Monthly Archives: March 2016

How to Freeze Blueberries

Pick plenty of plump blueberries this summer so that you will have some left for freezing. Blueberries are a cinch to freeze, and once you know about their wonderful health benefits, you’ll want to eat them year round. The “Encyclopedia of Nutrition & Good Health,” by Robert A. Ronzio, Ph.D., C.N.S., F.A.I.C., lists the following health benefits for these sometimes sweet, sometimes tart summer delights:

Blueberries may reduce your risk of stroke. Blueberries contain flavonoids which inhibit blood clot formation. Flavonoids may also work to strengthen capillary and vein structures which can help prevent and reduce varicose veins.

Do you suffer from frequent urinary tract and bladder infections? Blueberries can prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the wall of the bladder and urethra thereby reducing the likelihood of infection.

Need to increase your fiber intake? One cup of blueberries contains 4.9 grams of fiber!

Blueberries also help reduce retinal degeneration, normalize high blood sugar, and limit uptake of harmful substances.

Toss some of these nutritional powerhouses into your next fruit salad! They are also great in fruit smoothies and, of course, muffins and pies.

If straight-from-the-bush is how you like your blueberries, plant your own bush. They aren’t difficult to grow. They like moist, acidic soil and plenty of sun. Their blooms look like delicate little white bells, similar to the lily-of-the-valley. The bush will also add beautiful reds and yellows to your garden in autumn.

Freezing blueberries for year-round goodness is easy. The berries are easier to use right out of the freezer if they freeze individually rather than in a big clump. Gently rinse the berries under cool running water. Lay them out on a clean towel to dry. Once dry, lay a large, plastic freezer bag next to the berries. Place one layer of berries in the bag, and seal the bag, gently pressing out as much air as possible. Place the bag flat in the freezer, and readjust the berries so that they are not clumped together. You may stack several bags on top of each other.

The beauty of freezing these sapphire sweets this way is that you can take out just as many or as few as you wish and return the rest to the freezer. If you are preparing a fruit salad that won’t be eaten right away, toss them in still frozen. No need to thaw them for fruit smoothies either. You’ll probably find yourself reaching into the freezer for a handful of blueberries more often than you think, so freeze plenty!

Teakettles Tea Kettles

Product review: Teakettles

Gone are the days when you boil you water for tea in a plain ole pot on the stove. It takes too long and there are just so many attractive and handy teakettles on the market today that you don’t have to settle for a boring pot anymore. Here are some of the great high tech teakettles.

Utili Tea Kettle- This is a great new innovative teakettle. This kettle has a temperature control setting so if you want green tea or white tea, set your control to 180 degrees or boiling for teas such as dark or herbal teas. It is completely stainless steel and is a must have for all tea lovers. The Utili Tea Kettle is made in China.

The Chrome Whistling Teakettle made by RSVP International- This is just a side note but do you know why some kettles whistle? Whistling kettles have a lid that covers the spout. This is lid contains a small hole in it so when the water comes to a boil, the pressure inside the kettle increases as the gases force out through the hole in the lid causing the whistling noise. So back to the Simplex teakettle. This kettle is a hand-crafted English kettle that boils very quickly. The neat thing about this kettle is that its chrome design is very elegant and can remain on your stovetop all the time as part of your kitchen fixture. The kettle has a wooden handle that can be used on gas and ceramic stovetops.

Rachel Ray is the queen of cooking but did you know she has her own line of teakettles? Since Rachel is a rather colorful person, so are her kettles. They come in orange, blue, yellow and green so they match any kitchen dcor. These porcelain teakettles are perfect in every way. It whistles when your tea water is ready, has a convenient lever that lifts the spout and has a stainless steel lid.

And speaking of cooking queens, Paula Deen from the Food Network also has a line of teakettles. Some of the features of Paula’s kettles are they are completely stainless steel with a shiny cooper bottom, whistle feature and comfortable pouring handle.

Oxo’s 8-cup Uplift Teakettle- This is an elegant steel coated teakettle that comes in nine different colors to matches any kitchen dcor. It comes with a rubber handle that stays cool so you can prevent burns when pouring tea water, a spout cover that lifts when you tip the kettle to prevent steam from burning you and a wide top for easy cleaning.

