Friday, March 26, 2010

Recipe 4: Aioli

I think I survived aioli. Andrew enjoyed it with some of our homegrown artichokes. But I am now certain that that cookbook needs illustrations or photos. I never know if I'm remotely in the ballpark. What am I supposed to do...taste the food? Geesh. :)
GARDENS FOR VICTORY
The Complete $2.50 Book
"A very practical book to help your garden, however modest, produce continuous supplies of nutritious food, properly selected, in the smallest space, in the shortest time, for the least cost."
Written by Jean-Marie Putnam & Lloyd C. Cosper

© 1942


Chapter Two: "V" Stands for Vitamins
Before going on with the planning and planting of our garden, let us consider just which vegetables will give the highest nutritional returns. For if we are to raise food, it is wisdom to know and to grown those foods which will do us the most good.

Nutritional experts say that to have a satisfactory diet, all of us in America should consume, besides other foods, twice the amount of vegetables we know eat. Of course a wise forward step toward that double ration is to put the back yard into production--and the kind of production that will provide vegetables rich in vitamins, for vitamins provide the key to basic nourishment.

"V" stands for Victory--also for vitamins and vegetables. The vita in vitamins is the Latin for "life," and the word vegetable comes from vegetus, meaning "lively."

What is a vitamin? What does the familiar word really mean? It is not easy to define. A young nephew's graphic but ungrammatical definition of gasoline could be paraphrased to fit vitamins. "Gas," he says, "is stuff that if you don't pu8t good in your car, your car won't run as well as if." "Vitamins," we might say, "are stuff that if you don't have plenty in your diet, your health won't be as good as if."

Vitamins are minute constituents of our daily food, chemical substances whose compositions and molecular patterns are precisely known to organic chemists. Certain foods may be rich in a particular vitamin; in others it is deficient or altogether lacking. The presence or absence of the different vitamins in our diets has definite psychological effects. The diet deficiency of one or another of these vital substances causes diseases: a diet adequate in vitamins goes far to insure abundant health.

It is evident now tha tht amount of food we eat si not nearly so important as its quality. Notably vitamin and mineral content are what count.

Certain foods such as polished rice, tapioca, tea, coffee, and sugar lack vitamins; or the amount they contain is negligible. Others, notably dandelion green, Swiss chard, and chicory among the garden products, are rich in vitamins, especially the vitamin designated "A."

Actually, Dr. Henry Borsook says, for an adequate diet only one three-hundredths of an ounce of vitamins is needed in a total daily average of a pound, or a pound and a half, of food consumed. Yet this amount, small though it seems, is vital. Without it we may suffer from serious deficiency diseases, or just plain lack of vitality. Nervousness, fatigue, inefficiency, and depression become chronic or acute when there is a lack of vitamins in our daily food. But when sufficient balanced amounts of vitamins are supplied, alertness, vim, and vigor result.

And that is where our gardens can play such an important part, peacetime or wartime. For garden products excel in vitamin values. Among these are the green and yellow vegetables, which lead in vitamins, some of them comparing spectacularly with meat and dairy products.

"A tisket, a tasket
A green and yellow [garden] basket."

could become a theme song for the vitamin-conscious gardener!

Your daily quotas of vitamins are shown in the accompanying table, and their beneficial effects are supposed to be these:*

A: Insurance against infection and glare blindness.
B1: Provides vim and vigor. Whets appetite.
C: Good for teeth and gums. Speeds healing.
B2: Gives health to the eyes.

[BOX]
VITAMIN CHART SHOWING DAILY QUOTA
All figures in international units, the standard measure, except Vitamin B2, which is giveen in Sherman-Bourquin units.

Children under 4:
Vitamin A - 4,500
Vitamin B1 - 200
Vitamin C - 1,000
Vitamin B2 - 450

Children:
Vitamin A: 5,000
Vitamin B1: 400
Vitamin C: 1,200
Vitamin B2: 540

Adolescents and adults:
Vitamin A: 6,000
Vitamin B1: 500
Vitamin C: 1,500
Vitamin B2: 600
[/BOX]

Even our microscopic daily minimum requirements cannot be manufactured within our bodies. They can be obtained only from sources outside ourselves, normally from our food: meat, fish, eggs, cheese, whole-grain cereals and breads, milk, fruit, and vegetables. The vitamins that are present in animal tissues (the meats we eat) and in the products of animal activity (dairy products) have originated for the most part from a vegetative source.

