NOT JUST talking garden to plate. That and so much more! Going from feeling like dirt to feeling delicious. And then there is the creative process, going from the seed of an idea, to connecting my thoughts with my visuals. Sometimes a bit random but always getting back to deliciousness.
How is it possible to loose time, like a missing sock in the laundry?
Or should I spend more time reading the book I think it is called The $64 tomato?
With all the things that are important to me and my priorities…. eating home grown is one of them… but then again so is my art, and family and friends, and movement/exercise that does not mess up my back and wrists like gardening seems to. And of course we all have bills to pay… and dues to pay.
Seems like this winter after srting with varied types and brands of Kale seeds the Lake Valley Organics brand of Red Russian Kale is the only one that has really taken off . This time only in pots that are strategically placed in various sub climates on the property. As always there tends to be a consistently inconsistent issue I have encountered. In some of the pots , glad to say not all yet 🙂 little buggers have moved in when they know I am not looking.
When gardening I TRY to spray them off with the jet setting on my hose but often that is temp fix. I know there is always input I get on how other gardeners deal with this from my friends at http://www.vpaaz.org that has a wonderful permaculture forum and from whom I have learned SOOOO much. I know I can always plug in a search name and find great information to help me. And now I have been finding more like minded gardening peeps on Desert Gardeners of Maricopa County facebook group as well. I will share more another time on dealing in the garden with these pests but for now I want to talk about eating and food prep .
YUK ! Now some of the die hard , back to the earth type may these guys are not going to hurt you and very high in protein. And of course some foodies out there are really tapping into what some other cultures have incorporated for oh so long…..you know the chocolate covered beetles concept…..DOUBLE YUK.
If you are kosher, or other wise NOT interested at all in eating these guys and you want to enjoy your harvest ( which I am one of ) …. here is what I do and recommend.
Disclaimer… this does take some time and focused eyes, but I really take personal issue with going out and BUYING what I know I have already GROWN!!!
Soak your leaves in bowls of salt water. I use the cheapest kind of sea salt for this ( I get mine at Trader Joes or Costco) . I do MULTIPLE baths. I examine each leaf and make sure I rinse well in clear water after each bath. Put in my trusty salad spinner ( what did we do before them ). By the way my favorite after trying MANY is the OXObrand which is still going strong after I can not begin to imagine how many hundreds of times it has been spun! Wrap those leaves in paper towels and put in ziplock bags. SO I will not forget about the rotation of my produce I like to mark the date with a Sharpe marker.
Just a sampling of the mature dandelions pulled in our yard….
It is great I like dandelion greens but must say this time of year I am overwhelmed with my home grown wild greens. They are in my garden plots and EVERYWHERE else 🙂 I must say the younger the better . This batch was not tough when cooked properly but the mustard bite is stronger the larger, and older the leaves are. MAJOR Vitamin K and I am not sure but some research I am seeing lately shows it a dietary player with Alzheimer patients. ( which is a major concern in my life now as co care giver for my father in law. Big hit of Vitamin A .
If you want more than my opinion on RDA % on this go to http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dandelion-herb.html. Trust me. Eat your greens. The bitters may be hard to like but great for you! The more uncomfortable you are with the bitter taste the more your body likely needs the liver cleanse that spring greens are notorious for accomplishing.
I like the young small greens (sparingly ) in salad with goat cheese. I find these much more mustardy than Arugula . Funny before I gardened I found the overpriced dandelion greens in store to be much more mild!
So with ALL greens they cook down LOTS which is great, cause I have LOTS. A quick blanch in boiling water for a minute and cooled immediately by a cold shower reduces a good deal of bitterness.
ok so you want the full data? thank you to http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dandelion-herb.html for making this easier for me 🙂
See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Dandelion herb greens (Taraxacum officinale), Fresh,
Nutrition value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)