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Seeds and other food musings.

Somehow, epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides L.) came up in discussion last night and I mentioned that I'd like to grow our own because it's not always easy to find and I do believe in its ability to reduce flatulence when I toss a sprig in with a pot of frijoles.

The first hit we got for buying seeds was Seeds of Change, who I like but they're awfully expensive. (I love love love their biodiversity poster collection. The fresco (fresh) and seco (dried) chile posters will someday adorn our kitchen.) Luckily Johnny's Selected Seeds carries them for a much better price, along with several other things Vogon was thrilled to find.

He was quite disappointed with the price of their purple garlic, so we asked saarlander to find a string of them in his local supermarket. It's one of the important ingredients in one of Vogon's signature sauces, so I'll have the chance to try said sauce after we acquire the proper garlic.

While we were IM'ing back and forth about the garlic, Vogon brought up how much he'd like some Feuer Senf (fire mustard), but I think we'll be hunting down a local German market since it'll be just as expensive locally as online due to the 100% tariff on German mustards. Meh.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2004 05:41 pm (UTC)
Can I come to your place for dinner? You should post this in sexy_domestics...I bet theyd like the links. :D
Oct. 6th, 2004 09:48 pm (UTC)
I see you commenting everywhere!
Oct. 7th, 2004 09:03 am (UTC)
lol, yeah I'm a comment whore. :D
Oct. 8th, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC)
Sure! We always have more than enough and rarely have guests, though maybe after we get the stuff stored in the dining room out and put a table in here... We had steak with Vogon's signature mushroom sauce last night, so leftovers later may turn into the swankest beef stroganoff I've ever had.

I'm not a member of sexy_domestics, but you're welcome to pass the links on to the community if you want.
Oct. 8th, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC)
oh well I'm dumb I thougt you were!
Oct. 6th, 2004 08:05 pm (UTC)
Atlanta has a shipload of farmers markets (actual buildings not the temporary things set up outdoors in some places) where you could probably buy any of this stuff. For some odd reason no such places exist here (Phoenix) to the best of my knowledge.
Oct. 8th, 2004 08:39 am (UTC)
The Dallas Farmers Market is huge, but I haven't been to it yet. I suspect the German mustard would be just as expensive anywhere due to the tariff, but I guess that's just the price for really good mustard. (I'm more into sweet mustards and only know one store locally that carries one of the varieties of the brand I like, but I can always order from them online.)

I haven't seen epazote seeds for sale outside of catalogs and in southern California, which is where my parents got their current plant.

The purple garlic is something Vogon remembers fondly from his time in Germany, which is why we asked saarlander to go in search of it for us. (He's currently stationed in Germany. At some point I would get such a kick out of visiting, but the logistics of getting the kidlet cared for _and_ affording the travel costs have thus far foiled me.)
Oct. 11th, 2004 07:02 am (UTC)
Did some looking today when I went shopping at the Concord, and came up with nothing. I did find some "extra sharf" mustard though. I'll look around at some of the produce stands tomorrow after work.

Reassuring sign: all the garlic was actually labeled as "white garlic," not just "garlic."
Oct. 13th, 2004 07:15 am (UTC)
Feuer senf is hotter than extra sharp -- it'll clear your sinuses better than anything I've ever found, including wasabi. The supermarket is the only place I ever found it. It comes in a yellow and red tube and looks like this.

White garlic is actually different from regular, yellow garlic, it's much more mild and delicate. I keep a large (quart) jar of a pickled form of white garlic in the fridge. The purple garlic has a sort of lavender tint and often has purple stripes on it. It is powerful stuff. I normally use only 3 or 4 cloves of it in my marinara sauce. To substitute yellow garlic I'd have to use a whole bulb or more and I'd have to give up the subtle flavors it adds (sort of a chive kind of flavor, I think).

I really appreciate you looking up this stuff for us, thank you!
Oct. 6th, 2004 08:51 pm (UTC)
why a 100% tariff on german mustards, of all thinjgs?
Oct. 7th, 2004 03:08 pm (UTC)
The EU won't import meat from cattle treated with growth hormones (the vast majority of beef produced in the US), so after failing to lift an embargo as required by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the US Trade Department put a 100% tariff on a variety of imported items from EU members starting at the end of July 1999.

Oct. 13th, 2004 07:24 am (UTC)
Mustard is one of the primary German exports, along with sausage and, of course, beer. (Think: "What are things you would find at an Oktoberfest?") Add a kaiser roll and you have what is probably the single most common German meal.

That and Gyros. LOL There is this fantastic little Gyros stand outside of the Irish Pub in Frankfurt that is open after the bars close at 2am and it usually has a long line.
Oct. 13th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC)
hmmm, gyros. . . those germans have the right idea! as long as we don't start taxing tsziki (sp?) sauce.
Oct. 19th, 2004 01:07 pm (UTC)
If they do you can make your own:

Tzat Ziki Sauce

2 cucumbers, peeled, de-seeded, chopped into large chunks, and drained
1 clove of garlic (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup (or more, up to 1/2 cup). white wine vinegar
16 oz sour cream or yogurt
1 to 2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp celery seed (optional)

Crush the garlic and then chop a couple of times. Put everything in a blender on high for a couple of minutes until well liquefied, then refrigerate for at least a few hours (better over night) to let the flavors combine.
Oct. 19th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC)
damn, you're good!
Oct. 19th, 2004 01:31 pm (UTC)
LOL Thanks, I try -- I love to cook. There is also a common variation on this recipe that doesn't make something you can squirt out of a mustard bottle: Chop the cucumber into small chunks and don't puree it. This is then spooned over the meat.

If you would like the gyros recipe, too (chicken or beef) you can find it in my journal in a public post (which isn't quite complete, yet, but will be in a few minutes).
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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