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v. gautam

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  1. Daniel, When you are king, and I hope you shall so [that our arms races will be from table to mouth ] you could afford to experiment with the following: fat capon! Faverolles [breed] Cubalayas O-shamo guinea x chicken hybrids [excellent braised] cochins, Japanese cochins, Nagoya BTW, do you have fat-tailed lambs in Israel, and where in the Arab world does their appreciation end? By this I mean, if you were to make a certain spot in eastern Iran the epicenter where the fat of these sheep, and their meat reign supreme in flame cookery, and draw imperfect circles, where do you suppose the geographical limits might fall? The Karakul breed [though not possessing any exaggerated features] actually belongs to this larger sub-group of fat-tailed sheep, many of which also are supposd to give especially rich milk. OTOH, kosher laws may not encourage meat from the hind parts of animals, tails included. Although I find it curious in an anthropological sort of way, that a pastoral people would reject almost half of an animal because of dietary laws?? P.S. Daniel, where I live, chicken thighs are US 89c-99c/lb, always chicken leg quarters 50-79c/lb, on sale often, fat laden chicken breast boneless/skinless $1.79-1.99/lb on sale, often; $2.99 otherwise US lamb shoulder (bone in) $2.69-2.99/lb. Very curious: What are some comparable prices where you shop? Thanks much.
  2. Bitterballen: Chufi -Dutch cooking thread, post 60; http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=76568&st=30
  3. Daniel, That was a funny story about parmesan cheese. However, customs today in the US are in the Dept. Of Homeland Security and more aggressive, backed by punitive regulations. Sadly, they have huge, unquestioned powers of discretions without commensurate discretion in some cases, and often lacking the necessary education, even the APHIS inspectors [the plant, food, animal people]. Jokes and light-hearted banter are strictly discouraged, and signage warns as much!! Some years ago, it was legal to bring in small quantities of flower and vegetable seed for personal use, without a phytosanitary certificate, into the US provided these had been packed for retail sale elsewhere by a reputable seed company following strict international standards. That said, there are some plant materials that pose a great and immediate hazard to the US economy and to growers. Stone fruits and propagating materials of such: peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cherries, that whole family that is so temptin to emigrants from Europe and Asia, to carry back a bit of a keepsake from a home lost for ever : sour cherry, sloe, plums, peaches et al. Sharka virus/plum pox, upon discovery, in a single plant, a 7 mile circumference is sanitized and quarantined for years: immense loss to growers, say in a peach area in Pennsylvania (peach microclimates not being common in the Northeast). One of the most tragic cases ws at the reearch orchards of the Michigan State Universty, the same place that gave the world the famous Red Haven peach, the benchmark of the northern US freshmarket peach industry. A single infected plant necessitated the destruction of ALL trees, 40 YEARS of research. Scion tips were rescued and sent to Prosser, Washington, but NO research will be carried on for years at MSU!! I know more than one Japanese who miss their home peaches so very much that they have brought pits and cuttings secretly into this country. Likewise, East Europeans, bringing sour cherries, currants etc. as plant material. This is why I hae alerted people elsewhere on eG the availability, for free, of much of this identical material, from US Germplasm banks. Figs quince, berries, apples, pears you name it, if it can grow in the US, all 50 states, we have it in stock , available for FREE distribution.
  4. Bryan, Thanks for the hard work bringing all this back to us. Forget the moral police; not the place here: appropriate somewhere else, context entirely misplaced re: Bryan's trip. Questions: as a food professional, just as people have taken a retrospective interest in breed of Spanish pigs, e.g. Black-footed, and their feeding, acorns etc, for the jamon iberico, would you be interested in speculating+delving later into the beef that you ate: breed, pasture etc? What made it so good? Britain has several interesting beef breeds, quite different in meat taste and flavor: Galloway, Red Poll plus the better known ones here in the US, e.g. Red Angus for pasture, Black for feedlot fattening. Even the dual purpose small Dexter breed provides excellent meat. The US too has built on these breed plus added exotic and surprisisngly excellent beef genetics like the TULI from Zimbabawe, and Ongole/Nellore, originating in India, via Brazil Japanese Wagyu cattle have lineages especially reknowned for their meat "flavor", other lineages for other specific organoleptic qualities, e.g. marbling to grade 12. It woud be fun and educational to learn more about the types of Spanish cattle specially raised for the elite trade. Also, Spain has some of the best white asparagus, a blanched form of specific types which generally don't make good eating in their green state. That used to be the way things were with classic German varieties for blanching, although dual purpose French varieties exist. Did you have any great experiences with the white asparagus? Thanks.
  5. John, Do you get WONDRA flour in Japan or from a care package sent from America? If you experiment 1:1 katakuriko + Wondra and see how that works for you? Same with other fried foods, breading for cauliflower , eggplant for parmesan, Wondra and breadcrumbs mixed. Fish, too.
