Smooth Jams and Produce’s Purpose

 photo DSC00131_e_zpshs6fab50.jpg

Geranium, squash adjacent.

We’re going on a meandering maunder, a purposeless pontification, I am Jack of all the words. You are Reader the Dearest. Today we talk of food, grub, victuals, provisions, of the thing we all need. Why? Because I said so. I’m just in the mood to type, maybe I’ll even say something worthwhile, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one, dear reader.

 photo DSC00134_e_zpsmuxowwjw.jpgFiltered. photo DSC00135_e_zpsxbx2fxzz.jpgAu Natural.

I have a request, I want your opinion. I’m not really experienced enough, never will be either, with photographing food. I take photos of food, but I never touch them up or fiddle with settings. I took two photos of my dinner today, the top was taken with a food filter. You can see it makes it slightly brighter, more colourful, not very different. What I want to know is if you’d prefer to see the photos run through a filter like this, no exaggeration, just a little more colourful or if you’d rather see them as they are in real life. I can’t decide myself and since it’ll affect my readers I thought I’d leave it to you to decide. Leave your thoughts in the comments below and thanks.

 photo DSC00138_e_zpswkmwsloe.jpgThe saved pansy seeds finally blooming. photo DSC00136_e_zpsad1n5vgh.jpgI think these are the new seeds. Hard to tell really.

One of the things I’ve struggled with is using everything I’ve grown, often I ended up giving away fresh produce because I didn’t want to use it. This year I grew what I wanted and what I’d be willing to try out. There are so many ways to use fresh ingredients, there’s no trick to using them, just a lot of research and ignoring the methods that don’t suit you, no matter how popular or idealistically framed. I think the key to eating so well is that I started with an ingredient and tried everything I could, no matter how absurd, how strange or how obscure. It’s easy to feel a little foolish when you’re the only one eating food prepared a certain way. Like with my nut butter amaranth, though with that you’ll have to kill me to stop me eating amaranth like that, it’s delicious. I think you have to find the best way to use the ingredients for you. Fads come and fads go, but if you can stick to eating good food, in the least processed way possible, then it’s worth any effort on your part. Maybe it sounds silly, but it can extremely stressful being the only one to eat this way.

 photo DSC00120_e_zpsbvpumd5o.jpgBeef vacuum sealed with fresh herbs, tossed in a rice cooker, filled with water, with a slow cook setting.

 photo DSC00133_e_zps6vsjvjmv.jpgA batch of Buckwheat Fruit Puree Scones.

I was reading a post today from a Coeliac charity that are working to bring in gluten free staples to shops, you know what those are. I’m not getting into the problems, nutritional and otherwise, with some gluten free products, but it always hits me how alone I am in the diet I follow. It’s a pain at times, but it really has shown me just how much ac be done with food. Not in the clickbaity way either, like hiding vegetables in cheese and more cheese with a side of cheese. There are so many options open to us, but perhaps you’re like I was. I grew up with staples that weren’t always healthy, they were decent home coked meals for the most part, crap for the other, but the shocking thing is how hard it is to break away from that comfort zone. It’s part of the struggle I had with weight and the successful weight loss. here’s nothing so disheartening than being asked, over and over, what that is, why are you eating that, etc. Being told they’d never eat that as if their way is the only right way. I’m happy to say I never fell into the extreme camps either, the ones who stick to one food and declare it’s magically curative properties. I just appreciate food for what it is. I keep it varied. I try anything, and I mean anything, I ate a nasturtium off the plant, it’s disgusting by he way, just because it was okay to eat. I think a lot of people have issues with foo that they’re unwilling to see. Maybe I’m wrong, but offer anyone a yellow strawberry and more often then not they’ll ask if It’s edible. Me? I’m eating halved strawberries, fresh from the plant, the other maggot ridden half is in the neighbour’s garden. He won’t notice.

 photo DSC00139_e_zpses6ym3g4.jpgDon’t talk about maggots? Welcome to organic gardening!

 photo DSC00137_e_zps8ngacpca.jpgJust wait until I get my castile soap.

