Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Hey folks, My Gay Trailer Trash On Acid Living Room has been largely static a few years now, having reached a level of tacky badness that pleased me. But last night, due to my being at the very south end of Himes Avenue where I've not been in a long time, I saw this and other mirror objects in a front yard. Turns out the adult son removes and installs mirror at his job, and his Dad, roughly my age, comes over to get the scraps to make art objects with. As SOON as I saw this in the front yard I knew I HAD to find a forever home for it in my living room and hoped it was for sale....it was.....$25, which I had on me. Am I a blessed man or what?!!! John
Monday, April 29, 2013
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Day three on Zithromax, my cat-bitten right hand has SO improved I can actually chop onions so am making a giant batch of spaghetti noodles into which I'll add onions, chopped squid tentacles, onion and garlic tops and chard and Lesbos basil and Mexican oregano and yellow wax beans and tomatoes from the gardens sauteed with olive oil and fish sauce along with coarse black pepper, topped with grated parmesan and home fermented botargo. Some smart sweet guy with nice pecs should marry me for my cooking and insatiable sex drive!
Saturday, April 27, 2013
I've met folks who get arthritic reactions from eating the same nightshades I relish with no ill effects, but I learned in my mid 30s in Denver I get auto-immune arthritis if I use dairy as a main stay....a few times a month no problem. And science now knows why.....mitochondrial DNA mutation studies show that twice, the prehistoric ancestors of modern western cows (but not the kind in India), several thousands of years ago had a mutation that caused two new proteins to appear in their milk....people, like me, sensitive to both, can develop arthritis and quickly from eating a lot of dairy. I've met lots of people just like me...as soon as they dropped/cut back on dairy, their arthritis vanished, thankfully! But others can chug a lug milk and feast on cheese with no problem. Interesting that nearly all Asians are lactose intolerant, which explains why there are no Chinese or Japanese cheeses.
Okra pods and tender young leaves are loaded with protein, and the plants love hot muggy summers and rich very moist soil, so I grow mine in various Water Wise Container Gardens. The heirloom strain 'Fife Creek' routinely gives me and gardeners I know pods that stay tender to the amazing length of 11 inches!!
Few summer crops are more reliable here than Cow Peas (Vigna unguiculata) and there are MANY varieties, like my beloved 'Iron Clay'. I enjoy the young, tender, protein-rich leaves raw in salads, plus added to stir fry and soups. This summer I will finally try some of the traditional African recipes for Cow Pea leaves. To me, the pods are a bonus after months of bountiful leaves.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Most soy now days is GMO, not the soy Asian people have grown and eaten for many centuries, though I feel I don't react to the small amount of tofu and soy flour I eat now and then. Due to breeding work done in the Green Revolution of the 1960s (not GMO) modern wheat contains a protein in the gluten that it never has in history ( I forget the name), so perhaps that is why "gluten intolerence" is now so seemingly widespread. An angry militant vegan I know who is VERY "in your face" to people dismisses my reports that as both vegan and vegetarian I was very unhealthy even though I took zinc, B12, balanced my amino acids, etc. but I am VERY healthy as a light omnivore...perhaps people like me can't make the vital amino acid taurine found in meat as well as she and HEALTHY vegans can, just as I can eat mangoes and shrimp and strawberries and peanuts etc. with impunity but they make others very ill. But she dismisses that too, just as some GAUNT unhealthy looking raw foodies have told me without my asking, that I should stop cooking food. (Interestingly, this angry vegan dismisses eating raw out of hand too!) My point is I would hope that people, regardless of how passionately they feel about how THEY eat, would afford people enough respect to let them eat how THEY wish to too. I would NEVER tell this vegan "YOU NEED TO EAT MEAT!! I know your health status and life history better than you do, here, EAT this burger!". I am one of many ex-vegans and vegetarians I've met over the years who also went back to omnivorism for health reasons...our body chemistries simply would not comply with our ethical and philosophical ambitions and goals. Sharing your views about diet when ASKED for advice is one....pushy, obtrusive, born again food nazi militancy is another.
