cicer-arietinum

Scotland Yard Hijinks pt 3

Lestrade: Hey, why are potatoes so popular?

Sherlock: John, throw something at him. Something heavy, preferably. 

Lestrade: They’re the most appealing vegetable!

John, busy, not looking up: Potatoes aren’t vegetables, are they? They’re tubers. 

Lestrade, irked: Same thing.

John: Besides, you can peel loads of vegetables. You can peel mushrooms, for Christ’s sake. 

Sherlock: And people wonder why I tolerate John <3 

John, getting into the topic: I mean, are mushrooms vegetables? Is lettuce? Garlic? Don’t even get me started on the fucking difference between a chick pea and a potato.

-Silence follows-

Sherlock, wondering: …Cicer arietinum…??? Different botantic family, to start with…

Lestrade: …?? What… wait? What? What is the difference?

John, flatly: No one would pay to have a potato on them.  

Lestrade: …ohmygod- *wheezing*

Sherlock: People pay to have vegetables put on them?

Lestrade: *CHOKING* 

2

Maturing chickpea pods. This front planter is almost impossible to use: it’s too hot, too dry, too exposed, and has barely any soil. We’ll probably end up turning it into a cob wall to help buffer input from what we call the “annoyance sector” – people speed along our street. For now we’re happy to get less than a handful of chickpeas and a few tough flowers.

Cicer arietinum, the garbanzo bean/chickpea plant. This plant was farmed by my great-uncle Alvaro Obregon in Mexico as far back as 1906, and Ive felt a certain obligation to continue the family practice in my own garden. Fascinatingly and unexpectedly, my garbanzo plants popped up with tons of sticky trichomes covering their exterior! To a carnivorous plant aficionado like myself, the stickiness–however “carnivorous” it may or may not be–was a wonderful discovery that only added to my family’s love of and connection with the humble garbanzo.   

Witch's Supper

[From “The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft” by Judika Illes, p. 527]

If an angry witch came to call, what would you offer her as refreshment? After all hungry, cranky witches are dangerous witches, liable to cast mean, destructive spells. This Italian dish is called The Witch’s Supper and reputedly satisfies, pacifies, and even pleases the fussiest witch. Supposedly serving this dish to a witch (or perhaps anyone) disarms her, making her wish to do good thing for you, not harm.

Luckily it is an extremely simple, quick, inexpensive (even cheap) dish to prepare featuring garlic (Hecate’s favorite) and some magical beans - Cicer arietinum - currently the most widely consumed legume on Earth, know as garbanzo beans in Spanish-speaking countries, chickpeas in English, and cecci in Italian.

Witch’s Supper

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • peeled fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • one can of chickpeas
  • chopped fresh mint
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Warm the olive oil in a cast-iron pan. Carefully saute the garlic in the olive oil. When the garlic begins to brown, add the chickpeas to the pan (but not the liquid from the can*). Add the chopped mint and saute for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and extra mint if desired. Serve on pasta or on toast.

* If the mixture is too dry or if you prefer a saucier recipe add a little of this liquid.

Cicer arietinum, A Chickpea plant at Corte Eremo.

I love the glaucous colour and little serrated leaves. I made a little patch of them on the other side of the garden, but not knowing what area might please them most (it’s their first year here) I put a few here and there in the flowerbeds, too. What a lovely plant!