Posts tagged ‘Lettuce’
I keep saying this to people who are tired of the rain. We all love flowers and in May the roses should start to bloom as well as the rhododendrons. And we might still have iris and perhaps the daffodils. Our dahlias are growing so soon we will have those as well. Yippee!
Then the fruits and veggies will start. Our peach, cherry, apple, and fig trees are all starting to blossom. Everytime we see a bee, whether one of our mason bees or honeybees, near the trees, Archie goes up to them and points out the other blossoms and gives them directions to the other flowers to pollinate. How cute is that? Next will come the squash, corn, pepper, cucumber and tomato plants. Archie will be a busy man!
Have any of you gone to Living Light’s salad bar lately? Man, it’s great! It starts with fresh mixed lettuce, then romaine, shredded carrots, shredded beets, cucumbers, shredded red cabbage, celery, cherry tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts. And then each day has different selections: cooked and sprouted black or garbanzo beans, steamed rice, sauerkraut, or something extra like a mixed marinated veggie salad. Three or four dressings are available: Dijon Mustard dressing, Ranch, Liquid Gold, or Tomato Basil. I truly gorge on Living Light’s salad bar!
One of the raw recipes from Living Light that Archie and I enjoy is the Green Giant. We grow our own kale, spinach and romaine lettuce. This year we will also try to grow our own celery. We did last year, but it was the wrong kind and didn’t taste good. (Oh well, the compost liked it.) Sometimes we add ginger root but we rarely add lemon as I am not a fan of a lemony taste. Come into our cafe on St. Patrick’s day, and whether you like lemon in your juice or not, you may be able to get a great deal on a Green Giant – we’re having all kinds of specials on green stuff that day!
Archie has most of the seedlings for our garden in small pots in the greenhouse right now. Their names are on popsicle sticks. Names like delicata squash, space tomatoes (the seeds actually went into space), a bumpy winter squash called Galeux d’ Eysines (a french heirloom that gets bumps that look like warts – the more bumps, the higher the sugar content!). My girlfriend hates the look of this squash, but Archie and I like it. Archie told Sandi that he will scrape off the bumps to make it look more appealing to her! What do you think? Do you like the bumps or not?
Weekends are so precious! Sometimes they are full of chores at home, events with friends, and then getting ready for the work week. This last weekend I had nothing planned, which felt great on the Friday before. So how did I fill in the time?
On Saturday Archie and I had the bottle of champagne he bought me for Valentine’s Day. A few weeks ago I read an article in AARP about a woman who got in shape “accidently” by walking on her lunch hour. So I started to briskly walk for 20 minutes a day Monday and Friday and enjoyed it.
That started me to thinking about a book I had heard about a few years ago. This book was about getting into shape mentally, physically, and if you wished, spiritually. It advocated that you add or take away one thing a week to help you towards your goal. Walking is what I’ve added so far. Stay tuned next week for the take away!
Meanwhile, back at work, The first Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification is over and now we are heading for the Science of Raw Food Nutrition series. I have taken Level I and was very impressed by Rick and Karin Dina the instructors of the series. In that class you learn where to get your proteins, calcium, vitamin B12, those essential amino acids, and so much more. Too many people become vegetarians, vegans, or raw foodists without a thought about a balance of foods to serve our needs. Did you know that a head of romaine lettuce has 44% of your daily requirements? Not only that but it is a complete protein – it has the amino acids that are so important for our health ! Awesome!
The Fort Bragg Food Bank means much more to our city than just giving food to those who are having an economic hard time. They also accept clothes to give to participants. The Cheshire Book Store aligns with the Food Bank and encourages their patrons to buy books and then gives them to the Food Bank to distribute to the children in line.
Some of our neighbors donate their extra fruits and veggies to the Food Bank, and some to the Senior Citizens Center. The great thing about Fort Bragg, California is the volunteers: there are so many organizations. It will be hard for me, once I retire, to decide for which program I will volunteer. Will it be hospice, the hospital, the Food Bank, Senior Citizens Center, the dog park, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens or other organizations that need help? I am looking forward to making some decisions in a few years!
