Clover & Cognative Dissonance
Scrap Kitchen 19- Train travel, tinctures and traversing a continent
Another two weeks have blown by and here we are. As you read this I will be on a train, travelling over 1000 miles to have a holiday. The plan for this week is to head to San Fransisco and live my best gay life. And also just be by the ocean. Yes, it’s a much greener form of transport but as the Delta Variant rages, I have to ask myself is it worth it.
Cognitive dissonance abound. But I am taking precautions, though I have not seen a mask in the past month or so I will be wearing it for the duration of the trip. Handwashing is on the menu and I’m planning on spending most of my time in SF outside; walking to my heart’s content, feeling the city vibes, and most probably freaking out about the pandemic still being all too real.
One of the striking things about coming to America, or at least to a relatively rural part of it, is the completely different feeling pandemic wise. Of course, I am coming into contact with so many fewer people than I did in London, the vaccinations have rolled through, but the masklessness is somewhat jarring. And yet I have adapted and now had to go dig through my things to even find my mask. How odd that it was so quickly cast off. Some of this too is privilege. To a large extent, it is. I’m living somewhere remote enough to worry less, with a good supply of really really healthy food and technically free healthcare (big up Medicaid). But now moving out of this haven, for a week, I am confronted again with the reality of the outside world. How I shall adapt to it sure will be interesting.
I am blisteringly aware though of my ability to spread the virus, vaccinated I can still be a carrier. And this will certainly affect the activities and interactions I have in San Fransisco. But I also worry at how easily I slipped back into relative normalcy, even after being incapacitated for over a month with the OG Variant. My point is that this trip needs to be a cautious and cognisant one.
The Tarot this week is Judgement (yikes). Speaking of retribution and an inner calling, or even rebirth. When the trumpets ring how will you be judged? Within this card and this week ask yourself: How do my values and actions align? Hav I been putting my money where my mouth is? What standard do I hold myself (or others) to?
As my work wraps up for the week I have been thinking a lot about another one of the weeds to which I am well acquainted. Clover in all its glory is common throughout the US and Europe. With its classic trifoliate leaves or sometimes lucky quatre-foliate, clovers are one of the most common “weeds”, but also one of the most recognisable. There are four kinds of clover and they each correspond to different properties of healing. Their flowers have been used as common medicine and their association with leprechauns is well known. On a more practical side, they can sometimes be confused with Wood Sorrel which is actually much tastier. While the iconic leaves of clover have a pretty grassy taste but can be delicious sauteed, in a soup or even transformed into a chimichurri sauce. The fresh seeds taste like peas and can be used in a similar fashion, or they can be sprouted as a cheap salad topper. The vibrant flowers can be made into tonics, teas, jams, cookies and of course wine. What I love about working with weeds, especially those with good flowers is that once you know the basics of what can be made from them, it’s pretty easy to adapt recipes and to begin experementing with flavours. When it comes to jams I have found a really good recipe for making Pectin from apple scraps, which will help you avoid having to buy extra ingredients and saves on food waste.
In the broader world, my love the Raspberry is coming into season. While here on the farm our raspberry canes have yet to bear fruit, their leaves have been really useful for making a tea that soothes period cramps. For the fruits themselves, a clafoutis is a way to go, although I also managed to make a much less complex version a while back. On the sweet treat train you could also whipe up a crumble, some fool or even a take on the classic lemon bars. When preserving the harvest, raspberries do very well freexing, or freeze dried. If you don’t have a dehydrator, because who does, it’s pretty simple to dry them out in your oven for later use. Preserving abundance is hugely important in ensuring food security (as well as establishing strong food systems and culinary literacy), so make sure if you have too much of anything that you are saving it for later.
The podcast this week is a wonderful one from The Edler Hour, who have been the accompaniment to my many tomatoes trimming sessions. This episode is all about the uses and folklore surrounding clover.
This week was a pretty short one and next week’s will most likely be written on a train, so bear with me as I holiday. But also thank you all for reading this, for commenting, liking and getting in touch. I love reading what you all have to say. Any other clover recipes, send them my way! If I don’t happen to send something out next week, why not go back and read a couple of my favourite posts; learn about queer lichen, get mad about petro-masculinity, or ponder monocultures. I also have some pretty exciting news about an upcoming publication, so hold onto your hats for the next update.
Until then, stay scrappy
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