Friday, May 24, 2013
Don't panic, folks, it's really not that hard. I learned pickling very early. Fruits and vegetables were so seasonal in Ukraine, that we had to find every way imaginable to make them last through the rest of the year. It wasn't just a question of enjoyment, but a very serious health item. In the period between November and April, vitamin deficiency became so severe, that many of us, especially kids (myself included) suffered from rickets. So, having some source of vitamins through winter was essential. The good news is - you can use the same pickling solution and the same process for anything. There are tons of instructions on the internet on how to sterilize and vacuum-seal the jars, so I will not bore you with that. Instead, here is the recipe of my pickling solution and some ideas for what you can do with it. Pickling solution (this fills three large 24-oz jars) - 3 cups water - 2-1/5 cups vinegar - 1/4 cup pickling salt Note: this need not be pickling salt specifically, but it MUST be the non-iodized salt. - 1 tablespoon brown sugar Other things to add to each jar (optional) - 2 pepper corns - 1 garlic clove - 1 sprig of fresh dill or a pinch of dry dill - 1 sprig of fresh rosemary or a pinch of dry rosemary - 2 sprigs of parsley or a large pinch of dry parsley - 1 pinch of caraway seeds Things to pickle 1. Cherry tomatoes. 2. Cucumbers (little ones can be pickled whole, and big ones - in slices). 3. Zucchini (same principle as cucumbers). 4. Tomatoes and bell peppers combined. When it's green bell peppers, I call them my "Christmas jars". 5. Cherry tomatoes with coarsely sliced sweet onions. 6. Different color bell peppers with sweet onions.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
There are recipes I find myself giving out over and over again. So, here is a series of things that are fairly easy to make, can be cooked in bulk, and sometimes even given away to friends and family as gifts. I learned how to make this strawberry jam from my Jewish grandmother Larisa (Grandma Lora). The difference between this, and a traditional American preserve is that it is not mush - it has distinct chunks of the fruit in it. I often tweak the recipe, which I did in this case. I cut down the sugar and added a few bits here and there to subtly adjust the flavor. Ingredients - Strawberries - Sugar-in-the-raw (my preference, but you can use regular white sugar as well) - Lemon juice - Citric acid - Herbs by preference and to taste (the last time I made this, I opted for mint and rosemary) Prep 1. Remove the stems and leaves from the strawberries. 2. Chop up the strawberries into chunks and start measuring them into whatever pan you'll be cooking them in (pick a good deep one). 3. Measure off the same amount of sugar as you had strawberries. For example, I had 7 large glasses of chopped strawberries, combined with 7 large glasses of sugar. 4.Cover the pan and leave the strawberries to juice for at least two hours, stirring occasionally, to make sure as much of the sugar is dissolved as possible. 5. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice to the strawberries and sugar per every glass of strawberries. 6. Turn on the heat to just above medium and bring the jam to a boil, stirring frequently. 7. Once it reaches the boiling point, turn the heat down to medium-low, remove the foam from the top and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Note: the foam is delicious on cookies, crackers or ice cream. So save it in a small cup or saucer and make dessert with it to go with your dinner. 8. While the jam is simmering, start washing and sterilizing the jars. Once the jars are ready, set them out onto a clean towel and add herbs to the bottom of each one. 9. Repeat the boil/simmer cycle two more times. 10. Turn off the heat and use a ladle (preferably one that has a little spout on it) to transfer the jam into the jars. Be very careful - it's going to be burning hot. Consider having an assistant to hold the jars for you with an oven mitt. 11. Once the jars are filled, sprinkle citric acid on top, close, and vacuum seal using your preferred method. If you don't have a preferred method, google it - there are tons of instructions out there. 12. Label the jars with content and date and let them sit for at least a couple of weeks before you tear into them. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
After all the stuff I’ve written about organizing your fridge, kitchen cabinets and pantry and about budgeting for groceries, you might be rather startled to see the words “chaos” and “random” in the title. And yet… We all have those days when we just don’t know what to make for dinner. We don’t want leftovers. We don’t want to order out. There is a ton of opened and half-used containers of things in the fridge, but we haven’t a clue what to do with them. It happens to all, myself included. I used to hate those times of culinary indecision, but now I rather relish them. It is a time to just start throwing things together, and what can be more fun than that? Random cooking is a great time to wake up your inner kid and invite him or her into the kitchen. Who but a kid would replace tomatoes with beets just because they are both round and red, or dump oil that is normally reserved for desserts into a salad? Heck, they are both slick and transparent and sort of… well… oily, right? Below are a few “random” recipes I threw together with nary a clue of the final outcome. No eaters were wounded as part of this production. In fact, my husband asked me to make some of this stuff again, so it’s just as well that I have to retrace my steps for my hungry readers. Totally random potato salad Ingredients: • 3 very tired potatoes – the kind you have left in the basket (or wherever you normally store potatoes) that tell you it’s time to just get more potatoes) • ½ of a large onion – used the other half for sautéing here and there. • ½ jar of pickled beets – again, used the beets elsewhere and then forgot I had this jar already open. • 2 tablespoons of sweet pickle cubes – scraped off the bottom of the jar of Mt. Olive pickle cubes. If you don’t know what Mt. Olive is, you haven’t lived. • ¼ of a bag of frozen veggie mix – carrots, beans, broccoli, whatever else was in that bag. It’s colorful, so I use it. • 2 tablespoons of mayo – scraped off the bottom of the mayo jar because I didn’t want to open the new jar just yet. Preparation: • Peel and boil the tired potatoes until you can run a fork through them. If you don’t feel like it, you actually don’t have to peel them – that’s fine. Potato skins are edible. Just cut out the “eyes” and outright potato sprouts, because having potato plants in your salad is just not cool. • While the potatoes are cooking, chop the onion into small pieces and sauté it with frozen veggies. Use olive oil to sauté – that way you can dump the whole thing into the salad, without having to worry about the dressing. I love butter and all, but it can get a bit too… well… buttery, when you sauté veggies on it and then add them to a salad. • Find a nice big bowl to start dumping things into with enough room to mix everything. • Chop the pickled beets and throw them into the bowl. • As soon as the potatoes are ready, douse them with cold water. Keep at it until they are cooled enough to handle without having to make a donation to a local burn unit. • Chop the potatoes coarsely (if you don’t know what that means, you haven’t been reading my column – it’s your own fault, figure it out) and add them to the bowl. • Add sautéed onions and veggies to the bowl. • Add pickle cubes and start mixing. • Add mayo and keep mixing until everything looks nice and uniform. • Put in the fridge for 2-3 hours to chill. • Eat. Alternatives: • If you don’t have potatoes, you can do all the same things but with pasta and make it a pasta salad instead. This entire scheme works best with either spiral pasta or elbow pasta – gives you a nice mouthful. • If you don’t like mayo, you can replace it with some sort of oil and balsamic vinegar. • If you want some protein, ham cubes work fabulously well with this sort of thing. If you don’t have ham cubes, go look wherever you normally keep lunch meat. If it’s not green and/or overly slimy, cut it into small pieces and add it to the mix. If you are not sure about the expiration date, nuke it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Pork – the other (random) white meat Ingredients: • 2 pork chops – in a freezer bag, fished out of the back of the freezer and miraculously not freezer-burned. • A box of Tony Chachere’s chicken rice – easy to find because, yes, my pantry is pretty well organized and I can see those bright green boxes a mile away. • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic – thank goodness for those big garlic jars! • 2 handfuls of canned mushrooms – don’t worry, these are small handfuls because I have very small hands. The mushrooms in question are some random brand I picked up at the Grocery Outlet – the local low-income grocery store. Doesn’t matter – they still taste good. • A bunch of freshly-cut lettuce leaves and spicy Asian greens I grown on my porch. • 6-7 small pickled beets Preparation: • Ok, so I cheated just a little bit when it comes to the random part, and thawed the pork chops earlier in the day, then poured some wine into the bag, once they were fully thawed, resealed the bag and put it back into the fridge (not the freezer). • Start the rice cooking – it takes 25 minutes per box directions, and Tony Chachere doesn’t lie. Set the kitchen timer for 25 minutes – it’s not just for the rice. • While the rice is cooking, chop up the greens, mix them well, put them into small bowls. • Slice the pickled beets and mix them with the greens in their bowls. Add a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. I also add a little bit of walnut oil – spicy Asian greens really are… well… spicy. The gentle sweet taste of walnut oil helps take the edge off them. Note: to those who wonder how the hell I can grow seemingly exotic greens on my porch. Actually, it’s not that hard. Most hardware stores and nurseries now