Unsanitary Conditions Are Cause for Salmonella at Egg Farms

What is more surprising to find at a chicken farm? Piles of chicken manure, rodents in the chicken coop or maggots breeding?

Well, you don’t have to worry about picking just one since all 3 plus a half dozen more were found in Wright County Egg Farm’s chicken coops.

Fox News has the latest news, read the full disgusting and discouraging story, Mice, Maggots and Manure.

Best advice regarding eggs, buy local or at least within your state and ask questions regarding the sanitation of such farms. Here’s a partial list of laws regarding keeping chickens in some states although most are for consumers only.

Duct Tape Bags Debut in Columbus, Ohio

duct tape shoulder bag
Latest Duct Tape Fashion Acccessories

Have you seen these nifty and sometimes colorful pieces of duct tape art in your area recently? I first heard about this crafty phenonmenon about a year ago when my friend’s daughter bought a duct tape wallet from a craft show.

Hmm, I thought, it looks like it could be waterproof, which is something that I neeed. But the steel gray just didn’t match any one of my 10 purses I owned.

Then I attend Podcamp Ohio at OSU in Columbus, Ohio this summer, and lo and behold I see this large over-the-shoulder checkered bag – made from Duct tape! Wow! It’s actually fashionable, and no sticky strings hanging off of it either! Ohhh, I must track this woman done and get the 411 on where she got this functional bag. Wouldn’t that be the perfect bag to carry my lunch and other essentials for work everyday?

I did track her down using the technology of Tweetdeck while we kept passing each other in one building. This red and steel grey checkered bag was created by her 15 year old daughter! How fan-tabulous! I have the feeling that this teenage girl will be the next duct tape fashionista, at least with handbags. She only makes and sells them to her family and friends at a very modest price, but I could see her appearing at more craft shows during the holiday season.

Have you seen any of these fashionable and functional wallets, purses or shoulder bags? Might you even own one?

What do you think of this type of packaging tape art? I think more duct tape artists need to be recognized for the versatility of this accessory. What do you think?

Eggsactly Why You Should Buy Local

More egg recalls were announced on Thursday, citing 2 more sources of salmonella in California this time from Wright County Egg. Although it seems like the majority of the recalls were from eggs bought and sold in lots of 60 to restaurants and catering companies, it does bring to mind why you should buy local.

Several months ago I cut out an ad from my local newspaper about a farm nearby that sells eggs year-round for just $2 a dozen. And I do remember seeing a sign along one of the country roads  that read “Eggs for sale,” but couldn’t remember which road it was. I have this little rectangular paperclipped to my calendar in my kitchen; I haven’t ventured to the little farm yet, but after hearing more about these egg recalls I think it will be on my list to do this week.

CNN has more information on the most recent egg recalls as well as Julian dates and plant numbers. While this egg recall does affect several million eggs, it only constitutes about 1% of all the eggs produced in the U.S.

Purging the Unused: How to Organize & Simplify Your Recipes

Want to purge your recipes? If you haven’t cooked, baked, or tried a recipe in your file in the last couple years, then it’s time to clean out your recipes. Learn what you can do with new and old recipes.

I cleaned out my recipe book today; you probably have one like mine. I have this used 9” x 11” black photo book with several stiff pages that have a clear overlay on each side along with several insertable paper protectors inside. I think I’ve had it now for at least a decade and a half.

I have several recipes that I cut out of magazines, newspapers, copied from a cookbook and also ones that friends wrote on neat 3 x 5 and 4 x 6 “From the Kitchen of…” note cards. I even have a few that I took from my Mother’s recipe box (yes, you remember those don’t you) that are in her Mother’s handwriting, like the cornbread stuffing she made at Thanksgiving and the cornbread biscuits that she made for almost every meal that I remember. These recipes are written on the original notepad paper in faded blue ink and the memorable penmanship that has been passed onto my own Mother.

Then I also have a couple other 3 x 5 “Kitchen” note cards that are in my own youthful printed ink and one is dated from …..1987! Wow! Upon closer examination, I see it is a pretzel recipe from a Single Living class taken in high school. I think I made pretzels at home a couple times while still in high school and maybe a couple more times a few years later, but haven’t touched the card since. I toss this one out too. Some reminders of high school don’t need to stay in my kitchen. Another note card has a recipe of a double batch of lasagna that I wrote down from a cooking show a few years ago. I did make this double batch which lasted for 2 weeks worth of dinners between my son and me. I decide to keep this one.