I've met militant foodies (vegan, raw, fruitarian, anti-soy, anti-whole grain, etc.) who feel healthiest eating a certain way and insist that EVERYONE else would too, ignoring folks they are trying to convert who report that is not the case with them. "Born Again" foodies can be incredibly dogmatic and deaf to experiences and views that don't mirror theirs.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
If you've never made "Bread and Butter" pickles using raw strips of thornless opuntia cactus, ginger root, garlic, honey, vinegar, salt and STRONG kombucha tea, DO! I never measure or use recipes when cooking, but I'm guessing maybe a quart of STRONG kombucha tea, cup of cider vinegar, cup of brown sugar or honey, 1/4 cup salt, cup of sliced ginger root, simmer in saucepan, covered, 15 minutes. Pack jar with RAW sliced cactus, turn off heat and pour IMMEDIATELY over cactus strips, let cool, put on lid, let age in fridge 2 or more weeks. These are classic "refrigerator pickles".....I've done okra for years but no ginger, hot peppers instead.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I loved glads since I was a kid in Michigan but had not grown them in years as those retailed at a high price in little mesh bags are usually tiny and often dead, so I am delighted that I found a mail order company that sells in bulk to the public...I got 500 number one size bulbs for just $60 and $10 shipping and they are erupting in more and more beds as I plant them in phases. These are happily co-existing with three roses, Louisiana Iris, Lacinato kale and Morris Heading Collards in a small bed out front. Each floret tastes like sweet Romaine lettuce.
A long time ago Kathy Nelson at Florida Gardening Magazine let me know that elephant garlic is actually a leek...at $4 a bulb I've always been too cheap to buy one. This winter I finally caved and bought and planted one but it did not sprout. I recently caved again and planted this one in one of the new west beds and it emerged quickly and robustly. Yesterday I nibbled a leaf....nice potent leeks flavor vs. garlic. Since my alliums obsession continues I'll be curious what it does in the summer heat and humidity.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Once again here in my gardens, Mojito Mint, a species native to Cuba, outperforms by a WIDE margin other mints that are MUCH sweeter and mintier in both taste and aroma, like 'Kentucky Colonel' mint, a cultivar of Spearmint (Mentha spicata) which in Denver was SO prolific I knew people who used RoundUp to try to control it. Mojito Mint makes a nice minty tea and is good in salads and grows like crazy for lots of Floridians. I wonder if I could cross it with 'Kentucky Colonel' mint to improve the minty-ness and cut the sharpness? I keep hearing from gardeners in the area that Mojito Mint is super-reliable, so they forgive it for its sharpness raw, and it being far less minty sweet than the spearmint that thrives in colder climates. I've seen people make a face when tasting it raw due to its bite.
Paul Saucier...the longer I live the less I "know" about plants....remember that "Capital D" cross leaf cross section thing about Allium fistulosom that for years I've told friends and students and that you and I saw even in your bulbing onions that baffled me? Well, I just Googled my brains out and this seems to be yet one more thing that accomplished botanists disagree about, just as others can't agree about the yam species. I've seen the "D" and "O" cross section over the years but am now no longer willing to attribute either trait to a given species or cultivar. Part of the problem seems to be genuine academic disagreement, part seems to be the ancient human origins of both A. cepa and A. fistulosum, and part seems to be because they and their hybrids readily cross. Getting humbled like this reminds me why I've loved roses, mostly heirloom and species roses, since 1989.....despite my having passionately studied them since that year, I am continually baffled and surprised by them. Cracks me up when I am introduced as a "roses expert" when in fact I am just perennially CURIOUS about them! As to my quest for tasty perennial alliums, all I can do at this point is to keep obtaining and testing various candidates, so thanks for cordoning off some of each of your three patches at H.E.A.R.T. to see if any divide/make bulbils/make seeds/make vivaporous clones/rot in the summer rains.
Monday, April 22, 2013
The "Giant Green Callalloo" that was so badly stressed by being moved to the new west bed is now dramatically enlarging what had been a tiny, barely emerging flower head. I'll cover it today with a panty hose foot to (hopefully) insure it does not get cross-pollinated by the wild petite pig weed out back I love to eat.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I can't think of the last time I grew them but am so glad I took advantage of CHEAP seeds at Dollar Tree and am growing some in an 18 gallon Water Wise Container Garden in my back door kitchen garden as I am relishing eating many pods daily raw right off the plants. They are sweet, crunchy and stringless.