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Some of you may already know that fig leaves are edible, I didn't and thought I'd share with those who also didn't know. Fig trees are dropping their leaves about now but if you still have some on the tree you may want to pick, wash and dry some for tea and cooking. I've used the leaves fresh and dried for tea and prefer it dried and my sister in law also cooks the leaves (she says the smaller ones are more tender) in soups and stews. I haven't done this yet but plan to. There is more information on the internet about using fig leaves, this is just one source. I also read that they can be stacked, rolled into a bundle, cooked and canned. One more source of readily available food for the home gardener.
I was reading more up on them. Interesting discussion on the subject at this link.
I had not taken notice before of the fact that cannas are from the ginger / banana family - I just grew them because I liked their flowers and they had nice foliage. If I were to hazzard a guess on the hybrid usability question it would have to do with the focus of the hybridizing. Just like going for sweeter corn or thicker skin tomatoes, some of the hybridizing de-emphasizes other characteristics which might be usable for another purpose. So possibly the hybrids, while technically edible, may not as much starch or be as tasty. At least I can add it to my non-toxic list for sure :-)
I am starting to think seriously about creating a cookbook. Do you or anyone pickle? What do you pickle. What spices from the garden do you use?
Go for it! I generally do 'refrigerator' pickles, I might can some this year depending on my garden production. Dill and garlic are two traditional pickling herbs. My friend Kathy tried a lime/cilantro herb blend with pickles once - it was interesting - I think I have the recipe somewhere. An long-gone business "Arizona Herb And Garlic" had one of the best ever garlic/dill refrigerator pickle recipes. Let me know if you want that one.
Other traditional spices are coriander seed, mustard seed, bay leaf, peppercorns. Since 'pickling' is an ancient method of preservation, some of the Asian and Middle East recipes call for the 'sweet' spices like cinnamon. You can get really creative with mixes. I have not personally tried the sweet spices, but I might do pickled peaches when our fruit comes ripe with some of the the sweet spices.
The reason I go with the 'refrigerator' is mostly to keep the cukes crisper. And properly refrigerated, the last for about 4-6 weeks. I posted on my external blog about making 'quick pickles' in small batches because folks get intimidated with the whole idea you have to make big batches at a time.
HI Catherine, YES, I want the garlic/dill refrigerator pickle recipe.
Lime/Cilantro tomatillo pickles sounds good.
I will also check out your blog.
Have you ever tried to grow allspice or pepper?
I have considered growing allspice and pepper (the real peppercorn), I only began some research and found the initial info about their culture. May be a challenge to grow.
Grace, are you on the gourmet cooking group? I think if we post recipes it might be a good idea to post there. I will round up the recipes and post there. :-)
I was just pulling up the recipes and I realize the original Lime pickle recipe actually uses lime and cumin, not cilantro, but then that is the what is great about recipes you can make them anyway you want. I like the idea of a tomatillo pickle. I am starting some of the purple tomatillos in the garden :-)
Grace, I posted the 2 recipes on the gourmet group site. Let me know any variations you come up with and I may try them all ! :-)
I do refrigerator pickled okra and want to get into lactofermenting which uses a brine of just salt and water. In addition to the okra it uses garlic, dill and mustard seeds and vinegar. I'll post the recipe when I've got time to look it up.
Thanks Judy, I think I will plant some Okra this year. I will have to research the lactofermenting. It sounds like a good way to use up your veggies.
Cool. What do they taste like?
I never thought of eating the leaves, they are so..fuzzy... I have a bunch of them.
Looking up recipes now.
Phyllis, I just use the new small leaves before they get too fuzzy and tough. I still haven't used them in anything but tea, my chard has burned up so I need to throw some into the pot! Hope you'll let us know how you use them and if you like the taste.