Now that we are starting to harvest our broccoli heads, I thought it might be time to post a few thoughts on this popular veggie.
- Broccoli is one of the most popular members of the cole family of vegetables. Cabbage, Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, collards, kale and kohlrabi are also members of this family.
- Broccoli as well as the other family members contain bioflavonoids that help reduce the risk of cancer of the colon, breast, cervix, lung, prostate, esophagus, larynx and bladder. The one that seems to be one of the best in cancer prevention is broccoli.
- Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins, iron, potassium, folate, calcium, iron and other minerals.
- It takes from 60 to 80 days for broccoli plants to mature from transplants.
- Harvest the main head while it is still compact and the stalks tender and firm. Cut about 3 inches of the stalk off with the head. The compact heads should be a dark or purplish-green in color. Yellow buds mean the vegetable is too mature. Once the yellow flowers appear, broccoli is tough and bitter.
- Most broccoli varieties will produce smaller side shoots from the main stem if the side shoots are kept cut. Harvest these side shoots every few days to keep them from flowering.
- Soak the heads in ice cold salt water for 30 minutes before cooking or blanching. Cabbage worms, if present, will usually float to the top of the water. But check each head for stubborn worms.
- Do not overcook broccoli. Cook to tender-crisp, never soft. It should be bright green at this stage, not olive-green.
- Broccoli is delicious when eaten raw with dips or in salads.
- Broccoli will keep for up to a week if kept unwashed in the refrigerator.
- 1 pound of broccoli = 5 cups of florets = 1 pint
Keep your fork
Here’s a recipe I ran across in my Grandmother’s recipe book. These potato curls are a delicious variation of French Fries. Use as many or as few potatoes as desired for a meal.
Pare needed amount of potatoes with a potato parer and discard the peelings. Continue to cut the potato in long thin strips using the potato parer. Cover the strips with cold water. Let stand 1 hour. Dry between towels being careful not to break the curls. Fry in deep fat at 390º until brown. Drain on crumpled absorbent paper. Sprinkle with salt or desired seasoning.
Keep your fork
Memory From Our Wedding
Having observed our 50th wedding anniversary a week or so ago brought back a memory from our wedding.
Pickle Queen’s mother had managed to keep from crying until the very end of the ceremony. At that point, she glanced around and noticed an elderly couple sitting a few rows back on my side of the aisle. The woman had reached over to her husband’s wheelchair and gently touched his hand, and that was all it took to start PQ’s mother’s tears to flow.
After the ceremony, PQ’s mother found the couple and told the woman how that tender gesture had tugged at her heart.
“Well, I’m sorry to spoil your moment,” the elderly lady replied. “I was just checking to see if he was still alive.”
Keep your fork
7 Rice and 1 Potato Helpful Hint
- Don’t stir rice while cooking unless recipe says to.
- Don’t soak rice before cooking.
- Don’t moisten rice and leave wet for a long time before cooking.
- When tossing or fluffing cooked rice, use a fork not a spoon.
- One cup of raw rice, when cooked will serve from 4 to 6 with normal serving size.
- When bell peppers, green onions and parsley are cheap on the market, buy and chop and freeze separately in small cellophane bags. Freeze in ¼ cup and ½ cup quantities. When you cook rice recipes, you have just what you need. This saves prep time.
- Serve rice with;
- Any gravy (roast, chicken, steak, duck, turkey, wild game)
- Shrimp creole
- Curried shrimp
- Chili (put a scoop in each bowl of chili)
- Any gumbo (put scoop in each bowl of gumbo)
- Any stew (shrimp, chicken. Meat, wild game)
- When boiling potatoes for salad, boil in very salty water to avoid skins breaking open and potatoes cooking to pieces. Use 1 tablespoon salt to each pint of water (one pint is two cups). Bring to a boil and boil slowly, so center will get done about the same time as the outer part. Drain as soon as done. Cool before peeling.
Keep your fork
Spanish Rice Hash
This recipe is an excellent way to use leftover cooked rice.
2 c cold cooked rice
1 c canned chili with beans or ½ can chili without beans
½ tsp salt
½ c whole kernel corn, drained
1 c water
½ c grated sharp cheese
Mix all ingredients except the cheese. Place in buttered casserole dish. Cover well. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake an additional 30 minutes, lowering the oven temperature, if necessary, to keep from burning.
Keep your fork
The Search for a New Chaplain
Back in Bibical times if the current House had drummed out their chaplain and were looking for a replacement, here is what the Speaker would have had to say about the candidates.
- Adam – A good man but has problems with his wife.
- Amos – He is backward and unpolished. With some seminary training, he might have some promise; but he has a problem with wealthy people.
- David – The most promising candidate of all, until we discovered the affair he had with a neighbor’s wife.
- Elijah – Prone to depression; collapses under pressure.
- John – Says he’s a Baptist, but doesn’t dress like one. Sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird diet and promotes denominational leaders.
- Jonah – Told us he was swallowed by a big fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here.
- Joseph – A big thinker but a braggart. Interprets dreams. Has a prison record.
- Noah – Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.
- Moses – Modest and meek, but poor communicator; even stutters at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings.
- Paul – Powerful CEO type and fascinating preacher. But he’s short on tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh and has been known to preach all night.
- Solomon – Great preacher, but serious woman problems.
- Timothy – Too young.
Looks to me like they would all have fit right in.
Keep your fork.
We’ve been told over and over that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Does that mean that we don’t have to make smart choices when confronted with various options? Obviously not, we know better than that. Given these four choices, which option in each case would you choose?
- Bacon or Sausage – A side of sausage adds an average of 277 calories, while bacon adds 131 calories to your meal. Bacon also has 1/3 less sodium and ½ the saturated fat. Bacon contains around 35 calories per slice.
- Home fries or Hash Browns – You should go with the choice that is least fried. Home fries compared to hash browns deliver less fat and about 15 percent fewer calories. The thicker sliced home fries have less surface area on which oil can take hold of when compared to the confetti-sized shredded hash browns.
- High-fiber Cereal or Oatmeal – It has been shown that high-fiber consumers have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and knee pain. High-fiber cereals, such as Fiber One and All-Bran, deliver more than twice as much fiber as oatmeal and with fewer calories.
- Egg Sandwich or Breakfast Burrito – Restaurant burritos can average over 1,000 calories each while an average egg sandwich has 722 calories and around 32 grams of protein.
If you chose bacon, home fries, high-fiber cereal and egg sandwich, you made smart choices.
Keep your fork