Herbs, eggs, and natural, lo-cal desserts
1. Plant some herbs this month! Sage, oregano, and thyme are all perennial, but they get leggy after a few years and you may want to replant. Put parsley in a pot and bring it in during cold weather. And one or two basil plants will keep you in fresh basil and frozen pesto all winter.
2. Foolproof hard-boiled eggs: Put eggs in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer (but not much larger). Cover with water by 1 1/2 inches. Bring water to a boil with the pan uncovered. When the water boils, put the top on, move pan off the heat, and let eggs stand 10 to 15 minutes. Drain pan and fill with cold water and a few ice cubes. For easiest peeling, start peeling when the eggs have been chilled 5 minutes.
3. Local strawberries begin to ripen in late May. Instead of making shortcake, try making meringues. Put a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 275 degrees. Spray a large, flat cookie sheet with baking spray. Use an electric mixer to beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form. Add 6 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar with ¾ teaspoon cornstarch and sprinkle over egg whites. Beat until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Make six 2 1/2-inch wide circles of meringue on cookie sheet; use the back of a spoon to make a little depression in the center. Bake 20 minutes, then turn off heat and let meringues cool in oven. Serve meringues filled with whipped cream and sweetened strawberries.
JANE’S VEGETABLE SOUP
KENTUCKY AMBER PIE