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            1. Showing posts with label Garden Cooking. Show all posts
              Showing posts with label Garden Cooking. Show all posts

              Tuesday, September 3, 2013

              Basil, the Unexpected Flower Arrangement

              Create uniquely aromatic and visually interesting flower arrangement with Basil. Use the herb Basil by itself or mix it in with other flowers for several weeks of interest. White flowers slowly open toward the tip as time passes. Mix different varieties to create different aromas and contrasting leaf colors increase visual interest.
              Sweet and Spicy Basil flower arrangement 
              I grow both sweet and spicy Basil. I like to mix them in arrangements for the color contrast  as well as the scent combination. The primary reason I grow Basil is for use in cooking, but come to my house and you will find bouquets of Basil tucked away in various parts of the house.  Just rustle the leaves when ever you pass for your custom scent combination to be released over the next hour or so.

              All you need to do is snip some stems that are close to flowering. Then place the stems in a glass or vase and presto, you have a quick flower arrangement to keep or share with friends.

              Also, by snipping the stems and keeping the flower from blooming on the plant you keep the plant young and flavorful while at the same time encouraging bushiness.

              Typically you grow Basil from seed, however I have found that you can also take a cutting from a non blooming stem and in about a week you will have roots.  Just keep refreshing the water for a few weeks and then you can plant the stem with roots and leaves in a potting mix. This produces a larger plant quicker, but you must have a Basil plant already established before you can use this method of propagating.

              These are the two varieties I grow and share.
               
               
               
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              Thursday, August 22, 2013

              Retain Garlic's Cancer Fighting and Antibacterial Properties when Cooking

              
              Garlic has many wonderful medicinal properties. It is known as a cancer fighter, an antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anticlotting.  All of this is possible due to Allicin, which is the active compound in garlic. This wonderful compound is only created when garlic is minced or chopped, causing enzymes to come in contact with each other.
              
              Wait 10 min to retain Garlic's Cancer Fighting Properties
              However, most of these properties of garlic are lost if you prepare the garlic incorrectly. According to an article titled, "Eat on the Wild Side" in the June 2013 Prevention Magazine, the only way to retain these healing properties is to wait 10 minutes from the time you mince the garlic before you cook with it. Otherwise you destroy the enzymes before they have had the chance to create Allicin.

              Normally I mince my garlic and then throw it in a pan of olive oil. The first time I cooked after reading this article I had to do things a bit out of order.  I went ahead and prepared my garlic and left it sitting on the chopping board for 10 minutes while I got all the other items for dinner out. I then started chopping my other veggies, still waiting for 10 minutes to pass. It seemed like it took forever.

              However, for all of the properties of garlic, especially home grown garlic... I think I can wait an additional 10 minutes on it.

              
                   
               
               
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              Wednesday, July 24, 2013

              Eat your Radish Seedpods!

              Have you ever munched on Radish Seedpods? Radish Seedpods are wonderful to eat and great for you. However they aren't found on restaurant menus. Believe it or not these pods when eaten young and fresh are great!  Even those who dislike radishes enjoy these pods I have discoved.
              
              Eatable Radish Pods
              The taste is slightly spicy and the pods have a crunch texture. You want to pick them soon after they form on the plant. These pods are only good before it gets hot outside. After it heats up the pods take on an earthy taste and are fibrous.

              How do you prepare the pods?
              Pick the the pods of the plant within a couple of hours of serving. The fresher the better.  Rinse the radish pods under cold water and set them out on the table to enjoy. They don't need any seasoning, because they are a tad spicy on their own. The larger pods were more spicy than the smaller pods.


              Radish left to flower
              How do you get these pods for yourself?
              Go ahead and grow some radishes, harvest some to eat and grow some to form pods.  One plant will yeild an appetizers worth of pods, although not all pods will be ready at the same time.  So, let a few plants bloom and then go to pod. That way you will have several days of radish seed pod appetizers!  An added bonus of growing the pods is that you will enjoy beautiful flowers two weeks or so before the pods begin to form.

              When to plant:
              You can plant radishes in the spring and fall.  Normal harvest time from seed to radish is about three weeks. Time from seed to pod is going to be closer to two months.  Depending on your zone, you may be able to grow radishes though the winter by using row covers or even a cold frame.

              Hint:
              Don't forget to let some of the pods remain on your favorite plants so you will have seeds for the next growing season.

              Related previous posts:
              Grow Vegetables in your Lawn
              Plant your Tomatoes and Let your Radishes Bolt!

               

              Monday, July 15, 2013

              Sweet Basil Give Away

              This evening Glory Gardening will be giving away pots containing Sweet Basil to Brown Mackie College students.  Be sure to stop by the student lounge and pick some up.  I personally love to put a few leaves on chicken while I am grilling it.  These are great to keep in your kitchen window or outside in part shade. Just pinch off a few leaves and your plant will keep going and going.

              Monday, May 27, 2013

              Indoor Onion Garden in a Glass

              Indoor Onion Garden
              Did you know that you can reuse your Green Onions by growing them again & again? Have you ever heard of re-growing onions in your kitchen window?  

              It is very simple and really quite amazing to watch. You can keep reusing the same green onions over and over again. Just cut off what you need and watch the onion regrow within a few days right before your eyes!

              If you didn’t grow any green onions in your garden this spring, just pick up a pack at the store. This is a great way to keep the ones you buy at the store fresh until you need them.  Your kids will be amazed by the onions that you can see regrow 1/2 an inch to 1 inch overnight!

              Materials Needed:
              Green onion bulb with roots
              Glass or container
              Water
              Sunlight

              Method:
              Place your green onions in a container with just enough water to cover the roots and a few millimeters up the bulb.  When you have a recipe that calls for green onions, or you just want a snack, cut off the amount you desire.  In order to regrow the onion make sure to leave ¾ to 1 inch of the white bulb and roots.

