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Gifts From The Kitchen--Don't Miss It!

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Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 7:27 PM

'Janet’s Jottings' by Janet Hartin, MG Program Manager, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties

Flower boxes adorn a Dublin pub, photo by Janet Hartin

European Flower Boxes Provide Beauty and a Welcoming Ambiance. Many European countries pride themselves on colorful displays of geraniums, ivy, and other flowers adorning window planters of hotels, restaurants, and even train stations.  I had...

Posted on Friday, August 30, 2019 at 11:22 AM
  • Author: Janet Hartin
Tags: Container Gardening (1), Dublin (1), Flower Boxes (1), How-to (1), Ireland (1), Planters (1)
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

Have an Over Producing Olive Tree or Know of One?

Photo by Stacey Franco on Unsplash
Olives: Safe Methods for Home Pickling
Are any of these growing near you? Thank you

How to tell if there is an olive tree in your neighborhood:  In the fall and winter you may have noticed purple stains on nearby cars, walks and/or streets. These have been deposited by birds that have taken great relish in feasting on ripe olives and wish to share the wealth (well, sorta). If you noticed this, drive around and look for the tree(s).

These olive trees can be harvested to make your own cured ripe or green olives. Are the olives dropping on someone's property or street? Ask the property owner if you can pick--lots of times they will be happy to let you take some fruit. To sweeten the pot, tell them you will rake and dispose of the drops or will try to drop off some finished olives.

Once you have procured some olives, the processing is not hard, but it does take some moderate labor and attention.

First download  Olives: Safe Methods for Home Pickling  Download it and read it thoroughly.

Pick the type of recipe for curing the olives you wish to make: green, half-ripe, fully ripe; water cured, Kalamata-style, Mediterranean-style cracked, brine-cured, Greek-style brine cured, Sicilian-style, dry salt cured, lye-cured, dark-style ripe olives, lye-cured fermented (like Spanish-style green). Yes there are a lot of different types of olives in this publication as well as out there.

Choose your preservation method--storing in brine, freezing, drying (sun drying, dehydrator drying).

Read all of the information about how you wish to make and preserve your olives again!

Get your equipment and ingredients together--Olives: Safe Methods for Home Pickling will tell you what you need.

Make your olives--and let me know how they came out! 


Posted on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 6:00 AM

California Poppies by Cathi Bibeau

California Poppies, photos by Cathi Bibeau

I am a third-generation California-born gal. I've grown different plants, but I could never grow California poppies. My state flower, my favorite flower - I tried and tried and always got zippo, nada, nyet, nuttin'. So I gave it up. Two years ago I went...

Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 9:50 AM
  • Author: Catherine Bibeau
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

A Quick Post--A favorite cooking site

I just love this site:

Do you like Chinese or Asian food? Tried to make stuff at home that just didn't have that flavor you remembered? A couple of years ago, I discovered  The Woks Of Life and joined their e-mail list. This family specializes in Chinese food and the recipes that I have tried are great.

Recipes come in many varieties like home-style, restaurant-style, easy, more complex, simple. It is a treasure trove of information about Chinese and Asian food that you might want to check out if you wish to cook Chinese or visit your local (or not so local) Chinese market.

Try these links for their fun and informative compendiums of information on cooking methods and "how to" info, Chinese cooking tools, Chinese ingredient glossary (especially nice!), Cooking Methods Used in Chinese Cuisine, and Navigating a Chinese Grocery Store (essential for recreational shopping! )

Thank you to
There are instructions on how to use chopsticks and an informative, humorous article about cultural/etiquette concerns in "How to Eat With A Bunch of Chinese People".

The most current recipe I have tried from Woks of Life was Easy Curry Beef Bowls. It was tasty and easy; a nice way to use ground beef differently.

Take a look at The Woks Of Life. I highly recommend it.


Posted on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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