"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Winter for some, and summer for others

I fortuitously met up with a wholesale seed supplier at our local co-op the other day and asked him why I was unable to find watercress seeds.

It turns out that apparently they have been classified as "alien" plants and they are not allowed to sell them anymore.


They are so incredibly rich in nutrients.  And a good source of Vitamin A & C, and, like swiss chard, especially high in Vitamin K.

Damn - I wanted to grow them firstly for the fresh greens, and secondly for the seeds so that I can sprout them next winter.

So, here's a question for you all.  Does anyone have any watercress plants that they would be willing to send me a cutting (with roots) of?  Or can you find edible (health section) or crop seeds in your local store?

I am willing to swop seeds with whosoever has access to watercress.  I've got heirloom yellow, black and red tomatoes, mung beans, piquanté pepper and broadbean seeds to offer.  Take your pick :D

Anyway, talking about broadbeans (fava beans), back to today's posting.

It is really strange to me to read on overseas blogs that you are growing peas and broadbeans - in summer.  They only grow here in winter.

When it comes to shelling them, I plug my MP3 player into my ears, switch it on and settle down for a music session - the time passes in a wink ;)
Broad beans and peas - a delicious winter
 treat here
I have been steadily harvesting both for quite a few of weeks, and although RMan isn't mad about broadbeans I manage to get him to eat them by removing both the outer pod, and the inner capsule.  Tedious, but worth it to get the goodness inside him.

(To twice shell - place the inner encapsulated broad bean in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Thereafter the capsule will easily slide off the inner bean.  Dogs L-O-V-E that inner capsule - Scallywag couldn't get enough of them, but strangely enough wasn't mad about the actual inner bean).

Last week I made each of us a crustless quiche and added both peas and broadbeans to it.  Yum - that was stunningly delicious - even RMan enjoyed it (but it could also have been the bacon bits that I added to his one ;)

Tonight I am making chicken à la king - with twice shelled broadbeans added to the sauce lol  He wont even notice...

But, my most favourite recipe for broadbeans is just warm, twice shelled beans with a knob of butter splashed with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkling of S & P to taste.
A full 456 grams of broadbeans, and 256gms
of freshly shelled peas.  What more could I ask
Peas - those he'll happily shell and munch on in their raw state - and the balance, after a quick blanch, I'm popping in the freezer for use next summer when it is too hot to grow them here.

For those who are interested here is the crustless quiche recipe:

Peel, slice and chop an onion and brown in a little oil.  Set aside.
If you're adding bacon bits, use the same frying pan and par cook them.
Add the onions and bacon bits to the shelled broadbeans and peas.
Break into a bowl and beat as many eggs as you are going to use. To this add seasonings as required - salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, etc - and a splash of milk.
Add the broadbeans, peas, onions and bacon bits into your beaten egg mixture and pour into a well oiled / buttered casserole dish / deep baking tray.
Add sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with grated cheese
Cook in a 180oC oven until the egg is set and firm to the touch - roughly ½ - ¾ hour

I have not given quantities as it will vary according to how many people you are serving - and that adjustment is common sense.

It is also a brilliant way of using up a surplus of fresh, free-range chicken eggs :D  God bless my chickies.

(The only shop bought items in that meal was the seasonings, grated cheese and the bacon bits for RMan ;)  )

What are your favourite broadbean (fava bean) recipes?


Dawn McHugh said...

I could easily send you some packets of seeds if you want, have you looked on ebay for any, I have just had some seeds arrive from spain that I couldnt get in the UK also I have had seeds come from USA

Harry Flashman said...

I thought watercress was only eaten by aristocratic Brits, who had it made into tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off, to be eaten with the pinki finger extended!

I will look at the farmers depot but I doubt we have them here in the mountains. If watercress is banned, and you get a package of seeds, won't you get busted? I could hide the seeds inside a can and put a peanut label on it or something. ;-)

Sol said...

Sorry I dont have water cress, I would like to grow it myself.

Broad beans we use dried to make falafel. And also I love them in risotto with peas and the pea shoots and the tops of the broad beans mixed in when stopping the black fly.

Dani said...

Dawn - My problem is if I order the seeds online from elsewhere in the world, the parcel will state that it is seeds - which will be questioned by our customs / authorities... :(

Dani said...

Harry - Lol I am of British birth, but won't be eating my (future) watercress sandwiches with my pinky finger extended!

That is exactly what my problem is with ordering them from an overseas supplier - the envelope / parcel will probably state "Seeds" or "watercress Seeds" which will get stopped by our authorities! Whereas a "casual" (bubblewrap - plastic pocket protected) envelope wouldn't have to state anything... ;)

Dani said...

Falafel I make with chick peas :)

How does the broadbeans stop black fly...?

Sue said...

I can't help you on the watercress. I've never tried it, though I have read how nutritious it is.
I wish I could force myself to shell peas, but I do not like it. No amount of music or anything would make that job pleasant to me. You're lucky it doesn't bother you. It's one of the few things I can't provide for myself......

Michelle Sharwood said...

Hi Dani, I have some watercress for you! Colin and I are planning on going to the farm (Riversdale) next weekend, and Colin has decided that he wants to see what alpacas are all about, so finally I have managed to persuade him to make a detour to your place instead of zooming straight through! So, if all goes well, we will be seeing you next weekend, watercress in tow! Michelle

Dani said...

Sue - Shelling peas is sooo easy lol. Tedious but that is where the music in the ears helps :D

Dani said...

Michelle - Whooopeee - not only that you have watercress, but also that you're going to drop passed. Can't wait to meet :) Did I send you a map? Please - let me know - I'll mail you one if necessary. Friday, Saturday or Sunday?

Sol said...

snap the new shoots off. black fly only like new shoots. Snap them off and eat them. Then the black fly leave them alone (ish)

Diana Studer said...

Be careful of your rivers or wetlands - http://www.invasives.org.za/legislation/item/282-watercress-nasturtium-officinale

And beware of liver flukes - http://www.nicd.ac.za/?page=alerts&id=5&rid=261

I had no idea that watercress was so dangerous ;~)

Sol said...

If you run out of chickpeas you can use dried broad beans for falafel

Dani said...

Diana - Thanks - yeah, the seed rep explained why they were not allowed to sell watercress anymore. I do intend to be very circumspect whilst growing it and intend NOT allowing it to invade our waterways ;)

Dani said...

Cool - thanks for the info - very good to know :)