The 7-cup Krups Electric Cordless Kettle is stainless steel, four cups will boil in three minutes, automatic shutoff, a water-level window lets you see what is going on and a built-in filter delivers a tasty brew.

Chantal Whistling Teakettle- I got one of these for Christmas and it is the best teakettle ever. When the water comes to a boil, the whistling sounds like a train. It is made of stainless steel and comes in several colors of enamel to match any dcor. The kettle has a flat base that makes the water boil faster and there is a wire loop handle that provides a cool, secure grip.

Product Review the Foodsaver

The FoodSaver can be incredibly helpful in the kitchen. It’s designed to minimize spoilage, extend shelf life and maintain the quality and freshness of foods. If you’re in the market for a FoodSaver appliance, the following models are worth considering. (Check the FoodSaver website for current prices and availability.)

Vacuum sealer

The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System SmartSeal Technology that comes with an Oval Marinator Canister, Heat Seal Roll, and 12 Pre-Made Quart Size Heat Seal Bags has helped millions of households keep food fresh in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. This FoodSaver system, which costs around $159.99, vacuum seals the food and keeps it fresh up to five times longer than conventional storage methods.

Vacuum sealing is a simple way of preserving food. This model also makes separating foods easy and meal planning effortless. You can open, reseal or reuse the bags. They can be frozen or boiled, or placed in the microwave.

Upgraded version

An upgraded version of this product, the FoodSaver Professional III Vacuum Sealer Kit, sells for around $239.95. It’s a top-of-the-line machine with a wide range of added features, yet simple to use — all you need to do is push a button. It vacuums and seals automatically. Using the 5-Level Seal Control Switch, you can control the amount of air for a perfect seal.

Piston pump

The FoodSaver Professional III Powerful Piston Pump removes air quickly and creates a commercial-quality vacuum. The Heavy Duty Sealing Strip with Teflon Coating seals bags airtight. Likewise, the FoodSaver 5-ply Bags are a durable and effective barrier against oxygen and moisture. They protect your food against freezer burn, and the drip tray is dishwasher safe. Freezer foods stay fresher and can last for weeks with vacuum packing.

Magic vac

The Deni Magic Vac Champion Kit 1750 that cost $243.95 is a fully automatic vacuum sealing appliance with specially designed and patented airtight bags. It is for people concerned with managing their food budgets more efficiently.

Foods in vacuum packages such as cheeses, delis, and meats maintain their taste and quality even when re-sealed in Deni Magic Vac bags. Frozen meats, fish, and vegetables sustain their fresh flavor and texture as well. Dry goods such as coffee, rice, flour, and nuts will also have a much longer shelf life when vacuum packed using Deni Magic Vac Champion Kit 1750. You can also reseal food in its original package using this wonderful machine. This FoodSaver’s powerful piston pump design and patented lid locking system ensure maximum extraction of air and also help prevent freezer burn.

In today’s economy savings are a top priority, and although food storage systems like these are not cheap, they’re efficient at keeping food fresh and will save you money in the long run.

Can Canning Low Acid Canning High Acid Canning can Vegetables Canning Vegetables

How To Can The Vegetables From Your Garden

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One of the most undeniable contributions to our present day fast-food life is the canned food. Canned chick peas, canned tomatoes, canned tuna! Entertaining a guest at home has never been easier. Emergency travel times have become less stressful, all thanks to the canning industry.

However, the story behind the introdution of canning to our modern world is fascinating. Not many of us are aware of it, but take for granted that it is something our grandmothers used to do. True, but it was Napoleon Bonapart who thought of the need to preserve and can food and inspired the process of what we call “Canning”.

1795 : The French Revolution resulted in the Napoleonic Wars, with malnutrition and starvation the common scenes among the soldiers. This affected the status of the wars and became a critical factor in determining the victory or loss of a battle. . Napoleon knew that the success of his many battles depended upon good food provided for his army, and therefore he ran a contest for anyone who could find a way to preserve food in bulk.

Nicholas Appert, a candy maker in Paris filled glass jars with vegetables in it, hermetically sealed the lids on and placed the jars in a bath of water, bringing it to boil for a while. This process came to be known as Appertisation and was the first recorded incident in the history of canning. Appert won 12,000 francs for his effort and for about a decade this was a French secret. Napolean won many a war because of it. By 1810, the English grabbed on to the canning phenomenon and by 1812, the first canning factory in the U.S. was opened in New York by Thomas Kensett.

