Anita Martini

+ Follow
since Aug 16, 2018
Anita likes ...
bee chicken fiber arts kids cooking
Translator, gardener, book-lover, mother, home-maker and much more
Southern Germany
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
25
In last 30 days
13
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
134
Received in last 30 days
42
Total given
235
Given in last 30 days
40
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Anita Martini

I have both the filled and the simple variety (not sure about the correct words?). I love the simple ones better, they look so cheerful.

Last summer I paid close attention to all insects and wild bees in my garden. I did capture a lot of them with my camera, but I have never seen bees on the feverfew.

Possibly because there were far more attractive plants in my garden. I had thought it was more popular with pollinators.

I did collect some tender leaves to dry and use in an herbal tea mix for my daughter - against headaches and menstrual cramps. I also included meadowsweet. alchemilla, yarrow and some others I don't remember right now.
4 days ago

Sharol Tilgner wrote:
Bitters are popular today. This is the 2nd post started today about them.

What is a "Bitter"?

The word “bitters” is used to describe herbs that are bitter to the taste. We all know what a bitter food tastes like, so you can easily identify any bitter tasting herb as being a "bitter".  Besides indicating the taste of the herb, bitters also indicate a group of herbs that are stimulating and supportive to the gastrointestinal tract.


Thanks Sharol for your detailed post.
Bitters are still quite popular here in Germany but mostly taken as a digestive after a heavy meal.

In addition to the already mentioned Cynar and Fernet Branca (which is used as a cure-all by my mother) there are lots of local varieties with herbs like Gentiana, Meum athamanticum and similar. There is also a mix available called "Schwedenbitter" which you can use to make your own bitter (infuse some strong alcohol), or you can buy the already infused bitter. It contains about a dozen different herbs and roots. I think it was most popular in the 80ies.

Other bitters include the famous Underberg.

There is a saying in German:
Was bitter dem Mund,
ist dem Magen gesund.

(What tastes bitter to the mouth is healthy for your stomach).

IIRC, I already posted about a start-up company in Germany that sells herb extracts made from bitter roots and herb (https://startup-mannheim.de/bitterliebe/). Many modern veggie varieties lack the bitter ingredients that once made them extra healthy (lettuce, chicory etc.) so their idea is to add them in an easy-to-take form.
4 days ago
Commenting on the sprouting broccoli:
My winter gardening book claims that these are already quite popular in UK and US.

I wanted to try it out and bought a variety which is called Early purple sprouting (IIRC).
In the first year, I had four plants which took up a fair amount of my tiny veggie beds. I did have cabbage worms, but they all recovered. Some fell over with time and after every thunderstorm I had to rearrange them and tie them in place.
One or two plants did NOT produce sprouts. They were all healthy and fine, but just no sprouts. The other plants produced nicely and I could harvest for a long time - in winter growth almost stopped, but I could get tiny sprouts.

Last year I decided I only needed two plants.
They did very nicely, no cabbage worms this year. One produced sprouts, the other looks very happy but with no sign of sprouts!
I could of course harvest the tender leaves, but frankly we are not a cabbage-eating family.

After recently having seen pictures in a German gardening group of some cabbage family plants that were simply left in place and that keep producing leaves or Brussel sprouts or dwarf kohlrabi, I have thought I might try leaving one plant just for the sake of experimenting what will happen if I remove all flower buds.

There are various companies that offer the seeds (I ordered it over the internet).

I grew up with herbal teas. I started to collect and dry them when I was in Elementary school, so I like their taste even if taken in a pure form.
For ways to "hide" them: I think a pasta sauce can take up quite an amount of herbs. I also use quite a lot of herbs in my garlic/herb butter.

Regarding turmeric:
I like it finely sliced with roasted cauliflower. I probably found the recipe on the internet or in a book of Yotam Ottolenghi (love his way of cooking).

The golden milk sounds fine, never tried it though.
I sometimes use turmeric together with ginger when I mix my ginger fizzy beverage. As I don't use a recipe or measure the ingredients, it sometimes comes out as fizzy, sometimes as slightly alcoholic - so I try it before I allow my kids to drink.
In any case the turmeric does have a distinctive taste which I don't mind but my kids don't love it.
6 days ago
This is looking good already, you are on the right way.
As others have said, the starter has to adjust to the water and flour it gets in the new home. I would also feed the starter quite often, with little amounts.
If you feel you have too much to use in your loaf, you can google for other uses of sourdough. I just bought myself a new book on sourdough (lovely, great expertise, lots of recipes, but all in German) and there are sourdough waffles, muffins, of course pizza, pasta, dried sourdough used instead of breadcrumbs for fried onions etc.

