Burma Ferment8ed Tea Leaf Salad

My daughter is in San Francisco having this life-changing salad, she calls it. The Tea leaf dressing will change your world. Tangy but not over-powering, just super-interesting.

Then she told me this neat story of clean-up and Buddha Shrines. On a corner in Oakland just east of Lake Merritt, At 11th and 19th there used to be a horrible amount of dumping and crime. Someone, Dan Stevenson put a Buddha there, without being even particularly religious, and then people started cleaning up around it, making it a little altar, and now look at it! At first the City rejected it, but the neighborhood wanted it so badly, the City acquiesed!

Burmese Tea Leaf Salad

 

Ingredients

  • 1 c. dried green tea leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 c. kale or cabbage, finely chopped
  • ½ c. finely chopped cilantro, loosely packed
  • ½ c. green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 T. garlic paste
  • 2 T.  finely chopped ginger root
  • 2 green chilies, minced (optional)
  • juice squeezed fresh from one lime
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 3 T. coconut oil
  • 1 head garlic,minced
  • 2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 T. roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup thin tomato wedges (optional)
  • Final Dressing –
  • 1 T. garlic oil
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s aminos or fish sauce
  • fresh lime slices
  • pinch of salt

Directions

Fermenting the Tea Leaves
Pour 4 cups of hot water over the dried tea leaves, stir, and let soak until the leaves have expanded about 10 minutes. Then drain, and discard any tough bits. Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the  leaves.. Do this two more times, then let sit an hour to remove the bitterness. Chop the leaves finely and mix together with the kale, cilantro and greens,  ginger, garlic paste,  salt and  lime. . Cover the dish tightly and allow it to ferment for two days in a dark, cool space. Then place in the fridge.

To serve, set a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and let them heat, shaking the skillet from time to time to ensure that they aren’t scorching. You will start to smell them toasting after a few minutes. Keep stirring so they don’t scorch, and cook for another minute or two, until they are golden. Transfer to a dinner plate and let cool completely. Next, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the sliced garlic, reduce the heat to medium and fry until just golden, about 5 minutes. Lift the garlic out of the oil with a slotted utensil and set aside on a plate to crisp up. Save the oil, now flavored with garlic, to use in the final dressing.

Serve the salad unmixed, arranging small piles of all the ingredients on a platter. Toss the fermented tea leaves with the reserved garlic oil, fish sauce, and lime juice .Add a generous pinch of salt, mix again, taste and adjust other seasonings if needed. Place the leaves in a neat pile in the center of the other crunchy mix-ins.

Word of the Day – altar-altar, Buddha -Buda

Tip of the Day – You can add dried shrimp, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained, if you like.

 

DIY Vanilla Extract

Did you know there are pressure points to wake you up?

Press each one  for at least six minutes:
  • The top of the head.
  • The top of the back of the neck.
  • On the back of the hands (in between the thumb and forefinger)
  • Just below the knees.
  • Bottom of the feet—at the center just below the balls of the feet.

Recipe of the Day – DIY Vanilla Extract

  • Ingredients:

    • 8 oz. Glass Bottle or Jar
    • 7  vanilla beans
    • 1 cup Vodka 70 Proof/35% Alcohol (or you can also use Bourbon, Rum or Brandy; any brand/quality)
      • Directions: Scrape the vanilla beans from the pods, if you need to. Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise, leaving the tip of one end attached. Place into a clean bottle(s). If the vanilla bean is too long for the bottle, cut in half or thirds as needed. Fill the bottle with vodka or bourbon and secure the top to the bottle. Label the bottle and shake vigorously. Store in a cool, dark location for at least a month, shaking once per week. The longer the vanilla extract steeps, the darker and more intense the vanilla flavor and scent.

      Word of the Day – pulsar

      Tip of the Day – This yields 1 cup of homemade vanilla extract – 1 (8-ounce) bottle or 2 (4-ounce) bottles. Try different kinds of vanilla – like Madagascar Vanilla or Ecuadorian Vanilla.

Carrot-Rice-Nut Loaf

My sister says, “Tonight I’m making a variation of that old carrot rice nut loaf we used to make. I’ve added spinach,arugula, and sesame seeds.”

