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    Winter Squash and Pumpkin Varieties

    Winter squashes are best from early fall through winter. Winter squashes are drier, more fibrous, and much sweeter than summer squashes. Their thick, hard shells can not be eaten—like summer squashes, but these squashes can be stored into the winter and almost into the early spring. The sweet flesh of winter squash becomes creamy when […] More

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    The Legend of Jack-o’-Lantern

    Cut off the top of your pumpkin, scoop out the seed, carve a face in the flesh, place a candle inside, and replace the top. That is the story of Jack-o’-Lantern. Well, not quite. Actually, Jack—so the legend goes—was a rather lazy though crafty farmer. He made his way through life less by farming than […] More

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    Five Ways to Cook a Pumpkin

    Pumpkin can be cooked and served as a hot vegetable. pumpkin is a term that can be applied to almost hard-skinned squash. In the United States, the name pumpkin commonly means a large rounded orange squash. Pumpkins can be very large or small; the best pumpkins for cooking should weigh about 4 to 6 pounds. […] More

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    Oriental Eggplants

    Oriental-type eggplants are primarily slim, tapered or pointed elongated fruits that may remind you somewhat of a skinny, smooth and shiny cucumber. Oriental eggplants are mild, tender-skinned, creamy-fleshed, and quick-cooking eggplants. The Oriental-type eggplants can be divided into two groups: Chinese eggplants and Japanese eggplants. Chinese eggplants are lavender-blushed white, amethyst, and red-violet colored. They […] More

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    Popular Chili Peppers

    There are more than 200 varieties of chilies or hot peppers. Sometimes the names of chilies can get a bit confusing because often the same pepper will be known by two or even three different names. Here’s a quick users’ guide to about four dozen very popular chilies and how you can used them in […] More

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    Fresh Eating Cucumbers: ‘Diva’ and ‘Amira’

    Can there actually be two “World’s Best Cucumber”? To decide, taste ‘Diva’ and ‘Amira’ two very tasty slicing cucumbers. ‘Diva’ comes to the competition with all of the fanfare. In 2002, ‘Diva’ became an All-America Selection—which is a sort of growers’ Academy Award for best performing plants. ‘Amira’ has never taken home the All-America Selection […] More

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    Seven Ways to Cook Eggplant

    Eggplant can be broiled, grilled, sautéed, steamed, or pan-fried, or stuffed and baked. You make ratatouille or eggplant parmesan. The mild flavor and light, spongy texture of the eggplant make it a good match for other vegetables, browned and chopped meat, cooked fish or shellfish. Types of Eggplant The classic Western eggplant is cylindrical- or […] More

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    Tomato Vocabulary: Types, Descriptions, and Names

    There are more than 1,000 varieties of tomatoes. In the kitchen there are three major tomato categories based on use: (1) cherry or miniature tomatoes used for salads and snacking; (2) slicing and eating tomatoes used on sandwiches and hamburgers as well as eaten out of hand, and (3) cooking tomatoes for canning and sauces. […] More

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    Nine Ways to Cook Tomatoes

    Tomato bruschetta

    Ways to cook tomatoes, try: fry, sauté, roast, broil-grill, stew, and steam, also make tomato gratin, stuffed tomatoes, and tomato soup. The tomato is a fruit used as a vegetable in savory dishes for its juicy texture and mildly sweet, rich taste.  Tomatoes are at their absolute best vine-ripened towards the end of summer. The […] More

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    How to Cook and Serve Tomatillos

    Tomatillos in bowl

    Tomatillo flavor is delicate but slightly tart in a green tomato sort of way, although it can sometimes border on sweet. Some say the flavor of the tomatillo is a combination of apple, lemon, and herbs. Tomatillo can be sliced raw into a salad or diced into salsa. Most often tomatillo is slowly simmered until […] More

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    Squash Blossoms

    Squash blossoms are the big, satiny yellow or orange, and edible flowers of the pumpkin, squash, and zucchini. You can use them as a tasty garnish on crêpes, fruit salads, soups, and quesadillas. You can also stuff and bake them, stuff and serve them raw, batter and fry them, or use them as wrappers. One […] More