Its aronia berry picking time in Iowa! And if you are lucky enough to live near a pick-your-own aronia berry orchard, you are in for a day of fun and stained hands! Fresh berries, juice and other aronia products may also be available now in some local grocery stores. Aronia berries are not new to … Continue reading Aronia Berries – Old Fruit with a New Name
I’ve had an ongoing project for the better part of a month—cleaning and refinishing our more than 30-year old wood deck. We have a large, second story deck with two flights of steps that I had let cleaning and resealing go for a while as there was ‘hope’ and ‘promise’ that we’d be replacing the … Continue reading That DECK Job! Cleaning (and Refinishing)
Pickle making is just around the corner. With it comes lots of questions regarding pickle crispness, the essence of a good pickle. There are several factors that determine pickle crispness including variety, freshness, preparation techniques, ingredients, and processing method. Variety. First and foremost, use true pickling cucumbers for pickling. Salad cucumbers were never intended for … Continue reading Here’s to Crisp Pickles in 2020!
We have had a weekly Zoom call with my entire family most Sunday evenings. That call has included my parents and all of their kids, grand kids and great grand kids. We are living in three different time zones and we have had the best time getting caught up on what is happening in every … Continue reading Create Your Own Cooking Channel
One of the major changes during quarantine seems to be a huge increase in home cooking and baking. I had another call yesterday about an under-baked cake so this seems like a great time to review just how to know when your baked product is done. When cooking meat or poultry, we always suggest purchasing … Continue reading How do I know it’s done?
Experienced and inexperienced sewers alike have found their way to a sewing machine in recent times. For some, sewing is their hobby or passion and they have a love affair with their machine. Others, have dug an old machine out of the back of the closet, dusted it off, oiled it, and once again have … Continue reading Mask Makers, Mask Makers, We Love You!
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 … Continue reading Staying in touch
After several days of staying home to social distance, I began to really miss my pre-COVID-19 life—occasional lunch with friends, haircuts, grocery shopping, library time, exercise classes, grandkids’ sport games, friends and family, social and business meetings, church services, work, and every other social outlet I had. Besides connecting with family and friends via … Continue reading Learning to Stay Social While Social Distancing
If you have not tried the Hasselback technique it is really a fun and fancy way to dress up many vegetables, fruits and even poultry! It is a cooking method that involves thinly slicing the food about three quarters of the way through, accordion style, and leaving the bottom intact, before cooking. This creates more … Continue reading Hasselback Technique
Pie problems are a common call at AnswerLine. I had a little time recently, so I thought I’d do a little research to help me answer callers questions. I used our Keys to Good Cooking book by Harold McGee and did a bit of reading. Probably our most common call is about soggy bottom crusts … Continue reading Pie Problems