Thursday, October 28, 2010

okra coffee

I have mentioned  making okra coffee several  times in the past but never have  I explained  why I make it or how easy it is to make.

Anyone that pays any attention to economics knows that prices are on the rise and have been for some time now. Until a  couple months ago we were a long term unemployed couple  beginning to believe that neither of us would ever find work again so everywhere where we could cut spending, we did. Coffee was one of those areas as there are several plants, nuts, and seeds that can make a suitable substitute or used to stretch the real thing.  Of the many things we taste tested, we found the okra to have the best flavor,  be the least amount of work, and  it was something we could grow as a food source for ourselves and the critters  yet still have  plenty  to supplement  our coffee supply.

Anyone that has ever grown  okra  knows what it is like when you miss a couple days of harvesting and it gets away from you. You end up with a giant, tough pod  that is not fit for human consumption. Even a die hard seed saver can  justify saving just so many seeds in a year  so why not  use them  as a different food source?  We plant a lot of okra here on the land  because we like okra and all the critters like okra. But, come the end of the season  when we are sick of fetchin okra every day I leave the pods to grow  and either dry on the plant or pick them once very large and dry  the pods. These trays I obviously picked. The plants were so heavy they were laying on the ground.
Once the pods are dried they will be an olive and brown color and crunchy to the touch. Open them up and  you  will find the seed all  nice a dry as well. Toss the outside to the compost  and roast the seeds until  near blackened. You can do this slowly  on the stove top but be careful as the seeds will pop like corn.  Grind and brew  with same measurements as coffee.  If you  must have your caffeine, mix half and half with coffee and brew.

Keep in mind, this is not coffee,doesn't taste like coffee in the sense we are used to, and there is no caffeine in it. There is  one type of plant in  the USA that does have caffeine and can serve as a coffee substitute and that is in the holly family. It is however  a really economical, easy way to stretch what coffee you do have or  a nice un-caffeinated hot beverage on those cold afternoon.

mid week mumblings

I am here and  still kickin,  just been busy with midterms as well as two papers for school plus all the assigned work for it all. To think I am  paying for this giant headache sometimes boggles my mind.

The gardens are looking really nice since we finally got a nice rain  over the last few days. While much of the country was being blown around by Mother we  had a few mild storms, some decent but not crazy winds, and a couple few inches of rain. We also lost  power twice for a total of nine hours in two days. I swear we lose power more  than any other person I know. Good thing we are used to it or we  would be in a constant state of panic thinking the world had ended or something.

Anywho, I am working on a garden update now that I have school back under control and hopefully will get back on track with  posting. After spending 6 or so hours near everyday typing and turning my brain into goo pouring over research, the last thing I really feel like doing is typing. Besides, after having to write academically for all those hours, it takes my brain a little while to adjust back in to dilli talk. Me writing a blog post in academic language would make everyone think  I had been kidnapped and replaced  with an educated clone n we can't be having that!

Last weekend  manthing and I attended a small internet get to gather of forum  members on a board we participate in.  As always it was interesting  and I came away with a couple goodies from the little trade alley that we had. I as per usual had eggs by the dozens and various veggies out of the gardens to swap. The "mondo pods" aka  North Ga roasters  were a big hit and even had their very own photo session. In return I got  a few jars of pear preserves and  a very cool piece of a  quilt that I am going to find a cool use for. The piece is not  one piece of cloth but each piece is a replica of  all the others  cut from separate cloth and then sewn together to make this design. The picture does not do it justice, but it is quite a beautiful   piece of art in itself. Would love to see the quilt when it is  finished. I love quilts and have even made a few  simple ones, I do not however have the patience required to make anything like this.
Leaves   were considered at peak just two days after we were up   on Fort mountain.  Here on the land, I figure the first of next week will be our peak. It sure is pretty even though the colors are sort of muted this fall.