Dried Lily: Ingredient Profile of an Edible Flower

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Dried Lily Bulbs

There are many strange things at the Asian grocers, things that people don’t recognize. Whole aisles consist of bags of dried…stuff. You wander the aisle asking “Is that a bug?” “Is that an animal product?” “Are those eyes?” “What is that?!” There’s no need to be scared or intimidated. These things, my friends, are food. With a little water, they become somewhat recognizable and are essential ingredients in making a dish taste a particular way that you cannot make it taste otherwise. Continue reading

Eat for the season: Winter

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Snowfall on a frozen Hudson River

We’re well past the winter solstice and the holidays, yet the 12 inches of snow outside my window prompted me to write about what exactly we should be eating in the winter.  Everything is dead.  There are no signs of fresh vegetation outside.  But, I can still get anything I want fresh from the grocery store, which can be confusing.  The holidays are a wonderful reminder of fall harvests and the types of foods available such as sweet potato, squash, cranberries, and nuts.  But when I go down the street to dine, the cafe serves me ice cold water, and I can choose from 5 different raw salads.  This is a big winter no-no.

In Chinese medicine, winter is about going inwards.  It is the most yin time of the year.  It relates to the kidneys and water.  When we look at nature, everything returns to the earth, remains a little more still, so that by spring, there is enough energy to regenerate.  It is a time for storage.  Continue reading