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The best way to store nearly any type of cheese, according to an expert

Food

If you ever cleaned out the depths of your fridge and found a rock-hard chunk of cheese, you probably wondered what you could have done to prolong its life. Sure, the first step is not forgetting it’s in there. But what else should be done to make sure your expensive fromage stays fresh? Most of […]

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Baked brie with cranberry jalapeño jam

Food

We’ve all been there. You ask your hostess what you can bring to the holiday party, and she says, “Don’t worry about it. We have everything we need.” Whether she’s just being nice or if she really does have everything covered, it doesn’t matter — everyone will be thrilled you showed up with this simply […]

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Family Heirloom Dahlia

Garden

“I’m a daddy’s girl,” Wanda Gerber, 64, says proudly. Her father passed away in 2012, but he lives on in her garden with plants he grew and saved for decades. The plants are all special, but the dahlia he cared for for years from his grandmother holds a special place in her heart. Gerber has […]

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Science offers tips for filling a deer tag

Outdoors

The firearms deer seasons – at least in those states where whitetails roam, and that’s most of them – are the busiest and most anticipated of the hunting year. You know what that means. If you’re a sportsman or woman, one question is coming. It will be repeated over the next several weeks, at holiday […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a deer steak recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: StrapPack Company: Calkit (https://www.everybodyshops.com/clakit-bottle-pack.html) Gear type: Water bottle case Product description: When adventuring outdoors, it’s hugely important to stay hydrated. Everyone knows that. But carrying water can be sometimes inconvenient. Enter the StrapPack water bottle case. It fits any bottle up […]

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Gill lice controversy takes on new form

Outdoors

A line in the sand has been erased. How much that will do to resolve a potentially litigious debate around a parasite that may or may not be impacting wild brook trout populations remains to be seen. A few months ago, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officials proposed a new rule saying that, as of […]

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Birders sought to fulfill citizen science role

Outdoors

Birders are tough to beat. A lot of hobbies generate passion among their followers. Each pastime has its diehards. But the people who watch birds are, in a word, serious. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 45.1 million people watched birds in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available. No […]

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In the Dirt – Garlic

Garden

Every October I step up on my soapbox to evangelize about planting garlic. I’m determined to spread the word; garlic grown in the garden offers so much more than just the bulbs. Before we get to that though, it’s the diverse flavors and levels of heat each different variety offers that makes it so fun. […]

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In the Dirt – November

Garden

There’s a day in early spring, usually in late March, when three days of mild temperatures are followed by an afternoon of bright sun, which coaxes sky blue snow crocus into bloom. Even though we know the bulbs are there, it’s always a wonderful surprise. Last spring I was overjoyed to see those blooms, but […]

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Garlic Obsession

Garden

Nothing compares to garlic out of the garden, just like any other homegrown crop. To say garlic is a plant I love is an understatement of epic proportions. I’m devoted to the root crop and eat a couple cloves raw every day. What about the fragrance, you ask? Believe it or not, when you eat […]

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Gardening Q&A with Doug Oster

Garden

Doug Oster’s mailbag: Rose pruning, carrots and fall foliage   Carrie: Can I prune my roses now? I’m never sure what time of the year to cut them back. Doug: You can always remove dead wood, but the plant should be cut back in the spring. Look for the little red buds forming along the […]

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Garden Life

Garden

(Originally published in 2016, so age references are for that year.) As Christine Stark winds down her second gardening season, she’s planning on adding some cool-weather crops to her Gibsonia garden, which thrived this summer. The 28-year-old loves to spend time in the garden with her two young daughters. Greta, 3, doesn’t really like getting […]

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In the Garden with Kids – November

Garden

My kids are grown now, but every spring they get a reminder of what it was like to grow up in a gardening household. When I’m speaking to gardeners, I always joke that I used a bulb auger to punish my children. People look aghast as they imagine the terrifying ways this giant drill bit […]

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Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Food

