Author Topic: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable  (Read 31438 times)

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Offline anthropositor

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The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« on: Friday August 29, 2008, 02:10:51 AM »
The idea for this thread began over in Rant & Rave in a thread about a chess game.

For quite a while I have been experimenting with, and eating, in voluminous quantities, what I refer to as Shmooo.  I have eaten the seeds, the sprouts, the young plants, the leaves and tender stems of the taller plants.  I have tested in cooking, both alone and mixed with a great variety of other herbs and spices.  I also eat a wide variety of other sprouts in substantial amounts.  This corrects a singular deficit in my diet.  I am unenthusiastic about cooked vegetables, and therefore do not eat enough of them.  My tendency to be a carnivore is a weakness I need to alertly deal with.

Although I have cut my meat consumption sharply in recent years, my intake is still probably higher than it needs to be.  Before I got to eating so many sprouts, and now eating the Shmooo at all stages of growth, mostly raw and still alive, I was trying to make up for the vegetable deficit in my diet by eating great amounts of fruit.  Frankly, in recent months, I have really pulled out all the stops with this single vegetable, using it as a spice, after low temperature drying, and eating a lot of adult leaves every day.  I figured I would, somewhere along the line, finally get my fill.  It hasn't happened yet.  It sort of astonishes me that this plant is so unrecognized as a food source, not only for humans, but also as a forage and supplemental crop for farmed animals.  My dogs and cats get some in their food.

It harvests easily, and is easily dried for use as a spice.  But my currently favorite way to eat it is sliced thin like cole slaw, a mound of maybe half a cup, with lime juice squirted liberally on it.  I generally do this with my salads too.  Most dressings are loaded with things we can do without.  How we, as a society got so hooked on them is beyond me.  I am now doing my best to leave 3/4 of the crop alone so that it will go to seed.  I will need a few pounds of seed, as a minimum in the spring.  And the seeds are not cheap.  I have no idea what kind of seed yield I will get, since I have not yet seen one of the plants with the mature seeds.

Now, as to Maca.  Talk about expensive seeds!  These have to be some of the most expensive seeds on the planet.  They are reputedly extremely hard to grow.  The Peruvians are trying to keep the market cornered apparently, making it difficult to export seeds, or even roots, unless they have been dried and powdered first.  I suspect this means that the plants could probably be grown from the root.  They also put out "information" suggesting that it can only be grown at high altitudes, requiring both brilliant sun and very cold weather.  I take all this with a grain of salt.  I also reserve judgement on the other claims that it is an aphrodisiac and several other notions which may or may not have any foundation.

So Maca is something of a long shot which will perhaps require all the skills I can muster, particularly since I am also using No-Till procedures, which are themselves highly experimental.

My seeds came not from Peru but from Bolivia.  I suspect that I paid more for them by weight than the costs of the most expensive illicit substances on the planet, but as far as I know, Peru is the only country that is trying to proscribe export.

I have been having considerable difficulty getting the seeds to germinate, perhaps in part due to the triple digit heat wave that has gone on for several weeks.  The temperature has dropped down to the mid-nineties now and that is making some difference.  Another factor is that I had been unable to find any pictures of the sprouts, so I didn't know what I was looking for.  When the sprout first appears, as it turns out, it is about the tiniest sprout I have ever come across.

Now, for those of you who do not know, I'm sort of blind.  Nothing serious or irrevocable.  Just cataracts in both eyes.  Frankly, I'm pretty glad to have cancelled the operation on the first eye in February of 2007.  In the intervening time I have generated some devices for changing the impact of glare and halo problems for night driving, not only for people with cataracts, but also for the people who have had lens replacements, yet still have night vision problems afterwards.

But what I am most pleased about is the monocle I devised which, if used in the better eye (my left) sharply clarifies my vision and increases color intensity as well.  The point is, if I had not made this monocle, I never could have seen the Maca sprouts.  Nor could I read a book with small print.  I expect that this monocle will only be useful for a number of months more, perhaps a year or so at the outside.

