Did You Know?

  • A strawberry isn’t a berry, but a banana is.
  • Avocados and watermelon are also berries.
  • Brussel sprouts grow on long stalks.
  • Cashews grow on trees.
  • Chocolate milk was invented in Ireland.
  • Ketchup used to be sold as medicine.
  • Carrots were originally purple.
  • McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers every second of every day.
  • Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing.
  • Ripe cranberries will bounce like rubber balls.
  • An average ear of corn has an even number of rows of kernels, usually 16.
  • Betty White is actually older than sliced bread.
  • Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas.
  • Honey never spoils. You can eat 32,000-year-old honey.
  • Peanuts are not nuts. They grow in the ground, so they are legumes.
  • Vending machines are twice as likely to kill you than a shark is.
  • Coconuts kill more people than sharks every year. So do cows.
  • Pound cake got its name from its original recipe, which called for a pound each of butter, eggs, sugar and flour.
  • The possibility of you drinking a glass of water that contains a molecule of water that also passed through a dinosaur is almost 100%.
  • Honey is made from nectar and bee vomit.
  • Kiwis grow on vines.
  • Ginger is the root of a plant.
  • Cinnamon is just the inner part of a tree.
  • Artichokes are flowers that are eaten as buds.
  • “Spam” is short for spiced ham.
  • Popsicles were invented by an 11-year-old in 1905.
  • Apples, like pears and plums, belong to the rose family.
  • The official state vegetable of Oklahoma is the watermelon.
  • Peas are the most popular pizza topping in Brazil.
  • There are over 7,500 varieties of apples throughout the world and it would take you 20 years to try them all if you had one each day.
  • The twists in pretzels are made to look like arms crossed in prayer.
  • Canola oil was originally called rapeseed oil, but was renamed by the Canadian oil industry in 1978 to avoid negative connotations. “Canola” is short for “Canadian oil.”
  • No matter what color Fruit Loop you eat, they all taste the same.

Keep your fork


Canned Coleslaw

If you have extra cabbage and want another way to preserve them for future use, try canning coleslaw.

1 larage head cabbage, shredded
1 c celery, diced
1/2 c onion, cut up
1/2 c vinegar
carrot, small amount cut up
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp mustard
2 c white sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together, put into jars and cold pack for 10 minutes.

Keep your fork

Weights of cabbage heads (L to R) 9-1/4 lb, 12-3/4 lb, 14 lb, 15-1/2 lb The cauliflower weight was 10 lbs. Note: the pint jar of spaghetti sauce is for size  reference

You may have to increase the amount of ingredients for heads this size!

Household Hints – Part 2

Here are more household hints to add to those that I started on 15 October.

  • For a crisp crust  on chicken, rub with mayonnaise before baking.
  • Use a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol to remove water spots from stainless steel.
  • Club soda will shine up stainless steel in a jiffy.
  • Add sliced green pepper to fried potatoes to give them a fine flavor.
  • To freshen left over mashed potatoes, put milk in a skillet, add the potatoes and heat; then whip them well and they will taste like fresh ones.
  • Boiled potatoes will stay white if a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar is added to the water.
  • To extinguish a grease fire on the stove, quickly sprinkle a lot of baking soda on the flames.
  • To make marshmallow creme, dissolve 10 oz. of marshmallows in 1/2 cup of milk. Makes 1 cup.
  • Use your potato peeler to shave chocolate. It makes long curled shavings, perfect for use in decorating tops of cakes, pies and puddings.
  • When baking drop cookies, try having a cup of very hot water handy to dip the spoon into. The batter will cut off easily and drop from the spoon without sticking.
  • When baking cream puffs, do not remove them from oven as soon as they are done, but let them stand in the closed oven until they are cool. This prevents them from falling.
  • Baking soda removes fish odor from hands and cooking utensils.
  • Thaw fish in milk for a fresh caught flavor.
  • To prevent edges of pies from browning too much, brush them with water before baking.
  • Household cleaner: put 1 pint rubbing alcohol, 2 tablespoons household ammonia and 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent into a gallon of water. A few drops of bluer coloring may be added to let you know that it is not water.
  • Try using honey instead of sugar in your fresh cucumber salads the next time you make them. It gives them a pleasant but different flavor.
  • Use a can of asparagus soup to cream your asparagus.
  • Homemade cake flour: Use 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of regular flour. Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and sift together.
  • To make brown sugar: Blend 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses. This equals 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  • To double whipped cream: Add 8 marshmallows to 1/2 pint of whipping cream the night before. Refrigerate. Next day, whip until stiff. No sugar or flavoring is needed.
  • To make bananas stay fresh looking in jello, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the jello.
  • Pour pineapple juice over fresh fruits, such as apples and bananas, to keep them from darkening.

