Genetically modified Fartichokes: 17th-23rd March

posted Mar 28, 2012, 5:40 AM by Dinner Lady   [ updated May 10, 2012, 1:43 AM ]
At Friday lunch time I took a risk.  Hours before a job interview I consumed a whole bowl of Jerusalem artichoke soup.  I had been hoping to blow the interview panel away with my professional skills; as soon as I slurped the last mouthful I realised that I might now blow them away in an entirely different manner. (You will be relieved to hear that the afternoon passed without incident...)

I actually cooked the soup on Thursday evening, knowing I would be a quivering mess with interview fright on Friday, all nerves and no backbone.  I used two types of artichoke, some from our vegetable box delivery and some left over from a glut of artichokes my aunt had grown and passed on to me in late November.  Stored in the back of our fridge, no harm had come to the latter selection, although they were slightly squidgier.  One or two looked slightly past it, and so I removed a small amount of black and a tiny bit of fur. The soup was delicious and as I write this, four days later, we are all still very much alive and well.  So it goes to show we should use our common sense as well as our bodily senses when deciding what to consign to the dustbin.  
As I washed and scrubbed the artichokes I noticed how different looking the two types were.  The ones from the vegetable box were long, knobbly and difficult to scrub.  My aunt's were round and much easier to prepare.  This difference may well be because they are of different varieties. But I remember how my aunt had explained to me the ins and outs of Jerusalem Artichokes: how to prepare them, how to ensure the soup is not too watery and how one might reduce their gassy effects (bay leaves a-plenty).  And how, over the years, she had genetically modified them, by carefully selecting which ones to replant, until they all became rounded and easier to scrub and peel.  

There are concerns about genetically modified foods (GMF), sometimes labelled as "Frankenfoods".  But from the earliest days of human domesticity, genetic modification has taken place, albeit unwittingly.  As farmers thousands of years ago cultivated their crops, they used selective planting and wheat evolved from the wild form to the farmed version we enjoy today.  When Mendel experimented with peas and bees, he was genetically modifying them.  And my lovely aunt has produced her delicious genetically modified Jerusalem Artichokes, yet there are no anti GMF protesters outside her house. 

rotten or gone off - a few bits ends from the Jerusalem artichokes; 1/4 lemon

left on our plates - still more from PB, but getting less and less as her appetite becomes more stable and I am getting used to her eating habits

left overs I have forgotten to use up - 1 tbsp jelly from TNK's party


Carry forward          £ 288.31
Local shop             £ 3 ish milk
Veggie box             £ 19.40
Total March so far     £310.71

This month's budget has been really helped by us going away for the weekend to both sets of parents and also for the huge food parcel my parents sent back with us, with the left overs from their party. Thank you to our very generous parents: what would we do without you?