  6. Is Japan starving? : Japan's farm export drive bearing fruit By Hisane Masaki , June 29, 2007 http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/IF29Dh01.html One more perspective on Japan and its rice stocks: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/JG18Dj03.html
  7. Thank you so much for those beautiful photos, that prompt only more questions, if you please!!! 1. Although the chef's hands are moving very fast, would it be correct to say that these are basically thin cylinders? How are the bottoms closed? 2. When you eat it (it looks like a calla lilly!) how do you dip it? Do you want the cavity to become full, like a manicotti, or merely just moistened with the sauce? Or do you just grasp the pocket around its middle with the chopsticks and enjoy the texture in several bites? 3. Its Chinese name, and any cultural history, please. Thanks much.
  8. The issue here is lactic acid fermentation, where the rate of fermentation is rapid enough that the pH is quickly brought down below a level where dangerous microbes can flourish. Let us say, in Thailand, given a particular ambient temperature, by long empirical experimentation, recipes have been developed that include enough glutinous rice [for example] to jump start this lactic acid fermentation to keep the meat from "spoiling". That empirical science will fail in the US, away from its home turf. What is the procedure in the US to initiate lactic fermentation, when making salame and similar "raw" sausages? Starters like milk powder are used instead. One suggestion would be to contact a State University that has a flourishing Meat Science or Food Science program and get their advice on how much non-fat dry milk powder to substitute for what quantity of the rice. The anaerobic environment of the sausage meat inside a casing can be the home for very lethal organisms like the botulin microbe, whose toxin is heat resistant. Similarly, many other toxins are heat resistant even when the microbes are killed by heat and do an ugly job on the human system. Checking the fall in pH over time [i.e. first 2-3 hours] is crucial if you are going to make such sausages, and you should invest in a high quality, laboratory-grade ph meter. Plus, you must get armed with some basic facts about the science of sausage making and food safety. You should make this experiment only under the eyes of a very experienced professional US trained sausage specialist or at a University food lab, for your first time.
  9. Would someone please educate me on the oat flour noodles of China? The ones I have seen certainly start out as hand-made dough stretched but not pulled in the same sense of the above. They do end up as ribbons conformed into 3 dimensional shapes i find difficult to describe: boxy, honeycomb-like? Are these steamed and with what are they eaten? What sorts of oats and other flours are used to make them? I would be very interested to learn of other whole grain flours used in traditional Chinese noodles. uckwheat is one, there must be others. It would seem that white flour would have been the preserve of the rich until the advent of power machinery and steel roller mills, just as in the West, with whole grain flours being cheaper than the refined sorts. So, would there not have been a whole class of noodles based on these types of flours? Thanks.
  10. The problems of food shortage have NOTHING whatsoever to do with the availability of food, merely availability of food at a price the poorest 60% can afford to pay with sufficient ease. Plus, the food crisis has nothing whatsoever to with the ability to produce food in the so-called Third World countries: 1. Not a problem of YIELD, the amount of food produced per unit area [although this has its own issues re: yield plateau, environmental degradation etc. China, India; but this is not a college course!!] 2. It is a matter of PRODUCTIVITY, the efficiencies with which the inputs to agriculture, like fuel, water, etc are used. 3. The term EFFICIENCY itself is very complicated, even in areas that apparently should be simple. take for example BIOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY and what you include in your philosophical, sociological or ideological reference POINTS make a whole lot of difference. Example: The Chesapeake Bay is/was one of the richest ecological production zones on the planet. It must be understood that the world oceans are largely nutrient deserts, kept functioning by rather few oases, of which the Bay is a significant one. o immediately we run into a problem, where are its "limits" to be dawn, since it fecundates not just the North American coast but the Atlantic as whole? And not just marine life but birds as well, birds that interct with the marine life cycles in an important way? So let us come to the pig farms on the rivers feeding the Chesapeake. On some measures of BIOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY, they have calculated out the separate weight gain profiles of male and female pigs. So they are fed accordingly, and fed is not "wasted", herd size managed for maximum returns to capital, everything done according to the law or the law changed to make the practices profitable. Seen from one perspective, a lot of efficiencies are being gained. However, from another, those sme efficiencies appear to exploit lowered opportunity costs: the nitrogen cycle is completely disrupted is so vastly an inefficient way as to beggar the imagination. This is als true true of the poultry and beef intensive farms. Additionally, wastes and materials treated as per the law find their way into the public waters such that every singe male fish in those rivers is hormonally