This monocle also gives me a pretty clear picture of the pattern of opacity in the lens of the eye as well, and allows me to monitor the development of the vision impairment without the assistance of an ophthalmologist using a slit lamp.  I don' need no steenking slit lamp.

Today, I made a second monocle to address the tunnel vision artifact of the first monocle.  With the first, I have to be 9 or 10 feet away from my 32" HDTV to see the whole screen.  The second monocle eliminated this problem.  I have about tripled the horizontal scope of vision.  It is also worthy of note that without the first monocle, I would not have been able to see well enough to make the second monocle.

So, in spite of being involved in a friendly fire ambush a few days ago, elsewhere, and being bent out of shape over it, I am still productive and getting some worthwhile things done.

Still, I have some serious firefights going on.  And I was just required to answer some questions for Federal Jury duty.  I suppose I will be called to serve next year.  Sort of appropriate in a way, justice being blind and all.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

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Offline anthropositor

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #1 on: Friday August 29, 2008, 06:28:15 PM »
Having a breakfast of Shmooo and eggs with cheese, waiting for a phone call that may not come for a few hours, I have decided to talk a bit more about Maca, and the diversity of opinion about it, in spite of the fact that it has been used since ancient times.

Some say the foliage is inedible.  Only the root in one form or another is available for purchase as a medicinal substance.  The seeds are probably edible, but it would be the most expensive meal you could imagine. 

Others say the leaves can be brewed into a tea, or can be eaten fresh and raw in salads.  I certainly hope so.  I will also be quite interested in using it as a dried spice if it works out that it actually tastes good.  They have been compared loosely with cress, but this is propably no more accurate than saying rattlesnake tastes like chicken.

It will be a few months I expect, before I find out for myself.  To me, the taste will be pivotal.  At least I have found nothing that indicates that Maca foliage is toxic in any way like potato leaves.  I haven't delved too deeply into the properties of the roots, sort of turnip-like in shape.  I do hope that they are delightful or can be made to be tasty.

So far, I have come up with no reports that any part of the plant is actually toxic in dietary amounts.  Still, my first few nibbles will be small and tentative, because of the contradictory nature of the information I have already found. 

At this point, I am not growing it because I want or need an aphrodisiac, but judging from the success of several other products currently hyped by the medical and pharmaceutical industries, this  will be a central selling feature, even though certain other healthful benefits may be considerably more important.
 
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #2 on: Saturday August 30, 2008, 06:54:04 PM »
Since this is about a cataract monocle, it has been moved ro General Health, Design Evolution In the Cataract Monocle.
« Last Edit: Saturday August 30, 2008, 11:06:25 PM by anthropositor »
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday September 03, 2008, 09:00:40 PM »
The rain has been steady, sometimes hard, since yesterday.  But drainage is apparently good so far.  The sprouts are only a quarter inch high. but as far as I know, they have not yet been fully submerged.  They have not turned yellow, but have remained a nice shade of lime Popsicle green,  I'm still resisting the urge to protect the little tykes or transplant them into pots.  Seems to me, if they can survive in the high Andes, they should be able to make it in my yard.  And if I just protected them, then I would never really know. 

The winds have not gusted over 40 mph.  That has been a challenge for the Shmooo, but it is probably ideal for the Maca.  And with the growing hurricanes stacked currently in the Atlantic, we ought to be getting a lot more of this wetness and wind for the next few weeks.  As long as the wind doesn't get too curly...

I still haven't removed the couple tons of tree that missed my kitchen a few months ago.  Since I have no fireplace and don't like chain saws much, I need to figure out what to ultimately do with it.  Meanwhile, the cats are enjoying it a lot.

