Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Juice fasting recipes, start with forgotten vegetables and then forget them again

June 13, 2006

I’m the kind of gal that likes to pad her New Year’s resolutions with seemingly achievable ambitions like, ‘Improve handwriting’ and ‘Find ways to enjoy ancient root vegetables’, but 5 months into the year, I haven’t exactly achieved success in integrating parsnips and burdock into my winter diet in any significant way. When I returned home from Saturday’s farmers’ market loaded with fresh ingredients for a 5-day juice fast, I was confronted with a fridge half-full with ancient burdock, celeriac, carrots, parsnips, and a window sill of dried apples. The produce was definitely local, but in the course of some hecticity the past few months, had inadvertently become non-seasonal. I had created forgotten vegetables.

In the spirit of ‘once a year whether you need it or not’, I set to thoroughly cleaning out the fridge to make room for the new arrivals. Oddly, the pile of veg that didn’t make the cut consisted predominantly of root veg, species hardy enough to survive extreme neglect. Not wanting to waste not, I gave the ancient grub a scrub and placed it in a large pot of water a’simmering over a low flame. Re-visiting the theme of forgotten vegetables, I simply forgot these vegetables anew. When every now and again I happened to remember them in the course of the next day, I just added some water or annointed them with a pinch of sea salt. I didn’t even stir.

Yesterday I poured off the liquid, which left to its own devices had transformed itself into an aromatic vegetable bouillon, so delicious that VN and I felt positively blessed drinking it chilled from gold-rimmed shot glasses. Although I am not certain as to the nutritional value of this drink, I am certain that the initial slow-aging of the vegetables and the slow-drying of the apples is the reason that it ended up so flavourful. If you aren’t forgetful, you could probably achieve this self-same result with fresh vegetables and a dehydrator, reducing the simmering time to boot. But I prefer to forget and let the soup just make itself.

Forgotten vegetable bouillon

2 kilos of mixed root vegetables; celeriac, parsnips, burdock, carrot)
4 wrinkly old apples, not rotten, just wrinkly and old
1 leek, very old but not rotten

big ‘ol pinch of the sea salt
water straight out of the tap

Give the veg and fruit a good scrubbing. If it has been in the fridge for a few months, it really needs it. By the by, leaving the dirt on root veg (and even storing it in sand) keeps it fresher longer. That said, it’s the optimism of washing off the dirt that caused these vegetables to dry so perfectly in the fridge over several months time that they retained all of their sugars.

Cut the root veg and apples with skin an all in a large pot filled to the brim with cold water and a big pinch of sea salt. Put the flame on low and if you must, cover the pot no more than half-way. Every four hours check to see what’s going on, you may need to add water if you’ve evaporated too much. After at least two times of adding water and letting simmer, turn off the flame and let the liquid cool, lid off. Pour off the bouillon and use it as vegetable stock or as an ingredient in a root vegetable stock cocktail.

debra at 11:08 | | post to

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