Other recipes neatly cut from magazines or newspaper inserts that I have never made, and will probably not make in the next year, and even if I did, I could find it again somewhere else. Anything that contains cheesecake, whipped cream and high fat ingredients is pulled out and put in the recycling bin (do recycle paper, even if it’s small as a recipe). I also take out anything that could have been baked for my son’s kindergarten to second grade class such as brownie bites, cupcake cones (or any type of cupcakes) and cookie pizza. My son is now a senior in high school and instead of taking cupcakes to school he bakes his own triple chocolate brownies to appease the girls in his business class.

Now my black binder is less cumbersome and I have several empty acetate free pages that are kept in the back in case I find a recipe that I like and will actually use. Then I do a little reorganizing of the recipes that I have kept in more meaningful sections such as Helpful Tips and How-to’s: how to store vegetables, how to increase fiber in your diet; Soups, Egg Dishes, Meat Dishes, Pastas, Vegetarian, and my favorite, Desserts. I found more dessert recipes in my binder than any other type of dish. And yes, I have made each of them, and those that I haven’t made in the last 5 years were recycled.

What kind of recipes do you have stuffed in your recipe book, binder, or box? Have you taken an inventory of what you’re keeping, using or just saving for memory’s sake? Take a look today, purge those recipes that you haven’t cooked or baked in the last couple years. Recycle these recipes or pass them along to a friend, then pull out a couple that you and your family would like to have this week. Have a dinner party with your family, invite each member to select a recipe that he or she would like to make and bring to the dinner party. I’m sure you’ll be surprised by all the delicious and variety of food that you have. Come back and let me know what you purged, kept and cooked!

Enjoying Ohio Grown Peaches

Enjoy the succulent & sweet taste of Ohio grown peaches - ready to be picked now!

Evidently it’s the season for peaches in Ohio because many of the peach trees are full of this ripe juicy fruit.

If you’re somewhere between Connecticut and Illinois, I recommend buying Ohio grown peaches at your nearest local market or roadside stand because these fuzzy fruits are the best! We have several peach trees where I work in the suburbs, and I just had to taste these hand-sized peaches right off the tree (no pesticides are used here).

I was quite surprised to find that these little delicacies had white flesh instead of the popular golden yellow, but these Ohio grown peaches were ever so sweet and juicy just the same! I reached as high as I could to get the ones that looked to be most ripe, and gave just a little when squeezed.

According to the OSU Extension website, “Approximately 1000 acres of peach orchards are grown in Ohio, with over 75 percent of the crop being grown in north central, northeast and central Ohio.” Just 15 years ago, Ohio wasn’t even in the ranks for the top producing peach states, but now it is ranked at least 17th, and I’m sure it’s even higher in 2010. It seems like this buckeye state is a hidden gem for homegrown peaches. Watch out Georgia!

Want to have your own Ohio homegrown peaches? You can and the maturity rate is much less than apple trees. Follow this Garden Guide for growing Ohio peach trees. If the weather is good, you’ll have succulent peaches for canning, baking and fresh picking within just a couple years.

Freecycle – The Benefits of Giving Away Your Stuff

After going through a horrendous move from one apartment to another, and I only moved 4 miles away, I realized that utilizing a program like Craigslist or Freecycle.org (also on Yahoo groups) is really the best way to get rid of your stuff.

I had one very worn, but comfortable overstuffed lounge chair that just wasn’t going to follow me into our new suite. So I posted it on Craigslist under the FREE category, and within an hour I received 2 phone calls. I was ecstatic! Freecycle.org also promotes recycling by offering people to list their items that they are giving away for free.

It’s the best type of recycling when you can help another person.

Recycling and Freecycling are ways that we can keep junk out of the landfills, out of the dumpsters and into someone else’s home that will ultimately get more use.

Check out how you can create your own group to recycle on Freecycle.org and green your routine. Greener living with Freecycling!