Dine In:  More Favorite Family Meals

Dine In: More Favorite Family Meals

FCS Ine In Day December 3 Banner

FCS Dine In Day December 3

Is your busy, busy life making it difficult to spend time eating a meal at home with your family?  Research tells us families are healthier in so many ways when they eat at home together.  Maybe these favorite family meals from some of our readers will give you some inspiration.

Italian Night

My mother’s chicken cacciatore. She’s Italian and a great cook. She makes it with boneless chicken breasts, rice, sliced peppers, onions, tomatoes, and of course, garlic. It is so good and probably healthy. But maybe not, since I eat way too much of it. Friends and family come together on “Italian Night” to enjoy this and other Italian specialties. Molto delicioso.   Rick W.

My favorite meal was always when my mom made homemade spaghetti sauce for pasta. Wow, that’s good stuff. When I brought my girlfriend home, it became one of her favorite meals too. Thanks mom!   Alex H.

Father and son set the dinner table

Father and son set the dinner table. Photo Source: Wendy Meredith

Home Away from Home Meal

My favorite family meal was pork chops, broccoli, mashed potatoes, rolls and sweet tea, because my son, (my first born), cooked his first meal in his first home away from home at the age of 21 and invited our family to dinner. He was always the one out of five children who liked to have everyone in the family sit at the dining room table together and enjoy a meal as often as possible. Our lives consisted of football, cheerleading, church events, ballet, gymnastics, soccer, school events, jobs, etc. Our family of seven was a very busy family and always running here and there, but somehow due to the persistency of our son, we managed to have one or two meals a week together as a family. I was a very happy and proud mom when I received the invite to have dinner that night. The food was delicious, but the fellowship during “My Favorite Family Meal” was something I will remember and cherish forever.   Wendy M.

Let Them Eat Cake or Bread

Celebrations were very special in my family. Every year on my birthday, my grandmother would always cook my favorite food and bake my favorite cake (Red Velvet – Yum). When I was young I always thought it was about the food. But it was about so much more; we learned about manners and etiquette, and family coming together to share old traditions and make new ones. Whenever I see a red velvet cake or smell one baking, it brings back happy memories. I’m transformed back to when I was a 10 year old girl.   Dorothy L.

Growing up on a farm in Michigan, I’ve got a lot of good memories involving food! From making butter in a churn, to picking blackberries in the woods for Mom to make pie, to getting ripe tomatoes from the garden for a tasty bacon and tomato sandwich and many more.  I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up knowing exactly where our food comes from!

A favorite and happy memory is Mom making bread on cold days, letting the loaves rise by the heat registers, then baking it in the oven. The whole house smelled like delicious bread. Once it was done, Mom would cut it while it was still warm and give us thick slices with warm, melting butter on it!   Cheryl V.

December 3rd is Dine In Day.  It’s a chance to make a commitment to have a meal at home with family. So, make the decision to eat with your family at home this December 3rd.

FCS Dine In Day circle logo

FCS Dine In Day

 

 

 

Dine In:  Thanksgiving Favorites

Dine In: Thanksgiving Favorites

FCS Ine In Day December 3 Banner

FCS Dine In Day December 3

What’s your favorite family meal? Is it an event like a picnic or Super Bowl Party? Is it reoccurring like Wednesday night church dinner? Maybe it’s an annual meal like Thanksgiving. Check out some of these special Thanksgiving meals, then think about a favorite meal for your family to share on Dine In Day.

What about Sweet Potatoes?

I think my favorite holiday meal story is from about 10 years ago when our oldest daughter was away at college.  She asked me what we were going to have for Thanksgiving Dinner and as I went through the list she said, “what about sweet potatoes?” to which I answered “but you don’t like sweet potatoes”.  Then she said, “No, I don’t, but I they’re supposed to be on the table at Thanksgiving”!

It’s such a tiny thing, but it touched my heart because it meant she had fond memories and that our family holiday dinners meant something to her!  PS – now she loves sweet potatoes and serves them to her family all the time!   Susan H.

My “Found” Family

Favorite Fall Things: pumpkins, scarecrow, leaves, flowers, and multi-colored corn

Favorite Fall Things
Photo Source:: Angela Hinkle

My favorite family meal of the year is on Thanksgiving, with my “found” family in Bradenton. Especially now that I live in Tallahassee, taking the trip down there to spend a few days with my best friend and her crazy family is definitely a highlight. It’s even more special now since I don’t get to see her every day anymore.  Plus? Turkey and deviled eggs! Yummy.   Sam K.

Memory We Will Always Cherish

My favorite meal happened 6 years ago during Thanksgiving. It was the first year that I hosted my own Thanksgiving dinner and my husband and I invited everyone we knew- family, friends, coworkers. We had 30 people share their holiday with us and we had so much fun. It was a lot of work and a lot of cooking, but it was so special to us. That day we were able to honor the ones we loved by hosting them and sharing that experience. One day, we will do that again. But for now, it’s a great memory that we will always cherish.   Christina W.

Imagining Warm and Cozy

One of my most memorable meals was Thanksgiving when I was in the 11th grade. My family decided to go camping in our pop-up camper for the weekend at a nice campground in central Florida. In keeping with the season, a cold front passed through that weekend, dropping the temperature significantly. Our little camper did not have a heater, so we shivered in our bunks and scurried to the central bathhouse, passing motor homes and travel trailers with condensation on the windows, imagining how warm and cozy their occupants must be. Despite the frigid temperatures, we enjoyed a campground-wide Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings in the community room. We made fond memories of the weekend, which we still laugh about, and are thankful for a warm house and the comforts and conveniences of home to enjoy the holiday and everyday meals with family and friends.   Judy C.

