Caryn talks about her 3 day trip to Boston and all the wonderful food discoveries she made. Then she talks about the Linden Trees that are in bloom in NYC and the tea that can be made from it’s fragrant blossoms.
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody. I’m back. It’s the second half of our July 1st, 2014 show, It’s All About Food. Now, I didn’t mention a few things before I left for the break, and that is, if you do want to have a dialogue with me about meat, the logic of eating meat, or anything else about food, you can email me at email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, I talked about talking to those 250 cattle ranchers the last time I was on this show, two weeks ago, I mentioned that we have just released our documentary, and as Charles Horn and I were just talking about, it takes – it takes a lot of funding to do stuff and to make things happen. And I just want to say, we created this 70 minute documentary with no funding, no help from anybody, but we just thought that this story of one lonely vegan going to talk to 250 cattle ranchers was too important not to tell. And if you have seen it already, thank you very much for watching; please let me know what you thought of it. And if you have not seen it yet, please find the time to take 70 minutes and watch it. Join our community. Come into our living room, listen to our conversation, and let us know what you think. I would really, really appreciate it. So, to find the film, you just go to responsibleeatingandliving.com, that’s my non-profit website, and the link’s right there on the homepage – The Lone Vegan Preaching to the Choir. And then once you’ve seen it, share it! I’ve gotten so many wonderful responses about this film already, and what I love most is hearing people’s ideas, their thoughts, their dreams, of what they would like to see in the world – communities of people growing fresh, locally grown foods, supporting each other, finding ways to make that happen and make it work for so many people, and where more people can benefit. We’ll see where that goes.
Okay, so last week, I missed a show and I’ll tell you why – I was in Boston. And I wanted to tell you about my trip to Boston, but it starts actually in New York, where I come from, where I live. I had purchased a Groupon not too long ago, which was, what was it – it was 30, no it was 15 dollars for 30 dollars worth of food at Westerly. Now, Westerly is a health food store in Manhattan – it’s one of my favorites. They have a great selection of dark, leafy green vegetables, my favorite foods, and what I did was I just went over there with my Groupon and I stuffed my bag with dark, leafy green vegetables and came home. And then, I realized that I was heading up to Boston, because I had a friend from Costa Rica who was bringing her sons to some summer program in Boston, and I had a friend from France who was bringing her daughter to a program – a summer program – in Boston, and I had all these fresh dark, leafy greens to deal with. Well, the first thing I did, I realized I was going to take one of these buses from Manhattan to Boston, and maybe you know about them, but some of them are really inexpensive, so I took a 13 dollar Bolt bus to Boston, which was really quite pleasant, and it’s a four and a – it’s like four and an hour fifteen minute ride, but I had taken the subway first to get there. I knew I was going to be hungry, I made a giant, and I mean giant big bowl of fresh arugula and water crass, with some chopped, black, wrinkly, dry olives, flaxseeds, and a lovely tahini dressing. And, I took this big bowl – it’s light, but big – and on the bus, I ate this giant salad, actually I had some in the beginning of the trip, like a breakfast, and then I finished it up towards the end of the trip. Well, I’m bringing it up, because the entire day in Boston, walking around in the warm, hot weather – no humidity take note – I was so satisfied. I wasn’t hungry all day, it was incredible, because I had filled myself up on these nutrient dense, dark, leafy green vegetables. And I eat a lot of salads, but I – you can always eat more! I think…And I – it always surprises me how powerful they are at energizing, at giving you what you need for so little calories. It was spectacular. So I was fueled for a wonderful day, and I walked around with my friend, and I didn’t need to eat until later in the evening, it was great.
So then, I met up with my friend from Costa Rica, and then later, I met up with my friend from France, and just – it was so wonderful being in Boston. I’m always delightful to discover wonderful food. Since I was with my French friend, who’s not vegetarian, I wanted to be respectful of her and her choices, so I kept telling her she can go wherever she wants. And also, we weren’t in a very touristy area, and after walking around in all the heat, you don’t want to go and look for a new restaurant. So, a couple of times, we ended up going to very touristy kind of places, but every time, I was so delighted to discover great food, and I want to just tell you about some of them. So, one place was Sweet Green, and I discovered it’s a chain, maybe you’ve heard about it? So, this is in the back bay area of Boston, where there was a lot of students, and what was so exciting about this place – ok, this is not fine dining, but this is a place where there’s a long queue, this long line of young people, online, ordering big salads. I was so excited! Young people wanting their greens and eating their vegetables, how exciting is that? I thought that was great. So, we got our big salads and ate them, they were fresh – this isn’t a vegan place, you can put your cheese and animal toppings on top, but there were lots of wonderful options and some really creative flavors. This was great. Now, I personally prefer when I’m eating either in my home or at a picnic or anywhere at a party, I’m not into throwaway dishes and forks. When we have a picnic or something, we bring cloth napkins and reusable plates and things. I just have a thing against throwaway stuff, because it’s not so environmentally friendly, and I just think it gives it a quality feeling, when you’re using real plates. And certainly at home, when we have parties, we’re always using real plates – real! I’m about real, right? Responsible Eating and Living – REAL. Well, this particular place had, what looked like, plastic bowls for the salads and plastic utensils. So, when one of the young managers came over and wanted to know how we were doing, and I was saying how wonderful everything was, I did mention that I wasn’t so excited about the bowls and utensils. And he said, “Well they’re compostable.” The bowls, which looked like plastic, were made from sugar cane, and the utensils were made from cornstarch. So, not the ideal, but pretty good, and that was some – that was fun to learn about, and also kind of a reflection of myself – assuming the worst and getting a little annoyed and trying to contain my frustration, and then learning that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Always learning.