Keep your fork


Back in May I had several posts on dried beans. Here is a hummus recipe that is made with chick-peas. If you have someone who says they don’t like hummus, tell them that this isn’t hummus, it’s pureed chick-peas. Hummus is usually served with Arab or pita bread, but use it with whole wheat bread or as a vegetable dip.

2 c cooked chick-peas
1 clove garlic
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
cold water
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Using a food processor, blender or food mill, puree the chick-peas. Mix in the lemon juice and olive oil. If needed, add a little cold water to make a soft mixture. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and chill at least an hour before serving.

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Household Hints – Part 1

Some of these may be old hat to you while others may be new. I learned a few new tricks.

  • If the juice from a pie runs over in the oven, shake some salt on it which causes the juice to burn to a crisp so it can be removed.
  • To prevent a one crust pie shell from shrinking, make a little tuck across the middle of the crust when fitting it in the pan.
  • When an egg white is beaten, adding 1 tablespoon cold water to it will increase the bulk considerably.
  • Juice saved from cooking a sausage makes an excellent base or broth for vegetable soup.
  • Cauliflower cooked in water with a little vinegar or lemon juice will keep it snowy white.
  • Cutting marshmallows may be simplified by dipping scissors in powdered sugar after each cut.
  • Tough meat can be tenderized without affecting the flavor by the addition of several drops of vinegar while cooking.
  • Onion odor may be removed from your hands by rubbing the hands with damp salt.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to frosting to prevent breaking when cut.
  • To take odor out of Tupperware, stuff with newspaper and cover for a while.
  • Potatoes soaked in salt water for 20 minutes before baking will bake more rapidly.
  • When making cake icing or candy consisting of milk or cream and sugar, add 1 teaspoon of ordinary table syrup for each cup of sugar used. Boil in the usual way. Your finished product will be much smoother and not so apt to become sugary.
  • A tablespoon of ammonia added to the final rinse water will keep most blankets fluffy after laundering.
  • When making refrigerator or rolled cookies, keep them crisp by sprinkling with crushed peanut brittle while still hot from the oven. The brittle melts slightly giving the cookies a delightful topping.
  • Dark corn syrup removes grass stains. Pour the syrup full strength on the stain and let it stand for a few minutes, then wash as usual.
  • Use leftover suntan oil as a moisturizer to keep your skin soft and smooth in cold weather.
  • To clean a canvas handbag, don’t wash it. Use dry baking soda, rubbing it on with a small brush. Soil will come off easily.
  • Spraying shaving cream directly on a wood tick will make it let go.
  • Liquid floor wax will preserve those autumn leaves that are so colorful. Pour the wax in a flat dish, dip the leaves, than hang or set them aside to dry.
  • Vinegar removes fruit stains from your hands.

Household Hints – Part 2 to come later.

Keep your fork

Crock Pot Pheasant

Although this is a recipe for crockpot pheasant, it works well for other wild game birds as well.

Cut up 1 or 2 pheasants into chunks. Coat with flour and fry in olive oil to brown and then place in crock pot. Put 1 cup chopped onion and 1 clove of garlic into the reserved olive oil and sauté. Then add:

1-1/2 c chicken broth
1 c white wine
1 c mushrooms
1 small can chopped black olives
2 Tbsp butter

Simmer 5 minutes. Add to meat in crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours.

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What Makes Meat Tough?

I’m sure you have had a steak or other cut of meat that has just melted in your mouth. Likewise, you probably have had a like cut of meat that chewed like old shoe leather.You may not have asked out loud why the meat was so tender or so tough but somewhere in the back of your mind your inner voice was wondering what was going on. Let me shed a little light on this subject.

If you have processed a domestic animal, a deer or other large game, or if you’ve closely examined a cut of meat you will recognize what I’m writing about. The major muscle(s) tissue are surrounded by a mucous membrane (connective tissue or silver skin) which holds these various parts together. This makes it possible for you to separate the various muscles and keep them looking somewhat professionally ‘butchered’. These connective tissues are tied together by white strands (tendons) that connects the muscles to the bones. The more connective tissue and tendons the meat has, the tougher it is going to be. Another way to look at it is, the less connective tissue and tendons, the more tender the meat will be.

If the meat contains a lot of connective tissue, cook it for a long time to get the tissue to become gelatin. This will make the potentially tough meat soft and very tender. I can still remember eating a pot roast that Grandma had in the oven for hours. The seam fat and connective tissue melted in your mouth. The ole taste buds didn’t know whether to tell you to spit it out when you first encountered the softness or to savor the taste. Braised beef will give you the same experience.

Keep your fork