Regarding temperature:
I have been baking for years now, but only after thoroughly reading the book and following the temperature have I been able to get a really active starter - it even tried to escape the Weck jar I used!
You want your starter to be cozy for the initial rise, and then keep closely capped in the fridge.
You could use your oven (if the door shuts tightly) with a warm water bottle (and a towel) to keep the temp high.
Alternatively, if you have a nice quilt or duvet (here in Germany we often have down duvets) you can pack the sourdough in bed with a warm water bottle - that's how I make my yoghurt! Happy baking!

Noel Young wrote:It appears stirring and placing closer to the stove has increased the activity...

1 week ago
Do you have any organic grocery shops? They usually have Fair trade chocolate.

I am avoiding Nestle, Unilever etc. for years now.
It is a bit hard on the kids who want brand-specific chocolate bars. But they know I only ever buy the "good" stuff or they have to use their pocket money.
Even our supermarket has some fair trade chocolate, the organic grocery store even more, and if I wanted to go fancy I could go to the huge Fair Trade store 15 minutes by car (taking the big checkbook...).
1 week ago
Spätzle are indeed yummy if served with lots of gravy -either roast gravy, vegetarian gravy or cream of mushrooms.
When I was a kid we simply ate it as a casserole dish, covered with grated cheese baked in the oven.
My kids love it the same way. A good salad as a side dish and you have a meal!
The longest thing about making them is waiting for the water to boil and afterwards cleaning the pot, really!

I have a colander type for making Spätzle which my grand aunt gave me. Using it always reminds me of her.

BTW, I don't like the Spätzle preparation that most people order in ski resorts: Served in a big iron pan with roasted onions and cheese, seasoned with lots of pepper. I guess it is what you learned to love as a kid!


Tereza Okava wrote:Anita, thanks for reminding me of spätzle! I haven't thought of it in years, my mother used to make it every once in a while when I was a kid and I loved it, but it was only ever served with sauerbraten, which was yummy but I could do without the major production involved. I know you can just treat it like any other pasta but I figure you might have some fabulous ideas.

1 week ago
I got curious when reading this thread, so I also googled.
Some sites said it was a traditional German dish which it definitely isn't.

I found the interesting story of the origin (and spelling varieties) of this North Dakota dish on this website:
https://ramshacklepantry.com/history-of-knephla-soup/

Traditional "Knöpfle" (often used interchangeably with Spätzle) are a very popular dish on the other hand. I make it several times a month. Enjoy your soup!
1 week ago
Hi Gail,
to be honest, I don't know the exact origin of that idea.
I have read it in various books and forums, and some people say that their grandparents and great-grandparents already used the mole earth.
Depending on where you collect the mounds, it is just a loosened version of the original soil around - but with less seeds. If you collect them on a loamy or clay-y field, you will have compacted earth after watering. So either mix with something to hold the air or get it from the edge of the woods.

Gail Jardin wrote:

Anita Martini wrote:Not sure if this is done in other regions, but here it is a recommended to use the soil from mole mounds for seed starting.
Usually it has a nice texture and as it comes from deeper layers, it is relatively free from unwanted seeds.

Today I collected a bag of mole earth. I will have to remove the stones though.

There are some other spots where the mole earth is very black and rich, but I don't think it is sustainable to go by car just to collect some soil. I will keep my eyes open and take my bucket with me in the trunk of my car in case I come across some of those very dark, fine mole mounds.


Wow! What a unique idea. Have people in your region been using mole mound soil for a long time or is it a new permaculture concept. Is there any lore or legend around using mole mounds for starting soil? I see a permaculture based Thorton Burgessesque children's story in the works if there is!

1 week ago
Not sure if this is done in other regions, but here it is a recommended to use the soil from mole mounds for seed starting.
Usually it has a nice texture and as it comes from deeper layers, it is relatively free from unwanted seeds.

Today I collected a bag of mole earth. I will have to remove the stones though.

There are some other spots where the mole earth is very black and rich, but I don't think it is sustainable to go by car just to collect some soil. I will keep my eyes open and take my bucket with me in the trunk of my car in case I come across some of those very dark, fine mole mounds.
1 week ago