By Wayne McLaurin
Georgia Extension Service
Will the children eat vegetables if we make them into desserts? Probably so. Just don't tell them they're vegetables.
How could you have Thanksgiving without sweet potato pie?
We claim to have the sweetest onions in the world. Of course, I would eat gumbo as a dessert with the trinity of vegetables: onions, peppers and celery.
For those gardeners in north Georgia, rhubarb is another dessert vegetable. It grows well in the cooler climes but can't take the heat of the southern part of the state.
What about growing beets this spring? They're easy to grow, packed with nutrients and delicious as Harvard or pickled beets.
Georgia grows the very best watermelons anywhere. Cordele always comes to mind, as well as the great aroma of melons at the Georgia State Farmers Market when the season is in full swing.
Do you throw away the watermelon rinds? Shame on you. Watermelon-rind preserves are one of the staple pickled products. Just ask one of your gardening friends for their family recipe. And watch for the smile and memories that will come to their minds.
While your thoughts are on melons, what about cantaloupes and honeydews? They're two of Georgians' favorite sweets.
Have you ever eaten corn pudding? Georgia grows sweet corn that's sweet enough for any dessert. In fact, I would trade almost any dessert for sweet corn. I'll just take the husk off and eat it raw. It makes my mouth water just to think about sweet corn.
What about sweet pickles? You'll need to plant pickling cucumbers to get the best quality pickles. You can use regular cucumbers, but they may not make as firm a pickle as the picklers will.
What about sweet vegetable relish? There's a good dish for a combination of almost any of the vegetables: cukes, peppers, celery, etc.
Never eaten hot pepper jelly or garlic jelly? What about tomato jam? Have you forgotten about zucchini bread and carrot cake?
You didn't think vegetables were desserts? Well, I'm working on eggplant now.