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Poisonous Plants

 
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I thought we had the most dangerous plant known to modern science in our greenhouse, but recently I found one even nastier, out in the back garden. It flourishes at Christmas. Ruth has seen it, but thought the buds were too small yet to do anybody any real harm.
[edit] That appears to be mud or something on top. It should wash of next time it rains, or I could go and wash it off now.
BrusselsSproutsx.jpg
[Thumbnail for BrusselsSproutsx.jpg]
 
Campbell Ritchie
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I think that plant may be even more dangerous than YOTs←Permies link.
 
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Kill it with fire! Use your Elon Musk Flamethrower™ from a distance!

Seriously, two things I can't be in the same building with are fish and cooked cruciform vegetables. No corned beef and cabbage for me!

It's funny, because I LOVE cole slaw, and it's a standing joke that when I'm broke I make hash brown rutabagas (swedes) - frying's OK. No problem with vegetarian kimchi.

But boil those suckers and it's a gas attack.
 
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They are compulsory at Christmas here. Ruth cooked some in the pressure cooker, above the water (in the steam only) for 3½min. That isn't the recipe they had on “I'm sorry, I haven't a clue.”

. . . . the British way. If you can count them they're still raw.

 
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Feel free to send me that hazardous plant, I'm tough, I'll happily take one for the team here.
I love brassicas!
 
Tim Holloway
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:They are compulsory at Christmas here.


Well, now I know the REAL reason my ancestors fled the country!

Do you pressure cook with the traditional kettle or use an Instant Pot? I have 2 kettles and they always scared me, but the IP is much friendlier. In fact, since work-at-home started, my wife expects a batch of Cuban Black Bean soup for daily lunches once a week. I'll probably run off some holiday tamales later.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Feel free to send me that hazardous plant, . . .

According to my granddaughter, I have a plant even more dangerous. I think it needs to grow a bit first. Broccoli. (=calabrese)

I had those plants for the best part of two years before they did anything. There is another plant, about a foot away from that illustrated, with dozens of buds on, but they are only about ⅛″ (~3mm) across. They will doubtless enlarge in the next few weeks giving me enough Brassica to poison the whole street.

Traditional pressure cooker; Ruth and I have been using them for well over forty years, so we have got used to them. Peel the little round green delights, cut them part‑way through from their stems, and leave them above the water. As I said, 3½min at “H” pressure (=double atmospheric pressure, about 122°C=about 250°F). Reduce pressure by running cold water round the cooker. Because the green stuff doesn't come into contact with the water, the flavour doesn't leach out (I think). They might take longer to cook at high altitudes; I am only about 30′ above sea level.
 
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That is what we are having for supper with steak and apple tartlets.  Maybe we will live through it.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Do you put the steak into the tartlets before the apple or after?
 
Campbell Ritchie
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My question isn't quite as daft as it appears at first sight; the real traditional Cornish Pasty had meat (and carrots, potatoes, etc.) at one end and fruit at the other. It also had a thick fold of pastry which the miners used as a handle, but didn't eat, so as not to poison themselves by eating lots of tin ore.
 
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I'll send you my mushrooms if you send me your little green cabbages.  
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:They are compulsory at Christmas here. Ruth cooked some in the pressure cooker, above the water (in the steam only) for 3½min...



I don't remember whether my mother used the pressure cooker. My wife used to try to hide the glutinous globs produced by her mother's cooking under the mashed potatoes and she considered them a crime against humanity.

On the other hand my daughter's recipe -- sauteed briefly with bacon and garlic -- now that's an entirely different thing.
 
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Yum! Dinner here was yams, Venison steaks, micro-cabbages and Ploughman's Pickles. Cookies for desert! I think I ate too much!
 
