The spring came and with textbook accuracy I started spring cleaning and gardening like crazy. Well. Not quite. Spring is officially still dormant, but not quite. I did clean and garden, but not quite because of spring but because of all the dust and stuff you don’t want to know but am sure you also have in your corners. And that gardening thing. Yes, that hits me hard every spring. The fact that we don’t have a garden doesn’t get in the way at all. So I planted and replanted and soiled and watered and whatevered so now my food-photo-table is now plant table.
The whole shabang started when my friend Natalie (you want to check her beautiful happy and healthy blog!) shared a video with replanting kitchen vegetable scraps. You know, carrot and parsley caps growing new leaves, lettuce and cabbage also, mint, basil and stuff. So I said like, what, what?! I need to do that! Gimme some carrot leftovers, quickly! So I just did that. Not because I really need that and not because we’ll actually fill our tummies with all that stuff that will grow like crazy because we/it won’t. But the actual idea of growing stuff is great. The fascinating fact that there is so much life in this little scrap that will continue to grow just by being given a little puddle of water. Fascinating, right?
So I dipped carrots and parsley into the puddles and green salad and cabbage caps. And even parsnip and that fellow grew new leaves like crazy but PLEASE BEWARE. Parsnip leaves are poisonous so don’t be tempted to pick some and garnish around or you’ll get yourself speaking in tongues. Swollen. In ER.
And then, house plants. I have those around. Not much trouble with them, if it was otherwise, those wouldn’t survive because our place is pretty warm but with light either bad or too strong. So those are water-me-when-you-remember fellows that have my utmost respect. Because they grow, and boy do they! I don’t know their names in English and it really doesn’t matter but those of you who know will recognise, I think. Mainly those plants… well, please excuse my non-first-english. You know, those plants that have one or more „hands“ and grow long, long, and climb up or wherever they find support. And have nice trianglish green leaves, sometimes brushed with a bit of yellow.
So there’s Rudy. Short for Rudolph, I guess. My friend gave him to me because she couldn’t cope with his long arms anymore. The stem (I hope I used the right word, please feel free to correct me) was, OMG, like 4 m long. That’s the length, or better, height of my dad twice, and some more. And she said, either you take him, or I’ll just… well, she wouldn’t be just doing anything, if you think she would throw him away or something, but she was relieved to put him in good hands. And say goodbye.
So Rudy was going around our house like crazy with his one long stem and started giving me the creeps to be honest, because he would somehow hold himself against the wall, with no lumps or anything to hold on to, and went around like some kind of python or something. Which I could go with because he wasn’t gonna eat anyone but his stem and leaves were slowly going soft and wilted. And I thought, Rudy, you’re not feeling right, right? And he just nodded tiredly. Well, he probably didn’t, but it’s my plant and their leaves move sometimes so…
So what are we gonna do, Rudy? I’ll have to take some scissors and… No! Screamed he. Well, he probably didn’t, but I surely felt like that when grabbing a pair of scissors. So I took the nicest wine glasses and filled them with beautiful, filtered and staled water and cak cak cak! (Croatian sound for cutting with scissors). And soon Rudy felt relieved like I cut tons of hair off of his head and we both stood and looked at bright pearly glasses with stems and leaves soaking feet in them, waiting to be planted again. That’s you, Rudy, said I, you’ll go in so much more. I had no heart to throw some leaves, so I soaked them all. You’ll have tons of little Rudy’s, said my friend, to whom I told what I did. Well, if they all behave nicely like Rudy, said I, we’ll be happy to have them. Wanna few pups?
So with all of that going on, and some garlic also planted along with some arugula seeds, one gets hungry, right? Not to mention that you have room mates who get hungry also. So if you are vegan, you cannot just go and grab a piece of cheese from your fridge and put in on a slice of bread, right? And slice of bread itself is something I try to avoid and not to fall into high carb story. So one has to cook. And so I did. And again, the lunch came to life from scraps: cooked beans from the day before, handfull of cabagge that waited to be put in some good use and some leftover celery roots. So I planted them all into my pot and soon this busy gardener was having the best lazy scrap veggie salad my fridge could yearn.
Scrap bean, cabagge and celery salad
1 c diced onion
1 c diced celery roots
2 – 3 c cabagge, finely cut
2 – 3 c cooked beans
some oil, salt, pepper, other seasonings to taste
Recipe is very flexible. Ammounts you can adjust to your taste and mostly, to what you have in your pantry.
Sauté onions and celery till tender. Add cabagge and sauté more, stirring constantly, till you get your cabagge tender as you wish. I like it crispier but you can almost melt it with onions. Just remember that cabagge shrinks when sautéed. You can add finely diced garlic too. In the end, add beans and stir gently, not to break them into a mush. Season to your taste and serve with whatever you have in hand.
I served it with rice. I spoke of it in my last blog post but will say it again here, just in case.
Rice with seeds
1 cup rice
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
handfull of seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, etc.
Sauté rice and seeds on some oil till it gets a bit whiteish, stirring constantly on medium heat. Watch it doesn’t burn, if it does, sadly, throw it away. So after 3 mins add salt and water, lower the heat to the lowest and cook covered with a lid. After 10 mins check the rice. If needed, fold it over gently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Even if it does a little, that’s fine. Cover and cook for 5 mins more or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Serve immediately. Or whenever you feel like some rice.