The Gardening Diva
Never be too busy to stop and smell the beautiful flowers.

Garden to Grill


Essence of the Cookout

By LMG Calla Victoria


    This holiday weekend oh yes, they will be throwing another shrimp on the barbie, or some ribs, veggies, hot dogs, and burgers. When thinking of grilling one rarely thinks of gardening or the plant world. But have you ever thought of where that delectable mesquite flavor comes from as you are savoring every bite, I mean originally? The mesquite extract used in bar-b-qing comes from the wood of the mesquite tree. Serious grill masters also use other hardwoods like cherry, pecan, and hickory in their grills to achieve those wonderful flavors; all trees from the plant world. Different woods add a different smoke flavor to the meats being grilled. Experiment with different woods with different meats until you find the right combination for your taste. Also all of the herbs and spices like rosemary, allspice, dill, cayenne, etc. used to season the grilled dishes comes from plants.  

Mesquite tree                                                                             Ceyenne peppers                                               Vanilla orchid vine

     Of course every great cookout ends with mouthwatering desserts, and almost every dessert contain ingredients like sugar which comes from the sugarcane plant, flour which comes from the wheat plant, cinnamon which is the bark of Cinnamomum iners tree, and vanilla which comes from the beans of the vanilla orchid plant.

     As gardening is an integral part of bar-b-qing, the grill returns the favor in fertilizer for the garden. Ashes from your grill forms potash which promotes plant growth. Wood ashes contain potassium, some phosphorus, and magnesium. Ashes from such hardwoods as maple, elm, oak and beech contain a third more calcium plus more potash than the ashes from softwoods. So when you are giving compliments to the chef at the cookout don’t forget to salute the plant world for all of its contributions to your meal.

       This article was printed in Data News Weekly's July 4, 2014 edition and on

  Remember, never get too busy to stop and enjoy the beautiful flowers!




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