She Brings Me Water

An aeclectic look at the nearby world

Archive for Recipe

IslandLotus Yoga and a Book Signing

New Book!

New Book!

Visit me at Willowgait Farm’s Artisan Festival on Sunday, Oct. 26th, 2014, from 10am t0 4pm on beautiful Knotts Island, North Carolina. I’ll be signing copies of my new book, Stories from the Other World and holding drawings for free yoga classes and book copies.

Willowgait Farm Artisan Fair 2014

Willowgait Farm Artisan Fair 2014

I’ll also be selling paintings by Ethel Barritt, baby spider plants and aloe veras, and homemade hot pepper vinegar. The Knotts Island Ruritans will be there selling barbecue, too. Come on down and enjoy the day!

 

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Eat Your Turmeric

I recently wrote of how my year and a half of doing Raja Yoga has made significant changes in my life, not the least of which has been in my physical body. Without making any other changes in my eating habits or my diet I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained muscle and become stronger and more flexible, and best of all, the chronic back pain I’ve had since I was bucked off a horse at age 19 is gone (I am now 53).

For the last several months, though, I have had a pain in my elbow that massage and heat and specific yoga moves could not seem to cure. So one night on the Internet, my husband comes across a growing body of research into the health benefits of turmeric, a spice grown and used around the world for thousands of years. If you’ve ever had a curry or Indian spiced food, you’ve probably had turmeric, which sort of tastes like a mild form of cumin. It’s very yellow in color and is sometimes used to color (as well as flavor) rice or potatoes.

Turmeric photo from Greenmedinfo.com

Turmeric photo from Greenmedinfo

Greenmedinfo.com, after reviewing thousands of studies of turmeric and its primary component, curcumin, lists these properties and possible health benefits:

Since the pain in my elbow seemed to be inflammation-related, we decided to use that can of turmeric in the spice cabinet, the one that had been sitting in there, unused, for a very long time. How long? Well, it’s one of those little French’s tins with its price stamped into the metal on the bottom of the tin: 69 cents for one and a half ounces. I just bought a fresh bottle of the McCormick brand: 2 ounces for almost $5. That’s how old.

Anyhow, after doing a little research of my own on how turmeric is used and what kinds of dishes to use it in (besides curry), I began putting it in all kinds of dishes. I make a Mexican omelet about once a week: two eggs beaten with lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder, cumin and oregano, pour into a hot oiled cast-iron skillet till set, add cheddar cheese and salsa on one side of the omelet, flip the other side on top of the filling, serve. There was already cumin in this so I thought, turmeric will work too, and it did, and tasted so good that I began adding it to our scrambled eggs as well.

Tomatoes, okra and peppers

Tomatoes, okra and peppers

Next up was an Indian Curry made with okra, tomatoes and peppers, with extra turmeric added, served over rice, flavored and colored with even more turmeric. Add olive oil to a hot cast-iron skillet, saute the okra and peppers, turn down the heat and add chopped tomatoes, simmer it all with curry spice, garlic, and, of course, the turmeric. You can actually make this with all kinds of veggies, like eggplants, zucchini, green beans…add some veg stock for added sauce and pour it over the rice to let the rice soak up all that goodness.

Green Tomato

Green Tomato

And then this variation of Green Tomato Rice: prepare white rice, I make mine in a rice cooker. As it cooks, saute chopped green tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic until soft. Season with turmeric, thyme, lemon pepper seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Combine the rice with the green tomato mix, add bacon bits (I use the fake ones) and some grated cheddar cheese. I usually serve this with steamed greens on the side: collards, kale, wild mustard or spinach.

Within three days of this barrage of turmeric (I even added it to our homemade pumpkin bread), the pain in my elbow was gone. I believe it was the turmeric, but even if that was just coincidence, if the studies prove true, by adding turmeric to our diet, we may be gaining protection from cancer, Alzheimer’s, radiation, free radicals, etc. And since it tastes so good and goes so well with so  many things, why not add it? I encourage you to do your own research and try out a couple of these recipes while you’re at it. Unlike the drugs folks take for aches and pains, there are no side effects to using turmeric in your food, unless it’s so good that you eat too much. Then you get the full belly effect.

