Oil on board, 8"x 8"
Co-op member Judy Holder picked up this portabello mushroom from our produce cooler last week and knew immediately she had to bring it home, not to eat it but to paint it! She'd never seen a 'bello from the co-op come with it's own babies, and neither had we. A graduate of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts whose work is found in international collections, Judy was kind enough to allow me to share her painting here. (The 'shroom came from FH, after all, so it seems only fair.)
Visit her blog Always Artful to see this and more of her original paintings, prints and drawings.
When last we left our heroes, Janice and Mark were going to appear on Ronna Stuller's "Thinking Green" cable access show (Metrocast 25) to talk about Fiddleheads and the 4th Birthday Party...
And so we did, and it was a good deal of fun. The conversation portion particularly was easy; Ronna is a congenial host, Mark Roberts was as terrific as a conversationalist as I'd imagined he'd be, and the 20 minutes flew by in no time. We had one phone call during the show, and the caller wondered if there were things at the co-op for diabetics. I was stumped by that but fortunately Mark wasn't; unbeknownst to myself or Ronna, Mark is diabetic and was able to address the caller's question. Perfect synchronicity, or maybe just luck, but I'll take it either way.
For anyone thinking about making an appearance on Ronna's show (but still afraid to do so), talking at the table with her is just like talking at a cafe with a friend. Except with microphones. And a camera. Just don't think about either one. As it happens, Ronna's hubby Bob is operating the camera, so you really are surrounded by your friends and neighbors.
The "cooking demo" portion, on the other hand...? Well, the other folks thought it went well; everyone certainly enjoyed trying the three mushroom and veggie medley with onion, yellow pepper and zucchini spears, laid over a bed of tri-color quinoa; and then morsels of Four Mile River Farm beef sirloin. Every single ingredient, even the squirt of ketchup in the tumeric sauce, came from Fiddleheads. Chris, the show's producer (who likes his meat "as close to raw as possible" - as do I) told me that he could smell the food coming through the wall inside the control booth, and loved the sound of the sizzle for the show. It may not have been state of the art FX, but it was quick and cheap, and everyone left with a smile on their face.
For my part, I didn't burn, cut or injure myself, or anyone else for that matter - no spurting arteries a la Dan Akroyd - so I'm placing it in the "Win" column. I would have liked the ingredients in bowls on the table, tupperware perhaps with cunning little lids, rather than produce bags. Alas I didn't have any such bowls at home to speak of, so I had to make due. But that's part of the rustic, retro charm of live cable access television. Right? Right? (The electric cooker, btw, came from the Four Mile River Farm booth, and everything else came from home, including the large knife that looks like it's been around since the days of Jim Bowie. Or maybe David.)
I promised last night that I'd put up the recipe for the tumeric sauce that I poured over the vegetable medley, so here it is, actually written down with proper measurements and whatnot. You can use this for all sorts of things: as a marinade, as a salad dressing, or as a sauce for a main dish as I did last night. It would probably go as well over pork, chicken or fish as it did on the vegetables.
(as seen on "Thinking Green")
1/4 cup organic EV olive oil
3 small satsuma mandarins, or 1 regular-sized tangerine, orange, etc.
2 T gluten-free reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 T ground tumeric
1 T cumin
1 tea coriander
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely minced
1 T unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar
1- 2 T maple syrup, or to taste
pinch of cumin seed (optional)
few pinches of finely ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne
squirt of organic ketchup
Blend all ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup; adjust seasonings as to taste; emulsify with a whisk. Can be used immediately or, stored in the fridge in a jar with a tight lid; shake jar vigorously to blend ingredients again. Makes about 3/4 cup.
*Edited on 3/19/12 to add link to YouTube video. -Janice*
I've been invited to join Fiddleheads Board member Mark Roberts on Ronna Stuller's "Thinking Green" cable access show. The program is at 7pm tonight on Metrocast channel 25 (in the New London CT area.) First I'll be doing a vegan dish - a variation on my beloved mushroom-veggie medley with quinoa, similar to my last post but with a turmeric sauce; and then a Four Mile River Farm sirloin steak. Something for everyone.
