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Features

  • I discovered tomatillos on a trip to Mexico in 1973. I saw them in an outdoor market and they were so unusual looking, like little green tomatoes enclosed in a husk. They looked like miniature Chinese lanterns.

    I bought some and asked the lady what to do with them (in very bad Spanish.)

    I didn't understand exactly what she was telling me, but I know it included onions, garlic and chicken.

    When I got back home, I looked for recipes and started to collect quite a few.

  • Most of us know that the popular spice ginger comes from the root of the plant.

    Well, really it is a rhizome, and the hot and pungent flavor has more to it then just a taste sensation.  

    Ginger got its name from the Sanskrit word sringavera which means "root shaped like a horn." It has been used by the Romans, the Chinese, Europeans and others for thousands of years and has been endowed with an herbal and medicinal reputation.

  • When I arrived at the Marion County Animal Shelter Monday morning, I was surprised to find a freshly cut Christmas tree, with all the trimmings, had been placed in our lobby. We had put up a fake tree a couple of weeks ago but this one was different, it was a real tree and all of the ornaments were hand made with material that you can find out in the woods. Red berries were strung up and placed on the tree along with other nuts, berries, pinecones and on top of the tree was a crystal stone that had been roughly cut to resemble the Star of Bethlehem.

  • Lilah is a Jack Russell and full of energy. She needs a home without cats, where she will get the care and attention that she needs. If your pet is missing, call the shelter-it may be there. For a complete listing of pets with pictures visit adoption@petfinder.com. The shelter reminds pet owners that all cats and dogs should have a rabies shot. To adopt an animal, potential owners must complete an adoption application. The animal shelter accepts stray or unwanted animals. The shelter is located off of KY 208 and is open from noon until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.

  • This December has been a cold one thus far. I don't mind a gloomy day here or there, I actually find them somewhat restorative.

    Too many in a row, though, can be sort of depressing.

    We all say we want winter interest but sometimes we forget about it once spring rolls around and we get excited about a new season.

    Have you selected things that will capture your eye in January? Look out the window and tell yourself what you see and then take some notes.

  • Hanukkah means "dedication" in Hebrew and refers to the time in 165 B.C. when a small army of Jews won a battle with a much larger Greek force and liberated the temple in Jerusalem.

    It had been occupied by Greek worshipers of Zeus and needed many repairs.

    When they attempted to re-light the eternal flame, they had only enough oil for one day.

    However, it burned for eight full days, enough time for more oil to be prepared. The temple was re-dedicated to the God of the Jewish people, thus Jews the world over celebrate Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights.

  • Annie Oakly 7-month-old Cocker Spaniel mix who needs a loving, caring forever home. She is all puppy! That means lots of chewing and playing. She can be shy at first but warms up quickly. If your pet is missing, call the shelter-it may be there. For a complete listing of pets with pictures visit adoption@petfinder.com. The shelter reminds pet owners that all cats and dogs should have a rabies shot. To adopt an animal, potential owners must complete an adoption application. The animal shelter accepts stray or unwanted animals.

  • PET OF THE WEEK - Rita is a Chihuahua mix and current on her rabies. She is house broken but will have to be spayed. She will let you know when someone is around. If your pet is missing, call the shelter-it may be there. For a complete listing of pets with pictures visit adoption@petfinder.com. The shelter reminds pet owners that all cats and dogs should have a rabies shot. To adopt an animal, potential owners must complete an adoption application. The animal shelter accepts stray or unwanted animals. The shelter is located off of KY 208 and is open from noon until 5 p.m.

  • I keep a special section in my holiday cooking file of super-easy, super-good Christmas candy and cookies.

    These are the recipes I've used for many years. They are foolproof and delicious, I guarantee.

    The first cookie is a roll-out sugar cookie, the one my grandmother Dillon made all during my childhood. I've used it ever since I started cooking and make at least a double recipe every year since my girls were little.

    I make them in many shapes and we decorate them with colored icing. It's a treasured memory for all of us.