And these flowers in the picture cost $1.50 at Sunday Market. There’s an orchid in there!

Recipe of the Day – Carrot Rice Nut Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 c. brown rice
  • 2 c. sunflower or almond cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. oats or gf breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c. spinach or arugula
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian herbs
  • optional – 2 c. spaghetti sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all into a  greased 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 60 minutes until firm. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice. Serve with heated spaghetti sauce, if desired.

Word of the Day –hoy dia – today during this day/all day

TiP of the Day – Put the cheese and avocado on top, if you want, too!

Vegan Gingerbread With Aguafaba

My daughter made vegan gingerbread for her in-law’s Christmas, and she says this recipe sacrifices no flavor. She added in allspice , cardamom and a little extra ginger. Every minute that you bake with ginger in an oven,” she says, “a little ginger flavor dies off. If you oven-bake it, you will ruin it.” And she used Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening – a vegan-friendly product.

Recipe of the Day –Vegan  Gingerbread House

Ingredients:

3 1/4 c. flour of choice

1/3 c. vegetable shortening + 2 T room temperature

1/4 c. + 2 T. Molasses

1/2 c. milk of choice

1 c. Sugar

1 tsp, baking powder

3/4 tsp.  Cinnamon

3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves

2 tsp. Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp. allspice

  • 3/4 tsp. cardamom
Royal Icing
  • 1- 2 lb bag powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. aguafaba (Garbanzo juice)
  • 1-2 T. fresh lemon

Directions:

Gingerbread Dough
  1. Combine shortening, molasses, sugar, milk, and spices in bowl. Mix by hand or with a mixer until ingredients are well combined and sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add baking powder and gradually add all of the flour while constantly mixing. The dough will turn from sticky to stiff by the time all flour is added. Continue to stir until all the flour is incorporated.
  3. Dough should be firm and pliable. Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness parchment paper. Cut into shapes and peel away excess dough. Do not move the dough or else the shape will be distorted. (It may seem too thin but the dough will puff up while being baked)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes. Look for the edges to turn golden brown and the center will appear dry to touch. Allow to full cool before moving or assembling. (You can make it in advance to allow the cookies to dry out)
Royal Icing
  1. Pour powdered sugar with the aguafaba into a blender or large food processor. Mix until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down sides and mix an additional 1-2 minutes. Icing will be very thick.
  2. Pour a portion of the icing in a heavy duty ziplock bag. Seal and cut a small hole on one of the corners to pipe frosting/glue for house assembly.
  3. Use the same icing for decorating icicles and designs; add a little water to make it thin enough to create designs but not too thin or else it will run.
House Assembly
  1. Pipe a thick line of icing on the back borders of the cutouts. Start with a front and side piece. Firmly press all pieces making sure there is enough frosting to cover gaps. Repeat with other pieces.
  2. Allow to dry at least 2-4 hours before moving. Decorate however you choose and have fun!

Word of the Day – Casa de jengibre – gingerbread house

Tip of the Day – “I used powdered ginger,” Clare says. The dough was incredibly wet so I advise having extra flour on the side. 1-2 cups extra.

 

Cascarilla and Valeriana Teas

These workers for the Taxi Cooperative, working on the land adjacent to mine, were talking about herbs with me. And they said they had valerian and cascarilla on their land, They brought it today. And planted the valerian for me!

Cascarilla is a very long, tall tree which has the benefits and caffeine of Guayusa. For strength of the body and bones, You use the bark, to protect against evil. He brought me a whole big bag of stripped bark which I’m to dry in the sun.The finely ground outer bark of this large, tropical shrub is known for its medicinal properties that included reducing fevers, operating as an expectorant, and even clearing flatulence. These workers said it’s especially for the bones. In fact, the word cascarilla refers to any kind of outer skin or husk.

Valeriana smells like lemongrass, and looks like it, the leaves and smells like it. But the roots are  a great sedative. My friend is using it for his seizures and having great success! from one a day to one a week! (See my recipe for Valerian Tea by typing it in to the search engine on the front page of this blog.)

Recipe of the Day - Cascarilla Tea

Ingrdients:
3 3" strips cascarilla bark
1 pot water

Directions: Bring the pot of water to almost aboil.
Turn off the heat abd drop in the bark. Let steep for twenty minutes.

