Saturday, 1 July 2017

July 2010: breakfast!

"Slurries of grain are forced through tiny holes at high temperatures and pressures in giant extruders, a process that destroys nutrients and turns grain proteins into poisons. A solution of liquid sweeteners, flavorings, colorants, and water are added to the mix. Each little flake or shape is then sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal and give it crunch."* Would you feed that to your children?
Of course you would. We're talking, not just coco pops and corn flakes, but all packaged breakfast cereals.
Extrusion destroys essential fatty acids like omega 3 and renders amino acids toxic.
This is how boxed cereals are made, even the ones in health food shops. Only muesli and oats have escaped. Go for them.

"The more food is processed, the more profitable it gets for the big food manufacturers." Says Michael Pollan: see the whole interview at

And did you know that shredded wheat (not shreddies!) is the only breakfast cereal, bar oats or sugarless musli, which has no added sugar at all?  

Veg: artichokes, aubergines, beet, broad beans, carrots, courgette, kohlrabi, cauli, cabbage, (sugar snap) peas, beans, lettuce, sweetcorn, turnips, broccoli, peppers, spring onions, squash, radish, fennel,  watercress, chard, tomatoes, samphire, spinach (beet), endive, lettuce, pak choi.
Fish: dab, black bream, crab, mackerel, queen scallop, warty venus clam, dover sole, haddock, or megrim.
Meat: lamb, rabbit, wood pigeon.

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.
Plant: kale, sprouts, leeks, winter cabbages, broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower.
*All lettuce, bar the crisp type (little gem, cos, webb) germinates poorly when soil temperature goes above 25C. To avoid this risk in hot weather, sow into well watered soil between 2 and 4pm and cover with shading for the first 24hrs.

kale, sprouts, leeks, winter cabbages, broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower.

If you like fresh greens, the humble corn salad (lamb's lettuce) is marvellous. The time spent cleaning it, you save on the growing: once established they self-sow forever. They offer salad leaves throughout the year, to be ignored when you don't need them, savoured when you do, especially in early spring. Between lettuce crops, after lettuce crops, in midwinter or the hungry gap, corn salad will be there for you. Sow late July or in August where there's plenty of space, and let some go to seed. The same goes for winter purslane/claytonia, but that prefers sandy soil and doesn't like, at least, my garden.


If your beans are a bit long in the tooth, you can (pod and) skin them. This leaves delicious, sweet, delicately-flavoured beans. Do this as follows. Pod; cook for 1 minute; plunge into cold water; nick top with thumb nail; gently squeeze bean from skin; boil 3-4 mins.

  • 200g porridge oats
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 mackerel fillets
  • 50g butter
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • handful watercress
  • ½ sliced red onion
  • 8 sliced radishes. 
Sprinkle oats onto a plate, season. Dip mackerel fillets into beaten egg, then roll in oats.
Mix oil, mustard and vinegar. Add cress, red onion and radishes. Divide among 4 plates.
Heat butter over medium heat. When foaming, add mackerel fillets and fry 2-3 minutes.
Turn and fry for 2-3 more minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and squeeze over lemon juice. Top the salad on the plates with the fish.

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs 
  • 25g butter
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • chicken stock 
Remove fronds, but keep them. Remove stringy outer layers. Slice bulbs into 5-10mm thick slices, place, ideally in single layer, into (frying) pan with lid. Add butter, lemon and enough stock to barely cover. Bring to gentle simmer, cover and cook slowly, until very tender. Season and sprinkle with the reserved frond. Good with fish.


Next month: nanofood.