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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR JUNE

Showers, cooler (1,2) turning fair and warm (3,4,5); more showers, mainly in the southern part of the region (6,7) with fair and hot weather (8,9,10,11). Some scattered STORMS  (12,13), turning fair and hot yet again  (14,15,16);  more severe STORMS  (17,18,19)  returning to fair and hot temperatures (20,21,22,23,24,25) with more  STORMS in the north (26,27,28)’ fair and very warm (29,30). 


MONTHLY GARDEN ACTIVITIES


BEST DAYS FOR FARM ACTIVITIES 

                                                       


THOUGHT FOR TODAY'S 

LIVING  

"If all of our todays held as much hope as our tomorrows, what wonderful memories we would have of all our yesterdays” 

                                                                                      John Gruber  (1768-1857) 

COOKING & RECIPES

T

he knife is the single most important tool a cook can have in the kitchen. It can make cooking faster, safer, more fun, and more successful.  Still, some use the same cheap knives that they have had for years. The main reason for this may be that quality cutlery can be quite expensive with some knives costing more than $100 apiece. But what most people fail to realize is that, if cared for properly, these knives will last a lifetime.

KNIFE TYPES AND USES
     
     The right knife should be used for the job at hand. This makes the job easier and safer to perform.

     Chef’s Knife – Also called a French or Cook’s Knife, this is the most useful and versatile knife in a chef’s kitchen. It can slice, dice, or mince any ingredient. The slight curve toward the tip of the blade lets you cut pressure on the top of the blade and cut in a quick, rocking motion. This method is best for dicing or mincing Length – Between 8 and 10 inches.

     Slicing Knife – Sometimes called a Carving Knife, this knife has a narrower blade than the Chef’s Knife that is the correct knife for carving thin, even cuts of meat. They are perfect for carving roasts, turkey, chicken, ham, etc. Length – Between 10 to 14 inches.

     Boning Knife – This thin, pointed, and flexible knife is perfectly designed to trim away meat from bones or joints without harming the meat or the knife. It can also be used to fillet fish.  Length – Between 6 and 8 inches.

     Paring Knife – Its straight edge and small size allows for maximum control, making it ideal for delicate work such as garnishing, peeling, or paring. Length – 3 to 4 inches.

     Bread Knife – Most knives require a downward pressure to cut effectively but this knife has a serrated edge and is designed to cut with a back-and-forth sawing motion. These work great cutting breads, pastries and anything that would be otherwise smashed using any other knife. Length – 10 to 12 inches.

     In addition to the standard knives available, new knife types include hollow ground or granton edge steel knives. These knives have small ovals running the entire length of the knife that help to reduce drag and allow for more uniform cuts. They are perfect if you slice a lot and need to work fast. Ceramic knives are the newest rage with professional chefs around the world because of their sharpness and ability to hold an edge, but tend to break easily.

PROPER KNIFE CARE

     Fine knives should be stored in a wood block or on a magnetic strip and not loose in a drawer. They can easily be nicked and lose their sharpness if tossed around with other kitchen tools and utensils. 

     Sharpen your knives whenever you feel any drag or resistance. Using a sharpening stone or steel, hold the knife at a 20-degree angle against the surface and draw toward you, applying light pressure and keeping the angle constant. Repeat this about six times on each side. Electric sharpeners make this procedure easier. Chef’s Choice (800.342.3255 or in the web at www.chefschoice.com) makes very good electric knife sharpeners, starting at $60.

WHERE TO FIND THE BEST KNIVES

     The best selection of professional-grade knives are offered by: 

                                   F. Dick (631.454.6955 or www.dick.de)
                                   J.A Henkels (800.777.4308 or on the web at www. zwiling.com)
                                   Kyocera (800.537.0294 or www. kyocera.com) 
                                   Wüsthof (800.289.9878 and at www.wusthof.com).

     To prevent rusting, "season” all of your uncoated cookware and baking pans with an
unflavored vegetable oil. Spread oil on all surfaces, place in a warm oven for one hour, then remove and wipe off excess oil. After each use, wipe a little oil on the sides and the bottom.

     To choose the ripest melon, pick a heavier one, which tends to be juicier and riper. Look for the end of the melon where it was attached to the vine. Press lightly at the opposite end. It should be soft and give slightly to your touch.