Today, canned food has become a vital part of our diet. Even pet food is canned! The introduction of canning brought with it a whole new world of jams, jellies, pickles and preserves. It is a very simple process of storing and preserving food yet requires the utmost care in doing so. The usual domestic canning materials are the glass jars which can be immersed in water and brought to boil during the canning process and the various types of canners.

The Canning Process:

Canning is a process of packing and storing (preserving) food in jars, subject to sterilization under heat.

In order to can vegetables (as in this case), we should first understand the basics of the preservation process. Vegetables contain micro-organisms on the outside and enzymes on the inside. The one-celled micro-organisms called bacteria and many types of yeast and mold can result in many diseases if present other than for the process of fermentation. Enzymes are proteins in vegetables which affect the taste, colour, smell and overall freshness, and bring about deteriorating changes to the vegetables over time. For these reasons, the process of canning adopts the steps of blanching (of the vegetable) and sterilization (of the filled, sealed jar)

Canning is based on identifying two basic types of food; low acid foods and high acid foods.

Low acid food:

Almost all vegetables are low acid foods, even at times tomatoes, if not too acidic. Low acid foods harbor the bacterium Clostridium botulinum (causing botulism, a nerve toxin) which is not killed even at boiling point of water and hence has to be killed at a minimum temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115.5 degrees Celsius). This bacterium, if not killed can thrive, grow and multiply even at temperatures just below 240 F and cause high food toxicity over a period of time. For this reason, jars with processed food of low acid content are heated in a pressure canner, where the temperature reaches 240 F and kill the bacteria.

High acid food:

Tomato and figs are examples of high acid foods. For these items, treating them to a temperature equivalent to the boiling point of water is enough (212 degrees Fahrenheit / 100 degrees Celsius). Micro-organisms contained in high acid foods are easily killed in boiling water; hence a water bath sterilization of the filled jars will suffice.

Pressure Canner:

A pressure canner is very similar to a pressure cooker and works on the same principle. In this, very high temperatures can be attained, except that pressure canners come with a canning rack which can be immersed into a bath of water insider the canner. The rack is used to immerse the jars into the water and retrieve it after the entire process is complete. A 16 quart pressure canner can hold up to 7 quart jars.

Water Bath Canner:

Water bath canners are steel vessels of differing measurements used for high acid food and contain a rack for the jars to be immersed into the water. This canner can be used without the lid and the water has to be brought to boiling point and made to bubble for a minimum of five minutes.

Some Common Canning Terms:

* Ascorbic Acid: Vitamin C especially in lemon fruits. Used to prevent browning of vegetables * during canning.

* Canning: A method of sterilizing and preserving air-tight-vacuum-sealed containers so as to store them at room temperature.

* Canning salt: Pickling salt, or salt without iodine.

* Hermetic seal: An air-tight bottle seal, when used, seals off contents of the jar from being exposed to external micro-organisms, bacteria and air.

* Canning rack: A rack for holding jars which are immersed into a pressure canner or a water bath canner.

* Jar Lifter: Tongs used to remove the jars from the canner.

* Magnetic picker: A small, magnet-tipped rod that is used to pick up sterilized jar lids from the outside, so as not to contaminate the lids.

There are many recipes that can be used for canning. However, care should be taken in following the canning recipe guidelines and also in the use of the pressure canner.

How to Extract Vegetable Oil Diy

Just like other basic ingredients, people don’t tend to think much of where vegetable oil comes from until they don’t have it. There are a few brave souls however who attempt to find ways of doing things like extracting vegetable oil all on their own. We know that people have been extracting oil from vegetables for thousands of years, but modern methods have little in common with traditional means. The means of producing vegetable oil on a small farm operation will look almost nothing like industrial oil extraction.

With rising shipping costs and the growing concerns over industrial agriculture, there’s good reason to think we will not always have access to cheap vegetable oil. We’ll first consider the commercial extraction methods, compare these with more traditional means, and then find out how do-it-yourself vegetable oil extraction can work for the home gardener.

