Archives for posts with tag: Edible Perennials

Something uplifting, amazing, inspiring to watch.

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A medieval garden – from British Library MS Royal 6 E IX f. 15v

The Healing Power of a Garden – A Medieval View.  Came across this article this morning and felt a surge of springtime joy, reading about Henry of Huntingdon’s Anglicanus Ortus, a Verse Herbal of the Twelfth Century.

“This is no ordinary herbal: the work is staged first as a discussion between a master and a student walking around a garden, inspecting the plants in their separate beds, and then as an awkward performance by the same master before Apollo and a critical audience, seated in a theatre at the garden’s centre. Beyond its didactic and performative aspects, the entire work is framed as a prayer to God’s generative capacity and the rational order of nature.” –http://pims.ca/pdf/st180.pdf 

Check out this link for enticing excerpts pertaining to oregano, strawberry, dill, horseradish, and more.  Am a bit sad it’s a $175 book — doesn’t it feel like historical cultural production like this should somehow exist in the commons, for all of us to learn from and enjoy? Maybe this is a book Google might buy and put up on the web…

 

Enjoy the Guardian podcast above with Jane Perrone, Anni Kelsey and Martin Crawford   Thanks to Anni for her wonderful blog where I first saw this.  Inspiring and eas(ier) gardening, climate friendly and cheaper, plus interesting, tasty things to eat.

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The Nettle Sorrel Soup was so delicious, I considered it a gateway to Schav, a purer use of sorrel that by never having sampled had become a little mythic. You eat it cold.  And yes, that’s the true colour in the photo above, what we might have thought of as pea-green, a little dreary, a little khaki. I resisted the photoshop urge because I want to speak the truth about Schav.  I placed the spoon in this position so you too could imagine picking it up and experiencing a spoon-full.

It’s what the real old-timers ate, the ones who gesticulated with their hands and ate intense, heavy food like … Liver and Egg Salad, or Chopped Liver in moulded, perhaps grotesque shapes, maybe with strawberries, maybe with pineapple.  Or at least such recipes appear in my all time favourite Jewish cookbook Love and Knishes, along with loads of dishes with schmaltz and lima beans and kasha– these kind of ingredients.  So the book was a natural first place to look for an “authentic” recipe for Schav.

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Love and Knishes is a charming book. Read the rest of this entry »

Here I am in the ripeness of middle age, learning for the first time about Ruth Stout, practitioner of the “no-work garden,” and author of books with titles like How to have a Green Thumb without an Aching BackGardening Without Work, and Don’t Forget to Smile: How to Stay Sane and Fit Over Ninety.  Since watching this video a few days ago, I’ve been completely inspired to do my own thing and be less vulnerable to other people’s opinions, and to let go of instructioning others (i.e. my kids) quite so much. Ruth Stout is hereby entering my Pantheon of Fabulous Role-Models. Read the rest of this entry »

I find this film about Sea Kale and Turkish Rocket entrancing– simultaneously soothing yet stimulating to watch.  Found it on the great blog Paradise Lot.  Just noticed they have a book I’d very much like to read.

Paradise Lot

As the days become longer, and we enjoy the remaining days of the winter season, we have this important time to reflect on the past year, and what the warmer days of spring and summer hold. Winter is a wonderful time to contemplate our lives, and consider the… read full article

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This is almost so obvious I’m not sure it’s worth a blog post; but it’s so good, it’s worth a blog post!  I’ve made this every day for several days, and we find ourselves snacking on it cold.  Eating (local, seasonal) greens plentifully can only be a good thing.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Roasted.

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I have a vision now of a calendrical-seasonal kitchen, in which I find uses throughout the year for ingredients I’ve made at a different moment in the wheel. I was so thrilled by the bright result of using Rosehip Syrup with Rhubarb.  I’m looking forward to making little jam tarts with my vegetables marmalades and carrot jam for summer picnics.  Mostly I have an array of maturing Scrap Vinegars to get creative with — Red Pumpkin, Pear, Rhubarb, Blackberry-Apple… Some are nearly a year and a half old, and still wonderful.  Magical ingredients, for pennies.

Lately I’ve just been splashing a spoon’s worth or so of these in glasses of water, for a kind of body-alkalizing tonic.  (Have I unabashedly revealed to all that sometimes I get kidney-pain that abates if I drink vinegar?)

This morning I strained and decanted a scrap Chaenomeles Vinegar I’d made in late November– from the scrapings and cores of the Japonica Fruit used for the very Christmassy Chaenomeles Preserve I wrote about here.

Do read about Chaenomeles — it’s inspiring to think about the illustrious past and possibilities of what we know as an ornamental in gardens.

And the vinegar is the finest perfume! It’s the fragrance of something you’d spray from a fancy bottle onto your wrist and neck before a date (if you did things like this, or had dates).  I wish the internet had a Scratch and Sniff capability.  Maybe I should put a vial in a Mary Poppins carpet-bag and start traversing Paris…

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Good fortune lured me to a wonderful Forest Gardening/ Edible Perennial website, where I happened upon the Scottish Forest Garden blog on the Yellow Nutsedge –the edible bits thereof also known as Ground Almond — Earth Almond –Earth Chestnut– Tigernut — Chuffa — and botanical name Cyperus esculentus.  And it’s a tuber, not a nut!

Here’s the entry from the Plants for a Future Database . And ya gotta love all the good folk who help to make Wikipedia so enriching–this is an especially good encyclopedia entry in which we learn how important this plant was in ancient Egypt — and that Tigernut Milk can be fermented.  Really worth a read .  And I like this little description of planting and preparing from a gardener in Connecticut.

A very strong and growing interest for me is thinking how to creatively apply historic and global culinary practice to the unusual foods we may need to begin growing and eating  as our climate gets crazier and we need to diversify. There’s lots of information about so many wonderful and delicious edibles, particularly coming from Permaculture resources– and as a creative cook I want to eat interesting, nutritious and delicious foods and to be there responsively to anything that can and will be grown.  And share what I learn with you!

So when I read about the Tigernut, as above, I recognised the name as that mysterious thing from which was made the delicious drink I’d enjoyed in Barcelona. Here you can see the website of the orxateria where I was so enamored of  this yummy creamy sweet comforting drink called Horchata– and a little promotional video with a song that brings laughter and a little dance — and another bit of Armchair Travel:

If I had these “nuts” I would make Horchata with a recipe like this one.  Yes, I’d experiment with using less sugar… The Latin American versions are centred on ingredients like almonds, rice, cinnamon– and I’m sure are most delicious as well.

Really I am very concerned indeed about our agricultural future, for lots of interlocking reasons.  Imagining what to make with what we could grow gives me a kind of hope– or at least, a potential project.

PS 18 April 2014  Here’s a fascinating piece on a brilliant blog about the History of the Nutsedge in Ancient Egypt.

PPS 9 April 2015 Here’s a very informative article from a Paleo perspective, and others.

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