Recent Community Posts

16 Pumpkin Facts That'll Make You Say "Oh My Gourd"

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

  1. The word "pumpkin" showed up for the first time in the fairy tale Cinderella.

A French explorer in 1584 first called them "gros melons," which was translated into English as "pompions," according to history. It wasn't until the 17th century that they were first referred to as pumpkins.

  1. The original jack-o'-lanterns were made withturnips and potatoes by the Irish.

In England, they used large beets and lit them with embers to ward off evil spirits. Irish immigrants brought their customs to America, but found that pumpkins were much easier to carve.

  1. Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica.

Which makes quite a bit of sense considering, oh you know, Antarctica is a 24/7 icy tundra.

  1. Over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin are produced each year in the United States.

The top pumpkin producing states are Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California.

  1. Morton, Illinois, calls itself the "Pumpkin Capital of the World"

According to the University of Illinois, 95% of the pumpkins grown in the U.S. are harvested in Illinois soil. Morton is allegedly responsible for 80% of the world's canned pumpkin production.

  1. 80% of the U.S.'s pumpkin crop is available during October.

Out of the total 1.5 billion pounds, over 800 million pumpkins are ripe for the picking in a single month of the year.

  1. The world's heaviest pumpkin weighed over 2,600 pounds.

It was grown in Germany and presented in October 2016.

  1. The largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 3,699 pounds.

Pumpkin pie originated in the colonies, just not as we know it today. Colonists would cut the tops of pumpkins off, remove the seeds, fill the pumpkins with milk, spices, and honey, then bake them in hot ashes.

  1. Pumpkin-flavored sales totaled over $414 million in 2017.

But people are starting to opt for fresh pumpkin instead, according to Nielsen Retail Measurement Services.  Some pumpkin-flavored products have seen consistent growth over recent years, including cereal, coffee, and even dog food.

  1. Each pumpkin has about 500 seeds.

They take between 90 and 120 days to grow, which is why it's recommended to plant them between May and July.  High in iron, they can be roasted to eat. The flowers that grow on pumpkin vines are also edible.

  1. Delaware used to host an annual "Punkin Chunkin"   championship.

Teams competed in a pumpkin launching competition, where pumpkins were shot almost 5,000 feet from an air cannon. The event was canceled in 2017 after there was a tragic accident the year before.

  1. There are more than 45 different varieties of pumpkin.

They range in color like red, yellow, and green, and have names like Hooligan, Cotton Candy, and Orange Smoothie.

  1. Pumpkins are technically
    1. fruit.

    More specifically, they are a winter squash in the family Cucurbitacae, which includes cucumbers and melons. But because they're savory, many people just call them vegetables anyway.

  1. Every single part of a pumpkin is edible.

Yep, you can eat the skin, leaves, flowers, pulp, seeds, and even the stem!

  1. Pumpkins are 90% water, which makes them a low-calorie food.

One cup of canned pumpkin has less than 100 calories and only half a gram of fat. In comparison, the same serving size of sweet potato has triple the calories. They also have more fiber than kale, more potassium than bananas, and are full of heart-healthy magnesium and iron.

  1. Surprisingly, pumpkin pie isn't America's favorite.

According to a survey by the American Pie Council, it's apple that takes the cake (um, pie?) — 19% of Americans say it's their pie of choice. Pumpkin is in second place with a respectable 13%.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a22544/facts-about-pumpkins/

Halloween Safety Tips

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Trick-or-Treaters

  • Be bright at night – wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets to improve visibility to motorists and others.
  • Wear disguises that don’t obstruct vision, and avoid facemasks. Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid tripping.
  • Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay.
  • Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it facedown in the treat bucket to free up one hand. Never shine it into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
  • Cross streets only at the corner, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
  • Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you.
  • Tell your parents where you are going.

Parents

  • Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under age 12.
  • Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
  • Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.
  • Establish a time for children to return home.
  • Tell children not to eat any treats until they get home.
  • Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
  • Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and visible with retro-reflective material.

Motorists

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night.
  • Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
  • Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
  • Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches.

October is Fire Prevention Month

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Home Safety Checklist

Smoke Alarms

? There is one smoke alarm on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.

? Smoke alarms are tested and cleaned monthly.

? Smoke alarm batteries are changed as needed. 

? Smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.

Cooking Safety

? Cooking area is free from items that can catch fire.

? Kitchen stove hood is clean and vented to the outside.

? Pots are not left unattended on the stove.

Electrical & Appliance Safety

? Electrical cords do not run under rugs.