Commercial extraction methods

The vegetable oil we buy in stores is processed in one of two ways. It is expelled through force, or it’s extracted by chemicals. Chemical extraction uses a solvent, commonly hexane derived from petroleum. This solvent evaporates off, leaving the oil. This is currently the cheapest and quickest way, so it is used for making the cheapest vegetable oils, both for industries and consumers.(1)

The crude oil from most oilseeds is then processed through heating, freezing, or hydrogenating depending on the desired qualities. Salad dressing oils will be filtered at near-freezing temperatures. Margarine oils are heated under pressure and hydrogenated for solidity. Other oils are hydrogenated to raise their smoking point.(2)

Expeller-pressed oil is closer to traditional processing, and it provides the highest quality and most healthy oils. A modern olive oil mill can process over 4,000 pounds of olives an hour and consists of two parts, a grinder and a storage facility. Oils produced in this way have to be protected from oxidation. As you can imagine, these are huge operations.(3) Cold-pressing also slows down production quite a bit. One industrial expeller on the market can process 1.4-2 tons using hot press and .7-1.5 tons for cold press, depending on the oilseed used.(4)

Traditional Methods

Some of the traditional methods are still used in poorer parts of the world. Residents and visitors alike will tell you it’s as much for the taste as the lack of a cash economy. The story of making coconut oil in Bali is truly amazing. The process appears long and tedious, but it breaks down quite simply. Coconuts are grated and cooked, fats are skimmed from the surface and clarified, there’s more cooking and straining, and finally producing a small bottle of coconut oil, many tasty coconut-meat snacks, and no waste. The pictures are worth seeing.(5)

In India, Hindus have a hereditary profession called Kalu. Those born into this line of work are responsible for operating the ghani, which is a horse-powered expeller. The horse walks in a circle to turn the press. Traditionally this has been used to extract the oils from mustard, sesame, redi, and coconut for use by the village. Commercial extraction, and the spread of mechanized oil mills discussed above, have put many of these people out of work.(6)

Do-It-Yourself vegetable oil extraction

In my part of the world, coconuts do not grow. But sunflowers do. According to the research of Jeff Cox and friends at Organic Gardening, enough sunflower seed can be grown on 2,500 square feet to produce 3 gallons of sunflower oil. The first problem was dehulling the seeds which was accomplished with a grain mill set to crush the hulls of the largest seeds.

With each pass of unhulled seeds, they closed the mill’s teeth a little more. It took them about an hour to get 41 ounces of edible, whole seeds, losing little more than an ounce of seeds to breakage. This required a little ingenuity in figuring out how to quickly separate hull, seeds, and unhulled seeds

Making the press requires some welding, but it’s components are simple. A full description of this and directions to build your own press are available in the article.(7) It seems likely that this could be used to produce sesame and other seed-oils as well.

After much searching, I found an expeller for sale that has a price tag. Most expellers are not made for a household. They’re too big and cost thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars. This one however is made for the small gardener and reasonably priced around $150.(8)

Extracting your own vegetable oil looks both economical and practical. Those who have tasted the homemade version claim it has a much better aroma and taste than the store-bought versions. You can no doubt expect to see homemade vegetable oils for sale at farmer’s markets in the near future.

Resources:

(1) http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/wuxihg/product-detailBqZErxtKvnVm/China-Vegetable-Oil-Solvent-Extraction.html

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_oil

(3) http://aceitedelasvaldesas.com/almazara/almazar1.php

(4) http://www.agitc.cn/News-Cameroon-New-Vegetable-Oil.html

(5) http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2008/04/diy-coconut-oil.html

(6) http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/K_0050.htm

(7) http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/oilpress.html

(8) http://cgi.ebay.com/Manual-Oil-Press-biodiesel-expeller-extruder-extracter_W0QQitemZ350187460167QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5188cc9647&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

A Terrific Diet plan For Gout symptoms Allows Customers To Experience Real Peace

One of the greatest issues that people experience is gout symptoms, which may be both uncomfortable and irritating. Found most frequently in people’s extremities, it is triggered by extreme uric acid in the blood stream that crystallizes to cause swelling. The problem is one that may be taken treatment of though with an excellent diet plan for gout pain that aids the body dissolve uric acid.

