Friday, 1 July 2016

July 2015: stop









STOP


Enough. It can be as hard to say ‘enough’, as it is to start something new. New things are exciting, they follow hope: “Life could be better if I did this!” Often, of course, after the excitement has died, we end up the same way we always were. 

‘Stopping’ is different. We may be taking a medicine. Or following advise, from experts, or a friend. We have a relationship, or smoke, or follow a habit, routine business.
There is an art to saying ‘stop’ at the right time. We don’t want to give up too easily - but nor do we want to end up doing the same thing all our lives, just because we once started.

How to decide? 

Listen to yourself. Listen, first, to your body. We like to trust machines, doctors, measuring our blood pressure and our cholesterol, our driving speed or test results. More and more we depend on gadgets to tell us whether to see a professional, or when the chicken is done in the oven. 
Can we still feel? Are we able to realize that we’re going too fast, even when the speedometer says it’s ok? Can we gauge that we’re working too hard, before our heart stops forever?

Saying ‘stop’ to ourselves, at exactly the right moment is very difficult. 
On the other hand, maybe we’d like to stop but can’t? 

Maybe it’s time to stop trying. To admit defeat. To stop beating ourselves up. To relax. To let go ……..

If you really can’t stop doing something, you may have chosen the wrong strategy. Something else may have to change first. 
Resisting the temptation of those elevenses biscuits is a whole lot easier when you’ve had a decent breakfast. Or you might be short of nutrients, which makes you crave particular foods - see [1].
Or a hormone called leptin, which normally tells you when to stop eating, is not doing its job. ‘Leptin resistance’ might be caused by consumption of fructose (in soft drinks for instance), sugar in general, stress, or overeating. In that case too, to try and stop eating has become impossible, unless you fix the leptin resistance first [2].


What can’t you stop doing, why not, and - should you? 


~~~


See our WATERING SPECIAL (right hand side, below July 2015), especially if you live in Somerset!

~~~


EAT:
Veg: beet, broad beans, carrots, chinese leaves, globe artichokes, kohlrabi, cauli, cabbage, (sugar) peas, beans, lettuce, sweetcorn, turnips, courgettes, broccoli, spring onions, squash, radish, tomatoes, samphire, spinach (beet), chard, endive.
Fish: mackerel is at its best in July, cheap and an invaluable source of omega 3. Otherwise: dab, black
bream, crab, mackerel, clam, dover sole, megrim sole, grey mullet, flounder and American signal crayfish.
Meat: lamb, rabbit, wood pigeon.


SOW:
Chinese/spring cabbage, calabrese, carrots, chicory, coriander, endive, florence fennel, kohlrabi, salad onions, (mangetout/sugar snap) peas, mooli, pak choi, turnips, black and white radish (mooli), perpetual spinach, chard, parsley, beetroot, french beans, mini cauliflower, lettuce*.
Half Julyif you like fresh greens early spring, sow endive, escarole type. If the winter is not too cold they won't need any protection, and will produce leaves either for salad or the famous Dutch 'andijviestamp'[1] till March. 
End of the month: corn salad, black radish, endive, kohlrabi. Sowing kohlrabi late in July should supply them well into the winter. They will stand in the soil until needed.
*Remember: only crisp lettuce (little gem, cos, webb) germinates well when soil temperature goes above 25C.
Plant: kale, sprouts, leeks, winter cabbages, broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower.


RECIPES

When your chives flower, that's not the end of it. The flowers can be used whole or torn up, fresh in salads, or fried. You can even dry them, and use for a subtle flavouring in the same way. If dried properly, they'll last for years. 

On a hot day, if you like cold soup (I don't), try:
SCRUMPTIOUS GREEN SOUP
Plenty of radish tops, onion, garlic clove, butter, cumin, sour cream, (1 tsp curry powder, walnut oil). 
Saute onion, garlic, cumin and curry powder in butter. After ab. a minute, add  l stock/water, bring to the boil. Add radish tops and cook for ab. 5 mins, whizz. Add sour cream, take off the heat and put some walnut oil on top if you have it.

