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Tag Archive | "Babcock"

Fresh Market—the Pumpkin


 

By Vicky Babcock

 

Nothing says Fall quite so well as the pumpkin! Its bold color and robust texture are characteristic of the season. It is a fall favorite in the U.S., selling over 1 billion pounds annually in its relatively short season. Over 90 percent of our nation’s processed pumpkin comes from the State of Illinois, with a majority (85 percent) being processed for sale with the Libby’s ® label.  Most Americans today have never made a pumpkin pie that has not come out of a can.

Pumpkin popularity grew enormously in the U.S with the advent of the Jack o’ Lantern, a tradition brought over by Irish immigrants, who used carved turnips in their home country as lanterns to chase away evil spirits.  According to legend, Jack tricked the Devil into agreeing to never claim his soul. When Jack died, the Devil gave him a lit coal to light his way in the afterlife. Jack placed the coal in a turnip and became known as “Jack o’ the Lantern.”

Pumpkins, as other squashes, are native to America and Native Americans grew and harvested them for centuries. It was one of a group of crops known as the “three sisters” and was grown in conjunction with corn and beans. The corn stalk provided a pole for the beans to grow, while the pumpkin covered the ground, providing cover to deter weeds and to keep the soil moist. The Iroquois legend of the three sisters speaks of a Sky woman who fell to Earth, becoming the first woman on Earth. Being with child, she gave birth to a daughter who in turn, gave birth to twins by the West Wind. The woman died in childbirth and the children buried her; from the ground where she lay, sprouted corn, beans and pumpkins, which served as the main food staples of the Iroquois.

While pumpkins are most popular here as a carving base these days, the fruit is loaded with nutritional value. Pumpkins are high in vitamin A and beta carotene; the seeds are high in protein and rich in a highly nutritious, flavorful oil. The flowers and the leaves are edible and considered a delicacy in some countries.

Some little known facts:  pumpkins are used as a feed for livestock; the raw fruit can be used as a supplement to chickens during the winter to aid in egg production; the biggest pumpkin on record weighed in at a whopping 2009 pounds; Columbus brought the first pumpkins back to Europe from the New World; the largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds; canned pumpkin (not pie filling) has been recommended by veterinarians as a supplement for dogs and cats experiencing ailments such as constipation, diarrhea or hairballs.

Still not convinced that you should buy a pumpkin? Consider pumpkin chucking. A competitive sport in which teams build devices to throw a pumpkin as far as possible.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

1 32oz can of pumpkin

1 12oz can of evaporated milk

4 eggs

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie mix

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups sugar

1 box yellow cake mix

1 stick butter

Pecans to scatter on top as desired.

 

Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie mix, salt and sugar in bowl.  Pour in 13”x9” cake pan. Cover with 1 box of Yellow Cake mix.  Scatter pecans on top.  Melt butter and drizzle over the top. Bake at 400 for about 40 minutes.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Note:  Solon Market will be closed October 5 for Red Flannel Festival. We will be open again the following week.

 

Posted in Awesome Autumn, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market


BLOOM-cucumbersBy Vicky Babcock

 

The Cucumber

The cucumber has been cultivated for over 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest known fruits to be raised for consumption by man.  It has its origins in Nepal and was likely introduced to the rest of Europe by the Greeks or the Romans.  Columbus introduced this member of the squash family to the New World where it thrived.  Indeed, it—along with other squash and root vegetables—was described by William Wood as often being bigger and better than  those grown in his native England.

According to Pliny, the Emperor Tiberius had mobile gardens, which were used as a type of greenhouse to keep him supplied with cucumbers throughout the year. Romans reportedly used cucumbers to treat scorpion bites, bad eyesight and to scare away mice. Wives wishing to have children wore cucumbers around their waists (Wikipedia).

The cucumber fell out of favor along with other uncooked fruits and vegetables in the late 17th century. It was thought that uncooked plants brought on summer diseases and were “fit only for consumption by cows,” a statement that may have led to the appellation of “cowcumber.”

Forget caffeinated beverages, cukes are a good source of B vitamins, providing a boost in energy levels. Often referred to as a superfood, they are known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health. Cucumbers are 95 percent water, aiding to keep the body hydrated as well as helping to rid the body of toxins. Much of the vitamins are contained in the skin of the cuke so be sure to consume these natural powerhouses with the skin intact. As with any vegetables consumed raw, be sure to scrub them well before eating.

Cool as a cucumber? Cukes are often about 20 degrees cooler than their surrounding temps. They have been used to treat sunburn and swelling around the eyes and can be pureed to create a lotion for moisturizing and smoothing skin. A slice of cucumber, pressed to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds will kill bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. Eating cucumber before bed can aid in preventing hangovers and headaches. All in all, a hearty powerhouse to aid in your body’s health. Try our salad for a tasty nutritious treat.

