Archive | February 2011

ABC Salad

… or my first attempt at one of those green smoothie things.

I was thinking


but as I assembled the ingredients, I realized it was also


This is a kind of cabbage I grow in the garden, called Red Russian.  It is hardy and convenient, in that one can pick the amount of leaves necessary instead of being obligated to use a whole head as it does not form one.  I guess this is what one calls kale; I must have been eating kale without realizing it.  Oh my!

I put the ingredients into our old food processor and whizzed.  (I peeled the banana and cored the apples.)  I added some water.  I didn’t want to blend for too long; that feels like beating something to death and this is supposed to be live.

I made a mess as you can see.  Then I went into Love Potion Number Nine mode (hold your eyes, no, hold your nose, close your eyes, take a drink). 

It was good.  It still needed some chewing, but I enjoy chewing my food and escaping from chewing was not my motivation for trying this, it was more a curiosity to see why so many people rave about green smoothies.  I remember my husband mentioning during the Chilean miner crisis how they were starting to have dental problems (teeth getting loose) from so many days of not chewing.  I was curious about the difference in taste with blending.  As it wasn’t really that smooth maybe I should call it a slurry or lush slush.

Amaryllis and Ginger

Here is this year’s amaryllis in full bloom.  The main stem gave six blossoms and the second stem gave four.  I gave them a bit of a shake to dislodge pollen wondering if they will form seed like last year’s did.

This is last year’s amaryllis.  I didn’t know it would come back to life so soon, sending up such magnificent floral stalks.

Here is the start of another experiment–planting a ginger rhizome.  We shall see…

Now just watching for signs of growth. 

A Raw Hummus

Another raw adventure.  I love hummus but I don’t know how it will be with raw germinated chick peas.  There are recipes for this so someone somewhere has eaten it before and I presume, lived to write their recipe.

I put 1 cup chick peas to soak overnight and then had them in the strainer you see for about 4 days, rinsing them several times a day.  My husband ate one and told me it was interesting.  Not to be left behind, I tried one also.  I found a bean sprout taste and only a bare hint of what a chick pea usually tastes like to me.

Today I made the raw hummus, following a recipe in a small book I have had for some time, “Graines germées et jeunes pousses” by Chantal and Lionel Clergeaud.  I think their ½ glass water was not the same as my standard American ½ cup measure.  Next time I will use less water.  I added some tahini and oil to compensate.  My one cup of dried peas gave 200 grams of sprouts so I adjusted accordingly, except for the water fortunately (I did not add ¾ cup water!).

Here is their recipe:
125g sprouted chick peas
2 cloves garlic
2 soup-spoonfuls lemon juice
2 soup-spoonfuls tahini (sesame seed purée)
1 soup-spoonful olive oil
½ teaspoonful ground cumin
chopped mint (I won’t be adding this.)
Put everything in the blender with ½ glass of water.

So now I am waiting to see if this changes with a bit of time as these things often do mellow.  Right now, it tastes very light and raw bean sprouty, not the same as the traditional preparation.


Supper is ready with Belgian endive leaves, parsley and chives.

And now for the taste test.

I found that the flavours had blended during the couple hours in the refrigerator.  There seemed to be less of a bean sprout taste, unless that was just because I was prepared for that taste.  All in all, it was lighter and not as tasty as the traditional version.  Plus fin, as we would say in French.  A satisfying dish nevertheless.

A Mess of Mussels

A Mess of Mussels

Colour for a Rainy Day

Yippee, another avocado was ripe!  I put a red pepper in the food processor along with a clove of garlic, a teaspoonful of tahini, a tablespoon of olive oil, some turmeric, cumin and salt.  Served on a bed of lettuce.

I got to thinking how locavore this might or might not be. 

red pepper—Spain or Morocco
lettuce—my greenhouse
garlic—l’Ardèche, a region of France
tahini—made by a company in France but I do not know the source of the sesame seeds
salt—Guérande, on the west coast of France
turmeric—I don’t know, a jar from the organic store

So, not very  local.  However, in our garden there isn’t much variety at this time of year—a few turnips, green leaves, Brussels sprouts, that’s about it.  Also we do not have the climate or soil for some things, such as garlic, mine has never grown well, so we stock up each year at an organic fair.  Peppers can be touch and go even in the greenhouse.  I was glad for this bright dish in sharp contrast to the gray skies outdoors, distributing rain which will come in handy when our garden does enter its productive season.  Soon!

Fluoride and Censureship + Amaryllis

I remember being taken to the dentist for topical applications of fluoride.  I avoid it now, carefully reading the labels on toothpaste.

One phrase which caught my eye in this article was “I then discussed the major victories discussed in this report, but unfortunately, it was edited out of the program that eventually aired.” We think we live in free countries but censureship is often practiced.

February 2, 2011

The day began and ended as gray and overcast but somewhere around mid-morning there was a ray of sun which meant I did see my shadow.  The snowdrops seem to be later this year; they are just starting to show and are not fully open yet.  I have been noticing birdsong recently at daybreak.

After watching plants disappear into the wall of the greenhouse last year, stolen by voles, I dug a trench and am taking the pointing down so as to block all holes.  It’s time to get some salad greens going in there.