Roasting chestnuts … and what has happened to American Chestnut trees?

American Chestnuts. Photo by Pixabay

American Chestnuts. Photo by Pixabay

So how do you roast chestnuts?

With a sharp knife, make an incision through the smooth outer skin and textured inner skin on the rounded side of each nut. This allows steam to escape and prevents the nuts from bursting during roasting. Roast the nuts over an open fire in a wire popcorn basket or special chestnut roasting pan, shaking periodically, for 15-20 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool slightly before peeling and eating. Chestnuts can also be roasted in the oven after scoring, at 375 ° degrees for 15-25 minutes. Place them in a shallow pan, and turn them over mid-way through the roasting time.

The information on roasting chestnuts was included in the following article written by Sarah Browning, Extension Educator. 

Is Emerald Ash Borer the Next Chestnut Blight?

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose….” We’re all familiar with this popular holiday song, but have you ever wondered how to roast chestnuts? Or exactly what a chestnut tree looks like? Why don’t we see them growing in our neighborhoods?

Once, American chestnut was a major component of eastern forests from Maine to Michigan and south to Alabama and Mississippi. Called the ‘Redwood of the East’ because of the tremendous size of mature trees, American chestnuts made up approximately 25% of forests in the eastern United States. When chestnuts bloomed in spring, the Appalachian mountains appeared covered in snow. The trees were an important part of the rural economy, as a source of highly rot-resistant lumber, and the nuts a major food source for wildlife. Trainloads of chestnuts were sent to eastern cities to be roasted and sold by street vendors during the holidays. However, today the American chestnut has been reduced to merely an under-story shrub in eastern forests.

More…. Read the entire article on the Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County Horticulture website: Is Emerald Ash Borer the Next Chestnut Blight

 

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Staying connected with family during the holidays — and all year round

by Katie Krause, Extension Educator, November/December 2018 NEBLINE

Grandpa and Granddaughter working on a laptop

Stay connected over the holidays

The holidays are often times when family and friends gather together, sometimes traveling by car or plane. But how can you connect young children with family and friends this holiday season (and all year round!)?

BREAKING BARRIERS TO CONNECTION
When I moved to Nebraska a few years ago, I knew the hardest thing for me would be being so far away from my family. I have such fond memories of both sides of my family coming together for holidays; grandparents, great-grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. While we are able to visit with family in person a couple of times a year, being all together is just not possible for every holiday. Thankfully, there are still a lot of ways I can help my son, Weston, build a relationship with family members 800 miles away!

The traditional method of communicating over the phone is still a common way to keep in touch; however, children as old as nine can have difficulty understanding and processing phone conversations. This doesn’t mean do not try to have phone conversations, just be aware that they may not be as meaningful for a young child as they are for the adults. Also, keeping a child’s attention on a voice coming out of a tiny device isn’t usually too captivating, so plan on a hello, maybe a short conversation and probably a quick goodbye from your little one.

Continue reading

Finding time for fitness over the holidays

by Kayla Colgrove, MS, RDN, ACSM-CPT, Extension Educator, November/December 2018 NEBLINE


Fitness Photo

Finding time for fitness (photo by Pixabay)

The holiday season is here. Trying to balance holiday parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, entertaining and work may lead to some stressful times. What about eating healthy or physical activity? Finding time for fitness over the holidays may be hard because of the cooler weather and busy schedules.

Including physical activity during the holiday season can help you prevent weight gain and release stress. Here are three tips to help you fit in fitness over the holiday season.

TIP #1: SCHEDULE ACTIVITY INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

Schedule your physical activity in advance by putting it on your calendar and treat it like an important appointment. Incorporate physical activity you enjoy doing at the most convenient time to accomplish your fitness goals during the busy holiday season.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Set a goal for 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. Do not worry about getting all 30 minutes of exercise done at one time. As long as the aerobic activity is performed at a moderate effort for at least 10 minutes at a time, it still counts towards your 30 minutes.

TIP #2: INCORPORATE EASY ACTIVITIES TO GET MOVING DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Including these activities will help achieve your physical activity goals:

  • Park at the far end of the parking lot.
  • Take extra laps around the store before checking out.
  • Use the stairs instead of escalators.
  • Include mall walking to enjoy the decorations while window shopping.
  • Dance to your favorite holiday music.
  • Work out at home to an exercise DVD.

TIP #3: CREATE HEALTHY HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

Adding seasonal activities to your holidays can be fun and also create healthier holiday traditions. Walk around your neighborhood instead of riding in your car to look at holiday lights and decorations. Incorporate winter activities such as sledding, ice skating, snow skiing, or taking a winter nature hike. After a holiday dinner, organize a walk, basketball or football game to catch up with family members while incorporating fun physical activities.

Reference: Clemson Cooperative Extension. (December, 2010). Let the Holiday Spirit Move You! Retrieved from http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/nutrition/nutrition/dietary_guide/hgic4034.html

You’ll find this helpful tip and more in the November/December 2018 issue of the NEBLINE Newsletter. Available free online.

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Pumpkin Pudding – Recipe of the Month

This recipe accompanied an article by Kayla Colgrove, MS, RDN, ACSM-CPT, Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. It appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of the NEBLINE Newsletter


Pumpkin pudding (Photo by Craig Chandler, UNL Communications).

Pumpkin pudding (Photo by Craig Chandler, UNL Communications).