I have also been trying to get some Goji berries to grow.  No sprouts yet.  It may just be hype, but they are referred to as adaptogens.  That sure has a pretty ring to it.  And the dried berries  taste very nice.  At least I will have something to experiment with to. distract me from the Shmooo so it will eventually go to seed
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #4 on: Sunday September 07, 2008, 11:11:28 AM »
That's interesting. I've been trying to be healthier as well, especially with all of my health problems, maybe I should try that as well, though I've never heard of it, it puts me to shame as I am a vegetarian, haha. Thanks for posting.  ;D
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Caz (Carolyn)
xx :hugs:

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Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being." - Gandhi

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #5 on: Sunday September 07, 2008, 12:15:52 PM »
...Also, what exactly is it? I haven't gotten many results in a search I did. I'm lost.  :o
With care,
Caz (Carolyn)
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #6 on: Monday September 08, 2008, 12:51:17 AM »
The Shmoo was a creature shaped a bit like a fat bowling pin, originated by Al Capp, an American cartoonist with a very popular comic strip called Lil Abner. He was a hillbillies in the deep south.  The Shmoo liked to be kicked, and if you were hungry, the Shmoo would instinctively turn themselves into whatever taste treat was going through your mind.

When I was a boy, I often thought how nice it would be to be able to eat things not ordinarily thought of as food.  We Americans are now undergoing considerable shock over the skyrocketing cost of food.  The previous hard times, the Depression, the rationing of the second world war, they all seemed transient.  Prosperity was always just around the corner.  And when it came, it wasn't going away again, ever.  That was the convenient illusion.  For most of us, the illusion is still there, but it is nowhere near as convincing any more.

When I visited the deep south as a teen, I noticed a lot of folks ate boiled greens.  I guess some of them needed boiling.  But the whole idea of boiled green glop did not appeal to me much.  In the intervening half century, my opinion of green glop has remained unchanged, but I have developed a taste for raw and alive plants.  Sprouts of various kinds are far more nutritious than cooked dead vegetables.  So too, the young greens and even the adult greens of some plants.

So, when I came upon these seeds, which I was eating because they were nutritious, it was natural for me to sprout them, eat the sprouts, then grow them in dirt and eat the mature plants.  At every stage, I was hard put to come up with a liability for this Shmooo except this one.  I had never seen it in any produce market.  I really don't know how well it travels.

And that was what got me to thinking about chopping it immediately at harvest, quickly dry it at low temperature, using it in soups, sauces, and on a whole array of meats, seafood and fowl, not as a vegetable, but as a spice.  It also went with eggs and cheese very well.  And I still haven't tried it in breads and other baked goods.

But so far, whatever I have done with it, no matter how I mix it with other spices, the result is delicious.  Very much like a Shmoo.  Which is why I call it Shmooo.  Or maybe Shmooo!

In terms of nutritive values, it deserves the exclamation point.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #7 on: Monday September 08, 2008, 03:46:56 AM »
Oh! haha.
With care,
Caz (Carolyn)
xx :hugs:

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Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being." - Gandhi

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #8 on: Sunday September 14, 2008, 08:52:01 PM »
For a few months, I was topping the Shmooo plants, for a couple of reasons.  I figured that the top half would be more tender as greens, and that I would be encouraging them to bush out rather than growing tall.  These things were true enough, but an unintended consequence may be that I shocked them to the point that they delayed going to seed.  I didn't know for sure, because what little I could find on the plant was pretty sparse on the life cycle.  The focus was on the highly nutritious seeds, but no one was saying how long it would take for them to show up.

And certainly the commercial growers were not topping the plants as I was, because they were not interested in the plant as a vegetable or as a spice.  They were harvesting only the seed.  So I was on unknown territory.  Now I have plants in the neighborhood of half a year old, and still there is no sign that they are going to seed.  I have during this time eaten a lot of seeds from the original bag that I bought, since I bought enough to sow a couple of acres.  One does not plant a few acres for experimental purposes.  Fifty square meters will suffice for that, planting some in full shade, some in mixed lighting and some in blistering heat.  The Shmooo doesn't seem to care much.  As for the seeds, I like them a lot, but can't eat as many as I would wish.  A few tablespoons at most tend to fill me up. 

And it was actually something of an annoyance to me that I couldn't eat nearly as much of anything else that I wanted to eat.  If I went to a buffet, as I do at least weekly, I couldn't eat a half pound of squid and follow it up with thirty clams and a few frog legs and a plate of crawdads after a snack of the seeds.  Very annoying to me that a tablespoon or two of the seeds would have such a negative impact on my robust appetite. 

