Some Things

Chez Soi, Une odyssée de l'espace domestique, by Mona Chollet

Something I’ve just finished reading. A good friend recommended it (thank you!), and I spent the first days of the year devouring it, shouting with enthusiasm at pretty much every page.

Something – plenty of things – to please the eyes, the hearts and the stomachs, on a beautiful blog I recently discovered through the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Something simple, but worth saying.

Something you can perhaps help me with: its seems that the image galleries on my illustration page don’t appear on some browsers/devices. If you’re unable to see them, I’d be very grateful if you could tell me.

Have a lovely weekend!


other things


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On Carrots And Plastic

winter vegetables

Dear Fellow Root Vegetable Lovers, Vegan Friends and Food Science Colleagues,

A friend of mine emailed me a link to an article that had captured her attention in the Norwegian press, and whose title translates as “Stressed Carrots Taste Worse”. I’m really glad she did, because it made me aware of a terrible carrot storing habit I had to this day. I realize that it was, respectively, an offense to your delicate taste buds, a crude lack of respect for your lifestyle, and a poor recognition of your hard work. Thus to all of you, I apologize.

All these years I have thought I could teach my grandma to suck eggs – or as it happens, to store carrots – and I was so wrong. My grandma, by the way, would have stored her carrots in the root cellar in a container full of sand, but as the article points out, today, luckily, we don’t need sand anymore: we have plastic.

Plastic. That’s were the shoe pinches. I confess that I have repeatedly lost my temper in front of all this plastic. I have savagely ripped these plastics bags, furiously thrown away these plastic baskets and called them “stupidly redundant” as I emptied carrots in the vegetable compartment of my fridge. I have wished I could teleport myself to the farmer’s market Place des Lices and have a bunch of sandy carrots dropped off straight into my reusable bag.

I wonder how I can have been so arrogant as to ignore that this plastic packaging, though “perhaps not very environmentally friendly”, was carefully designed to provide me with the healthiest, tastiest carrots? Now it all becomes clear. Of course the plastic basket protected my carrots from chocks during transport. And how can I have failed to notice that the plastic bags had perfectly calibrated holes to provide my carrots with the right amount of oxygen?

Now perhaps we should all just pause for a minute and wonder what exactly was wrong with our Grandmas’ root cellars. I am absolutely sure that conducting research on vegetation stress is very interesting and fruitful from a biological point of view. But I can’t help to think that this whole carrot and plastic story has a bit of a bitter aftertaste, and that this is what happens when one demands that research imperatively yields practical applications.

As a scientist and root vegetable lover, all this makes me, in fact, a little sad.

Take care and eat well,

Marion

PS: Did you know that carrot greens make a delicious soup? Here is my recipe.


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a table for four

a table for four{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
{Inspired by SouleMama}

on growing food and carrot greens soup

last-harvest-small

That’s about it. The last harvest of the season. Not pictured: a nice bunch of salads, a bunch of peppermint, and the last blueberries from the forest. The herbs and flowers, we dried and saved to slowly enjoy in cups of tea and sprinkled over pizza through the winter. The vegetables, we savored – every last one of them. Picked about a month ago, and now, long gone.

I was pretty sure that I had never wasted much food. But growing my own – or, more precisely, growing only a tiny little part of it – I’m learning my lesson: there’s still room for improvement. Before growing carrots myself, I had never wondered, silly me, if you could eat carrot greens. I’m glad I know that now, because they make a delicious soup.

Here’s to growing, what? A week’s worth of carrots?
Next year, hopefully, we’ll grow some more.


Carrot Greens Soup
adapted from this recipe

Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 as a main meal with home baked bread and cheese or hummus.

Ingredients
– The greens from a bunch of carrots (about half the carrots pictured above). I removed the stem-like parts and kept only the leafy parts.
– 3 potatoes, pealed and diced
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 clove of garlic
– 3 tablespoons of oil
– 1 pinch of fenugreek, or 1 cube of stock
– salt and pepper
– 1/2 liter of water

Instructions
Sauté the onions and garlic in oil. Add the potatoes and carrot greens and brown for 4-5 minutes while stirring.
Pour the water and add seasoning. Bring to a light boil, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Blend and enjoy. Never
EVER again throw away any carrot greens.

red is best, but green will do

tomato-harvest-small
chutney-small
gray-sky-small
gray-sky02-small

They grew quite well, and I could picture them red, ripe, perfect, with basil. The climate, however, decided otherwise. Not so surprisingly, of course, in these latitudes. Gray, gray skies, pouring rain, and chilly temperatures – green they remained, and so, chutney they became.

about summer?

basil-smallSomething I love about summer? Something I love about summer…
Not the heat, no, not the heat. I love the north, having a sweater on, and that light, that light! But then, oh, olive oil on my bread! Food from the south! And, oh, basil. Oh, yes, basil!