PUMPKIN PUDDING
(6 Servings)

1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix, regular or sugar-free
2 cups low-fat milk
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cups whipped topping
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. In a medium bowl, mix pudding and milk with
    an electric mixer for 1–2 minutes.
  2. Add pumpkin to pudding mixture. Stir in whipped topping with whisk or spoon. Mix well.
  3. Add cinnamon and mix well.
  4. Chill until served

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 190, Total Fat 3.5 g (6%
DV), Saturated Fat 3 g (14% DV), Cholesterol 5 mg (1% DV),
Sodium 410 mg (17% DV), Total Carbohydrate 38 g (13% DV),
Dietary Fiber 2 g (9% DV), Sugars 34 g, Protein 4 g, Vitamin A
220%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 15%, Iron 6%.

Source: Nebraska Nutrition Education Program

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Cockroaches: Unwanted home invaders

Cockroaches (left–right): American, Oriental, German and brownbanded (Photo by Jim Kalisch, UNL Dept. of Entomology).

Cockroaches are one of the most recognized and unwanted home invaders. They are oval shaped with long, thread-like antennae and running legs. Speaking of running? Why do cockroaches run when you turn on the lights? Here’s what Extension Educator Jody Green tells us: Cockroaches are thigmotatic, meaning they prefer to hide in tight places. They prefer darkness, hiding and breeding in cracks and crevices.

Cockroaches are omnivorous and feed on organic waste such as food scraps, starches, pet food and garbage. Cockroaches transfer bacteria that cause infections including salmonellosis and gastroenteritis. Their saliva, exoskeleton and feces are responsible for childhood allergies and can trigger asthma.

There are plenty of reasons to learn as much as you can about cockroaches! You can access the entire article which includes information about the most common cockroaches you may encounter and their management at https://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/cockroachmanagement.shtml

This article also appeared in the 2018 November/December issue of the free NEBLINE newsletter for much more from Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline.

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Something for Everyone! Nov/Dec 2018 Issue of the NEBLINE

The NEBLINE Newsletter

The November/December issue of the free NEBLINE newsletter is now on-line. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline and click on the link to the November/December 2018 NEBLINE!

We now have a web-friendly and mobile-friendly edition – Easy to Read & Browse!!

Here are some of the articles featured in this issue – – – – https://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/lancasterextension

Fitness Photo

Finding time for fitness (photo by Pixabay)

  • “Youth voice” benefits youth, communities: 4-H provides multiple opportunities for Youth Voice
  • Finding time for fitness over the holidays
  • Pumpkin pudding recipe
  • Successful Farmer Series starts January 4
  • Plan now for pesticide applicator training
  • Tree seedlings available for spring planting
  • Cockroaches: Unwanted home invaders
  • Fresh water for wildlife important in winter
  • Ice suncatcher activity
  • Garden guide: Things to do in November and December
  • Stay connected with the family during the holidays – and all year round
  • Upcoming early childhood trainings
  • Upcoming Green Industry Conferences (Nebraska Turfgrass Conference, Great Plains Growers Conference, Nebraska Great Plains Conference)
  • Be a Master Gardener
  • Heart of 4-H Award Winners (November: Erica Peterson) (December: Kristyn Jones)
  • AKSARBEN 4-H Results, 4-H Awards & Scholarships, Re-enrollment Time, 2018 Horse Awards, Upcoming Workshops for 4-H Members
  • Meet new nutrition staff member Tala Farouki, Extension Assistant
  • 2018 UNL Service Awards: Soni Cochran (25 yrs) & Alyssa Havlovic (5 yrs)

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Make an Ice Suncatcher

This article appears in the November/December 2018 Newsletter:

Make an ice suncatcher

by Mary Jane Frogge, Extension Associate – Horticulture

This winter-themed ice suncatcher (left) has raspberries and spruce branches. This fall-themed ice suncatcher (right) has orange slices, vinca stems and yellow food coloring. (Photo by Mary Jane Frogge, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County)

This winter-themed ice suncatcher (left) has raspberries and spruce branches. This fall-themed ice suncatcher (right) has orange slices, vinca stems and yellow food coloring. (Photo by Mary Jane Frogge)

Making an ice suncatcher with natural materials is a fun winter activity for all ages. Using water, natural materials, freezing temperatures and a little time, you can create an outdoor decoration to place in the yard during the cold winter months.

1. Collect twigs, leaves, pinecones, cranberries, seeds, orange and apple slices, or other small natural materials to use as decoration for your suncatcher. The suncatcher needs a hanger, use a small loop of twine or ribbon.

2. Fill a pie or cake pan half full with water. Add a bit of food coloring to add color to your suncatcher. Arrange your decorations in the water. By adding fruit or bird seed you can make your suncatcher a bird feeder too. Position the hanger in the water leaving the loop out for hanging later. Place the pan outside if you have freezing temperatures or in the freezer to freeze overnight. After you have the pan in place to freeze, add more water to fill the pan. If you are doing this activity with kids, it can be a bit messy. It might be a good idea to make them outside.

3. When frozen, pop it out of the mold or run the underside of the cake pan through warm water for a few seconds until it loosens. Hang your ice suncatcher on a fence or a tree in the yard. Remove the ribbon or twine once the ice suncatcher has melted.

Check out the entire November/December issue of the free NEBLINE newsletter for much more from Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline and click on the link to the March 2018 NEBLINE!

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –