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E D I TO R’S L E T T E R

Your Electric Co-op’s Annual Meeting Needs You Within the pages of Kansas Country Living

magazine each month, we offer articles that educate our readers—Kansas electric cooperative members, friends and supporters—about the advantages of cooperative membership and the important role you play in maintaining a vibrant and healthy electric co-op. We season this important information with lighter feature articles, like Kansas travel destinations, gardening, cooking and recipes, and energy saving tips and tricks to help you manage your energy use and hold down costs. In other words, we’ve designed Kansas Country Living to mix “household business with pleasure,” in an effort to educate while entertaining our readers. This month, while the feature articles in the main part of the magazine highlight the gardening season nearly upon us, many of you will find important information in your co-op’s local pages about the business of your co-op, specifically your co-op’s annual meeting. As a member of your electric co-op, you have the privilege to vote for your co-op’s board of trustees and offer input on the decisions that affect the direction of your electric co-op. This goes directly to the cooperative principle: Democratic Member Control. We all have hectic schedules, with children, family and work pulling us in many directions. But, if at all possible, make plans to attend your annual meeting, vote for your trustees, meet your co-op staff who

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7 COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES

Cooperatives operate according to the same set of core principles and values. These principles are a key reason America’s electric cooperatives operate differently from other electric utilities, putting the needs of their members first. Plan to attend your co-op’s annual meeting and exercise your right to vote: it’s at the heart of Co-op Principle No. 2. 1. Open and Voluntary Membership 2. Democratic Member Control 3. Members’ Economic Participation 4. Autonomy and Independence 5. Education, Training, and Information 6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives 7. Concern for Community want to hear from you—and enjoy the camaraderie of spending a bit of time with your friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, in our hurry to manage our busy schedules and simply get things done, we forget about safety. This planting season, please slow down and take note of power lines and dangers above, around and below. The safety article on Page 28 offers tips to keep you and your family safe while planting this spring. KCL

VICKI ESTES , EDITOR


(ISSN 0091-9586) MARCH 2018 VOL. 68, NO. 3 © KANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES, INC., 2018 WWW.KEC.COOP

Bruce Graham

Chief Executive Officer

Shana Read

GET T Y IMAGES TCROWSON

Director of Communications

Vicki Estes Editor

Carrie Kimberlin

Manager of Creative Solutions

Jackie Kamphaus

Communications Specialist Officers Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

MARCH

Keith McNickle President

Terry Hobbs Vice President

Craig Kostman Secretary

Teresa Miller Treasurer

You receive Kansas ­Country Living as a service of the following electric co-ops as a cost-effective way to share important information about services, energy savings, electric safety, director elections, meetings and management decisions. It also contains legal notices that otherwise would be published in other media at greater cost: Alfalfa, Cherokee, OK Bluestem, Wamego Brown-Atchison, Horton Butler, El Dorado CMS, Meade Caney Valley, Cedar Vale Doniphan, Troy DS&O, Solomon Flint Hills, Council Grove FreeState, McLouth & Topeka Lane-Scott, Dighton Lyon-Coffey, Burlington Ninnescah, Pratt Pioneer, Ulysses Prairie Land, Norton Radiant, Fredonia Rolling Hills, Beloit Sedgwick County, Cheney Sumner-Cowley, Wellington Tri-County, Hooker, OK Twin Valley, Altamont Victory, Dodge City Western, WaKeeney Wheatland, Scott City Your co-op’s board of directors authorizes a subscription to Kansas Country Living on behalf of the membership at a cost of $5.88 per year. Individual subscriptions are $10 per year (tax included).

“LIKE” Kansas Country Living on Facebook.

10| Sprouting Gardeners Gardening introduces children to science, math, the environment, weather practicalities, nature and the responsibility of caring for living things. Plus, digging in the dirt may also broaden their taste buds.

Kansas 4| Around March events roar in like a lion

6| Commentary Impact of Federal tax cuts

20| Ultimate Recycling

Your Utility Bills 8| Cut Healthy indoor humidity levels

Don’t toss out those nonmeat food scraps! By using the right techniques and combination of ingredients, you can improve your garden’s soil inexpensively by composting.

18| Your Place in the Garden Even plants need friends

My Way Home 24| Cooking Grassy path to pesto

26| Marketplace Find products, services you need

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28| Safety Look up, around and below Recipes 29| Monthly Chowder and chocolate ON THE COVER Kayla and Koen Wittuhn, members of Lane-Scott Electric Coop, work in the kitchen to prepare a garden-fresh salad.

Co-op Members: Please report address changes to your local electric co-op. Postmaster: Send returns to Kansas Country Living, P.O. Box 4267, Topeka, KS 66604-0267. Kansas Country Living is published monthly by Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., P.O. Box 4267, Topeka, KS 66604. Periodicals postage paid at Topeka, KS, and additional entry offices. Editorial offices: P.O. Box 4267, Topeka, KS 66604-0267; 785-478-4554. Advertising: Kansas Country Living is a member of American MainStreet Publications (www.amp.coop), collectively reaching more than 27 million readers monthly. Advertisers call 512-441-5200. Acceptance of advertising by Kansas Country Living does not imply endorsement by the publisher or Kansas’ electric cooperatives.

D E PA RT M E N T S

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P H OTO BY J E R R I I M G A RT E N

MARCH 2018 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

3


T H I N G S TO D O

MARCH 10 S  outhwest Kansas Antiques Appraisal Fair, Garden City.

T his all-day show will appeal to those who enjoy “Pawn Stars,” “American Pickers” or particularly “Antiques Road Show,” according to Rhonda Stone, who leads the Appraisal Fair Committee of the Finney County Historical Society, host of the event. Each year, those who attend bring flea market or auction finds, family heirlooms and keepsakes to be shown, shared and evaluated live before the audience. The team of nine volunteer appraisers includes collectors, dealers and others with expertise in antiques. The appraisers can accept nearly any antique or collectible except fine jewelry and firearms. Appraisals will be conducted individually, one by one, before the audience. Appraisers will offer non-binding spoken estimates of value for each item, while sharing their knowledge about the history of each piece. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., appraisals begin at 9 a.m. Finney County 4-H Building, 620-272-3664. MARCH 1-4, 8-11 “ Proof,” Dodge City.

T his play follows Catherine, a troubled young woman, who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s, who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Shows at 5:30 p.m. The Depot Theater Company, 620-225-1001. MARCH 1-31 P  arade of Quilts, Yoder. S oak in the quilting tradition of this Amish community and delight in scores of handstitched creations of every pattern, color and size displayed at participating merchants throughout the horse-drawn community. Each an original work of art and ready to take home and become a part of your family’s heirlooms. YoderKansas.com. MARCH 3 Blast of Bluegrass,

McPherson. The Smoky Valley Boys are back, joined by popular young talents The Treble Makers and The McKinney Sisters who will perform at the McPherson Opera House beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets online at McPhersonoperahouse.org, by phone at 620241-1952, or the box office at 219 S. Main St. MARCH 3 Tanya Tucker, Dodge City.

She had her first hit “Delta Dawn” in 1972 at

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the age of 13, She’s a CMA, ACM and CMT award winner and an artist. Show at 7 p.m. United Wireless Arena, 620-371-7390.

with registration fee. Designed especially for small communities. www.kansassampler.org/ specialevents.9.php.

MARCH 4 Chicken and Noodle Dinner and Theater Performance, Dunlap. “Methuselah’s Children,” a play by Bishop Jeannette James, performed by a Readers Theatre Interpretation about the Exodusters of the 1870s, the settlement of the black community in Dunlap. Chicken and noodles over mashed potato dinner served beginning at noon; performance at 2 p.m. Free-will offering; fundraiser benefits projects at the Dunlap site. This award-winning play has been performed across the country to much acclaim. It will be presented for the first time in the actual town of Dunlap. 620-767-5431.

