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County Extension

  • Musical beans

    Every little kid knows the song: “Beans, beans the musical fruit ...” I’ll let you do the next line in your head.

    Not only are beans musical, they are inexpensive, tasty and a powerhouse of nutrition. On any given day, at least 14 percent of the U.S. population is eating beans. Good for them! Pinto beans are the most popular, closely followed by Navy, black, Great Northern and garbanzo beans.

  • The scoop on thawing and refreezing

     Here’s a story that might sound familiar: You thought ahead and put a frozen piece of meat in the refrigerator to thaw for dinner tomorrow night. Good for you, but your neighbor calls and suggests you go out to dinner instead. So what do you do with the thawed-out meat? Is it safe to refreeze it?

  • Growing better tomatoes

     By Patti Schleig

    Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

     

    There is nothing better than a freshly picked tomato from your garden. A method called trench planting piqued my interest last year, so I decided to test the method and do a comparative study of the traditional method (vertical planting) and trench planting.

     

    What is trench planting?

  • Yea or nay on Avocados?

     By Cheryle Jones Syracuse

    What is it with avocados? People basically use the same logic to decide if they are going to eat them. They are high in fat and calories, but it’s good fat. What about you? Do you shun or crave avocados?

  • Washing up is important

     Cheryle Jones Syracuse

     

    The older I get, the more Mom was right. If your mom was like mine, she always had you wash your hands before eating. I wish more people would remember what their moms said.

  • A short microwave cooking lesson

     By Cheryle Jones Syracuse

    Microwave ovens are an essential part of most kitchens these days. Yet, for some, they are just expensive coffee warmers, leftover reheaters and popcorn poppers. When microwaves first came out in the 1970s a lot of folks were giving microwave cooking classes. I was one of them. Now they’re like coffee pots in every kitchen and no one ever thinks of taking a class on how to use them. Most people just push a couple of buttons and go. But are you using your microwave to it greatest potential?

  • Thyme to remember

     Cheryle Jones Syracuse

    I was sorting through my spice cupboard looking for some thyme. It got me thinking about that 1960s recording by Simon and Garfunkel. The real name of the song is “Scarborough Fair,” but most of us remember it for the melody line of “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.” (I bet you’re humming it right now!)

  • Bring a dish to share

     Cheryle Jones Syracuse

    Family and Consumer Science Staff

    NC Cooperative Extension

    Brunswick County Center

     I think we all have the opportunity to attend potluck or covered dish dinners. You know what I’m talking about…an event where everyone brings a dish to share. But, are you sharing more than the food?

  • Be careful with sprouts

     Cheryle Jones Syracuse

    Sprouts. What is your impression of this food? They could be alfalfa sprouts on a sandwich, mung bean sprouts in a stir-fry or radish sprouts on a salad. Healthful, right? Maybe not.

    While they do contain protein and vitamins, they may also contain something we don’t want. They may also have pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses (most people call this food poisoning).

  • More ideas for portion control

     We hear it all the time. Portions are getting larger and larger. Trying to manage portion size can feel like a constant, impossible task. Every day face we’re faced with huge portions at restaurants and surrounded by oversized packages of processed foods at every turn. It can get overwhelming!

    This may not seem like an earth-shattering point, but so many people think of portion control as deprivation. That’s not it at all! You can control your portions and still feel satisfied — and it’s easier than you think.