Tim Holloway
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Ha. Campbell, your pressure pot is more sophisticated than mine. They just have floating pressure plugs and an indicator. Have to use the Indian "count the whistles" technique, and when the pressure valve vents, it sprays hot steam laterally, including towards the handles, if you're not careful. And I have to reach over it to adjust the heat on the cooker. The Instant Pot is much less scarey, plus it has electronic regulation. Supposedly not as much pressure, but I've not missed it, since I don't pressure-can. Don't believe them when they say it can auté, though. On the smaller model (which I got, since there's only 2 of us and too many toys on the counter already), you can par-cook mirepoix et al.p, but not get a sear. Plus a deep pot is rotten for sautéing anyway, since vapour doesn't leave the vicinity as easily.

But 15 minutes on the "steam" button was great for frozen tamales and much less fiddly than the old pot-with-a-penny stovetop process. We had a very tropical Xmas dinner.

From what I've seen, the split Cornish pasty has never been the norm. But hiistorically, it seems that the crusts of pies of any type were seldom eaten, dust or no. I, on the other hand, consider the crust to be the best part. I guess I know what's going on this week's shopping list.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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I have an old Prestige Hi‑Dome, made at Derby. [Correct pronunciation of Derby required please.] It has a trivet and separators (baskets) inside. Put ¼inch of water in the pot, which is under the level of the food in any of the baskets, put the lid on, which has a vent in, and there are a set of three weights, which are a close fit to the vent. When the water boils, put the weight/s on and wait until it vents steam, which is pretty obvious because of the hissing sound. Either allow the pot to stand to cool to ordinary boiling point or run cold water over it. Newer designs have a knob which lifts the weight/s allowing the steam to vent away from the user until the pressure inside is equalised.
The split pasty was cooked at home by miners' families. I have tried cooking my own pasties but never the split variety. It is only possible to buy meat pasties.
The original tradition with fish and chips was to throw the cooked batter away, too.
What sort of mushrooms are they, R? Is it legal to send vegetables across the Pond?
 
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I think I've seen photos of split pasties, but the biggest problem is that to put 2 payloads into one pasty, you have to at a minimum either make the casing bigger (and they're supposed to go into your pocket) or the contents smaller. Plus unless you really fancy mixing the contents, a fragile zone of "dead pastry" about an inch wide between the two. Two pasties is my preference.

You've definitely got a better pressure cooker arrangement. Mine are so antique, they're only about 1 generation from the exploding types and the pressure valves had been missing so they had to be replaced. Mostly I used them for beans, where there's no need for inserts, but I have one of those collapsing metal steamer baskets for tamales (no pressure used on them). The steamer basket works in the Instant Pot, too, and I used it last night.

"Darby". Now say "Southwark".  Then for the trifecta, "Worcestershire".  

As a rule, it can be tough to transport vegetables internationally. My mother took cans of boiled peanuts (a Southern US specialty) when visiting sister-and-husband in Oxford, since unlike open-air peanuts, they were considered as safe.

In the USA, in fact, transporting citrus into California even from neighboring states is verboten. And it's dicey even in Florida, since I think only illegally-grown marijuana compares in revenue to the citrus industry. We've got enough foreign-introduced diseases already. Citrus Greening was spreading like wildfire not long ago and is still ill-contained. The state would go into people's yards and cut down and burn infected trees.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Tim Holloway wrote:. . . Now say "Southwark". . . .

I have been to Worcestershire many times, and I lived in the Borough of Southwark many years ago. I have heard, “South-walk,” only ½mile from here.
 
Paul Clapham
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:What sort of mushrooms are they, R? Is it legal to send vegetables across the Pond?



I should point out that mushrooms aren't vegetables, they are in the kingdom Fungi rather than Plantae or Animalia.

The customs forms I used to have to fill out asked whether I was bringing plants or animals into the country and I always wondered what I would answer if I had mushrooms in my bags. But it's always better to not try this sort of argument out on customs officers.
 
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I once made my mom cook brussle sprouts because I wanted to know how they tasted (I was a teenager and had never had any because my mom hated them). So, she cooked them up and they were awful. I've heard some people can roast them or something to make them yummy, but I've never wasted the money to try to figure it out!
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:. . . I was a teenager . . .