The sunshine travels more than 91,000,000 miles to co-operate with our green growing plants in the manufacture of vitamins for us. Vitamins occur naturally only in plants, are manufactured there, primarily in the leaves and seed embryos. ANd in some way they promote plant growth and are definitely necessary to plant as well as to animal and human life.

Animals eating those plants store the vitamins within their tissues. When we eat the plants (or the animals), we thereby get our supply. And our dooryard defense plots may go far toward meeting our daily vitamin quota, healthfully supplementing what comes to us in our non-vegetable eating.

Plenty of vitamin A in your diet means ability to resist infection, a healthy development of teeth and bones, a longer life-span, and good vision even in dim light. Among the commonest signs in America of vitamin A deficiency are glare blindness and subnormal vision in dim light.

A growing child requires 5,000 units of vitamin A daily; an adult, 6,000 to 8,000 for the best state of health. As an ounce of parsley will supply the day's total quota for adults, call on the herb garden for more than a garnishment! So will dandelion greens, just one ounce of them, give you all you need of A for the day. The next best garden sources of vitamin A in the order of their richness are chard, chicory, turnip greens, spinach, watercress, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, green peas, string beans, and leafy green vegetables.

Alas, vitamin B1 (thiamine chloride) is one of the most difficult to get enough of just by eating. Plenty of B1 acts as a sort of pepper-upper and tonic. General weakness, chronic fatigue, and neuritis are averted or relieved if there's ample B1 in your daily diet; and we do mean daily, for B1 can't be stored in the body, but must be taken in each day.

Vegetables that you can grown in your own backyard, each containing more than 50 units of B1 per serving, include artichokes, endive, wax beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, collards, kale, lima beans, parsnips, peas, green peppers, white potatoes, and tomatoes. But you need about three to five units per day per pound of body weight; thus, if you weigh 130 pounds, you need 650 units or about thirteen servings a day of these vegetables--and who's going to eat that much? So we regretfully concede that you'll have to get your full B1 quota elsewhere than from the garden.

Plenty of vitamin C in your diet helps resist infection. Scurvy, which was common in Europe until potatoes started to figure in the ordinary diet, is a vitamin-C-deficiency disease. Citrus fruits, potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and watercress are rich in vitamin C. Adolescents an adults should have 1,500 units daily, and children 1,200.

One serving of Brussels sprouts is worth 2,000 units--one-third more than your daily quota. An average serving of collards (a cabbage-like vegetable easily grown in your garden) has 1,000 units, or two-thirds of your daily C requirement. Kale has 2,800, or more than enough, in just one serving; and one red pepper contains as about as much as the kale. Swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, white potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, beet and turnip greens, kohlrabi, and parsnips--all potential home vegetable crops--are rich in vitamin C.

Now for vitamin B2, called by scientists "riboflavin." It is necessary for growth, and for the health of the yes. Although the human requirement and the B2 content of most foods have not been definitely established, about 600 units daily is thought to be necessary. The leafy green vegetables: beet greens, carrots and carrot tops, turnip green, and broccoli, are almost as rich in B2 as cow's milk and eggs--the best sources. Spinach, peas, tomatoes, cabbage, and lettuce are about half as rich as the greens mentioned above.

Although natural foods will undoubtedly continue for some time to be our regular daily source of vitamins, seven of the vitamins--A, B1, C, B2, D, E, and K--are now manufactured synthetically also and available in concentrated form.

Since the chemical formulae of seven vitamins have been definitely determined, and their artificial synthesis has been made possible, their use in medicine has saved many lives, since in acute cases or emergencies it is possible to administer whopping big doses of these synthetic vitamins. Also, they may be added and are being added to certain foods. A and D, for example, may be added to oleomargarine, and white flour may be fortified with crystalline thiamine chloride (B1). Indeed, the later is routine in England today by government ruling, and bakeries all over America are voluntarily fortifying white bread with B1.

While fortification of foods has a place in any national health campaign, here we are concerned with the growing of plant foods of naturally higher nutritional quality. The accompanying lists suggest plantings for small gardens which will most easily provide generous supplies of each vitamin.

