"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, February 26, 2024

Black Bean Tea

Was looking for coffee alternatives and found a simple recipe for Black Bean Tea.

Got to be patient, prep time is over 30 minutes.

Turned out pretty tasty.

Black beans and thermos


1-2 Cup thermos
1 Tbspn Black Beans
Cups Boiled Hot Water, as needed

  • Pre-heat thermo (My thermos was 10 1/2oz) by filling it with hot water. Close and wait a few minutes. Discard water.
  • Fill thermos 1/2 full of boiling water, then, add black beans. Fill thermos full with hot water. Close lid securely.
  • Give the thermos a good shake, then let it sit for 30 minutes.
  •  Pour yourself a cup of tea.

A Cup of Black Bean Tea

Friday, April 14, 2023

Meet Alexis Nikole Nelson, Known as The Black Forager

I was rather new to Instagram, when one day while exploring various posts, I was intrigued by the profile name: The Black Forager.
When I opened the post or rather reel, up popped Alexis, literally right in my face.
She was high octane energy, bouncing around and talking fast.
It took a few moments to follow what she was saying and doing. Gradually, after probably watching the reel more than once, I got it. She was ecstatic about a plant she had found and wanted you to know it was edible and delicious.
I was hooked.
I marveled at her knowledge and her appearance. I envied her artistic outfits. They were bright, cheerful and fun.
Since that moment, I have followed Alexis, a James Beard Award winner, and thoroughly enjoyed her ventures into areas around her home, her trips to forests in other parts of the world, where she finds plants throughout the year. Generally, she harvests them and demonstrates how to prepare them as a meal, snack, beverage or other uses.
I used to forage when I had a house and lived near a forest. I remember onion grass, sassafras (a root beer flavored root), dandelions, lambs quarters, onion grass, garlic, wood sorrel, heal-all, wild blackberries, and more.
I had several medicinal and edible plant guides, like Peterson's Field Guide to Medicinal Plants & Herbs of Eastern & Central N. America, all of Tom Brown, Jr.'s books, in particular, Guide to Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants. I, also, had Euell Gibbons' books, like Stalking the Wild Asparagus.
My ability to make recipes using wild food was limited. I think my best use of wild foods was making a coffee-like beverage from roasted chicory roots.
My big takeaway from my foraging experiences was I stopped calling any plant a weed. It's a poor classification for useful plants. Then, there are "invasive plants." The dandelion is an "invasive plant", meaning it is not native to North America. It came with the colonists, brought in accidentally in various shipments of foodstuffs, or grains.

Here is the USDA guide to "Invasive Species."

You may have heard of Kudzu. In some states, this plant grows fast and covers large areas along highways and fields, crowding out native plants.

Or maybe you've heard of the snake fish, according to the USDA, the fish may have been introduced to N. America via aquarium hobbyists, or some raising it as a food source. (https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/how-did-snakehead-fish-get-united-states)


By Wie146 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
One suggestion to combat "Invasive Species" is to eat them.

Here are a few recipes ideas for Kudzu and Snake Fish:

Kudzu Recipes

Snake Fish Recipes
Unfortunately, where I live now, my forgaging options are limited to sidewalk wild plants and garden escapees. But, The Black Forager has rekindled my interest in wild plants.
I admire The Black Forager, she is brilliant. She always alerts followers to any dangers in using wild plants or issues of foraging in various areas. She know the Latin names for plants. Plus, often she gives a history lesson along the way.

The Black Forager has gone viral. She has appeared on Sesame Street, late night TV shows like Jimmy Kimmel, magazine covers, and more.
Foraging is a way to find your roots.

Some Links for The Black Forager:
Rolling Stone Magazine

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Beryl Shereshewsky - Travel and Food Video Blogger

Beryl Shereshewsky lives in New York City. Currently, she is an International Travel and Food Video Blogger.
I find her videos interesting and it's always enjoyable to watch video bloggers grow as they continue to produce their videos.

Beryl started out producing videos about food topics like what rice toppings do you use. She invites her viewers to submit videos of their favorite recipes. Then, she makes the recipes, tries them and gives her reactions.

Later, she began to promo her sponsors, then her favorite artist, and later her earrings.
Here are just a few of the recipes I have tried from Beryl's videos:
  • 3C's Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Add chicken, cheese and chips to your grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Kaya Tholl Thoran - a Banana peel recipe.
  • Toast Topping or DIY Pop Tart - Monkey Butter
Follow Beryl on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shereshe/ or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/berylshereshewsky and on YouTube.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Mug O'Rice, Chicken, and Vegetable Stew

A Twist on Mug Recipes, Mugifiying Full Recipes 
I have gained enough confidence to try and convert full recipes into Mug recipes.

