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Gardens may ease pinch of rising food prices

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We are approaching another busy season of fun in the sun, weddings, backyard parties and more. 

With food costs going up by the minute, having a garden might help. Which means more things to do, but oh, the benefits of having your very own stash of food.  It certainly will help to keep the summer food costs down.

On the news the other day, they said flour has gone up about 35 percent. A local restaurant owner told me that some of his food has gone up 100 percent.

It does sound depressing; however, we can help ourselves out a little by planting a garden. Think of all the benefits, too — plenty of sunshine, exercise, getting the kids involved for more family togetherness (kids can help plant and pick), eating the freshest vegetables right from your garden. 

If you have never planted a garden before, try it, you might be surprised how much fun you have. This year, we are planting two gardens; I cannot wait to start picking those vegetables.

Speaking of gardens, it won’t be long before our farmers market will be in business again.  If you do not plant your own garden, then try their produce. They do a wonderful job.

Since the weather is warmer, have you pulled out your grill and started cooking outside?  I have cooked a whole chicken on the rotisserie, whole beef tenderloin directly on the grill (delicious) and grilled several vegetables too (asparagus is awesome).

I also baked some potatoes in the microwave, took them out and sprayed them with cooking spray, rolled them in kosher salt, and placed them on the grill for a few minutes to crisp the skin of the potato.  They were delicious.

Recently, I had a request for a certain pie. Actually, this same company had requested it a few years ago. Since I have hundreds of cookbooks, you would think I would find that particular recipe in one of them, but I did not.  So, I went to the trusty internet and found several recipes for it, all exactly the same ingredients and amounts, which was an excellent indicator of its popularity.  This pie is so easy to make and wonderful for entertaining.  Please try this gift of:

Sawdust Pie

7 egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups flaked coconut

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Mix together the egg whites (unbeaten) and sugar. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, pecans and coconut. Stir together, by hand, until well blended.

Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven until glossy and set (about 25-30 minutes). 

Do not overbake. The center should be gooey.  Serve with sliced bananas and whipped cream. Other recipes like this did suggest putting chocolate chips in it.  It really cannot get any easier than this to cook and have something so good!

The first time I made it, I really questioned having unbeaten egg whites; however, I am glad I followed it exactly.

 

Lonnie Sundermeyer is a retired professional caterer residing in Ghent, KY.

Here is a great salad dressing for you to make.

 

Basil Vinaigrette

 

One and one-third cups olive oil

Two-thirds cup white wine vinegar

One-fourth cup finely chopped fresh basil

2 green onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

One-half teaspoon pepper

 

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly, shake vigorously; chill. Just before serving, shake well and toss with torn romaine, Bibb, and red leaf lettuces.  Yield: One and one-half cups.

 

Tip: Vinaigrettes are great to marinate meats, poultry, and seafood before baking or broiling.

Enj