Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Better Homes and Gardens August 2013

How to pick a perfect -
Tomatoes - Keep picked tomatoes at room temperature - refrigeration diminishes flavor and texture. If frost  is imminent, harvest all full - size fruits, even if completely green; keep them in a cool area, and most will eventually ripen. A tomato uniformly reaches its mature color - be it red, orange, or yellow and it pulls easily from the stems.
Sweet Corn - Retain their sweetness longer than older types, which start mellowing the moment they’re picked. Store corn in the husks, in the refrigerator for up to a week, or blanch and freeze for up to a year.  The silks turn browns  but not dry, and kernels are formed and full all the way to the top. Dimpled kernels are past peak.
Garlic - The cloves are full and firm. As soon as the tops of plants start to turn brown, dig up one bulb to check. If cloves are plump, not shriveled , they’re ready to harvest. Cure bulbs with leaves attached for 2 to 4 weeks in a warm, shady spot, then cut off the tops. Store bulbs up to 6 months in a cool place.
Watermelons - The leaf nearest the fruit withers. The melon should sound hollow when you thump it. The thump test doesn’t work on small watermelons. Inspect the bottom - once the green or white patch turns yellow, it’s ripe.
Cucumbers - The spiny, bumpy skin of a small cuke smooths out. However, small cukes are crisper and less seedy - great for eating and pickling. At their peak, most varieties are about 2 inches in diameter and 5 to 8 inches long. It’s best to err on the immature side, as cucumbers can turn from just right to overripe overnight. Refrigerate for up to a week.
Potatoes - For mature storage potatoes, harvest when plant tops die back. For new potatoes, begin harvesting two weeks after plants bloom. Potatoes keep longer in storage if they’re left in the ground until the skin toughens up. Don’t water after the tops die back. Cure mature potatoes in a cool, dark, humid place such as a basement for 2 weeks. Ideal winter storage is darkness, and a temp of 40F to 45F, a garage or refrigerator can provide these conditions.
Hot peppers - a fruit reaches full size s to color and begin up. This is when flavor and heat peak. However, most peppers are delicious at any size. Before frost, pick all peppers, even small ones. Fresh peppers last a week or more refrigerated; excess can be frozen, dried or canned.
Onions - The green tops flop over in midsummer, signaling that onions have reached full size. For you scallions, harvest when shoots reach 10 to 12 inches. Cure storage onions in a  shady area or garage for a few weeks. Once skins are dry, cut off tops and store in a cool place indoors.”

How to Make Moss -
“1. Select any porous surface, such as terra cotta, stone, or concrete. Harvest fresh moss from your garden or buy live sheet moss. Remove soil and any debris, and then shred the moss into small fragments.
2. Pour buttermilk into a cup. Stir in moss pieces - a good ration is 2 parts buttermilk to 1 part moss. You can also use a blender. Contrary to popular wisdom, buttermilk is not needed for pH. It’s a good sticking agent.
3. With a paintbrush, apply the buttermilk-moss mixture to a boulder, decorative object or pot. If the mixture is too runny, add more shredded moss to thicken. Set in a shady, damp spot, and spritz often.
4. Keep moss moist, even after its starts growing. Dampen objects with the gentle mist setting on a hose nozzle.  Moss on pots will usually stay moist from the surface perspiration produced by watering plants.”

Alcohol Free Toners to Try -
Face Stockholm Cucumber Ginseng Toner
Orlane Paris Vivifying Lotion
Dr. Brandt Lineless Tone
Valerie Beverly Hills Aloe Vera Complexion Toner
L’Occitane Angelica Face Toner
Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner

Picks Under $10
Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm
Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Golden
Bodycology Exfoliating Sugar Scrub in Toasted Vanilla Sugar
Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Ink Pen
Suave Moroccoan Infusion Styling Oil
Boots Botanics Rejuvenating Bath Elixir
Simple Eye Make Up Remover Pads

To make your perfume last longer store it in a cool, dark place like the fridge. Also, apply the fragrance to your pulse points to get your money’s worth.

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