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Mary’s Memo – September 9th

CENTS AND NONSENSE


Even before I had a connection with Chief I planned meals around the weekly specials and still do! Also, I never drove from store to store to buy their bargains. If it was a seasonal item I knew that the store where I did the bulk of my shopping would have it soon, if not that particular week. And the idea that I would drive out of town to shop for food never entered my mind, then or now!

You may not pay attention to it but I like labels with a toll-free number that I can call if I have a question. Everyone doesn’t have a computer, especially older shoppers, to check for information on a web site. Even with a computer I prefer having a live person to help me and I stay on the line until I get one. When I can’t do this I wonder why they’re not available. Who wants to buy a “pig in a poke?” As for any “store brand,” you’ll like some but not all. I’m thankful that we still have a choice.

SURPRISING KITCHEN DIRTY SPOTS


What’s the dirtiest place in your kitchen? If you guessed the microwave touchpad, as 20 suburban Michigan families did, but you might be surprised. When microbiologists at the nonprofit NSF International group swabbed the families’ kitchens for bacteria, yeast and mold, the microwave wasn’t bad but contaminants lurked in some unexpected places with the worst being refrigerator ice and water dispensers, spatulas, blender gaskets (the rubber seal at the base), can openers and meat and vegetable compartments in the refrigerator. Moist areas like ice and water dispensers were most prone to yeast and mold. Kitchen items that don’t get fully disassembled and cleaned (or like can openers, not cleaned at all before being put back in a drawer) were highest in E. coli, salmonella and other sources of foodborne illness.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, September 2013.

APPLE HARVEST IN PROGRESS


New crop Baumann Paula Red and Ginger Gold apples are now available at Chief supermarkets. Both are all-purpose type apples and prompted me to serve Apple Brown Betty at the Bryan Chief a couple weekends ago. “Bettys” date back to colonial time and although they can be made with other fruits such as peaches, the classic recipe is made with apples. A Betty isn’t as rich as apple crisp. Although there are many recipes for Apple Brown Betty, they have certain ingredients in common including dry bread crumbs, butter, apples and brown sugar. The one I served was also flavored with lemon zest, lemon juice and a tad of nutmeg. A double recipe can be baked in a 9x13 glass baking dish.

APPLE BROWN BETTY


• 5 cups (5 medium) sliced peeled apples (potato peeler works well)
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 cup unseasoned plain dry bread crumbs (I used Progresso brand)
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. In large bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and nutmeg; mix well. In medium bowl, combine bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle half the breads crumb mixture into prepared baking dish. Spoon apple mixture overt crumb mixture; top with remaining crumbs. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden brown. Recipe makes 8 servings.
Source: Betty Crocker recipe.

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