Some people could find that useful I suppose, but since my weight ranges from 165 to 180, I am not overly motivated to reduce the weight.  As winter approaches, I wouldn't mind getting back to the 180 range.  My guess is it is going to be unusually cold this year here.

It doesn't even seem to care if it is trampled flat.  It may not look as pretty anymore, but it just picks itself up and gets back to growing.  This is all the more remarkable since I had not done anything to cultivate it but throw the seeds out and walk around on them on the more thinly populated sections of lawn.  No digging.  No weeding.  No regular watering even. 

I had read somewhere that they like pretty dry conditions.  So of course I flooded them now and then, just to see how they would do.  They didn't seem to mind.  But of course, this could have something to do with how long it is taking them to go to seed.  The soil could be too acidic or too alkaline, or both in different areas.  I just seeded the chicken coop that the tree falling a few months back crushed.  That has to be the most acidic soil I have.  I doubt the Shmooo is going to care.  What will probably kill it is the first hard freeze.

But by that time, whatever Maca has survived the warmth of fall should be starting to flourish, so I will have something interesting to keep me busy.  So far, the Maca is showing few signs of happiness that I can recognize.  But we have only just met and I have hardly given it ideal conditions.
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #9 on: Sunday September 21, 2008, 08:01:55 PM »
This morning I was out in the garden eating some of the young Shmooo plants that were threatening to shade the Maca from the from the fall and winter sun.  So these days, I am actually getting my first big helping of a raw, alive, highly nutritious vegetable even before breakfast.  For a carnivore like me, this is just short of amazing. 

In my attempts to find the maximum possible intake of Shmooo as a main vegetable, only minor side effects have come about.  Eating the seeds particularly, takes away my appetite, which is very inconvenient before a buffet.  Also, I wouldn't have noticed but for my wife no longer eating it right before bedtime.  That was when I realized that I was sleeping even more alertly than usual. 

(One of the experiments I often do is done with dark-adapted eyes after a full sleep cycle, and done before the eyes are open or exposed to light, so I guess I am still technically asleep, but conscious, or at least semiconscious.  Others have had some difficulty replicating not just the results, but doing the experiment itself).  Volunteers can contact me.

So I am guessing that the Shmooo leaves, as well as the seeds, are both so nutritiously dense that that they are adjusting my metabolic rate upward.  Since I have little concern about my weight, I only weigh myself every few months.  Actually, the scale I had been using got lost somewhere in our catchall room.  I picked up another one, and it says I have dropped maybe fifteen pounds in the past few months.  Not dieting, not changing my eclectic eating habits other than the addition of a couple big mounds of Shmooo every day.

On the downside, this also results in the minor elevation of my blood pressure.  It has climbed a bit.

Since I want to keep it down, and since I don't want to stop eating the Shmooo, something needs to be done.  I have been adjusting my potassium intake, which helps, but not enough.

Another hardy plant I have been playing with, but haven't brought up before is called Bitter Melon.  It has an excellent reputation in some branches of eastern medicine.  It is said to be excellent for diabetics and also to lower the blood pressure. 

Having dissected and tasted one of the little melons, which looks vaguely like a bumpy cucumber.  It tastes less bitter than I was expecting.  But to me, bitter is personified by absinthe, a drink which the majority of people could not even drink without adding sugar.  Then I ate a few of the leaves.  They too were only hinting at bitter. 

Now, as far as the seeds go, I couldn't tell you how they taste.  They are like a large kidney bean, and are very soft to the touch.  I would sooner eat scorpions roasted over an open fire, than eat one of those seeds.  I won't be eating a whole lot of the melon either, but my testing indicates that I can grind the leaves into a great many different recipes in small amounts.  I put a good pinch in the coffee grounds today.  It worked out just fine.

Usually my coffee has the grated peel of an orange thrown in with some very finely ground darkly roasted black oily coffee beans, some cinnamon, some bakers cocoa, and a pinch of turmeric.

