Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lemons and other blessings

I was going to write about this yesterday but forgot until the end, and by then I'd been going on forever so I left it off. Here it is. I was watching Martha Stewart while breastfeeding Jonas and she had some spunky expert girl on talking about things to combat seasonal affective disorder. She had a list of foods to eat and I found it quite interesting that all of the foods were winter season crops. Hmmm, shouldn't this have been a no-brainer? Winter squash, beets, and so on. I had a conversation a little while ago at a book club (holla mongooses!) about eating seasonally (the book was barbara kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle). One lady made the comment that it couldn't be healthy for our bodies to go without things like lettuce for such an extended period as, oh, 8 months. I responded that (and of course it wasn't this eloquent at the time, but this is what I meant) mother nature knew what was best, and that foods in season offered what our bodies needed on a seasonal basis. This idea continues to fascinate me, and has now been proven right, on some level, by martha stewart.
Of course with food availability being what it is most people have no idea what is in season and out. Kingsolver gives a handy diagram to solve this dilemma in the book, I'll let you all search that one out for yourselves. However I will offer this tid-bit I learned when I was 15 or 16 in a church lesson: If it's on sale and there's a lot of it, it's a good bet it's in season. For example, today I went shopping for more juicing supplies, oranges were on sale, voila! See how easy that was?
In other news I pulled out the last stump in what is to be the sorrel plot. Also I raked it over and picked a plethora of lemons off the tree. Jonas got cranky so the rest of the lemons will have to wait. Also the ladder scares the living daylights out of me. Our lemon tree looks infested with white fly and really needs to be sprayed with soapy water. There's a handy organic concoction I make to kill aphids and such that is made out of lemon peels (the lemonene in the peels dries out the little suckers), I am going to boil down the peels after I juice our harvest and try that on the tree.
After a visit to the nursery and seeing all of the citrus quarantined for asian citrus psyllid I am now terrified that that is what is ailing our tree. I've been meaning to call a master gardener about it, but have put it off because I just know they're going to diagnose it immediately as the psyllid and run over and chastise me. Irrational, I know, but this is how my mind works.
For dinner tonight we juiced. Greg is really getting into it which is very nice. We also had pita bread cut into triangles with hummus, and green beans. This is the first time I've actually made hummus, I've bought it, but never made it. What a difference! So much tastier. I was inspired by a friend's recent wedding reception, the food was all mediterranean and junk. Best wedding food ever. And her dad made it all! The tabbouleh was incredible. The dolmas, nothing to write home about but I think they were actually store bought. But I've gotten off track. The hummus is simple and delicious and healthy, and combats Seasonal affective disorder, how about that?
In a food processor blend 15 ounces of garbanzo beans (reserve the liquid for thinning later), 1-3 cloves of garlic crushed (I love garlic and only used two and it was STRONG, consider yourselves warned!), 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste, pretty cheap and awesome) 2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Whip it up, thin to the desired thickness with reserved bean juice and enjoy! What a quick healthy dinner, filling also. I'm thinking this'll be great in the summer when it's too hot to cook anything.
Well, it's late, I should hit the hay. Take care all.


NIKOL said...

I LOVE hummus. I really should make some at home. Where did you get the tahini? I don't even know where to look for it in a store!

I'll trade you oranges for lemons. I need to get out and pick stuff off the tree. The branches are getting really weighed down because there's so many oranges. Supposedly, one of our orange trees is Navel oranges, and the other is Valencia (better for juicing) oranges. I really can't tell a difference from looking at the trees, but we shall see. I'm quite looking forward to using my "new" juicer.

Johnice said...

Tabbouleh is my favorite! A steak house near here has the best tabbouleah on their salad bar and I always pile it on and everyone looks at me strange because they don't know what it is. More for me! The hummus sounds great, I'll have to try it.

About the green bags...I usually just wipe the inside out with a damp washcloth and they do a pretty good job of sitting open on the counter to air dry. My mother just bought me the bread bags for Christmas. I haven't tried them yet, but I will soon. I don't buy bread usually because it goes bad way before I even eat half of it, so this should help. I plan on seeing if they will work with tortillias to as I buy a lot of those.

Clong said...

Johnice thank you so much for the comments on the bags. Please let me know how the bread bags work out for you. Yes, tabbouleh is wonderful! People at the wedding didn't really touch it, more for me as well! Some people asked me what it was. They were also very confused by the olive tapenade. On a similar note, yesterday at the store a cute little old man asked me where the brussel sprouts were as he stood directly in front of them. I thought he was joking for a second, then deduced that his wife told him to fetch some, and he had no idea what he was looking for. It was all very adorable.

Nikol, I bought Tahini at the sprouts on second street. Vons might have it too, just ask. I looked all over the store before I finally asked someone. It was in the baking section. Of course! Yes, the baking section, because that makes so much sense. It was like six dollars for quite a bit of it. It's in a canister, I have no idea how to store the stuff so I just stuck it in the fridge. Hope that's alright. I would be more than happy to trade lemons for oranges. How perfectly wonderful since my blog tonight will be about bartering. I'm really getting into it. If you don't have enough oranges to go around, I don't mind just giving you lemons, because holy cow we haev a lot of them.

siobhan said...

they have tahini at trader joe's, too.

eating seasonally makes SO much sense. i have a tough time sometimes because i want to make something, but can't bring myself to buy it out of season. i break my rule occasionally, but usually only if it's at least somewhat local (i.e. california versus ecuador). we're so lucky to live in california! tomatoes in december!

i was at the grocery a few weeks ago and a young-ish couple was looking at the produce. the woman squawked about how expensive the strawberries are and the man said, "well, that's because it's winter." she said something like, "what's that got to do with it?" instead of smacking her upside the head, i just chuckled and walked away.