During the summer, Ben told me I should save some of my posts for the winter when there isn't much going on. I told him there would be plenty to blog about in the colder months, especially about recipes that utilize my preserves from the season. But I've found a few other activities to keep us entertained as well. This week I started preparing some broccoli seeds for sprouting. As I was looking through a hand-me-down cookbook from my mom, Healthy Food for Hungry Kids, (one I remember from childhood) I came across a section on sprouting, something I'd planned to do soon anyway. I had just purchased some broccoli seeds at the co-op for this very purpose. I've sprouted seeds in jars before, but I thought I'd try tray sprouting, which is much easier and works best for alfalfa, buckwheat groats, lentils, or brassica seeds. First you cover the seeds with water and let them stand at room temp. about 3 hours or until the seeds swell. Drain the seeds. Line a shallow tray with 3 layers of paper towels. Top with a single layer of cheesecloth. Arrange the seeds in a single layer over the cheesecloth. Spray thoroughly with a fine water spray. (Paper towels should be wet, but the seeds shouldn't stand in water.) Prick holes in a large piece of foil and cover the tray loosely. Store in a warm (65-75 degrees), dark place. Uncover the tray and spray with water 4-5 times/day until seeds sprout and grow 1/4 inch. Then spray 2-3 more times/day, keeping sprouts moist at all times. The sprouts are usually ready to eat in 3-5 days. At that time, remove foil and set tray in a sunny place for several hours to let the leaves turn green. Continue spraying sprouts. To harvest, pull them off the cheesecloth.
|Unholiday Gingerbread Cookies|
|...And Cut It...|
As you might imagine, since my allergy diagnosis last week I've been delving into research about food allergies as well as poring over gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and other-free cookbooks from the library. I've found some great titles that I think I'll add to my new collection. Flying Apron's Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book looks like a perfect fit for me. In a different book I was reading the foreword about how food allergies arise. It mentioned that one of the first symptoms is eczema or other skin irritations. Last year I saw a dermatologist for a regular mole check and he told me I had eczema, which I'd already sensed. He gave me some petroleum based shampoo, which I politely handed back to him and asked if there was some more natural or homeopathic way to deal with it. He told me that was ridiculous and basically laughed me out of the office. I'd like to find him now and ask him if he's ever heard anything about food allergies. This also makes me wonder about my family's history with skin problems as well as Vera's intense eczema that was attributed, by her allergist's prick test, to a dust allergy. Interesting that since we've weaned it's really cleared up. Once again I'm amazed at how things circle back to nutrition.
On the topic of my new eating plan, it occurred to me yesterday that I might rethink my desire to have urban hens. If I can't eat the eggs I need to recalculate whether it's worth the work. Of course, backyard poultry is still advantageous for producing one's one garden fertilizer as well as having insect control and pets, not to mention a very strong bartering tool--those delicious huevos. I'll still fight for others to have this opportunity, but I need to do more thinking before making plans for our own coop.