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Around the house 8/6

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

IN THE GARDENAnnuals may appear leggy and worn now. These can be cut back had and fertilized to produce a new flush of bloom.

Feed mums, asters and other fall-blooming perennials for the last time.

Prune to shape hedges for the last time this season.

Zoysia lawns can receive their final fertilizer application now. Apply insecticides now for grub control on lawns that are being damaged by their activity.

Protect ripening fruits from birds by covering plants with a netting. Prop up branches of fruit trees that are threatening to break under the weight of a heavy crop.

--Donna Leadbetter, University Extension and Outreach.

IN THE KITCHENGuide to grilling

The most important part of the grilling process is choosing the best meat, according to a guide from Lobel's Prime Meats in New York City.

The guide suggests the following when choosing meat:

  • Ground meat should be rosy-colored and evenly mixed with creamy white particles of fat, and should not have browned sections.

  • Beef should have a minimum of cream-colored outer fat. Marbling, the delicate streaks of intramuscular fat running through the meat, should be even. It should have soft-looking, reddish-colored bones. The meat should be firm, fine-textured and a light cherry-red color. Dry-aged beef is best for virtually all applications.

  • Lamb should be fine-textured, firm and lean. The meat should be pink with a thin white layer of firm external fat. Cross sections of bone should be red, moist and porous.

  • Veal should be firm, velvety and moist, but not watery. The flesh should be almost white to a very light pink and the fat covering the meat should be slight and whitish in color. The bones should be small in width, bright red, as though full of blood, and fairly soft to the touch.

  • Pork should be pinkish-gray and lean with firm, white fat and red-streaked bones.

  • Chicken should be evenly colored with skin that is slightly yellow (a good sign that the bird was fed corn), well-developed breasts and rounded thighs. Buying whole chickens and butchering them yourself will save you money and ensure that the meat you cook has been handled less than pre-packaged chicken parts.

  • Turkey should be pale in color (sometimes even tinged blue, which is perfectly acceptable), with plump breasts and round thighs. Buy only fresh turkey as frozen birds are generally tasteless and dry.

    --AP

    AROUND THE HOUSE

    Painting a floorPaint is an affordable and useful means of improving the appearance of a concrete floor. A path, porch, patio, garage floor, driveway, carport or basement floor are primary candidates for such a finish.

    As with any painting project, the key to a successful job has much to do with preparation. In order for the paint to properly adhere, the surface should be thoroughly washed with a solution consisting of 1 cup of powdered laundry detergent, 1 cup of liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of hot water. For maximum results, exterior areas such as patios, carports and driveways should be power-washed or steam-cleaned.

    --AP


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