Octopus Confit

we’re lucky to have an opportunity to participate in a CSF (community supported fishery) out of Cowichan Bay.   salmon, prawns, shrimp & octopus on offer; we got just salmon & octopus this year.

Giant Pacific Octopus Arm

Giant Pacific Octopus Arm (Photo credit: Michael Bentley)

last year we prepared it confit according to Project Octopus’ instructions, except we used lard that we’d previously used to confit duck. complicated. delicious.

added some crushed cloves of garlic, bay leaves & crushed green peppercorns; it was salty enough from two rounds of previous confit.  we ditched the fat this time; will have to start again next year.

verdict: fabulous.  best octopus any of us have ever eaten (and we’ve all eaten a fair amount of octopus in various preparations).

K’s verdict: “give me the sucker disks!” she ate them like candy.  and the tentacle ends.  this 3 year old loves beef and pork tongues, sashimi (including uni), gizzard goulash, liver paté… we’re lucky to have such an adventuresome palette in such a young kid!



Fruta LONGAN (Dimocarpus longan Lour)

Fruta LONGAN (Dimocarpus longan Lour) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

K saw a yellow mesh bag of round yellow fruit and wanted that, but was a bit lacking in description to Nan: “I want the yellow thing!”  yeah.  once we calmed everyone down and clued in, longan is what we brought home.

today’s findin’ fridays contribution is one that again isn’t K’s favourite: “too rich”.  fair enough.  I find it floral & perfumy, but I still enjoy a treat of it once in a while (read: few years).  had my fix, good to go for a while now.

fyi – don’t eat the shell or seed.  dunno if it’ll hurt you, but just enjoy the flesh, that’s the nummy part.


English: Ripe Carambolas, or starfruit, the fr...

English: Ripe Carambolas, or starfruit, the fruit of Averrhoa carambola tree: vertical, side and cross section profiles. The fruit in cross-section is a five-pointed star, hence its name. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

here’s findin’ fridays again. starfruit or carambola is not favoured by K, but I like it – although this most recent one she ate more of, and said “tastes like pea juice!” there you go… if you ever needed incentive, could you get more than that?

another one with oxalates, and has drug interactions, like grapefruit, wrecking havoc with uptake of certain pharmaceuticals.

LF Nettle Kraut

nettle kraut WIP via Gaia’s Gifts

shredded cabbage + chopped stinging nettle (gloves!) + salt + LF vessel = delicious

who knew?

and we’ve now got a fresh crop of stinging nettles off the plants I’d harvested in spring (again, who knew?), along with cabbages sitting awaiting harvest in the garden… another batch to make!


An Ikea garlic press, with pressed garlic.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

desperate to come up with something to help K with a cold that went straight to her lungs (of course)

we’ve got a wonderful cough tincture (Usnea, Inula & Althea) from our medical herbalist

been working on potent acupressure points thanks to recent shiatsu sessions (when K will let me – she’s been so hyped with this cold that any touching in those points results in instant withdrawal reaction – I could manage some while she slept fitfully)

some herbal brews: mint family (cat nip, spearmint, lemon balm) plus fennel seed, rose hips, calendula, some late season red clover & stinging nettles; fresh grated ginger & turmeric & lemon slices

finally, last night, she was struggling with breathing & fighting a low fever, I found GOOT.  slathered that on her feet, chest & back a couple of times, and she’s almost totally back to normal today.

this is amazing.  this kind of thing (especially once in her lungs) usually takes K a week or more to get over to this point.  one night of the GOOT.  well, let’s see if it’s repeatable… you know it, I know it, we’ll get more opportunities to test it.

Steps to Health

Young boy tending freshly stocked fruit and vegetable stand at Center Market, 02/18/1915 – US National Archives credit (via Flickr The Commons)

while obviously not perfectly adhered to, here are our general guidelines

Pollan’s Food Rules (this is #1 – everything else falls into place after this):
eat (real) food. not much. mostly plants.

from Nourishing Traditions:
proper seed, grain, nut, legume preparation
eat the whole (pasture raised) animal (organs, fat, bones, muscle)
fermented foods
(ideally) biodynamic, organic, local produce*
whole (ideally raw) non-homogenized dairy

*but I take what I can get /afford; sometimes, at best, I’m happy to have whole, fresh produce

from Weston A. Price

high quality fish oil supplements

from Dr. Terry Wahls (much similar to Weston A. Price guidelines & NT)

9 cups fresh veggies & fruit a day (3 dark green, 3 sulfur, 3 colour)
include spices and herbs
Omega 3 rich foods, green leaves and animals fed green leaves (pasture raised & wild), wild fish and seafood
eat organ meats once per week
regular bone broth
fermented foods
sea vegetables once a week
eat local, preferably grow your own

Taro (Dasheen)

welcome to findin’ fridays, where I post something new to us (thus far, new fruit & veg).

English: Colocasia esculenta (dasheen). Locati...

English: Colocasia esculenta (dasheen). Location: Maui, Foodland Pukalani (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

today’s new food is dasheen or taro.  taro is a staple the world ’round, used in many cultures, and many ways; however, the most important thing to note is it’s not to be eaten raw.  the oxalate content can be very toxic; there are various cultivars available, some less concentrated in oxalate than others, but proper cooking is still important.

my original plan was to make taro chips.  sadly, I don’t think we’d purchased the correct variant for that, so instead I steamed them to peel, then continued steaming to cook.  added a couple of very ripe bananas, some freshly brewed kefir, and blended it altogether for a tropical pudding.