Category: October 2017

History of the Pumpkin

References to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for “large melon” which is “pepon.” “Pepon” was nasalized by the French into “pompon.” The English changed “pompon” to “Pumpion.” Shakespeare referred to the “pumpion” in his Merry Wives of Windsor. American colonists changed “pumpion” into “pumpkin.” The “pumpkin” is referred to in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater and Cinderella.

Native Americans dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. They also roasted long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and ate them. The origin of pumpkin pie occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in hot ashes.

Want to learn how the Jack-O-Lantern came to be? Click here:

https://extension.illinois.edu/pumpkins/history.cfm

By: Cassie Homan

Say No to Open Kettle and Oven Canning

Open kettle canning has not been recommended for 30+ years. Open kettle canning involves heating the food to boiling, pouring it into the jars, applying lids, and allowing the heat of the jar to cause the lid to seal. The food is not heated adequately to destroy the spoilage organisms, molds and yeasts that can enter the jar while you are filling the jar, and it does not produce a strong seal on the jar. This method is not safe! Just because the lid seals, doesn’t meat it’s safe. The time saved with open kettle canning is not worth the risk of food spoilage or illness.

Oven canning may sound simple, but oven heat is not the same as heat from a boiling water bath or from steam in a pressure canner. Placing jars in the dry heat of the oven may cause the glass to crack and shatter causing injury to you. Dry heat is not comparable to the moist heat of a boiling water bath. Processing in an oven will not heat the contents in the coldest part of the jar in the same way as boiling water. Oven heat will not increase the temperature inside the jar above boiling to be adequate to destroy botulism spores in low acid foods. Oven canning is not safe!

This article is borrowed from the October issue of You Asked It! found here.

Source: http://bit.ly/2y6auUQ

By:  Ashley Svaty

Buying and Using Health Insurance – Consumer Resources

Nora Rhoades
Family and Youth
Development Agent

When choosing a health insurance plan for you and your family there is much to consider. The right plan for you and your family will depend on your health and your financial situation. The University of Maryland Extension provides some helpful consumer resources. These tools can help consumers be smart about buying and using health insurance. To access the resources visit https://extension.umd.edu/insure/consumer-resources.

By:  Nora Rhoades