Quail recipe revisited

While watering the veggies this morning I realized my quail recipe I considered a few weeks ago was best that it had not been executed. It appears that the fat yummy quail I had been considering for dinner… must have been pregnant because as I walked up to one of the raised beds a family of baby quail went running out of cover of the cinder blocks that were protecting them( silly kids)  , with their mom yelling at them  ( and me ) from nearby. No photos . Wondering where the nest had been .

Schug heaven recipe

I love home grown and organic Cilantro. I could eat a plate of it as my salad and be happy. And cilantro is SOOOO good for you!  Usha Lad and Dr Vasant Lad in their book Ayurvedic Cooking for Self  Healing say that “Cilantro balances all doshas ( more on that in another post) and is especially good for kindling gastric fire, for nausea, fever, cough and quenching thirst.” I  do not remember  where I read  that it was a great detoxifier!  ( will get back to you on reference for that ) . In Modern Essentials , A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils  , it says that the aroma of Cilantro leaves  has been used historically for anxiety and insomnia. No wonder I love the smell so much.

But my hubby says he has some genetic propensity where cilantro tastes like soap! Really. He actually researched it and found out he was not alone and there is scientific documentation ! Well there is always a work around. Instead of watching him picking out the cilantro from  salads and dishes I like to serve I have found that Schug , an Israeli sauce loaded with  garlic and  chilies I grow for him is perfect way of him not tasting soap! So as my wonderful winter herb starts going to seed in the heat  and in general dying out I made what is likely my last batch of schug for this season.

Maybe I will get back to  this recipe someday and give you more specifics but honestly each time I make this recipe  it is a little different.  I am totally fine with that ! If you are one of those people who meticulously colored  in the lines as a child and cringe at not following a recipe exactly… do not bother to read farther.

FYI I am always much happier when I am able to make this recipe from my own harvest, but  of course you could use purchased ingredients.

So today here it is , with (variations ) included for your dining pleasure.

This recipe makes approximately 8- 10 ounces of Shug, yeah it really amazes and saddens me when I see sauces that take so much to become so little , especially if they are left uneaten on someone’s plate ;( GRRRR you know who you are.  Please take less and see if you like it 😉  Also note I have written the basic ingredients in BOLD because if you are like me you will likely skim this entire article and recipe , looked at the photos. You likely would really do better with having the bold print jump out at you cause that is all you really need to make this dish sing on your own. And to you I say …. welcome to my world! My husband refers to me as a Harlem Globe Trotter in the kitchen. You figure it out. You may already be on my team.

Schug4789©_2015_Copyright_Linda_Enger_Photography
I find this sauce a magical addition to any meal and am known to including it with any meal I have it in the fridge.

RECIPE 

1) Approximately – 2 VERY large handfuls of home grown  organic Cilantro already washed and big tougher  stems removed . Ideally wrapped in paper towels and stored in ziplock bag for 24 hours ( note could use day of but I like to start  with the greens dry.)

2) Approximately  3 or 4  home grown Organic  Serrano chili peppers both red and green (  How hot do you like it ? Use accordingly.  Of course  you could use other types of chilies but these are what I have growing right now.)  FYI the non organic chilis you see in the store are likely grown in Mexico and  are on the Dirty Dozen list for pesticides. Choose your poison. Just saying .  Anyway, cut off the stems and throw in the entire chili -seeds and all, if you like it hotter… oh, and my chilis are kind of small too, not like with pesticide ridden ones  😉

3) Approximately  5 cloves of  peeled garlic  ( sad to say my anticipated May harvest of organic garlic  is not looking too good this year thanks to the numerous predators in my gardens that have truly enjoyed digging these up this year.

3) Thanks to friendly  neighbor- 1 BIG Meyer Lemon- juiced, seeds removed and flesh reserved  ( or couple drops of Doterra  lemon oil is great too)

4) BIG sprinkling of Celtic Salt or  Himalayan pink  salt

5) Approximately  1/2 cup  Organic  Extra Virgin cold pressed Olive oil . I have been doing really well lately with Kirkland -Costco brand.

