For those of us who live north of the equator it’s summertime – the so-called “lazy, hazy days,” when, hopefully, we get a chance to kick back a bit and smell the roses or maybe some hay…
But regardless of where you live or whatever the season, it’s good to take an occasional break from the daily drill. If you can’t physically get away, how about a visit to a fascinating, new YouTube channel that’s almost as good as a weekend on the farm? It’s called Food.Farm.Earth – put together by an eclectic mix of local food leaders and experts in the sustainable food and agriculture world who share their amazing ideas and hands-on experience. It’s a veritable video smorgasbord! An ever expanding collection of short videos on food facts and wisdom, in the fields and the kitchen, like “Freezing Fruit for All Seasons,” “Cherry Orchards in Full Bloom,” “Making Bone Marrow and Smoked Cherry Ice Cream With Bourbon,” “How to Grow Horseradish,” “An Artist’s Life on a Small Family Farm,” and much more. Take a look. Warning: you could get hooked!
To your health!
Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (F.A.C.T.)
The Benefits of Napping
After about age 60, we have less deep (slow-wave) sleep and more rapid sleep cycles, we awaken more often, and we sleep an average of two hours less at night than we did as young adults. It was once thought that older people didn’t need as much sleep as younger ones, but experts now agree that’s not the case. Regardless of age, we typically need seven-and-a-half to eight hours of sleep to function at our best. Read More
Email: Boon or Bane?
- Most people react to the arrival of an email within 6 seconds, almost as quickly as they respond to a telephone call. – 2002 study by Loughborough University, UK
- Unwanted messages (spam) contribute significantly to the drudgery of sifting through email. According to the security company Symantec, spam made up 68% of all the email sent in 2011 (down significantly from a high of 90% in 2010).
- People who read email changed screens twice as often and were in a steady “high alert” state, with more constant heart rates, while those removed from email for 5 days experienced more natural, variable heart rates. – 2012 study by UC Irvine and the U.S. Army on the effect of email “vacations.”
Source: Macworld, August 2012
Every now and then go away. Have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work, your judgement will be surer; since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgement.
Go some distance away because the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and a lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen.
– Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)
Spice of the Month: Horseradish
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana), native to the lands around the Mediterranean, made it’s way North in the 15th century where it became hugely popular, especially in German-speaking countries. The Germans called the root meerrettich, sea radish (meer, German for “sea” because it grew by the sea, and rettich, from Latin radix, “root”). So what do horses have to do with it? It’s theorized that the English, hearing the Germans rave about the spice, confused “meer” (sea) with “mare” (as in female horse), and called the spice “mare radish.” By the time it got to America it was horseradish! (Actually, the spice is listed as poisonous to horses.) In any case, today, horseradish is very American: 85% of the world’s horseradish is grown in the U.S. where 6 million gallons of the stuff are consumed every year!
Horseradish may be the ugly duckling of spices – a coarse, colorless, odorless, gangly root, but when cut into, wafts of heat are released that can clear out the nasal passages in a flash! Consequently, before becoming a food, it was used as a medicine to treat colds, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and hoarseness. In the American South some folks still swear by horseradish rubbed on the forehead to relieve headaches.
A member of the celebrated cancer-fighting cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc.), horseradish is loaded with phytonutrients, like isothiocyanate (ITC), a powerful natural antibiotic, along with many other medicinal compounds. In fact, horseradish has ounce for ounce more healing compounds than most any other spice, which makes it very useful in treating upper respiratory problems, reducing inflammation, thinning mucous, checking cell-damaging oxidants, relaxing muscles, stimulating the immune system, etc. According to Dr. James A. Duke, renowned botanist and botanical medicine specialist: “Horseradish is as useful in the medicine chest as it is in the spice rack.” Read More
D.I.Y. Prepared Horseradish
- 8-10 inch long piece horseradish root
- several tablespoons water (preferably distilled)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- pinch seasalt
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the surface skin off the root. Chop the peeled root into small pieces.
- Put pieces into a food processor. Add a couple tablespoons of water and process until well ground. At this point be careful. Ground up fresh horseradish is many times more potent than a freshly chopped onion and can really burn your eyes, if you get too close. Keep at arms length and work in a well ventilated room.
- If the mixture is too liquidy, strain out some of the water. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and pinch of seasalt to the mix. Pulse to combine. The vinegar will stabilize the level of hotness of the ground horseradish, so don’t wait too long to add it to the mixture.
- Using a rubber spatula, carefully transfer the grated horseradish to a jar. It will maintain good pungency for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
This basic horseradish can be added to a vast variety of foods, e.g., yogurt and sour cream sauces, salads, soups, potatoes, steamed veggies, fish, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs – whenever you need a healthy kick!