The Myth of Nitrite-Free Cured Meats

I flipped through Trader Joe’s flier last week – I love good long-form ad copy. One of their products was labeled as a nitrite-free pastrami. This raised my eyebrow because pastrami, a cured deli meat of Jewish culinary extraction, is usually cured with something called sodium nitrite. In this post, I’ll dig into the issue of sodium nitrite, why some people avoid it, and why these nitrite-free offerings aren’t the solution.

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So I sunburned this Fig…

 

sunburn

My plants are as eager as I am for warm air and bright sun. When the weather got better a few days ago, I brought a bunch of them – including this fine fig – outside. They got a lot of benefit but also sustained some damage in the bright sun. That brown and dry leaf tip wasn’t there before. Plants with new growth that are only used to diffuse winter light in your house need to be acclimated. It’s easy, it’s fast and I’ll tell you how.

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An Introduction to Cold Frames

 

15 degrees out and four inches of snow on the ground!

15 degrees out and four inches of snow on the ground!

It’s the dead of winter, but it’s a sunny day. If you park your car in the sun, it’ll be warm inside – even though it’s freezing outside.

What if you could grow plants in there? They’d have warmth, shelter from snow and wind. They’d keep their moisture and not dry out.

With a cold frame, you can do exactly that. A cold frame is a wooden box that you put on top of soil, about a foot high. It’s got plastic or glass panes on the top to let the light in. Here’s mine in the dead of winter:

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