Directions are SUPER easy with Food Processor

Put garlic , peppers add cilantro in phases to give processor time to take all your hard work in harvesting and cleaning etc to pulverize.

Add lemon, salt, olive oil. Keep pulverizing till you have cilantro nirvana.

Just a few serving suggestions I love to serve this  with hard boiled eggs  ( my breakfast of champions )  or cod or rice ( yes I still eat this- more on that another time )  of course it is great  with hummus or mixed into hummus. I also  mix it into goat cheese  or cream cheese if I am feeling cow dairy friendly for a bright happy  green  out of the box spread for crackers… and well I am thinking of trying it as a topping on my  home made Vanilla coconut ice cream  ( no I am not pregnant but really do like to play with my food) .

ENJOY  !

 

A ripe peach in the hand is worth more than 2 in the tree (specifically the ones sampled by birds and squirrels!)

I picked  hmm maybe  60 yummy little organic peaches… and then there were those that already had a bite or a peck or half eaten… darn,  almost a 5 gallons bucket worth. This is what I have learned. Pick unripe  ripen them well inside … it really was upsetting to attempt to have them ripen on the  tree and hope we have a chance to enjoy any of them.

After 4 years I am happy to say I  have  finally gotten a harvest. Each year I have gotten a little  tougher love going with the thinning of the small fruit .

SO this is what I have learned…. Do not put in fridge and THEN try to ripen !

Pick them unripe and give them a nap as described in this great video that really helped set me straight.  It worked 🙂

http://tallcloverfarm.com/74/the-best-way-to-ripen-peaches

peaches harvested by the branch!! Prior to giving them a nap inside to ripen.
peaches harvested by the branch,prior to tucking them in for  a nap inside to ripen.

The strategy of the pit

There it was, in plain sight.

An early morning reality check glaring at me

 

It sat there as a bold statement saying

“GOT HERE BEFORE YOU…. HA HA HA HA!”

Yep, the birds and squirrels were in cahoots again .

My precious peaches  had been covered up with bird netting and recycled Trader Joes Sweet potato bags … for what ?

The competition had done what they do so well .

And as a statement of defiance

One single completely  cleaned off pit sat far away from my single peach tree.

It was strategically placed  near the recycling bin so I would be sure to see it.

Of course it lead me to review the tree and wince at the activity they had already done with my peaches even though they were not ripe yet.

And so I was reminded in that “mindful moment ”  that they were  many steps ahead of me .  I had a choice to make . Let it go? Excuse me. Hell no.

The peach pit glared at me reminding me how the birds and squirrels were smarter than me!
The peach pit glared at me reminding me how the birds and squirrels were smarter than me!

The coverings of the peaches just got more intense… to be continued.

 

 

My season of peas on earth is ending, for now

During Passover I choose not to harvest any peas  ( not eating them that week) and no one I offered them to was able to come harvest that week … so I had to be patient…. and loved the bounty once Passover was over.

Harvest of snap peas day after passover ended
Harvest of snap peas day after passover ended

 

and so I ripped out my last snap pea, and snow pea plant on Sunday after harvesting the stragglers due to the 100 degree heat we already have  had . I’ve also been collecting dried pods for planting  in the fall. What a wonderful feeling knowing I am doing my part to help  create peas on earth.

Do you hack ? Do you track?

If you are interested in having a a pdf copy of the life  hacker tracker that I created and  that I use personally  please let me share it with you. I use this to help me keep track of how I am spending my time  vs what I intend to do , and working to make sense of how my activities and interactions,  my sleep , and what I consume  with how I am feeling in  my mind, body and soul. Please sign up for the RSS feed and request a copy.

where are I going where have I been. What am I doing towards my life's win?
where are I going where have I been. What am I doing towards my life’s win?

I will gladly send you a copy to your email . And please let me know how it helps you  after 6 months keeping your own life hacker tracker  🙂

Do you think this blog needs how to imfo re image making?

As this blog progresses I am seeing how it evolves organically ( pun intended). Wondering what my subscribers are really looking for here.

Please comment.

Tranquil rest vs Weird Melatonin triggered dreams and headache

weird nightmare type dreams is not what I wanted when I took the melatonin at 2am after waking up at 130 ad being way too awake!!
weird nightmare type dreams is not what I wanted when I took the melatonin at 2am after waking up at 130 ad being way too awake!!

 

I think it is time I totally shun Melatonin as a sleep aid. Just saying for me it just is more trouble than it is worth. I can almost guarantee  I will have some very weird , dark dream that does not have any connection (that is obvious to me)  with what I did, what I looked at or who I spoke to within days prior to the dreams. And it seems I always get a headache after taking it.

I go from looking forward to having a tranquil rest to waking up shuddering in the darkness.

The other night I tried it again after months of not trying it. Out of NO WHERE, I  dreamt about a friend of mine from high school ( I will not share how long ago that was but … oh my , history) . If I remember correctly I am pretty sure that this friend’s  father developed Alzheimer disease years after we were in high school. In my dream I see my friend in a restaurant. I walk up to him and start talking to him. He looks at me with a blank stare.  I have not seen him in person in years ( which is true). I remind him of the wonderful times we had together. I remind him of our great communications we had while I was working at summer camp. He was not a boy friend but truly the closest friend I had when it came to talking about our deep spiritual thoughts. Ironically he was the son of a Lutheran Minister so that made our  conversations even more interesting as we compared “notes” on life. But I digress.

SO , I wake up from this dream with a shudder. Wondering if my high school friend will  at some time be one of the victims of this memory robbing disease.

Melatonin is getting big bonus points in some research I read in reference to not only sleep aid but  that supposedly it  does something to help protect women from breast cancer. Really ?  Well I think I am better off lying in bed meditating than having these wacko dreams.

So here are a few links to read for your personal   caution  ( just saying you may want to check it out) and keep it in mind when  you are looking at all those great blends of natural sleep aids .

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/melatonin-side-effects/faq-20057874

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/fact-sheet-melatonin

http://www.livestrong.com/article/115717-bad-side-effects-melatonin-supplements

 

Goji berries… and healthy diet ideas for those with Diabetes and Alzheimer

 

I have personally not participated in the goji berry love fest nor  have I plunked down the big bucks for the little health giving rubies. Yes I know of lots of great health gurus that have  recipes using them . I am more interested in sustaining a food budget AND having great health.It seems from what I read that the  history behind these berries in based in Chinese herbal remedies. I personally have grown very wary  about buying any herbs, teas, foods grown in China.This is not an ethnic thing at all but environmental / health concern. My husband was reminded of this when he brought home some dried shiitake mushrooms noticing they were missing from the pantry….  but I digress.

SO I decided to check out what Webmd  had to say.  As some of you may already know I am always doing research on natural ways  ( diet, being a major one) to help with handling/ helping my father in law as part of my co-care giving role making life  for hime ( and us ) easier with his diabetes ( as in keeping him off insulin injections )  alzheimer, and low thyroid ). After checking  out the  links I am sharing here  I am very content to say that for my food and supplement budget…. No way. I am not buying the cheap versions grown in the soil in China and I am definitely not going to spring for the the organic foodie version…. way too costly.  SO when I see the recipes using Goji berries I will not hesitate to replace with  dried cranberries or blueberries.  Honestly those create frustration and irritation  too  when I compare the organic sugar free versions ( when I can find them ) to the loaded with sugar and non organic peers

Feel free to comment !

http://www.webmd.boots.com/healthy-eating/guide/goji-berries

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/28/goji-berry-benefits-_n_5044948.html

 

 My father in law Mel - age 89 , WWII vet hanging out with WWII Planes at Wings of Freedom Tour In Scottsdale AZ. Although he does not know it I am NOT intending on adding Goji berries to his diet to help him with his Alzheimer based memory issues of what he just ate.
My father in law Mel – age 89 , WWII vet hanging out with WWII Planes at Wings of Freedom Tour In Scottsdale AZ. Although he does not know it I am NOT intending on adding Goji berries to his diet to help him with his Alzheimer based memory issues of what he just ate.