Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mushroom & Pasta - Basta!

Mushrooms (organic Button mushrooms)

Onions & Garlic

Olive oil

Sour Cream
Herbs: Garden cress-sprouts, Chives, Dill

Nutmeg &/ white pepper

Pasta (organic semolina, or durum wheat, no egg), preferred shapes are Orecchiette or Fusilli.

Fry onions & mushrooms
Boil pasta

Shortly before pasta is "al dente"
Add cream and (most of the) chopped herbs, garlic and spices to the mushrooms.
(If you do not want to use cream, just do it without.)

Heat on a low flame and stir.
Drain pasta and mix with mushroom sauce
Cover for a a few minutes.
Transfer to serving dish
Sprinkle with remaining herbs.
Serve with a green crunchy salad.

Both images are by Giorgio Sommer from around 1885 somewhere in Italy, the first one is a macaroni manufacture and the second one is just eating them. Both pictures are in the public domain, uploaded via Zeno
Could one still dry their pasta in the public today?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Almond biscuits

450g wholemeal flour (spelt flour)
2 tbsp honey
1 egg
1.5 heaped teasp ground cinnamon
250g butter
450g organic almonds

Blanch almonds: add to a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. Pour out hot water and add cold water. Rinse twice in a sieve. Rub almonds repeatedly between the hands and remove skins. Wash from time to time to assist with separation of almonds and skins.
Mix honey and egg in the middle of the flour in a large bowl.
Add cinnamon, butter flakes. Grate 300g almonds and add to the mixture.
Knead to a pastry. Add extra flour if sticky.
Cool in fridge.
Roll out thin.
Using cookie cutting tools cut out shapes. Place a whole or half an almond on each cookie, pressing lightly.

Bake at 190°c for 8 minutes on a baking tray in batches. Cool.
Store in a tin lined with greaseproof paper in a cool place.

Also delicious as filled cookies
(as shown in the second picture).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Meat without all the animal stuff

Consumers and their carnivorous pets devour gigantic amounts of meat. The “relentless growth in livestock production” cannot satisfy the insatiable demand. Dogs, bush meats, endangered animals are 'harvested' or poached from the 'wild' and sometimes even human beings. Meat 3 x a day confirms that top-dog position, and implies not being part of the world of starving grain-eaters. Social gatherings without the ritualistic incinerated slabs or sliced hunk are not worth attending.

One believes blissfully in the gently raised cow, by a loving family farm or even skillful cowboys rounding up delicious cattle fed on wild pastures and springs.

Cynical reason 'raises awareness' about the growth hormones, antibiotics in factory-logistics (aka farming), the state of sick animals and their feces that are making it into meat products. The deregulated "meat roulette", the associated diseases of aggregating in small, often unhygienic places. The long transports and finally the automated killing-factories. The suffering of the creatures.
Outside, 30 % of terrestial earth is devoted to livestock grazing. Motorised cowboys force the electronically tagged herds' meat-mass with 4x4s, snowmobiles and helicopters into the desired locations. Desertification follows, the water bodies and atmosphere are contaminated from this industrial production process. The territory yearns to be valorised for bio fuel and real estate purposes.Putting the nightmare of others aside – in our meatspace, meatbags engage in exchanges in the meat market which is defended by meat shields. Meatlifting a square watery chunk of meat molten on polystyrene out of a freezer, has detached us long ago from the presence of a warm blooded living organism in its biotope.
The next logical step is to grow edible animal muscle fibre in laboratories on an industrial scale. With molecular biological techniques a biopsy is taken from a living organism that has evolved for the last 500 million years. Outside the living being the muscular tissue is spurned into growth. Disembodied – the suffering of the individual creature is put to an end , as its muscle tissue, bathed in nutrition is grown into huge chunks or 'meat' for human consumption.
No more worries about a monoculture of grazing animals displacing bio-diversity out of a habitat. Let them eat meat without 'husbandry'. Away with nasty externalities such as environmental burdens, food, drugs and warehousing for stock. The costs of slaughtering and last but not least, the burden of 'human resources' expenditures.
Environmentally concerned scientists”, agribusiness armed with a patent for the engineering of tissue are determined to rid the world of its financial, ecological, health and ethical woes. Revenue streams could be turned to rapids of a vertically integrated industry of life. With in-vitro 'meat production the ever-expanding human population can be supplied with laboratory-grown meat, if they can pay. Choices could be increased as consumers can decide whether they would like the animal muscle fibre in the form of sausages, burgers, nuggets or meatloaf mash up.

Contemporary cuisine is attempting to familiarise our senses to molecular gastronomy. The installation “Disembodied Cuisine” has already displayed the growing of “steaks”. Meat without animals, 'something from nothing' is the dreaming of some aspiring people.

A reduction in the consumption of animal matter, or for that matter any reduction in consuming, is off the agenda. Even if that behaviour requires three to four earths. The insatiable desire for more (of the same) is stearing this spaceship (of fools) into a diy geological and ecological epoch of this planet. Whether this anthropocene allows for any non human life to exist or is itself inhabitable by human beings needs to be seen.

Disembodied Cuisine”, art installation
In Vitro Meat Consortium, "an international alliance of environmentally concerned scientists striving to facilitate the establishment of a large-scale process industry for the production of muscle tissue for human consumption.."

Future Food aims to inform and accelerate "the research into and development of cultured meat (in-vitro meat)"
Eat less meat, G. Monbiot
PETA: "The first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices will receive a check for $1 million."
Dr Philip Thornton, Livestock production: recent trends, future prospects, Phil Trans R Soc B 2010 365: 2853-2867. 

The In Vitro Meat Cookbook, @nextnature,0814