Ramps, Skirret, Water Celery, Taro, Wasabi, Baby Sheep YCH # 54

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  • Aquatic Plants Continued

  • Ramps  (Allium tricoccum)
  • Skirret  (Sium sisarum)
  • Taro (Colocasia esculenta)
  • Wasabi  (Wasabi japonica)
  • Water celery  (Oenanthe javanica)

MORE EDIBLE WATER GARDEN PLANTS

Ramps:  Allium trioccum  AKA: Ramps, Spring Onion, Wild Leek, Wood Leek, Wild Garlic.

Ramps are an early spring perennial.  This is well-known with a strong garlic smell and onion like flavor.  They are found in much of the eastern US and Canada.

They are common in the traditional cuisines of these areas and are gaining popularity in upscale restaurants across North America.The mountain people of Appalachia celebrate the ramp with festivals and much folklore surrounds this plant.  It was believed.to have  power to ward.off many winter ailments and in the celebration of spring. It was used as a tonic for winter ailments.  It is high In vitamins and minerals.

The city of Chicago actually got it’s name from ramps. Near Lake Michigan in Illinois during the 17th century there was a dense growth of ramps.  The native tribes.called the plant shikaakwa (Chicago).

The flavor is of onions and strong garlic.  Food writer Jane Snow described it as “fried green onions with a dash of funky feet”

Ramps are celebrated in multiple festivals across Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina,  and Pennsylvania.

Check out this website:  http://www.kingofstink.com/

Interesting things about ramps:

Resembles lily of the valley with broader leaves
Can be found in colonies covering miles of the forest floor
Come up in spring before trees and shrubs leaf out taking advantage of the light.
Leaves and bulbs can be eaten.
When cooked they become a mild tasting gourmet vegetable.
Outranks garlic for causing bad breath.
It is said the smell will come through the pores of ones skin.
Called spring tonic by the older folk of Appalachia.
Added to printers ink as a joke.
A cooking wine is made from ramps by Kirkwood winery.
Ramp festivals are found in upland Southeastern United States for more than 70 years.
Keeps varmits out of your gardens.
And maybe… it could keep vampires or zombies away…..
SKIRRET:  Sium sisarum
HARDINESS ZONES 3-8
Family is Apiaceae which includes:
Skirret is a small to medium  herbaceous perennial  root crop with long thin roots. It can grow to about 4 ft high.  It is low maintenance and has few pest problems.  It is said to have a flavor between potato and parsnip.  Most varieties have a hard inedible core.  Some better varieties are without this core. It is known to be resistant to pests and diseases.  The flowers are very attractive to bees and other pollinators.
The name skirret (suikerwortel in Dutch) means “sugar root”.  Used as carrots, parsnips, potatoes or salsify in cooking.  From Sturtevant’s Notes on Edible Plants:  skirret roots are “among the sweetest, whitest, and most pleasant of roots”.  Skirret is thought to have originated in China, made it’s way to Europe and then to North America.  It was once a well know crop in North America and Europe; but now is mostly replaced by the potato.  It is still an important crop in Northeastern Asia.  It was found on the table of ancient Romans.
The best and easiest way to grow it is from roots.  Eat some and plant some.  Seeds may not be true to the parent.  If a good variety is found without the woody core.  A clone from the parent instead of seed would be better.  I has a large amount of flowers in an umbel shape  (looks similar to Queen Anne’s Lace –wild carrot).
WATER CELERY: Oenanthe javanica   AKA:  Japanese parsley, Chinese celery, water dropwort.  It originates from East Asia.
HARDY TO ZONE 6 as a perennial
Many other species of water dropwort are extremely toxic.  Oenanthe javanica is not only edible but cultivated China, India, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Italy.  It is also popular in Hawaii.   The raw stems and leaves taste similar to celery or parsley.  They become milder with cooking. There is a dwarf variety called Flamingo which is  variegated leaves of green, pink and white.  It is less aggressive than larger varieties and could make for a beautiful groundcover.  It like most water plants should not be released into natural masses of water; as it can be very invasive.
It’s flowers attract beneficial insects, and it has few pest problems.  The leaves and stems are best used fresh or lightly cooked in cooked dishes.
WASABI:  Wasabi japonica  AKA:  Japanese horseradish
Wasabi is that wonderful green you eat with sushi that is pungent, spicy, and hot.  Unfortunately most of us have never had real wasabi.  It seems most “wasabi”  you get is actually horseradish and green food coloring.  It is in the bassicaceae family – same as cabbages, mustard, and horseradish.  It actually affect your nasal passages more than your tongue is sensing the hotness.  The root is dried and turned into powder or ready to use paste.  It loses its flavor within 15 minutes if left uncovered after grating.  The leaves can also be eaten and taste similar to the root.  It is also used in salads and pickled in sake.
It is rather difficult to cultivate.  It likes climates similar to the rainforest on the Oregon coast.  Also parts of the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina and Tenessee.  It is very particular about it’s environment and can take 3 years to mature.  All parts are used and prized.
Fresh wasabi roots are priced at $150.00 per pound currently.  This is a good reason to try and cultivate wasabi.