abnormal. Pathogens like Pfiesteria piscivora that were negligible before have now developed alarming virulence. And the future of the Chesapeake due to this and other causes is not bright. Similarly, in so-called Third World countries, agriculture suffers from a number of distortions. In India, for example, there are distortions caused by the introduction of cropping systems that are unsuitable for all the varied zones and labor niche found there. This then is compounded by “perverse subsidies” of electricity, water fertilizer etc.; technically termed “perverse” because of cascading perverse effects, all of which create resuls opposite the intended goals, from hurting the poorest farmers, to increasing the deficit in GDP to unsustainable levels. Eventually, these distortions culminate, as they have been doing in India for many decades, in violent peasant unrest. By the government’s own admission, 165 districts, home to 35% of India’s population, are no longer under its civilian administration. That is more than 350 million people, more than the populations of Pakistan and Bangladesh combined!! In Pakistan it is much the same story plus an exploding population, something all the subcontinent needs to tackle on a SERIOUS footing. People cannot jus on giving birth adclaim some divine right to sustenance just by being present and hungry. While this is a problem, the far greater problem immediately is the distorted agricultural growth. Unlssthere is a drastic revision of cropping systems, [beginning decades ago!] things will explode. Pakistan depend on exporting rice and cotton goods: behind this is such a rat’s nest that is too complicated to deal with here, but a aid country cannot waste water growing rice for export, particularly amidst a growing water crisis that we have been writing about for decades now. The US is about to increase civil aid there from $500 million to $1.5 billion annually in order to create development on the ground, and thus buy peace. As the ins& outs of aid to Afghanistan has shown, aid rarely reaches the intended recipients, and the more money allocated, the more is removed by local and expatriate agents, leaving the intended in a greater state of fury, because they see it all. Forty per cent disappears before it leaves our shores, 50% is divvied up for program implementation by expatriate advisors, NGOs and civil groups there, and 10 % trickles down in badly-designed schemes to a humiliated and angry people! All that happens is that UN et al. spend money flying around to expensive conferences, talking nonsense and wasting money. Elsewhere on this, one has written how for peanuts, immense benefits can be reaped. The money need not be sent anywhere but here, nd only the knowledge shared, so there is no fear of unscrupulous Third World peope running away with someone’s hard-earned money! And the issues add immensely to everyone’s knowledge base. But the time to act has been passing us by. gautam
  11. Replying to Mark's query upthread, "how many food use geometric progression?" shall mention one more, using exactly the same principle as hand-pulling noodles seen in Chinatown, Manhattan. This is done for sugar candy and accomplished quite rapidly within the space of a handsbreath, on a tiny trestle table set up as a vending stall. Makes one wonder if this might not be an alternative [preliminary] path to learning the noodle technique, less messy and strenuous, very little space required? Could anyone provide the Chinese name for this candy and more details of this process, i.e. how to make the sugar fondant base etc.? An Indian sweet, sohan papri, made from malted wheat and semi-caramelized sugar and ghee, plus a LOT of muscle power also is pulled in the manner of noodles , but especially like the Chinese candy into very fine 'hairs', the finer denoting higher quality. These are folded over and cut into cubes. Nowadays, Haldiram's sells an acceptable tinned brand in the US. The US made fresh types are still nowhere as satisfactory as the canned Indian ones!!
  12. There is a festival centered around the Norton wine grape in St.Louis, Missouri, around September 6 this year. The variety Norton is an American grape, not vinifera but derived from aestivalis and maybe rupestris and others. It grows well in the warmer regions of the country and makes an excellent wine. There is an annual festival to promote this American grape, wine, and vineyards. http://www.nortonfestival.com/ http://www.avofest.com/ October 3, 4 & 5, 2008 See the avocadoes of my acquaintance, Dave Righetti http://www.mitchellpersimmonfestival.org/ http://www.ohiopawpawfest.com/ http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/
  13. Andie, If you have sufficient chilling hours, usually 600+ [defined as hours or nights below 45F not interrupted by days 60F or above, to nullify the chilling process], your dry climate will give you superb fruit with the apricot Zard, a late bloomer and the flowers are very frost resistant. It comes from the stock that has given birth to the much-hyped Candycots. However, Zard is of the Hunzacot group and has 24% plus sugars, so will dry on the seed, will "raisin". Most European types do not exceed 9%. A plum that gives the best-tasting fruit in dry climates in the true Green Gage and the Reine Claude du Bavay, almost indistinguishable from each other. Oullins gage is another. Demontfort is another plum released by Cornell-Geneva USDA ARS, just superb. Small, though. See upthread. Plums like being trained in a fan shape, so are very economical of space in an urban garden. Apricots and peaches likewise can be trained in very space-saving ways. But in CA, you may have lots of great fruit already.
  14. Here is a site you might enjoy reading through in thinking about varieties to grow next year: http://www.selectedplants.com/varieties.htm Other than being a very satisfied customer, I have no commercial links, obviously, with any sources i cite. The owner has become a good friend to many in tomato-crazy circles and has an impeccable reputation for integrity, expertise, quality. Likewise, http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/pages/seed_catalog.html run by a former curator of the Seed Savers Exchange, preserving squashes, tomato and poultry with just himself and his wife as the labor force!! Besides Anne's Georgia Heirloom and some excellent Southern varieties from Victory Seeds, plus some cherries, some early maturing smaller-fruited salad size, and Mexico Midget, a currant tomato that will naturalize itself in your garden, here are some lage-fruited 75-80 days to ripening to start thinking about, along with trellis systems: 1. Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red 2. Neves Azorean Red 3. Cherokee Purple 4. Druzba, Nepal or Bulgarian Triumph, Earl's Faux [all red], 5. Yoder's German Yellow 6. Kellogg's Breakfast [orange/yellow] 7. Aunt Gertie's Gold 8. Aunt Ruby's German Green 9. Big Beef F1 10. Sioux 11. Anna Rusian [heart] 12. Heidi [paste, heat/humidity tolerant] Along One 25 feet row with the broad sie running north to south, 10 tomato plant can be placed 2.5 feet apart. if we fudge the ends a bit. Dpending on how much you need your microclimate, your particular light environment, your soil, disease incidence, season, choice of cultivars and trellis, the varieties above can yield 25-60 lbs plant. There can be a troublesome glut. Therefore, one need to be very realistic about what one ca atually manage to do or WANTS to o with one'stomao harvest. Freezing or canning may sound nice but are not economicall viable propositions save for the very wealthy, a hobby. The trellis system for these tomatoes in your climate will be a bit different than that in a USDA zone 5 one. There is no question of using $1 tomato cages; use these for your peppers. There ae 2 usful alternatives tha I have come across, suitable for the home gardner growing heirlooms in a climate with heavy thunderstorms and seasonal gales. 1. The Texas Tomato Cage. I hesitate to recommend commercial product but fr thos who want to save hassles 6 cages of the largest sort, 24 inches, 6 feet, cost $130 postpaid awhile back. These will last for a decade and store easily. Six is sufficient for a family's ordinary fresh salad tomato needs. 2. Galvanized 5 feet x 10 feet heavy duty reinforced concrete wire mesh sheets set up in a particular configuration, supported by U or T fence posts [8 feet]. For 25 feet rows, you will need 5 sheets, plus as many posts as necesary to create a secure fixture. This will occupy the end row that is either first south or last south. It becomes a miniature permanent site by itself with its own rotations and cultural trucs. In ATL, GA, you are lucky to have FOUR seasons of plant growth possible, and the 2 sides of this bed can be managed in tandem to give you immense satisfaction. A NO-WEED guarantee, self-composting bed. It takes a bit of time to set up, but once there, is set for decades. Tomatoes, cucumber, beans, peas, sweet potatoes, winged peas [Psophocarpus ], melons, all manner of Asian cucurbits, including your beloved (!!) bitter melons can be grown on opposite sides of this trells in neat seasonal counterpoint.
  15. The quince mentioned above are "supposed" to be eat-off-the-tree kind. You will note that most are rom Turkey, one from Serbia, and one a super variety from luther Burbank in CA, hardy in upstate NY. Ask Sazji about their palatibility raw: he is a true afficionado, living in Turkey, messing around with them quinces. He's the one got me started on the hunt for these particular types. A major quince cookery maven! Ask the experts about cookery, ask me about what to grow, and how to grow them! Another thing you should NOT NOT miss is the Japanese persimmon, Diospyros kaki, cultivars KAWABATA & SHENG. American persimmon, D. virginiana Pawpaw, Asimina triloba, whose nearest germplasm collection is at Kentucky: "Kentucky State University (KSU) has served as the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Asimina spp. since 1994, as a satellite site of the repository at Corvallis OR. The orchards at KSU contain more than 1700 pawpaw accessions from 66 distinct geographic regions in 16 different states, and includes 17 commercially available cultivars and 34 advanced selections from the PawPaw Foundation's breeding program. As of 2001, there were 850 pawpaw trees located in KSU’s Germplasm orchard, 340 trees in the Hybrid Orchard, 300 trees in the Regional Variety Trial Orchard, and 235 trees in the Alpha Orchard. About 200 pawpaw trees produced fruit at KSU in 2000, all trees were located in the Alpha orchard and were seedlings of 8 to 9 years old. There is also a collection of subtropical pawpaws in the KSU greenhouse representing Asimina longifolia, A. parviflora, and A. tetramera. In response to requests from the public for pawpaw germplasm, KSU is currently distributing small amounts of seed and will distribute scion wood in several years." http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/KYSUrepository.htm Questions about pawpaws? Contact Sheri Crabtree at sheri.crabtree@kysu.edu or telephone # 502-597-6375 Pawpaw Program questions? Contact Dr. Kirk Pomper at: kirk.pomper@kysu.edu Cornell received pawpaws from these people as part of a wide regional trial and we waited patiently until a couple of years ago when they bore fruit even in our harsh climate with late spring frost right into late May. Wonderful. So the better varieties suited to the South will be even more amazing [if the raccoons don't eat them first]. You may need to purchase another lot, or a farm!!
  16. A bit off-topic, but taro ice cream is genius stuff, taste and texture-wise; loved even by some Westerners I have persuaded to try it. Regarding the texture, which has toothsome bits of 'Taro": is this really Colocasia or something else, like Dioscorea, Mountain Yam? Any ideas on when [datewise] this combination became incorporated as an icecream? At what point [datewise] did green tea icecream first appear? I am very interested in learning about the evolution of icecream in China or into Chinese! Also that corn yoghurt, Fengyi! Not bleuch, but the Sinicization of flavored yoghurts: and there you are, a scholar, with the opportunity to study and record it all. Haven't Chinese scholars meticulously recorded such wondrous events throughout the ages? So no bleuch! Like Japanese pizza with corn and Kewpie! Emerging new flavor combinations. Tell us more, please, about the corn: is it young corn left whole, at the bottom, or mixed in throughout? Or are they somewhat crushed and flavor the yoghurt as they do corn soup? Is the yoghurt sweetened, or salted after the manner ofthe nomads [also India]? I am very curious if they have begun using supersweet corn in China, the various "shrunken" and "sugary enhanced" aleles so popular in the US: for yoghurt or ordinary corn. I know those types do not take well to the charcoal-roasted treatment, but they might be just the ticket for yoghurt! You should suggest the ida and become a consultant for "new and improved" corn yoghurt!! I wonder also how real Indian lassis, salty, some versions with cream on top, would go down in Beijing summers? Maybe the mango lassi created for Western palates might be a better option?
  17. Fruits not mentioned would include Apricots: please ask Dr. Joe Goffreda, see upthread, or Bob Purvis [http://www.oakcreekorchard.com/id82.html] From Corvallis, Oregon, USDA: WHITE CURRANTS White Imperial [c. 1890, New York] fruit quality among best, Hedrick;Highly recommended. Ribes aureum Crandall RED CURRANTS 1. Diploma [1885 ] Hedrick; one of the best for home and commerce 2. Fay [Fay’s Prolific] 1886, 3. Minnesota No. 71 [1933], virus tested at Corvallis. MN 52, 69 infected. 4. Stephens No.9 [1933] 5.Tatran [1985] 6. Victoria [c. 1800 england ] [Wilder [1877 indiana] ] American Gooseberries: Captivator less spiny, only slightly susceptible. Jahn’s Prairie [1984, Alberta Canada, R. oxyacanthoides] high quality dessert resistant in n.e. usa to powdery Mildew, leaf spot, white pine blister rust, stem botrytis, aphids Quinces Q 25979 Cydonia oblonga Mill. ROSACEAE Cultivar name: Ekmek. Q 25978 Cydonia oblonga Mill. ROSACEAE Cultivar name: Havran. Q 25981 Cydonia oblonga Mill. ROSACEAE Cultivar name: Tekkes. Q 25930 Cydonia oblonga Mill. ROSACEAE Cultivar name: Beretskiquitte. CCYD 98 Cydonia oblonga Mill. ROSACEAE Site identifier: Karp's Sweet Quince CCYD 88 Cydonia oblonga Mill. ROSACEAE Cultivar name: Van Deman. [ Luther Burbank: reference: U.P. Hedrick, Cyclopedia of Hardy Fruits, 1922. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/acc/s...ccid=%20CCYD+88] Strawberries: 1. Tochiotome 2. Hogyokase 3. Ogallala 4. Fort Laramie
  18. naf, As someone who has worked on tomato physilogy for more than 25 years, i find some of the comments above amusing, because of the immense effort devoted to puzzle out tomato flavor, sugar and taste genetics in many centers all over the world. http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/100/5/1085 It is amusing to see the high-powered science and effort devoted to the taste of a single fruit, more than all the hundreds of fruit and vegetables combined tha people elsewhere depend upon for their very existence. "Ancient and rare" does not make some "better". Well-grown does, plus the large-fruited tomato has some inherent limitations. However, CIREF, FRANCE works very hard on tomato and strawberry flavor [Mara de Bois, Cirafine, Cijosee, to name some strawberries worth growing]. Dr. Mathilde Causse is the Project Leader and she with Vilmorin have many interesting tomatoes in the works. [bTW, Sementis does have many sins, that have to do with power and other issues, but it also does some good as well and does produce some excellent varieties. To its credit, it searches out, keeps in production, releases worldwide, open-pollinated varieties like the watermelon Quetzali, witht he trait of exceptionally hard rind, making for durability, shipping, disease-resistance in the field. It helps Third world farmers multiply stock for free and researchers take advantage of this very important trait. That watermelon is extremely fine tasting. Another great contribution is the garden pea, Dualis, open pollinated. It takes 9-10 generations of inbreeding, selfing, selection, a lot of money, to put such varieties in the public domain. I have no truck with any sedconglomerate and am deeply upset by certain apects of their business practices, very afraid.] For a few great French/European varieties: 1.St. Pierre, a red cluster 2. Chateau Rose, a pink large-fruited 3. Italian Red Pear sold by Franchi Sementi;ad it F1 hybrid version, "Tomande" 4. Costoluto Genovese, also by Franchi Sementi There is an organization preserving heirlooms, ....Kokopelli ..., in France that can clue you in to other varieties available . There are German and Belorussian collectors of tomato seed who also sell. Their names may be found by going to Tomatoville, a organization of tomato lovers in the US.
  19. Try eating the tender tips of the garbanzo plants as well. They are pleasantly tangy-sour. Could be added to a raw salad [after washing with pot. permanganate or short 10 second pulses in the microwave to sterilize], or to a cooked dish, like pea shoots. Added to red split lentil soup at the end to cook briefly, like spinach. Then use the left-over plants for green manure in your garden--observe the rhizobial nodules on the roots, if sold with roots. Or give them to someone who has a small flock of urban dairy animals or poultry.
