Elizabeth Van Pelt

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since Oct 05, 2017
Coastal Southern California, Zone 10b
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Recent posts by Elizabeth Van Pelt

Su Ba wrote:While I wish to grow most of my own food and plants, there are times where I can't or choose not to. I was chatting the other day with a person who was adamant that everyone should grow their own.

One reason I don't grow my own blueberries or walnuts is simply that I'm in the wrong climate zone.

Everyone should? No. "Everyone should" mind their own business, and not be telling other folks what they need to do. Advise and ideas, great, Pressure to conform to someone else's ideal?, No.

What you grow, and how much is no ones' business but yours. Me? I grow a lot of my own fruits, nuts and vegetables because I want to. I would never dream of telling others that my way is the only way. We all have different needs, wants and capabilities.

I believe in societal rules for health and safety, but there is no way I'm going to let someone tell me what I should and shouldn't be growing in my yard (OK, so yeah, I listen to the Ag Dept, and don't grow invasives/disease carriers, but ya know, that health and safety thing...).
3 years ago
I used your "recipe" as a staring point and cooked some up myself a couple of nights ago.

I have a few ornamental canna patches - they are rampant growers for me in coastal southern California. I had to remove a patch that was starting to push over a small guava, and was impacting the growth of my macadamia tree. I harvested out 7 large totes of rhizomes a few days ago..

The day of harvest we had green sprouts as a side veg for dinner. I only used the inner, tender light green section, and cut it in 1" pieces and steamed them with some peas (not enough alone). They tasted great.

I'm still fiddling with the baking - I have a couple of ideas to end up with a better end product. I have so many pounds of canna to work with (and two more patches to dig out to protect more trees), I figure I can keep experimenting. I will still have some canna in the yard, but away from trees.

I have also been trying my hand and getting the starch out of the older roots. It takes a fair bit of water and time to extract even a small amount. I'm still "washing" mine to get it whiter before I dry it. I used a blender rather than pounding, so it speeds up the process, but there is a lot of straining, rinsing, repeat, involved.

This is what I did the first time I baked up some rhizomes:
Canna in a Dutch Oven
Remove scales, small roots and damaged areas from rhizomes. Cut into 4” chunks.
Put a glop of coconut oil in Dutch oven, spread around to coat bottom and sides.
Add chunks.
Cut up 5 peeled garlic cloves, add to pot and and drizzle all with olive oil. Mix around to coat canna with oil.
Cover with lid.
Bake in 350° degree oven for at least 3 hours. If possible half way through stir rhizomes a bit (I didn't and had some sticking and uneven cooking).
Check doneness with a fork.
Note: fiddly as diners need to scrape desired flesh from skins (use a spoon)
Have salt at the table - cooked this way it doesn't do good to salt ahead since the edible parts are not exposed,

The end result tastes quite a bit like a wax potato. There was a slight, but not unpleasant, undertone of bitterness. The prep time, excess fiber and cook time are factors, but the flavor is fine (the garlic probably helped).

3 years ago
André Troylilas - Have you cooked it again?  If so, any additional suggestions/recipes?
3 years ago