sell these potted salad mixes. All I did was buy one, then separate different greens into different pots. The greens got so happy about having all that space to grow they’ve been leafing like crazy for a month now – and there are more coming. All I do is water them and cut them – we have a fresh leafy salad almost every evening. I need to get more of the regular salad, because the spicy kind is a bit too much for my husband. Otherwise, it’s awesome stuff! • When your kitchen timer says the rice has 12-15 minutes left to go, start heating some olive oil in the frying pan. I added a little bit of smoky sesame oil because we have it and because I could. I had no idea what I was doing, but it couldn’t hurt. • Add garlic to the frying pan, then mushrooms. If you have some sort of herb mix, add that too (Mrs. Dash is a no-miss, ground pepper is good. I added hickory-smoked black pepper). • Toss the pork chops into the frying pan (careful – that sizzling oil likes to splatter). If you were soaking them in wine or a sauce, pour that in too. • In 2 minutes, turn the pork chops over, turn the heat down to medium and cover the pan. • After about 3 more minutes, turn the heat under the pan down to low. • Keep an eye on that timer – as soon as the rice is ready, the pork chops should be ready too. Turn everything off, serve and enjoy! Alternatives: • Tony Chachere’s rice can be replaced with white rice or brown rice or pasta. • Pork can be replaced with steak or chicken. • Beets can be replaced with tomatoes. • Garlic can be replaced with chopped onions. An accidental chow mein Ingredients: • 2 packs of Ramen noodles – see, I didn’t realize we didn’t have spaghetti or any other sort of thin pasta. So, I grabbed these. We bought a case of Ramen noodles back in the winter, when we were stocking up on basic supplies. It turned out to be a lot more noodles we knew what to do with, so I am looking for new ways to use them. • A pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts I forgot I had. • ½ bag of frozen veggie mix – yup, that’s the same one I used for the random potato salad. • ½ cup of sweet and sour stir-fry sauce – ok, so I am a sauce and seasoning junkie. It’s not an accident that we have ten kinds of salt and half a dozen different oils at our house. I like making up my own sauces, but I also like trying out some store-bought ones. I have two stir-fry sauces I bought recently: a sweet and sour one and a classic one. This just seemed like a good opportunity to try out one of them. Preparation: • If you started thawing the chicken earlier in the day – good for you! If not, fill a large pan with luke-warm water and put the chicken package into it. It will take a few tries, but it will thaw fairly quickly. When I don’t know what we are having for dinner, I pull some sort of meat out of the freezer to thaw – I know I’ll figure out what to do with it eventually. • Start heating some olive oil in a deep frying pan. This being a (more or less) Asian dish, peanut oil would be nice, but if you don’t have it – no problem, olive oil works too. If you don’t have a deep frying pan, use a sauce pan. You need the depth, because you’ll be adding more stuff later and will need room to stir things. • Once the oil is sizzling, toss the frozen veggies in and mix – get them as coated in oil as possible. • Start water heating for Ramen noodles. • Slice chicken into skinny pieces and add them to the frying pan. Turn the heat down to medium-high and stir with veggies. • Add the stir-fry sauce, stir really well – so that veggies and especially chicken all have some sauce on it. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let it do its thing. • Cook Ramen noodles as directed. If they just happen to be chicken or pork or Oriental flavor Ramen noodles, by all means, add the flavor packet. But if they are beef or shrimp, don’t – even that little bit is bound to overpower the chicken. • Once the Ramen noodles are ready (should be about 2 minutes), dump them into the pan where chicken and veggies are – broth and all. Stir vigorously. Add more stir-fry sauce if you feel like it. • Crank the heat up to medium and keep stirring uncovered. If some of the noodles get a bit singed in the process – no problem. They are very yummy when crispy. I am not suggesting that you make coal out of them. But a slight bit of singeing is ok. • Turn off, serve and enjoy. Alternatives: • Ramen noodles can be used for tons of stuff. I’ve made fabulous breakfast quiche with them by adding two eggs, ¼ of an onion (chopped), mushrooms, tomatoes and some sharp cheddar on top. • For this particular dish, you can make it a pork chow mein, a shrimp chow mein, a beef chow mein, or a vegetarian chow mein. Other random things • Pasta, rice and potatoes are universal meal foundations. If you have one of these, you can build on it. The added benefit is that they can all be cooked in a multitude of ways (yes, you can fry pasta after boiling it) and eaten cold. • Unless it’s green and looks like it’s about to start walking, lunch meat can be microwaved, baked, and fried to be added to mini-pizzas, omelets, salads and savory crepes. • Stale bread dipped in egg and toasted on a frying pan makes fabulous French toast. If you can dig up that forgotten bottle of maple syrup and nuke the syrup for 30 seconds, you are golden. If you have no maple syrup, but think you might be able to locate a can of strawberry or cherry pie filling – that works great too. • If you have chicken fingers, but no dip, mix regular mustard, vinegar and brown sugar – keep adding and mixing them together and tasting the mix, until it tastes right. • Fried Spam, sausage, turkey or ham on top of pasta, mixed with barbecue sauce is too awesome for words. No, it’s not good for you. Yes, it’s still worth trying, especially when you are hungry and can’t find anything else. • You don’t have to be a professional chef to make a respectable pasta sauce. All it takes is a can of diced tomatoes, sautéed chopped onions or garlic (or both – they actually do go together), and some cheese (cubed, sliced, shredded in a packet or shredded in a plastic can – doesn’t matter). Heat it all together stirring constantly and dump it on top of pasta. Add more cheese on top, and no one will complain. If you want to be really fancy, cook up some ground beef with those onions (or garlic or both), then add the diced tomatoes, some black pepper and cheese. MMMMM! • Fresh greens are ridiculously easy to grow. If you prefer the milder kind, go for regular salad with big green or red leaves. If you like things spicy, get a mix of regular salad with spicy Asian greens. Cut a handful of leaves before dinner, rinse them, chop them, top them with a little bit of oil and balsamic vinegar – and you’ve got a salad. You can add whatever you want – croutons, shrimp, chicken, bacon, ham, tomatoes, cucumbers, even strawberries.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Do not be afraid of color. It is not that I encourage you to swath yourself in key lime or magenta. However, even if you are a hard-core all-black wardrobe sort of person, color can be your friend. Remember, Johnny Cash practically invented the monochromatic black - and even he didn't wear it all the time. Color is a great tool for experimenting and expressing yourself. It also works in reverse - if your mood doesn't match what you want it to be, you can wear a color that you know peps you up to at least somewhat change your outlook. Color can be used in various doses and for various purposes - from subtle accents to full-on eye catchers. After spending most of my childhood in a brown school uniform, and some more time in the standard office white blouse/black skirt uniform, I finally started embracing color sometime around my mid-20s. I can't say that all of my experiments were successful, but I have definitely learned a lot. Slowly but surely, I came up with my own suite of colors. Most of my best hues are jewel tones - deep purples and blues. I also wear a lot of red and turquoise. I do love yellow and orange, but I have to be careful with them. I can only wear them in the summer, when I have some tan. In the winter, I get so pale that I look jaundiced in yellow. After being misguided, as so many other people, that "black goes with everything", I finally realized that black takes all the life out of the more subtle colors, and started combining colors with brown and gray instead. My favorite combinations are red and gray, any shade of blue and chocolate brown, as well as dark purple with bright red accents. I also taught myself to add a "pop" of color to neutral monochromatic outfits. For instance, I might brighten up a very basic black t-shirt and jeans combination with a pair of bright orange shoes, wear a classic gray dress with a red bag, or a business suit with a deep purple laptop tote. While many books on fashion and style provide color palettes that correspond to people's coloring - skin tone, eye color and hair color - they are not very reliable. Finding colors that suit you is a process. You pick a bunch, stand in front of the mirror in good daylight and hold them up to your face. What effect does each color have on how you look? Does it make your eyes sparkle? Does it brighten up your skin? Or do you look like you are getting ready to go to a Halloween party as a ghost or a drowning victim? Set aside the colors that make you look and feel the best, and see how you can work them in with your neutrals. As our skin and hair changes with age, so do the colors that suit us. Remember that, and do an occasional color check over time. Embrace the rainbow and happy coloring!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