Then, someone at the hotel – we wanted to experience some of the Italian area, the northern part of Boston where there’s big Italian spaces, lots of Italian restaurants, and very touristy. Again, I wasn’t going to give my input – we went to a place that the manager at the hotel recommended, a place called Bricco. Bricco. And we were sitting there and I was looking at the menu thinking, oh my goodness, there is nothing for me, and the waiter came over – he was quite pleasant, but the entire time I spoke with him, I just felt that he didn’t understand me. You ever get that? When you’re somewhere in a restaurant or somewhere, either they have an attitude that they’re not paying attention, or that what you’re saying doesn’t compute? He always had a smile on his face, but I just thought, oh, what I’m saying where I don’t want to have eggs or dairy and can he make me a vegetable plate and make sure it’s not sautéed with chicken broth. I rarely have to have that conversation these days, because there’s vegan food everywhere, but – and when we finished our order, I said to my friend, “I’m not sure what we’re going to get here.” But it turned out perfectly. I was served this beautiful, beautiful plate of very, very lovely fresh vegetables, which included broccoli raw and asparagus and some gorgeous mushrooms – I think they were porcini – they were just so fabulous. And there were a couple of – I’ll call them schmears – a couple of dips for the bread, and one of them was like a hummus, and the waiter came over very quickly and said, “You can’t have this one because there’s pork in it.” And I was a little disappointed that he couldn’t have it, but so delighted that he took the time to tell me. And I knew at that point that I was so wrong. He heard me, and he understood me, and I’m just glad that whole time that I kept a very courteous, friendly demeanor, and didn’t get angry at any point, because that’s not the way to be, and you can be wrong. So, twice, during this trip, I really read people wrong.
We also ate at a place called City Landing, which is also kind of a touristy spot near the pier, near the Long Wharf, and they have a beautiful menu – they have vegetarian and vegan items, and gluten-free – it’s all spelled out on the menu. And the other place was a place called Sail Loft, and this was one of these typical seafood on the water type of places, dark wood and rustic, and they had a very friendly stir-fry vegetable dish with a rice pilaf, and they guaranteed to me that it was vegan, and it was great. So, there are a lot of things to rejoice about. Our message is being heard around – more restaurants are including, if not one, more than one healthy, vegan item on their menu. And that way we can all get along together. Ah, so that was a really nice trip. And I’m reminded that I really like to have big, green salads for breakfast, because they’re so, so satisfying.
Now, the other thing I wanted to talk about today is the Linden tree. Are you familiar with the Linden tree? One of the things that I love about June – I know it’s July 1st, but it started in the end of June – is the Linden tree bloomed, and it lasts for about a week, and it usually happens here in New York City in June. And what I love about it is, the fragrance of this tree is, in my opinion, intoxicating. I’ve been drunk all week, just high all week, on the fabulous fragrance of the Linden tree. And one of the things I just discovered – I was with my friend from France in Boston, speaking French for two days, reminiscing about the lovely times when I lived in the south of France in the early 90s – when I did live there, in the Provence region, whenever you would go to a restaurant and asked for a herb tea, there were three flavors – either mint, verveine, which is verbena, kind of lemony flavor, and something called tilleul. And the tilleul was typically, in most restaurants, not a…
Hi there, everybody! Well, I just got lost in my Linden tree love conversation, and I’m not exactly sure where I stopped, but I was talking about the Linden tree and how I used to drink the tea, tilleul, in the south of France. It was a very popular herb tea, and I never knew that the tilleul tea was actually the flowers from the Linden tree. And this was so exciting for me to learn just the other day. Now all I want to do – there’s a Linden tree right outside from my terrace, and it’s got there wonderful flowers, and like I said, it only lasts for about a week, and I think today is probably going to be the last day, or tomorrow, where we get this great fragrance. But, what I really want to do is to clip some of those flowers from the tree and use as tea. I’m not quite sure how to do that, because the tree is kind of tall, and it’s not close enough from my terrace to grab. If anybody has any recommendations, let me know. But there’s some wonderful qualities in the Linden tea, which I now know is tilleul in France. It’s considered a light and lively blend of fragrance flowers and leaves – the actual tea – and it’s caffeine free, it has a mild digestive quality, and it has sleep benefits. So, it’s sort of, I guess, like chamomile. So, not only does it have this phenomenal, intoxicating fragrance, but you can have the tea all year long, and it has some nice health benefits. So somehow, I’m going to try and grab those flowers from that tree and make some tilleul tea – Linden tree tea. Mm!