MARCH 9 FSMA Produce Safety Rule

MARCH 6 Brown Bag Series, Garden

City. “Oasis of Peace” Stop Human Trafficking will be presented by Sister Trudy Tanner who will discuss the serious issue of human trafficking from a contemporary standpoint, as well as addressing human trafficking in history. Museum staff will provide beverages and homemade dessert, and those who wish may bring their own lunch. Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth. MARCH 7 We Kan! Conference,

Newton. What should Kansas look like? Let’s start shaping it, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Meridian Center; lunch and snacks included

Grower Training, Olathe. Since many types of produce are not cooked before eating, it is essential that produce growers and all those handling produce along the chain to the consumer use the safest practices possible to ensure the safety of their produce. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at K-State Olathe Campus. 22201 W. Innovation Dr. www.ksre.k-state.edu/ foodsafety/produce. MARCH 10 Expo 3 Indoor Races, Great

Bend. Indoor Kart Racing presented by The Barton County Fair Association. Expo III Arena. Visit bartoncountyfair.com for rules and restrictions or call 620-797-3247. MARCH 10 Go Green Leprechaun Run,

Hesston. 2-Mile Fun Run and 10K Race. Festivities begin with 7:45 a.m. check-in. Race and run from 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. Register at http://dyckarboretum.org/arboretum-event/ leprechaun-run-2018-2-mile-fun-run-10k-race, Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, 177 West Hickory, 620-327-8127. MARCH 11 Handel’s “Messiah,”

Wamego. T he Flint Hills Messiah Chorus and Chamber Orchestra’s performance begins at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church. 600


Lincoln St., www.flinthillsmessiah.org.

events. New to the festival this year is the “Messiah Sing-Along.” For a full schedule of events and ticket information, visit www. messiahfestival.org, 785-227-3380.

MARCH 13-15 W  orks for a Better Kansas, Hutchinson. Plan to attend Kansas’ premier recycling and waste reduction conference and exhibition covering composting, recycling and sustainability. Contact Ken Powell at ken.powell@ks.gov or 785-296-1121 or Brandy Johnson at kskor@ kskor.org, 785-233-3771.

MARCH 24 Chocolate for CASA, Phillipsburg. S ocial hour will begin at 5 p.m. with silent and live auctions starting at 6 p.m. http://kansascasa.org/district-events/2017casa-chocolate-auction.

MARCH 15 Building a Butterfly

MARCH 24 Irish Festival 5K/10K Trail

Garden, Manhattan. Presented at Blueville Nursery from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., attendees will learn how to attract butterflies in their home garden with native plants. Flint Hills Discovery Center, 315 S. 3rd, www. flinthillsdiscovery.org, 785-587-2726. MARCH 15 Native Plant School: Birdscaping, Hesston. Participants will learn how to attract birds to their yards yearround. Subtle changes in how you landscape can make a big difference. Planting with birds’ needs in mind will attract greater numbers and more varieties of your feathered friends. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Registration and information at http://dyckarboretum.org/arboretum-event/ birdscaping, Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, 177 West Hickory, 620-327-8127. MARCH 17 It’s About Thyme, Herbs for the Home Garden, Lawrence. Douglas County Master Gardeners presents this gardening class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, Dreher Building. Class is open to the public and presented by Sandra Siebert, Douglas Co. EMG. 2110 Harper St. MARCH 22-24 3 I Show, Dodge City.The

show provides an opportunity for exhibitors from all over the world to showcase their agri-business products. Western State Bank Expo Center, 620-789-0984. MARCH 22-APRIL 1 M  essiah Festival of

the Arts, Lindsborg. Festival will feature a wide variety of art, music and theatrical

Walk/Run, Atchison. Join the 8:30 a.m. run at St. Patrick’s Irish Festival trail run and pancake breakfast. You can choose to travel on blacktop or the trail, which is challenging with its gravel, dirt, uneven and unpaved roads. Register by March 7 to get a T-shirt. St. Patrick’s Church, 19384 234th Rd., 913-426-1921.

MARCH 24 Adult Easter Egg Hunt, Hutchinson. W  hy should kids have all the fun? The Good Samaritan Society Hutchinson Village will have at least 3,000 eggs to hunt at Carey Park Shelter with many loaded with great prizes. Check in at 1 p.m.; hunt begins at 1:30 p.m. Stay for prizes and a raffle. Limited tickets; 18 years and older only. Tickets available at 620-663-1189 or 810 E. 30th. MARCH 24 Plow Day and Farm to Market Jubilee, Jetmore. Tractor Show and Jubilee begins at 10 a.m. There will be a parade and plowing following the show. Some of the activities for the day include: chili cook-off, cowboy poets, dance and a nut fry to end the day’s festivities. HorseThief Reservoir, 19005 S.W. Highway 156, 620-2556889, horsethiefres.com. Continued on page 15 

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5


C O M M E N TA RY

Impact of Federal Tax Cuts on Electric Co-ops Differs from Other Utilities 

BY B R U C E G R A H A M

Bruce Graham

Most of the electric cooperative entities in Kansas are IRS tax exempt entities and therefore have no federal income tax liability.

When the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, there was an almost immediate focus across the country on lower income tax rates for utilities. Kansas was no different with political and regulatory leaders immediately calling for the savings to be passed on to ratepayers. The impact of the reduction in federal tax rates from 35 to 21 percent is projected to cut Westar’s tax bill by at least $65 million. KCP&L has indicated approximately $35 million in savings could be allocated to Kansas customers. And while action was swift to make headlines, affected utilities already had a precedent from the 1986 Tax Reform Act to return those savings. The question really was how—and how soon? The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has answered part of that question. The KCC quickly opened a general investigation and commissioners have ruled that utilities affected by the corporate tax cut must create a deferred revenue account and track their savings. Then, as each comes before the KCC for a rate adjustment, the commission can determine on a case-by-case basis how those funds should be distributed. If it is determined that a rate decrease is proper and would have been proper as of the effective date of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, any excessive collections in the deferred revenue subaccount may be refundable to ratepayers. The KCC though recognized that it is possible other expenses could occur that would counteract some of those tax savings. Will My Cooperative Be Affected?

The impact on your electric cooperative is much different. Most of the electric cooperative entities in Kansas are IRS tax exempt entities and therefore have no federal income tax liability. There are two members of the cooperative family that are organized as taxable corporations but they operate on a cooperative basis. All margins are allocated to their members and, therefore, they have no

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taxable income. There is no federal income tax expense included in electric rates by any of the cooperative entities. Electric cooperatives in Kansas are regulated differently as well. Kansas law allows the members of an electric cooperative a vote to remove the cooperative from the jurisdiction of the KCC for rate regulation. While all electric cooperatives have subsequently voted to remove this oversight, the KCC still has authority over: service territory; charges, fees or tariffs for transmission services; sales of power for resale (excluding Generation and Transmission Cooperative sales to members); wire stringing; and transmission siting. So rather than requiring a full rate case before the KCC, the Legislature entrusted each cooperative’s member-elected board of trustees to evaluate appropriate revenue requirements. If a rate change is being considered, a cooperative must provide notice to all of its members of the time and place of the meeting where the cooperative board will discuss and take action. The statute requires this notice at least 10 days prior to the meeting, includes an appeal process, and requires a schedule of rates and charges be available to the public. The Kansas Legislature granted this authority because not-for-profit cooperatives are owned and governed by their members and should be trusted to determine a reasonable rate structure. In addition, a rate case before the KCC requires a significant investment of time as well as consultant and legal fees. In fact, the most recent filing before the KCC by a cooperative entity cost more than $250,000. This regulatory framework fits two of the seven important cooperative principles— democratic member control and member economic participation—and helps your cooperatives deliver affordable and reliable electricity to rural Kansas. KCL BRUCE GRAHAM is Chief Executive Officer of Kansas

Electric Cooperatives, Inc. in Topeka.


