Tag Archives: Food

Fall Mint

21 Sep

gavins first day of school 008 (5)

gavins first day of school 008 (2)

gavins first day of school 008 (6)

gavins first day of school 008

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Sunday Morning Musings Over Coffee

25 Aug

WHAT STALKING TAUGHT ME THIS SUMMER

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When you think of a mother, what comes to mind?

“Eat your vegetables”

“Waste not, want not”

“Because I made it for you, if you don’t want it, go hungry until the my next meal”

“Make hay while the sun shines!”

When I was in Morocco, I was with some farmers and I was able to observe how much people depended on the seasons to go well so there would be food on the table. Imported food is expensive, and hubz ( bread ) and the local fare was what there was to eat at every meal. Mother nature nurtures that lovely country without fail.

This summer as I learned to forage a bit, I was reminded that when co-operating with mother nature, I had to eat what was laid out on that proverbial table or go hungry.

I learned that stalking what I did not plant takes a lot of energy and time.

As I thought about the time it takes to clean lily bulbs for the table, or cringed about the time it can take to harvest a flour out of the seeds to purslane, I had to admit that choosing to spend my time in such a way forced me back to a bosom that I didn’t know I had missed. I felt taken care of. Sheltered a bit. Nurtured.

It is true that I also felt empowered by the knowledge I gained, and I felt independent of the need for money and a good grocery store. But mostly I was reminded of my time in a developing country and the jealousy I felt as I watched them move about and respond to the very unchanged earth that took care of them.

Here in the United States not many of us cannot choose to live this way full time. We have sophisticated responsibilities and cities to maintain. We have a way of life to protect. I have children I have to raise and train in the way of technology and making a living.

Yet…

Together we took a moment out of our summer and allowed ourselves to remember from who’s womb we were born and return to her bosom for a bit of rest. This summer we were able to decide that we will continue to gather from her and allow ourselves to be nourished, taking lessons from our brothers and sisters across the ocean and give thanks for all that has been provided.

Excuse Me, Do You Have Potatoes In Your flower Bed?

25 Jul

The lily is awesome! Edible in three forms, and it decorates your yard! Who wouldn’t love that?

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Today I went out and dug up some lily roots that were growing into the hay field. The best part about harvesting the tubers from lilies is that thinning them out and replanting only makes them healthier, so this is not so much harvesting, as it is the lily offering a free dinner for some grooming.

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After digging up some tubers, I put them in a pot of fresh water to soak off some dirt.
The tubers are a bit tedious to clean and prepare, but not any more so than shelling peas for dinner.

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This is what the tubers and the tops will look like when you separate the two.

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The light colored ones at the top will taste a bit like water chestnuts and are awesome as a snack or in a salad.

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The ones on the right are tougher and slice and boil or roast like a potato, and the ones ont he left are a happy marriage of the two.

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So naturally I added onion and had a happy little stir-fry and cooked the pig weed from yesterday to go with it.

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I dined with our residents again today and they gave lily tubers a hearty thumbs up.
Honestly, I am going out to dig up some more and make an awesome pot roast.

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Either way, after all this stalking, I’m still living!

The Mighty Purslane

22 Jul

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I cannot believe we have been pulling this plant out of our gardens my whole life.

I am horrified. Embarrassed.

This little plant is gown commercially in many asian countries and I have also seen it cooked in Morocco. You might be surprised to know that it was once grown in the United States for commercial use as well.

A quick run down of this awesome little plant:

Hight in Omega 3 fatty acids. That is right, don’t go buy fish oil supplements during the summer, go pick purslane.

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Culinary musings has this to say:

“The plant is rich in vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene, and quite high in protein. Most noteworthy of all, it is considered a better source of essential omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy plant. These are compounds the body cannot make itself, which are needed to complement the omega-6 fatty acids we get from grains and grain-fed meat. Wild-caught salmon and freshly hulled walnuts also deliver this prize, but for a steady supply what could be handier than a plant that leaps into your own personal food system with the ardor of an overactive puppy?”

