The advent of springtime brings joy to us all. New blossoms and leaves appear, the world seems to wake up and rejuvenate itself and mankind shakes itself and finds joy in all hearts. Well, not really. But close!
For me,spring is also a time to rid myself of the body toxin legacy that heavy wintreous food has helped build up. The time for a liver cleanout is at hand. A new season is nigh and rejuvenation starts with the liver. You know the old saying:”Is life worth living? Well it depends on the liver.” Emotion and energy are, after all, largely chemically and glandularly driven, so lets give the liver an oil change for the new season.
These simple teas will certainly give you a boost, but CHECK WITH YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL FIRST. A friend of mine gets ill from licorice; My nephew is in danger of dying if he has peanut products. (He is a six foot four farmer who can labor all day in the hot sun.) So exercise care.
Try any of these combinations for cleansing your jaded liver:
- Combo 1:
Yellow dock root, dandelion root, licorice root, red sage, sarsaparilla, hyssop, pau de arco (ipe roxo), milk thistle seed, parsley leaf.
- Combo 2:
Fennel seed , fenugreek, flax seed, peppermint, licorice root, burdock.
(Mix in equal parts except for licorice root and burdock. Add just a pinch of these 2.)
- Combo 3:
Scratweed (aka. goosegrass, cleavers), dandelion, chickweed, parsley root, nettles, oregon grape root, burdock root, butternut skin, peppermint, red clover, fennel, licorice.
You can add a teaspoon of extract of milk thistle seed to all the above as an additional boost for the liver. One of my friends jokes that his liver is now so healthy that they will have to bear it to death after he dies.
You can make most of these teas yourself or perhaps choose a premade one at the local health store. What I do is buy a 1/2 or 1 ounce of every herb. Then I combine a single full tablespoon of every herb into a mason jar. Shake it up and its ready to go.
Benefits derived from the individual herbs and remedies listed:
- Fennel seed – white cell formation, acid/alkaline balancing
- Red clover – blood purifier
- Licorice – adrenal stimulation
- Cleavers – anti-infection
- Oregon grape root – cleansing, building
- Nettles – rich in minerals
- Dandelion – cleansing and strengthening ·
- Fenugreek – helps to eliminate toxins and mucus
- Yellow dock root – cleansing, white cell formation
- Burdock root – purifying
- Pau de arco – cleansing, white cell formation
- Peppermint – body cleanser and toner
- Milk thistle seed – cleansing, building
To prepare the tea.
Boil 1 1/4 cup of filtered water in a sterile container. Add 1 heaped tablespoon of chosen for herbal mixture. Allow to draw for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink when cool enough.
Take a cup before breakfast and a cup before dinner for up to 2 months.
Pest control must be done with utmost consideration for the safety of the herb garden plants, animals and humans. This holds especially true for those with organic gardens, as the main purpose of growing vegetables organically will be defeated if they become tainted with pest control chemicals.
Below are a few long-term maintenance tips to make pest control less damaging and more environmentally friendly.
1. Use the physical pest control process.
This may be accomplished through picking grubs off by hand, creating barriers and traps and plugging holes. Snails are found hiding in damp places under rocks and towards the base of those herb garden plants with straplike foliage.
2. Apply biological pest control.
Encourage predatory insects such as green lacewings and dragonflies to feed on aphids and other pests that attack your plants. This can be done by placing a shallow bowl of water in the garden. Dragonflies especially will hover around water. Bacterial insecticides are also be employed against caterpillars.
3. Only as a last resort should we turn to chemical pest control.
Organic pest control methods can be successful and the ingredients for most of the recipes are available in the kitchen cupboards. If chemical sprays are really necessary, try and find the safest. These include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils and tobacco dust.
4. Consider the usage of safer pest control substitutes.
Recipes for alternative pest control include the following:
- Against Green Aphids and Mites – Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and a cup of vegetable oil. Dilute a teaspoon of this solution in a cup of water and spray on aphids and mites.
- Against Cockroaches – boric acid powder can be applied to cracks or entry points of these insects. Bay leaves on pantry shelves could also help diswcourage these intruders.
