Friday, May 31, 2013

Here's How To... Pick Morel Mushrooms

Kenny Salwey describes morel picking and trout fishing as his two favorite activities of early spring in Wisconsin's hill country along the Upper Mississippi where "cricks flow through narrow valleys shaped by the feet of wooded hills, so trout-rich waters and morel-laden forests are not far apart. In a day of fishin' and pickin', my attention alternates between the underwater lairs of trout in the valley's crick and the morel mushrooms found in the nearby hills."

Morel season is a short three to four weeks, according to Salwey, and the supply depends on weather conditions and the number of dead or damaged American elm trees in the area.

"The best place to locate a morel is in the vicinty of an elm tree stricken with Dutch elm disease. I say 'vicinity' because I have found morels fifty yards or more from their parent tree. Spores are what cause morels to grow; they come from the tree's bark. At times, these spores ride the tail of the wind for quite a distance before choosing a place to land."

Follow the link to... Pick Morel Mushrooms

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Guidebooks and How-to Titles
Tales of a River Rat: Adventures Along the Wild Mississippi
Artwork: A Morel Mushroom On A Nebraska Forest 


Here's How To... Keep Your Fish

Another way to keep fish for long periods of time is by drying or smoking the meat. "Food smoking is a human invention. No other species on the planet incorporates any similar activity into its food gathering, preparation, and strategy for survival," writes John Manikowski in Fish Grilled and Smoked.

Smoking preserves fish by reducing moisture content, thereby retarding the growth of bacteria.  But there are still heat-resistant microorganisms that survive the smoking process, like Clostridium botulinum,  capable of causing food poisoning. To stay safe, refrigerate smoked fish.

The smoking process consists of five basic steps -- cleaning the fish, brining the fish, drying the fish, building the smoker, and smoking the fish.

Follow the link to... Keep Your Fish

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Guidebooks and How-to Titles
Photo: Stovetop Smoker


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Recipe File: Café Florentine

from Hot Drinks: Cider, Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate, Spiced Punch, and Spirits by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss
Inspired by the flavors of orange and almond in a traditional Florentine cookie, this sophisticated coffee drink combines Grand Marnier and amaretto for a delicious match. 
A cup of Café Florentine is divinely accented by a piece of dark bittersweet chocolate or chocolate-dipped Florentine cookies on the side.
Recipe: Café Florentine
Chocolate
Coffee
Recipe Archive
Artwork: Three Coffee Cups

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Home Grown: Sun Protection for Tomato Skins

The sun's rays are tough on our faces and arms, but we can wear sunscreen to reduce the damage to our skin. Tomatoes don't have that option. Exposed to bright sun, the fruit can heat up dramatically, reaching temperatures as much as 18 degrees warmer than the surrounding air.

Sunscald damage to your tomatoes depends on their stage of maturity, and the intensity and duration of the heat. The fruit is most susceptible when it is green or when the first pink color begins to show (called the breaker state).

Continued at... Sun Protection for Tomato Skins

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Tomatoes and Tomato Seeds
Seed, Plant, and Nursery Catalogs
The Many Varieties of Tomato


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Home Grown: Keeping Out the Kudzu Bugs


Adult kudzu bugs will emerge in the spring, lay eggs on sprouting kudzu and begin building large populations. In addition to dining on kudzu, the insect also feeds on soybeans and other legumes, including beans in home gardens.

Researchers have been searching for ways to control the insect, recently introduced from Asia. Until a control is found, the following tips are offered to homeowners who want to keep the pest at bay:

Continued at... Keeping Out the Kudzu Bugs

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
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Kudzu Bugs