Quality, as well as quantity, is important in vegetables. As gardeners realize, there must be a higher content of the life-giving vitamins in vegetables--and any other food plants--grown in fertile soil, rich in mineral and plant nutrients, than in those grown in poor, unfertilized soils. Carrots grown in soils deficient in one mineral will of course be deficient in that mineral, since the minerals are taken into food plants from the soil.

Also the mineral and vitamin content of food plants is somewhat determined by the amount of light present during their growth and development. What is important is perhaps not its intensity so much as its duration; hence the value of giving your defense garden a sunny situation. Comparatively few vegetables, in fact none of the important ones, would mature with only four or five hours' sunlight daily; actually most of them need from 7 to 10 hours.

There is one essential vitamin that no laboratory has analyzed. Though its formula would elude the most cunning chemist, the vitamin itself should be known to every cook; it is the one that Paul V. McNutt described rather grandly as "the vitamin of gastronomic gusto." It is probably most familiar to those who eat their vegetables and fruits freshly picked--and we do mean freshly--from the garden. For freshness connotes tastiness.

Then, too, if you have your own garden you can harvest vegetables while they are tiny. Small vegetables, those that aren't really mature, are likely to be more delicious than those that have come to full maturity on the ground or on the vine. Full-grown radishes, for instance, may be coarse, almost woody, compared with the tiny ones plucked from the soil while still sweet and crisp. New potatoes, of course, are universally recognized as more desirable when small, and so is squash. Baby carrots are almost impossible to buy in markets, yet they have far more zest than full-grown ones, either for eating raw or chilled, whole or sliced, or for steaming to serve with melted butter. When the rows of plants are thinned out, don't throw the little one on the compost heap; use them. Thinnings from salad garden make delicious eating, and chicory, romaine, and endive in their extreme youth are to highly to be recommended.

[BOX]
"VITAMIN A" GARDEN PLOT

dandelion greens
Swiss chard
kale
spinach
chicory
turnip greens
watercress
green peas
green string beans
sweet potatoes
carrots
parsley
[/BOX]

[BOX]
"VITAMIN B" GARDEN PLOT

Brussels sprouts
tomatoes
green lima beans
soy beans
endive
peas
potatoes
cantaloupe

(If you live in the South or Southwest)
grapefruit
bananas
peanuts
[/BOX]

[BOX]
"VITAMIN C" GARDEN PLOT

beets (tops)
broccoli
Brussels sprouts
(raw) cabbage
cauliflower
kale
kohlrabi
parsnips
white potatoes
collards
turnip (greens)
spinach
watercress
currants
peppers, red or green
tomatoes

(If you live in the South or Southwest)
avocados
bananas
grapefruit
lemons
oranges
papayas
raspberries
strawberries
tangerines
[/BOX]

[BOX]
"VITAMIN B2" GARDEN PLOT

beets
carrots
peas
tomatoes
spinach
chicory

(If you live in the South or Southwest)
avocados
peanuts
pears - grown in Midwest and East also
peaches - grown in Midwest and East also
[/BOX]

One feature of freshness in vegetables is that the sugar content in certain varieties, such as sweet corn and peas, begins to turn to starch soon after they mature. By the time they have reached your table after their travels through regular market channels a chemical reaction is likely to have set in which does not make them taste any better.

However, there are certain exceptions. Scientists have observed, for instance, that the vitamin-A content of sweet potatoes is increased, instead of decreased, as much as three to four per cent after a storage period of two months.

If properly handled after the can is opened, canned (and frozen) vegetables and fruits are just as rich in vitamins as the fresh. But for uncanned and unfrozen garden foods the time element is highly important; these are not only more nutritious, they are also more delicious, when they come directly to the garden on to the dining table. On the other hand, foods bought at market have had to be picked, packed, shipped, and displayed before they are finally purchased, the time-lapse here being a matter of days--whereas in a matter of minutes after harvesting them, your garden-fresh foods may be served.

Romaine lettuce is a case in point. As it wilts, its vitamin content disappears into thin air; while just two nine-inch leaves of crisp, succulent, fresh romaine contain 1,300 International Units (the standard measure) of vitamin A (about one-fifth of the day's total requirement), four I.U. of B1, 20 I.U. of C and 9.99 Sherman-Bourquin units of vitamin B2.

