Saturday, 3 September 2016

September 2011: milk

Let me tell you about milk.

After milk leaves the farm it is remade from scratch: separated by centrifuges into fat, protein and other solids and liquids, which are then reconstituted into whole, skimmed milk etc. The dairy industry loves to sell low fat milk, because they make much more money selling the butterfat for ice cream.
Having removed the fat, they replace it with powdered milk concentrate. The milk is then pasteurized at 161°F, or 'ultrapasteurized' at 200°F, in which case it doesn't have to be kept cool at all.

The trouble is, processing makes the milk hard to digest and the proteins allergenic. Animals fed pasteurized milk develop deficiencies and become infertile after several generations.
Then there is the problem of powdered milk, which they add to reduced-fat milks and -products to give them body. When it is powdered, nitrates form, and the milk cholesterol becomes oxidized. Contrary to what we have been taught, there is nothing wrong with cholesterol: it's oxycholesterol you should worry about, for consuming this can lead to atherosclerosis. So the oxidized cholesterol in reduced-fat milk or yoghurt can lead to heart disease, the very thing you wanted to avoid.

The lovely, natural, alkaline food which is milk, has been made into an indigestible (but profitable) acidic product, which has lost the fat and cholesterol needed to absorb nutrients indispensible for our wellbeing. Convenience and aesthetics further dictate that it should be homogenized: a process which destroys the protection which natural milk gives against diseases like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, depression, and stress.

Fortunately, you can still get whole, organic, unhomogenized milk. Even in glass bottles and delivered to your doorstep ( Can we really afford a high definition television, but not decent milk? [1]

Veg: broad/runner/french beans, marrow, squash, courgette, lettuce, turnip, peas/mangetout, aubergine, pepper, spinach, chard, sweetcorn, shallots, tomatoes, cauli, carrots, cabbage, beet, globe artichoke, cucumber, fennel, radish, kohlrabi, calabrese, chicory, endive, swede.
Fish: mackerel, seabass, black bream, crab, mussels, scallops, cuttlefish etc.
Meat: rabbit, lamb, wood pigeon, duck, goose, grouse, partridge, venison.
And see for all the stuff you can find in the wild.
Fruit: if your garden provides more than you can ever eat, why not share? At you'll find a new initiative to encourage local sharing of surplus fruit.

spring cabbage, spinach, turnips, oriental vegetables, landcress, rocket, corn salad, winter lettuce, winter purslane. Plant overwintering onion sets, garlic.

300g young, spinach, 25g butter, 1 finely chopped shallot, 1 chopped clove of garlic, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, 2 cups of chicken stock/water, 100ml crème fraîche, (nutmeg). Sweat shallot and garlic for 5 mins in butter. Add spinach and cook until it wilts, then add stock and cook 1 more min. Blend until smooth. Stir in crème fraîche, add not too much salt, plenty of pepper (and nutmeg). Don't boil: serve warm. 


225g beans, 45g butter, 225g mushrooms, 120ml sour cream/creme fraiche mixed with 1 tsp (corn)flour, thyme, (some sliced cooked new potatoes,) salt and pepper.
Top, tail and cook beans until just tender, drain well. Melt butter and sauté mushrooms ( and the potatoes) on high heat so they don't lose their juices. Cook until tender. Stir in beans and heat through. Add sour cream and season. Reheat but don't let boil. Serve immediately.

Slice courgettes thinly, then fry (with thyme?) on low heat till nearly done. Add chopped garlic a few mins before they are soft. Add crème fraîche or ricotta, some tomato puree or tomatoes and heat through.

9oz runner beans; olive oil; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 3 tbsp crème fraîche; 2 tsp Dijon mustard and/or clove of garlic; 1 tbsp chopped chives; water.
Prepare runner beans, cut into four. Drop into boiling salted water, cook for 4 mins, drain. Heat oil, add beans, fry for 2 mins. Whisk crème fraîche, mustard, squashed garlic, chives and water to a smooth dressing. Put on beans.

750g chopped fresh spinach, salt, 1 tblsp olice oil, 2.5 cm cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 3 coarsely chopped garlic cloves, 2 chopped chillies, 2 tblsp chopped fresh coriander, 6 tblsp fromage frais.
Blanch spinach in salted water for 2 mins. Drain and leave, to let as much water run off as possible. Heat oil in b a deep frying pan over low heat and add cinnamon, cloves, garlic, 1 chilli followed by the spinach. Stir fry quickly over moderate heat. Add salt, coriander and last chilli, continue to fry for 2-3 mins over low heat. Stir in fromage frais and cook for 1 - 1/2 mins more. Fish out clove and cinnamon.

WARM BEAN SALAD with TOMATO DRESSING: serves 4 as a side dish.
1lb runner and French beans; 3 sliced spring onions; 2 tbsp olive oil; 300g tomatoes (peeled if you like); tarragon or thyme; 12 basil leaves. Warm oil and lightly cook onions until tender, don't let colour. Chop tomatoes and add to pan, stirring and squashing with a wooden spoon. Add 150ml water, bring to boil, add salt, pepper and tarragon roughly chopped. Partially cover and simmer slowly for 10 mins until it thickens. Tear basil and stir in. Take off heat. Cook or steam beans. Drain, add tomato dressing, mix, heat up. Goes well with boiled potatoes.

1 carrot; 1 courgette; 3 eggs; 80g soft brown sugar; 30ml ground almonds; finely grated rind of 1 orange; 150g self raising wholemeal flour; 5ml ground cinnamon; 175g soft cheese, 1 tsp clear honey.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 18cm square tin with baking paper. Coarsely grate carrot and courgette. Put yolks, sugar, almonds and rind into bowl and whisk until very thick and light. Sift flour and cinnamon, fold into mix together with grated veg. Add bran left in sieve. Whisk whites until stiff and fold in, a half at a time. Spoon into tin. Bake for 1 hour, covering top after 40 mins. Leave to cool in tin for 5 mins, turn out on to a rack and remove paper. Beat together cheese and honey and spread over cake.

With love, Annemieke.

Next month: salt.