Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

Related to good cooking is the availability of good garden vegetables.  So, just as cooking can be a family affair, consider adding gardening to the family affair effort.  The use those great home grown vegetables in your cooking.

Gardening can be a great hobby for people. But more than that, it can be a wonderful way for you to spend quality time with your entire family. It can be an enjoyable activity, and you can even grow your own food, which feeds all of you. Here are some things you can do so that gardening is a family activity that you all can enjoy.

1. Keep things easy. This is especially true if you know a lot about gardening. You might know a lot about soil pH and growing times, but in order to get the whole family onboard, try to keep things simple and easy to understand. You want everyone to enjoy it, after all, not sit through a class.

2. Get special tools for the kids. By getting tools that are kid-sized, your kids will be able to handle the tools by themselves. That frees you up to do work yourself, but more than that, it makes gardening more manageable for little hands.

3. Involve everyone in the decision making process. Let your children help you choose what your garden will contain and look like. You can guide them toward easy growers like sunflowers and peas, but give them a voice and let them give their opinions about what they would like to see in your family garden.

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4. Give your kids special jobs. This gives them the opportunity to feel important about what is going on. This also allows them to have a feeling of ownership and real excitement about what is about to happen. They can become an expert at every part of gardening this way—rotate their jobs every week or two so that they don’t get bored and so they can get used to all aspects of gardening and enjoy them.

5. Talk to others about your garden. When you talk to relatives and friends, take the time to show real excitement and appreciation for what everyone has done. Make special notice of your children so that they can feel proud about the garden. Talking about your garden can be an exciting way to stay motivated.

6. Give your kids their own plot. Give them an ample opportunity to work on their own land, as it were. Let them do the work that is needed and let them know that it is “theirs.”

7. Do some work when the kids are at school or away from home. Don’t be afraid to help your kids with their jobs and their little plots of land. Gardening can be rough, and if you are there to clean up a bit for them and help their plants along, you will help to instill a feeling of confidence and accomplishment into their minds about their ability to get out there and garden.

If you use the tips in this article, not only will gardening be something fun for you but it can be something fun and useful for the entire family. By getting the entire family into gardening, you can build a vegetable garden, flower garden or anything else you set your minds to.


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Learning to Enjoy Cooking With Radishes

You might be amused to note that the homely radish, which in many circles is considered merely decorative, is actually quite tasty and can be a great ingredient in its own right! The first thing you need to think about when you are looking to integrate radishes into your regular diet is that there are many different types. When you go to the supermarket, you’ll definitely find the usual favorite, the Cherry Bell, which has a red skin, a white interior and a bite of a bite. You might also find Champions, which are colored similarly, but have a milder flavor, or the Plum Purple, which stays crisp longer and makes a great sandwich radish.

The first thing that might cross your mind is to eat the radish raw, which is certainly a great idea. While some people can simply chomp on a spicy radish easily, other people prefer to use them as an accompaniment to their salads or sandwich. If you get a mild breed of radish, it goes quite well with a spread of unsalted butter on slightly spiced bread, while if you want more in your sandwich than just the crisp taste, you can add a slice of mozzarella or cheddar.

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Due to their frequently small size, you will find that radishes tend to make better garnishes and side dishes than they do full dishes, but you’ll find there’s no end to the places that you can add them. If want a little bit of zest and texture to your soup, sprinkle a few slices over clam chowder or a California Melody soup. Similarly, due to their high water content and crunch, you can add some chopped radishes to your stir-fry. If you are looking for a way to add radishes to a main course, brush radishes that have been cut in half in olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes; then use them to bring some color and spice to your chicken or roast beef.

Don’t overlook the international section of your grocery store either! With a little bit of looking, you’ll probably be able to find the large white tubers know as daikons, though they might also be labeled as Japanese radishes. These radishes tend to be a great deal milder than European or North American radishes, but they are certainly no less tasty. One Southeast Asian dish calls for daikon and carrots to be grated together and then mixed with shredded chicken, before the whole salad is tossed using a white vinegar and sugar dressing. Similarly, you can choose to pickle whole slices of daikon as well, using a solution of your favorite type of vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. The longer you wait before eating, the stronger the daikon will taste, but even after eight hours, you’ll have a tasty treat.

As you can see, cooking with radishes can be something of an international experience. Grab a bunch of radishes the next time that you’re out and see what kind of use you can put these root vegetables to!