To compare the two leaves of fresh romaine with other foods and give those I.U. statistics some meaning: they contain almost as much vitamin A as a quart of whole fresh raw milk, though not so much of the other vitamins as milk contains; twice as much B1 as a tablespoonful of cream (and think, madame, how much lower the calory count is in the romaine than in the cream!); as much vitamin C as a quarter of a pound of lean stewed beefsteak, and slightly more vitamin B2 than a quarter of a pound of light meat of chicken. So you can see romaine packs a terrific vitamin wallop.

Salads and vegetables are not, of course, the only vitamin-givers: Fruits, meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, and berries contain varying amounts. Your home garden can supply you with adequate daily amounts of A, B1, C, an B2 when supplemented by other foods such as dairy products, meat, and fish.

Green and yellow vegetables are valuable in our diet chiefly on account of their mineral salts, their cellulose, which supplies our bodies with bulk or roughage, and their water content (90 to 95 per cent), as well as for their vitamin content. Since roots and tubers are heat- and energy-giving foods, they are especially desirable for winter use.

Garden sources of vitamins include green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, green peas, sweet potatoes, and green string beans, all of which are among the foods rich in vitamin A. (See table on page 16.) A serving of dandelion leaves alone contains one day's requirement.

Tomatoes, lima beans, endive, peas, and potatoes are easy-to-grow home garden crops rich in B1 (thiamine chloride). Vitamin C comes from beet tops, Swiss chard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raw cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, parsips, potatoes, spinach, watercress, currants, peppers, raspberries, strawberries, and tomatoes. As sources of B2 (riboflavin), carrots, green leafy vegetables, peas, tomatoes, beets, and broccoli (both the flowers and the leaves) are almost as important as cow's milk and eggs.

Small but unimportant amounts of vitamin D are present in certain foods. E is found in green leafy vegetables, especially the green leaves (not the white heart) of lettuce, and also in spinach and watercress. Vegetable oils such as cottonseed oil, corn oil, and palm oil contain both E and F. The latter, so-called "skin vitamin," is widely distributed in foods, but there are as yet not data regarding our daily requirements of F. Green leaves, cabbage, alfalfa, and spinach are said to contain vitamin K, which in synthetic concentrates is valuable in medicine, but which do not yet need to worry about nutritionally.

Certain nutrient mineral elements are necessary to plant growth and development, and certain minerals are essential in our diets to human well-being. Like vitamins, minerals too come from vegetables, fruis, nuts, and other foods. Calcium, phosphorus, iron, and iodine are the minerals our diets are most likely to lack. Vegetables, fruits, meats, milk, cheese, and cereal are all sources of minerals.

Calcium--for healthy bones, teeth, and nails--is found in cauliflower, celery, carrots, string beans, peas, and potatoes. Indeed, an average serving of cauliflower, for instance, supplies as much calcium as half a glass of milk, one of the richest sources of calcium. And two or three stalks of celery give slightly more calcium than one egg. Half a cup of any of these garden vegetables: cooked carrots, string beans, cabbage, peas, or potatoes, provides almost four times as much calcium as an average serving of most lean meats.

Phosphorus is a mineral element as essential to every cell in the human body as it is to every cell in plant organism; it is also good for our nervous systems and co-operates with calcium in bone-building.

Because calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium--all essential minerals--are water-soluble, the water in which they are cooked will contain minerals; so don't pour the precious minerals down the drain with the water.

Iron, the mineral element which is to the hemoglobin of our red blood what magnesium is to the green chlorophyll in plants is, alas, one of the most commonly deficient minerals in our garden foods. Average servings of leafy green vegetables, or of parsley or cabbage, have about one-third the iron content of an average serving of liver. Iodine, the goiter preventative, is found in cranberries, especially those grown near the sea.

Copper and fluorine are present in most foods. Blueberries are rich in manganese; green leafy vegetables in magnesium; and oysters, fruits, and vegetables, in zinc. Tomatoes and watermelons are generous sources of bromine; sulphur, the diabetes preventative, comes from the proteins of meat, milk, and eggs. These furnish not only sulphur but vitamins as well.

