Gardener's Grapevine 2012.11.21

Written by David Green.

This week, as we celebrate all we are thankful for and prepare a bountiful feast for our special day with family and friends, think about your food a little deeper. Most food is not too exciting without a little help. Spices are God’s way of zipping up our food. As the chef Emeril says, “Put a little BAM into the dish.”

I grow herbs in the summer, harvest them in the early fall, dry them, and store them until needed. Would a turkey taste the same without poultry spice? Would apple pie taste remotely the same without the spices?

My daughter, mother-in-law and I will be cooking our Thanksgiving dinner this year and it is a lot of fun to see what everyone’s favorites are. This has been the year of invitations for this special day and its hard to tell such good friends no, but how many meals can you eat in one day? We truly feel blessed with so many great friends and family. I enjoy hearing about their favorite foods and how they prepare them.

In the winter it is such a treat to have fresh herbs to cook with, and they are very costly if you purchase them in the grocery store. As I was looking through a copy of Mary Janes Farm, an absolutely great magazine, I came across an idea for an inside herb garden. They took an old wide wooden plank about an inch thick and drilled large holes in it about four to six inches apart. This was nailed or screwed to brackets attached to the sides of a window. The shelf needs to be tight to the window, as the herbs cannot take the cold coming off the window. Next they put ceramic pots planted with herbs in the holes. I plan to do this across the big kitchen window and hopefully enjoy fresh herbs on our food all winter long.

Dried herbs are fine and you can increase the amount of dried herbs to intensify their flavor, but nothing makes for a great meal like fresh herbs. My favorite Sunday go-to is fresh rosemary sprigs on a whole chicken baked in the oven with carrots and potatoes. The rosemary infuses its flavor into all the meat and vegetables very subtly. And homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream for desert.

Whatever rocks your taste buds, fresh is always best. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, make it flavorful.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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