Today I found myself without an orange.  Good.  An opportunity to experiment.  Then I threw in a good pinch of the Bitter Melon leaf, and peeled the skin of a Nectarine in as well.  Then I brewed the coffee.  It came out just fine.  So if it really does bring the blood pressure down, as a lot of people throughout the  world claim, I should be able to find exactly the right proportion to add to my Shmooo diet to keep the blood pressure right where I want it.  I understand that bitter melon is also helpful for diabetics to control their sugar levels and be able to perhaps adjust their insulin intake downward some.

I have not traveled in the middle east.  I hear they use cardamom to flavor coffee in Turkey and several other of the countries in the neighborhood.  I think I'll replace the cinnamon with cardamom in my next pot of coffee. 
« Last Edit: Monday September 22, 2008, 01:17:06 AM by anthropositor »
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

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Offline anthropositor

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday October 08, 2008, 06:43:30 PM »
In the plot of Maca which I planted when it was still very hot, I doubt any has survived.  I'm going to try to plant it again as winter approaches since this is a plant that loves the cold.  But frankly, it is still a longshot.  The plant also likes very high altitude and we are at very low altitude.  For all I know, Maca also requires a very low atmospheric pressure to even survive.

But the Shmooo has grown explosively, in spite of my hacking away on it for my daily hefty vegetable ration, and supplying some of my friends an ounce at a time of the dried spice/vegetable.  I do not intend to run short for myself, so there will be some rationing for the winter.

Some of the plants are now six feet high, and yet no flowers have yet appeared.  Therefore no seeds are being generated and we are fast approaching the first freeze.  Of course, for all I know, having no previous experience with this particular plant, it could flower and go to seed all in a matter of a few weeks.

All I have learned so far is that I can eat great amounts of it on a daily basis and not get sick of it.  On the contrary, I miss it when I don't get it.  My original notion was that I would eat a lot of it for a few weeks and probably get thoroughly tired of it.

But what is really exciting me now, is that when I weighed myself a week or two ago, I found that I was down to the same weight I was a few decades ago, even though I am not doing anything to diet.  I still eat at a couple of all-you-can-eat buffets each week.  I eat no Shmooo earlier in the day when I go to the buffets.  I eat it a few hours afterwards.

I just checked my weight again today.  I have dropped four more pounds.  Now the question is, how long will the weight continue to come off now that I am in my absolutely ideal weight range?  I certainly don't want to waste away to skin and bones.  I am actually already lighter than I want to be considering how cold I expect this winter to be.  Under those conditions, a layer of fat is useful insulation.

I have also been powdering the Shmooo and adding it to the dog and cat food for my pets.  They do not seem to be getting tired of it either, and I have not seen the cat colony or the dogs in better health since they were impacted so seriously by the Chinese pet food additives.  They all seem happy, healthy and energetic

I intend to continue on with my normal eating habits to find out.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if it turned out to not only supply food for the hungry, but cause a return to healthy weights for our huge populations of overweight people?

And to think that all I wanted to do was develop a crop which would grow without plowing and planting and fertilizing and using insecticides to help feed the starving and malnourished populations of the poverty stricken third world.  Little did I know exactly when we in the first world would be devolved into second world status.  But that has now happened, and has continued to worsen in the past few weeks. 

Every creative or research action I have been engaging in for many years has been to prepare for this emergency.  Every focus of mine has been on preparation for greater self-reliance among individuals and far less reliance on government and all the programs and assistance that everyone is so used to being there for them.  They will, more and more, be supplanted by emergency orders and edicts, ushered in by our own panic and inability to care for ourselves.  It is not just our governments which have brought this about.  It is our own apathy and lack of real gumption and courage.  We have become effete and totally dependent. 

Those programs will be less and less accessible available as this emergency worsens.  It will worsen, and it will worsen everywhere.  There are no borders to this problem.  We are all in it and it is out of control.  The bank failures and market crashes will turn into a runaway inflation of what were pivotally important currencies.  This runaway inflation will not be confined to the dollar.  And I can guarantee that this will cause us great difficulties with food and shelter and medical care. 