C U T YO U R U T I L I T Y B I L L S

Maintain Efficient, Healthy Indoor Humidity Level Year-Round 

BY J A M E S D U L L E Y

Dear Jim: I have lived in hot and cold areas and had indoor humidity problems in both. What is an efficient, comfortable humidity level and how can I maintain it year-round? -

STEVE W.

JAMES DULLEY

Dear Steve: Humidity-related problems are generally worse during winter in the north and during summer in the south, but there can be year-round problems everywhere. Indoor humidity levels can be controlled by just opening windows or running the furnace or air conditioner more, but these options increase your utility bills and waste energy. There is not just one ideal indoor humidity level. When referring to personal comfort, a target of 40 to 45 percent relative humidity is good. Most people are comfortable with a relative humidity ranging from 30 to 50 percent and can tolerate 20 to 60 percent. With relative humidity in the proper range, your furnace or central air conditioner thermostat can be set down or up respectively to save energy. When the relative humidity level is too high, there can be serious health problems related to allergies, dust mites, mold, mildew and other harmful microbes. Being at the other extreme with relative humidity too low, a person’s mucous membranes may dry out, which increases the susceptibility to cold and respi-

A whole-house exhaust ventilation fan can draw humid air from many rooms at once.

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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018

ratory illness. Also some nasty microbes prefer excessively dry air. To understand how to control indoor humidity year-round, it is important to understand the term “relative humidity” or RH. Warmer air can hold more water vapor (moisture) than can colder air. If the air at 75 degrees has a RH of 50 percent, it means the air is holding 50 percent of the maximum amount of water vapor it can hold at that temperature. If that air drops to 50 degrees, that same amount of water vapor may now be 70 percent RH. When the air gets cool enough, next to window glass during winter or the refrigerator door seal during summer, it reaches a point where the air can no longer hold that much water vapor. This is called the dew point. This is when your windows or refrigerator door sweat. You can purchase an inexpensive hygrometer at most hardware stores to measure to indoor relative humidity. Since you are having humidityrelated problems, your best gauge of the proper relative humidity is when the problems are alleviated or, at least, tolerable. For example, if you have old single-pane windows in the north, you would have to get the relative humidity level to an uncomfortably low level to avoid all window condensation on cold winter nights. In the south, it may not be possible to stop all mold and mildew in the bathroom even if you run the vent fan and your central air conditioner almost continuously. The keys to maintaining a comfortable and efficient indoor humidity level are controlling the sources of moisture and ventilating them efficiently. The average person gives off one-quarter cup of moisture per hour just breathing. Cooking for a family of four produces five cups of moisture per day. A shower contributes one-half pint and a bath contributes one-eighth pint. Exterior moisture sources are leaky Continued on page 16 


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Young Gardeners

& Broadening Their Taste Buds You don’t have to be an expert to engage

your kids in backyard gardening. It’s a great way for parents and kids to spend quality time outdoors—and see and eat the results of their work. No matter your goal—to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables; have an activity to share together; learn about nature and the environment; or just break away from the pull of technology—gardening’s many short- and long-term benefits can pay off with a bumper crop of fun and life lessons. “Gardening can be a wonderful bonding opportunity for parents and their children,” says Jane Taylor, nationally recognized youth gardening advocate and founding curator of the 4-H

BY PA M E L A A . K E E N E

Children’s Garden at Michigan State University in Lansing. “It’s a good family activity that has tangible results.” Gardening also introduces children to science, math, the environment, weather practicalities, nature and responsibility of caring for living things.

Growing Together

PA M E L A K E E N E

Whether you have a place for a backyard garden or need to start with containers on a deck or patio, gardening is a constantly unfolding hobby. Colorful catalogs and websites can provide the impetus for researching types of plants to grow and how to put the garden together. “It’s exciting to create a sense of wonder with children as you plant seeds together,” says Kathy Lovett, founder of Gardens on Green in Gainesville, Georgia. She and her husband, Lee, received the American Horticultural Society’s Jane L. Taylor Award in 2016 for their work with children and youth gardening. “You can share the magic and a true scientific understanding of what happens to seeds that grow into plants and produce more seeds.” If you live in colder weather, start seeds indoors in cups on sunny windowsills. The seed Master Gardener Lee Lovett shares his knowledge of gardening with school children who will learn how to plant seeds, tend gardens, harvest and prepare foods to sample right in the garden. packaging describes the

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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018


PA M E L A K E E N E

planting depth, light and water requirements. Remember to turn the cups periodically so the plants will grow straight stems. Stake out a sunny garden spot because most vegetables and many flowers require at least six hours of sunlight each day. Start with a small plot to keep it manageable, and select three or fewer crops for the first year. For container gardens, purchase larger pots with drainage holes, and use good-quality potting soil. Place your plants in a sunny place on your deck or patio. “Gardening is a time to play outside and get your hands dirty,” Lovett says. “Wear older clothes that can be thrown in the washer when you’re finished. This is about having fun together, so don’t worry about getting a little muddy.” You’ll need gardening tools such as trowels, shovels and rakes. A shopping trip to a big-box retailer or nursery is another excuse for a family outing. Be sure to look for smaller tools that will fit kids’ hands, purchasing “real” tools rather than ineffective plastic ones that could easily break. Master Gardener Kathy Lovett engages students in gardening activities by Select fast-growing vegetables explaining how a scarecrow is used as a decoy to protect growing crops. such as radishes, baby carrots, bush beans or cucumbers, and plant them according digging holes for the plant seedlings and placing to the package instructions. Your local retailer them in the ground. or nursery may have seedlings to get you started “This is a shared activity, and it’s a chance more quickly. for kids—and adults—to learn,” Lovett says. “Flowers like marigolds, nasturtiums and “Younger ones can also help with watering the zinnias can offer quick color,” says Lovett. “And garden and looking for insects as the crops grow.” brightly colored blooms attract pollinators to It may sound too technical, but take time further ensure the success of your vegetable crops.” to explain to your kids what’s happening in the Be sure to let your kids help with easy garden. Visit a local library and check out agechores like exploring the dirt for earthworms, appropriate books to help simplify the science. Or find the books online. Look at titles such as “Green Thumbs: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening” by Laurie Winn Carlson, “Square Food Gardening with Kids” by Mel Bartholomew, and “Seed, Sun, Soil: Earth’s Recipe for Food” by Cris Peterson. “Kid’s First Gardening” by Jenny Hendy includes step-by-

Gardening introduces children to science, math ... and responsibility ...

MARCH 2018 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

11


Young Gardeners

Herbs are an excellent way to introduce kids and their families to gardening. step activities and crafts for kids ages 5 to 12, and “Gardening Lab for Kids” by Renata Fossen Brown offers more than 50 experiments related to gardening.

Herbs and More

entry is submitted for a random statewide drawing by the office of the Commission of Agriculture in each of the 48 participating states.” Each state’s winner receives a $1,000 Series I Savings Bond from Bonnie Plants toward his or her education. “The Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program is a wonderful way to engage children’s interest in agriculture while teaching them not only the basics of gardening but the importance of our food systems and growing our own,” says Stan Cope, president of Bonnie Plants. “This unique, innovative program exposes children to agriculture and demonstrates, through hands-on experience, where food comes from. The program also affords our youth valuable life lessons in nurturing, nature, responsibility, self-confidence and accomplishment.”