Living Light often times goes to Big Brothers and Sisters and gives food demonstrations to the children as well as the 4H Club, Harvest (our local supermarket), and the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. We have also given the hospital staff tuition specials for our culinary courses. We particpated in the Salmon Restoration Association Barbecue one year. We got a few dirty looks at first as people thought we were trying to convert them – as if! I told them that we were offering vegan raw salmon cakes as an alternative to over fishing the ocean. I then offered a sample and they were surprised that it tasted so good! I was exhausted by the end of the day, but it was fun to watch people change their minds in a positive way. The children kept coming back for seconds and more! Yes, it was a good day.
This weekend we harvested as many veggies as possible: pumpkins, green and yellow zucchinis, tomatoes, red bell peppers, jalapeños, and our dahlias. We still have lots of winter squash growing, garlic, green onions, chard, Red Russian Kale, lettuce, and cabbage. Though the pretty green worms got to the cabbages first, so we have decided to let them have a feast!
This year’s garden was not as good as we had hoped, due mostly to the extra rain we had. Usually the rain ends by mid April; this year it was the end of June. Even our greenhouse veggies did not do as well. That is all right, however, as each year brings different challenges and we learn from them.
Winter is a great time to dream about next year’s garden. We get out catalogs; look over the seeds we have left over; even look at recipes to see if we should grow certain kinds of veggies: will we really use that much chard? I love the dreaming part, but by February we start the seedlings and by March are ready to plant!
Another thing I am looking forward to is Pastry Arts – Unbaked! 2. This is a recipe development class and it will be so much fun to see what the students create. One year a student in RawFusion Spa Cuisine created a banana slug: it was beautiful, but not enticing to eat! Pastry Arts will be different!
If you read my blog last week, you heard about my Dad, and his journey in America. Today, as part of our Day of the Dead observance honoring our ancestors, I’ll tell you a little about my mother. She was born Virginia Ruth Rowell, and when she was twenty-five (in 1938) she discovered a new religion called the Science of Characteristics that made sense to her (and at the time to my father as well). Everyone in the family changed their names in accordance with the new religion; I am the only one who was born with a “true” name. Her new name became Helen HZ Schuler. I was born Hilloah Heigh Pheigh in 1948.
She really was an amazing woman and ahead of her time. One of the benefits of her religion was that everyone was health conscious (they were the brave new world after all). We were vegetarians and did not eat head lettuce. It was not until I was 21 that I realized that not eating head lettuce, and eating leaf lettuce instead was beneficial to my health and had nothing to do with religion!
During World War II, my mother Helen wrote a column about Victory Gardens and instructed people on how to black out their windows so that enemy planes would not be able to see the lights at night and therefore drop bombs. As you know, Archie and I have a garden of our own. Everything we grow is organic. We love our fresh fruits and vegetables. Here at Living Light, we only use organic produce, as I always inform my potential students. It makes such a difference to the individual and the planet to shop locally, eat organic and grow your own vegetables if you’re able. It’s still a victory!
I was born after the war and my mother went to work for the State of California. When I was two she and my father divorced, and neither ever remarried. My romantic soul wonders what their hearts are up to now.
Archie’s birdhouse sold for almost $200.00 this past weekend at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens . They served wine, fresh veggies and other delicious snack foods. Another birdhouse was bought out right – no bidding – for $1,000.00. Wonderful!
I went up to the woman who bought it and congratulated her not only on her good taste, but also on being so generous to the gardens. She smiled and was pleased. Later I found out that her husband was the artist. I thought of purchasing Archie’s as I know the grandchildren would love it, but Archie frowned. Oh well, he can always make another for the children!
Yes, Fort Bragg can produce (pardon the pun) beauty.
If you can not make the Chef Showcase this coming weekend, be sure to sign up for the Live Streaming of our event. Some people are doing both: that way they can see and taste the food in person, and then watch the video for two months afterwards to fine tune their own chef abilities with that of the Showcase chefs.