I am now drying and powdering Shmooo and adding it in quantities almost equivalent to the huge amounts I eat, to the colony of our pet cats and dogs as well as the cat colony of lost and abandoned and abused cats that we have taken in.  In the past few months, I have seen the health of the whole bunch improve visibly, at least as much as when I replaced about half of their commercial rations with chicken in response to the Chinese poisionous additives last year.  

 
« Last Edit: Saturday October 11, 2008, 05:32:58 PM by anthropositor »
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #11 on: Saturday October 11, 2008, 08:01:15 PM »
One of the most unanticipated things about the Shmooo early in my experimentation, was how adaptable a food product it would turn out to be.

It was a terrible mistake to only have planted fifty square meters.  I should have planted two hundred and fifty square meters.  Then I could have shared it more widely without shorting myself.

I no longer think, as I did at the outset of my loading experiments (eating it to what I thought was extreme excess, day after day, week after week, month after month.  I now know with certainty, I will not be going without this Shmooo food/spice, ever.  Not for a day.  I had anticipated the loading experiments would terminate in two or maybe three weeks at the outside.

What my animals are getting are the older more mature leaves, dried and ground to powder.  What I eat are the tips and younger leaves that I slice like cole slaw or just eat fresh off the plant.  What I dry for cooking is about the consistency of coarsely cut herbs.  The reason I actually powder it for the animals is that carnivorous creatures have much shorter intestinal tracts than omnivores like humans.  Most of the vegetables that carnivores eat are already partly gigested, in the stomachs and intestines of their prey.

Yesterday, I did some nice "Flat Iron" steaks, very lean, much like a flank steak.  On the raw steaks, I put on about two heaping tablespoons of Shmooo with a dash of Rosemary, a few pinches of Cilantro and some No Salt.  Then I ground on some mixed peppercorns.  I flamed the steaks from the top side.

At the outset there was so much Shmooo coating them that they looked solidly green, rather than red.

I was collecting all the juices, since these are very lean steaks, for the Au Jus.  I have had Chateaubriand (the whole roast that filet mignon is cut from) in some of the most expensive restaurants in the country.  They were not as good as this cheap steak.

A big mound of the Shmooo ran off the steaks with the juice.  When I make a conventional Au Jus I add five or six other things before I am done, depending on my mood.  This time I added nothing else.  I have never had a better Au Jus in my life.  I don't even like most cooked green leafy vegetables.  Now, we are probably talking about a half cup of Au Jus and almost that much of the now cooked Shmooo with the tiny amounts of the other few herbs and peppers.  We almost fought over the steak flavored vegetable.

I am going to eat like a king during the Depression.

Oh yes.  I may have mentioned earlier that over these past several months, although I have been eating at two buffets a week, I have been continuously losing weight without dieting in any way.  On the days I am going to eat at a buffet, I restrain myself from eating Shmooo for the entire day.  Then I stuff myself to the brim at the buffet.  Last night I had eight heaping bowls of food.  I couldn't have eaten another bite.

Two hours later, I was out in the garden with a flashlight, wolfing down raw Shmooo.

Now, this morning, after two mugs of coffee (with Shmooo in the grounds) I weighed 162.  I don't think I have weighed that little in thirty years.  While I have never been really obese, there have been times when I got into the 205-210 range.

Of course, I am curious to find out how someone who has been eating as much Shmooo as I have, will react to the sudden stop of Shmooo in the diet.  But I certainly won't do that experiment on myself.  Not unless I continue losing weight until I am in the 140's and still dropping.  That would concern me, but I would probably just cut back on quantity until I started to gain weight again. 

