I hate bad science. It’s hard to do good science, but science is only effective when it is good science. This isn’t a rant about the bad science of genetically engineered foods (which certainly deserves a post of its own) but about a recent study published by Stanford scientists about organic food. (more…)
September 12, 2012
August 11, 2011
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A couple years ago, I cooked a meal for the guys in my men’s group that I called a Michael Pollan-type meal. By that, I meant that the ingredients were primarily home-grown, following one of the meals in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. From my previous posting about that meal, I count eight different foods I prepared that were from my garden. This week, I repeated that exercise, again cooking for the guys in my men’s group. This time the menu was not only quite different, but included many more dishes and ingredients from my garden. Following is the menu. All ingredients except beverages, vodka & sugar (in the liqueur), oils and vinegar were homegrown, for a total of 16 homegrown ingredients, not counting multiple varieties of the same ingredient. It was both a tasty and colorful meal!
(The first photo shows the meal, except for the fruit dessert. The second photo shows the dessert in the serving bowl, before adding the blackberry liqueur. Click on the photos to see a larger image.)
Salad–Tomatoes (two varieties), cucumbers (two varieties) and purslane, dressed with vinegar and oil.
Entreé–dry beans, cooked, then sauteed with garlic and leeks.
Vegetable side dish 1–string beans.
Vegetable side dish 2–summer squash (three varieties).
Vegetable side dish 3–mixed greens (brocollini and beet greens)
Vegetable side dish 4–beets (boiled, chilled, then dressed with olive oil and vinegar).
Dessert–mixed fruit (apples, blueberries, apriums (pulled from the freezer) and pepino dulce) topped with homemade blackberry liqueur.
August 9, 2009
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Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams improbably plows up his corn field to build a baseball diamond when he hears a voice say “Build it and he will come.” Robert White’s story is just the opposite and equally improbable — but true. When Robert became possessed with the idea of growing food, he’d never done it before. But he went ahead anyway, starting with taking over an existing baseball diamond in Asheville NC and turning it into an urban farm. When I visited there in April, (more…)
March 16, 2009
I recently tried a new base material for lactofermentation, apples. This was the first time I have tried fermenting fruit. Although I was warned by a friend that I wouldn’t get good results because the apples weren’t crisp fall apples, I already had the apples and decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did. This chutney has now mellowed into a delightful and well-balanced blend of flavors: salty, sweet and sour. It’s received good reviews from friends.
January 27, 2009
My dietary rule is pretty simple: Eat a variety of minimally processed foods with only small amounts of meat and animal products. That has served me well for years. I plant and grow food that I like, without paying attention to what science has to say about it. As readers of this blog know, I grow and harvest a variety of foods that are minimally processed and–at present–I produce no animal products. Two of my favorites are the black raspberries I grow (harvested in late spring, early summer) and the local blackberries I forage in late summer. They taste great, so that provides motivation enough for me.
However, if you’re the kind of person that likes food fads, or scientific justification for everything you eat, this article in the New York Times may be of interest. Apparently, scientists are discovering that some berries, notably raspberries and blackberries, have cancer fighting characteristics. Whoopee! Go wild! I’ll just keep growing, harvesting, foraging and eating them because they taste good.
November 26, 2008
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It’s been a long time, about 30 years. In fact, you may not remember me, but you will live in my memory for a very long time. Way back then, you did me the honor of teaching me how to bake an apple pie. You didn’t just tell me how; you didn’t just show me how; you stood there and instructed me, making me get my hands and mind working on mixing everything up and learning the secret of your crust. It is that crust that has garnered attention over the years and which, with the great filling, has given me bragging rights to making The World’s Best Apple Pie.
November 25, 2008
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One of the mantras of the eat-local movement is to eat what is in season. This has several advantages, among them reduction in energy used in shipping foods hundreds or thousands of miles, as well as saving the monetary and environmental costs associated with the energy saved. Other advantages are the increase in dietary variety and improved nutritional quality. Instead of eating the same half dozen foods all the time, sometimes from local sources, sometimes from a hemisphere away, eating locally means consuming early, late and winter season foods as they are available.
I’m now producing food year-round, so I am changing my eating habits to match what I produce. (more…)
August 26, 2008
After last year’s dismal attempt at sauerkraut, I didn’t have my hopes up. But, I’ve been “harvesting” some of it every few days, to have a sample of how it tastes over time. Tonight I “harvested” my third and final batch. It’s yummy! I’m very pleased. The first test “harvest” was somewhat limp and salty cabbage. Tonight’s batch was mildly tangy, only slightly salty and still had a nicely textured chewiness to it. I think it’s perfect.
When I’ve finished eating and sharing this batch (about three gallons) I’ll make another batch and start experimenting with other recipes that have more than just cabbage on the ingredient list.
August 18, 2008
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Last year I tried making sauerkraut a couple of times. Both times were less than stellar efforts. My first batch (plain sauerkraut) was not particularly flavorful and had a soft texture. My second batch (cabbage, carrots, turnips and brussel sprouts) was simply too overwhelming with flavors. The turnips and brussel sprouts are both strong-flavored vegetables and didn’t go well together. I’ve been wanting to try to make it again and a Russian friend, who learned to make sauerkraut from her mother, offered to share her ‘kraut wisdom with me. So, yesterday, we started a couple of batches–a plain cabbage batch for me and a cabbage and carrot batch for her. Now, I now have a crock of sauerkraut gurgling away in my kitchen. (more…)
July 1, 2008
I cut back the canes on my black raspberries tonight, finding a few remaining berries hidden among the leaves. This year was truly bountiful–I harvested 24 pints of these berries this year, giving away about two-thirds, trading a few pints for cherries and beer, and eating the rest myself. The canes for next year’s berries are already growing like crazy, and I need to get them tied off on their wires. I’m hoping to repeat this large harvest next year! (more…)