Staying in touch

Happy Easter greeting

The AnswerLine staff has been working from home since March 17. At first, working from home was a nice change of pace, especially when the technology that allows us to work from home functions perfectly. As we enter the fifth week of staying home and practicing social distancing it is getting a bit old. I don’t miss the commute to and from Ames, but I really do miss seeing my co-workers. We keep in touch with texts and phone calls before we begin answering phone calls every day, but it is just not the same as seeing everyone in person.

I miss seeing my family too. We are all practicing staying home and staying safe. Last week, though, we tried something new. We used Facetime to call our son and family out in Boise. We both have the game Farkle and we spent an hour and a half playing the game and just visiting. It was so much nicer than a phone call, more like spending time in the same room. On a phone call, you need to keep visiting and thinking of something to say. While we played our game there was no pressure to keep up a conversation and we enjoyed the reactions of our grandsons in Boise when they rolled a great score.

Last Saturday night we had a Zoom call with all 5 of our children allowing us to have a family get-together. It was a great way to celebrate the holiday without endangering anyone. We saw most of the grandchildren, too. The younger, more active ones were only present for a few minutes before they dashed off to play.

I also have a few elderly friends that are in assisted living. Just like people living in nursing homes, they are restricted to their apartments and are not allowed to have visitors. I’ve been trying to call them every few days and plan to make some cards for them. Everyone likes to get mail; as long as it is not a bill.

Just keeping in touch with family and friends makes life seem more normal. I know I will feel better if I keep to a regular schedule of working, cooking, cleaning, exercise, and sleep. Anything that I can do to maintain my previous schedule will make life seem more normal.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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5 thoughts on “Staying in touch

  1. Hi Ellen, thank you for contacting AnswerLine. The only thickener that is USDA approved for use in canning is ClearJel. Other thickeners do not penetrate heat evenly enough to be considered unquestionably safe or hold up to the heat. I would suggest that you take a look at these two AnswerLine blogs which explain more about that:
    ClearJel vs Sure Jell
    Thickeners for Home Canning

  2. I should clarify my question. The syrup would not have any added fruit, it would just be syrup. Sorry to seem redundant.

  3. Hi Ellen, the recommendation would be the same. Starches, other than ClearJel, do not stand up to heat and/reheating if they are canned. If you are simply making a syrup that is refrigerated for a few days, then any starch will work.

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