PA M E L A K E E N E

“Herbs are an excellent way to introduce kids and their families to gardening,” says Joan Casanova, spokesperson with Bonnie Plants. “As the gateway to gardening, herbs can be harvested right away, and, with the proper care and requirements, they’ll keep on producing all season long.” Casanova suggests growing the basics like basil, parsley and rosemary but also branching out with novelty herbs such as Thai basil, cinnamon basil or lemon thyme. “Add to your growing experience by picking out simple recipes that use these herbs,” she says. “And consider freezing them in water in ice-cube trays so you can use extra harvest all winter long. Continued on page 14  Freezing herbs retains more of the nutrients and flavor than drying.” To engage third-graders in gardening, Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program, www. bonnnieplants.com, delivers more than 1 million free 2-inch O.S. (oversized) Cross cabbage transplants to schools in the lower 48 states each season. The students take the plants home and, together with their families, tend to the cabbage plants. “Within approximately 10-12 weeks, the cabbages have reached maturity, some tipping the scales at more than 40 pounds, and the kids are just amazed, not to mention engaged,” Casanova says. “Parents submit digital cellphone images to their third-grade teachers who Engaging children in gardening helps them build an interest in agriculture while teachaward Best in Class, then ing them the basics of gardening and the importance of our food systems. each school’s best in class

12 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018


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Young Gardeners

This is a good recipe for teaching how to use the microwave. Help little ones with coring the apples and handling the warm dish. You can also use this same recipe with fresh pears. Yield: 4 servings ff 4 small apples, cored leaving 1/2 ff 1 tsp. brown sugar inch of the bottom intact ff 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon ff 1/3 cup apple cider or juice ff Maple or sorghum syrup for serving Place the apples in a baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the cider or juice, sugar and cinnamon. Evenly spoon into the center of each apple. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high power for 4 minutes. Remove from the microwave and let stand 3 minutes before serving with a drizzle of syrup.

GET TY IMAGES/MIKEINLONDON

Baked Apples

Continued from page 12 

Marinated Vegetables

GETTY IMAGES/SERGEY05

Use any mixture of veggies you want—just make sure they are all cut into bite-sized pieces. This is a good teaching recipe for chopping. Yield: 6-8 servings ff 4 cups chopped mixed vegetables (such as broccoli, celery, sweet peppers, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, Brussels sprouts) ff 1/4 cup Italian dressing Place the vegetables in a serving bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving at room temperature. Alternative preparation method: Place 4 cups of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Carefully add the vegetables and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and immediately drain in a colander. Proceed with the instructions above.

Family Outings and Field Trips

Consider introducing your kids to gardening on a larger scale at nearby farms by scheduling a trip for a visit or a youpick outing. Agritourism is a rapidly growing tourism sector and provides opportunities to visit petting zoos, dairies and fruit and vegetable farms. Many farms offer “you-pick” activities so that your family can harvest your own fruits and vegetables. Find a simple recipe that you and your kids can prepare together such as fresh strawberry parfaits with yogurt and granola or blueberry muffins. Is your state known for a particular crop? Many areas host food festivals to celebrate local food sources. From blueberry festivals in Texas, Ohio and Oregon to tomato festivals in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and California, these events often include chances to talk with growers, sample recipes and learn insider tips for growing. “Getting kids engaged in gardening can have lifelong benefits,” Taylor says. “Not only are you helping children learn about nature and health, you’re starting them off on a hobby they can enjoy for a lifetime.”

Cooking Will Broaden Their Taste Buds

Fresh Fruit Sauce

G E T T Y I M AG ES /J U L A RT E

Use this on pancakes, waffles, ice cream or pound cake. Change the fruits as the seasons progress. Yield: 4 servings ff 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh ff 4 tsp. sugar fruit: strawberries, peaches, ff 1 Tbs. lemon juice raspberries or blueberries ff 1 Tbs. water Place half of the fruit in the bowl of a food processor or blender along with the sugar, lemon juice and water. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in the remaining fruit. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes before using.

14 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018

Are your kids picky eaters? When they help with growing and preparing fruits and vegetables, they’re more likely to try new tastes. This page includes recipes from Pick TN Products spokesperson Tammy Algood that provide some surefire ways to get kids—and adults—interested in trying new foods. These are also excellent recipes to introduce food preparation to youngsters and adults, with great taste and healthy eating as the big payoff. KCL PAMELA A. KEENE writes for more than a dozen publications across the country, specializing in travel, lifestyle, features and gardening. She is a photographer and an avid life-long gardener.


T H I N G S TO D O

Continued from page 5 

MARCH 25 Blackwood Quartet, The

Gospel Side of Elvis, McPherson. Incredible songs, amazing stories and the history of a legend all come together in one inspirational, uplifting performance at 6 p.m. at the McPherson Opera House. Tickets online at McPhersonoperahouse.org, by phone at 620-241-1952, or the box office at 219 S. Main St. MARCH 27 Bats of Kansas, Hesston.

B ats are fascinating creatures. Learn more about their expanding ranges, common habits, challenges of white-nosed syndrome, and ways you can improve chances of having bats join the ecology of your landscape. Supper (by reservation) at 6 p.m.; lecture at 6:30 p.m. http://dyckarboretum.org/arboretum-event/ bats-of-kansas, Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, 620-327-8127. MARCH 29 Native Plant School: Native

John L. Meyer, Jr., a native of Phillipsburg, was drafted into the army in 1943. He saw frontline action in Germany as an infantryman in the “Fighting First” and was awarded the Purple Heart. He was discharged in 1946. Before returning to Kansas, Meyer was selected to build the model of the courtroom for the Nuremberg trials. See this exhibit in the Kansas Historical Society research room in Topeka. 6425 S.W. 6th Ave., 785-272-8681. THROUGH APRIL 1 Chisholm Trail:

Driving the American West, North Newton. Celebrate the 150th anniversary of cattle drives that crossed the Bethel campus from 1867 to 1871 en route to beef-hungry easterners. Watch film clips from The Old Chisholm Trail and Red River, explore the cowboy song “The Old Chisholm Trail,” and create your own brand. Kauffman Museum, 27th and North Main, 316-283-1612, kauffman. bethelks.edu.

Plant Essentials, Hesston. For those who want to learn more about native plants, this class will introduce you to soil types, prairie ecology, native plant communities and why native plants are important. 7 - 8:30 p.m. http://dyckarboretum.org/arboretum-event/ native-plant-essentials, Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, 620-327-8127.

APRIL 4-6 F arm and Ranch Expo, Great Bend. W  ith more than 700 inside and outside booths promoting agricultural technology, this is one of the largest farm shows in the United States. Parking and admission is free. Great Bend Expo Complex, www.greatbendfarmandranchexpo.net.

MARCH 31 Easter Egg Hunt,

APRIL 10 Hospice Fun-D Dinner and

Phillipsburg. 10 a.m. at Phillips County Courthouse Square. Call Phillipsburg Chamber & Main Street at 785-543-2321, www. phillipsburgchambermainstreet.com. MARCH 31 Season Opener, Dodge City.

 CRP Sprint Cars, IMCA Modified, IMCA Sport D Modified, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Hobby Stocks. Races start at 7:30 p.m. Dodge City Raceway Park, 620-225-3277. MARCH 31 Easter Egg Hunt, Downs.

T his annual event will take place at Downs Care and Rehabilitation beginning at 10 a.m. with more than 1,500 eggs to find. Ages 10 and younger. 1218 Kansas St., www.downschamber. com, 785-454-3321. THROUGH APRIL 1 P.F.C John L. Meyer

Jr., My Road to Nuremberg, Topeka.