Word of the Day - cascarilla - bark

Tip of the Day - Use for only a few days a t a time. It's ver potent and not meant to be used for long periods.

Herbal Ice Cubes

Everyone I tell this to says, “That is brilliant.” My daughter, Clare thought of it. For when you need pain relief, fast, but don’t want to mix all your herbs, let them brew, then drink it. It’s ice cubes! You make the whole pot, pour it into ice cube trays, and have it ready in your freezer. I’ve been doing for maybe a year, as a muscle relaxer. Here’s my blend:

Recipe of the Day – Herbal Ice Cubes

Ingredients:

2 bags chamomile tea (or 1 bunch fresh

2-3 poppy buds with the stems

1/4 tsp. poppy seeds

1 tsp. valerian

a whole, dried passionflower

optional – your sweetening, if desired

Directions: Bring a pot of water to almost a boil, then pour in the herbs. Stir gently and let steep for 20 minutes while simmering. Let cool, then pour into ice cube trays. Freeze.

Word of the Day – brilliante – brilliant

Tip of the Day – Pop one ice cube into a cup, or your last favorite drink, before bedtime or when your muscles are in pain. One is enough to give me a deep night’s sleep.

Why We Need Our Farmers

No words needed for these pics, from our Water Company:
Company: Below it says that at least one time on our lives we will need a lawyer, a doctor or architect. But three times a day we need the farmer. We buy them and are grateful for their work.

 

Berry Bulgarian Geranium Jam

A reader just asked me – “Hi Dorothy, Looking at trying to make a blueberry sauce for turkey.. water, panela (pequena) dried blueberrys? Any thoughts? What do you think of wine instead of water?” I said, “For my taste, I’d do blueberries, chia seeds to make it thick, coconut waer and coconut crystals or stevia in the blender. Super fast and no need to cook it! Let it set. No wine for me – I prefer it on the sweet side.”

Recipe of the Day – Berry Bulgarian Geranium Jam

2 c. blueberries or raspberries, strawberries or grapes

2 leaves bulgarian geranium

1/4 c. chia seeds

1/4 – 1/3 coconut water

1 T. coconut crystals or3 drops  stevia

Directions: Super easy and all in the blender in 5 minutes. Let it set.

Word of the Day – jam – marmelada

Tip of the Day – Use any sweetner and any liquid!

Ortiga Tea

Okay, I voted! By absentee ballot online, for my state of Montana, while I’m here in Ecuador! And you can, too, at  FVAP.gov, and follow the instructions for your State.

Also known as Stinging Nettle – I used to serve this to my kids for their allergies. It’s know as Ortiga here – used for bleeding, gingivitis, hay fever, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Diabetes, Anemia, Circulation and Anemia!

Recipe of the Day – Ortiga Tea

Ingredients:

1 pot water

1 tsp. ortiga

Directions: Put a teaspoon of the fresh or dried herb in a cup, and pour almost boiling water over it. Let steep for twenty minutes.

Word of the Day – votar – to vote

Tip of the Day – It’s pretty calm-tasting. You can mix it with another herb to help you sleep,(valerian) or calm down, (chamomile) or wake you up! (guayusa)

 

Geranium Tea

Did you know you could make things with geranium leaves? And they smell amazing! My good friends Darina and Oracio gave me Bulgarian Geranium to plant, and Bulgarian Rose Perfume. Wow! What treasures, both the friends and the gifts!

Recipe of the Day – Geranium Iced Tea

Ingredients:

 5 c. water

 1-4  Geranium leaves, depending on the strength you like it
1 heaping tsp. mint leaves
1/2 tsp. chamomile flowers
Ice cubes

optional – sweeten with your sweetener of choice, stevia, coconut crystals, honey.

Directions: Bring water to almost a boil, then throw in the mint, chamomile and geraniums. Turn off heat and add sweetening.Cover and steep 20 to 30 minutes.  Strain into a pitcher and chill. Pour over ice cubes and add fresh sprigs or leaves, if desired..

Word of the Day – geranium –geranio

Tip of the Day – Darina puts them in her jams and jellies!