Gardener's Grapevine 2013.02.06

Written by David Green.

Super Bowl Sunday. Oh, goody, where’s the television? That was sarcasm if you don’t know me. I finally understand football after many years of avoiding it, however, unless my good friends’ son Zack is playing I just don’t put it at the top of my gotta do or see list. My husband, however, has been cooking all afternoon to get ready for the game and it’s just us going to be here. I won’t have to cook all week, that’s something I can get excited over.

I’m not much of a cook and that’s putting it very lightly. I’d rather push mow the entire lawn on a hot day than cook one meal. Art, however, is an excellent cook and loves it—you go, big guy. As we wandered around the store gathering the items he needed, I looked over the selection of produce displayed. Produce at this time of year is grossly overpriced for the quality and you have to search  for the best offerings. It makes one salivate thinking of the beautiful fruit and vegetables that come from our own well-planned gardens and fruit trees.

One of the items on his list was crushed tomatoes. Really? When we have jar after jar of canned red goodness, no way is that going in our cart. Next item, please. 

After looking at the price of cilantro and coriander I am so glad we harvest our own. Coriander is the seed that forms on the cilantro plant. First, you harvest the plant, dry it, strip the leaves, crush them and place it in a  jar. I like to store it in the freezer, but once it’s dried it can go on the shelf just as well.

Coriander forms on the plant later in its life cycle. It is the seed of the plant, and it starts out green. As it dries it turns a light brown color. I harvest it, which takes some work unless you cut the entire plant and put it on a drying mat in the food dehydrator for 12 hours to make sure it’s good and dry. Your home will smell like cilantro, so if you don’t like the smell, do it in the garage. I love the smell. It smells so fresh and green to me. After the dehydrator, you can store it whole or grind it. I store it the same way as the cilantro, in a glass jar in the freezer. I use the freezer because it seems to seal in the flavor and glass does not pull the flavor out like plastic does.

If I buy herbs and spices I try to avoid plastic containers as they tend to rob the flavor from the spice or herb. Why spend cold hard earned money on something that’s only partially there? I use the same process above for my pesto, also. If I’m pressed for time and the basil needs harvesting I will cut it and dehydrate it and make the pesto up later or as needed. I love fresh basil pesto any time of the year thrown over hot pasta with some chicken tossed in or maybe shrimp. Now that’s fresh. Hope your team won.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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