Thursday, December 31, 2015
Happy New Year everyone, This is the morning of the 31st, and last night I for the first time in a week went to bed, fell asleep easily, and dreamed effortlessly as usual after a nightmarish week that resulted from my taking the cough suppressant dextromethorphan. This was because I took Robitussin DM due to a well-meaning neighbor worried about my post-nasal drip induced dry cough when I'd speak suggested it. After the sleep and energy level problems started I looked on-line and saw warnings NOT on the box.....taken more than a few times it disrupts Circadian rhythms, raises brain levels of serotonin, completely destroys sleep patterns, wipes out REM sleep altogether.... one of THE worst things I've ever experienced! I stopped taking it six days ago, and used instructions I found in-line for sublingual doses of melatonin at sun down to re-establish Circadian rhythms for two nights. And the up to twelve HOURS of insomnia each night were sheer hell...my body paralyzed in that they called "hypnotic insomnia" where I could not move my body while my mind RACED...not even really sleeping yet could not open my eyes. And the next day I'd feel SO TIRED and listless. I can't believe this stuff is sold off the shelf! And I was stunned to see websites advocating using overdoses of it to get off recreationally! Effortless sleep has been a part of my entire life, so this experience was sheer hell. For the cough I'll just use lemon juice and honey and menthol drops as this has been a mind boggling experience. I've now heard reports like mine from folks I know here in Tampa,including huge mood swings day time. ( I got real grouchy after a few days). I want to share this as this is the time of year when people catch a lot of colds, and here in Florida people like me get lots of allergies (in my case certain outdoor allergies plus my cat Shadow). This chemical is in Robitussin and in several brands of Coricidin, and when I was scanning for it on-line I was saddened to see that each year it kills several young children by stopping their hearts. They say "never to say never" but I will NEVER take it again! John
Monday, December 28, 2015
My yard has tons of dropped aerial tubers of true yams (I'm guessing Dioscorea alata and D. esculenta) that I don't want to sprout, hundreds of ripe pods of Velvet Beans (Mucuna pruriens), plus my huge plant of edible glochid-free Opuntia cochenillifera is now shading my back door veggies. Covered in salted water, they simmered a half hour or so, lid on, before cooling, were drained, then dumped into a big Pyrex dish. I love the yams huge underground tubers fried or boiled, but the aerial tubers have an unpleasant texture and musty taste. The chickens ate the cactus pads first, then the Velvet Beans, then the aerial tubers. Next batch I will add a LOT more cactus pads chopped small with a big knife on a cutting board. John
Sunday, December 20, 2015
For years I and others have noticed that seeds taken from a named variety of papaya, like 'Caribbean Red', usually give seedlings with equally good fruit, but seeds taken from THOSE fruit can give small, bland tasting, often seedless fruits useful only as a green veggie. I've got two self sown plants out front, likely fourth or fifth generations from 'Caribbean Red', that are giving me small but very flavorful sweet fruits.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Saturday, December 12, 2015
About every ten days I fill my largest stainless steel soup pot with water, add approx. 1/2 cup each of dried hawthorn leaves and flowers, powdered hawthorn fruit (Crataegus laevigata) and Jamaican Cranberry (Hibiscus sabdariffa) and slowly bring it up to a gentle boil, then let it cool overnight. Next day I decant it into fruit juice bottle.....I don't strain as 99% of the herbs sink to the bottom of the pot. I add no sweetener as it tastes mild and tart, but I can imagine someone adding honey and lemon to serve over ice a few times a day...I just take a gulp out of the bottle a few times daily. Both herbs have been used for centuries to control high blood pressure (mine is not terrible, just a little high) and even to this day in Europe the hawthorn is used to control irregular heart beat. I've had irregular heartbeat since my thirties, but my blood pressure monitor has a built in indicator for irregular heartbeat and shows I've eliminated 2/3s of mine. I'm sharing this as I know quite a few people with these two issues, and often have bad side effects from artificial drugs, especially the statins that often attack leg muscles, which they did to my Dad and now is doing to my new neighbor Paul whose quads are now permanently cramped. I'm not a doctor but do like sharing health tips that work for me. I get the hawthorn on-line cheap, just $9 a pound, and Mary Mac got me the hibiscus cheap at SANWA Market in east Tampa...next time someone shops for me there I'll ask them to get me the BIG bag.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Today I started a double batch of this again, but since I forgot to buy carrots I used a few cups of organic carrot juice, and since the beets were small I used three. I added a few tablespoons of Greek Gods plain kefir for the bacteria. I also added for the first time Korean hot pepper flakes used for kimchi making. Past batches I fermented outdoors in a semi-shaded relaxing area for three weeks, a clean wash cloth held on with a rubber band.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
This is the first season ever that I let self sown Velvet Beans (Mucuna pruriens), a potent nitrogen fixer, grow all around my 13 year old avocado seedling.....and its growth suddenly has been very rapid! Until last season I grew veggies in 8 container gardens beneath it, but this year it grew SO much and put out so much shade nothing would grow in them! So I've begun sawing off the long horizontal side branches to re-admit sunlight so I can garden there again. Quite a thing to witness. John
Monday, November 9, 2015