TARO:  Colocasia esculenta
These are the large elephant ear looking plants in the Araceae family.  They are native to South India and Southeast Asia.  The taro root has many name around the world from West Africa, Asia, Central America, South America and the Caribbean and Polynesian islands.  It is known as taro, dasheen, eddo, and kalo for example.
This plant is used around the world for it’s edible tubers, stems and leaves.  The root is hairy on the outside, and must be cleaned and cooked befor eating.
Taro can grow on irrigated land or in flooded areas.  It produces twice as much tubers when flooded; such as in a rice paddy.  The plant cannot be eaten raw due to  calcium oxalate crystals.  Cooking will decrease the calcium oxalate.
The root can be cooked like potatoes, baked, boiled, fried, roasted, steamed, added to soups or stews, made into chips or pounded into a paste.   Taro chips are crunchier and nuttier tasting than potato chips.  The staple food of the Hawaiians (poi) is made from taro.  The leaves can be cooked as greens.  My favorite way is lau lau.  Lau lau is a piece of salty butterfish and other meat such as a chunk of beef, sprinkled with sea salt, rolled up in taro leaves, then wrapped in ti leaves, tied with a string  and steamed.
Many cultures all over the world have their own special way of using taro.  I like it just boiled with salt too.  It is tastier and creamier than potatoes.

http://www.hawaiihistory.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&PageID=533

Mushrooms-morel, lion’s mane, turkey tail #45

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  • Things I forgot to talk about last week:

Morel and shaggy mane mushrooms.

New app for mushroom identification:  http://www.amazon.com/NATURE-MOBILE-Mushrooms-PRO/dp/B00AC1Y9KE/ref=pd_sim_mas_1

There is a free version.  I really like having this app on my kindle.

I got motivated again to start and try to identify mushrooms.  I read something that really helped me.  It said to try and learn to identify 6 mushrooms per season.  I was so overwhelmed with the thousands.  But now I feel comfortable with lions mane and turkey tail.  This all started when I found a lion’s mane on Christmas day.  It was a wonderful gift to me.  Lion’s Mane is know as the “smart”  mushroom.  Here is an interesting article by Paul Stamets: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-stamets/mushroom-memory_b_1725583.html

hericium coralloides aka Bear’s Head tooth, hericium eriaceum aka Bearded tooth,

hedgehog or sweettooth is the first one I found on a woodpile of oaks hit by lightning.

I would like to invite anyone interested in identifying mushrooms to the Mushroom Identification Forum on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/117808248330980/465554766889658/?notif_t=group_comment

I have been having a great time with this group.

Moringa, Jicama, and Rutabaga:

Correction from last week.  Moringa is not a legume: http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/plantprofiles/moringa.php

Growing Jicama  http://greenharvest.com.au/SeedOrganic/VegetableGrowingInformation/JicamaGrowingInformation.html

Rutabaga, I had this all my life but never really appreciated it. I started learning to eat it raw this past year and found it delightful.  I didn’t know it could be eaten raw.  But it is actually mild tasting and low in calories.  Her0e is another point of view:

http://www.thekitchn.com/why-you-should-give-rutabaga-a-chance-183530

Back to Basics Facebook Link

https://www.facebook.com/backtobasics2014  I am really liking this page, lot of interesting things.