Summed up, you will be sure to get plenty of essential vitamins and minerals if you include lots of vegetables in your menus, summer and winter. And much of this essential food may be home-grown as ornamentally as frivolous flowers.

[BOX]
GARDEN FOODS WITH HIGH MINERAL CONTENT

Sixteen mineral elements, found only in foods, are necessary to build normal, healthy bodies. Here are the sixteen, with some selected vegetables that are specially rich in each.

Potassium
cabbage
carrots
chicory
endive
lettuce
mint
nasturtium leaves
parsley
potatoes (skin)
spinach
Swiss chard

Sodium
asparagus
celery
carrots
cucumbers
dandelion greens
pumpkins
spinach
tomatoes
turnips
all leafy green vegetables

Sulphur
Brussels sprouts
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
celery
horseradish
lettuce
onions
peas
radishes
spinach

Magnesium
apples
grapes
peas

Silicon
asparagus
cabbage
cucumbers
horseradish
lettuce
spinach

Calcium
lima beans
string beans
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
celery
endive
green leafy vegetables
kohlrabi
peas
okra
onions
parsnips
rhubarb
spinach
turnips
watercress

Phosphorus
Brussels sprouts
cauliflower
corn
green leafy vegetables
dandelion
kohlrabi
parsnips
peas
potatoes
pumpkins
spinach
turnip tops

Iron
asparagus
lima beans
string beans
beet tops
blackberries
broccoli
dandelion greens
kale
lettuce
mustard greens
spinach
New Zealand spinach
strawberries
Swiss chard
tomatoes
turnip tops
All green leafy vegetables

Iodine
carrots
grapes

Manganese
endive
nasturtium

Chlorine
cabbage
cucumbers
lettuce
spinach

Fluorine
Brussels sprouts
cabbage
spinach
watercress

Nitrogen
Beans
Peas

Carbon is found in all foods; it is the fuel of the body. Hydrogen and oxygen are found in the air and the water. And oxygen is supplied also through foods rich in nitrogen (or protein), iron, potassium, and iodine.
[/BOX]




















* Discussing effects of Vitamin C, Dr. Borsook sums up with justified conservatism: "On the other hand, there is no convincing evidence that resistance to infection can be raised much above normal by taking orally this or any other vitamin." At this stage probably a fair statement is that all vitamins, in food form, are beneficial, although they are not panaceas."



GARDENS FOR VICTORYThe Complete $2.50 Book
"A very practical book to help your garden, however modest, produce continuous supplies of nutritious food, properly selected, in the smallest space, in the shortest time, for the least cost."
Written by Jean-Marie Putnam & Lloyd C. Cosper

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What is a bottomless egg box?

On page 193 of The Complete Tightwad Gazette, in the section on trash-picking/Dumpster diving/treasuring hunting, Amy Dacyczyn writes out a list of all of her family's greatest finds. She mentions "an antique bottomless egg box (sold as-is for $5)." Google yields no results for bottomless egg box. What is this delightful-sounding contraption?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

POSSUM LIVING BY DOLLY FREED


1. READ THE 1970s POSSUM LIVING BOOK

a. Download the electronic text of Possum Living: How To Live Well Without a Job and With Almost No Money aka Possum Living: Living Easy Off the Land Without a Job and Almost No Money by Dolly Freed

b. Buy the first edition, as published by Universe Books in 1978 and then reprinted by Bantam Books in 1980 (beige cover), by visiting Bookfinder.com

c. Buy the Shiny New Reprint of Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money, brought out in 2010 by Tin House Books with foreword by David Gates and afterword by Dolly Freed


"Possum Living"

2. WATCH THE 1970s POSSUM LIVING DOCUMENTARY

a. View a full-length uncut version of the movie by Nancy Schreiber on on Vimeo


b. Or click through and watch the movie broken up into three parts on YouTube: Part I, Part II, Part III


3. FIND OUT ABOUT DOLLY FREED TODAY

a. Possum Living: A Blog by Dolly Freed - Yes, she's online! Check out this blog and other articles and information about Dolly and her Possum Living life in the 1970s...and today.

b. "Finding Dolly Freed," by Paige Williams, photographs by Audra Melon - The New York Times wouldn't publish this freelance article because they have a policy against covering people who are known only pseudonymously, so the author posted it online directly.