Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

A few weeks ago, at the farmers market, my favourite stallholder asked me if I wanted some good yams*. She knew I would certainly be interested in, because she knew I was working on yams and I regularly buy her tubers (for food, not work). Well, I’m still learning ways to cook these, and it is certainly an amazing food, even if not as tasty as potatoes (sweet or not), depending on varieties.

Anyhow, I asked her what the variety’s name was. (Just curious, very curious). These were indeed quite small and amazingly regular tubers, with strange self peeling epiderms. Cute tubers.

“That, is Not Possible**” she said. I was disappointed: why didn’t she know the very stuff she was selling out? I bought them.

The thing is, you can’t possibly hear upper case letters in a discussion. The variety’s name was simply “Not Possible”, I just did not understand this.

Later on, speaking yams with colleagues during a meal, they enquired whether I already tasted “Not Possible” yams, and I realised that yes, I’ve eaten this before. It’s just that it’s Not Possible, the most implausible name of a plant variety…

And that’s it!

* I mean true yams (Dioscorea sp), the crop ones (D. alata or D. rotundata/cayenensis that occur here). What’s often sold as yam in the USA are sweet potatoes, not yams.

** “Ca, c’est Pas Possible”.

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Seeds Aside is currently in an oversea territory where bread fruit is an important part of diet. Though far away from where this species originated, the tree is heavily propagated (probably over a good third of gardens have a bread fruit tree in here). Every day, my neighbours give a try until they catch a fruit (except when they’re not mature enough, that is, a few weeks between each reproductive round). That’s a good way of getting food for free when monney is not here (since monney doesn’t grow on trees). We get to eat this too, though usually not because we need it (that would have been true last year, but not now).

So I give you a shoot to this picture. Follow the link to learn more about different varities (click on picture, HT Agrodiv).

Bread fruit, Afara variety

Bread fruit, Afara variety


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Amazonia. If you want chickens, there are several possibilities. One is to go to the next grocery, one that have a freezer (that is, at least a medium size grocery), and buy there a frozen chicken. You may also buy a live one to your neighbour, but that’s more expensive and you have to kill it yourself (and pluck and empty the beast, that’s more work but it’s not impossible).

Or there’s the other way. I’m going to tell you… (more…)

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Wintertime = Soup

Okay, here’s another one:

50% Allium porrum, 50% wild Rumex acetolosa, Allium sativum powder, a handful of Avena sativa grains, very few salt grains.

Boil, mix (before or after throwing in Avena sativa), drink.

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Preparation: 42 min, once again (this is the average time I need to cook the family meal).

Ingredients*: 1 Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra, 4 Scorzonera hispanica, 3 Solanum tuberosum var. “Ratte”, 2 Allium cepa, 1 Beta vulgaris var. conditiva, 3 handfuls of Oriza sativa var. “Selenio”, Cinnamomum verum, white Prunus domestica jam, salt.

Peel, boil, mix, and enjoy!


(For meat-eaters, good with almost any fried pork cut.)

* Whenever possible, exact taxonomic level is described, though it is supposed to work with different varieties.


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Simple soup recipe

Preparation: 42 min

Ingredients: 6 Daucus carota, 6 Allium cepa*, 6 Solanum tuberosum, Allium sativum powder, salt, Musa spp.

Peel, boil, mix and enjoy!

(Kids thought there was Cinnamomum verum in it!)

* ~ 30 lachrymation equivalent

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Musical vegs…

Just because I’m trying a come-back with the New Year, please have something special for these days. Enjoy and see you soon!

You can find more in there (well, wordpress is bugging right now and I can’t update this line without being redirected, so please copy and paste this link:


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Cool stuff there at This Week in Evolution, all about domestication and reversion of traits in cultivated plants. Though the title made me think of another aspect of plants’ life, not quite that plants mating wild story-line, but the story of yet another natural (cultural) reversion… Maybe that’ll make some post next August…

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If you have a subscription to Nature, this week’s issue is dealing with agriculture’s challenge of producing enough food as the world population reaches its plateau (apparently, this is to be expected around 2050). I’m just digging in, and it’s very interesting… (more…)

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I can’t say how it came up, but it did. One May day, I made Lasagnas, but not the kind you eat. Lasagna beds. For those who don’t know what this is about, Lasagna beds gardens have been defined as:

raised bed that, just as its name suggests, is built up in layers like a tray of lasagna. The students follow a recipe of layers including several kinds of organic material like grass clippings and soil. This is a nearly foolproof place to get things to grow because the soil conditions are ideal*.

I can’t say how exactly I learned about this fairly easy way of gardening. Maybe it came from lurking in here. And then I found out when looking for alternatives to tilling and so. And also probably because I taught students about pedogenesis and had to dig into soil biology. Seems like everything was set for me to decide having a try. Probably the most pushing came out of colleagues or family being way skeptical about gardening without tilling… Till I decided I’d better have a demonstration… (more…)

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