I know people love their healthy, steamed broccoli, but holiday meals are no time to hold back. Broccoli smothered in cheese is really the most delicious way to eat the cruciferous vegetable. Even kids who usually run and hide from the dreaded broccoli side dish will be asking for seconds. Dare I say, this broccoli […]

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One Tree Per Child

Garden

Last September Isabela Angelelli stood proudly outside Avonworth Elementary School in Ross as she helped launch the first location of One Tree Per Child in the country. The Australian-based organization helps school children plant trees, operating in nine countries. The only thing required of the school is to provide the opportunity for every student who […]

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Hiking with children can be fun, memorable if you do it right

Outdoors

It was a choice of adventure over labor. A niece graduated from high school and we, her far flung family, assembled in Ohio from points all over the map to celebrate. But you know how these things go. Before the burgers and fried chicken and cake and decorations and other assorted hoopla there’s lots of […]

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Look for clues when field judging black bears

Outdoors

Spike, that’s who he reminded me of. You’ll remember Spike if you watched Looney Toons cartoons on Saturday mornings back in the day, or have at least seen them online since. He was a burly, big-shouldered, tough talking bulldog. Palled up with Chester, his yippy Terrier friend, he took on Sylvester and other foils, usually […]

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Hunters ask for changes to PA turkey seasons

Outdoors

It’s the days, weeks and months after an election that people know whether their vote counted for change. So it will be here. Hunters asked for changes when commenting on the new turkey management plan Pennsylvania Game Commissioners adopted earlier this fall. The plan will guide decisions on the birds through 2027. Those requests haven’t […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a fall fishing tip

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Vibrax Chaser Company: Blue Fox (www.rapala.com/bluefox-lures/) Lure type: Spinner Sizes and colors: Available in 3/10-ounce model with a size 2 blade and a ½- ounce model with a size 3 blade, all in six colors: copper, firetiger, gold, orange craw, rainbow […]

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Easy cream free pumpkin curry bisque

Food

This pumpkin curry bisque is made with ingredients you likely already have at your house — Isn’t it great when that happens? No special stop at the grocery store required — just get right to cooking, and this soup will be ready in 20 minutes. This recipe is perfect for cool, crisp October and November […]

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Crock Pot stuffing saves space, time on Thanksgiving Day

Food

Between the sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and about a dozen other side dishes, something has to give. After all, you only have one set of hands and one oven. If you’re looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more manageable this year, look no further. Crock pot stuffing is a set-it-and-forget-it recipe that is easy, delicious […]

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Variegated Pieris Japonica

Garden

Discovering a new variety of plant that is perfect for your landscape inspires us to garden as the season fades. Walking around a local nursery, I fell in love…again. I’ve never seen a variegated pieris japonica, but I’ve got standard varieties all over the garden. They are deer resistant, tough, beautiful and keep their leaves […]

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Delightfully crispy apple cinnamon chips

Food

Apple cinnamon chips take such little effort, I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t tried to make them before. I guess because I usually try to stay away from dehydrating foods. The thought of leaving my oven on for eight hours makes me (irrationally) nervous, but these take just about two hours. I can deal with that. […]

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Garden Road Trip

Garden

Two mockingbirds can be seen (and heard) chasing each other through the amber leaves of a maple tree at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va. The foliage is just beginning to turn, and the garden beds once thriving with annuals are being transitioned for fall. Pansies are in place and bulbs are being sunk […]

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Keep potatoes from turning brown this holiday season

Food

When you’re preparing a big meal for the holidays, there are so many ingredients and different dishes to prep that you can easily get distracted. One minute you’re creaming corn, and the next, you’re cleaning up apple pie spillover in the oven. While you may be able to throw away a few forgotten burnt rolls, […]

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Cross country skiing essentials start with the feet

Outdoors

Don’t be fooled by the obvious. Cross country skiing requires three essential pieces of gear. And skis, of course, count as one. But they’re not the most important one. That would be boots. “You’ve got to take care of your feet first,” said Joe Triebsch, a ski instructor from REI in Pittsburgh. “That’s the most […]

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