Press-Republican

Columns

December 10, 2012

Plan ahead for home-grown holidays

During the holidays, families, friends and neighbors enjoy many ways of getting together. 

These celebrations usually include presents, often gifts of food. While wine and candy treats may be traditional, in our region there are many varieties of locally grown products that also make wonderful — if somewhat unusual — presents. 

These days, with the increasing cost of food, families are looking for ways to extend their food budgets. When you’re invited to join a meal, consider bringing a small gift or hostess present for the family to enjoy later. Think about colorful winter squash, sweet-scented apples, rich maple syrup and locally produced honey. Stalks of Brussels sprout and heads of cauliflower are fun and also a great way to introduce new foods to kids.

Here are a few ideas that may inspire you:

▶ Fill a basket, tote bag or bowl with different types of local apples, polished and arranged with a few sprigs of evergreen.

▶ Arrange interesting types of winter squash together with apples and kale to form an edible centerpiece.

▶ A stalk of Brussels sprout looks amusing. For a whimsical addition, tie a few ribbons to the stalk.

▶ Set a large cauliflower with the leaves still attached in a flat bowl to make a beautiful centerpiece.

▶ Children are intrigued by fruits and vegetables in their raw, just-picked shapes and love to be given the chance to “dismantle” the produce. With appropriate adult supervision, help them remove the Brussels sprout from the stalk, peel the leaves from cauliflower, and scrape the seeds out of pumpkins and squash. These experiences are also opportunities for you to help them understand that their food comes from the earth and is harvested by farmers (it does not always appear from the freezer in cardboard boxes or plastic bags).

▶ Locally grown cider, fruit juices, honey and honey products, and maple and maple-syrup products can introduce new flavors and alternatives to commercial products.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Treating corporations like people

    Problems arise in many areas when businesses take on the attributes of individuals as mandated by the court, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time