While some areas are still shoveling away the last few bits of snow and bundling up against cold wind and rain, the general consensus in the northern hemisphere is that spring is here. And that means – spring planting. I know some of you will balk at the notion, “But I live in a really small apartment, I have no room for gardening.” Fear not – while you might not be able to start a full-fledged vegetable farm, some things for your table can be grown even in an apartment. Pocket-size Take a long hard look around your kitchen. How cluttered are your counters? Do you have a window? Do you have a window near a counter? Or does your window have a window sill? If all you see is an expanse of boxes, utensils, cereal bags and bottles, it is time to organize the mother of all kitchen cleanings. Do not undertake this alone – involve your friends, family members, children, whoever else you can find. The goal is to put the things you need out of sight, but where you can still find and reach them easily, get rid of things you don’t need and clear off a well-lit section of your kitchen counter – enough for a 12” x 24” box or 2-3 medium-size planters. Then get thee to your local plant nursery for some good potting soil and seedlings. Unless you are very good at growing things from seeds, I would recommend getting the actual plants, instead of seed packets. First of all, with seed packets, you will almost inevitably end up with too many seedlings, which will need to be thinned out and replanted to give them more space. Second, rearing a plant from a seed requires more effort and care. When your space is that limited, versatility is key. So, as you pick out things for your countertop garden, focus on plants that can be used in a variety of dishes. Rosemary is at the top of my herb list. It goes with everything: red meat, white meat, fish, cream sauces, tomato sauces, pasta, salads, and even desserts. Its leaves can be used fresh, dried, crushed, raw or sautéed with a bit of olive oil and garlic. Mixed into sour cream with a bit of onion salt it makes a wonderful easy dip. The same rosemary with sour cream plus espresso sugar or regular confectioner’s sugar and cocoa is fabulous with strawberries. Parsley is a lovely little herb. Not only is it great on salads, cold summer soups, and fish, it is also known for its ability to “wake up” other flavors. If you have some dried herbs that taste and smell a bit flat, mix them with a bit of dried parsley, and they will come back to life. My two favorite ways to use parsley are to pull each sprig into individual leaves and sprinkle into a plate of summer borshch or on top of some boiled potatoes – with a bit of sautéed onions and melted butter. If you only have enough room to plant three things, I would suggest completing your selection with chives, mint or lettuce. They each have their pros and cons, so it really depends on your personal preference. Mint is as versatile as rosemary and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. It also has healing properties and makes a wonderful refreshing tea for settling sore tummies. The same tea is fantastic chilled on a hot summer day with a touch of sugar and lemon. Chives are for people who like onion flavor and smell, but not the onion itself. It is mostly for savory dishes and is particularly good to liven up the flavor of white meat and fish. Quite a few nurseries and hardware stores are starting to offer small lettuce selections in medium-size pots. It’s a great idea for folks who want to eat fresh greens but have no place to grow them. The only problem is duration – at best, a container lettuce garden will last a couple of months. If this option appeals to you, consider “staggering” them – get one in March, then another one in April, then another one in May. Watch your little lettuce garden carefully and do not let any of the mature leaves to wilt. Balcony scene If you live in an apartment with a balcony or a patio, or in a small house with a bit of porch, your gardening possibilities expand dramatically, especially if you have some southern exposure and don’t have to limit yourself to just the shade-loving plants. To maximize space, consider the plant racks with 2-3 tiers or plant boxes of different heights. Start with the same basics we have discussed in the previous section: rosemary, parsley, chives, mint, and lettuce. If there is space left, add basil, container strawberries and cherry tomatoes. If your space allows you to put a big hook into the ceiling and suspend an upside-down tomato, that’s even better. So, now not only can you make delicious sour cream and herb dips and frostings – but you have something to dip into them as well. Cherry tomatoes with your own fresh lettuce, with a bit of olive oil, rosemary and balsamic vinegar – mmmmmm! There is an added benefit to rosemary, basil and chives – they are all natural mosquito repellents. So, not only will you have fresh herbs, but you’ll be able to spend more time outside with a book and a glass of iced tea. As you arrange your plants, please pay attention to how sunlight falls and also where your planters end up with respect to the gutters. A clogged overflowing gutter can drown your delicate seedlings and break them in half. So, clean your gutters regularly and don’t put the planters right under them. It is not that there is no merit to using rainwater – of course there is. It’s free, it falls from the sky, it’s already there. So, if you have room, get a rain barrel, detach the bottom portion of your rain