Make sure any chemicals you use are targeted specifically at the insects you are targeting.
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Greek Lamb Kleftiko or Slow Roast Lamb Recipe
The Greek Lamb Kleftiko or Slow Roast Lamb, roughly translated, means stolen meat or stolen lamb. It depends which of your Greek friends you ask. The legends say that a thief would sneak onto a remote Greek hillside and steal a lamb. He would cook the meat for many hours over coals in a hole sealed with mud to prevent steam escaping and alerting the shepherds.
Whatever the legends though, let me say that this is down and dirty soul food with a large comfort food factor thrown in. Only the best of friends ever get this as a special treat. Get it right and you’ll get accolades. Get it wrong and it will still taste great. Time is the secret ingredient; Rosemary is the essential ingredient.
One of the best modern methods is to put your lamb chunks and other ingredients into an oven double baster lined with enough tinfoil to wrap the ingredients in a pouch. Place another tinfoil sheet on top overlapping the lip of the bottom section and put the top cover in place, creating a good seal between top and bottom. (See illustration below)
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time: 4 to 6 hours or until meat falls off the bone. Time depends on your cooking method and effectiveness of your lid seal.
Serves – bone-in: About 300 to 400 gm to a serving i.e. 2 kg’s will feed 5 to 7 people.
Serves – deboned: About 200 to 300 gm to a serving i.e. 2 kg’s will feed 7 to 10 people.
(I have cooked bone-in kleftiko for 6 farmers who flattened half a lamb. [8 kgs of meat] So overcater)
Ingredients: [For every 2 kg of meat.]
Either 1 boned shoulder of lamb (about 2kg)
Or a bone-in lamb hindquarter cut into neat fist sized chunks by your butcher. See above for weight needed.
Or a bone-in lamb forequarter cut into neat fist sized chunks by your butcher. See above for weight needed.
150ml extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, cut into slivers
4 tbsp roughly chopped rosemary
Juice of 1 large lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. (340 F)
2. Heat 50ml of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
3. use a wooden skewer or similar to make holes in the lamb. Insert the garlic slivers into the holes.
5. Place in oven and cook for 4 to 6 hours – remember that it is called slow lamb. Remove from the oven shortly before serving. Open foil and pierce bottom of foil cover to start draining.
6. Serve the chunky portions whole and spoon remaining juice over portions – they should almost fall apart at this stage. Serve with your veggies of choice.
Please let me know how you enjoyed this greek kleftiko aka slow roast lamb recipe.
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A basil, tomato, garlic and mascarpone cheese sauce that is a truly simple, outstanding dish. The mascarpone cheese gives it the rich smoothness of a true classic. For me it is the Italian cuisine equivalent of the finest champagnes and epitomises all that is outstanding about simple Italian cooking No herb garden information guide would be complete without sharing this recipe.
PREP TIME 20 Min
COOK TIME 2 to 3 Hrs
READY IN 200 Min
Servings 4 to 6
- 500gm.(16 ounces) package uncooked spaghettini/spaghetti/fettucine
- 450gm.(14.5 ounces) can diced peeled tomatoes
- 2 fresh peeled tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 150gm. (5 ounces) mascarpone cheese
- 50gm. (2 ounces) tomato paste to intensify flavour.
(To peel tomato’s, place in jug and immerse by pouring boiling water over them, wait 2 minutes – remove from water over sink, leave to cool and the peel will slide off easily.)
1. In a blender or food processor, blend the diced tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper until barely chunky.
2. Place mixture in heavy bottomed saucepan with 2/3 of the basil hand torn into small pieces and simmer gently until reduced to about 2/3 of original volume. Add the mascarpone cheese and the tomato paste and stir in gently, reducing heat to keep mixture warm while prepping the pasta. At this point add the rest of the basil to the mixture.
3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, if you like it like that – I personally prefer a softer pasta (15 minutes) and find it much more palatable.
Drain the pasta.
In a bowl, gently toss the cooked pasta and tomato mixture. You may grate parmesan cheese on top if you wish, but it is really not necessary.
Wine to drink – Sauvignon Blanc.