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Susan Woody

Rock gardens

July 3, 2015

The nicest rock garden I’ve ever seen was outside of Phoenix. It was sited on a sharp incline along a busy road. What by rights should have been just a bare spot had been lovingly turned into a beautiful piece of landscaping thanks to someone who cared. Rock gardens are one of those often overlooked Read More

The sense of smell and food

July 1, 2015

I read an interesting article a few weeks ago on new data linking the ability of a person to imagine the smell of food with body-mass index, a standard measure that relates weight to height. It seems scientists at Yale University and the affiliated John E. Pierce Laboratory have found that a person’s self-reported ability Read More

Column: Summer pies

June 24, 2015

There is something special that happens to pies when they are made for when the weather is hot. Cream pies, especially banana and coconut cream are my favorites. I was at a dinner party a few weeks ago and offered to bring a pie for the hostess but she told me she had it covered. Read More

Column: The cure for the common coneflower

June 19, 2015

Echinacea — the staple of any garden — is suddenly a whole lot more interesting. For years the only color was that Pepto-pink shade. Now you can find a variety of colors to add interest to any yard. The simple Echinacea is indigenous to North America and you’ll find them growing along side highways across Read More

Column: From the waste basket to the market basket

June 17, 2015

With statistics showing that 40 percent of food in the U.S. is being wasted, (according to the Natural Resources Defense Council) the waste works out to about a $100 billion loss annually. The move toward using more of the food produced from root to stalk has become something of a battle cry. Here are a Read More

Column: The perfect tomato

June 12, 2015

Growing tomatoes is the perfect pastime for summer. From the Early Girl, beefsteak to an heirloom, getting an assortment to try is kind of like finding the perfect wine — everybody likes something different best. Years ago, a master gardener friend — one of the most brilliant MGs I’ve known — gave me a few Read More

Column: Myths, legends, half-truths, lies

June 10, 2015

You can’t cook with extra-virgin olive oil because it will either burn, burst into flames or turn into the dreaded transfat,” so says Nancy Jenkins the author of “Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil.” Other myths: extra-virgin oil is from the first cold pressing, virgin oil from the second. Better still: a buttery Read More

Column: Birdhouse basics

June 5, 2015

Choose a house to fit a bird’s needs. Plain, unpainted wood is the best because it looks like the real thing — a hole in a tree. Fancy birdhouses work well too, but they just take a little longer to attract tenants. Two or three basic size ranges will suit most backyard birds. The diameter Read More

Column: Go grill

June 3, 2015

We are heading into what for most of us is the ‘high season’ for grilling. Want a quick dinner? Grill vegetables and your favorite source of protein on skewers or some sort of grill pan. For those whose palette demands something just a little more try adding flavored or compound butters to the grill mix. Read More

What to do for June

May 29, 2015

Inside: On warm days keep salads and veggie plates crisp by serving them on chilled plates. Place a stack of plates in the refrigerator (not the freezer, which could crack ceramics) for an hour or more before using. Wash your windows with a solution of hot water and dishwasher detergent. Use a squeegee to wipe Read More

Springtime to-dos: Get ready for summer; it’s right around the corner

May 22, 2015

Petals in your food Nasturtiums, pansies, chives and pea blossoms add a dash of color to the salad plate and dress up desserts. I once made a birthday cake with a dotted Swiss pattern and added candied pansies. Flowers from plants in the allium family, such as chives or garlic, lend that kick of taste. Read More

Column: Veggie trays again

May 20, 2015

Years ago it was quite common to start a meal with a small veggie tray. Usually there were a small variety of fresh items and maybe a few pickeled ones for those who love that zing. Now-a-days you don’t find these small appetizer trays much and it is sad because it is a great way Read More

Column: Lost in translation

May 15, 2015

There are few things as daunting to weekend gardeners than horticultural jargon. Here is a gardener’s glossary that defines some common gardening terms. (I’m sorry to say that I don’t have the source of this list.) Flat 1. a shallow, rectangular tray used for germinating seedlings. 2. the state of your flowerbed after a black Read More