BROAD BEAN SALAD
400ml shelled broad beans, 10 radishes, 2 tomatoes, 150g lettuce, rocket or young spinach leaves, 2 tblsp olive oil, 1 tblsp cider vinegar, 1 level tsp mustard, (½ tsp honey/sugar, soy sauce, herbs).
Cook beans about 5 mins (with some of the herbs), drain and let cool a bit. Tear the leaves into smallish pieces, chop radishes and tomatoes. Mix dressing ingredients, and then everything together.

COURGETTE-POTATO MIX 
450g sliced courgettes, 225g sliced (uncooked)  new potatoes, 3 tblsp oil, 1 sliced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp salt, 2 tblsp water, 1 tblsp finely sliced red pepper
Fry garlic for 30 secs. Add spices, salt and water, stir and fry gently for 2 minutes. Add vegetables and a bit more water, stir, cover and cook gently until the veg are done, stirring occasionally. Garnish with red pepper and  some fresh coriander if you have it.

MIXED VEGETABLE PASTA: use any veg you fancy or which needs to be eaten.
Pasta for 4, 150g fresh tomatoes or (part of) a tin, 2 courgettes, ab. 10 runner or broad beans, 150g cooked butter/kidney beans or chick peas, 1 heaped tblsp of pesto, 100ml creme fraiche, sour cream or yoghurt,  knob of butter and 1 tblsp of olive oil, 50g grated Cheddar (optional).
Chop courgettes into 1 cm pieces. Cut tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on size. Slice the runner beans into 2cm chunks, halve french beans or pod broad beans. Cook pasta normally. Meanwhile, heat butter and oil. Add courgettes and tomatoes if fresh, mix. Cover and cook on a low heat until the courgettes are soft, add tinned tomatoes at the last minute. Stir occasionally. Add all the beans to the pasta 4-5 minutes before it is due to finish. Add creme fraiche/cream/yoghurt, cheese and pesto to the tomato-courgette sauce. Drain pasta and mix with the sauce.

COURGETTES and TOMATOES with ANCHOVY
500g courgettes, 4-5 tomatoes, 1 anchovy filet, 1 minced clove garlic, 1 tblsp bread crumbs, oregano, 3 tblsp olive oil, salt, pepper.
Slice tomatoes and courgettes into 1cm slices. Cook courgettes for 10 mins, drain. Preheat oven to 190°C. Arrange veg in a buttered dish. Mince garlic and anchovy, combine with oil, pour on top. Season and dust with oregano and crumbs. Bake for 25 mins.

BROAD BEAN, CHORIZO and POTATO SIDE DISH
Sauté slices of cooked potato in oil until they begin to turn golden. Add slices of chorizo, the cooked beans and chopped tomato. Stir until the beans are hot and the chorizo crisp and heated through. Finish with chopped parsley. You can use mint and leave out the chorizo, to make it vegetarian. 

TRADITIONAL DUTCH RUNNER STEW for 5
1k potatoes, 800g runner beans, 250 gram (half a tin) white beans, 25g butter, 100ml milk/stock, nutmeg, pepper, salt, 200-250g ripe tomatoes, (herbs).
Cut the runners into strips. Cook them with the potatoes for 25 mins, drain, let steam dry without lid for a sec. Add butter, warm the white beans and tomatoes in the milk/stock, add everything else. Mash, season. Nice with sausages.

FRENCH BEANS and CARROTS with CHEESE
480g carrots cut in 7cm julienne strips, 225g French beans, 1 tbsp. oil, 2 tbsp. grated mature cheese (Montgomery's is very good!).
Cook carrots and green beans in 1-2 cm boiling water until tender; drain. Mix with oil, sprinkle with cheese. Nice with fried potatoes and onion. 





[1] See Thought for Food June 2012: cravings.

NEXT MONTH: diarrhoea.