Sue Ryba – Horticulturist

Bertog Landscape Co.

Bringing Visions to Life

Wheeling, Illinois

http://www.bertoglandscape.com

Recipes:

Classic Mint Mojito

Ingredients:

1.5 oz. lime juice (squeezed fresh)

1 tsp. finely granulated sugar

3 mint leaves

2 oz. white rum Club soda or seltzer

Instructions:

Muddle the lime juice with ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar and mint leaves.

Fill the glass about 2/3 with ice and add rum.

Garnish with used lime. Top off with club soda or seltzer.

Strawberry Basil Mocktail

Ingredients:

1.5 cups fresh strawberries

4 to 5 fresh basil leaves

12 oz. seltzer (1 can)

1 lime (half juiced, half sliced)

Instructions:

Wash, hull and roughly chop the strawberries.

Cut the lime in half. Slice one half for garnishes. Reserve the other.

Muddle the strawberries, lime juice and basil together using a large mortar and pestle. You can also use a fork or a potato masher. Break the mixture down enough so that it can fit through a straw but will still maintain its texture.

Garnish the glass with a slice of lime and more fresh basil (optional).

Notes:

To make Strawberry Basil Mocktail for a pitcher, quadruple the ingredients. Follow the instructions to muddle the strawberries, lime and basil. Add the mixture to a large pitcher. Add 2 to 3 cups of crushed ice, lime slices and seltzer. Gently stir before pouring into glasses. Makes 8 cups.

To prepare in advance: Prepare the strawberry mixture. Store it covered in the refrigerator for up to one day. Prepare the drinks just before serving.

Bloody Mary Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 cup vodka

2 tbsp. hot sauce

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 pint cherry tomatoes

Freshly ground black pepper

Celery salt, for seasoning

Instructions:

Combine the vodka, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce in a jar.

Poke a couple holes into each cherry tomato with a toothpick. Place the toothpick through the center of each.

Add the toothpick-ed tomatoes to the vodka mixture. Soak for at least two hours, ideally overnight.

Drain the contents of the jar into a glass. Sprinkle the tomatoes with pepper and celery salt to taste.

Serve immediately.

Tips:

-Most herbs, a few vegetables and some fruits like strawberries – can be grown in a container, as well as in a raised bed or small garden area.

-Strawberries do well in a small to medium sized container, as do jalapenos and cherry tomatoes. Think about growing cucumbers, bell peppers – even celery – in a larger sized container. Or do what we’ve done here: this one large container is holding several different herbs with plenty of soil space below for the plants’ roots to grow into.

-Fertilizing foods in containers? You can but for the most part it’s not necessary. They essentially need good soil, sun/shade and water. But if you’d like to, you could use a light, organic granular fertilizer specifically for tomatoes, herbs and vegetables. 3 Place it on top of the soil at the base of the plant. If you purchase your herb and vegetable plants from an independent garden center – and many in our area still have them in their stores – read the plant tags for planting and care information.