Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 21


Walking to the farmers' market.


Tiny baby tulip tree.  There are millions and billions of tiny baby maple trees in the neighborhood, but this is the only baby tulip tree I've seen this year.


Petunias and other goodies in planters at the market.

My breakfast was a country scone from Zingerman's Bakehouse.  I've liked every one of their scones I've eaten, but this kind is my fave.  It has oatmeal, raisins, nuts (I think), and cinnamon sugar on top.  Mmmmmmmmmm.

Breakfast detritus, with a souvenir of Florence, Italy, from 2013.

Walking back through the market after breakfast, looking for a bouquet.  I was disappointed -- the only bouquets I saw were hot-house flowers, and I didn't like the color combinations (even had I been willing to buy a hot-house bouquet).  Oh well.  I tried.

This is rhubarb, potted up and ready to take home and add to the garden.  I love rhubarb, but it is a really big plant when full-grown.  The farmer said it would take up a circle 4-5' in diameter.  I like to eat rhubarb, but I don't have enough space to grow it.

I think it's attractive, though.  If I had unlimited space, I might well grow it.  I think it's amazing that leaves this big start new every year!


Walking home.  Iris.  I love iris..............

I don't know what this is.  I saw it in West Park.  I suspect it was deliberately planted, but do not know.  The tiny flowers are carried high (2'?) above the ground.

Pleased, again, that the phone took a pic this sharp of something tiny that was waving in the breeze.

Fancy teeny flowers which were basically round yellow blobs to my naked eye.

I just finished an online class on Food as Medicine.  It was interesting -- and tantalizing.  Nutrition science is booming, like so many parts of biology, as a result of things we are learning every day about the workings of our bodies, and the intricacies of those workings.  As with any class where knowledge expands and changes every day, we got glimpses of things that will be usual in the future, but are not yet possible.  For example -- recommendations as to what each of us, individually, should eat for optimum health.

In the mean time, while we wait for the technology/knowledge to catch up to the promise of individualized nutrition, they gave us the one-size-fits-all advice that is informed by the research.

One such piece of advice resonated with things my mother learned when she studied nutrition in the 1960s.  "Eat a variety of things, prepared in a variety of ways."

In class they said that we really don't know much, yet, about the micronutrients in foods.  They asserted that more diversity is better, to make it more likely that we are getting everything we need.  They recommended that we eat 20 different things every day, and specifically said that we are better off eating more different things, rather than a lot of one thing (even when it is a good thing).

They used orange juice as an example.  They showed us how much orange juice you'd get if you squeezed one orange.  Not much.  About 1/3 cup.  That 1/3 cup of orange juice isn't as good for you as an orange (less fiber, for one thing).  They said that we get all of the nutrition (vitamin C, for one thing) we need from orange juice in one day from that 1/3 cup.  If we drink more orange juice, we are not getting any more of the nutrients we need, but we *are* getting more calories.  We can only use so much vitamin C in a day, and we can't store it.  If we keep drinking OJ, we are basically getting no added necessary nutrition, after that first 1/3 cup, but we are still taking in the calories from the extra OJ.

Their contention is that we are better off to consume those "extra" calories in the form of some other food, so we can take advantage of the different nutrients in that other food.

This makes a good deal of sense to me...............

I'm happy to eat a lot of different foods, but am less happy to wash/cut/peel/chop/measure/mix/cook/whatever all of those different ingredients.

So I got sneaky.  I started looking for more complicated foods instead of simpler ones.  Roasted unsalted mixed nuts (5 different things), instead of roasted unsalted almonds(1 lonely thing).

Zingerman's Bakehouse makes several breads that are packed with ingredients. This, for example, is 8-grain 3-seed bread.  Hey, presto! -- 11 different things in one tasty package!

Isn't it pretty?  Pleasing to the eye, pleasing to the taste, and provides access to the nutrients in 11 different grains/seeds!

I mentioned earlier that I didn't see any bouquets at the farmers' market.

Luckily there are violets growing up between the bricks of our patio.  Some of them had really long stems.

I took this little bottle out to the patio and picked a handful of violets.  A pretty, if tiny, bouquet.

All of these violet pics were taken with the phone.  So odd, that it sees the color of the wall so differently from different angles...........  This next pic is closer to reality than the prev.

I found a recipe online for baked rhubarb jam.  I don't want jam, I just want cooked rhubarb.  But mixing the rhubarb with sugar and baking it is awfully easy (and the weather was a bit chilly over the weekend, so I didn't mind having the oven on rather than the furnace).

Rhubarb is beautiful.

The recipe said to cut in 2" lengths.  When we make rhubarb crumble, we usually cut in slices that are less than 1/2".  I compromised at around an inch, erring on "more is better."  It takes less time to cut this sort of length than the shorter slices we usually go for!

Here it is, sugared up, ready to go in the oven.

Still pretty after an hour or so in the oven.

I decided to make the crumble (oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, butter) separately, and I toasted the nuts separately, too.

This meant I could add more sugar to the rhubarb, when I discovered that I had seriously underestimated.

This was good.  But.  We usually eat it with ice cream, and I didn't have any ice cream.  I'm sure I could have tolerated sour rhubarb more easily if I'd had ice cream, which has both sugar and soothing cream (which, I bet, would mitigate the sourness, even without sugar).

This was the first rhubarb I'd eaten this season.  Cooking it this way is very easy.  I mean to make more and freeze it.........  (Note to self -- 2.75 pounds of rhubarb doesn't come close to filling the oblong glass cake pan.  Get more next time.)



Anonymous said...

hi Vicki! So nice to see your interesting this nutrition class sounds. We are always learning more and more about the foods we eat. I try to eat real food but I've been traveling for work so much it is very very difficult to do that on the road. I love your tiny violet pretty!
I'm on my work computer and it didn't like how I am logged on...thus the anonymous comment

I need orange said...

Yes, the class was very interesting. :-)

So much that we don't know, but so much we are on the cusp of understanding better.

(So many cool online classes that are free. Available whenever we have time and inclination, and no pressure. Food as Medicine was through FutureLearn.)

I sympathize with the difficulty of finding actual food to eat when traveling. It can be hard to find vegetables in restaurants, and nevermind if they are prepared in a healthy way (not cooked to death in tons of probably unhealthy fats)!

You are certainly spending A LOT of time on the road. Hoping your travels bring you many excellent views, and many restoring places to walk.