Because of the construct up of liquid in the physique, this ailment is found more frequently in people who are overly overweight. This is why, when attempting to stick to a healthy and balanced eating plan to eliminate it, one should consume as much water as feasible. There are additionally specific foods that trigger the discomfort and swelling, and if prevented, assist to cleanse the body.

Taking in liquor may be among the significant culprits in making these crystals. Ale, though scrumptious, is a beverage that includes exceptionally high purine material, which might make bad situations go downhill. Some various other complication meals to be stayed clear of that are salty and bad for this complication are salted fish and body organ meat, whether cooked in your house or in a restaurant.

When seeking foods that can lower the frequency of this trouble, it is necessary to look for those that are high in water content and reduced in salt content. Cherry juice is a best instance of this as it may break up the crystals. Some individuals swear by consuming specific berries, which can decrease the swelling and lower the amount of uric acid crystallizing in the body.

People who want to do so can take vitamins that will aid them cope with it and one that is often recommended by doctors is Omega-3. This may be located as a naturally taking place substance in fish and also in olive oil, yet it can be purchased as a supplement at drugstores. Due to the fact that they have lesser salt make-ups, meat replacements such as tofu may also make a huge difference.

One greater supplement that people need to seek is an antioxidant understood as OPC3. This does not occur in attributes, so anyone who needs it must acquire it at a pharmacy. These things can assist to boost the quality of life of those who struggle with this discomfort.

These meals strategies do not should be followed by everybody. They ought to be followed by individuals that experience the discomfort and inflammation created by this complication, though it could possibly be hard for them to observe the strategies when they see others eating hamburgers and gulping down drink. One of the troubles most individuals have is they cannot stick to an eating strategy.

Some medications deal with the complication, although there is no question for those who experience it that using diet for gout can be less complicated and also much less poisonous. The meals strategy is one you can acquire at a dietician or medical professional, and makes sure that your life expectancy is lengthened. For individuals that will not follow it, only a lot more pain, soreness and swelling lie ahead.

Teakettle Reviews Teakettle Varieties Ceramic Teakettles Electric Teakettles Copper Teakettles

Brewing water in a teakettle is a wonderful way of relaxing and sipping your home brewed tea with the sweet aroma of your specially seasoned tea wafting throughout your home. Brewing your tea in a teakettle makes you feel so very warm and cozy watching your favorite teakettle bring forth its magic elixir. With tea becoming so incredibly popular again, so are teakettles.

Teakettles come in many varieties and many different price ranges. There are brass, ceramic, copper, iron and enamel teakettles. There are also teakettles that are very ornate and expensive that you would rather have your gorgeous teakettle in a glass case. You could start a collection of beautiful teakettles after all!

HISTORY

You might be thinking that the British people invented the teakettle because they are famous for “having a spot of tea”. In the year 1670 Dutch brothers who were called Elder invented the teakettle. The Elder brothers were very successful pottery makers that took their craft from the Netherlands to England. They settled in Staffordshire, where the teakettle became a famous device used to make tea in England.

VARIETIES OF TEAKETTLES

Buying a teakettle in today’s world can present some challenges, because there are so many different varieties, and styles. It makes a person think it could be easier sticking a mug of water in the microwave for two minutes!

Because there are so many varieties you will want to pick that special kettle that you love. You will have to decide between electric, and stovetop. You will also need to decide between whistle or not to whistle. Some kettles whistle very loudly, while others don’t whistle at all. While still other teakettles offer an interesting array of sounds to get your attention when the water is ready.

Some teakettles don’t even have a lid; you have to fill the kettle by pouring water down the spout. This can be quite messy! Others still have a very wide spout but no removable lid. It all comes down to what you prefer in a teakettle.

You will also want to choose a teakettle according to your needs. Will you be brewing tea for one, or for a party of 12? So size does matter in the tea-drinking world!

MATERIALS

Teakettles have come a long way baby! No longer are kettles offered in a one size, one material fits all anymore. Teakettles are offered in the following materials:

Plastic kettles are super easy to clean and inexpensive, but are only offered in the electric variety.

Glass teakettles are nice looking, and you can see when the water is ready. But alas, glass kettles break easily, and are slow to boil.

Aluminum kettles are the cheapest variety, but when left on the burner for along time, can melt or start a fire.

Stainless steel teakettles are the most durable and usually the most expensive teakettles. This type of teakettle will last for many years to come.

Copper teakettles need to be kept shiny clean, but they have the quickest boil time due to the conductive metal nature.

Cast iron teakettles are the heaviest of all kettles, and are usually collector’s items.

Ceramic kettles are usually very decorative that you will want to place on a shelf for showing off.

Electric kettles produced today have detachable heating elements on the base that avoid potentially dangerous cords. Many electric varieties today come with an automatic shut off, when the water gets to a certain level. High- end electric kettles come with temperature variability that decides the temperature of the water.

It all depends on what you are looking for in a teakettle. The one you are searching for could become the next love of your life, warming up the water for that lovely tea to make you feel great again.

How to Freeze the Vegetables You’ve Grown

When the bountiful harvest of your vegetable garden starts taking over the kitchen counters and every other space you can find to hold it, you know it’s time to start thinking of ways to store or preserve it for future enjoyment. Canning and drying are great ways to set aside some of your produce for future consumption, but you might also want to consider freezing some of your vegetables as a way to maintain their high quality until you are ready to eat them. In fact, next to canning, freezing is often considered to be the best way to preserve your vegetables long term.

Not everything from your garden will be a good candidate for freezing. If you are looking for a storage method for your potatoes, lettuce, celery or cucumbers, it would be best to consider options other than freezing. Similarly, there are vegetables that freeze well only if you intend to use them in soups or casseroles later as their structure and texture will not compare favorably to fresh vegetables after thawing. Vegetables in this category might include onions, tomatoes or bell peppers.

Once you’ve eliminated the vegetables that aren’t prime candidates for freezing, you’re ready to begin. Choose the best specimens from your garden, those at their peak of color, flavor and texture. Ideally, the vegetables should go from the garden right to the freezing process. If you have to delay freezing them, refrigerate them to preserve freshness.

Freezing is the simplest method of preserving your harvest. If you start with vegetables selected at the peak of their development, blanch them according to proper instructions and freeze and store them properly, you will be rewarded with healthy, delicious vegetables all winter long.

Any vegetable you want to freeze will need a little pre-treatment before the blanching process begins. Wash them to clean away dirt and debris. Remove strings from green beans, remove peas from their pods, trim bottoms, tops and bruised areas away, separate broccoli and cauliflower, and divide your vegetables into edible portions.

Once prepared, you can choose one of two methods to blanch the vegetables. Blanching sets the flavor and helps maintain the freshness of the vegetables during storage. Blanching is accomplished either by immersing the vegetables, one strainer full at a time, into boiling water, or by using a steamer that fits on top of the pot of boiling water. Either method requires only a couple minutes of blanching time to complete the process.

After blanching the vegetables, immediately immerse them in cold water to stop any further cooking. After thorough cooling, remove the vegetables and allow them to drain. Take care in the draining process. Residual water on the vegetables will form ice crystals during freezing and may affect the quality or taste after they are thawed. The vegetables are then ready to be transferred to appropriate storage containers or freezer bags. Label each container with the contents, quantity (2 cups, 1 pound, etc) and be sure to date them.

It’s that simple. Your vegetables are ready to take their place in the freezer until that day in the not too distant future when you’re ready to take them out and enjoy the memories and rewards of your summer garden all over again.

Refrigeration Tips Keeping Vegetables Fresh

Buying or growing produce, only to have them rot a short time later, isn’t exactly what most people want to do. It’s true that no vegetable will be fresher than it is when you pluck it or pick it from the garden, however there are ways to keep vegetables fresh using a few refrigeration techniques.

In some cases, the refrigeration isn’t thought of as such. However, a refrigerator isn’t always required to refrigerate vegetables. For instance, potatoes stored in a cool, dark, dry place will often last from the fall until well into the spring. By cool, we are talking about temperatures under about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees C.). This is refrigeration because the outside temperatures may be well over double this.

Likewise, carrots harvested at the end of the year, can be placed on their side in a trench a foot deep. They can then be covered by straw. This will not only keep the carrots fresh and crispy, it will also mean that in the middle of winter you will be able to dig through the snow and straw and extract the tasty and fresh tasting treats.

Nature actually refrigerates the carrots, a refrigerator doesn’t. Nature is great for doing this sort of thing, and has a lot more time under her belt at doing it than man does. We can take lessons from Nature.