I’m preparing for my surgery again, slower his time as I have more than a week. We keep getting free duck eggs so I’m using them in baking. I’m told they’re great for baking, they’re really thick. I’ll make up breads and nearer the time, all going well, I’ll organise it into bags. I’ll also put what I learned from eating the cold dinners into practice. I just want it over and done with, dear reader. The hardest part is that no one really understands how hard it is to live with all this skin, they talk about clothes, while I’m just thinking of the relief from discomfort, from pain, from so much. Getting a bit too serious here. Quickly! Slip on a banana peel! Waka waka!

 photo DSC00130_e_zpsog83qckr.jpgThese taste terrible and are really invasive.

 photo DSC00127_e_zpsoddle0p0.jpgI love playing with my camera.

I like setting myself a challenge with new ingredients. I buy them on impulse and I refuse to waste them. I bought kangaroo meat, which can be absurdly tough. I tossed it in the rice cooker like the beef, with some fresh rosemary and it was decent. I wouldn’t do it again, but it was fun to try at least. Whenever I see a new fresh ingredient in the shops I’ll grab it and then figure out what it is. I’m almost certain this is why I’m contemplating growing my own pumpkins next year. It is a shame that there’s so much I can’t eat. I was looking at mint jelly, but a lot of the recipes have vinegar, which I can’t tolerate, but I was poking through my Uncle’s old Jam and Preserve book, it’s about twenty five years old. In it there’s a herb jelly recipe based on apple jelly. You can just add the herbs at the end for some of them, so I might try a batch of sage and maybe cinnamon basil. Just going to make small portions, but it sounds like fun.

 photo DSC00129_e_zpsr7ywxgne.jpgI bet you thought I was joking about the pointlessness. Hah!

 photo DSC00125_e_zpsjwj4w6eu.jpgThe moved roses are starting to get some fresh growth.

 photo DSC00123_e_zpsxyhp8ttu.jpgNot bad for a root section.

I’ having a lot of luck with the greenhouse plants this year. The basil isn’t struggling like other years and I have tomatoes starting. Even the large chillies are starting to flower. The bell peppers have come on a lot, even after the slug damage, they’re about a foot tall, maybe a foot and a half. I know the right sized pots, added compost and fertiliser are playing a huge part, but I also believe that it’s the heat being more even and batter contained that’s helping too. I’m curious to see what the chillies will be like as they’re saved seeds. Both the small and large are. The small chillies took an age to start last year, maybe they’ll grow faster with the heat in the greenhouse. Everything moves forward, dear reader, I just have to give them all the care I can in the here and now. Okay, that’s enough from yours truly, see you later.

5 thoughts on “Smooth Jams and Produce’s Purpose

    • Thank you. I tried to keep it varied and luckily there were a lot of really affordable bulbs and plants in the shops this year. I love to see all the different colours appearing at different times of the year.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am finally finding time to read my dearest neighbor’s latest posts ! Blame it on the green beans, ok?
    Anyway, several things in reaction to your post:
    1. I like the filtered photo better
    2. Something that may (or may not) give you and us all with food intolerances hope: have you heard of the GAPS diet? I have started watching several videos on how to restore gut flora, which is my ultimate goal so my husband can eventually eat some natural, supposedly healthy foods such as onion, broccoli, cinnamon… These videos are fairly long to watch, so after the operation, when the doctor’s orders tell you to stay indoors, they could be of interest to you :

    3. Talking about doctors, do they congratulate you on the good job you have done in staying healthy?
    4. Willing to try exciting new food? Be on the lookout for a package in the mail, I am sending you frogs legs 😄
    Take care, you will soon be a new man…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the input. I’ve heard of it in passing, my own diet crosses into so many other diets, it’s like a dietary venn diagram. I’ll look into that, thank you.

      They ave actually, the head surgeon couldn’t get over the fact that my BMI hasn’t altered in all the time I’ve been waiting. My own doctor is just happy he has no work to do with me.

      I always remember a friend giving me a frog as a pet, my father filled a bucket for it and we threw it in. Somehow he filled it with hot water, the poor frog just went stiff and that was that.

      Thank you, I really appreciate your support.

      Liked by 1 person

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