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Our Garden Gang Presents...

A Well-Preserved Mirtha
Nobody does it better...

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Dearest Gardeners:

Yes I am…. well-preserved that is.  It must be all the ahem…clean living.  Well this time of year makes me feel all domestic and June Cleaver-like.  When you see your garden’s bounty – don’t you just want to "preserve" all that goodness for the long winter ahead?

This month we will show you some tried and true recipes and hints to make your "harvest" time a success!  Also some more Mirtha-tested beauty hints for the fashion conscious gardener - nobody does it better!

Mirtha Stuwort

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It's NOT a good thing! We are spoiled nowadays by having all those prepackaged foods at our fingertips. Whatever happened to the satisfaction a person got by canning their own tomato sauce instead of rushing to the local grocery store and grabbing one off the shelf?
  
My own mother told me of her life growing up on a farm. They were almost living a self-sufficient existence, only relying on the store in town for such things as maybe flour or sugar, or coffee. They raised their own farm animals for slaughter and grew their own vegetables. They had milking cows for their dairy products and hens for fresh eggs.

Get Cooking!

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So enough time travel! Let’s start cookin’!  I think every gardener has at least one tomato plant.  Delicious eaten fresh from the garden of course, but how about having some of Auntie Canuck’s yummy Pepper-Tomato Sauce ready in your pantry?  Think of all the delicious meals you could make with that!

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Debbie The Seed Queen has a super idea.  Her and her mother swear by this recipe.  Her "Pepper Relish" uses green and red peppers and onions and spices to create a mouth watering topping for any meat dish.  It’s even good on eggs too!  Debbie says that last year at Christmas time she took some of her jars of pepper relish and jazzed them up with fabric and raffia bows and gave them to co-workers for presents.  They were a huge hit!

Did you know that peppers can be frozen for use later on?  Just wash and deseed the pepper and cut up as desired (I cut them in strips).  Put in freezer bags and then in a plastic container to keep the pepper smell under wraps.  You can do this in the summer and make the pepper relish in the winter months when it’s cooler.  The same goes for anything tomato based.  Freeze whole tomatoes in freezer bags and use in the winter.  You will have to "cook down" the mixture a bit more as the freezing process makes the veggies retain extra water.

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Also popular (at least, er, um…..well, most times) is the yummy Old-Fashioned Zucchini Bread.  You will definitely want all the zucchinis left on your doorstep once you taste this recipe!

BeYOUtiful!

Well enough of food.  (I never thought I would say that!)  Someone once said, "A man cannot live by bread alone…"  He has to have a beautiful woman at his side.  And if it can’t be me, here are some beautifying recipes you can create from your own home ingredients.

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Have you ever tried whitening your nails by rubbing them with a wedge of grapefruit?  Grapefruit seems to have a stain removing property that will work wonders on your nails!  (It will help to get rid of that tell-tale "gardener’s nail" too!)

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Would you like some lovely sunny highlights in your hair?  Try this: Strain the juice of 2 or 3 lemons into a pint of warm water.  Pour this mixture through your clean but dry hair.  Massage it in with your fingertips.  Let it sit 5 minutes before rinsing it out.  (You can always make lemonade with the leftovers!)

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Still on the subject of hair…..To make hair shiny:  Mix together 1 Cup Olive Oil, 1 egg, and 1/3 C honey.  Apply generously to dry hair, then cover with some plastic wrap or even a shower cap and leave on for about 3 hours and then rinse out.  (If you didn’t use all the above ingredients, you can use the mixture for a simple salad dressing!)

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Did you know that rose hip oil is an inexpensive and really easy moisturizer?  Apply pure rose hip oil to those nasty troublesome areas around the eyes and mouth.  (Or just don’t laugh or frown, then you’ll never have wrinkles – that’s my secret you know)

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Time to exfoliate!  Prepare one serving of oatmeal with whole milk according to the directions on the package.  Apply this mixture to clean, dry skin.  Let it dry.  Wash off gently with warm water.  (Use your leftover breakfast for this fiber-filled beauty treatment!)

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Here’s another mask.  Lightly beat 1 egg white, then apply to your clean, dry skin and let this dry.  Now gently wash it off with warm water.  (Remember to wash it off or people might start to call you "Meringue Face").

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Well I think I have taken care of what goes into your body as well as the outer layer too.
Enjoy the bounty of your garden this summer and fall and try those beauty tips,
You will end up looking just like me!  (Well….maybe not!)

Happy Harvest Time!

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