Full Belly Effect

Full Belly Effect

Madeleines and Memories

November 18. The Anniversary of Marcel Proust’s death day in 1922. In Honor of Remembrance of Things Past, here are two madeleine recipes:

 

Madeleines

 

2 large eggs

½ cup sugar

5 T. butter, melted & cooled slightly

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 t. baking powder

Grated zest of ½ lemon

¼ t. vanilla extract

 

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk or blend the eggs and sugar until frothy.  Add the cooled melted butter, blending well.  On low speed or with the whisk, add the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and vanilla until blended.  Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside to rest for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375*.  Butter and flour the madeleine molds.  Whisk the batter for a moment to remix, then spoon the batter lightly into the molds, filling them three-quarters full.  Bake until the cakes are risen and golden, 10 or 11 minutes.  If the madeleines start to brown before the crown has risen, open the oven door slightly and continue to bake until they have risen.

As soon as the madeleines are done, carefully remove them from the tins onto a wire rack.  Serve immediately.  The madeleines can also be cooled on a rack and stored for several days in an airtight container.

Makes about 15 madeleines (25 minis).

From Paris Boulangerie Patisserie: Recipes from Thirteen Outstanding French Bakeries, page 74

Madeleines

Madeleines

Chocolate Madeleines

 

2 eggs

½ cup sugar

¼ t. vanilla

pinch salt

6 T. butter, melted & slightly cooled

3/8 cup of flour (the mark just above 1/3)

¼ cup cocoa

 

  1. Melt the butter & allow to cool slightly.
  2. Whisk eggs & sugar until thick & lemon-colored.  Add the vanilla & salt.
  3. Fold in the flour & cocoa, then the melted butter.
  4. Allow the batter to rest for 1 hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 425*.
  6. Butter the madeleine pans then spoon in the batter to 3/4ths full.
  7. Bake the madeleines about 7-9 minutes; immediately turn out of molds onto cooling racks.

 

madeleine pan

madeleine pan

 

“And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings, when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea…And as soon as I had recognized the taste of the piece of madeleine soaked in the decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me, immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set…and with the house the town….the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine…the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, town and gardens alike, from my cup of tea.”

(Adapted from Swann’s Way, In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust)

 

 

Earth Day 2012

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Ah, it’s so easy to be greenie this time of year, here on the coast of North Carolina. From our gardens and yard we’re eating asparagus, collards, cabbage, lettuce, green onions, poke, lemon balm (pesto!), and the wild spinach is coming up all over. The potato eyes we planted are growing luxurious leaves, and last week we acquired some guinea hens to eat the bugs off of them (and the ticks and any other bugs they can find). Our local organic farm market has opened its fields and stand with strawberries, asparagus, peas and cabbage and lettuce.  Soon we’ll be planting our corn, beans and squash garden, and we already have tomato seedlings ready to transplant, along with basil, melons, peppers, tarragon, and leek seedlings. Yes, it’s a good time of year.

But this year’s Earth Day is not a good day for planting, as it is raining steadily and at times hard. The rain is good for the things we’ve planted, though, and for those of us stuck inside, it’s a good day for reading! So here’s my Earth Day reading list, but first, here’s my recipe for lemon balm pesto:

Fresh cut lemon balm

Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)

Chopped garlic

Parmesan cheese

Olive oil

Lemon pepper seasoning, or salt and pepper to taste

Place about 1/4 cup of the pumpkin seeds in a food processor, along with the garlic. I’m using approximate measures because I usually don’t measure, I just eyeball the amounts and taste test it. Process the seeds and garlic until coarsely chopped. Now take your lemon balm and fill up the bowl of your food processor with the leaves (I don’t like to use the stems but you can if you want). Pack the bowl full but not too tightly. Once the bowl is pretty well stuffed, add about 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese on top, and some of the seasoning. Process until the leaves are all chopped up and everything has blended together well. With the processor running, add about 1/2 cup of olive oil. Don’t process too much at this point, or the oil will heat up and cook your pesto into a gluey green ball.

This pesto is great in a salad, on pasta or toasted bread, in scrambled eggs, as a crudite dip- or just eat it out of the jar with a fork. I store the finished pesto in glass jars with tight lids (like canning jars), they keep for months in the freezer and weeks in the refrigerator. Seriously good stuff.

Now here’s my reading list for a rainy Earth Day:

Of course, anything by Michael Pollan: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, Food Rules.

Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals.

That’s enough to get started on, so slice up some French bread, toast it a little, drizzle a little olive oil on it and then slather with your lemon balm pesto. Happy reading, happy eating, happy Earth Day.