Original Recipe:
Hayley Turner's Chicken and Vegetable Risotto

My Version:
Mug O'Rice, Chicken, and Vegetable Stew

1 Dab Vegetable Oil
1/2 Tspn Onion Flakes
1/2 Tspn Garlic and Black Pepper Powders
A Grind of Black Pepper (to taste)
1 Dash Hot Sauce (Optional)
1/3 Cup Rice
1 Heaping Tbspn Canned Chicken, diced, drained
3 Tbspns Mixed Vegetables, canned or frozen
2 Slices Bell Pepper, diced
1 Tbsp Canned Mushrooms, drained
1 Dollop water to moisten.


Add oil, onion flakes, garlic and black pepper, black pepper, and hot sauce to mug.
Stir well.
Cover and microwave on high for 15 seconds.
Add rice, chicken, mixed vegetables, bell pepper, and mushrooms.
Add a small dollop of water.
Stir and mix well.
Microwave on high for 1:30 minutes.
Empty mug into a bowl.

Caution: It will be hot.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II - 1926 - 2022


The death of Queen Elizabeth II was an historic event. She reigned as Queen of England and the United Kingdom for 70 years. For many, she's the only British Queen they've known.

British residents and others lined the streets following her casket and stood in line for hours to see the Queen's casket before it was moved to the Westminister Abby for the funeral service.


(Note: Map does not show full route.)

These pictures hardly cover the various events and ceremonies over the nine-day funeral following the Queen's casket from Balmoral Castle to London and finally to Windsor Castle.




Among the hundreds of dignitaries and Royal Family members on The Queen's guest list, there were a few surprises, such as The Duchess of York.

Many have noted The Queen demonstrated, in many ways, her desire for her family to heal from its many tragedies. 




While the Queen's funeral was a very public event, it was also a private family event where family tensions were visible on the public stage.

I feel the monarchy will struggle for years to reconstruct its image and importance.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Salmon and Corn Chowder

Salmon and Corn Chowder
(Adapted from Tin Can Cook o129, by Jack Monroe)


1 14oz Can Diced potatoes, drained
A few Grinds Fresh Black Pepper
1 Chicken bouillon cube
2-3 Cups Water
1 8oz Can corn, drained
1/4 Salmon paste (See fish paste recipe below)
2 TBspns Milk
S/P to taste
2-3 TBspns thawed frozen spinach (optional)

Fish Paste
(Adapted from: https://jackiem.com.au/2015/05/19/how-to-make-fish-paste/)


1 8oz Can salmon, drained
3+ TBspns of flour
and a bit of water
S/P to taste


Basically, in a bowl, add enough flour and water to the salmon and mix the ingredients thoroughly by hand until it is a smooth thick paste.

Salmon and Corn Chowder


Add potatoes to medium sauce pan.
Add water.
Add grinds of fresh black pepper.
Add bouillon cube.
Bring to a boil.
Stir to mix bouillon with water.
Reduce to a simmer.
Add corn.
Stir to mix ingredients.
Add fish paste.
Stir until mixture is smooth.
Simmer until potatoes are soft.
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Add milk.
Add s/p to taste.
Add spinach (optional)
Simmer for a minute or two.

This came out great.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Mug O'Full English Breakfast

Mug O'Full English Breakfast
(Adapted from Meal in a Mug)


1 8-10 Oz Mug
1 Tspn Vegetable Oil
A Few Grinds Fresh Black Pepper
Hot Sauce, to taste
1 Tbspn Canned Mushrooms, drained
1/2" Slice of Spam, sliced into 4-6 pieces
3 Heaping Tbspns Canned red beans in tomato sauce or Baked beans

1 Slice Bread
A Dribble of vegetable Oil
A Few Grinds of Black Pepper
1 Egg
1-2 Tbspns Canned Salsa

Make toast, spread a dribble vegetable oil over toast, grind fresh black pepper over toast. Cut in half, on a diagonal.
Make poached egg.
See How to poach an egg using a microwave (https://www.wikihow.com/Poach-an-Egg-Using-a-Microwave)

In a mug, add oil, black pepper, hot sauce, Spam, and mushrooms.
Microwave on high for 1 minute.
Add beans.
Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.
Serve Spam and bean mixture on a plate.
Top with poached egg.
Add side of salsa and toast.