Smile a little smile for me Rosemary

I think that's a line from a song popular while I was growing up. But this is not about a song. It is about, yes, you guessed right. It is about a Mediterranean culinary herb called rosemary. Yes from the mint family and said to be commonly found near seas. Rosemary is "a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves", and grows up to 5 feet tall upright". It thrives as a trailing, too. I can't believe it bears white, pink, purple or blue flowers which comes out winters or spring. The first time I tried to grow rosemary was a disappointing experience. That plant died, you see. That was almost 7 years ago. Today, I will try to grow one again. Here's another interesting fact: "rosemary is easily pruned into shapes and has been used for topiary". Awesome! "When grown in pots, it is best kept trimmed to stop it getting straggly and unsightly, though when grown in a garden, rosemary can grow quite large and still be attractive.

Watch that bacteria

Did you know that unwanted bacterial pathogens may probably be in your veggies? Of course, we all know that, so, please take care when preparing vegetable salads, particularly. Note the following: 1. E.coli 0157:H7 - cabbage, lettuce, cress sprouts, cilantro 2. Salmonella - tomato, alfa alfa sprouts, cabbage, chili, eggplant, spinach, fennel, parsley, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupes 3. Bacillus cereus - cucumbers, mustard sprouts, soybean sprouts, cress sprouts 4. Clostridium botulinum - cabbage, mushrooms, pepper. 5. Campylobacter jejuni - green onions, lettuce, mushroom, potato, parsley,pepper 6. Listeria monocytogenes - bean sprouts, cabbage, chicory, cucumber, eggplant, salad vegetables, radish, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes. 7. Staphylococcus - alfa sprouts, carrot, onions sprouts, radish, parsley Contamination can occur in the field, during harvesting, post harvest handling, processing, storage or marketing. The most common sources of contamination being: 1. Fec

Other food preparation tips my mother used to teach me

Other food preparation tips my mother used to teach me as early as when I was still in middle school and which I now remember and follow whenever applicable. 1. Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator with temperatures ranging from 0 to 21 degrees Centigrade. If you intend to freeze vegetables or fruits, blanch or fully cook them first. Also, make sure they are bought fresh. 2. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be washed using cold but fast running water. The friction of running water helps reduce bacteria. Fresh produce must never be soaked because nutrients can be lost in the water. 3. For best quality, buy vegetables that's usable within 5 days only. Most veggies do not stay fresh after. When buying packaged produce, store and keep in the refrigerator in their original wrap. This helps maintain quality and freshness. Use pre-cut produce as soon as possible. Quality will not last long once the package is opened. Before using all pre-cleaned and previously trimme

Some food preparation tips from a student chef aka a beginner family cook

Hello again everyone. Trying to make do with whatever time I have with this laptop to make at least a post about the things I do in my kitchen. The economic downturn is definitely impacting on so many things about our lives. Take for example the case of our food budget. Homemakers are scratching their heads wondering how to make ends meet and yet maintain the same kind of menus their families have all been used to. In your case, do you scrimp, reduce quantity or accept less quality. Health concerns however bars us from resorting to such tactics. Healthy food always require quality ingredients, proper food handling techniques and deliberate menu planning. In my kitchen, I make it a standard practice to ensure that food will remain healthy and appealing from the marketplace to the dinner table. And what better way to do this? Ensuring safe and healthy meals requires practical food handling in freezing, thawing, cooking, cooling and finally, serving. Safety rules that affect storage

I was gifted with Fruits of the Gods

Our former neighbors, a nice Korean couple, gifted us recently with fruits that to me seemed unusual. This was the first time I ever came across a fruit called persimmon. A persimmon, known to the ancient Greeks as "the fruit of the gods" is an edible fruit of a number of species of trees of the genus Diospyros. (i.e. Dios pyros (lit. "the wheat of Zeus"), hence the scientific name of the genus.) The word persimmon is derived from putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from Powhatan, an Algonquian Cree and Mohican) of the eastern United States, meaning "a dry fruit". Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color, and depending on the species. There are different species of persimmon: 1.Black Persimmon or Black Sapote (Diospyros digyna) is native to Mexico. Its fruit has green skin and white flesh, which turns black when ripe. 2.Mabolo or Velvet-apple (Diospyros discolor) w hich is native to the Philippines is bright red when rip

Reduce Consumption? Some more? Oh Man.

Are you changing your life's priorities because of the global recession? Here, locally, I believe it is already starting to hit hard. Surely, it affects us all. To stave off the hard times what aspects of your life are you trying or planning to scrimp on? What are your choices? Spend less on the essentials or reduce expense on say, entertainment, travel or clothes? What about medical expense and food? These to me without a doubt are basic necessities or expenditures? Many economic researchers claim that with respect to household spending on food - it will not change much. However, these same researchers also found that majority of families , low-income as well as middle incomed, astonishingly relied more on low-cost, high-calorie foods during difficult times. Does this mean that starches and dairy will remain in most household menus? Starches, say like, noodles, rice and pasta? Of these three, noodles appear to be the cheapest. Look, rice does not get advertised much on

Eats on Valentines Day

Creamed aubergine Food we had on Valentines Day, gustoed, somewhere where I didn't have to cook:-) COOL! Penne Breaded fish fillet and spaghetti