Friday, May 4, 2012

Love Fresh Strawberry Pie? You Can Grow That!

My strawberry plants are loaded with white blossoms. Each blossom is a potential strawberry. My future looks sweet and rosy, how about yours? No berries in your garden? You can remedy that!

Find a spot in full sun with good, well-drained soil (or improve the soil, or create a raised bed.) Get some strawberry plants from your favorite locally-owned garden center or nursery. Choose a variety that performs well in your area.

You can choose from "June bearing" or "everbearing" types, depending on your eating and preserving habits. If you mainly want strawberries to eat fresh, and want the harvest to last longer, plant "everbearing." (They bear smaller crops over a longer period of time.) If you want to make pies and jams or jellies, then you may want "June bearing" which bear more heavily but for a shorter period of time.

Ask for planting directions from your strawberry source-- they know the best time and methods for planting in your area. Pick off the flowers in the first year and begin to harvest your own juicy sweet strawberries next year. Strawberries? You can grow them!

Keep Cilantro (and Other Herbs?) Fresh Longer

From the blog Vegetable Gardener, an experiment to find the best way to keep cilantro from getting mushy and disgusting before you can use it. It might be worth trying this method with other herbs, too.

Grow your own if you can, and just harvest as much as you need to use at one time, but if you need to rely on farmers markets or the grocery for your herb supply, this may be just the information you're looking for.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Best Restaurants?

Why is it that the "Best Restaurant" articles usually are accompanied by a picture of a dish that can't be postitively identified as food?

What makes the restaurant judges think that an artfully arranged plate of herbs and flowers or a stack of foodstuffs with an artful drizzle of balsamic sauce should be shown as an example of what is served in a good restaurant?

Perhaps Noma is the best restaurant, I'm not the one to ask. But, as an example, show me a plate of meat and sides, or pasta, or a piece of glistening grilled fish.