Column: Use it up

May 13, 2015

OK, we’ve talked about how to use up leftover buttermilk after you buy it to use in a specific recipe; now let’s talk sauce. This is the sauce with the unfortunate name — fish sauce. But if you’ve never used it before, you need to try it in a recipe. Fish sauce is most often Read More

Column: Summer birdhouse contest

May 8, 2015

Over the summer months starting in June, The Sheridan Press’ Home and Garden page will be sponsoring a birdhouse contest. There will be monthly winners and an overall grand-prize winner. To enter please submit photos of your birdhouse to or bring a photo to the Press office. Please explain who built the house and Read More

Column: The day after Cinco De Mayo

May 6, 2015

I hope you all went out yesterday to your favorite Mexican restaurant or invited friends over for your own favorite Mexican dish. Mexican food is my favorite; I could eat it every day gladly. The freshness of the ingredients combines to make the outcome so delicious. The variations of salsas alone could accompany any craving. Read More

Column: What to do for May

May 1, 2015

Inside: Wash throw rugs and hang outside to dry. Move indoor plants back outside gradually. If you gave up on your hanging baskets last fall, buy some new ones for the porch. Complete closet cleanups. Pack away clean winter clothes, rehang those on hangers and follow with dust covers or reuse dry cleaning bags. Clean Read More

Column: Top 3 excuses for skipping breakfast

April 29, 2015

According to the pros skipping breakfast is a bad dietary strategy. Ditching breakfast can affect your mood, weight and well-being. I’m not hungry in the morning — You don’t have to eat the minute you wake up but do eat something later in the morning. Waiting doesn’t mean skipping. I’m trying to lose weight — Read More

Column: How to read a seed packet

April 24, 2015

There is a lot of information on a seed packet. Sometimes so much that it can be overwhelming. Consider a few things when deciding what you would like to try this season. • How much sun per day does the growing plant need? • How big will the plant eventually get? This is important for Read More

Column: Super fast supper

April 22, 2015

Get used to the idea of taking a few standard items from the grocery store and jazzing them up to create an amazing jolt of taste. Infusing store-bought vegetable stock with sauteed fresh garlic and ginger does just that.   Fresh Thai Noodle Bowl 1 (8-ounce) package rice vermicelli noodles 1 teaspoon canola oil 1 Read More

The wait is over

April 18, 2015

Enjoying the sights, sounds and even the chores of spring is here at last and it is easy to get carried away and try to do too much too soon. Gardening is proven to be good for your mind and body. On average, gardening burns about 200 to 300 calories an hour outdoors. If you Read More

Column: Rhubarb season

April 15, 2015

As I’ve written before, I collect rhubarb recipes. They are many and as varied as the imagination can concoct. The winners, in my opinion, are often the simple, easy ones that rely on taste and texture. What do you think? Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Cream Make a non-alcoholic version of this grown-up ice cream by substituting cranberry juice Read More

My rule of thumb for lawn care

April 10, 2015

I’ve always subscribed to the theory that garden care should be as chemical free as possible. Having said that, I do fertilize the lawn frequently over the summer by following the series of holidays that occur. My first weed and feed fertilizer is Easter, followed by Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or July 4, Read More

Column: The myth of the red meat diet

April 8, 2015

Although Americans have been told for decades to eat less meat and fat, they actually consumed 67 percent more added fat, 39 percent more sugar and 41 percent more meat in 2000 than they did in 1950 and 24.5 percent more calories than they had in 1970. All this according to the Agriculture Department. No Read More

Column: A few good bugs

April 3, 2015

Every gardener knows that your garden benefits by having a few bugs around to help out. Here are some we all need for the health of the garden. 1. Predatory beetles and bugs There are hundreds to chose from that dine on their plant eating kin. Tiger, soldier, ground and ladybird beetles, along with assassin Read More