In this article:
|Activity Corner with Ana Gouge|
|Food Safe Families|
|Healthy Recipe Box|
|Local Food Finds: Briarfield Receives Harvest Of The Month Grant|
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy our cooler mornings and evenings. What better way to celebrate cooler weather than getting outside and active! This is the time of year to find unique opportunities to increase activity.
by Markaye Russell
Thaw Foods the Safe Way
Going from “frozen to thawed” needs to be accomplished safely! There are three ways to thaw and because bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature; none of these methods involve the kitchen counter.
that may leak. Normally, it will be thawed in a day or two, depending on its size.
change the water every 30 minutes. The cold water slows bacteria growth in the thawed portions of the meat while the
inner areas are still thawing. Once thawed, cook it immediately.
thawing in the microwave.
Tip: Frozen meat and poultry can be cooked without thawing. Just add 50% to the cooking time.
by Cathy Agan
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Combine all ingredients in the insert of a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream for topping.
Catahoula/Concordia Parishes - Ana Gouge, (318) 414-6055
East Carroll/Morehouse Parishes - Jocinda Jackson, (318) 559-1459
Franklin Parish/Caldwell Parish/FCS Regional Coordinator - Quincy Vidrine, (318) 435-2903
CDC Food Systems Coordinator - Cecilia Stevens, (318) 435-2908
Madison Parish - Joy Sims, (318) 574-2465
Ouachita Parish - Cathy Agan, (318) 323-2251
Ouachita Parish - Kimberly Butcher, (318) 323-2251
Ouachita/Union Parishes - Markaye Russell, (318) 323-2251
For the latest research-based information on just about anything, visit our website: LSUAgCenter.com
Lucien P. Laborde, Jr., Interim Vice President for Agriculture, Interim Dean of College of Agriculture
Louisiana State University Agricultural Center; Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station;
Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service; LSU College of Agriculture
The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs & employment.
Louisiana State University is an equal opportunity/access university.
If you need an ADA accommodation for your participation, please contact Quincy Vidrine at least two weeks prior to the event.
by Kimberly Butcher
Begin by picking a pumpkin that’s good for carving. Look for a pumpkin with smooth, less bumpy skin. A smooth pumpkin is easier for kids to draw on and safer for you to carve. Avoid pumpkins that feel heavy for their size. This can indicate thick walls that could be difficult to carve through. Skip any pumpkins with soft spots, which can indicate rotting. Inspect the pumpkin for any nicks or cuts that may make it vulnerable to infection. Pick a pumpkin with a flat, front surface for carving—that will yield the best results.
Remember to take precautions when carving! Choose a location that is well lit and a work surface that’s sturdy. Don’t rush through the process and use small, controlled motions. Keep your hands and carving tools dry so you will be less likely to slip. For added safety, leave the pumpkin top on so you don’t put your hand inside the pumpkin and risk cutting it.
This year, try skipping the candles. Burning candles are a potential fire hazard, and they can be especially dangerous to kids. This year, try illuminating your pumpkin with an LED tea light instead of a candle. You can also give your pumpkin extra pizzazz with a special effects battery operated light.
Although the clean up is the part that is the least fun, make sure you clean up as quickly as you can. Pumpkin carving is fun, but it’s also messy - especially when kids are involved. Slippery pumpkin flesh or seeds may end up on the floor and cause a fall. To help minimize this risk, lay down newspaper or a disposable drop cloth under your work area, and pick it up as soon as you’re done carving.
by Cecilia Stevens
Lake Providence, LA. Students at Briarfield Academy are harvesting nutrition gains as part of the school’s involvement in the Harvest of the Month program sponsored by the LSU AgCenter. Briarfield was awarded a $5000 Farm to School kitchen equipment mini grant to incorporate Louisiana produce into the school’s food service program. The AgCenter’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month program promotes locally-grown items to community organizations. The Harvest of the Month website includes a collection of lessons, books, and videos that are connected to Louisiana Student Standards and are available for registration for any community organization at no cost. The goal is to increase consumption of Louisiana-grown products while also increasing student access to healthy food options. Briarfield will receive technical assistance from the LSU AgCenter as the program is implemented. This also includes culinary skills training for the cafeteria staff, taste testing of Louisiana products by the students, and developing nutrition guidlines.
Cafeteria manager Tina Hutchinson and cafeteria staff members Dorothy Kelly and Lindsey Hankins are excited to implement the grant. Hutchinson stated, “I try to encourage students to try new foods, even if it's just a taste.” This commitment to healthy eating is echoed by Principal Lisa Walters and the Briarfield faculty. Student involvement is a key part of program success as students not only learn about Louisiana farm products but also taste the foods featured each month.