THE HOW DO GARDENER: The ‘Court’-yard garden project

By RICK BICKLING After playing basketball for the past 45 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that my knees are much better off gardening than they are jumping and running around on a hard surface. With this realization in mind, and with the kids pretty much grown and done playing basketball, I now have a [...]

FOOD WISE: Julia Child’s influence celebrated on her 100th birthday

By CHEF RENEE MORGAN Happy birthday, dear Julia! Happy birthday to you! She would’ve been 100 years old on August 15th. Of course, I’m talking about the Grand Dame of the Kitchen, Our Lady of the Ladle, the great Julia Child. You knew I couldn’t let her 100th birthday go by without talking about her [...]

FOOD WISE: Pair wine with food for a delicious dining experience

By CHEF RENEE MORGAN What exactly is wine? Duh, you say…the elixir of the gods, of course! Yeah, you’re right. But more than that, it is an explosion of taste and flavor and when paired correctly with food can be the consummate fulfillment of the dining experience. The technical definition of wine is a beverage [...]

THE HOW DO GARDENER: Carrots – a complete planting guide

By RICK BICKLING Carrots (Daucus carota) have been grown as a food crop for more than 2,000 years. They were brought to the early United States colonies in 1609. They are rich in carotene (a source of vitamin A) and high in sugar. Carrots are hardy cool-season biennials that are frost tolerant and can be [...]

FOOD WISE: Choose a light menu for a summer picnic

By CHEF RENEE MORGAN What in the world is going on with July? Last week I told you about all the special food celebrations going on in July. Well, guess what? There is more food fun this month. Apparently, July is also National Picnic Month. Who comes up with this stuff? Don’t get me wrong, [...]

THE HOW DO GARDENER: Two plants that can take the summer heat

By RICK BICKLING The extremely hot and dry summers of the past few years, along with the accompanying water restrictions, have made finding plants that not only survive but thrive the never ending quest of gardeners here in Central Texas. Let’s take a look at two plants that really fit the bill. Tecoma stans, also [...]

THE HOW DO GARDENER: Firewise landscaping in Central Texas

By RICK BICKLING With the rain we’ve had here in Central Texas the past week or two, last summer’s wildfires seem to fade ever farther into the recesses of our memory. But in the words of George Bernard Shaw, “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning [...]

FOOD WISE: Making memories with homemade ice cream

By CHEF RENEE MORGAN I remember making ice cream with my grandpa on my grandparents’ breezeway as a little girl. He had an old fashioned hand crank style ice cream maker. We would make the ice cream with cream, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. He always made vanilla ice cream. The mixture was cooked, cooled [...]

THE HOW DO GARDENER: It’s time to plan your fall garden

By RICK BICKLING It seems like just the other day that we were talking about planning your spring garden. Well, here it is in the middle of July, and even as the temperatures soar, the excitement of fireworks are still fresh in your mind, and the garden is producing at its peak, it’s time to [...]

FOOD WISE: Fried chicken – a little bit of heaven in July

By CHEF RENEE MORGAN Good gravy! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! Can you believe the luck? Not only was July 6th National Fried Chicken Day, but July is also National Ice Cream Month. Have we died and gone to heaven? July must be God’s favorite month. Oh sure, the French have their Coq [...]