The Sandwich—Suitable for Royalty
Apparently, sandwiches were invented in the 18th century when the Earl of Sandwich asked for his meat to be served between slices of bread, to avoid interrupting a gambling game or getting his cards greasy. If the Earl were alive today he probably would have invented sandwiches so he could eat while driving, or to avoid getting his cell phone dirty!
Blueberries – I love ‘em!
Early in July I head to my favorite ‘you-pick’ blueberry farm and enjoy those delicious fresh berries! I don’t have the time or space to grow my own berries, so I’m happy others grow them for us to pick. Grocery stores are running specials of under $2.00 a pint; but, at one pick-your-own operation in SE Iowa, they were $2 a quart if you did the picking or $4 a quart if you bought them in the box. I get satisfaction from picking them myself, and knowing they were produced locally is well worth the price I pay.
Grandma might not know best…about canning
Is your garden overflowing? I don’t have many tomatoes yet, but lots of everything else! I know some of my neighbors have been busy canning and freezing beans and other garden goodies. Canning and freezing may or may not save money (depending on how many supplies you have to purchase), but the end result definitely tastes good. Although home food preservation has been done for years, we learn more all the time about how to do it more safely and with better quality results. The ‘way Grandma did it’ may not follow current recommendations. For example,
Winter squash or pumpkins in abundance?
My sisters, dad and I share a garden spot. We try to coordinate so that we all work in the garden at the same time because it is more fun that way, but with our schedules that doesn’t happen very often. This spring when we were planting, a couple of times someone planted over the top of something that was already in the ground (this is why we had peppers growing in the bean rows). I was determined to have some winter squash, so I planted a whole row of seeds about 3” apart and put milk cartons filled with water every foot to mark the row. To make a long story short, I didn’t thin the plants, so the squash took over a corner of the garden and now we have lots of acorn squash. If you have an abundance of winter squash or pumpkins, here are some helps:
Tomatoes…Yum! Doesn’t matter if they are a fruit or a vegetable
Remember that old argument…is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Here’s the answer. BOTH. Botanically speaking, the tomato is a fruit. A “fruit” is any fleshy material covering a seed or seeds. Horticulturally speaking, the tomato is a vegetable plant. The plant is an annual and non-woody. (Source: Produce Marketing Association and the Produce for Better Health Foundation.)
Directions Available for Home Food Preservation
Have you noticed the interest in home food preservation? Equipment sales are up, cookbooks are selling and home cooks, from beginners to experts, are enjoying the pleasure of canning, freezing, jams, jellies and drying foods. Some are doing it for creativity or to give as homemade gifts. Others want to control salt, sugar and other preservatives in the foods they eat. Some want to save money by preserving the excess garden bounty.
Want to Make Salsa?
This morning I got an email from my sister:
Crispy Salmon Patties
I grew up on a farm in northwest Iowa. My dad raised hogs, beef, soybeans and corn. Guess how many times we had salmon when I was growing up. That’s right, NEVER.
Sweet and Sour Rice Dinner
My daughter shared with me that she spent the afternoon helping her friend make meals to put in the freezer. Her friend has young children, a new job, and a husband who has to be out of town a night or two each week. It sounded like the girls had a great time working together plus they came up with several meals that will be ready to go on hectic nights.
Berry Buying and Storing
Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries not only are delicious, but they are also top in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. (Antioxidants may help increase our immune function and protect against cancer and heart disease.) Purchasing Berries
Are Steamer Bags Worth the Money?
I’m all for increasing the amount of vegetables in the diet. Vegetables provide nutrients we can’t get from other foods plus they are low in calories and high in fiber. I also think frozen vegetables are a great value. They are usually flash frozen right after they are picked so they may have more nutrients than fresh vegetables that have spent a long time traveling across the country. Sometimes they are less expensive than fresh vegetables, and they are already cleaned and prepared.
What I have learned being part of the SSES Team
I joined the Spend Smart Eat Smart Team as a junior here at Iowa State University, a little over a year after I no longer had an on-campus meal plan so I was buying my own groceries and preparing my own meals. I liked to cook but struggled when it came to knowing how to budget my spending on groceries as well as how to reduce food waste in my kitchen.