Auction, Phillipsburg. Hospice Services of Northwest Kansas holds this annual fundraiser with smoked pork chop dinner and auction (silent and live) beginning at 5:30 p.m. Call 785-543-2900 for tickets.

APRIL 21 Car Cruise on State Street,

Phillipsburg. Our car cruise is a great place to hang out with fellow car enthusiast. Show at 6 p.m. and cruise at 7 p.m. Contact Phillips County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 785543-2321. APRIL 27-28 K  ansas Storytelling Festival, Downs. A magical weekend of stories and hometown hospitality. We will have five storytellers as a part of the 25th anniversary. www.kansasstorytelling.com. KCL

Send your event information by the fifth of the month prior to publication to events@ kansascountryliving.com. Please include a contact phone number. We publish events free as space allows. To guarantee publication of your event in the magazine, contact ad sales at 785-478-4554 or advertising@kansascountryliving.com.

Would You Like to Reach

128,000 Homes & Businesses?

APRIL 19 Behind the Exhibit,

Manhattan. Angie Babbit of the Monarch Watch Program will lecture on the program’s initiative in conservation for Monarch Butterflies and discuss monarch migration and habitat. A free native milkweed plant will be given to the first 30 attendees. Flint Hills Discovery Center, 315 S. 3rd, www. flinthillsdiscovery.org, 785-587-2726.

Call Carrie at 785-478-4554 to discuss advertising options in the next monthly issue of Kansas Country Living magazine!

APRIL 20-JULY 21 D  oug Herren

Ceramics, Pratt. V ernon Filley Art Museum. 421 S. Jackson St., 620-933-2787, www. vernonfilleyartmuseum.org. MARCH 2018 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

15


C U T YO U R U T I L I T Y B I L L S

windows, doors, etc. Once you have taken care of these problem areas, check the slope of the ground around your home. It should slope slightly downward away from the house walls. Even with the best new windows, soggy soil around your home allows excess moisture to migrate indoors year-round. Installing new efficient replacement windows or exterior storm windows is the best method to control a window condensation problem efficiently. This also saves energy during the summer cooling season. With more efficient glass, you should be able to close insulating window shades at night to save energy. With old windows, closing shades exacerbates condensation problems. Install new bathroom vent fans Heavy condensation on the inside of a sliding glass patio door with humidity sensors. These come is a good indication the indoor humidity level is too high for the outdoor temperature. on automatically and run until the humidity level drops. With a manual handle on the central humidifier is set for the switch, you have to either turn it off prematurely proper season. Use electric countertop cookers when you leave for work or let it run all day. and vegetable steamers in the garage instead of Check the seal around the clothes dryer duct in the kitchen during summer. I use an outdoor leading to the outdoor vent. solar-powered steamer on sunny days. KCL Install a new furnace/heat pump with a variable-speed blower and compatible thermostat Send inquiries to JAMES DULLEY , Kansas Country Living, to allow it to run in an efficient dehumidification 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www. dulley.com. mode during summer. Make sure the damper

JAMES DULLEY

Continued from page 8 

IMPROVE EFFICIENCY OF AN OLD ELECTRIC RANGE

DEAR JIM: I just bought an old electric range that I am going to put in my son’s apartment. Is there anything that we can do so it uses less electricity? –

KELLI H.

WLES AGES KNO GETTY IM

G A L L E RY

DEAR KELLI: Electric ranges are very simple devices. Check to make sure that all of the burner (element) controls work properly and actually adjust the heat from low to high. Also clean the chrome reflector drip pans or buy new ones. They are very inexpensive and can improve its efficiency. Check the accuracy of the oven thermostat with a thermometer. If it gets hotter than the setting, this wastes electricity. Check the gasket around the oven door. If it has deteriorated and is leaky, you can replace it. KCL

16 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018


YO U R P L A C E I N T H E G A R D E N

Everything, Even Plants, Need Companions 

BY C Y N T H I A D O M E N G H I N I , P H . D .

Just as companionship in human relationships can allow individuals to benefit from the qualities of others, plants can benefit from one another as well. Companion planting is the time-tested practice of establishing plants near each other to facilitate their naturally beneficial relationship. A well-known example is the Three Cynthia Sisters Garden. In this trio, corn, Domenghini, Ph.D. beans and squash support each other. The corn provides literal support as a climbing system for the pole beans. The beans fix the nitrogen in the soil benefiting the corn and squash “sisters.” The squash serves as a mulch layer covering the soil with broad leaves reducing the growth of weeds and water loss through evaporation. Companion planting can result in healthier plants and less work for the gardener. Reports of plant combinations that offer the benefit of reducing pests have been scientifically disputed and largely dismissed as inaccurate. However, many extension agencies and institutions still promote companion planting as a method for pest control. Rather than take sides on this controversy, take notes in your own garden. It doesn’t hurt to try some of the recommendations found in the multitude of companion planting charts; then observe the interactions. Basil has been listed as a companion of tomato plants to reduce the tomato hornworm prevalence. Marigolds are touted to prevent a variety of pests including beetles and nematodes. Some reports state marigolds aren’t effective unless they are cultivated into the soil; others state the only prevention occurs in the immediate root zone of the marigolds. If you choose to try this method, ensure you plant scented marigolds as they are believed to be the only effective varieties. Selecting plant companions with different growth habits and requirements is an example of “intercropping” or “interplanting.” Growing plants that are smaller, prefer light shade and reach maturation more quickly, such as lettuce, spinach and radishes between rows of taller and slower growing plants like Brussels sprouts, peppers and tomatoes, maximizes space in the garden. The plants help provide for the needs of 18 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018

the companions in their vicinity without depleting the soil nutrients. Although there are many great companions in the garden, there are also incompatible plant combinations due to the negative effects they have on each other. For example onions and garlic should not be planted near beans or peas because they can inhibit growth. Corn is listed as an enemy to tomatoes because they both attract the same type of worm increasing the likelihood of an infestation. As you plan your garden, practicing crop rotation can also reduce the risk of transferring the negative effects from one year to the next. Companion planting can offer aesthetic benefits as well by timing the bloom period of plants. When planting spring-flowering bulbs take note of whether each variety blooms during the early, mid or late spring. Incorporate a variety to extend the blooming season. Intersperse annuals and perennials in the design to hide the leaf die-back of the bulbs after flowering. Aesthetic considerations of companion planting may primarily benefit the gardener but it’s important to remember with any plant combinations the gardener needs to be a companion as well to ensure a successful growing season. KCL CYNTHIA DOMENGHINI is an instructor and coordinator for K-State’s horticultural therapy online certificate program.

Marigolds make a striking contrast to the green pepper foliage and may offer other benefits in companion plantings.


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LAMP’L

Stop: Don’t toss out those nonmeat kitchen scraps. By following the right techniques and combination of ingredients, you can have some of the best and least-expensive garden soil amendments. “The secret to successful gardening is the quality of the soil you plant in, and when you amend your soil with compost, you’re improving your chances for a more productive garden,” says Joe Lamp’l, founder of joegardener.com and the television program “Growing a Greener World” that’s broadcast in many parts of the country. [Check local listings on Public Broadcasting stations.] He also produces podcasts that air on joegardener.com and is a sought-after speaker at regional and national gardening symposiums and workshops. “Commercial soil amendments and organic material can be expensive, but when you

can make your own out of kitchen scraps, grass clippings and leaves, everyone wins. It’s really not that hard, and you can have fun in the process.” Without getting too technical, compost is made from biodegraded organic matter. In the right proportions and conditions, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, earthworms and arthropods (such as beetles and springtails) break down the materials. There are four basic ingredients to make compost: carbon (brown waste), nitrogen (green waste), air and water. “You don’t need any fancy equipment or tools to start a compost heap,” he says. “Just select an out-of-the-way spot—behind some shrubs or a far corner of your yard—and you can just begin putting the ingredients into a pile. Find an easy-to-access place with water nearby and you’re all set.” If you want to contain the pile, build a threesided wire cage, or tie three wooden pallets together with coat hangers. You can also order closed composting systems online or from garden centers. Your batches will be smaller than using an open bin, but the results will be faster. “Start with woody materials, branches or sticks that will aid in ventilation, then layer brown, then green materials, using a formula of roughly twothirds brown and one-third green,” Lamp’l says. Examples of green

Examples of open and closed-bin composting: Piling the materials on top of each other will work, but using an enclosed system with a rotating bin can produce compost more quickly.