Ah, just a few more minutes and I wanted to give some hot weather tips, things that may be obvious to you, maybe some things you’re doing, maybe you have some tips for me, again you can email me at email@example.com. First, number one, drink, drink, drink – we want to keep hydrating in this weather, for those of us who are in hot weather, and you know me, I like clean water. So, here at home, we’ve got a filter system, where we’re regularly changing the filter, and then on top of that, I distill my water. I really believe in drinking clean water, distilled water, and if you want information about distilled water, it’s always there at responsibleeatingandliving.com – a link to distilled water and the company that makes the one that I recommend most, AquaNui. And you have any questions, you can always email me, at firstname.lastname@example.org about water, but what we do here, is we distill our water – filter and distill our water – and put them in glass bottles. I don’t like plastic, even if it’s plastic made of sugar cane. And, most of them I store in the refrigerator in the summer, so the water is nice and chilled whenever I want it, and I like to store things in glass. Just recently, I was given a wonderful gift, which is a glass bottle that has a – kind of like a rubbery holder on it, so if you drop it, it doesn’t break, and this, I take with me whenever I’m going somewhere, instead of bringing water in plastic. This way I have my phenomenally clean, delicious water, and I can take it with me all around. So, if you see those, I highly recommend them.
And for fun treats that are cool – frozen blueberries. Have you ever just popped a frozen blueberry in your mouth? It’s the best, frozen popsicle, but they’re like in little bites, and they’re just blueberries. So, if you ever see a great deal on blueberries at a farmer’s market or wherever you are, it’s certainly great to have them fresh, but if you get a lot of them, you can freeze them and they’re wonderful frozen. They’re great in smoothies and all kinds of things, but I just, like, pop them. Kids like them, too – great little treats, frozen blueberries.
And the other thing is frozen melons, so if, when they’re ripe and when they’re ready and when they’re inexpensive, this is a great time to buy a lot of them and you can take the melon meat, blend it up in a blender, and pour them in popsicle containers, or any little containers that you can have. Even in an ice cube tray, they make great, little fresh, refreshing, sweet treats – all natural, minimally processed –delicious.
One more thing, maybe one more thing, I think I may have a few more things – but nuts. Raw nuts and seeds – they’re really important, they have a lot of great minerals, a lot of great nutrition, and we want to eat some every day – not a lot, but just enough. An ounce or two, they make everything taste better – a little sprinkled on your oatmeal or sprinkled on your salads, but you want to keep them in your refrigerator or you have a lot of them in your freezer. They go rancid, and you want that to happen. You want your nuts and seeds fresh. And how good did they taste when they had that fresh taste? They are so good. Please, keep them cool, so that they don’t go bad. Now, in the summer, for those of experiencing summer, if your house isn’t air conditioned all the time, it’s important to keep those foods that are affected by heat or warm weather, keep them cool. And that’s the same with grains and flours – I keep all of my grains and flours in the refrigerator, in glass jars – hello?
And I was just talking about water – I have to admit, I’m not a fan of plain water. The only time I eat – eat? The only time I drink plain water is usually when I’m at a restaurant and the food is too salty, so I have to wash it down all the time. When I’m eating at home, I don’t usually drink water, when I’m eating, because I don’t salt my food, and I don’t seem to have a need for it. But when I do drink during the day, I like a little flavor in my water. I use a number of things to flavor – squeezing a little lemon juice is great or a little lime juice, but sometimes I’ve used lemons, lemon juice and lime juice, for something else – I save the skins. Now, I always buy organic, but if you save the rind of the lemon or the lime, or an orange, they’re great twisted in water. You can leave them for the day, and it gets a lovely flavor, and you get some of those great flavonoids and things that are in the rind that are really good for you, and they taste great.
And then another thing, which I got from the French, and it’s the last thing I’m going to say before I go, is herbs are lovely in water, either hot or cold. I love fresh, thyme tea, and it doesn’t have to fresh, it can be dried, where you make a tea of just thyme and water. It can be – you can have it warm or you can have it cold – why not? We drink – we put mint in water sometimes, and mint is great, but try some of the other herbs, so good. Just a nice suggestion, it’s just a lovely experience. All right?
Well, that’s all for today, that’s the end of the program, and next week, we’ve got two wonderful guests I wanted to let you know – Jeffrey Cohen, from the Jewish Vegetarians of North America. He’s known as the Beet Eating Heeb, he’s got a blog called theBeetEatingHeeb.com. Then, we’ve got Steven Wise, who’s the founder of the Non-Human Rights Project – he’s been in the news quite a lot, and he’s got a wonderful legal process going on where he’s working to get rights for chimpanzees and other animals, and it’s so exciting, his work, and we’re going to hear a little bit about that next week. Well, thank you for joining me on It’s All About Food, and remember to watch the Lone Vegan documentary at responsibleeatingandliving.com, and have a delicious week.
Transcribed by Dorene Zhou 7/18/2014