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Ah, asparagus! A tasty spring treat that rewards your patience
It's almost cruel that the asparagus season is so brief. Over the years, I've tried to extend the season by canning, freezing and pickling what couldn't be eaten right away. I prefer asparagus as close to fresh-picked from the garden as I can get it, and the first two methods often left me with mushy, brown, inedible results that became wonderful treats for my backyard flock of laying hens.
There is one surefire way to hang on to that wonderful asparagus goodness past the time when it's in season, however. Turning them into refrigerator pickles is very little work and certainly worth the effort: If you make the pickles in mid-May, which is usually the end of asparagus season, you'll be enjoying the results on your salads, in your Sunday morning Bloody Marys, and standing in the light of your refrigerator late at night, well into September. More »
A powerful legacy: Daughter inspired to raise ovarian cancer awareness
Jodie Shagrin Kavensky made a promise to her mother: She would try and do for ovarian cancer what Nancy Brinker, sister of Susan G. Komen, did for breast cancer.
The 55-year-old Rock Island woman is doing her best to keep that promise to her mother. Kavensky is the executive director of the NormaLeah Foundation, which she founded in 2008 to create public awareness, promote early detection and support research for ovarian cancer. The... More »
Tea gardens: Brew up a blend grown in your own backyard
For some folks, the beverage that fits them to a T is, well, tea. Drinking tea can be many things to many people, but most of all, it's an experience — often an enjoyable, relaxing and comforting experience, made all the more so when the tea you are sipping is made from herbs grown in your very own tea garden.
Although true "teas" use the leaves or buds of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, which grows best in tropical and subtropical... More »
Probiotics: Some bacteria are beneficial in our diets
Of the roughly 100 trillion cells in our bodies, only about 10 trillion of them are human, says Dr. Peter Fox, a chiropractor in Davenport.
The rest, he says, are a variety of either yeast or bacteria, most of which are harmless or beneficial, but some can cause problems if their populations get out of hand.
Enter probiotics. "The beneficial bacteria that share our bodies with us when we are healthy," Fox says.
Fox... More »
Sleek and green: Cedar Rapids sports new, energy-efficient courthouse
It took an environmental disaster to bring an environmental wonder to downtown Cedar Rapids: the new U.S. Federal Courthouse at 111 7th Ave. SE, which has recently been awarded LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Design work on the $115 million project began way back in 2002; however, a lack of funding kept it on hold for years. But when the massive Cedar River flood of June 2008 inundated all of downtown Cedar... More »
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