Weekly Prunings August 28

Aren't seed heads wonderful?  This time of year, the liminal period between summer and fall, can be a stingy one... cut flower-wise that is.  So as you look about for snipping material, don't forget seed heads, berries (even if they're still green), grass fronds....you get the idea.  If you don't, watch my segment from Friday here on For Your Garden on News Channel 4 for more tips.  So there it is, pruning of the week

#1  Use berries, buds, grasses and greens to supplement what flowers ARE still blooming in your garden.  And you can always buy a grocery store bouquet to fill in if need be.....like these orange lilies

#2  We eat a LOT of poached eggs at our house.  My boys have been eating them since they were little tykes........we dubbed them squishy eggs.  Even their friends refer to them as squishy eggs.  We even made up a song about them which I would sing to them.  To save my dignity and your ears, it is a good thing  there is no audio with this post.  Anyway,  did you know that the eggs will keep a nice, defined edge if you put a little vinegar (any kind) in the water after it begins to boil and you've added the eggs?


Hold your spatula over a towel or crust of bread to catch the water dripping off...

you don't want the toast to get soggy do you?

"Squishy eggs are ready!"

#3  I'm originally a Hoosier, from Indiana.  My folks, and a number of my brothers and sisters still live there.  So next week, I'll be going back to that beautiful place to spend some time with them, and help out a little here and there.

My mom put 'filing' on her wish list, so that reminded me of this dandy filing system I've used for probably ten plus years now.

It's kind of an accordian, file size suitcase, complete with handle.  I use one for each year, marking the front with the corresponding year.........

Here's a picture of the pre-printed categories, though you can customize them if you want.

I start a new one each January 1.....keeping that year's tax records, insurance forms, receipts, school records.......you get the gist.

Then I just file the current year, ever so snugly, next to its doppelganger from the previous year.

Now they come in different colors from Walmart, Target and the like.......and you could go wild and crazy with color if you must.  But as I think of taxes and records as rather dour, drab creatures, I just go for your basic black.  Last year, all I could find was green, and it really played with my head..........You just can't take ANYTHING for granted.

Anyway, I think I will introduce this efficient, tidy filing system to my mom.

#4  This great tip is from my friend Spitfire:  "The best tip of all is to annotate your cookbooks.  For instance, I have written in KAF Whole Grain on P 164, " 8/10..Definitely not worth the trouble. Buy a box at the grocery."  My mother never writes in her cookbooks- probably for the same reason she never uses the china, crystal and silver.  I am not leaving an unchipped set to anyone!  WHO ARE WE SAVING THIS STUFF FOR???  Oops, ended with a preposition.  It happens." 

Now I love this on many levels, not least of which is that this annotating leaves a little something of you on each page.  An instant heirloom that cookbook is.  As we live in an increasingly digital and amorphous time, writing down your little bits of culinary knowledge saves it for posterity, for your kids, for your fading memory as you get older...........

The other charming bit of brilliance here is to USE AND ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE!
Especially for your family.  Especially for yourself (but if it requires hand-washing that china, and if you're not using it because you don't want the hassle, I give you a pass here.......)

Thirdly, it's just so damn practical.  How many boxes does it take to feed your typical crowd for Thanksgiving?  How much did it cost?  Was it easy or a pain in the b#$*? Did the picky eater in the family ALSO like it?

Okay, now start writing in your cookbooks.  Oh, I also like greasy handprints and tomato sauce splatters.

And finally,

#5  After the weather cools, and the light has fully softened, and you are feeling restless, go visit these friends of mine in the Wichita Mountains.  You won't regret it, I promise.

Here's looking at you kid.

Why not send me YOUR tip for the week?  What small something do YOU know that will improve another person's little world? PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT WITH YOUR BEST PRUNING FOR THE WEEK.   You'll be glad you did!

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