Thursday, January 15, 2009

John Ash Encourages Sprouting and So Does The Veggie Queen

If you read my previous post you know that I had the privilege of taking a cooking class with John Ash. The most amazing part of the class for me was when John talked about sprouting arising from his hippie days.

I have known John about 20 years and I just can't imagine John as a hippie. I'd have to see the pics to believe it. But I did see his sprouter from those days, and it is very cute. He said that he's had it for many years but it was in just fine shape. They sell a similar one on Amazon for $10.95.

John also encouraged people to sprout with the simple method: quart glass Mason jar, cheesecloth and a rubber band. I have used that method often but sometimes substitute a paper towel for the cheesecloth. I also have a green plastic sprouting lid and a wire mesh lid that fits into a quart jar ring.

I tried my green plastic lid most recently, inspired by Ash who encouraged everyone to go out the next day, Saturday, and start sprouting. He brought his "home-grown" fenugreek sprouts to the class in their sprouter. It was a touching moment.

John also talked about how he's not a gardener and how sprouting fulfills that desire to grow something. That's just my style, too. I had no idea we had that in common.

I was remiss in following Chef Ash's directions to start the next day, as I started sprouting on Sunday, not Saturday, by soaking some French green lentils, along with broccoli, radish and mustard seeds, in a quart jar with my new, green sprouting lid. I found that the holes in the plastic lid made pouring the water out a bit more difficult. I also removed the lid to add water to do the twice a day rinsing.

By day 3, the sprouts seemed ready so I took them out of my kitchen cupboard, where they had lived upside down in a bowl, and put them near a light-filled window so that they could get cholorphylled up, and get green.

This morning I had a half-full quart jar of my own beautiful sprouts. I have been sprouting for possibly as many years as John but I'm not sure as he is a bit older than I. I can tell that having,and growing, sprouts satisfies some deep needs for each of us.

And now, on to the next batch -- I have a 1 pound bag of spicy mix so I had better get to it. Might throw in some red quinoa, just for kicks. Oh, the possibilities are almost endless.

Growing sprouts is very exciting and provides almost immediate gratification, if you can wait a few days. It's hard to realize that each bean, seed or nut actually contains the energy of an entire plant that will yield many more. Give it a try.

A photo will appear as soon as I learn how to use my new camera.

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