Fruit and Vegetable Powders

If you are getting tired of grabbing various spices to flavor various dishes, consider making your own vegetable or fruit powders to use as food flavorings. These powders, depending on what you dried and ground, could be added to cereals, gravies, meat rubs, icing/frostings, candies or many, many other dishes. If you have these powders on hand, you will find yourself experimenting, trying to tempt your taste buds with new flavors.

These powders are easy to make. After drying the fruits and/or vegetables, freeze them. You can process these frozen items in a food processor, spice or coffee mill, blender, mortice and pestleĀ or what ever other method you can come up with that will give you a powder. Store these powders in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

This is an excellent way to make use of your over dried fruits and vegetables or excess garden produce that you haven’t canned, frozen or otherwise preserved.

Keep your fork



An Airline Concern

After yet another person was ‘escorted’ off an airplane, this time for a pet allergy problem, this story came to mind.

When a man found his seat on a plane he was surprised to find a parrot in the seat next to him. After they were airborne and the flight attendants made the rounds, the man asked the flight attendant for a cup of coffee. The parrot squawked, “And get me a soda now!” The flight attendant, a bit flustered, returned with a can of soda.

The man said, “Um, could I please get that cup of coffee?”

The parrot again squawked loudly, “And get me another soda, you slow poke!” The flight attendant, taken aback, hurried to the beverage cart and returned with a soda, but still no coffee.

Deciding to use the parrots approach, the man said, “I have asked you twice now for a cup of coffee. Go and get it or I’ll make a scene!”

Suddenly the man and the parrot were escorted to and pushed out of an emergency exit. Plummeting downward at a tremendous rate of speed, the parrot looked over at the man and said, “You realize, for someone who can’t fly, you complain way too much!”

Keep you fork

Squash Relish

This growing season has been excellent for squash. We have three shelves full of squash in the fruit cellar and have been eating squash twice a week. We just returned from a short three-day visit to Amish country in Pennsylvania and almost every farm stand and other food outlet had many varieties of squash for sale.

Here’s a recipe I came across for squash relish that may help you use some of your squash if you also have more than you know what to do with.

6 c squash (your favorite)
2-1/2 Tbsp salt
3 c sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
1-1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 peppers (your choice)
1-1/4 c vinegar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

GrindĀ the squash and pepper together. Mix well with the salt and let stand overnight, then rinse with cold water. Drain. Mix well with the other ingredients. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

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Why Drink Water?

With all the choices of ‘liquids’ we could be consuming, the best bet is still ‘water’. Water plays an important part in our body’s functions. Every system in our body depends on water. Here are some things water does:

  • Regulates body temperature
  • Moistens tissues – keeps the skin looking young and healthy
  • Lubricates joints
  • Helps flush wastes
  • Carries nutrients to the cells
  • Protects organs
  • Energizes the muscles

Many drinks we consume contains too much sugar. Water has 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar. Added sugars should not exceed 10% of daily calories which is approximately 50 g/day. Here are some comparisons:

  • Orange juice: 8 oz = 21 grams of sugar and 110 calories
  • Sweetened iced tea: 16 oz = 36 grams of sugar and 140 calories
  • 2% milk: 8 oz = 12 grams of sugar
  • 100% juice smoothie: 15.2 oz = 60 grams of sugar and 300 calories
  • Lemon-lime soda: 20 oz = 77 grams of sugar and 285 calories
  • Orange soda: 20 oz = 85 grams of sugar and 325 calories
  • Cola: 44 oz = 128 grams of sugar and 510 calories; (38 oz cola & 6 oz ice)
  • Iced coffee (mocha flavor): 9.5 oz = 31 grams of sugar and 180 calories
  • Sports drink: 20 oz = 35 grams of sugar and 125 calories
  • Energy drink: 15 oz = 54 grams of sugar and 200 calories
  • Chocolate skim milk: 8 oz = 23 grams of sugar and 145 calories
  • 100% apple juice: 27 grams of sugar and 115 calories
  • Cranberry juice cocktail: 8 oz glass = 30 grams of sugar and 120 calories
  • Coffee: 8 oz = 0 grams of sugar and 0 calories
  • Vegetable juice: 8 oz = 8 grams of sugar and 50 calories
  • Plain soy milk: 8 oz = 8 grams of sugar and 120 calories
  • Skim milk: 8 oz = 12 grams of sugar and 90 calories

Keep your fork

The Best Part of Waking Up

A sweet little boy surprised his grandmother one morning by brining her a cup of coffee while she was still in bed. She could tell that he had made it all by himself because of the proud look on his face. He stood by the bed waiting for his grandmother to taste the coffee and tell him what a wonderful treat it was.

The grandmother had never tasted such a poor cup of coffee. After getting by the first sip she continued drinking the rest of the coffee and praised her grandson, telling him how wonderful it was.

As she choked down the last sip, she noticed three little green army men in the bottom of the cup. She asked, “Sweety, why are there three of your little army guys in the bottom of my cup?”

Her grandson replied, “Grandma, you know. It’s like they say on TV, ‘The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup.’ ”

Keep your fork

Vension Meatballs

Hunting seasons are just around the corner. Here is a recipe for vension meatballs, but you could use any big game in place of the vension.

1-1/2 lbs ground vension
1/3 c chopped onion
1/3 c bread crumbs
1/4 c catsup
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp basil leaves

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into balls and place on foil lined 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Spoon the following sauce over the vension balls and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

1/2 c chopped onion
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 c catsup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Boil together several minutes before spooning over vension balls.

Keep your fork

Stroke Signs? Remember F A S T

It’s not just us old codgers that may experience a stroke. Strokes can happen to people of all ages. If you, a loved one or even someone who you just tolerate think they may be suffering a stroke, remember FAST.

  • F – Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Have the person smile. Is the smile uneven or lopsided?
  • A – Arm Weakness – Ask if one arm is weak or numb. Have the person raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S – Speech Difficulty – Is the speech slurred? Listen to see if they are hard to understand or are unable to speak. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The grass is green.” Can the person repeat the words correctly?
  • T – If the person shows any of these signs, even if they go away, call 911 immediately. Tell them that you think this is a stroke and the person needs to get to the ER right away. Time is important, don’t delay. Note the time that symptoms first appeared as the emergency responders will want to know.

Unsure? Don’t wait, call anyway!

Keep your fork