Thursday, 12 November 2009

November Foods

I meant to do this list each month starting way back, but obviously got distracted. I still consult my reference each time I go shopping for fruit and veg at the green market.

apples (available year round -- best in October, November & December); I tried a new type this time -- Cripps Pink. Who would have guessed they come from Western Australia?

artichokes, Jerusalem - never see them, can't say I would buy if I did; but maybe someday I'll try them. I've eaten an artichoke (you sort of drag the leaves through your teeth, rather messy) but not a Jerusalem artichoke

bananas (year round) - there was a banana war between the two larger supermarket chains last month. In case you didn't know, bananas are very political as well as being high in potassium.

(year round, best September, October & November). Ours in the garden turned out so-so; some got to a decent size whilst others remained tiny. I will grow them again, though, as even if the roots don't turn out great, there are still the greens and the stems and they are wonderful stir-fried.

- a superfood I try to keep in the house always.

(year round, best December, January & February)

(year round, best April, May & June) Bill ran across a news story that reported research findings I try to implement: apparently you get more nutrition from a carrot that has been steamed whole, rather than one that has been chopped up. Hey, it's one less thing to do...

(best this month!)

- Didn't see any at the market; tend to buy in a jar for Thanksgiving, though we used to buy cranberry juice a lot. These, as most berries, are also 'superfoods' and if I found a reasonably prices source I would probably try to figure out what you do with them.

(year round); I prefer spinach, particularly as we grow it; also because it can be cooked as well as eaten raw.

(year round) - Jane and Chris's neighbour grows these, somewhere on a farm, I think. I ate several when I was there. The juicest, most delicious grapefruits I've ever eaten.

(year round) - we prefer red seedless, but will settle for green if necessary; good in fruit salad with sweet yogurt for dessert

- never seen nor eaten, apparently they are not the same as a garden variety red radish, though related.

(best this month!) - We've eaten all we grew; they were tiny compared to store bought. I've learned to slice the white part lengthwise to facilitate getting out all the soil, otherwise the grit hurts my teeth. Leek and potato soup is very popular on blogs I read, must try it some time.

(year round, best in June, July and August). We still have some in the garden, so it's pretty tough stuff. Obviously not the iceberg variety. Must keep buying tomatoes for salads until we use up the lettuce in the garden.

(year round). I never ate a mushroom until I was 22. I love them now. Also, another veg to eat raw or cook.

(year round) - so cheap I would never bother to grow. Tried red onions but didn't find them worth the difference in price.

(year round) - more difficult to eat than a banana or an apple, but as they were 10 for a £1, I bought them and have enjoyed snacking.

(best this month) - I like parsnips OK; best when roasted, I think.

- didn't have on my list for some reason, but read recently that women who eat 2 pears a day lose more weight than women who do not. Should I go back and buy some?

(year round) - tinned pineapple does me fine. In fact, probably just the juice to make sweet and sour sauce for stir fries would probably do; must look around and see if pineapple juice is a good deal.

(year round; new potatoes in May) - I bought a big bag last month when I had big muscles around to carry them into the house for me. I asked the foreman if I could borrow one of his guys for just a couple minutes. He asked which one I wanted, which gave me pause to consider, but in the end I decided not to play favourites.

savoy cabbage
(best this month!) I now know this is a favourite of Jane’s. She was here this time last year, but the supermarket didn't have any savoys and I apparently didn't get any at the green market. Come again in November, Jane and I promise you this will be on the menu!

sea kale
- I've eaten kale and thought it was alright, but don't think I've ever had sea kale. My original source for this list was an old book from the Lit & Phil; I gather sea kale is now relatively rare.

shallots - I bought and used some of these for the first time this year. They were very nice, but for the price, I can settle for regular onions.

(year round) - Not sure I agree these are available year round, not nice ones anyhow. Most times I buy cherry or on-the-vine to ensure they have any flavour at all. Don't think home grown is really viable for the return, though we did get maybe 2 or 3 dozen very small tomatoes this year.

(year round, best in June and July) - I don't recall ever buying white turnips, but regularly buy swedes when they are on offer at the green market for 25 pence each...and they take a month to hack our way through. A turnip and a swede, however, are not the same.

I've not eaten most of these items and I'm unlikely to, in spite of living so close to a fish quay. Bill's not keen on most types of fish other than salmon, prawns or tuna. I quite like most of the white fishes, mild in flavour though they are; I'm not, however, keen on the prices. Still, I try to keep an open mind. We have a good supply of tinned fish: salmon, tuna and mackerel. I'm trying to work of the nerve to try some anchovies as they are also high in omega-3 oils.

(year round)
(year round)
(year round)
cod - very popular as fish & chips; more expensive due to this popularity and increasing rarity
(year round)
- have eaten smoked herring once at the Fish Quay Festival. Don't need to do it again.
(year round, best December, January & February)
(year round)
(year round)
red mullet (year round, best June, July & August)
(year round)
(year round)
(year round)
(year round)

Of course, I will soon be collecting food to cook for Thanksgiving. First, I need to get the spare refridgerator in the garage cranked up and ready...

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