              Tip:
              Change the water and prune your onion garden in a glass every week to keep it fresh and mold away.
              If your container is too deep you can ad some rocks to the bottom. This helps them stand up also.



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              Friday, May 10, 2013

              All Natural Home made Strawberry Water


              Natural Strawberry Water
              I know, choosing to drink water can be difficult at times.  But, if you love strawberries as much as I do, try this recipe out.  You will find yourself looking forward to your next glass! 
              My garden strawberries are just about ready, so I am working on using up my frozen strawberries.  Aldi’s also had fresh strawberries on sale this week for 99¢. Fresh or frozen both work well to make water with.  It only takes a couple of minutes to make a pitcher full and it will disappear before you know it.

              Materials Needed:
              About two handfuls of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
              1 pitcher or 2qt mason jar
              Water
              Anything else you would like to add (I like lime)



              Method:
              Toss your strawberries in the bottom of your pitcher. Mash them up just a bit to release the juices.  I use a meat tenderiser hammer, but even the back side of a spoon would work. Add Ice if desired or anything else (limes, herbs, other fruit) that sounds good. Put a few cubes of ice in, fill container to the top with water and swirl around just a bit.

              I have found that you can refill the jug several times and still have good flavored water.  After three days I toss my fruit and start again.

              Now just sit back and enjoy your water.  This adds a hint of sweetness and strawberry to the water.  I like to add lime to my water. You could also add a bit of sugar if needed, but I think it is great without.

              Hint:
              My water pitcher has a slotted pour spout. This keeps the large chunks of fruit in the pitcher but lets some of the smaller fruit pieces through. 

              I also like to add a strawberry on the rim of my glass to give me the Spa Strawberry Water feel; I also like to munch on while I’m drinking. Normally though, my children get to my strawberry before I do!


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              Wednesday, May 8, 2013

              Plant your Tomatoes and Let your Radishes Bolt!

              Tomato Seedling with first set of true leaves
              The weather has finally changed here in Oklahoma and it now appears to be safe to plant your tomato plants outdoors!  We have had an incredibly long winter with record breaking freezing temperatures into May.  All that looks to have passed and we are clear to plant tomatoes and other heat loving crops now.


              
              Early Scarlet Globe Radish Seeds

              With that being said, I am saying goodbye for now to our radishes we have been sharing and enjoying.  I am letting a few of our favorite varieties “bolt” (meaning – letting them flower and produce seed). The seeds I will harvest from the seed pods and replant in the fall.  The seed pods of the radish plant are also edible, and from what I have just recently learned quite good eaten raw, directly off the plant.  More to come on this, I promise...

              Related Articles:
              Eat Your Radish SeedPods
              Grow Vegetables in your Lawn

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              Monday, January 21, 2013

              Free Plant Seeds

              You can come by free plant seeds a variety of ways.  In fact there are many seeds that you can’t just go to the store and purchase.

              
              Free Pepper Seeds - 2wks after planting 
              Earlier this month I was eager to start my indoor vegetable garden. I jumped in the car and headed over to my local plant store.  Unfortunately, I was about 2 months too early; they don’t have any seeds or their displays out until early February I was told.

              So, what did I do? Remembering that had been successful in growing bell peppers from the seeds that I had harvested from grocery store bought produce, I broke out the sweet peppers I had in the fridge.  Now you must understand that growing seed from a vegetable that was mass grown is a gamble.  Mass produced plants are often hybridized, or have very specific growing conditions, so don’t set your hopes too high.  But many people, including me, have been successful and happy growing fruit and veggies from seeds collected right out of their fridge.

              Sweet Pepper Seeds in Greenhouse
              Some free ways to get seeds:
              Seed swap with friends
              Collect from raw produce you purchase to eat
              Collect from nature walks
              Collect from your own garden
              Leftovers from last year’s seeds


              Don’t forget to use your pop bottles to make your own free greenhouses.  See my article titled “Make your own Greenhouse out of a Pop Bottle” from January 2013.

              Thursday, December 20, 2012

              Windowsill Gardening: Your Indoor Vegetable Garden

              If you have a lighted windowsill somewhere in your home did you know you already have a mini greenhouse just waiting for you to plant some vegetables?  All sorts of plants can easily be grown in your windowsill throughout the winter months.

              I bet you are wondering what exactly you can grow in your mini greenhouse?  
              Herbs In Ceramic Pots
              Patio Tomatoes, Patio Peppers – think small bush varieties
              Herbs (mint, basil, thyme, chives, flat & curly leaf parsley)
              Winter Lettuce
              Dwarf Citrus
              Compact Carrots & Turnips

              One word of caution, you also want to make sure that your mini greenhouse (windowsill) doesn’t get below 50 degrees F at night if you choose to grow easily stunted plants like tomatoes.  If it does you will either need to move your plant in the evening away from the window or be more selective about what you grow. 

              I bet your next question is how much light is enough?
              My kitchen window faces north and doesn’t get much light, so it isn’t a candidate to grow vegetable producing plants (although I do overwinter two of my pond plants there). But, my bathroom window faces south and is filled with lots of sunlight.  Just check the lighting requirements on the seed packets and try to match that with your windows lighting. Salad leaves as well as tomatoes and other plants will provide fresh produce provided your windowsill gets plenty of light. Some herbs such as thyme & parsley are more forgiving and will grow in indirect light – although they may become stringy or elongated.  But hey they are just herbs, so give it a shot if you don’t have much direct light.

              These are two varieties I grow and share.
               

              Related Articles:
              Basil, the Unexpected Flower Arrangement

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