The real reason for going on the show is to promote Fiddlehead's 4th Birthday Bash this weekend, Saturday Feb 4. I really can't believe it's been an entire year since the last one. This year promises to be even bigger, with live music all day long, cake, raffles, prizes, cake, samples, the usual Farmer's Market vendors as well as reps from some of the brands that the co-op carries on its shelves, and - did I mention cake? We'll have donations of homemade cakes from various members and customers, plus local businesses such as Mangetout Organic Cafe and You Take the Cake. We've really grown this past year, so the party should be even bigger than the last one, and a lot of fun. (I've not decided yet what I want to sample at the FMRF booth: ready-made bbq beef (the work's been done for me), or bulgogi, the korean marinated beef that was such a hit a couple of weeks ago. Any opinions?
I know Mark will be wonderful on the show tonight; he's very articulate and has a warm, engaging presence. Me? I've got butterflies, but I'll get through. I will be pre-cutting and prepping everything, of course, both for the limits of time (I'll have 20 minutes), and the fact that my knife technique is a disaster. Laugh at my dramatics, my nerves, my imperfect teeth or my wild hair, if you will - but even I have my limits.
Please watch us tonight at 7pm (Metrocast channel 25) if you can, then join the fun at Fiddleheads on Saturday.
A) What is the correct pronunciation of the word "Quinoa"?
3) "All I know is that when I tried to say it at the Christmas party,
everyone laughed at me. Since then I prefer to keep to myself."
4) "I have no idea what you're talking about. Is that some Native
American rock band?"
B) Well, what exactly IS quinoa?
1) "A seed of a plant that is a member of the goosefoot family, native
to South America. Humans have cultivated it as a food source for
over 3000 years. Did you know it's a great source of vegetable
protein and that the Aztecs....."
2) "Some sort of fluffy stuff my health-crazy spouse/significant other
keeps foisting on me. *sigh* The things I do for love."
3) "Enya's latest album?"
4) "If it's not a Native American rock band then I still have no idea
what the heck you're talking about."
If you're looking for the answers, go to the bottom of this article - or try Hari Krishna. (Yes, that was a shameless theft.)
Most of the references to quinoa I've seen refer to it as a grain. But according to this article(and if it's on Wikipedia you know it's got to be true, right?), quinoa is "a species of goosefoot...grown for it's edible grain-like seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family." *end horticulture lesson*
I'd never heard of it myself until just a few years ago; now it seems nearly everyone has heard of it, and for good reason. It's a source of vegetable protein (just how much, exactly, is under debate), gluten-free and easily digestible, making it a boon to the veganarian menu, and to anyone suffering celiac's disease (or related allergies). It's also quick and easy to make, ready in about 10-15 minutes on the stovetop compared to 30-45 minutes needed for brown rice or wheatberries. Even though it's not a "true grain" it can take the place of rice, etc at any meal. And it's extremely versatile: it's soft texture and bland flavor let the stronger ingredients shine in any dish. (I've had it for breakfast in place of oatmeal, which is carb-heavy and makes me a bit sleepy by lunchtime.)
If you're new to it and trying to find out how to make the most of it, the recipes available online are literally, countless; the problem is not finding a recipe, but choosing one. A few ideas to get you started:
Lemon Quinoa with Asparagus and Feta from the Cookthink website caught my eye almost immediately because of it's "sunny" quality and balance of flavors. Substitute 1/2 tea. dried in place of the 1 tea. fresh herb called for. Substituting fresh cilantro, flatleaf parsley or basil would give it a different character, I should think, but might be worth a try anyway.
Cooking Quinoa, as you might imagine from the name, has so many recipes I didn't know where to begin - until this recipe for Quinoa Chocolate Bars stopped me dead in my tracks. Yes, chocolate - real chocolate - plus coconut butter, almonds, a bit of salt. Some of the dried cherries or blueberries from our Bulk section would be amazing in these. A very informative website, hundreds of recipes, but lots of images and can be slow to load. (It seems to work better with Safari than Foxfire.)
What Would Cathy Eat? is one of my favorite go-to websites for recipes that are veganarian AND heart-healthy, which are not always the same things, as well as plain delicious. A few that are perfect for what it's in season and available at the co-op right now: Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower and Stuffed Kabocha Squash with Quinoa and Chickpeas. I've seen a lot of recipes online that use quinoa as a stuffing for all varieties of hard squash, so you can really give your imagination free play here.
