Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Selection: Choose herbs that look fresh and clean with no discoloration or damage. The goal is to protect the natural oils that are responsible for giving herbs their flavors and aromas. Anything that prematurely crushes the herb leaves is going to reduce the oils. Storage: Wash the herbs in cool (not cold) water right before … Read more

Basil Basics

If you haven’t started to grow basil in your garden or on your deck, what are you waiting for? Basil is an easy plant to grow, with its only major requirements being full sun and consistent water. Its delicious flavor will make it the most useful herb in your summer kitchen. Some Basics: Plant in … Read more

Cilantro: My Love / Hate Relationship

Well, okay—hate is a very strong word, so maybe love/dislike would be more appropriate. But think about it—most people either love cilantro or they don’t; there’s no grey area with this versatile herb. My mission here is to enlighten you on this wonderful herb—cilantro is the leaf, coriander is the seed. Cilantro does well in … Read more

You Say Tomato…

Here’s some trivia for you: in 1893 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the tomato a vegetable. (Obviously not a lot on the docket that year.) The question became a matter for the courts because of different trade regulations governing fruits and vegetables. Hopefully your garden is overflowing with a variety of tomatoes. Remember to store … Read more

Oh Peppers: You Sweet, Spicy, and Pungent Things!

Did you know when cooking bell peppers you can use any color, but purple bells turn khaki when heated, so cooking them hardly justifies the premium you pay for the color? I made that mistake once. A short pepper crop took me to the Farmer’s Market where the green bells were abundant and so reasonably … Read more

Tasty Idea: Edible Landscaping

Yes, your gardens can be BOTH pretty and productive, and often times the sunniest spots in our yards are the front yards. So why not mix and mingle some plants into your landscape that are functional/edible? Here are some ideas… Herbs plants are not only easy to grow and fragrant, but they blend beautifully into … Read more

An Herb That Needs No Introduction: Rosemary

If you know your way around the kitchen, rosemary needs no introduction. An evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean, you may already have a “love/hate” relationship with this culinary herb. In my experience, people that dislike (e.g. hate) rosemary have had it in dishes where the cook or chef had a heavy hand and perhaps … Read more

There’s More To Pumpkin Than Meets The Spice!

Yes, fellow fall lovers—there’s much more to pumpkin than those overplayed pumpkin drinks! Try cutting and steaming a fresh pie pumpkin for a change of pace (jack o’ lantern pumpkins are bred to be thinner, so are not used for cooking) … and, if gutting a pumpkin on a fall afternoon is not your thing, … Read more

The Ketchup ‘n’ Fries plant

You say tomato. I say potato. We’re both right. And they’re both a part of the same plant. That’s right—the top portion of the Ketchup ‘n’ Fries plant, at Uncle John’s Plant Farm, was grafted to grow as many as 500 cherry tomatoes over the summer, while, beneath the soil, it can produce more than … Read more