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The kids and I heartily agree! We are in love with this “weed!”

You can google Purslane recipes and get a slew of choices, but this is the one I used today:

•Ingredients:
•1 cup cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced.
•⅔ cup halved cherry tomatoes
•½ cup purslane leaves
•2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
•2-3 Tablespoons rice vinegar (start with 2 tablespoons, and add more if needed)
•1-2 teaspoons sugar

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Instructions:
■Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, cover, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

(This recipe is also from Culinary Musings)

Yucca Lilly Stir Fry

20 Jul

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After making wild food a decadent dessert yesterday, I thought today I had better make it up to mother nature by doing something wonderful and healthy with my gifted produce. Since my sister-in-law’s yucca plant blooms a full two weeks after ours does, I went and asked if I could snag some of her blooms.

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The buds from the day lilies can work just like a green bean, I don’t know about you, but I have been known to throw about anything into a stir fry, so I decided to take Euell Gibbons advice and eat the buds.

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The idea to stir fry the yucca blooms came from Eat The Weeds.com. That website and you tube channel are really informative. I was so excited to find that resource because he is located in Florida.

Yes! I’ll be foraging all over Disney World when I get there! Wooohooo!

(Just another product of making minimum wage)

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Like any worthy Euell Gibbons follower, I stir fried my veggies in butter. Feel free to improve and use an oil free alternative, or a healthier choice. Being a country bumpkin living back home, there is nothing quite like REAL butter.

I also took the liberty of adding some spice mixes from my collection of Pampered Chef and Tastefully Simple parties (My other bad habit) and of course, onion and green bell pepper.

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I ate this over brown rice (my way of apologizing for using butter) and annoyed my dining partners with taking pictures at the dinner table (I am not sure how I am going to make up for that!).

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Everyone tried this dish, ate all of it, and gave it a thumbs up.

I cried tears of happiness.
(And we are all still living.)

The Eye of the Tiger

19 Jul

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Tiger Lilies that is! Or at least that is what we called them growing up. Euell Gibbons calls them day lilies.

Common name: YUMMY! Really, everyone tasted this recipe and liked it. Woa.

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Step one: go pick pretty flowers

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Step two: rinse them off gently

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Step three: dip and fry

I used Gordon Food Service pancake mix because it is so sweet that I am sure it is really a vanilla cake mix that was put in the wrong packaging.

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That is what inspired the rest of my ingredients and recipe.

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I decided to turn the old-fashioned fried zucchini blossom recipe into a pretty dessert.

I also decided to sneak this delicious snack onto the brunch table for my mother’s adult foster care residents. I was sure that they had all eaten zucchini blossoms “back in the day”, but just in case I left it at assuming and just served it as treat. My covert operation “feed them weeds” was a resounding success! Mom wasn’t too upset with me, and “my guy’s” AKA guinea pigs, thought they were getting dessert before lunch!

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Sunday Morning Musings Over Coffee

14 Jul

The second year in a row that radishes failed to grow in this spot. What a beautiful reminder that our failures are BEAUTIFUL.

This the second year in a row I tried to grow some radishes. Who doesn’t like those little bits of sassy root fresh out of the garden with a little bit of salt for a snack? Much to my dismay, the last two years, in two different pots even mind you, that my radishes didn’t grow. By that I mean that they didn’t grow the raddish part. No bulb. No sassy little nibble for the kids and I to harvest on a summer’s evening and snack on while watching fire flies dance over the corn fields.

I almost let my frustration get the best of me.

Almost

While out playing with my camera and cleaning up the gardens a bit this week I had to stop for another lesson from mother nature.

Life is beautiful.

Life is beautiful when it all goes wrong.

Life is beautiful when we don’t get what we want from it.

And life is most beautiful when we stop to look closely and appreciate what it has to offer.

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