Quinoa can also be sprouted as a microgreen; here's some instructions from yet another quinoa-dedicated website called (what else?) Quinoa Health Tips. (At this point, quinoa just might be more famous than the Beatles.)
Hopefully that will get you off and running if you're new to quinoa; if you were ahead of the curve and it's already a part of your menu, what are your favorite ways to use it? Share in the comments section here or drop me an email.
Answers To "The Quinoa Quiz":
A) #1. If you answered #2-4, do come to the Bulk Section of Fiddleheads where we will answer all your questions, and then some. And hopefully save you from embarrassment at your next party - just don't attempt to say "tumeric".
B) Also #1. If you said #3 or 4, then see answer to A (above) and get thyself down to the co-op. If you said #2 - we admire your dedication to your partner and your willingness to try new things. (That said, you probably deserve a little payback. Five words: Last Thanksgiving. Your Uncle Jack. 'nuff said.)
You've been feeling your life is a little empty lately, as you wander about your apartment or home. (There's no shame in admitting it; we've all been there.) You've thought to yourself that you'd like a companion to always be there for you, but in non-human form. Sure, you could find yourself a lover or partner; perhaps you already have one. But you know that human beings are such a lot of bother.
So you've narrowed it down to two choices: keifer grains (pictured above), or a puppy (pictured below). Both require constant care and attention, both need food and fluids daily, both will grow and flourish under the proper conditions, and both have reputed health properties. To help you make an informed decision, we offer you some strictly nonscientific comparisons.
Round One: The Basics
KEIFER GRAINS: When put into milk, water, juice, coconut milk, etc, it will create a drinkable sour (milk grains) or acidic (water grains) product that repopulates your intestines with lots of healthy microflora, according to it's passionate adherents.
PUPPY: Will lick your face. Even if you're a jerk.
WINNER: Possibly a draw, depending on how flora-philic or germ-phobic you are.
Round Two: Noise
KEIFER GRAINS: None at all, until you're slurping the resultant beverage down; or the cussing that follows when your fridge is filling up, and you realize you can't drink it fast enough to keep up.
PUPPY: Count the nights your neighbor's dog has kept you up. You can't, can you? Exactly.
WINNER: Advantage keifer grains - unless you are entirely or functionally deaf. Then it's even either way.
Round Three: Cost
KEIFER GRAINS: Quite inexpensive for the grains themselves- until you realize you need to feed it EVERY 24 hours with 8oz milk per teaspoon grains. EVERY 24 hours. Which still ends up being cheaper than buying the stuff - we think.
PUPPY: You might save some money getting it from a pound, shelter, or rescuing it off the street - but you still have the shots, the exams, the collar, the food, the carrier, the bed, etc to deal with. And look out if Fluffy ever needs surgery, because your major medical ain't gonna cover that.
WINNER: Keifer grains.
Round Four: Letting Go, Or, After the Love is Gone
KEIFER GRAINS: Easy-peasy. Put grains in water and stick them in the fridge to remain dormant, or dry out the grains and reconstitute when you're ready to resume keifering. Worst comes to worst, chuck them into the compost bin and buy some more.
PUPPY: Extremely Difficult. Never mind losing a friend - if you have kids and you ever have to sell/give away dog for any reason, they will NEVER forgive you. Ever. Not until you hand them the keys to the brand new car you just bought them - maybe.
Round Five: The Cute Factor
KEIFER GRAINS: Resembles cottage cheese, not really cute per se until you look at it a while and realize, hey, it is kind of adorable in it's own way.
PUPPY: Are you kidding? We need to explain this one? You must be a cat person.
WINNER: No contest - and if you're spending that much time staring at your keifer grains, you clearly are in need of a little human companionship. We're worried for you.
Join us next time for another in our helpful comparisons: "So You're Having a Midlife Crisis? $3000 Food Processor, vs Convertible."
(Photo below courtesy of J. Holder - and yes, we know it's more of a dog than a puppy per se. We told you this was "unscientific", did we not? )
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Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.