Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Check this OUT!

As both of you know, Pinterest is the new crack and I'm totally addicted. I was able to cut back slightly while I was away, simply because I thought it would be rude to stay glued to the computer at my daughter's house the way I'm glued to it at mine. And, wonder of wonders, I really didn't gawk much yesterday, since the day after a trip usually means laundry and cleaning and cooking a Real Meal for my husband instead of the toaster-oven cheese sandwiches he survives on when I travel.

But I digress.

I'm always excited to check out whatever new growth there might be in the indoor jungle, and I nearly yelped when I found this:

I recently pinned this method for re-growing celery, and then proceeded to chop off the root end of a limp bunch of celery from my crisper drawer and plop it in a glass with about a half inch of water. I think I did this a week ago. And there are leaves! Already! Tiny baby celery stalks are growing in my living room in January!

I'm astonished, can you tell? Heh.

I've planted celery in the outdoor garden for the past three years, and it does grow. I've never gotten big stalks like you see at the market, but the stalks are tender and much greener (I don't collar my plants) and quite tasty. Just … not a great yield for the space it takes up.

Some vegetables pull their weight as far as garden real estate goes: tomatoes, of course, and green beans. Cucumbers. Edamame is a high-yield, easy-to-grow plant, as is okra (although the growing season for okra is pretty long).

With celery, though, you get one bunch per plant (obviously) and each plant takes about a foot of row space and you can't eat all of the mature plants at the same time. There's not much point in growing even one whole row unless you're willing to chop and freeze most of it. Which I'm not.

(Other crops that don't pull their weight, in my opinion, are beans that are meant to be dried – cranberry, black, lima, etc., with the exception of black-eyed peas – and corn – one ear per stalk and those stalks take up a lot of space. English peas take up a lot of room and are a pain in the ass to shell, but are SO DELICIOUS that I don't mind giving them a couple rows early in the spring, before I can plant anything else.)

The celery re-growing method also works on green onions, which are on my grocery list.

Okay, moving on. My ginger-haired friend commented yesterday that when her husband eliminated one food from his diet – in his case, it was grains – he was able to lose weight. And that got me to thinking about the only time in the last 20 years I've been successful at losing a significant amount of weight (almost 50 pounds). I didn't eat sugar or white flour. At all. For five years.

One taste was all it took and in no time flat I was out of my skinny jeans and back into my yoga pants. Because sugar is my crack, just as surely as Pinterest is.

My daughter casually remarked over the weekend that she felt South Beach was the healthiest way to eat. It certainly works for her. I happen to have three South Beach books on my cookbook shelf (who among us doesn't?) so I took one of them down yesterday and started reading it again.

How hard can it be? After one day … not very. But I'll let you know in two weeks, when the first phase is over.


Anne M. said...

Little celeries growing in your living room in January is such a promise of both spring and food :) What a treat!

Do keep us posted on the South Beach experiment. Eliminating sugar and wheat seems to be a major factor in successful weight loss as well as generally improving body health.

Mindy said...

I love the idea of things growing inside that you can actually eat! My husband just informed me we have a healthy crop of basil in our glassed in balcony where some of our outside plants spend the winter...that is very exciting! And I see pesto on the menu this weekend.

I am most successful when I limit white flour and sugar. I gave up artificial sweetener almost two years ago except for the occasional diet soda when I have no other options. I have lost 35 pounds in the last year (I do follow WW - I attend meetings) and my weight loss has definitely slowed down over the holidays, not because of the quantity of food but I think because of all the crack...I mean sugar. I'm looking forward to getting back on track.