Tricounty News

Picking vegetable varieties for preserving

We welcome seed catalogues as they begin to arrive in our mailbox. We know they bring with them the promise of spring. If you are a vegetable gardener, you enjoy looking at the new vegetable varieties and check to see that your favorite variety of beets, green beans and other vegetables continue to be available.

If you are a home food preserver who plans to freeze, can, pickle or dry your garden produce, it is important to select vegetable varieties that have been developed for preserving. Planning to make dill pickles this summer? Be sure to select a “pickling” cucumber variety rather than a slicing cucumber to plant in your garden.


Craft Beer and Wine Expo April 13

Second Annual Craft Beer and Wine Expo coming to Richmond Saturday, April 13

Craft beer and fine wine pair up for a second straight year to benefit the local youth hockey program at the 2013 River Lakes Craft Beer and Wine Expo from 2 to 6 p.m.,
Saturday, April 13, at the River Lakes Civic Arena, at 319 Central Avenue South in Richmond.


Peddling Your Pickles Safely? Workshops scheduled

Do you make crisp tasty dill pickles? Do your friends rave about your homemade salsa? Have you thought about marketing your home-canned products at a farmers’ market?

If so, the “Peddling Your Pickles Safely?” workshop is for you. At the workshop you will learn about the requirements of Minnesota’s “Pickle Bill” legislation. The workshops will be held on April 5, at Cabela’s in Rogers, and May 7, at Midtown Square (3333 West Division Street) in St. Cloud. The program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Cool homemade soup safely

Winter is a great time to make a large kettle of homemade soup to enjoy for lunches or quick evening meals. It is easy and economical to make, and you can make soup healthier by controlling the fat and sodium content.

Preparing a large batch of soup can present a food-safety challenge: Cooling! One of the leading causes of foodborne illness is the failure to properly cool foods.


Let your crockpot cook dinner

You come home on a cold winter evening and are greeted by the inviting smells of beef stew or chicken noodle soup. Your slow cooker, better known as a crockpot, has dinner ready.

Is a crockpot safe?  Yes, the 170 degrees F to 280 degrees F direct heat from the pot, lengthy cooking time combined with the steam created in the tightly covered pot destroy bacteria, making slow-cooking a safe process.

Always thaw meat or poultry before putting it into a crockpot. Cut meat and vegetables into chunks or smaller pieces to ensure thorough cooking. Vegetables cook slower than meat and poultry, so if using them, put the vegetables in first. See your instruction booklet for safety guidelines for the preparation of large cuts of thawed meat and poultry and do add broth, water or barbecue sauce as recommended.