Retro Baltimore: 50 things we miss

Living in the CSA: Mmm, chard. Ewww, pine mouth

Thanks for all the tips last week about what to do with turnips. We ended up doing a potato and turnip mash, and it was SO good. I'm looking forward to the next batch of turnips so we can try some of your other recommendations.

I experimented with the red chard and made this really yummy recipe below -- a mixture of chard, onions and golden raisins topped with pine nuts. (They were supposed to be toasted, but I ran out of time/patience and just ate them plain.)

I had a huge serving of leftovers for lunch yesterday, and late last night I started to notice that my mouth tasted foul. I was worried I was getting sick, and then I remembered a story I edited a couple of years ago about pine mouth. It's a weird, temporary condition, thought to be caused by some varieties of non-domestic pine nuts, in which your mouth develops this weird, bitter taste, and most foods taste awful. I thought I'd been so smart and checked and saw a U.S. address on the package of pine nuts when I bought them. What I failed to notice: "Product of China."

This morning, the flavor persists. One of my coworkers who experienced this before had a couple of suggestions: Artificial sweeteners seem to taste OK. Sugars and starches seem to taste the worst. A dose of Maalox that I took when I thought I was feeling ill last night tasted like the worst thing ever. Mint toothpaste was pretty awful too. 

So ... this is going to be fun. 

Anyway, if you make the recipe below, check your pine nuts carefully! It tasted great before the dreaded pine mouth.

Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts

From One Cake, Two Cake and adapted from Epicurious

1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard (preferably rainbow or red; from 2 bunches)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 cup water
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

Tear chard leaves from stems, then coarsely chop stems and leaves separately.

Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat, and then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add raisins and 1/2 cup water and simmer, covered, until stems are softened, about 3 minutes. Add chard leaves and remaining 1/2 cup water and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until leaves are tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve sprinkled with nuts.

(Photo by me)

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