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SMORGASBORD: Vegetable major . . . Silver saver, etc.

Vegetable major College is about self-discovery, and if your child comes home for break declaring she's through with animal products, then -- instead of a lecture about phases and avoiding extremes -- hand her "College Vegetarian Cooking" ($19.95...

Recycled Reynolds Wrap
Recycled Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil debuted on Earth Day, and it's not just the foil that's eco-conscious. (McClatchy Tribune)

Vegetable major

College is about self-discovery, and if your child comes home for break declaring she's through with animal products, then -- instead of a lecture about phases and avoiding extremes -- hand her "College Vegetarian Cooking" ($19.95, Ten Speed Press). It's best that students dabbling in vegetarianism make themselves a nutritious meal, lest they live on meat-free junk food for convenience, and this book offers more than 80 simple recipes and vibrant photos in sensible categories such as "party food," "impressing your date" and "cheap eats."

Reusable cutlery

Some summer parties cry out for informal plastic cutlery in colors that match your theme. In supermarkets, these vibrant utensils often cost more than plain white knives and forks.

Here's a quick tip from the party-planning file: Good quality plastic cutlery can be cleaned and sanitized in the dishwasher and reused. Separate the colors into individual, sealable plastic bags and keep them in a kitchen drawer for the next gathering.

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Be bold and mix and match colors the next time around to add some spark to your picnic table or pool party.

Silver saver

Reynolds Wrap Foil from 100 percent Recycled Aluminum made its debut on Earth Day, and it's not just the foil that's eco-conscious; the packaging also is made from 100 percent recycled materials. It works as well as the regular product, and is sold in regular (50 square feet) and heavy-duty strength (35 square feet) for about $3 at Target and supermarkets.

'Preserved'

Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton, authors of "Preserved" (Kyle Books, $22.95), make a good case for their belief that "the history of civilization is the story of our progressive mastery of food preservation."

In this clearly written and beautifully illustrated volume, they take a universal approach, dividing their subject into 12 approaches including drying (i.e. jerky, fruit leather), salting (corned beef, ham), smoking (salmon, bacon), pickling (ketchup, preserved lemons), fermenting (sauerkraut, kimchee), sugar (jam, chutneys, candy), alcohol (brandied oranges), air exclusion (confit) plus sausages, canning and freezing.

College Vegetarian Cooking
College is about self-discovery, and if your child comes home for break declaring sheÍs through with animal products, then instead of a lecture about phases and avoiding extremes, hand her "College Vegetarian Cooking" ($19.95, Ten Speed Press). (McClatchy Tribune)

Related Topics: AGRICULTUREFOOD
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