20 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018

Continued on page 22 


A DV E RT I S E M E N T

Drug Companies Fear Release of the New AloeCure Big Pharma stands to lose billions as doctors’ recommend drug-free “health cocktail” that adjusts and corrects your body’s health conditions.

Drug company execs are nervous. That’s because the greatest health advance in decades has hit the streets. And analysts expect it to put a huge crimp in “Big Pharma” profits. So what’s all the fuss about? It’s about a new ingredient that’s changing the lives of people who use it. Some call it “the greatest discovery since penicillin”! The name of the product is the AloeCure. It’s not a drug. It’s something completely different. And the product is available to anyone who wants it, at a reasonable price. But demands may force future prices to rise. TOP DOC WARNS: DIGESTION DRUGS CAN CRIPPLE YOU! Company spokesperson, Dr. Liza Leal; a leading integrative health specialist recommends AloeCure before she decides to prescribe any digestion drug. Especially after the FDA’s stern warning about long-term use of drugs classified as proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec®, Nexium®, and Prevacid®. In a nutshell, the FDA statement warned people should avoid taking these digestion drugs for longer than three 14-day treatment periods because there is an increased risk of bone fractures. Many people take them daily and for decades. Dr. Leal should know. Many patients come to her with bone and joint complaints and she does everything she can to help them. One way for digestion sufferers to help avoid possible risk of tragic joint and bone problems caused by overuse of digestion drugs is to take the AloeCure.

Acemannan has many of other health benefits?... HELPS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM TO CALM INFLAMMATION According to a leading aloe research, when correctly processed for digesting, the Aloe plant has a powerful component for regulating your immune system called Acemannan. So whether it’s damage that is physical, bacterial, chemical or autoimmune; the natural plant helps the body stay healthy. RAPID ACID AND HEARTBURN NEUTRALIZER Aloe has proved to have an astonishing effect on users who suffer with digestion problems like bouts of acid reflux, heartburn, cramping, gas and constipation because it acts as a natural acid buffer and soothes the digestive system. But new studies prove it does a whole lot more. SIDE-STEP HEART CONCERNS So you’ve been taking proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) for years and you feel just fine. In June of 2015 a major study shows that chronic PPI use increases the risk of heart attack in general population. UNLEASH YOUR MEMORY Studies show that your brain needs the healthy bacteria from your gut in order function at its best. Both low and high dosages of digestion drugs are proven to destroy that healthy bacteria and get in the way of brain function. So you’re left with a sluggish, slow-to-react brain without a lot of room to store information. The acemannan used in AloeCure actually makes your gut healthier, so healthy bacteria flows freely to your brain so you think better, faster and with a larger capacity for memory.

Analysts expect the AloeCure to put a huge crimp in “Big Pharma” profits.

Doctors call it “The greatest health discovery in decades!”

The secret to AloeCure’s “health adjusting” formula is scientifically tested Acemannan, a polysaccharide extracted from Aloe Vera. But not the same aloe vera that mom used to apply to your cuts, scrapes and burns. This is a perfect strain of aloe that is organically grown under very strict conditions. AloeCure is so powerful it begins to benefit your health the instant you take it. It soothes intestinal discomfort and you can avoid the possibility of bone and health damage caused by overuse of digestion drugs. We all know how well aloe works externally on cuts, scrapes and burns. But did you know

SLEEP LIKE A BABY A night without sleep really damages your body. And continued lost sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems. But what you may not realize is the reason why you’re not sleeping. Some call it “Ghost Reflux”. A lowintensity form of acid reflux discomfort that quietly keeps you awake in the background. AloeCure helps digestion so you may find yourself sleeping through the night. CELEBRITY HAIR, SKIN & NAILS Certain antacids may greatly reduce your

by David Waxman Seattle Washington:

body’s ability to break down and absorb calcium. Aloe delivers calcium as it aids in balancing your stomach acidity. The result? Thicker, healthier looking hair…more youthful looking skin… And nails so strong they may never break again. SAVE YOUR KIDNEY National and local news outlets are reporting Kidney Failure linked to PPI’s. Your Kidney extracts waste from blood, balance body fluids, form urine, and aid in other important functions of the body. Without it your body would be overrun by deadly toxins. Aloe helps your kidney function properly. Studies suggest, if you started taking aloe today; you’d see a big difference in the way you feel. GUARANTEED RESULTS OR DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK Due to the incredible results people are reporting, AloeCure is being sold with an equally incredible guarantee. “We can only offer this incredible guarantee because we are 100% certain this product will work for those who use it,” Says Dr. Leal. Here’s how it works: Take the pill exactly as directed. You must see and feel remarkable improvements in your digestive health, your mental health, in your physical appearance, the amount inflammation you have throughout your body – even in your ability to fall asleep at night! Otherwise, simply return the empty bottles with a short note about how you took the pills and followed the simple instructions and the company will send you...Double your money back! HOW TO GET ALOECURE This is the official nationwide release of the new AloeCure pill in the United States. And so, the company is offering our readers up to 3 FREE bottles with their order. This special give-away is available for readers of this publication only. All you have to do is call TOLL-FREE 1-800-748-3311 1-800-746-2899 and provide the operator with the Free Bottle Approval Code: JC025. The company will do the rest. Important: Due to AloeCure’s recent media exposure, phone lines are often busy. If you call and do not immediately get through, please be patient and call back.

THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.


G E T T Y I M A G E S / P H O T O E U P H O R I A & W AT C H A

COMPOSTING TIPS FROM LAMP’L ffUse kitchen scraps such as fruit or vegetable peelings, salad trimContinued from page 20 

mings and coffee grounds. ffUse care with adding grass clippings; they can be “too much of a

JORDAN CROSSINGHAM BRANNOCK

materials, which have a higher nitrogood thing” if added in bulk. gen content, include fresh grass clipffPoultry manure or bagged manure are excellent additions. pings, pulled weeds and nonmeat, ffKeep ingredients as small as possible. nonfat kitchen scraps such as vegetable and fruit peelings and cores, coffee ffTurn the pile thoroughly and regularly. grounds and used tea leaves. Brown ffPaper products like toilet paper rolls, shredded newspapers or noningredients, those that furnish carbon colored junk mail are a good source of brown ingredients. that’s important to the decomposition process, include dried leaves, shredded ffDon’t add meat, dairy or grease; they attract vermin and pests. cardboard or paper, small wood chips ffDon’t add weed-producing seeds. and dried grass clippings. You can add ffDon’t add diseased plants. a shovelful of garden soil or a handful of fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or MilffDon’t add animal waste from carnivores. organite slow-acting fertilizer to speed up the process a bit. “Several other things that come black plastic garbage bags that will hold in heat. into play when making compost include moisture, regular aeration and making sure the ingre- Remove the bags long enough to aerate weekly. You should periodically spray the pile with dients you add are not too big,” Lamp’l says. “As a garden hose to keep it moist, but be careful the pile decomposes, it creates heat that further not to overwater. The moisture consistency of a breaks down the ingredients.” A garden thermometer is a good investment damp sponge is a good gauge. Composting can take two months to a year for helping you maintain the temperature at or more, depending on the ratio of brown to around 130 degrees. And some gardeners periodically cover the pile for a couple of weeks with green ingredients, how often the pile is turned or aerated, how much heat is generated during the process, the size of the pile and other conditions. Adding compost to your garden will increase the level of nutrients and improve the texture of the soil. “Once you’re started composting, using it in your garden and as topdressing for your landscape, you’ll never go back,” he says. “It’s one of the best ways to truly recycle and save money at the same time. And your gardening successes will improve.” For more gardening advice, visit joegardener.com.