And from the above page a link to a different homemade soap recipe :  http://happymoneysaver.com/homemade-dishwasher-detergent/

Dealing with colds and congestion:

The best thing I have found for “sinus trouble” and nasal congestion is the nettie pot.  I have used this for years and love it.  I just mix kosher salt and baking soda (as a buffer) , fill it up with warm water (sometimes a few drops of tea tree oil.)  But everything we do must be done using common sense, so here is an interesting article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/03/rare-infection-prompts-neti-pot-warning/?_r=0

http://www.sinucleanse.com/netipotlanding.htm

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/health_med_fit/despite-two-deaths-neti-pot-use-safe-authorities-say/article_59792cd8-2a9d-11e1-8484-001871e3ce6c.html

http://www.doctoryourself.com/sinuses.html

 

 

 

 

Brining Meat, Sunchokes, Making Dog Food, Update on Bumblefoot Chicken/Winterizing Chickens, Get Organized in 2014 YCH#44

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http://thepaleomama.com/2013/11/how-im-healing-cavities-without-dentistry/

http://stupideasypaleo.com/2013/11/27/kombucha-recipes-for-the-holiday-pomegranate-and-cranberry/  Kombucha

Brining Turkey and my Paleo Thanksgiving Corned venison What? Every year I try a little something different with the Thanksgiving turkey.  This year I did a couple of things different.  I just had a small 11 # turkey from work,. I brined it overnight with water, salt sugar, bay leaves, lemons, cracked peppercorns, onions.  The next day I placed it on a rack open to air in the fridge.  This helps seal everything in. When ready to cook I rubbed it inside and out with butter. I cooked it hot 450F and it was done in a couple of hours. I’ll tell you about my goof and how I tried to fix it.  I place it on the platter and let it rest about 45 minutes ( It needs at least thirty)  My husband sliced it up. He had just watch a chef on Fox news showing how to slice a turkey up for the best presentation.  It was beautiful.  IT was the juicest turkey I have ever had.  I will be brining all my turkeys from now own.  Having already made corned beff I wondered what else would be good brined.  So I started doing a little research.  I even brined some backstraps!

skin. http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/rubs_pastes_marinades_and_brines/zen_of_brines.html

How to Carve a turkey:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyGMfuPgPBw

Next Years Plan

 

Get Healthy – Planning on Juicing in summer/fall and starting and exercise routine

 

Get Organized – One year to an organized life

 

Get Animal Related Chores more automated – larger feed dispensers for rabbits and chickens and automated water (nipples)

 

Get Soap Business off the ground – opening store on ShopNvy.  Which is free, unless you want to offer discounts or coupons…then there is only a small fee.  I’ll keep y’all updated on this because you all may have stuff to sell also and Etsy can apparently get expensive charging for every item you sell.

USES FOR JERUSALEM  ARTICHOKES  (SUNCHOKES):

Uses for artichokes: pickles http://honest-food.net/2012/11/16/pickled-jerusalem-artichokes-recipe/   http://nymag.com/listings/recipe/jerusalem-artichokes/or lacto fermented pickles

sautéed  http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/saut-ed-jerusalem-artichokes-with-garlic-and-bay-leaves  fried like chips or hash browns, roasted, grated in salads

5 Detoxifiers for the Home:  http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/5-natural-detoxifiers-every-home-should-have

 

WHAT’S UP WITH DOG FOOD?  You may ask why can’t I just buy the good stuff and feed it to my dogs.  It is so much easier.  A few years ago there was a big scare with the dog food.  Even the “good brands”  Like I AMS  had something in them killing our beloved pets. At the time I started researching a little on making my own.  I did start supplementing  with some foods for them that I knew were healthy.  BUT, it is oh so convenient after a hard days work to pour a little kibble in the bowl for my precious babies.  They like the expensive one I buy them anyway, it doesn’t have corn, wheat, and soy (the bad culprits) and um… the scientists developed this with their nutrition in mind; right. Besides that cooking for 110#  Rottweiler is like another person and I don’t know what to feed her. Unfortunately it is all so wrong.  And now my baby has lumps all over that the vet says are lymphomas.  She says my sweet baby has 2 months to live without chemotherapy.  She looks so healthy otherwise.  She has a shiny coat and is perky.   Of course I would never put her through chemotherapy.  I have read so much about nutrition and cancer in dogs and I think there is hope.  But before we get that deep in the water, lets get to the root of the problem.  We are  killing our pets with dog food.  We are killing our pets with dog food.  We are killing our pets with dog food!  It is the truth. And after all my research, I feel so guilty for ever giving it to my sweet babies.  I wouldn’t eat that crap, why should they?  So you say what is wrong with dog food, is it really that bad.  OK let’s take a look at it.  I won’t go into all the detail (there is so much) , but I would like to hit a few points: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/81288-bad-dog-food

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/dog-food-ten-scary-truths/

Old Mangy Dog.. What!  http://www.naturalnews.com/029853_canine_mange.html

Adventures in making dog food.  Dr. Pitcairn.  If I can cook for my kids,; I can cook for the dog!

