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The Grapevine (Sept. 14, 2013)

  • Published Saturday, Sep. 14, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Harvesting sunflower seeds

Sunflowers are usually ready to harvest from mid-September into October, horticulturist Ward Upham of K-State says. Cover seedheads with a paper sack or cheesecloth once the petals start turning brown, using a twist tie or rubber band to secure it. Seeds are ready when florets in the brown center of the flower disk are shriveled and heads have turned brown but their backside is lemon yellow. Pull a few seeds to see if they have turned black with white stripes.

Cut the heads and place in a paper sack. Seeds can be easily removed from dry heads by rubbing gently.

Roasting sunflower seeds

Cover unshelled seeds with salted water (2 quarts of water to 1/4 cup to 2 cups salt), Upham says. Bring to a boil and simmer two hours, or soak in the salt solution overnight. Drain and dry on absorbent paper.

Put sunflower seeds in a shallow pan in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Take seeds out of the oven and add 1 teaspoon of melted butter, margarine or cooking oil per cup of seeds if they are to be eaten immediately. Stir to coat. Put on an absorbent towel. Salt to taste.

Zentangle talk at Botanica

Ann Hathaway of Deep Magic Tangles will be at Botanica on Wednesday to demonstrate the basics of the decorative doodling called Zentangle. Her lunchtime lecture, from 12:15 to 1 p.m., is included in Botanica admission, which is $7 for adults.

Designer Q&A

Q: I always thought you should use the same color scheme throughout your home. However, recently I saw a beautiful home that had a completely different color palette in each room. What is your opinion about selecting a color scheme or multiple color schemes within a home?

A: Janice Simonsen of Ikea answers: I would recommend coordinating all colors rather than an entirely different color palette. Paint departments offer the perfect cheat-sheet if you want to vary the colors throughout your house. Their color swatches offer contrasting colors that still coordinate beautifully. Why not use their expertise?

If you want to experiment with a more contrasting color on a smaller scale, a powder room is the perfect place to start.

Washington Post

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