Kitchen / Garden / Sanctuary - Urban Homesteading to Nourish Body + Spirit

Month: August 2009 (Page 1 of 3)

Enjoying Wild Foods: Purslane

Purslane Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Garden Salad with Purslane, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers

Once you discover the world of edible wild plants, you realize that there’s food everywhere! Even in the asphalt jungle of an urban environment.

Purslane is a very common weed that I often see growing in sidewalk crevices or in barren, disturbed soil. It’s extremely nutritious, so I was happy to find it growing near our apartment recently.

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Philosophy Friday: Even Julia Child Made Mistakes in the Kitchen

I was recently watching a Julia Child episode on DVD, when she launched into this little sermon about peoples’ irrational fear of failure while learning to cook. I liked it so much that I recorded it and posted it so you could see it, too:

Julia Child – “Don’t be afraid of failure in the kitchen” from The Herbangardener on Vimeo.

We must not be deterred if our cooking flops, because that’s how we best learn the quirks of the ingredients we cook with, and how to combine things for the best results. I sometimes get pretty frustrated when my cooking doesn’t work out, especially when I waste good ingredients (and precious time!). But I also know that mistakes can be very good teachers…

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Cool + Refreshing Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita Indian Side Dish

I’m just thrilled this year to have an overabundance of cucumbers flowing from my garden! Cucumbers are one of my favorite veggies, and this is one of my favorite cucumber dishes to make. It’s a palate-cooling Indian side dish which would pair beautifully with a curry of some sort, or grilled meat or fish with a spicy marinade. I just eat mine plain, though, as more of a light dish for lunch or a snack. Once I start eating it, I can’t stop! It’s so good. For garnish, you could use mint leaves or some more Garam Masala sprinkled on top.

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Kitchen Tip: Keeping Olive Oil Fresh with…Water?

NOTE: I have updated this post…access the new one here.

Storing Olive Oil with Water

We’ve all heard that heat, light, and air cause oils to oxidize and go rancid. I used to keep my olive oil in the fridge, but it would solidify and I had to plan ahead if I wanted to use it. This was too inconvenient, so I stopped doing it. Recently, I “upgraded” and bought a more expensive Tuscan olive oil at Costco that came in a dark-colored bottle. The dark color prevents the oil from light exposure (especially at the store with all its bright lights). To lessen the oil’s exposure to air, I’ve started topping up my olive oil bottle with water!

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