Bumble foot chicken update.  Antibiotics.

Winterizing chickens

Merck Veterinary Manual Online Free:  http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/

Starting seeds now for spring.

I got my used organizing book; for less that  5 bucks.

Great videos on organizing:  http://www.alejandra.tv/3-day-get-organized-video-series-yt/

Moringa  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JImb3LRGYrc

Get Organized, Winterizing Chickens/Dealing With Illness, Cleaning Up your Computer YCH#43

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 This is the real #43.  My dyslexic brain uploaded an older episode Sunday night.  I am sorry for any inconvenience it may have caused anyone.  I deleted that and am resubmitting.  Thanks for your patience.

One Year To An Organized Life

 

Used books starting at less than $5 including shipping

 

http://www.amazon.com/One-year-organized-life/dp/1606711709/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1387138922&sr=8-6&keywords=one+year+to+an+organized+life

 

Reviews

 

http://www.amazon.com/Year-Organized-Life-Week-Week/product-reviews/1600940560/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

 

Clean Computer of Duplicate Files

 

Kim Komando

http://www.komando.com/

 

Free Downloads

http://www.komando.com/downloads/

 

Utilities

http://www.komando.com/downloads/categories.aspx?cat=Utilities

 

Anti-Twin is found under the link that says “Duplicate File Finder”

http://www.komando.com/downloads/category.aspx?id=12820

 

looked only for files > 500M and found 1000 Dups, = 6.6 GB removed 994 = 6.4 GB

Surviving Winter with Chickens

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/11/surviving-winter-with-chickens.html

 

Farm Innovators Heated Base For Metal Poultry Founts Model HP-125, 125-Watt $46.78

Requires Galv. Double Wall Metal Fountain

http://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovators-Poultry-HP-125-125-Watt/dp/B000HHQDPM/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387140175&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=chicken+drinkre+heater

 

Dotties Sore Feet

 

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/search?q=bumblefoot

 

Raising Rabbits and Meat Chickens with Cris CantinYCH#41

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I have a special treat today.  An interview with Cris Cantin.  Cris is a homesteader that lives on a 1/4 acre in Wisconsin.  She raises most of her own vegetables, meat rabbits and chickens.  She was nice enough to be interviewed and share a recipe and pics of her Rabbit Taj Mahal.  There is also a link to her website.

Green Rabbit Chili (yes, really.)
You’ll need: one rabbit, dressed for the pot, about 3 pounds  maximum; one bottle of good beer; large can of green enchilada sauce;  two small cans of salsa verde; one can of diced green chiles; one large  can of white hominy; one teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, cumin,  coriander; one-and-a-half teaspoons kosher salt; two teaspoons minced,  dried garlic; a couple of dried jalapeno slices or similar hot pepper (I grew these in the garden, and dehydrated them). Start the process by placing the rabbit into the crockpot, and  pouring over the bottle of beer.  Cook all day on low heat, until the  meat is done and very tender.  Remove from crockpot, and chill in the  fridge overnight.
The next morning, pick all the meat from the bones, shred using  two forks, and return to the crockpot.  Add all the seasonings and mix  well.  Add the green enchilada sauce and salsa verde, hominy, and diced  green chiles.  (Note:  I grew a ton of tomatillos one year, and made  vast amounts of salsa verde and enchilada sauce–so much better than  store-bought!)  Stir well, and add enough water until it is a loose soup consistency, around 3 or 4 cups.  Cover and cook on low all day, until  the flavors have combined and the chili is nice and hot.  Serve with  cornbread or biscuits of your choice.
When I’m asked to bring chili to an event, this is my go-to chili  recipe.  Not only is it delicious, and uniquely green, but it gives  people the opportunity to try rabbit meat in an approachable way.  It  always gets rave reviews, even from people who don’t usually eat any  meat!

Just an aside:  I have a little website, that connects in to my blog as well, if you wanted to check it out or share it on your site.  I go on and on about my chickens/rabbits/and everything else, so its almost as entertaining as talking with me!  🙂
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