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Learn how to preserve summer’s bounty

As summer approaches, we can look forward to a wonderful bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. But what can we do to enjoy fresh food out of season?

Join Rowan Public Library Monday, May 23, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the East Branch, 110 Broad St. in Rockwell, and explore Fresh Food Year-Round, the final workshop in the spring 2016 Learn.Act.Grow. series.

Learn how to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables by canning or freezing. Toi Degree, Rowan Cooperative Extension agent, will speak on canning best practices and ways to preserve food.

Participants may bring their dial gauge canners for testing. Eric Bowen, executive director of Bread Riot, will talk about vegetables that store well and how to choose freezer-friendly foods.

Healthy snacks and bottled water will be provided.

There is no charge to participate, but registration is strongly advised. Visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org or call 704-216-7734 to reserve your spot, or for more information.

Cinco de Mayo

Thursday is the fifth of May, or Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that commemorates the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla. It is a minor holiday in Mexico, but a big deal with Mexican-Americans, who have parades, music and festivals.

Americans, of course, celebrate with lots of margaritas — like they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with green beer (not traditional Irish stout).

There’s more than one margarita, so here’s some alternatives from Liquor.com

Sour Green Apple Margarita

• 1 lime wedge

• kosher salt

• 1/2 cup jalapeño simple syrup

• 1 cup sour green apple juice

• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

• 3/4 cup tequila

• 1/4 cup triple sec or Grand Marnie

• ice

• Jalapeño Simple Syrup

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 water

• 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

• lime wedges for garnish

Use the lime wedge to rub around the rim of the glass, then dip the rim in kosher salt. Set aside.

Mal the jalapeño simple syrup by combing sugar, water, and jalapeño in a small pan. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the content to a blender and puree until smooth. Put the syrup in the fridge to chill.

Fill the salt-rimmed glasses with ice cubes.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, simple syrup, sour green apple juice, lime juice, tequila and Grand Marnier. Shake vigorously and pour over ice. Garnish with lime wedges

— From HeatherChristo.com

Grilled Pineapple
Jalapeño Margarita

• Jalapeño infused tequila

• 1 cup silver tequila

• 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings

For the cocktail

• 11/2 ounce jalapeño infused tequila

• 1/2 ounce triple sec

• 2 one-inch thick slices grilled pineapple,

   chilled

• 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (1 lime)

• 2 Tbsp. agave, to taste

• 3/4 cup water

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• Crushed ice

• Grilled pineapple and lime wedges

   for garnish

• Kosher salt, for rimming glasses

Add tequila and jalapeño to a lidded container. Shake to combine and allow flavors to meld 12-24 hours. When it tastes right, remove the jalapeños and discard.

Cut pineapple into 1 inch thick rings, discard rind and core.

Preheat grill (or grill pan) to medium high and oil lightly. Grill pineapple for 4-5 minutes on each side until you see nice grill marks and it begins to soften. Place grilled pineapple in a bowl and cool completely in refrigerator.

Add jalapeño tequila, triple sec, 3 slices grilled pineapple (and any juice that has accumulated), lime juice, agave, vanilla extract and water to the blender. Blend until smooth.

Run a lime wedge over the rim of the glass and dip in salt.

Add crushed ice to glass and pour in margarita. Garnish with extra grilled pineapple or lime wedges.

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