Cuttings 'n' Clippings Jun 1996

**Gardeners love to make their own gourmet oils with fresh herbs or garlic. However, these infused oils can be a breeding ground for Clostridium botulism bacteria which cause botulism. Food and Drug And ministration microbiologist Joe Madden, Ph.D. advises that you do not let homemade flavored oils steep at room temperature longer than 8 to 10 hours. Then refrigerate and use within 10 days. If you receive homemade oils as a gift and don't know how they were prepared, do not use them.

**Here is a quick way to remove the stems from strawberries; Insert a plastic drinking straw with a large hole into the bottom of the berry. Push it into the tip through to the stem and the stem and core come away very quickly.

**Capsaicin (pronounced cap-SAY-uh-sin) is the compound in chile peppers that gives them their heat. This ingredient is found in the ribs on the inside of the pepper, and it can burn skin and eyes on contact. The general rule is, the smaller the chile, the hotter. When handling the hotter chilies, try wearing food service gloves or place plastic baggies over your hands. Remember to never touch your eyes or nose after handling chilies!

**Experts recommend a glass of milk or other dairy products such as ice cream if your mouth is on fire from eating a super spicy dish.

**Gardener Annemarie Garza of Colorado Springs came up with a handy idea for an old unused golf bag on wheels. She gave it new life as an oversize tote bag by placing seeds and tools in the little pockets and her collection of hoes, shovels and rakes in the bag. She says, "It's perfect!"


June, 1996