Yesterday I harvested some pods, boiled them for twenty minutes, drained them, and today I am freezing a bunch of the ripe Velvet Beans (Mucuna pruriens) from my back yard. I will go back to what I've did for years.....each day eat the seeds from inside a pod for three weeks, then none for three weeks, then back again back and forth. The L-dopa content of the seeds enables the pituitary gland to make more HGH (Human Growth Hormone)....the double blind studies I read in 2005 says this can help middle aged men's hair stay dark....I guess that is why I am 62 and still have brown hair. I've shared them over the years with many gardeners and nice to see they are getting abundant harvests too. John
Friday, October 23, 2015
I've been making quite a few fermented foods since the late 90s both for general health plus I love their various tastes. Yesterday I browned small bits of cow meat, potatoes and onions in olive oil, added 1/4 home made Moroccan preserved lemon, spoon of home made harrisa, capers, garlic and frozen mixed veggies.....wonderful! I made the harrisa (see link) last June, let it ferment on the kitchen counter for three days; its been in the fridge ever since. I made two quarts of Moroccan Preserved Lemons ( see link) late last winter.....three days on the counter, then in the fridge. Both came out wonderful. I am very sensitive salt as regards high blood pressure, but these two added all the salt needed. John
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Many thanks to Travis Malloy of Tampa's TrailBale Farms for giving me the two pounds of organic chicken livers he raised....my first ever batch of pate came out wonderful! Second time I've cooked with capers, first time with brandy....they really DO work together! I followed this recipe though used a small onion vs. the shallots. It is now in the fridge to enjoy tomorrow on Melba Toast. John
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Several years ago I invented a hot sauce based on apple sauce, kind of like this one. I just bought a large jar of unsweetened apple sauce and will use it plus my "Filipino Mexican Tree Peppers" plus garlic and other stuff to make a new batch.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Bummer....I just checked the container garden where I've been growing "DoBond Shallots" from China that I'd hoped MIGHT be the sub-species called "Potato Onions" but I dug around and found NO bulbs. I will wait until the end of October to see if there is regrowth from below ground. I planted them maybe a year ago. John
Saturday, September 19, 2015
I gave my 2 pound tub of home made bleu cheese dressing a week to ferment in the fridge, and while it tasted good the day I made it, now it is wonderful. I kind of used this recipe though I used full fat yogurt, left out the salt and added a little olive oil plus some plain kefir for the bacteria. The bleu cheese flavor is so much richer than store bought brand, is MUCH less salty, and the texture is better too. I'll be using it on summer salads of leaves of Iron Clay vigna, katuk, and sweet potatoes, and this winter on cold weather crops salads. I can never figure why Blue is spelled both ways!
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
My fifteen year old seedling avocado tree has been completely consumed by self sown Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) seedlings, making for VERY dark shade beneath for the container gardens. Plus I am concerned the tree might suffer. So I will dig up and sever the root systems of them so the vines will de-foliate. Plus I can't let them form and drop more seeds!
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
July 6 I made a mango-based hot sauce using my "Filipino-Mexican Tree Pepper" plus garlic, salt, bulk Vitamin C (to lower the pH) and coconut oil, kept it in the fridge. I just now tasted it as I work on making burritos.....excellent mango flavor, decent heat but not super hot.
David Whitwam is getting spectacular growth on this particular from of Rapini that failed for him in winter.....great pics on FaceBook! I've grown two other types of rapini but only in winter, so I'm ordering some seeds. Amazing to have an annual brassica in summer! John
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Monday, July 27, 2015
Several years back when Allen Boatman and I were making and comparing hot sauce recipes, I made one very similar this recipe, though I used applesauce in a jar and added a little salt. I have tons of "Filipino Mexican Tree Peppers" so time to make some again. John
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Except for no onions or garlic this diet sounds very appealing. I can imagine how wonderful that soybeans fermenting for 20 years would taste!
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
About a month ago I made a batch of moringa kimchi using raw moringa leaves, garlic, onions, hot peppers, water and a little salt...it has been fermenting in the fridge since. The flavor is very "pickly" and hot and garlicy.....but my intent to turn it in a spread is not happening. I've gotten the blender motor very hot after many times trying to puree it, but it is still just chopped. I don't think that I will try this again.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Monday, July 6, 2015
I picked a batch of Moringa drumsticks and cooked them a new way....cut off each end, cut in half, boiled them for twelve minutes barely covered in water that had a heaping tablespoon each of coconut oil and Indian chutney, lid on to trap the steam. I split them open and used my teeth to eat the tender insides....truly delicious! Reminiscent of asparagus. John
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
These came out wonderful after years of my trying to serve moringa drumsticks like beans. I let them cool a bit, they split open along the sides very easily, and used my teeth to scrape out the insides. The taste reminded me of asparagus.
I used the first one, Easy Boiled Moringa.
I used the first one, Easy Boiled Moringa.