That is even braver than a primary schoolgirl asking for sprouts.
Even Ruth will eat them raw, chopped into small pieces like coleslaw.
There are good scientific reasons why people dislike them The population is (at least I think it is) divided into tasters, non‑tasters and super‑tasters. Super‑tasters get such an intense flavour from whichever chemical inside the plant it is, that they can't stand the taste. Boiling them rather than steaming them may leach some of the flavour away, but no super‑taster will ever believe that
Non‑tasters don't know what the problem is.
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:
The customs forms I used to have to fill out asked whether I was bringing plants or animals into the country and I always wondered what I would answer if I had mushrooms in my bags. But it's always better to not try this sort of argument out on customs officers.


Reminds me of an old cartoon at the Customs Inspector's: "These cats is cats and these dogs is cats, but that there turtle is a HINSECT."

Campbell Ritchie wrote: Boiling them rather than steaming them may leach some of the flavour away, but no super‑taster will ever believe that .



Sounds like the old stereotype "boil them until they've lost all colour, texture and flavour".

I'm a super-taster, but cruciforms drive me off more by smell than taste. Sure, they can be bitter and metallic, but the cooking fumes carry sulfurous compounds that run me from the room. Boiling, in fact, is more likely to remove the redeeming flavours than destroy the bad ones.

Case in point. As I said, I love cole slaw, but boil that cabbage and it's good-bye Rose! Might as well crack open a durian fruit!

What I'd recommend in the case of brussels sprouts, actually, is to roast them. It caramelizes the sugars and doesn't release much in the way of noxious fumes.

 
Campbell Ritchie
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Tim Holloway wrote:. . . "boil them until they've lost all colour, texture and flavour".

A friend once cooked some sprouts in water in the same pressure cooker as potatoes, which need 6min. The sprouts were absolutely foul, devoid of texture and flavour, but not colour: pale rose pink

I'm a super-taster, but cruciforms drive me off more by smell than taste. . . .

Everybody knows most “flavours” are actually smelt.

What I'd recommend in the case of brussels sprouts, actually, is to roast them. . . .

Good idea. I have probably tried that, but so long ago that I have forgotten about it. Ruth likes roast root veg, so it is worth a try next time we have the oven hot.
 
Tim Holloway
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I should mention that I mean "flavour" as in you sit down and it hits you when you eat it, as opposed to "smell", meaning I flee the kitchen/house before getting within 10 feet of it.

Roast veg are always good. Bit much in summer, but that's one of the things I'd looked for my air fryer to do. It can't make very big batches, but doesn't heat up the room as much.
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:. . . as in you sit down and it hits you when you eat it . . .

As in, “with a 7lb hammer to the back of the head,” when it is Brassica oleracea.
 
Tim Holloway
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Reminds me of my search for the Chinese restaurant mustard that doesn't apparently smell or taste much. Until it completely reams out your sinuses and starts working its way from back to front.

I spent ages in the ethnic aisles looking for a Chinese mustard like that.

Finally discovered it's actually Colmans' English. The secret being to let it sit a few minutes after adding water while it activates.  哎呀!
 
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A long time ago I lived at Newport Pagnell, where Taylor's Mustard was made in those days, “since the reign of King William IV.” It knocked Colman's into a cocked hat. Tracklement's (Sherston, Wilts) make a mustard just as strong. I once went to Tracklement's at Sherston but they wouldn't sell me anything. They sent me to the butcher's in the village centre (Sherston) who carried a large range of their products.
 
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I don't actually want hot mustard - I was looking more for a wasabi-like force, So I'm happy with Colmans. It's easy to get around here, anyway.

The local soil seems to bring out heat and/or sweetness in crops. "Vidalia" onions are D.O.P, but they grow here well enough that there's a local equivalent name. St. Augustine datil peppers are world-famous, though not at the Reaper level, fortunately. I grew a Hungarian wax pepper that was way too hot for me. My radishes are quite hot, the basil is quite sweet, and one year - and one year only - I tried growing mustard greens. ¡Ay! ¡Caramba!

 
Campbell Ritchie
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Never tried wasabi radishes; I am not that fond of them. I have tried grinding my own mustard seeds. You're not going to believe this, but they tasted like mustard.
 
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