlrabi-kalan/

although I think I’ll skip the methi seeds as I’m not a big fan of coriander.

By the way sour curd is like our cottage cheese only with a more yogurty flavor.  I think a good subtitute might be 3 parts cottage cheese to 1 part plain yogurt.

And I found this out too:

  • Low in calories, only 19 for a half cup raw, sliced
  • High in dietary fiber, 2.5 grams for one-half cup
  • Potassium content peaks at 245 grams for one-half cup
  • Vitamin content for that same one-half cup includes 25 I.U. vitamin A, 43.4 mg. vitamin C, 11.3 mcg folic acid, and 16.8 mg. calcium.