Wood pallets can be used to build a three-section composting bin to accommodate compost at various stages of decomposition.

22 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018

PAMELA A. KEENE writes for more than a dozen publications across the country, specializing in travel, lifestyle, features and gardening. She is a photographer and an avid life-long gardener.


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C O O K I N G M Y WAY H O M E

The Eating of the Green(s) Lays a Grassy Path to Pesto 

BY R E B E C C A H O WA R D

When I was growing up, we ate our weeds—I

bedtime called us inside. We snacked on bitter dandelions that didn’t make it into a “daisy” mean, greens. A favorite—lambs quarters, wispy chain. We ate wild watercress from the clear but prolific plants with dusty green, arrowheadspring water feeding a certain creek. When the shaped leaves that grew all over the yard and trees were budding in the spring, my sister and beyond. My parents gathered them in huge I grabbed handfuls of the pale green, papery buckets and stewed them down to a proper Chinese elm seeds and chomped them like nuts. reduction of dark slime that they enjoyed with I imagine most rural Kansans know similar apple cider vinegar dribbled from a delicate cutexperiences, of holding a yellow blossom of glass carafe. Rebecca Howard sorrel under a childhood friend’s chin before This cooking preparation—for a child with devouring its sourness or adding cat mint to tea. opposition to squishy textures—led me to favor Of picking and sampling through spring pastures my weeds/greens freshly picked, unwashed and to find wild garlic near the foundation of a longeaten while standing in them. My childhood departed farmhouse. Or letting a lengthy stem “keepers”—my mom, dad and my older sister— of foxtail grass protrude from your mouth while educated me early on the art of fearless grazing, slowly savoring its sweet end. like a wild thing. And there was plenty of green The freedom of this grazing is missed, and to nibble on all around us. I’ve sought out similar tastes of the eating of the We chewed on the spicy frilly white flowers green, green grass of home, whether ordering a and leaves of peppergrass, picked at dusk, before shot of wheatgrass juice or dropping handfuls of micro greens into my breakfast smoothie. If this armchair grazing is not enough, I sometimes turn to my own yard. One year, I grew nasturtiums (which meant I grew nasturtiums every year after that). Their sunny For the pasta For the pecan pesto colored flowers and bright, rounded ff 2 cups basil leaves ff 8 ounces farfalle (bow-tie) pasta variegated foliage flourished in flowing ff 1/4 cup pecan halves ff 1 pound shrimp, peeled and garland-like vines all over the yard, deveined, tails on if you prefer ff 2 cloves garlic and I didn’t mind, particularly after I ff 1 cup frozen peas ff 1/2 cup olive oil found out they were edible. The leaves ff 1/4 roasted red pepper, cut into strips ff 1/2 cup grated Pecorino taste like peppergrass! Romano cheese ff 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans I read that both the leaves and ff Salt and freshly ground black pepper flowers could be consumed. In a salad, To make the pesto, place the basil, pecans and garlic in a food processor and pulse to sure, but I decided to use them in my chop. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Scrape the mixture into a small favorite, mature mode of green/weed bowl and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The pesto can be eating — pesto! Soon, my bouquets made ahead. Drizzle a little oil over the top, cover well with plastic wrap, and refrigerwent into the blender. ate for up to 48 hours or freeze until needed. “Pesto” comes from the Italian Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to direcword “pestare,” which, according tions, generally about 11 minutes. Three minutes before pasta is done, add the shrimp. to Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials of After two minutes, add the peas. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta, Classic Italian Cooking” (Alfred A. shrimp and peas. Knopf; 2010), means to pound or Return to the warm cooking pot and add the pecan pesto. Stir to coat well. Add a grind, traditionally with a mortar splash or two of the pasta cooking water to form a sauce. Stir in the red pepper and and pestle, although most who make remaining pecans and toss to combine everything. Serves 4. this lively, fresh green sauce these FROM “PECANS” BY KATHLEEN PURVIS (THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS; 2012) days use a food processor or blender. A thick, oily, pasty concentration of

GETTY IMAGES/EVGENIYSMOLSKIY

Shrimp and Farfalle with Pecan Pesto

24 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018


The oil, nuts and cheese add a richness to this sauce, and a good pesto can make nearly anything else better, whether it’s served in the traditional manner on pasta or as a sauce on pizza, or if it’s brought on the plate to liven up fish, seafood or chicken. flavor, pesto sauce is usually made with basil as its green, along with olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and Pecorino Romano cheese. The oil, nuts and cheese add a richness to this sauce, and a good pesto can make nearly anything else better, whether it’s served in the traditional manner on pasta or as a sauce on pizza, or if it’s brought on the plate to liven up fish, seafood or chicken. A simple schmear of this green on toasted bread is well good enough; pesto on a turkey sandwich is heavenly. Once I’d made my delicious nasturtium version of pesto, I considered the possibilities. Why wouldn’t any flavorful green do? I’ve since become aware of pestos made with everything from parsley (which I’ve tried successfully) to carrot tops (not yet), and I’ll conclude that while basil lends a specific flavor to a classic pesto, other greens, from dandelions to spinach (see tips)—as well as a variety of nuts, cheeses and oils—can substitute deliciously.

Lots of pesto recipes exist out there, but I’ve found the same basic formulation and proportions work: place two to three cups packed greens with two cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup nuts, along with a tablespoon of lemon juice in the food processor. Pulverize until everything is a somewhat smooth consistency, taste and season with salt and pepper. (Note: You can also process the greens, garlic, nuts and cheese first, then with the processor running, drizzle in the oil and juice at the end). Pesto is best eaten fresh, but can be kept covered in the fridge a day or two, with a little more olive oil drizzled over the top. Once you’ve made your own pesto, you’ll know—green goes with everything. And grazing is permitted. KCL REBECCA HOWARD grew up in Kansas and has written for the Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles Times and LA Parent Magazine, and currently writes the food blog, “A Woman Sconed.”

