Allergies… Why Do We Say Gesundheit When Someone Sneezes?

It’s easy to forget that oak trees are like a big broccoli floret. This year in California, we’ve had so much rain, the trees are not just bursting forth their greenery, many are bursting with pollen. The timing of the rains, interspersed with intervals of beautiful weather, have enabled pollen and flowers on the trees to remain intact, bringing better assurance that the trees will bear fruit. Whether it’s fig, apricot, almond or oak, the trees in my neck of the woods are the healthiest I’ve ever seen them. Let’s hope there will be an abundance of acorns. I’m hungry for some acorn chocolate cake and there are several squirrels with big bushy tails that are probably eyeing them too. Don’t worry little fellas, I will only take a few.

Beware of the beauty of oak trees in full pollen mode. Even if you don’t regularly have allergies, this year might be different. After several years of drought, mother nature is making up for lost time. Gesundheit!

Why do we say that after someone sneezes? Gesundheit is a German word that means health.  Auf ihre gesundheit means, “to your health.” A sneeze might be a reaction to dust or pollen but it can also be a sign that someone is coming down with a cold. In office environments, it has become almost an obsession to say, “bless you” or “gesundheit” after someone sneezes.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Eating Acorns… Are There Any Benefits? In the Bedroom?

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When autumn comes along and pretty brown acorns are lying on the ground one should wonder… why bother to collect them? Why not leave the acorns for the squirrels? Unfortunately, acorns can get messy so folks usually rake them up and the wildlife has to do without. But if you were to gather them, what is the benefit? Similar to nuts, acorns have oils in them that are beneficial, they also contain a little protein and small amounts of phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium and calcium. But the best benefit of all is getting outside and gathering them. Another benefit is how pretty they look in a basket on the kitchen table. And they don’t look too bad in a jar leaching in the fridge. They look fantastic in cookies, they give them a pretty brown color. And there’s always that old book that said that acorns and oats were good to eat for “sexual strength.” Whether or not that’s true has to be decided by those who eat acorns. Although it’s a lot easier to cook up a bowl of oats, there’s nothing like dipping a corn chip into a delicious bowl of acorn dip, knowing it just might have… benefits. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

 

Food&Cooking: The Best Dish at the Party… Teenagers Love it!

You’re going to be surprised when I say acorn dip but it’s true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken acorn dip to a party, only to have the teenagers obsessing over it, especially the boys. I’ve come to conclude that there is something in the acorns that a growing teenager’s body needs. And acorns bring that special flavor, like Mediterranean olives or pungent cheese. The acorn dip is fashioned after your typical onion dip except I use dried onions from a natural foods store and I add a small bit of soy sauce. Surround the dip with Aztecan Blue Corn Chips and you have yourself an unusual hit!   Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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The Acorns Are Falling… Time to Learn to Prepare Acorns

It’s the time of year when acorns are just beginning to fall. Right now, in my neighborhood, they’re still green, but before long, they’ll be a luscious brown and ready to gather. Never cooked with acorns? I’m happy to solve that problem for you. With the reprint of my acorn cookbook and field guide, “Acorns and Eat’em”, you’ll find all the directions you need for identifying, leaching and cooking delicious foods with the acorns you gather. Whether it’s acorns in your omelet or acorns in your smoothies, you’ll find a wide variety of recipes. This book is 6X9 inches and will fit well into a large purse, briefcase or backpack. Acorns make every dish more delicious. Just make sure you save plenty for the wildlife! Suellen Ocean is the author of “Acorns and Eat’em”, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Available here:http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Natural Gardening… Pretty Please

Butterflies and Bees? Yeah, I’ll go to bat for them. This year, I’ve noticed we have Bumble Bees but few Honeybees and almost no Butterflies. 50,000 Bumble Bees were poisoned in June in Oregon after an insecticide was sprayed on trees to control aphids, because of stickiness they cause to parked cars. The pesticide was “Safari” (dinotefuran) and belongs to a new group of chemicals called neonicotinoids, “implicated” in killing Honey Bees and possibly butterflies. I guess there are no warnings on the bottles or at the hardware store. Go natural and continue to enjoy the birds, the bees and the butterflies. Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

Paperback:

https://www.createspace.com/4282927

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PGO2EA/ref=nrn_si_text

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Life Got You Down? Spend Time with a Wise Old Tree

We get nuts, oils and fruit from trees but spending time with them brings energy and inspiration. They don’t speak to us in the manner that humans do but their longevity speaks volumes. What have we been through that they have not? One of my favorite big ol’ trees spreads a shady canopy over an old schoolyard. You can see where years ago, lovebirds carved their initials into it. The ancient tree has withstood fire danger and storms. Wet winters threatened fungus infestations while insects waited to make a home in its dead carcass. Next time you need inspiration, go find a wise old tree. Lean up against it and receive its embrace. Gain strength in the knowledge that you too can grow and prosper through life’s difficult times. I don’t know who said it but I’ll never forget it, “That great oak was once just a little nut that held its ground.” Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Dangerous Garden Warnings

The garden can be a dangerous place. No kidding! On Sunday I encountered a HUGE snake, slithering amongst the end of summer overgrowth but that said, the mice were beginning to ruin all my tomatoes and cantaloupe. Now I walk gingerly and keep my hands out of those overgrown corners. Earlier in the year the hornets were everywhere but I let them swarm around me while I worked, they never once bothered me and if it hadn’t been for them pollinating, I wouldn’t have had fruit. Now they are gone and the bees have moved in for the second round of flowers but I did get stung and it gives me the chills thinking of it now. Those hornets built a nest under my front porch. In the garden we got along fine but when my hat brushed against their nest, several of them came after me, ouch! As I walk out into the garden now, after having seen that snake, which I’m not sure if it is a rattler or not, I will remember the warning the hornets gave me.  I won’t wait for a warning from the snake as it just might be the “Don’t tread on me” variety.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon.

From Mice To Moose-Sized Deer / Predators In My Garden

I think the mice are eating as much as the deer, although it is a huge thrill to come face to face with a buck staring you down on the other side of the garden fence. But the deer stay out while the mice party down night and day on organic heirloom tomatoes and cantaloupe. My husband told me the neighbor’s cat was in there yesterday. Much as I love those cute little mice, I hope our feline friend enjoys his daily patrol and the rodents go back to their native fare … acorns!

 

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon.

End of Summer – Not the Time to be Apathetic

If you’re a gardener like I am, you may be a tad exhausted after months of soil preparation, weeding, watering and harvesting but the end of summer is not the time to shrug and let the garden go. Keep watering, weeding and if necessary fertilizing. You’ll get a lot more produce that way, which is what you planted it for. Right?

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon.

Acorns Give A Deep, Rich Color to Dishes

Whether it be soup, stews, dressings, desserts or dips, acorns provide an appealing depth of color. There have been quite a few gatherings where I have brought an acorn dish only to find the young and old gathered around it as if they couldn’t get enough. Is there something in this wild food that our bodies are longing for? Acorns also contribute a wonderful texture to any dish. Seek out Suellen Ocean’s website for a free download of her book, Acorns and Eat’em.