  • The City of Lebanon's animal ordinance has been the central topic of my articles for the past few weeks. I have been hoping to inform the public just exactly what the ordinance states and trying to decipher it into laymen's terms. Having talked about how many animals allowed and how much it will cost you, now I need to touch base on some of the other restrictions pertaining to this matter.

  • No need to wait on putting the roses to bed this year.  We have gone from the frying pan to the ice bath in short order this season.

    I don’t get rose protection questions like I used to; it seems most have gone the “Knock Out” road so little maintenance is required.

    Knock Out roses can stand a little attention now but really there is no pressure.

  • My last article on the animal ordinance addressed the cost of having your Lebanon animals licensed. Now we need to talk about how many animals you are allowed to own. According to the City of Lebanon's animal ordinance, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2009, animal owners will be limited on the number of pets that they will be able to own or posses. Anyone that owns over the limit shall have those animals "grand fathered in" with the understanding that the animals must be licensed.

  • The poinsettia has been a fixture in American homes as a holiday decoration for as long as most of us can remember.  I think it is fair to say that it is considered the "official" Christmas flower.

    The poinsettia is native to Mexico and has been cultivated for centuries. The Aztec cultivated it for medicinal and household purposes: red dye was made from the leaves and the milky sap that oozes from the woody stem reduced fever.

  • Live or live-cut...that is the question for this year's holiday tradition of decorating an evergreen indoors for Christmas. You may think that you are being a better environmental steward by purchasing a live tree; not necessarily.

    Live-cut Christmas trees are a 100 percent renewable resource that is reusable, recyclable and biodegradable. They are an American product, farms employ approximately 100,000 people each year; and one acre of planted Christmas trees provides the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people.

  • During the holiday season, I like to have cookie dough already mixed up and in the frig, ready to pop in the oven at a moment's notice when friends stop by.

    Who doesn't like warm homemade cookies? My grandson Owen.

    Right now I have sugar cookie dough in the refrigerator, because it's so versatile and can be dressed up with colored sprinkles, chocolate icing, etc. Peanut butter cookies are also great for this.

  • Leaf raking is a fall rite that only children enjoy, it seems. Once we rake the piles they enjoying undoing it all in one jump!  I propose a new approach that makes us all happy:  adults can still rake a little, children can still play and trees will benefit from some mulch and fertilizer. Raking leaves is passé; instead let them stay where they fall, beneath the canopies of your trees.

    This may be a bit of an over statement because some small yards can quickly fill up with leaves, smothering grass and perennial beds. There is a happy medium.

  • I've been experimenting lately with sweet potatoes-trying to find recipes I like.

    Sweet potatoes are so good for you and I've been pretty much stuck in a rut with my sweet potato casserole.

    It's good and I still like it but it's more like dessert than a vegetable.

    Here are two recipes you also might want to try.

    The Sweet Potato "Fries" are spicy and crispy, but not actually fried.

    The Hawaiian Baked Sweet Potatoes is a combination of pineapple and sweet potato with a crispy crust and quite tasty.

  • The City of Lebanon's animal ordinance, which was passed by the Lebanon City Council, will soon be going into effect. Starting Jan. 1, 2009, if you live in the city limits of Lebanon and own animals, you have a new set of laws to abide by. I know that no one likes change, and it will take a while for everyone to get acclimated to the new ordinance. Everyone seems to have an opinion concerning the ordinance, and not everyone is smiling.

  • It's alright to go ahead and cut your roses back. Our recent cold weather should have sent them into dormancy.

    Generally it takes a night or two in the low 20s and upper teens to accomplish this.

    The most commonly grown roses by homeowners are hybrid teas.

    Hybrid teas are the long stem type of roses such as the ones sold at florists.  This type of rose requires the harshest pruning; they actually require hard pruning to perform well.

    Hybrid teas should be pruned down to 8-10 inches.

  • As much as I like cooking (and eating) it's not surprising that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No shopping or gifts are required and everybody just wants to get together and eat (and maybe watch a little football.)

    In my family, it seems everyone eats so much they have to take a nap, and everyone blames it on the turkey (not the three helpings of dressing and gravy or the extra helpings of mashed potatoes.)