I just hope that this weight loss tapers off soon on its' own.  I would not like to get much below where I am now.  But I'm not going to worry about it today.  I am going to do a very lean three pound London Broil roast.  This time, I'm not only going to completely heavily coat the meat with a layer of Shmooo,  I'm going to throw another 2/3 cup in the broil pan that catches the juices.  I can hardly wait.
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Offline itchychick

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #12 on: Sunday October 12, 2008, 03:18:29 AM »
You are really intriguing me with these descriptions, anthro.  Is the flavour of Shmoo like any other vegetable that we might be familiar with?  Also, why have I never seen this vegetable in any store?  Our local greengrocer carries just about anything you could fancy, and yet he's never carried it, nor have I seen it in any shop...  Why?

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #13 on: Sunday October 12, 2008, 06:26:34 AM »
All I can say is, I find it extremely agreeable to eat by itself, and it mystifies me that it is not a central food on every continent and island on the planet. 

But I am reminded that during the Great Depression (not this one beginning, but the last one), millions starved with unrecognized food at their fingertips.  It did not occur to them that the wild plants in the countryside were a cornucopia waiting to be tapped.

But here is an opportunity for you.  Over on the General Health Section, I have just posted a puzzle, a practical conundrum having to do with how to save your home when someone is trying to steal it. 

Those who have the gumption and the imagination to come up with some good answers that bear some similarity to what I have done already, or who can predict even some of what I have planned to do next will get a bag of dried Shmooo from me. 

And if you are in Britain, feel free to consult your solicitor.  Solicitor is a particularly apt name for a lawyer from my perspective since, here in the U.S., one who solicits is either a salesman or a whore, each of whom usually gives somewhat less than what was paid for.

But those giving the best and most well thought out answers will get a square deal from me. 

And I don't care if there are two, tweny two or two hundred twenty two good answers.  I'll honor them all.  Those who use their imaginations and logic and a certain panache can expect to find out exactly what Shmooo tastes like, and how it makes them feel. 

Even the lurkers can do this, but they have a little extra hurdle.  They have to figure out how to get the answer to me.     
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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #14 on: Monday October 13, 2008, 03:26:14 PM »
I have added some clues to the original puzzle.  It is a "What would you do?" kind of thing.  There are no absolute right or wrong answers, particularly for those in other countries which may not have precisely the same convolutions at law. 

And for those of you who are wondering what Shmooo tastes like, or if it is really a good diet and energy food suitable for daily long term use, I can't think of another way for you to find out.

The "loading" experiments I have been doing for months on myself, and the more conservative dosing I have suggested for some of my local friends give every indicator of a high degree of safety and nutritional efficacy. 

Even so, the energy imparted to me particularly, since I am eating such huge quantities, could be caused by unusually high nutritional density alone, or there could be some as yet unknown stimulating factor involved.

The fact that I miss it some on those days I refrain from consumming it for the whole day when I have plans to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet is interesting. 

I am certainly not feeling any physical symptoms of withdrawal, but I'm still out in the garden a few hours after stuffing myself, eating Shmooo as if I were still hungry.

This requires further examination and thought.  I have not yet scheduled a two or three day period of total abstinence for myself though clearly, it would be a well warranted experiment.  Maybe in a few months...

One new thing though.  Many of the six-foot tall plants have begun budding at last, in preparation for going to seed.  I intend to eat some of those buds in a few days.   
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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday October 14, 2008, 06:51:53 PM »
I am interested in finding out by chemical tests, if the Shmooo has within it any chemical, in whatever small amount, which might show some sort of false positive in any of the standard drug tests that might be used for testing athletes who compete in the Olympics or professional sports. 

But there are a lot of different tests and none of them are cheap.  It is for that reason that as I drive around, I leave a couple of half ounce baggies of Shmooo that is destined to go to one of my people,  in plain sight on the car seat next to me. 

Then, should I be pulled over, and the officer notices, I will just say, "I don't know what's in there.  It belongs to a friend of mine," (who I will considerately refuse to identify).  I would also say that I believe it to be an edible and nutritious spice/ vegetable and would not object to it being tested with every test in the law enforcement arsenal.

Law enforcement will then subject the Shmooo to a variety of tests to determine if it might be an illegal substance. 

Although I know it is not an illegal substance, I would like to know with certainty that it would not wind up disqualifying an athlete from competing or negate the result of a horse race because the winning thoroughbred had eaten some Shmooo before the race.

As an example, let us say you have a taste for poppy seed buns, and eat several with each meal.
Even though the poppy seeds are not the same variety as those that produce opium and the various alkaloids like morphine, heroin and so on, if tested, you will still show a false positive, and could be disqualified from performing in your sport. 

Before such testing, I would not knowingly give any Shmooo to a professional athlete, or a racehorse subject to blood or urine tests. 

If the officer stopping me confiscated it, I could then let law enforcement pick up the tab for the testing.  I would perhaps not get to know all the details, but I would still know if the Shmooo would set off any false alarms.

Sending it across national borders, since I know it not to be an illegal substance, could also subject it to some sophisticated testing by customs inspectors, and would therefore also be worthwhile from my perspective.

My tax dollars at work.
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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday October 14, 2008, 08:19:45 PM »
 :lol:  Good plan! :up:

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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #17 on: Tuesday October 14, 2008, 11:44:05 PM »
...so I am rooting for you to be the winner of the first bag.  No reason you can't be the one.  Just ask yourself what you would do under these circumstances to bring more real security to the deal.  To make it impossible for a bank to get the place in a seller bankruptcy.  I doubt that there is great risk of that in the next three or four months, but that is not a terribly long time frame.  In a Depresson, I wouldn't bet any significant amount that they would survive for another year.  So I need to do something about that even if they do not attack again.  (hint, hint).
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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #18 on: Monday October 20, 2008, 05:25:40 AM »
Now that the crisis is no longer pressing, I can return more of my attention to what to do about the Shmooo.  Although we may not get a freeze for a month, it could happen virtually any time.  Yet the plants are in seed production so they can't be harvested yet.

Since it is all hand labor, with no mechanization in the works, I do not relish the thought of harvesting fifty square meters of Shmooo all at once.  And even less attractive is the idea that a freeze could just wipe out the leaves.

I think the best choice is to leave the plants continuing to grow, but daily, to snip several hundred leaves.  Not enough to put the plants in shock, but perhaps stimulating further leafy growth.  That way the inspection and drying are manageable.  In another week I'll have enough to hold me to spring.  In two weeks I ought to have enough to continue with the research.



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Re: The Exotic Maca Plant & UltraNutiritious Shmooo Spice/Vegetable
« Reply #19 on: Monday October 20, 2008, 09:33:16 PM »
I planted some Bitter Mellon a while back, trying both the vines and the fruit.  So far the vines have done nothing, but five new vines have sprouted from the seeds in the pieces of the melon.  I suppose this is an Asian plant.  The woman I bartered with for a little Shmooo to get it, is from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam, I'm not sure which.

But it is a delight to see it starting to grow, even if it doesn't survive the winter.  It means I can grow it in the spring.  Bitter Melon is reputed to lower blood pressure and slow down sugar metabolism in diabetics.

I still have green tomatoes growing wild in various parts of the yard.  I am resisting frying green tomatoes.  I like them best alive and red.

My wild Indian Strawberries are still producing, but far less than a few months ago. 

And as for the Shmooo, I expect now that it will take at least another three weeks to complete the seeding cycle.  I'm still biting my nails over the possibility of an early freeze.

Of the whole plants I have harvested, I have noticed that the stalks are really strong and fibrous.  I have no clue yet how the fibers might be harvested for use in fabrics, but I expect a number of unpleasant chemicals are involved.

Still, I don't want to waste them.  So I will let them accumulate until I have enough to try fermenting some cellulosic COOH.  Of course, I won't get any usable alcohol, since it would have to be distilled, and I have no intention of building a still.  I would have to get some sort of Federal License for that.

My own personal need for pure alcohol is not great.  Less than a liter a year takes care of my lab needs.

For drinking, I prefer my low alcohol content fermented juices and tea.  That way I can't get too stupid.  Plus, I am absolutely convinced that naturally fermented "live" wines are good for you in reasonable amounts.  Strong distilled spirits are not.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

Pray to the Gods, for the Gods are not unless you pray to them.--Don Marquis