? Electrical cords are not frayed or cracked.

? Circuit-protected, multi-prong adapters are used for additional outlets.

? Large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.

? Clothes dryer lint filter and venting system are clean.

Candle Safety

? Candles are in sturdy fire-proof containers that won’t be tipped over.

? All candles are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the room.

? Children and pets are never left unattended with candles.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide alarms are located on each level of the home.

? Carbon monoxide alarms are less than 7 years old.

Smoking Safety

Family members who smoke only buy fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside.

? Matches and lighters are secured out of children’s sight.

? Ashtrays are large, deep and kept away from items that can catch fire.

? Ashtrays are emptied into a container that will not burn.

Heating Safety

? Chimney and furnace are cleaned and inspected yearly.

? Furniture and other items that can catch fire are at least 3 feet from fireplaces, wall heaters,   baseboards, and space heaters.

? Fireplace and barbecue ashes are placed outdoors in a covered metal container at least 3 feet from   anything that can catch fire.

? Extension cords are never used with space heaters.

? Heaters are approved by a national testing laboratory and have tip-over shut-off function.

Home Escape Plan

? Have two ways out of each room.

? Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke.

? Know that once you’re out, stay out. 

? Know where to meet after the escape.

? Meeting place should be near the front of your home, so firefighters know you are out.

? Practice your fire escape plan.

Oh My Gourd ~ World's Best Pumpkin Bread!!

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

It's that time of year when the weather starts to cool down, the leaves start changing and you can find everything pumpkin that we've missed since last fall.  What better way than to start off with a nice pumpkin bread.

World's Best Pumpkin Bread

Prep time:  5 mins

Cook time:  45 mins

Total time:  50 mins

Serves: 2 loaves

 Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Libby’s Pure Pumpkin
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Water
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/3 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 5 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Mix Pumpkin, Sugar, Oil, Water, and Eggs in large mixing bowl until well combined.
  1. In medium mixing bowl, combine Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg. Stir well, then gradually pour into large bowl of pumpkin mixture. Stir well to combine completely.
  1. Spray TWO 9×5 Non-stick Loaf Pans with Pam Cooking Spray.
  1. Pour mixture evenly into loaf pans.
  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 55 minutes, or until done and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

ENJOY!!

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving is almost here and across the country, Americans are gearing up for one of the most spectacular feasts of the year.  Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings family and friends together to share good food, conversation, and laughter. In the midst of all this festive activity, it’s important to remember that there are health hazards associated with the holiday, including an increased chance of food poisoning, kitchen fires, and travel incidents.

Taking just a few minutes to read these Thanksgiving safety tips could mean the difference between enjoying the holiday and having a turkey dinner end in disaster.

Fire Safety

The average number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving is TRIPLE that of a normal day. Here a few simple ways to avoid fires:

  • Stand by your pan” when cooking. Never leave food, grease, or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
  • Pot holders, oven mitts, food wrappers, and other things that can catch fire should be kept away from the stove.
  • Children should also be kept away from hot stoves and paid particular attention to when they are in the kitchen.
  • Facing pot handles towards the rear of the stove can save them from being knocked over and scalding people nearby.
  • Long sleeves and loose clothing should be avoided while cooking as it can easily catch fire.Following these food safety tips can keep any Thanksgiving meal safe from bacteria and keep your family and friends from getting sick:

Food Poisoning

  • Safely cooking a turkey starts with correctly defrosting it; place your bird on a tray or pan to catch any juices and keep it refrigerated until it’s ready to cook.
  • A 20-pound frozen turkey can take up to five days to thaw out so plan ahead.
  • Turkeys need to be cooked to an internal temperate of 165 °F.
  • Leftovers need to be refrigerated within two hours after serving.The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and with all the excitement travelers can become more focused on celebrations than getting to their destination as safely as possible. Following these travel tips will keep everyone safe on the road and in the air:

Thanksgiving Travel Safety

Halloween Safety Tips

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

Trick-or-Treaters

  • Be bright at night – wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets to improve visibility to motorists and others.
  • Wear disguises that don’t obstruct vision, and avoid facemasks. Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid tripping.
  • Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay.
  • Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it facedown in the treat bucket to free up one hand. Never shine it into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
  • Cross streets only at the corner, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
  • Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you.
  • Tell your parents where you are going.

Parents

  • Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under age 12.
  • Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
  • Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.
  • Establish a time for children to return home.
  • Tell children not to eat any treats until they get home.
  • Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
  • Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and visible with retro-reflective material.

Motorists

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night.
  • Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
  • Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
  • Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches.