The Power of Pulses
In April 2016 Salt Spring Island's Dan Jason collaborated with the foodie-sister team of Hilary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne to launch a timely cookbook called The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas and Lentils.
Dan is the founder of Salt Spring Seeds and for years has encouraged gardeners and farmers to save seeds in an effort to promote safe and sustainable local agriculture. He is a wealth of knowledge and an inspiration to everyone who listens to him speak about farming, seed saving and growing your own food.
The Power of Pulses is full of beautiful photographs to inspire the most timid cook and gardener. Dan explains just how important small scale herbicide-free agriculture is to the future of the planet and encourages everyone to try growing a few pulses in their own back yard. For many years I have grown Dan's Snack Pea Mix which produces tall edible pod peas whose flower colours vary from white to pink and purple and when dried, these colourful pulses do double duty as a delicious soup pea. Lovely in the garden and delicious in the kitchen!
While most everyone grows peas or beans in their home garden, Dan removes the mystery around planting chickpeas, favas and lentils. With this detailed information about planting, growing, harvesting and drying you are bound to be inspired to plant a row of your own.
Dan's enthusiasm for the heritage varieties is palpable in stories like his 20 year history growing "Winnifred's Garbanzo" which Winnifred had grown for 30 years before sharing seeds with Dan! He also embraces happy new crosses like "Tanya's Pink Pod" which is named after Tania, a garden apprentice in 1998, who first spotted two anomaly bushes in a row of Sequoia beans. A gorgeous bright pink bean that is exceptional fresh, steamed and dried and which turns green when cooked. Check out Dan's complete collection of pulse seeds on the Salt Spring Seeds website.
What makes this book so terrific is the contribution of 50 inspiring vegetarian recipes from Hilary and Alison. Included are traditional dishes like Maple-Baked Northern Beans along with over the top desserts like Chickpea Peanut Butter Banana Cookies and Black Bean Brownie with Espresso Ganache (YUM!). Combined with the mouth-watering photos, they really are the icing on the cake!
The book is available on the Salt Spring Seeds website, bookstores and online.
My European Pilgrimage
For those of you patient enough to read this entire blog, I will let you know I am heading to Europe for nine weeks. A bit of a family and friends pilgrimage in France, Scotland and England before I undertake the Camino de Santiago in Spain (Camino Frances route).
Stores will be restocked in the next couple of weeks and I am busy getting enough inventory on the shelf for my friend Taylore to run the Saturday Market and send out mail orders for me while I am away.
I will occasionally check email so will respond to inquiries periodically.
We depart for Paris on July 22; I will return around the end of September (my feet and St. James willing)!
Have a terrific summer. Thank you for your continued support.