Friday, July 27, 2012

Basil Seeds For When Your Tummy Is Faulty

On my trip to Upstate New York, we went to an Asian market and I found a few items to explore.  They weren't too expensive, so I bought a few things that were new to me to research.  The first item is sweet basil seeds.  Ok, warning here, they look like frog spawn when all is said and done.  If you don't have an open mind; or at the very least like tapioca, give this one a miss.

In India the seeds are called falooda and are the basis for a common dessert.  It also comes under the names sabza, subza and takmaria.  The seeds are supposed to be very good for digestion, soothing to the tummy.  They are also good for most digestive complaints, such as; constipation, indigestion and heartburn.  The seeds have an anti-microbial action, as well.  Sounds pretty healthy really!

To make the Thai drink called Nam Manglak, you start out by soaking the seeds in 100 ml of cold water.  Set aside whilst you prepare 2 cups of weak simple syrup (I used turbinado sugar) with a dash of honey (adjust for sweetness.)  Let the syrup cool.        

When all the ingredients are prepared and cooled, add together and incorporate 4 tbsp., (or to taste) rose water, you may want a bit more.  Pour over ice.  This makes a refreshing drink with an interesting texture.  I like it better than bubble tea.  Speaking of tea, you can add these seeds to your favourite tea.  They also make a good ice cream with coconut milk.  The texture is a bit like tapioca. It isn't as chewy as tapioca, as it is smaller, however.

My brain started churning when thinking about ice cream.   This led to the creation of melon sorbet with the basil seeds.  Just use some of the drink and add to pureed melon and process in your ice cream maker.


"A man taking basil from a woman will love her always." -Sir Thomas Moore

Monday, July 16, 2012


It is amazing how much there is to catch up on after recovering from illness, surgery and a week long trip away from home.  Ah, but it is great to be back to my garden, my little piece of Nirvana. Thanks to Lucie for watering and looking after the garden in my absence.
Gardening has been a challenge this year with the fires, unseasonably hot weather and the above mentioned illnesses. Several things bolted sooner than I would have liked due to the heat, such as the bok choy for example. There is still hope for the purple flowering broccoli, however. I have enjoyed aubergines, peas, beans, peppers, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers and several herbs. Lovely!

To replace the bok choy, I planted some celery plants.  I have some fennel plants to transplant, as well, I've never grown fennel.  I also bought a lemon verbena plant to try, it smells gorgeous!


I am still trying to find a good programme to make photo collages, since Picnik is no more.  This set was made with Smilebox, I'm not very convinced I should use that next time....It isn't customising enough for my taste.  Sorry, some of the labels are too small to read unless you click them.

I am really proud that my daughter and her fiance' are tending their own allotment. They are doing a great job. We had plenty of pesto, salad and got to sample the cauliflower. Tasty!

The garden property is held by Albany Hospital and they provide seeds and the lot.


No one needs a vacation more than the person who just had one.

Those that say you can't take it with you never saw a car packed for a vacation trip.