Another Take on Macaroni and Cheese


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I do not buy box meals, and my children have not grown up with this staple. I have made macaroni and cheese from scratch, but my daughter and I came up with a different take on this classic.

I had the chance to cook with my daughter Katya last night. I use to prepare meals all of the time with my son, but with the two girls, I have not done so as often. The problem has been that I have to be more cautious with my youngest, which makes the meal preparation take much longer. Sakura was asleep, and Katya was excited to be the assistant. They have never experienced macaroni and cheese from the box. My son, who is quite a bit older, went through a phase at one point where he wanted this meal. He had it at a friend’s house. This is not a hard dish to make from scratch, which I did for him, but he wanted that artificial flavoring. When Katya and I started the meal, I was not planning a specific meal, so this dish evolved as we were cooking.
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Plucking Onions: Time for an Onion Sauce


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When the leaves of the onion plant begin to fall over, you know that they are ready to harvest, but what do you do with your harvest?

I was reminded again of the disconnect children have when it comes to knowing where their meal and their foods origins. My children see this fact on a daily basis, but I had a few odd looks when harvesting onions. The bulbs dangled from my left hand, dropping down in a waterfall style for more than two feet, as I pulled the onions from the ground with my right hand. My daughters, who do not like onions in their meals, were happily helping. One of my sisters-in-law pulled up, and my niece and nephew toppled out of the car to spend the evening with us. They rushed over to see what we were doing. They were baffled by this activity. Is it important that they know where their food originates? I am not sure, but I have found that my onion averse daughters will eat the bulb when they harvested the vegetable themselves. There is a greater appreciation for our food when we see it go from the garden to the table. Although the cooking portion might be their favorite activity.
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How to Grow Leeks, Onions, and Green Onions


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Houston nearly has a year long growing season, and late spring is when we can begin to harvest some alliums

Do your home grown vegetables look like their grocery store counterparts? This idea came up in conversation again. Part of the reason is the we grow different varieties; we may not be growing vegetables under optimal conditions; and we may just be harvesting early. I have a great selection of vegetables to choose for meals, but the group that turns my daughter away from the plate is the alliums: onions and leeks in this case.  Even though Katya expresses her distaste for onions, she will eat them when she knows that they are from our garden. I have been harvesting a few young alliums this week, which has made me happy.
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Carrots, Onions, and Peas in the Winter Garden


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You may not think that gardeners would be planting during this cold snap, but I am.

I am having too much fun watching others cover and uncover their plants. Our temperatures have been going from nearly 80F to 40F on a biweekly basis. I was walking through my local nursery, and mainly I am finding only a few varieties en masse. This is not the time to be considering a new bed for vegetables; is it? With the relative mild Houston winters, we could be planting year round. I spotted onion sets by the door, so I became inspired to expand my vegetable endeavors.
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Greetings

This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at yourhoustonhomeinspector.com). For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank

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