Friday, April 30, 2010

Picking & Preserving - Part II

If you love the taste of homemade jams and have the right kitchen equipment, you could whip up a batch of tasty strawberry jam. Frankly, just reading recipes and thinking about crushing, soaking, stirring, preparing boiling water bath, and sterilizing jars only to make 4 half pints makes me tired! I did, however, find a really good recipe that looks easy enough and doesn't take that much time.

Combine 3 cups crushed strawberries and 5 cups sugar. Let stand 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine 3/4 cup water and 1 package pectin in a saucepan. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then, stir into fruit mixture. Quickly spoon into freezer containers or hot sterilized jars. Cover and let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Then, freeze. This recipe yields 7 half pints and can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Picking and Preserving - Part I

How do you pick strawberries? Well, you can head out to the strawberry patch with your bucket in hand, or you can visit your local farmer's market. Look for berries that are deep red in color (no green tips) and firm to the touch with fresh green stems. Refrigerate and eat within 3-4 days. To have fresh strawberries after the season has passed why not freeze a few quarts. Frozen is the next best thing to fresh. Simply rinse berries once (do not soak), remove stems, and pat dry. Then spread fruit in a single layer on a tray and place in freezer for a few hours or just until fruit is firm. Then, package in freezer bags and use them within 6-8 months.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Strawberry Season

Spring is in full swing and with it comes fresh strawberries. Packed with vitamin C and potassium strawberries are a healthy choice for snacking. Try mixing sliced berries with vanilla yogurt, or adding crushed berries to your favorite muffin mix. I remember Grandma used to add sugar for extra sweetening, and the syrupy mix made a delicious topping for her poundcake. Unfortunately, the added sugar brought added calories. Personally, I think strawberries are sweet enough just as they are, picked from the vine. Some say strawberries dipped in chocolate are an aphrodisiac...hmmm...I always thought it was the chocolate!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pictures of Wise Farms

Check out this website featuring pictures from Wise Farms. Test your vegetable knowledge. What is my brother holding in the first picture?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Buying Fresh

One can find fresh at its best at the place where it is harvested, the farm; but if you can't go to the farm, then let the farmers come to you. Each day farmers from all over the state of North Carolina sell their produce at The North Carolina State Farmer's Market in Raleigh. There you can meet my family who still farm the land my grandfather farmed, Wise Farms. They bring fresh at its best to thousands of people each year. If you go to the market give them a visit, and tell them you read about them on my blog!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Subtle Change 1

Want to start eating healthier but don't know where to start? Begin with what you drink. Replace sugar-laden sodas, juices, and iced tea with water - fresh, clean, and pure. Add a lemon or lime for just a little flavor, and don't forget to recycle the plastic water bottles.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


My new favorite vegetable is asparagus. Not only is it yummy but it is very easy to prepare, making it the perfect side dish when you need to cook a meal in a hurry. Even better is that a serving of five asparagus spears has only 25 calories, and is loaded with potassium, folic acid, and glutathione (an antioxidant that helps prevent the progression of cataracts,and has strong cancer-fighting properties, and good news for men, helps to maintain healthy sperm). The harvest season for asparagus is mid-winter to mid-spring. Grab a bunch from your local farmer's market, rinse under water, and cut off tips of stems. Then, place in a microwave dish, sprinkle with lemon pepper, cover bottom of dish with water (about 1/4 cup or less), add a few small slivers of butter, and microwave covered for 3-4 minutes. Delicious, fast, and easy!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Going green. Eating fresh. Buying local. Organic gardening. These are buzzwords for today's generation, but sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. For example, I was using my own canvas shopping bags long before it was cool. I know what it's like to harvest tonight's dinner salad from the garden in the early morning hours. So, I'm starting this blog, and I'm calling it "LivingWise". Here I'll be sharing tips for living green and how to make do with what you've got. Here you can meet local farmers and learn where, when and how to get fresh fruits and vegetables in their peak season. Here you can gather recipes from grandma's kitchen and learn ways to revise them without losing flavor for healthy eating at its best. So, mark this page and come back soon.