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Posts Tagged: San Bernardino County

UCCE San Bernardino County Master Gardener Spotlight: Vikki Gerdes - A Master Gardener Dedicated to Water Wise Gardening

Vikki's Water-Wise Moonlight Garden

I recently spent a delightful morning with UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) San Bernardino County Master Gardener Vikki Gerdes, chatting in her light-filled kitchen over coffee and cookies about why she loves gardening and the UCCE Master Gardener...

Spotlight on UCCE Master Gardener of San Bernardino County Loleta Cruse

Loleta Cruse head shot

When Loleta first learned she had been chosen for the Monthly Master Gardener Spotlight for March, she said she didn't think there would be much of interest about her to put in the article. I soon came to the realization that this was Loleta's humility...

Posted on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 1:34 PM
  • Author: Debbie Ledoux

Email a trained University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer for Help With Your Plant Problems

Unlock the Door to One of the Best Kept Secrets in Southern California!

Did you know that University of California Cooperative Extension has trained Master Gardener volunteers ready to answer your home gardening and landscaping questions throughout the greater Los Angeles area?

Email the Master Gardener helpline in the county in which you reside for the most accurate information since climates and conditions vary across the southland:

Los Angeles County: Email:

San Bernardino County: Email:

Riverside County: Email:

Orange County: Email:

Visit for links to other Master Gardener helplines in over 50 California counties!

audrey henry mg
audrey henry mg

Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 5:21 PM

Refrigerator Avocado Pickles--just a little bit of different for your fridge

 Vinegar jug courtesy   Avocado courtesy

I get e-mail newsletters and the following recipe was an interesting recipe for a quick refrigerator pickle. I had never heard of pickled avocados before. The link to Avocado Pickles is here and I have added the recipe below.

In this article, "A Trick for Transforming Unripe Avocados in Just Two Hours" at, they talk about the difference between hard avocados pickled for days versus the same pickled for about 2 hours. The days-pickled ones were vinegary, while the 2 hour pickles not only softened but still tasted like avocados. I think tasting like avocados is important!

Probably I would try it if I had a tree, or was desperate for an avocado and could not find a ripe one. In any case, I think these would be a nice change of pace on sandwiches or in burritos, or on baked potatoes . . . Maybe you could whiz 'em up with a little mayonnaise for a good spread for bread or to use as a sauce--like eggs benedict with pickled avocado sauce!


Avocado Pickles--Serves 2 to 6 (recipe from

1 cup distilled white vinegar or rice wine vinegar

1 cup water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 firm avocados

Optional flavoring ingredients:


Mustard seeds

Coriander seeds

Caraway seeds

Fresh herbs

Place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and any additional flavoring ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, prepare the avocados. Peel and pit the avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide slices or cubes. Place them in 2 (18-ounce or larger) canning jars. Pour the cooled brining liquid into the jars, completely covering the avocado pieces, and seal the jars. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes:

Storage: Store pickled avocados in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 1:48 PM

Grow Your Own Seasoning and Use It

I was cruising the Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) blogs and found this nice article about growing saffron crocuses in your yard: Grow Your Own Saffron! Such a pretty flower with delightfully tasty seasoning included!It is a little late to plant these little beauties around here, but you could put an order in for some corms and plant them when shipped to you, which is usually in the fall.

How about a recipe to use some home canned broth and home grown saffron?

Quite a while back I bought one of those little boxes of Sahara Brand Rice Pilaf. We all liked it but it was expensive. My sister and I got together to try to concoct our own version. The following is what we came up with and we like it much better than the boxed stuff. It is now one of our family's favorite recipes it is as follows.

A few tips for this recipe: make sure to toast the rice, then the pasta, almonds and you will get a great flavor and texture to your pilaf. Have you made any home canned chicken broth? It will serve you well in this recipe.

You can make this without the saffron, but the spice adds a very nice, rather exotic aroma and a wonderful color to the dish. Try to find some real Spanish saffron and use it--you won't be sorry.


Rice and Orzo Pilaf with Saffron--Use some Home-Canned Broth here!

Established Clump of Crocus by Howard Wu

Recipe may be doubled if you wish.

1 cup chicken broth, home canned if possible

1-1/4 cups warm water

10 strands or so of Saffron (a small pinch; be careful, too much or it may be bitter)

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup rice

1/4 cup orzo or broken vermicelli (if using vermicelli, break it into little pieces into the measuring cup)

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/2 cup finely diced onion

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for adjusting seasoning when pilaf is finished

Mix the broth and warm water then sprinkle the saffron over the top. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Pour in rice, stirring constantly to avoid burning until it loses its translucency and all the rice is opaque, much more white and some of the grains are beginning to get browned.

Add the orzo/vermicelli and almonds and continue to stir constantly until the pasta browns; this should happen pretty quickly.

Place the onion and salt in the pot and stir until the onion is translucent and soft.

Add the broth, water and saffron and give everything a quick stir. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Test for doneness of the rice; it should be firm, but not chalky or hard; if it is, add tablespoon or so of water and cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes. Taste for final seasoning then add salt if needed, stir lightly but thoroughly to fluff and serve.



Posted on Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 3:37 PM

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