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Today is March 6

National Frozen Food Day

Large packages of meat and poultry can be broken down and frozen easily. But what about the fresh produce that many people rely on for important nutrients? Fresh vegetables only last so long, so people need to learn how to safely freeze fresh vegetables to avoid throwing them out. To freeze vegetables properly so they retain their flavor and texture, it is important to freeze them within a few hours of picking them from a garden or taking them home. Certain vegetables can be frozen in their raw state. The texture might change slightly upon thawing, but they will remain flavorful. Other vegetables may require blanching before freezing. Blanching requires scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a brief time. Blanching helps stop the enzymes that cause vegetables to decay, a process that can occur even in frozen storage. Items that do well with blanching include spinach, kale, winter squash, and broccoli, according to HGTV.com.

Another way to freeze produce is to remove the air that can compromise the food. You can do so by filling containers or bags and pushing out the extra air. Vacuum sealers can work to remove the air and help preserve items in the freezer longer; otherwise, use a tray pack method to freeze items. Place chilled and drained blanched vegetables in shallow trays or pans. Freeze them until the vegetables are firm and then quickly fill freezer bags or containers, says the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Remember to label and date containers so items can be used in the order in which they were packed. Most vegetables maintain high quality for eight to 12 months at 0 F or lower, according to the University of Georgia.

Freezing fresh vegetables is an option when stocking up on essentials. Flavor and texture can be retained and items will not need to be discarded before they can be eaten.

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1899 Aspirin is patented by German researchers Felix Hoffman and Hermann Dreser.

1947 – Kiki Dee, British singer is born. In 1976 she sang  Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with Elton John. It went to #1 in both the US and the UK

Heart disease may be something most commonly associated with men, but it can be deadly for women as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is to blame for one in every four female deaths in the United States. Americans’ female neighbors to the north also are not immune from heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for Canadian women.

Recognizing the threat that heart disease poses is a great first step for women who want to avoid becoming one of the hundreds of thousands of women who lose their lives to heart disease each year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers the following advice to women looking to prioritize their heart health.

1. Consume a heart-friendly diet.

Thanks to food labels, it’s easier than ever for women to consume heart-healthy diets. When examining labels, look for foods that are low in sodium and sugar. When planning meals, avoid foods that are high in trans fats. In 2015, the FDA ruled that trans fats were not recognized as safe for use in human foods and gave manufacturers three years to remove them from their products. At press time, no such ban exists in Canada, though information regarding trans fats must be included on Canadian food labels. The Cleveland Clinic advises consumers to check labels for “partially hydrogenated oils,” which are a hidden source of trans fats. In addition, the Cleveland Clinic notes that foods such as cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits, microwavable breakfast sandwiches, and many types of crackers contain trans fats.

2. Take existing conditions seriously.

Certain conditions can increase a woman’s risk for heart disease. While women may not be able to turn back the clocks and prevent these conditions from developing, they can take them for the serious threat they are and do their best to manage them. High blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can increase a woman’s risk for heart disease. Take medications as directed, monitor blood sugar levels if you have diabetes and routinely have your blood pressure and cholesterol tested to ensure any preexisting conditions are not increasing your risk for heart disease.

3. Discuss aspirin intake.

The FDA notes that many physicians prescribe aspirin to lower patients’ risk of heart disease, clot-related strokes and other problems related to cardiovascular disease. However, there are risks associated with long-term aspirin use, and such risks should be discussed with a physician. According to the FDA, bleeding in the stomach, bleeding in the brain, kidney failure, and certain types of stroke are some of the potential side effects of long-term aspirin use. Such side effects may never appear, but the risk that they might makes discussing the pros and cons of aspirin well worth it.

Women can learn more about heart disease by visiting www.fda.gov.

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White Chocolate Cheesecake Day

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 cup flour
4 eggs
2 cups fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 325°F.
Beat butter, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla in small bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour until well blended; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Prick with fork. Bake 25 min. or until edge is lightly browned.
Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 55 min. to 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with raspberries just before serving.
For more recipes visit https://www.myfoodandfamily.com/
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Alamo Day

At dawn on March 6, 1836, the 13th day of the siege, the Battle of the Alamo commenced. Fighting lasted roughly 90 minutes, and by daybreak all the Defenders had perished, including a former congressman from Tennessee, David Crockett. The loss of the garrison was felt all over Texas, and even the world. The Defenders were from many different countries, including some Defenders who were native-born Mexicans. Following the battle, Santa Anna ordered the Defender’s remains burned.

For more information visit  www.thealamo.org

This website also has an section for educators with information, worksheets and the following activities.

Make a Historical Toy

Make your own corn husk doll! Even if parents of pioneer children had spare money to spend on toys, it would have been a difficult task to find a store selling such things. However, this did not keep children from play – they simply made their own toys! Follow this step-by-step tutorial to make a corn husk doll of your own.

Materials Needed

  • Corn husks
  • Bucket of water
  • String or twine
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Soak corn husks – Before beginning, soak corn husks in a bucket of water until they are soft and pliable.
  2. Divide husks – Use 3-4 corn husks per doll, depending upon the size and thickness.
  3. Gather and pinch – Gather and pinch together the ends of three or four corn husks about 1 inch from the end.
  4. Tie together – Use a piece of string or twine about 5 inches long to tie the husks together with a double knot. Trim the string ends.
  5. Flip the bundle – Flip the “bundle” of corn husks upside down and pull the long ends down over the knot, covering it completely.
  6. Form the head – Gather the husks over the knot and tie with another piece of string to form the head. Trim the string ends.
  7. Form the arms – Take another corn husk and rip it into three strips.
  8. Tie together – Tie the three strips together about an inch from the end with a double knot. Trim the string ends.
  9. Braid the arms – Braid the three strips and tie the opposite end – forming the arms for the doll. Trim the string ends.
  10. Bring the arms and body together – Place the arms inside the doll, up underneath the head, dividing the loose husks of the body into two sections.
  11. Form the waist – Gather the two sections of husks under the arms and tie to form the waist of the doll. Trim the string ends.
  12. Trim hands and skirt – With scissors, trim the hands and skirt, creating a straight edge so that the doll can stand upright.
  13. Boy doll option – If making a boy doll, divide the skirt into two sections and tie the ends to create legs. Trim the string ends.
  14. Enjoy your corn husk doll! – Feel free to be creative once you have mastered the basic doll.
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You are about to enter Texas in the 1830s. You are wearing a shirt and pants and have a gun without the accoutrements (powder, bullets, etc.) In addition, you are only allowed to take 10 of the following items. Which do you consider essential, and which do you leave behind for easier times?

  • Slouch hat
  • Fur hat
  • Brogans (shoes)
  • Bonnet
  • Belt
  • Sewing kit
  • Hunting frock
  • Fabric swatches
  • Apron
  • Chocolate
  • Green coffee
  • Horn cup
  • Tin cup
  • Eating utensils
  • Horn spoon
  • Candle mold
  • Compass
  • Hand ax
  • Powder horn
  • Bullet block
  • Flint and steel
  • Candle
  • Dried beans
  • Roasted coffee
  • Meat
  • Parched corn
  • Piloncillo
  • Skillet
  • Haversack
  • Brick tea
  • Wooden bowl
  • Tin plate
  • Gourd canteen
  • Hunting bag
  • Pot scrubber
  • Mirror
  • Bone toothbrush
  • Dice
  • Marbles
  • Coins
  • Playing cards
  • Corn husk doll
  • Lice comb