Cooking Winter Vegetables
Even if you didn't get a fall vegetable garden planted this year, farmer's markets and grocery stores are filled with plenty of options for eating seasonally. Whether you're an old hand at cooking and eating kale, cabbage, winter squash and sweet potatoes during the winter months or not, Andrea Chesman will inspire you with innovative ideas in her book, Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables (Storey Publishing, 2010, $18.95). Besides the basics, Chesman provides a lots of new ideas for using the full range of winter vegetables in soups, salads, side dishes and entrees.
Favorite or New Plant
Sure, the spring-blooming witchhazels are more flamboyant, but the common witchhazel (Hamamelis virigniana) is a great addition to a garden as well. Native from Canada to George and west to Nebraska and Arkansas, the common witchhazel is noted for its adaptability, growing full sun to light shade and moist to dry soil. The plants form large, multistemmed shrubs or small trees, growing 15 to 20 feet tall and as wide. The 3- to 6-inch long, medium to dark green leaves turn a spectacular yellow in autumn. Simultaneously, small, yellow, fragrant flowers appear, a perfect addition to fall bouquets.