Sunday, May 21, 2017

On the Magazine Stand: 5 Vietnamese Dishes You Must Try

If you like Pho... you should try Bun Bo Hue
Lemongrass is the dominant flavoring in this soup.

If you like Egg Rolls... you should try Goi Cuon (Spring Rolls)
Thin rice paper differentiates this roll from common fried rolls.

If you like Grilled Pork Chop and Rice... you should try Bun Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork and Rice Noodle)
Chilled noodles and hot pork add an extra kick.

If you like Combination Stir Fry Noodles... you should try Mi Xao Don Thap Cam (Combination Deep Fried Noodles)
Crispy noodle dish originated in China, adapted in Vietnam.

If you like these options, you should definitely try Nam Vang's Noodle Soup
Simple soup bowl dish common in Vietnam.

 ~ in current issue of National Geographic Traveler

Travel Magazines
Magazine Stand
Artwork: Goi Cuon Salad Roll


Monday, April 17, 2017

Home Grown: Starting a Garden from Seed.

Growing plants from seed can save gardeners money and vastly increase the varieties that can be grown in a backyard garden. Gardeners can grow several transplants for the price of a few, store-bought plants, and the selection of varieties for sale is often limited.

Choose seed varieties that will mature before frost, survive heat and tolerate present growing conditions in your area. Purchase just enough seed for this season. (Seed can be stored from year to year, but germination and seedling vigor will decline with age and improper storage conditions.)

Read the seed package closely and make sure the seed was packed this season. The packet will also provide information on how to space seed within a row, how deep to sow the seed, how many days it will take for the seed to germinate and more.

Continued in... Starting a Garden from Seed

Home Grown
Seed
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Seed Starting Kit


Monday, March 27, 2017

Here's How To... Build a Treehouse

Trees should be selected that have large, strongly connected limbs on the lower part of the stem. Selectively prune away branches, sprouts and twigs that, when weighed with rain and propelled by winds, will not slash sideways or up and down into the area of a treehouse. Make proper pruning cuts to remove branches. Do not use pruning paints on any wounds.

Treehouses should be designed to rest upon major branches and to nestle around the trunk. This will minimize the need for any injurious attachments. Remember trees bend and twist in the wind, so simply jamming or wedging boards between branches or into crotches will lead to failure.

Follow the link to... Build a Treehouse.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Artwork: Treehouse


Friday, March 24, 2017

Home Grown: Arbor Day Tree Planting.

Millions of conservation tree and shrub seedlings are planted each year across the U.S. for windbreaks, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, wood products and other conservation purposes. These seedlings are typically small, bare-root, 1 to 2 years old, and about 12 inches tall.

Spring is the best season to plant conservation trees, from the moment the frost is out of the ground until the weather starts to become hot and dry.

Ideally, seedlings should be planted the same day they are received from the nursery. But if planting must be postponed, choose cool, humid, cloudy days. Early morning or evening generally provides the best conditions for handling seedlings.

Continued in... Arbor Day Tree Planting

Home Grown
Arbor Day
Trees
Artwork: Planting a Tree by Sir George Clausen


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Home Grown: Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance.

Longer days. Birdsong. Growing Grass. These are all indicators that it's time to pull out the lawn mower and get it ready for another season.

It has been sitting in the back of the garage or shed all winter - maybe even under a pile of rags — collecting dust and moisture. There is probably some rust on the metal parts and caked debris underneath.

Of course, all we think we need to do is just top it off with gas and crank it up. We're ready to attack the jungle of grass blades..

Continued in... Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance

Home Grown
Lawn Mowers
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Lawn Mower


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Contests: Ranch Out Sweepstakes


Hidden Valley is inviting Ranch dressing lovers to show how they dip, dunk and drizzle their food with Hidden Valley Ranch in its Ranch Out Sweepstakes.

The Grand Prize in the sweepstakes is a weekend for 4 at an all-inclusive "Ranch Resort." Weekly prizes include a year’s worth of Hidden Valley® Ranch, tees, hoodies, tote bags and more.

Participants earn an entry to the Sweeps by posting a photo of their food with Ranch on Instagram or Twitter with #RanchOutSweepstakes.

The Sweepstakes begins on March 8, 2017 and ends on April 19, 2017, with six weekly entry periods.

Ranch Out Sweepstakes

Artwork: Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
Dressings
Specialty Foods
Condiments
Contests
Submit Your Contest

Contests: 2017 Discover Duck Recipe Contest

“Legs, Legs, Legs,” is the theme of the Maple Leaf Farms annual chef recipe contest challenging professional chefs and culinary students to create a dish which showcases duck legs or duck leg meat as the main ingredient. More than $20,000 in prize money is being offered.

The 2017 Discover Duck Recipe Contest is open to professional chefs and culinary students who are enrolled in a professional culinary school. Recipe entries must include a Maple Leaf Farms duck leg product and will be judged according to creativity/originality, accuracy of the recipe and flavor. Professional and student chef recipes will be judged in separate categories, each with their own cash prizes. Entries will be accepted March 1 through June 4, 2017.

Professional chefs will vie for a $10,000 grand prize and four additional finalist prizes of $1,000 each. The top student chef will win $5,000 with $500 awards going to four additional finalists. In addition, each student finalist will receive a chef’s knife set.

All entries must be postmarked or submitted online no later than June 4, 2017.

2017 Discover Duck Recipe Contest

Artwork: Bone Duck Leg Confit

Meat
Kitchen Supply
Contests
Submit Your Contest

Friday, March 10, 2017

Here's How to... Make a Moccasin

Moccasins, are a type of traditional North American footwear. The word moccasin, which has language origins with Eastern North American tribes, traditionally referred to a shoe with a puckered u-shaped 'vamp' over the instep.

