Popcorn was grown by Native Americans long before the Europeans came to the New World. The Aztecs used it, strung into garlands, in their religious ceremonies. Peruvians toasted and ate their popcorn, which was called pisancalla. During the 1830's, it was "discovered" by American farmers who, using a new kind of plow, planted acres and acres of it during the 1850s. By the turn of the 19th century, popcorn vendors could be found in every big city. They'd sell their wares by the bag or the ball and make a profit of about 70 cents on every dollar!
School's out! Time for tasty treats made with nutty deliciousness. Here are four easy recipes to try while chilling this summer. If you are allergic to peanuts, ask your parents if it's okay to substitute toasted almond/almond butter or cashews/cashew butter in these snacks. Then check out the some books for the nuttier side of your summer reading.
Gumdrops, lollipops, chocolate squares, jelly bears, and peppermint candies. The sky is the limit as far as decorating your own gingerbread house. They are a ton of fun to decorate, but first you need to make the house itself.
Chances are if you are studying colonial times, your teacher will assign a hands-on project. You could make a model of the Jamestown Fort or a copy of the Declaration of Independence-but why not try a craft that the colonists themselves would have done?
Every colonial family except for the very rich had to be able to make their own soap, candles, furniture, cloth, baskets, toys, and musical instruments. Below is one practical craft to try. Scroll down and check our lists of books and Web sites for more ideas.
Summer's here at last. The pool's open. The weather's scorching hot. What could be better for an afternoon treat than a big bowl of ice cream? A big bowl of ice cream and lots of friends—that's what! Read on for frosty facts and tasty treats.
Imagine a plate piled high with warm chocolate chip cookies, ooey and gooey with melted chips and crunchy with nuts. Your grownup might have helped a little bit, but these beauties are all yours, to share with friends (or eat yourself!) because YOU made them!
All it takes is one picky toddler to make parents pull their hair out at the dinner table. If there is one topic that worries us the most, it’s our children’s health and what they’re eating (or not!). As a result, there are countless books on the market touting the best way to get your kids to eat more foods. From The Sneaky Chef, which advocates putting veggie purees in brownies, to 201 Healthy Smoothies and Juices for Kids, to What Chefs Feed Their Kids where chefs share their gourmet secrets, there are more than 60 titles to choose from just in our library system. Parents who are at a loss as to how to get their littlest ones (and often, their big ones!) interested in a plate of carrots can easily become overwhelmed with the advice. With the additional goals of trying to feed families with increasingly less time and high grocery bills, it’s enough to make many of us revert to pasta every night of the week.
The newest addition to the collection, however, might just change not only how you feed your kids, but also yourself. French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon is the story of one Canadian mother who moved her young family back to her husband’s native Brittany, on the coast of France. As you can surmise by the title, she discovered why French kids associate chocolate cake with pleasure, not guilt, and why they have astonishing lower rates of childhood obesity (20% in America, just 3% in France (p. 140)). She discovered why nearly half of French children eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day, while barely ten percent of their American counterparts struggle to eat the same amount (p. 117). Even their daycare menus resemble gourmet menus. One day’s lunch at her daughter’s preschool was listed as: beet salad bolognaise, roast turkey with fine flageolet beans, goat cheese buchette, and organic pear compote (p. 36). “By the time they are two years old,” Le Billon discovered, “most French kids have tried (and eaten) more foods than many American adults” (p. 120).
This recipe for a beautiful, savory veggie tartlet comes courtesy of La Petite Auberge in downtown Fredericksburg.
Owned and operated by the Renault family, La Petite has been a Fredericksburg favorite sine 1981. La Petite's menu often features local seafood and produce:
"We take full advantage of the wonderful local delicacies such as Shad Roe in mid to late winter, Soft Shell Crab in the summer and Rockfish year round. We buy our produce from the local farmers during the growing season. Our menus are composed daily and change according to the market and seasons."
Find out more about the menu and chefs at La Petite Auberge.
La Petite Auberge
Seventh generation farmer, Tom Weaver, is the man behind Papa Weaver's Pork Products. From their family farm in Orange County, Virginia, situated on land originally owned by President James Madison, Tom and his family bring you fine pork products free of preservatives, additives, chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics.
This easy and delicious breakfast casserole recipe from Papa Weaver's Pork would be great for a Mother's Day or Father's Day brunch.
Papa Weaver's Breakfast Casserole
- 2 c. cooked Papa Weaver’s ground sausage, drained
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 5 eggs
- 1 c. Bisquick mix
- 2 c. milk
Place meat and cheese in bottom of greased pan.
Mix remaining ingredients and pour on top of meat and cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
Check out Papa Weaver's web site for more recipes: www.papaweaver.com/recipes.htm
If you are like me, you probably enjoy exploring different cultures through food. I am a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain's show, No Reservations
I would love to be able to go to all these countries and taste their cuisines one day. But for now, I do it through reading. It is truly amazing to learn that many famous cooks and food writers were ordinary people and had to endure many struggles on their quests to find a niche for themselves. In these books, we will travel and experience cuisines both in the USA and around the world.