TIPS

Bring these basic components together and presto — you’ve got pesto! cheese, but any number of aged hard cheeses, ffFor greens, outside of basil, try any raw, leafy like Parmesan, Asiago or aged cheddar will work. green or herb that is tender and flavorful, like baby spinach, parsley, arugula, bagged spring mix, ffOlive oil is preferred, but canola or any mildbaby lettuces, cilantro, watercress or dandelion. flavored oil will also do. ffFor nuts, while pine nuts are traditional, try ffSeasoning is important—don’t leave out the walnuts, pecans (see featured recipe), almonds, garlic, salt and pepper. sunflower or pumpkin seeds. ffLemon juice is great to add for flavor and to help ffPecorino Romano is considered the classic pesto preserve the pesto. MARCH 2018 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

25


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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

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Share your events, story ideas, comments, recipes and photos! ffevents@kansascountryliving.com ffletters@kansascountryliving.com ffphotos@kansascountryliving.com ffeditor@kansascountryliving.com ffrecipes@kansascountryliving.com


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SAFETY

Spring Planting Season Poses Risks Above, Around and Below The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that nearly one in 10 farmers will be electrocuted on the job. And although August is the riskiest time frame for electrocution with 35 percent of annual electrocutions occurring that month across all industries, spring planting season can also be treacherous. Farmers, home gardeners and weekend do-it-yourselfers alike tend to hurry when the weather forecast predicts a changing weather pattern that could affect planting and projects. When rushing to complete a task, dangerous accidents are more likely to occur. Whether you will be preparing your farm for the growing season, planting early crops for your home garden or tackling outside projects, Kansas electric cooperatives urge you to take your time to look up, around and know what lurks below.

hits the lines. Portable grain augers, oversized wagons, large combines, irrigation pipe—any tall equipment—can accidentally come into contact with an overhead power line. The home gardener and weekend DIYer is also at risk when using ladders, pruning tools, rakes and other tall equipment near overhead power lines Take the time to look up and locate overhead power lines before beginning your work. Farmers should tie down cargo and secure equipment extensions to prevent contact with overhead lines. Plan ahead when moving heavy equipment so you know in advance where overhead power lines are located and plan a path around them. Gardeners and DIYer’s should also take precaution before carrying ladders and any tall tools across the yard—know where overhead lines are located and safely maneuver your equipment around them

Danger Overhead

Danger Around

The most common risk of farmingrelated electrocution is contact with overhead power lines when equipment

Barns and livestock houses can also bring electrocution injuries. These places can be dusty and moist, a

breeding ground for corrosion. Make sure electrical boxes, outlets and motors in these areas are waterproof, dustproof and explosion proof. Before doing any work, look for exposed underground power lines that can pose electrocution risk, as do defective wiring and improperly used extension cords in and around farm buildings. The key is to always survey your surroundings before beginning work.

Danger Below

Millions of miles of buried utilities lurk below the earth providing the essential services of water, natural gas and electricity. Kansas One Call urges homeowners and businesses to call 811 before beginning even the smallest project that requires digging. The depths of utility lines vary and several could be located in the immediate area. By calling 811, you will avoid disrupting services to your home, business or neighborhood, harming yourself and others and potential fines and repair costs. KCL Information compiled from Kansas One Call, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Safe Electricity.

ONCE UTILITY LINES HAVE BEEN MARKED BY CALLING KANSAS ONE CALL (811) AND YOU’RE READY TO DIG, FOLLOW THESE SAFE DIGGING TIPS ffDig with care! The paint and flags placed by the utility

company indicate the approximate location of their facilities, which may be anywhere in a 2 foot area on either side of the line of paint or flags.

G E T T Y I M A G E S /A V D E E V _ 8 0

ffUse only rounded/blunt-edged tools. Never use axes, hand or

powered posthole diggers, picks, mattocks, pry/probing bars or mechanized equipment, as these often results in damage. ffKeep the face of the shovel parallel with the utility line

markings. ffDon’t be aggressive with digging close to utility lines.

28 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  MARCH 2018

ffIf the utility line is visible, keep the face of the shovel parallel

with the utility line and use all precautions when removing the soil from around the utility line. ffDon’t pry against a utility line. ffDon’t take for granted that a utility line will be at a certain

depth. ffDon’t assume a utility line that is uncovered will be the only

one. There may be others close by. ffDon’t attempt to move underground utility lines.


MARCH 2018 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

29

Dark Chocolate Soufflé

American Irish Stew

KANS AS COUNTRY LIVING, MARCH 2018

Made with olive oil instead of butter, you can indulge with a little less guilt.

KANS AS COUNTRY LIVING, MARCH 2018

Enjoy Irish dining with this delicious, hearty dish of beef, onion, carrots and potatoes.

Double Chocolate Biscotti

KAN S AS COU N T RY L IVIN G, M ARCH 201 8

Ground cinnamon enhances the rich chocolate flavor of these Italian biscuits.

KAN S AS COU N T RY L IVIN G, M ARCH 201 8

day, try this creamy chowder.

Pressure Cooker Corn Chowder When you need a quick warm up on a cold


ff 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus additional ff 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste ff 2 Tbs. cornstarch ff 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk ff 2-3 green onions, sliced (optional) ff 1 Tbs. heavy cream or half-and-half (optional)

Pressure Cooker Corn Chowder ff 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped ff 1 small yellow onion, diced ff 3 cloves garlic, minced ff 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, diced ff 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn kernels ff 4 cups chicken broth ff 1 lb. unpeeled or peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch chunks

chocolate morsels

ff 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet

ff 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

ff 1/3 cup milk

ff 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

ff 1 cup packed light brown sugar

COURTESY MILKPEP

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 Tbs. bacon fat. Return skillet to stove. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add diced chicken and frozen corn; sauté for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and transfer contents to pressure cooker. Add chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Close and seal pressure cooker, with the vent in the sealed position. Cook on high 8 minutes. While the chowder cooks, make a slurry by whisking cornstarch (or flour) into milk. Set aside. When done, remove pressure cooker from heat. Allow pressure to release on its own or carefully quick-release pressure after a few minutes. Stir in the cornstarch-milk slurry. Cover and allow chowder to thicken for 10-15 minutes before serving. Portion soup into bowls and generously top with bacon. Garnish with green onion and cream or half-and-half, if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Double Chocolate Biscotti ff 3 cups all-purpose flour ff 1/2 cup cocoa powder ff 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder ff 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon ff 1/4 tsp. salt ff 1/2 cup extra light olive oil, plus 1 Tbs. for coating pans

On sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. Using electric mixer, beat olive oil with sugar until smooth and light. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add milk and vinegar; beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in chocolate morsels with large spoon; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Heat oven to 325 F. Grease two large baking sheets with 1/2 Tbs. olive oil each. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into quarters. Roll each piece into log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place logs on baking sheets, leaving space in between. Bake about 30 minutes, or until golden and set. Transfer to rack; let cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F. On cutting board using serrated knife, cut each log into 3/4-inch-wide slices diagonally. Place slices, cut-side down, on baking sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until toasted. Transfer to racks; let cool. COURTESY FILIPP O BERIO

American Irish Stew ff 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

cut into 3/4-inch pieces

ff 1 1/4 pounds beef, top round, ff 3 cloves garlic, minced ff salt, to taste ff pepper, to taste ff 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

cut into 3/4-inch pieces

ff 3 medium carrots, peeled and

large chunks (optional)

ff 2 medium parsnips, cut into

ff 3 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth

and cut into large chunks

ff 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled

ff 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary

ff 1 leek, coarsely chopped

ff 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

In large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 75 minutes, or until meat is tender.

Stir in potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender. To avoid potatoes falling apart, do not overcook. Serve hot and garnish with parsley, if desired.

ff pinch of cream of tartar

ff 2 egg yolks

ff 3 egg whites

ff 1 ounce 30 percent heavy cream

COURTESY CULI NA RY.NET AND AMER ICAN INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RESE ARC H

Dark Chocolate Soufflé ff 1/2 Tbs. extra light olive oil, plus additional for coating pan ff 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for coating pan

ff 4 ounces 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate

Heat oven to 375 F. Grease two 6-ounce ramekins with olive oil and dust with sugar.

In double boiler, melt chocolate, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and cream; let cool. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

Whisk egg yolks into cooled chocolate mixture; fold in egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar and cream of tartar. Pour into prepared ramekins; bake 15 minutes.

Tips: This recipe can be easily doubled. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.

COURTESY FI LIPP O BERI O

  MARCH 2018

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

30 


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Kansas Country Living March 2018  

Kansas Country Living March 2018

Kansas Country Living March 2018  

Kansas Country Living March 2018