We all know what a “NIMBY” is: someone who says “Not In My Back Yard” about having an objectionable facility near her home.
But for some good, inexpensive and interesting eating, you might look to your back yard. If your yard is sunny, you might plant vegetables; but that is an article I will leave for a more knowledgeable person to write. You might have something yummy already on your property and not be aware of it. There are many mulberry trees in Phillips. Often the berries are left to fall on the ground and rot for most of the summer. The berries taste like (expensive) blackberries – “better”, my granddaughter says. Pick all the berries you can reach; or use a sturdy ladder; or spread an old sheet on the ground and shake the branches with a broomstick. Also, you might have some rhubarb back there somewhere. It is a perennial and comes up untended for years. Or get some at the Midtown Public Market or at the Midtown Global Market.
Here are some flexible recipes for mulberry and rhubarb treats:
Mulberries, milk, ice cream or frozen yoghurt, powdered milk? (for extra nutrition)
If you have a blender, put everything in and run it briefly. If not, smash the mulberries with a fork, potato masher or mortar and pestle. Quickly mix with the other ingredients with a spoon or wire whip. This makes a good breakfast, lunch or snack.
Mulberries, a little sugar, a can of “lite” refrigerated crescent rolls
Open the rolls into their triangle forms. Put the dough triangles into non-stick muffin tins or onto a greased cookie sheet. Put a spoonful of berries and a bit of sugar in the middle of each. Seal dough over berries, and bake using the temperature and length recommended on the can for the rolls.
“What’s the Rhubarb?” (For some obscure reason that’s what I called this dish when I came up with it about twenty or so years ago.)
About 3 c. of rhubarb chunks, one small package each of orange and of strawberry or strawberry-kiwi Jello (I used sugar-free), A small dish of Cool Whip
Cut off the rhubarb leaves – they are poisonous. Wash rhubarb well. Cut it into chunks of about one inch. Cook the rhubarb with about 1 ½ cups of water and a dash of salt until it is very soft, about 10-15 minutes. Dissolve the Jello into the rhubarb mixture. Refrigerate until mixture starts to get solid. Mix in from 2 c. of Cool Whip to the whole dish (wash and save dish for re-use later). Refrigerate until solid. If you did not use all the Cool Whip, top servings with the rest of it.
A CORRECTION: Last month I missed an ingredient in the fruit dip ( I found the recipe later under “desserts” instead of “fruits”): Beside concentrated orange juice and yoghurt, sugar-free vanilla pudding mix was involved, thus making the mixture more solid and less tart. As it was, I found it especially good on bananas; and the thinner dip and just plain concentrated o.j. made good salad dressing.
More low-cal fruit dips at another time.