Our Garden and Main Meal
ROSANNA'S NEWS AND VIEWS.©
We are always delighted when the work of the garden begins to pay and put food on the table. Here, Rosanna is thinning out the Collard greens to give them room to grow. The succulent little plants will go into the salad for the day. it’s early still, but we are receiving a steady trickle of such treats and in a few weeks, we will be getting only a few fresh vegetables from the store, relying on our little plot to provide most of what we need until the fall.
In the picture may be seen radishes (ready for a second planting, they are always among the first on the plate), kale, Italian parsley, curly parsley, romaine lettuce and hot peppers. Rosanna uses the peppers in a sauce she makes for her polenta, a perennial favorite adapted from her native Italian cuisine.
PASTA AND BEAN SOUP
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks with leaves, diced
- wakame, cut in 1 inch strips
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 turnip, diced
- 8 cups (or more) spring water
- Tamari soy sauce, to taste
- 1 parsnip, diced
- 1 package rice noodles
- 1 cup cooked cranberry beans
Prepare two pots, one with boiling water for the pasta, one for the vegetables. Simmer vegetables for 20 minutes, then add cooked beans. Blanch the pasta until it is half done, drain and reserve the water. Add pasta to vegetable pot and simmer until pasta is done. If additional water is required, use the reserved pasta water. Add Tamari sauce and salt to taste. Serve.
(delicious with a touch of bitter taste)
- Dandelion greens
- 1 clove garlic
- pinch of salt
- Spring water
- Extra virgin olive oil
Blanche greens in boiling water, about 3 or 4 minutes. Plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Squeeze them dry and chop into small pieces. In hot skillet, sauté garlic (keep the clove whole) until golden. Add greens and salt and sauté until done.
- Calabata squash, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
- Tender green peas, with pods
- 1 parsnip, julienne
- Spring water
- Umeboshi vinegar
Blanche vegetables separately. Put them in the water when it is boiling, remove them just before it boils again. Sprinkle with vinegar, toss and serve.
- 1/2 bunch Watercress
- small bunch Arugula
- 1/2 head escarole
- radishes with leaves
Wash all vegetables, using plenty of water, drain. Chop the escarole, watercress and arugula into one-inch pieces. Cut radishes in thin rounds. Chop the radish leaves, about in half. Combine and toss all ingredients together, adding about 3 tbsp sea salt. Press (Rosanna uses a bowl, plate and stone as in the picture at right) for one hour. Wash out salt and strain out excess water. Add a few drops of Umeboshi vinegar (or lemon juice if preferred) and serve.
- 1 cup soy beans, soaked overnight
- 1 piece kombu seaweed, 2 inches
- 1 dry shitake mushroom, soaked and cut
- 1 celery stalk, cut in big pieces
- 1 lotus root chopped in chunks
- 1 carrot, roll cut
- 2 teaspoons kudzu
- Soy sauce to taste
Put beans in pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. After boiling for a couple of minutes, remove from heat. Remove any skins (hulls) which come loose. Put kombu in pressure cooker, add beans on top, seal and cook for 45 minutes. Release pressure, add vegetables and pressure cook for another half hour. Release, if too much water is present, remove it or let it boil down. Add soy sauce, mix kudzu with a little COLD water, pour in beans, stirring, simmer a few more minutes and serve.
SWEET RICE PUDDING
- 2 cups sweet rice, washed and pressure-cooked in 4 cups of water for 45 minutes.
- 3 -inch piece lemon rind
- 1 quart apple juice
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup chopped, dried un-sulfured apricots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Add enough apple juice to make rice brothy, but not liquid. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour, stirring constantly. Add more apple juice if needed to achieve desired consistency. Be cautious, it is easy to burn. Serve.
Rosanna e James
Food of the 21st Century
- Mass-Free Food
The next generation of dieter’s food beyond “fat-free” is “mass-free”. These will be extremely light but strong edible structures made from freeze-dried agarose, the world’s lightest solid material. The material is colored, flavored, and texturized to resemble bread, baked potato, etc. A “mass-free” hamburger on a bun will weigh only 1 gram. Don’t put mustard or ketchup (preferred IUPAC nomenclature over “catsup”) on it, because the water they contain will break down the structure of the freeze-dried agarose.
Direct brain-implant/virtual-reality technology will let people experience animal eating experiences. For example, you could directly experience what a cat feels when it catches and eats a mouse. Restaurants will specialize in particular eating experiences, for example they might have a yard populated by rabbits and a set of falcons. Or a large aquarium and some piranha.
- Snack Food
In early 21st century, the most popular snack food will be Nacho Critters edible robots by Nabisco. Based mostly on a wheat-corn alloy, fried in zero-calorie non-fat vegetable shortening, these are little crisp chips shaped like gingerbread men, but only about 1 1/4 inches tall (that’s 2.733 decihectares, for our Canadian friends). When you open the bag, the sudden exposure to oxygen activates their neural circuitry and locomotive machinery which permits them to walk around for a few minutes. Open the bag, and they slowly walk out, then proceed in random directions. Left to themselves, it creates a real mess because they get into everything! Then they “die”, which causes problems if you got ants. It’s fun to put the critters in a big jar with a stopper on it and watch them crawl over each other trying to get out! Dogs and cats love Nacho Critters!
- Genetically Engineered Food
Soon it will be possible to transfer genetic material between completely different animals. The dream of a cow that gives chocolate milk is fast approaching reality. How will this boon be used? Probably we’ll make many of the same combinations we do today in convenience foods for the microwave, except the food would be grown in a pre-mixed, ready-to-eat condition. Instead of buying frozen, you’ll buy live! It’ll taste much better than frozen because it’ll be real fresh, the animal not actually dying until about 30 seconds after you hit START on the microwave. You won’t ever have to worry about your Chicken Cordon Bleu leaking, because it won’t have a seam. Advertising jingles can be genetically programmed into the brains of food. Just stick the food in the oven, and in the last few seconds you hear “M’mm m’mm good, m’mm m’mm good, Campbell’s ChickeAAAACK!”
- Cooking Shows
Advanced molecular replication technology will allow you to smell, taste, and even sample the food seen on cooking shows. They may also be used so that members of the audience can interact with the chef, sending him samples of their own recipes. And you can enjoy the same meal over and over again, just by popping the same tape in the TV. The TV and microwave oven are likely to converge into a single unit, responsible for both food and entertainment.
- Food Scares
The one disease completely untreatable by advanced medical technology is hypochondria. The sick minds that invent food scares like the recent Alar hoax will need to become more sophisticated. For example, there will be rumors of software bombs implanted in food programming. These would range from just causing a case of gas, to making someone sick, to programming all the food animals to rise up at one time and take control of society.
- Reuseable Food
A food flavor delivery system, consisting of a texture unit and rate-controlled flavor agent releasing system. It’s sort of like a big piece of chewing gum, except the texture will be programmable (e.g., chewy like jerky, delicate and brittle like baklava, tender like meat). The flavor will also be programmable, by releasing different flavors in unique combinations. In fact, the flavor and texture can change while you’re chewing it, so a complete meal with many courses can be enjoyed without even removing the device from your mouth.
WISDOM of Hafiz
For his generosity cannot end.
While waiting in the cold desert
To accompany the palms’ swaying arms
That are casting silhouettes
Against the sky’s curtain
From our fire
And great patience.
Back into Herself.
For the highest