Norway’s Doomsday Vault

Originally uploaded by a1e2000

This week Norway has opened the "doomsday" seed vault built to protect millions of food crops from climate change, wars and natural disasters. The vault has been built deep within an Arctic mountain in the remote Norwegian island of Svalbard which lies only 600 miles from the North Pole.

The International Herald Tribune has a great in depth article on this.


Tuscan Beet Green Soup

I wish I knew of this simple soup this summer while I was still receiving my CSA share from Parker Farm. I received so many nice beets with the greens but I never really had anything to make with them that I enjoyed.

I received Mario Batali's "Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at home," as a gift this Christmas and have adapted this recipe form there.

1/2 cup of olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 gloves of garlic, chopped
2 medium russet potatoes, diced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups beet greens, cut into ribbons
3 cups water
3 cups chicken stock
1 can cannelli bean
1 bay leaf

In a large pot add your olive oil and bring to high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, add remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour.

I topped this soup with Pecorino Romano cheese. I was also lucky enough to have potatoes in cold storage from my CSA for this soup, they really absorbed a lot of great flavor making them extra tasty. A nice thick slice of great homemade oatmeal bread for dipping made a wonderful accompaniment.

Enjoy your greens.


Fresh horchata

I've recently become obsessed with horchata after trying this milky drink at a local taqueria that offered it in my area. Ever since my first sip I have been looking out for it everytime I grab some Mexican food which seems quite frequently. I did a little research on this and found there is actually no milk in this sweet aromatic and refreshing drink. It is a type of rice milk so this is also a very vegan friendly treat.

After a few google searches I found the following Horchata recipe by Rick Bayless a Mexican chef I have always enjoyed on PBS. This recipe was featured in his book “Authentic Mexican Cookbook.”


6 tablespoon white rice
1/14 cups blanched almonds
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 2-inch strips of lime zest(colored rind only) 3/4 inch wide
about 1 cup sugar


Thoroughly pulverize the rice in a blender or spice grinder. Transfer to a medium -size bowl and add the almonds, cinnamon stick and lime zest. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of hot tap water, cover and let stand at least 6 hours or preferably, overnight.Scoop the mixture into a blender jar and blend for 3 to 4 minutes, until no longer feels very gritty. Add 2 cups of water, and then blend for a few seconds more. Set a large sieve over a mixing bowl and line with 3 layers of dampened cheese cloth. Pour in the almond-mixture a little at time, gently stirring to help the liquid pass through. When all has been strained, gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist them together to trap the dregs inside. Squeeze the package firmly to expel all the remaining liquid.Add 2 cups of water and stir in enough sugar to sweeten the drink to your taste. If the consistency is too thick add additional water. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Stir before pouring.

Yields 1 1/2 quarts, 6 to 7 servings.

I ended up with enjoyable results, it was not quite as flavorful as the horchata I have been drinking locally but it wasn’t bad either. Next time I make this I will double the cinnamon quantity and possibly grate some nutmeg in as well. You may need to adjust the amount of water if you prefer a lighter or thicker drink. This lasted for about a week in the fridge so this recipe does make a decent amount.