The name of the Great Lakes Ojibway tribe means 'people of the puckered moccasin'. The southern New England Narragansett word for shoe is 'Mocussinass' or 'Mockussinchass'.

Today the word moccasin, still with innumerable spellings, generally refers to all types of hard and soft soled shoes, with and without puckered toes.

continued at... Make a Moccasin

Here's How To...
Guides
How To Do It
Artwork: Native Heritage Moccasin Kit


Friday, February 10, 2017

Rural Delivery: Country Auction

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.

Driving down almost any rural lane it's not uncommon to come across a sudden gathering of pickup trucks parked this way and that along the shoulders. Unless there's smoke rising from some burning barn, chances are there's an auction in progress.

Step outside and, sure enough, there's a cry of "Eight-five, five, five. I have eighty-five. Ninety, give me ninety," wafting across a fallow field.

Move up closer and you'll find old plows and roller harrows and cultipackers lined up on display along with cardboard boxes filled with bolts, drill bits and other assorted items. A crowd of bidders follows the auctioneer up and down rows of tractors and corrugators and shop tools, hovering over each item just long enough to determine whose bid will buy it and then moving on.

Continued at... Country Auction

Rural Delivery
Out of the Past
Farm Supply
Artwork: Country Auction by Ken Zylla

Bites: Choose Dark Chocolate for Valentine's Day


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a gift of dark chocolate and its heart-healthy advantages. Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can alter and weaken cells, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Research has found that flavanols, which are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate, have potential influences on vascular health, including lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.

Milk chocolate, on the other hand, doesn’t provide the same health benefits. Generally speaking, dark chocolate has more cocoa than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate also has fewer unhealthy sugars and saturated fats than milk chocolate. Researchers at Harvard University Medical School suggest choosing chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa or more.

Chocolates
Chocolate Guide
The Gift Shop
Artwork: Valentine's Day Gift Heart

Friday, January 20, 2017

Rural Delivery: In The Quiet

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.

Out here in the country things are different. There is still room for silence. Step away from the TV and the radio and the cell phone, and you often find something rarely found in the city: stillness. Rural places have their share of noise, to be sure. A combine in a field or a hungry herd in the feedlot produces plenty of decibels. Neighbors can be heard revving engines or pounding nails or taking target practice from miles away. And the passing freight trains wail at every crossing up and down the valley.

But these are singular sounds, like simple sentences on a page with lots of white space around them, and they aren't heard all the time, night and day.

Continued at... In The Quiet

Rural Delivery
The Nature Pages
Artwork: The Road To The Farm Saint-Simeon In Winter, 1867 by Claude Monet


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Rural Delivery: Incidents in a Small Town

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.

Living in a small town, you share a sense of common destiny with your neighbors. When tragedy strikes, the whole community trembles.

Our town has been shaken twice in recent weeks. The police chief, a popular and respected man with a young family, died in a freak highway accident when a delivery truck swerved into his lane and hit him head-on with its load.

Barely two weeks later a single mother and her four small children were murdered in their home and a local sharecropper, known to be a friend of theirs, was found dead in his pickup from a gunshot wound to his head. Investigators suspect a murder-suicide, but they are still trying to find a motive.

Continued at... Incidents in a Small Town

Rural Delivery
Second Nature
Artwork: The Mill in Winter by Dwight Baird


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Market Watch: November Pork Exports Set New Record

U.S. red meat exports continued to build momentum in November, highlighted by a new monthly volume record for pork exports. Both pork and beef exports exceeded year-ago levels by more than 20 percent in both volume and value, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

November pork exports totaled 225,757 metric tons (mt), up 24 percent year-over-year and breaking the previous record (218,132 mt) set in October 2012. Export value was $586.8 million, up 30 percent from a year ago and the highest since May 2014. For January through November, pork export volume was up 7 percent from a year ago to 2.09 million mt, while export value increased 5 percent to $5.38 billion.

Even with U.S. pork production reaching record levels, exports are accounting for a larger share. November export volume equated to 28 percent of total production and 23 percent for muscle cuts only – substantial increases over the November 2015 ratios of 24 percent and 21 percent. For January through November, exports accounted for 25.5 percent of total production and 21.4 percent for muscle cuts – up from 24.2 percent and 20.9 percent, respectively, in 2015. November export value averaged $55.09 per head slaughtered, up 19 percent year-over-year. The January-November average was $49.63 per head, up 2 percent.

November was also a very strong month for beef exports, which totaled 155,335 mt – up 20 percent year-over-year and the largest since July 2013. Export value increased 21 percent to $619.1 million, the highest since December 2014. This pushed January-November export volume to 1.07 million mt (up 10 percent year-over-year) valued at $5.72 billion (down 1 percent).

November exports accounted for nearly 15 percent of total beef production and 11.7 percent for muscle cuts only – the highest levels since 2014. January-November exports accounted for 13.5 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively – up from 13 percent and 10 percent during the same period in 2015. Beef export value per head of fed slaughter reached a 2016 high of $294.39 in November, up 5 percent from a year ago. For January through November, per-head export value averaged $258.48, down 7 percent.

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation

Artwork: Smoked Pork Butts from Brooklyn, New York
Beef
Pork
Meat

Monday, January 9, 2017

Home Grown: Growing Heirlooms.

Most gardeners have heard of heirloom seeds and probably have a fairly good idea what they are. Gardeners often refer to heirloom seeds as "Grandmother's seed" or something similar.

As the name implies, heirloom seeds are carried down from generation to generation, similar to handing down a desired antique from generation to generation. What is so special about this? Isn't that what a seed company can do? In short, yes. But the full answer to this question is a little more complicated.

Continued in... Growing Heirlooms

Home Grown
Plants and Seeds
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Heirloom Tomatoes