spout and have your rain water fall in where you can store it. That way, when you hit a dry spell, you’ll have a stash of water right there on your patio, next to your plants. Rain barrels come in all shapes and sizes. There are some really fancy ones with a swift-disconnect faucet, a filter, an automatic overflow switch and a place to grow some flowers on top. And then there are some that are no more than just big plastic bins. Some folks make their own by retrofitting old casks and trash bins. Whatever you choose to do, storing and using rainwater is a good sustainable practice for your garden. The sky is the limit… That is, if you have a scrap of land to work with – even if it’s a small one. You can use the same practices as with your counter or porch garden, but with greater flexibility. In areas with poor soil, use your best judgment and put the more vulnerable plants into containers and the heartier ones – into the soil. That said, you can boost your soil quality by making your own compost and gradually fertilizing it. As with rain barrels, many places now sell compost bins, or you can make your own. You have to be able to open and close it easily as well as mix the content either by rolling/turning the bin or by digging in with a shovel. It’s a great way to get rid of kitchen scraps, certain kinds of paper (cardboard and newspaper, torn into small pieces, are eminently biodegradable), wine bottle corks, cat litter (if you use the kind made of pine and recycled newspaper). Yes, it is going to smell and look kind of yucky, but it is another good environmentally-friendly sustainability exercise, and your plants will thank you, when you boost them with a couple of shovel of nice fresh organic compost. When planting berries, read the labels carefully, or consult with people working at the plant nursery. Some of them (blueberries for example) need partners from a different sub-species to cross-pollinate. Mind the distance – plant them for the size they will be, not the size they are now. The nice part about having some room to work with is that you can now have a combination of plants that are edible and plants that are pretty. …Or both! Mint, rosemary and lavender are all edible and all produce lovely blooms. Planted into the soil and with a bit of compost, they’ll spread like weeds (I have a friend, whose rosemary plant qualifies as a tree at this point), and create a beautiful fragrant flower display every year. Plant roses! Delicate and lady-like, roses are nevertheless some of the toughest plants out there. If you live in the mountains, as I do, climbing roses are fantastic for covering up the unsightly beams and supports that are so typical for slope-constructed houses and for strengthening the soil with their strong far-reaching roots. “But won’t that attract bees?” you might ask? Yes, it will. But, first of all, it will attract butterflies as well, and both bees and butterflies are essential for pollination. Second, if the bees are busy hovering over your lavender blossoms and your rose bushes, it means they are not busy hovering over your head and making you nervous about their stings. Remember, the bigger is your garden, the more it turns into a habitat, an eco system. …Which means, it will become populated with living creatures. Read up on how to attract the right birds, animals and insects to keep your garden healthy. Not all of your wildlife will be cute-looking or pretty. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t belong. Put up a bat house on the side of your home with some fruit bait – and you’ll have someone to eat bugs and mosquitos. Same goes for frogs, if you have a small creek nearby. They are not pretty – but they are awesome bug hunters. Put up bird baths and bird feeders. Plant things that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Mind you, I do not advocate making your yard look like a chintzy garden décor store – not at all. It’s all about giving the existing species a little nudge to hang out around your garden and help you make things grow. The last but not the least, having your own natural habitat is also a fantastic way to teach children in your life about nature and about growing things. Kids should not grow up thinking that bread grows on grocery store shelves and tomatoes magically spring up in the produce department. It is a great exercise in discipline and responsibility. When I was little, I used to love it when I was entrusted with some sort of growing thing to look after – be it a house plant or a small strawberry patch. Are your kids asking for a puppy or a kitten? Give the a plant to take care of first, “Prove to me that you can take care of a living thing on a regular basis and keep it alive and healthy. Then we can talk about the next step, like an animal.” Before dinner, hand your kids kitchen shears and send them off to pick some rosemary or some basil. Teach them to dry, crush or chop the herbs and veggies. Every meal will become that much more enjoyable, because they’ll know they’ve contributed to it. Happy gardening and cooking , everyone!