So what about storage in an actual refrigerator? The answer to the question is common sense. First, don’t store vegetables in the fridge with the tops and roots attached. These don’t need much provocation before they will start growing, which takes flavor from the vegetables. A carrot or turnip left in the crisper drawer with both intact will soon sprout. It is totally natural, and is one reason that potatoes are stored in a dry place; the inside of the fridge is naturally humid.

Store potatoes in a humid place, and you will soon have a bunch of potato plants but few potatoes you can eat. The refrigerator is the same way, except that the enclosed box increases the humidity available to the vegetables, which encourages sprouting or decay.

This also means that vegetables should not be stored in plastic bags. Plastic keeps moisture in, and this hastens the sprouting and rotting. Plastic bags are handy for carrying vegetables, whether from the store or your garden, but they are definitely not handy for keeping them in.

One of the biggest problems, though, is in keeping vegetables with other produce they definitely should not be stored next to. For instance, apples emit ethylene gas. Apples stored next to tomatoes or celery will accelerate the break down process in the tomatoes and celery because of the gas.

This is also the reason that neither should be planted at the base of apple trees. (Tomatoes are often shipped green, and then have ethylene pumped over them to make them appear ripe when they are put into the produce section of the store.)

In a crisper drawer though, celery can last longer if it is wrapped in aluminum foil. The foil helps intercept some of the things that will otherwise make the vegetable rot quickly.

Laying paper towels in the bottom of the crisper drawer and changing the towels every few days will also prolong the usefulness of vegetables. The paper absorbs moisture that is naturally given off by the produce, and at the same time, it makes cleanup a lot easier.

Once a week, remove everything from the crisper drawer and wipe it down thoroughly with a mixture of one quart hot water and one cap full of hydrogen peroxide, then dry it completely and put the vegetables back in. The peroxide sanitizes without leaving harsh aromas like chlorine bleach will.

Leaving an open box of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in the refrigerator is also helpful, because it not only absorbs smells; it also absorbs moisture and some of the gases that the vegetables give off during storage. This can help prolong the usability of everything in the refrigerator.

The refrigerator should also have the thermostat set to keep it cool, not ice cold. Many vegetables, such as lettuce, break down if they are exposed to freezing temperatures. This happens because the water in the cells of the lettuce expands as it freezes, rupturing the cells and leaving you with a mess.

What about celery and carrots that have become old and limber rather than crisp? Usually, they can still be used. Simply put these in a bowl of iced water. A carrot that is so flexible you can nearly bend it in half without having it break, can become crispy again in as little as a half hour.

There are quite a few refrigeration tips for keeping vegetables fresh. None of these are difficult, and they make sense when you understand a few things.

First is that refrigeration doesn’t always mean the use of a refrigerator. Second is that the number one culprit in vegetable spoilage is moisture, so minimizing the moisture is extremely helpful. Third is that some fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be stored together, because gases and other substances emitted by one can hasten the rotting of the other.

Knowing all this can help you to have fresh looking and tasting vegetables for a surprisingly long time. There is no sense in wasting food when you can help it.

Symptoms Of MRSA Infection

Most MRSA infections are skin infections that produce the following signs and symptoms:

• cellulitis (infection of the skin or the fat and tissues that lie immediately beneath the skin, usually starting as small red bumps in the skin);

• boils (pus-filled infections of hair follicles);

• abscesses (collections of pus in or under the skin);

• sty (an infection of an oil gland of the eyelid);

• carbuncles (infections larger than an abscess, usually with several openings to the skin);

• impetigo (a skin infection with pus-filled blisters), and

• rash (skin appears to be reddish or have red-colored areas).

A major problem with MRSA staph infection on nose is that occasionally the skin infection can spread to almost any other organ in the body. When this happens, more severe symptoms tend to arise.

MRSA that spreads to internal organs can become life threatening. Fever, chills, low blood pressure, joint pains, severe headaches, shortness of breath, and “rash over most of the body” are symptoms that need immediate medical attention, especially when associated with skin infections.

Some CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA infections become severe, and result in complications such as endocarditis, necrotizing fasciitis, osteomyelitis, sepsis, and even death!

Beware of these symptoms of MRSA infection, and don’t allow this dreadful disease to grow up to life threatening levels!