  20. Mr. Higgins, Do you know what variety of cukes you planted? Nowadays, there are variants of "all-female" types [believe it or not Gen. Lee is one of them, excellent], ; to the packets are added enough male pollinators, or the 6-packs have a male plant. Sometimes, when people do not plant all the seeds in the packet, or not enough of the colored seeds, the problems you describe can happen with gynecious breeds. Also other types. Next time, you can opt for a parthenocarpic variety, both pickling, like COOL BREEZE, and non, that will set without any pollination. The advantage is, that if you don't have grubs overwintering in the soil, you can set the plants out under row covers, and prevent any entry of leaf beetles that transmit a bacterial wilt disease. You plant seeds, cover with row cover, water through that fabric, harvest your fruit when they are ready!! Arkansas Littleleaf is another cuke that is not parthenocarpic, AFAIK, but does not have the bitter compound in its leaves that attracts those leaf beetles. BTW, if you have oak and maple leaves, [ NO WALNUTS< BLACK OR WHITE>, HICKORY or BUTTERNUT or PECAN] an can run them under a lawnmower to pulverize them in the fall, please do add them to your soil with some dlomitic lme ad some complte fertilizer ofyour choice:some manure, or a very light handful of 10-10-10. A 50 lb bag costs $8, but it will pull water from the air and turn liquid unless stored carefully. Next year talk to Anne or me about your tomatoes. Buy plenty of socks. You are going to have yours blown away. Or talk now: all the more time to prepare!!
  21. Some corporate interests will be hurt and some assumptions about what "bananas" should taste like MIGHT, not will, slight modifications. Just as if Americans had to adapt to the older European types of apples: a range of textures, aromas, appearances not unfamiliar to our immigrant ancestors. India is a major center of diversity for "dessert" bananas. It was a single Indian plantain, Calcutta-4, that provided the genes for resistance to a pernicious disease affecting the staple plantain crop in a significant area of Africa. Perhaps finally, people like us who have wasted a lifetime begging that research be conducted on the banana cultivar "Kanthali" tentatively assigned to the Pisang Awak group stand a chance of being heard. There is already a funded program called PROMUSA, but without the right connections and the right mixture of chicanery, nothing happens. Therefore our pleas for a coordinated research on the cultivar Kanthali, and the seeded ultravigorous relative, rather than clever grants for our own benefit, go nowhere!! We hear there is to be a USDA program to map intensively the cocoa genome. There is a crucially important sugar palm, the sugar date, Phoenix sylvestris, nearly genetically identical with the date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, whose genome is being mapped. For an extr $350,000, budget dust, the genome of this vitapam coul be mapped alongside the date's . There are many reasons for this. Not only will it improve the date genome's efficacy and help resolve fundamental questions in plant physiology, thi sugar pam is vita iffood prodction isto be increased in a water-short world. It is not a new crop, but rather a very old one, pre-dating sugar cane in India [the land which gave the world the word for "sugar" and "candy" , and home to the first refined sugar from palms, then cane.] The UN is prepared to spend $30 bn in cropping systems that hae createdthe disorted growth patterns now in plae. Unlessthe cropping stem ae judicious modfied, an crops produced with greater effciencies the problems wil not go away. The problem today are not of yields but of productivities. Then again, the matter of efficiencies run into profound social and philosophical choices, even the matter of choosing between 2 types of biological efficiencies.
  22. Magictofu, You can have excellent peaches and cherries if you want in Ottawa. NO SWEAT. You have a first rate cherry breeder in Dr. Gus Tehrani sitting in your backyard, not very many miles away!! http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/hort/fq/wint...Anderson.PM.pdf Lang, G.A. and R.L. Perry. 2002. High density sweet cherry management: point-counterpoint. Compact Fruit Tree 35(4):115-117. Gutzwiler, J. and G.A. Lang. 2001. Sweet cherry crop load and vigor management on Gisela® rootstocks. Acta Horticulturae 557:321-325. http://www.hrt.msu.edu/faculty/Langg/Compr...ation_List.html Have attached some cautionary notes, as due diligence, but in our northern climate, i.e. Ottawa type, spring frosts do a good job of thinning fruit!!! http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/hort/faculty...arieties.do.htm Start with these 2 cherries: on Gisela 5 rootstock; ask Agriculture Canada about pruning and training Whitegold no birds, self-fertile, pollenizer of other cherries Danube tart cherry: good fresh eating, no birds When you gain confidence [Attika midlate red Gold late, no birds Hudson late, quality, disease resistant] Peaches: PF-1 Flamin’ Fury July 12 Ruby Prince Coral Star Site selection is important Plum "Demontfort’ is extremely hardy and a WOW! for excellent quality. Its small, only about one inch diameter. It’s blue with unique etched lines covering the skin. You can’t eat just one! It ripens in mid-August." Prof. Robert Andersen. gautam
  23. Mr. Higgins, Please look up North American Fruit Explorers [NAFEX]. They have chapters and members in your area who will advise you exactly what variety of apple, pear, plum etc. to plant in your Southern climate. http://www.nafex.org/index.htm The land grant University extension office and departments of pomology and horticulture are very good places to find information as well. "The Southern Fruit Fellowship is an informal organization of amateur fruit growing enthusiasts throughout the Southern United States. Membership is open to all interested parties. Membership dues are $10.00 per year. Send your payment in U.S dollars to: Retta Davis 2051 Evergreen Drive Shreveport, LA 71118 Or contact Retta at davisd_r@hotmail.com In addition to a quarterly newsletter, there is an annual meeting and frequent informal get-togethers" These are the absolute specialists to ask advice re: your muscadine issues: Ison’s Nursery & Vineyards, Brooks, GA 30205. (800) 733-0324. Muscadine grapes and other fruits. Other nurseries specialzing in Southern varieties of fruit that you may like Johnson Nursery, Inc., 1352 Big Creek Rd, Ellijay, GA 30540. Toll free: (888) 276-3187. Quality fruit trees with antique and disease-resistant varieties. Small fruit also. Louisiana Nursery, the Durios, Route 7, Box 43, Opelousas, LA 70570. (318) 948-3696. Fruiting trees shrubs, vines, and many other plants including magnolias. Catalog $6 or free list. Nash Nurseries, 4975 W. Grand River Rd., Owosso, MI 48867-9292. (517) 651-5278, NashFarm@shianet.org Container stock of grafted pawpaw, hybrid chestnuts, pine nuts & fruit trees. Neighbors Nursery, Joyce Neighbors, 1039 Lay Springs Rd., Gadsden, AL 35904 (256) 546-7441. Sells scionwood of old southern apples and other antique varieties. Free list of scions available for shipping in February and March. e-mail jneighbr@internetpro.net Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery, 797 Port Wooden Rd., Upton, KY 42784 (270) 369-8551 Mon.-Sat. 7-7 C.T. . Grafted nut trees and persimmons. [One of the best nut tree nurseries.] Sherwood’s Greenhouses, J. S. Akin, PO Box 6, Sibley, LA 71073. (318) 377-3653. Southern fruit, including mayhaw. Send SASE for list. Woodlanders, Inc., 1128 Colleton Avenue, Aiken, SC 29801. (803) 648-7522. A wide variety of hard-to-find southern plants. As far as figs are concerned, you would do well to purchase 1. Negronne [AKA "Beer's Black] 2. LSU Purple 3. Osborne Prolific These would be a good start. For peaches you can also contact Dr. Joe Goffreda, Cream Ridge Station, Rutgers University + NJ State Agriculural Experiment Station at Cream Ridge, NJ. Ask him about peen-tao [doughnut] peaches; also columnar peaches, the Flamin' Fury and Coral Star series and others suitable for your area. Make sure any and ALL stone fruit nursery stock you buy are specifically guaranteed against plum pox/Sharka virus. Written guarantee. Please write me if you have any questions. Happy gardening. gautam
  24. Dear Doc, Great travelogue. As you wrote, the CIA/World of Flavors tours was a way to get your toes into the water. However, (and this is not a criticism, but an observation that could be used by you and others in the future if so desired) it appeared to me that your group's eating excursions were severely circumscribed. Many "iconic" elements, not just restaurants were left unaddressed. This could be attributed to many factors (and I am just guessing here): 1. Time and scheduling difficulties 2. The season of the year in some places; winter might have been nicer: Nov-Feb. 3. Commitments by the tour organization to various institutional actors, e.g. the catering institute and the big hotels 4. The comfort zone of many participants presumed by the tour organizers: hence their omitting food experiences like grazing the Night Market at Jama Masjid in Delhiculminating in a dnner at Karim's. Both define an iconic "food experience" of tha city. It takes a thoughtful and experienced guide, someone of the caliber of Mr. Vinod Dua. If the tour organizers were going top class, and it seems they were cutting corners on esentials like guides and buses, then thes aspects should have received conscientious scrutiny. I am not criticizing, but suggesting ways to improve the experience, since it seems that India is receiving a lot of positive exposure through your posts. In the past I have been able to help a few members of this forum and elsewhere enhance their pleasure in their travels to India Tha is my only aim, and joy. Any names I mention have no connection with me, and indeed, detest me for the most part. Therefore, I feel very comfortable recommending them in the strongest posible terms!! If you were to visit India in the future, and I sggest this to a who might be enthused by your reports, consider stepping out ofthe 5-Star bubble in which you were imprisoned. You will meet a vibrant an delicious India, without the hassles you mention. First let me recommend two people who are food nuts and experienced food travelers in India who wouldmak idea tour guides for small groups of people. They are not into the "business", so they are not beholden to special interests, no tie-ups, no back-scratching that led to such a mediocre tour, foodwise [iMO, considering the money spent]. One is the chef-owner of a small restaurant in Portland, OR. He recentl spent a good while in India and is raring to go. Dn't kow if he has the time. Here is a US native with a keen apprecition of what would bug a Newcomer, what woud be aprropriae or not, andhe would be keenly live to the sensitivities ofan merican traeing group, their fears, torments, special needs. You lost out on so may special bars even in the great hotels you visited. Read this gentleman's blog he happens to be an eGulleteer! Check out his Portland cafe and speak to him in persn, those of you who may be in that area, to sound him out in this matter: http://pleasuremountain.wordpress.com/2007/09/page/6/ http://pleasuremountain.wordpress.com/page/7/?s=Delhi Here's Jim confounded as you were, by the great Bukhara rip-off: http://pleasuremountain.wordpress.com/page/8/?s=Delhi Karim's: http://pleasuremountain.wordpress.com/page/9/?s=Delhi Many ofthe iconic restaurants, of Delhi, like Swagath, aso were given a complete miss. There are 3 lively websites where India and Indian food is seriously discussed. It is there you will pick up any useful information. For Delhi restaurant reviews AnotherSubcontinent and GourmetIndia, which also are the major India foodsites. For travel and itinerary advice: Indiatree. On the later two you will find a gentleman by the name of Sekhar. He is a Hotel and travel professional with impeccable connections in the Indian travel industry, especially the important foodie + electronics powerhouse state of Andhra Pradesh. Besides being a super-expert and food-nut, he is fluent in the languages the languages of North and South India, and comfortale in both the city and rural areas, very, very important qualification. I could not imagine a better dream team of travel guides to India than Sehar and Jim to lead an American group of, say, 8. Sekhar to do all the bookings and accomodations, trasport and other "Indian" asects of the tour, Jim to worry about taking care of the visitors' other needs. Both to involve themselves with the food!!! These two have entry into kitchens of India that Ms. Sahni can never even imagine, and can deliver an all round experience ofIndia from shopping to cooking that would be beyond the capacity of any of the big names associated with "Indian cooking" in the USA today. Each is a master chef in his own right. Plus their fluency in regional cuisnes of particular areas is unparalled. Please take a look at the market scene below, paying special attention to the butcher: http://pleasuremountain.wordpress.com/page/6/?s=Delhi Mian Mohammed Qureshi is perhaps the last of a long line of master butchers. His sons probaly will not fllw in their father' footsteps. You need to see the many facets of elite Muslim Meat Science before it is gone for good. Won't see that with the upscale 5-star folk, but Jim can show you that and much, much more! Qureshi Saheb aso happens to be one of the great living gems, a Biryani Master. You won't learn about the nuance of biriyani styles sitting inside that 5-Star bubble. A few authors have made a great name for themselves in the US by dint of their hard work, their ability to write but also their flair for self-promotion. Not a bad thing at al, as they have done a great service for India, promoting her food and culture. But as you may appreciate, there is no "Indian" food just as there is no "European food". India is as large geographically, and much more diverse than Western Europe. So it is impossible for any one writer to become oracular on matters of "Indian" cooking. Consequently, trips planned by such are a beginning, as you rightly observe. I think "smaller" experts also can bring a great deal to the business. This post is my way of asking them to step into the ring!!
  25. You are most welcome. Japan has contributed enormously to India, in her usual silent and self-effacing fashion and during India's darkest decades. It is still doing a great deal without extracting much as quid pro quo, in contrast to all other givers of aid. Japan set up many rice research stations in out of the way rural areas in India, Dasnagar, Howrah idstrict, West Bengal, for example. It must have been an extraordinary sacrifice for the Japanese scientists and technicians to remain on-site in the primitive conditions prevailing in those years, 50s-70s, teaching hands-on the techniques of rice-growing applicable to the new Green Revolution varieties that incorporated a substantial amount of japanese-type plant & grain characteristics. Therefore, these performed erratically in the fluctuating water levels and other conditions characteristics of the summer monsoons of eastern India, quite unlike the rains + topography in which the semi-dwarfs had evolved in japan and thereafter had been transferred to Taiwan, the immediate ancestor of the famous IR8 being Tainan Native 1. So these scientists took up the challenge to adapt IR8 and its growing methods to eastern Indian conditions along with Indian farmers so that it really could give of its potential when grown by farmers using their slim resources. Soon, they had Bengali farmers, car drivers, bowing and saying Domo, Arigato, etc.!!! Beautiful wooden mouldboard ploughs [xo-drawn] sent courtesy of Takakita manufactory, gratefully acknowledged. Another story for another time perhaps. Our friend Hiroyuki-san will have no difficulty in tracing out if Takakita agricultural tool manufactory still survives! Even funnier was the case of some technical advisers assigned to dredging vessels operating on a couple of India's then unspoiled rivermouths where they entered some of the finest estuaries in the world. One of the pilots told me this story himself. The expert had taught his Indian sidekick which fish and crustaceans he was to pick off the dredger's vast maws as it pumped up the fertile bottoms and dumped fish and all into the following barge. That alone was a sight better than a circus! Then, here was this man with his rice pot and bunch of sauces and condiments, sushifying away in bliss each day. Surrounding him stood almost the entire crew, in delighted horror and fascination, watching someone eat raw fish and lobsters with such joy. All parties thought themselves suitably entertained by this daily extravaganza.
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