 

Cucumber Salad

1 3-oz. pkg. lime Jello

1 cup boiling water

½ tsp. salt

1 cup salad dressing

½ cup sour cream

1 cup chopped cucumbers

1 T. chopped onions

Stir together first three ingredients; let cool. Mix salad dressing and sour cream. Add cucumbers and onion. Fold into Jello mix. Refrigerate until set.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, RecipesComments Off

Fresh Market


By Vicky Babcock

 

Lavender – part two

…with immediacy and intensity, smell activates the memory, allowing our minds to travel freely in time.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume, 1984.

Lavender, the base for most dream pillows, can chase away nightmares and ease stress. It is one of the herbs used in four thieves vinegar, which is believed to have been used in the 1800s to ward off the plague. No wonder this magnificent herb is considered to be good luck!

Lavender likes a sunny spot in well-drained soil. It won’t tolerate wet feet. It is fairly disease resistant and pest resistant—an excellent choice in the garden since the deer will not touch it. If purchasing lavender for culinary purposes, be sure to get organic or culinary lavender. While both the leaves and the buds are fragrant and edible, most of the oils are concentrated in the buds.

Try lavender in the bath, the dryer, your pillow or your dresser drawer. Or try the following recipe—we think you’ll agree it’s a keeper.

*BLOOM-Fresh market lavender lemonbars2

Lavender Lemon Bars

Ingredients: Topping:

¾ cup butter 1 ¾ cups sugar

½ cup confectioners sugar 1/3 cup flour

2 cups flour ½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup ground almonds 4 eggs

1-2 teaspoons Lavender flowers, crushed

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind

confectioners’ sugar

 

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and ½ cup powdered sugar. Add the 2 cups flour, almonds, lavender and lemon peel, and beat until crumbly. Pat into an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake in pre-heated oven 350◦ for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Meanwhile, in another small mixing bowl. Combine sugar for topping, flour, baking soda, eggs and lemon juice; beat until frothy.  Pour over HOT crust.  Bake at 350◦ for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack—dust with powdered sugar.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, RecipesComments Off

Solon Market giveaways this week


 

*ENT-Solon market giveawaysExciting things are happening with the Solon Market (formerly Solon Township Farmers Market), held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the new Solon Township Hall, 15185 Algoma Ave.

Not only did they reorganize under a new name, they have a variety of events planned for the season, beginning this weekend. Check out their market giveaways this Saturday, June 29. There will be a multitude of drawings for market products donated by the vendors, as well as other giveaways. Future events include Concert in the Barn, Critter Barn Petting Zoo, Dog Days and a Fire event. Watch the Post for dates and times.

According to Vicky Babcock, spokesperson for the Solon Market, a group of vendors got together recently to talk about plans for the market. “The new name was chosen to reflect the variety of vendors in the market family—farm produce, crafts and other merchandise,” she explained. “We are focusing on obtaining more fresh produce, larger market and use of the Township’s large barn for sales and events. Stop in to see us on Saturday.  We’d love to tell you more!”

For more info, call 696-1718, or check them out on Facebook.

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Solon pole barn gets reprieve


By Judy Reed
The possibility that a horse barn on Solon Township property might be torn down has caused an outcry among some of the citizens of the township. About two dozen of them attended the township meeting Tuesday evening, where the board listened to their complaints and suggestions, and ultimately removed “removal of the pole barn” from the agenda.
Clerk John Rideout said it was not being tabled, but removed from the agenda. “The architect said it is not necessary to move it (the barn) from the site right now,” he explained. The board has a new preliminary site plan that showed the pole barn could co-exist with the township hall on the same property.
Solon Township resident and architectural photographer Len Allington said that it’s a beautiful barn and he’d hate to see it torn down. “I’ve traveled all over the world taking pictures of architecture and so I probably view it in a little different light than most,” he noted.
“I think it’s great that the board decided not to tear down the barn and to let the farm market continue,” he added.
Vicky Babcock, who spearheads the weekly farmers market on the property at 15185 Algoma, said there were a lot of vendors there last Saturday, and because it rained, they were all in the pole barn.
Supervisor Bob Ellick said that if people want the pole barn to be used for various things, leaders from the community would have to come forward to do that. “We are going to be busy working on the new town hall project,” he explained.
The board voted 4-1 Tuesday evening to begin the process of working toward construction on the new town hall. Ellick voted against it because he didn’t like the date put forth in the timeline regarding when construction should begin, which is April 1. He has also said he’d like to see the township not finance any part of it.
Clerk John Rideout said that they could pay cash since they have over a million dollars in the bank, and finance a portion. “It’s $650,000 and we might finance a couple hundred thousand. Each year we wait the price goes up. It makes more sense to invest our money in the property than let it sit in the bank right now.”
Many in the audience asked the board to slow down, saying it was the first time the public had seen the new site plan. Several members on the board said they weren’t rushing, but in fact had been working on the plan for a new township hall for a number of years.
Allington also said he didn’t think they should rush into building the township hall before sketching out a complete site plan, including a soccer field, baseball field, picnic areas, and other amenities. “Wouldn’t you look at the whole property first?” he asked.

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