 

FCS Dine In Day circle logo

FCS Dine In Day

December 3rd is Dine In Day.  It’s a chance to make a commitment to have a meal at home with family. Research tells us families are healthier in so many ways when they eat at home together. So, make the decision to eat with your family at home this December 3rd.  Maybe you can tell us about your favorite family meal or be inspired to make new ones – for Thanksgiving or any time of year.

 

Dine In:  Uncle Eddie

Dine In: Uncle Eddie

FCS Dine In Day December 3

Uncle Eddie wasn’t actually my uncle. He was my grandfather. But to most everyone in the small town in Connecticut where I spent many summers growing up, he was known as Uncle Eddie.

Edward Scordato aka “Uncle Eddie”

Every Saturday morning, Uncle Eddie got up at some ridiculously early hour and headed for the kitchen. He started a pot of coffee as well as a kettle for tea. He began making pancakes, toast, bacon or sausage, and eggs prepared in a variety of ways. (I think he honed his kitchen/organizational skills as a cook in the Army.)

Friends, neighbors, and relatives from all around came to my grandparents’ dining room and back patio to eat. Just as important, they came to socialize, catch up on how everyone was doing, and hear the latest personal and public events of the week. There was a little gossip and lots of talk of religion and politics. (As a kid, those last two subjects bored me like nothing else could.)

Some folks stayed for 20 minutes. Some stuck around for the whole morning. Uncle Eddie made sure everyone who came got fed. And not just food for their tummies. They were fed with family bonding, love, and a strong sense of belonging (and religion and politics).

Those Saturday morning breakfasts are some of my fondest memories. I honestly don’t remember the taste of the food, but I do remember it just felt good to be with everybody.

December 3rd is Dine In Day.

It’s a chance to make a commitment to have a meal at home with family. Research tells us families are healthier in so many ways when they eat at home together. So, make the decision to eat with your family at home this December 3rd.  I’m going to. And it will even be okay if my family starts talking religion and politics.

Oh, and one more thing. Some of our family at UF/IFAS Extension will be sharing their favorite family meals very soon. Maybe you can tell us about yours.  Maybe you can be inspired to make new ones.

Peanut Butter Helps Hurricane Victims

Peanut Butter Helps Hurricane Victims

You want to help but don’t know how? Maybe you don’t have much money and you don’t have skills, time, or transportation to get to hurricane Michael victims for clean up or rebuild. One easy, low-cost way to help is peanut butter.

 Yes, peanut butter helps hurricane victims

Peanut butter tastes good. It is safe at room temperature – no need to refrigerate or heat. Great when there is no electricity. And it’s super easy. Spread on bread or nosh on a spoonful.

Nutty for Peanut Butter
Photo Source: Angela Hinkle

“I am so hungry. What are we going to eat?”

These words were repeated throughout affected areas of the Florida panhandle after the Michael disaster ripped through towns. Peanut butter was the answer for many. A great filler upper loaded with important protein.

The Peanut Butter Challenge

During the months of October and November, UF/IFAS Extension offices in the Florida panhandle are collecting peanut butter for the Peanut Butter Challenge. Peanut butter is dropped off at collection sites by gracious donors – like you. Then at the beginning of December, the peanut butter is distributed to hungry families in need at local food pantries. Because so many of our family, neighbors, and friends were affected by hurricane Michael, much of this peanut butter will also be headed to them this year.

Peanut Proud

Peanut Proud and others have already donated 36,000 jars of peanut butter to affected areas. While many jars will be “spread” throughout all Florida panhandle county pantries, much peanut butter will be distributed to hurricane Michael affected areas.

Gift Cards

Looking for other ways to help. Gift cards to Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, Walmart, etc. are greatly appreciated. These cards allow people to get what they need. No guesswork involved.

To find out how and where to donate as well additional recovery information, contact your local Northwest District UF/IFAS Extension office. University of Florida IFAS directory

10,000 Pounds of Peanut Butter

10,000 Pounds of Peanut Butter

 

Peanut Butter Challenge
Photo Source: UF/IFAS Extension Escambia

 

What would you do with 10,000 pounds of Peanut Butter? How about change the lives of hungry families.

What’s It All About?

The annual Peanut Butter Challenge has begun for 2018. Unopened jars of peanut butter are collected throughout the Florida Panhandle. We do this until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at area Peanut Butter Challenge donation drop-off sites. Local peanut farmers help to match contributions. The peanut butter is then donated to local food pantries and food banks to help struggling families. Last year, the Peanut Butter Challenge collected about 9,000 pounds of peanut butter. This year, the goal is to collect 10,000 pounds of Peanut Butter. Five tons – whew, that’s a lot!

Why Is It Important?

When families are not sure where and when they will get healthy food to eat, they are considered to be food insecure. Many of these families rely on food pantries to supplement their dietary needs. Peanut butter is the most requested food in most pantries. It is loaded with protein and other good-for-you nutrients like fiber and potassium. Peanut butter is shelf stable – no need to heat or keep cold. Most people really like the taste of it. So…basically, a super food.

What is the Easiest Way for Me to Help?

Nutty for Peanut Butter
Photo Source: Angela Hinkle

Though peanut butter is very economical, (usually about $2.50 per pound), look at the sales ads. Almost every week, some place has peanut butter on sale. Better yet, look for the buy one, get one free specials. Keep one jar for yourself and donate a jar. Then take your peanut butter to the closest Peanut Butter Challenge collection site.

Where Can I Contribute or Find Out More?

To find out where to donate unopened jars of peanut butter in your area, contact your local Northwest District UF/IFAS Extension office.

Help UF/IFAS Extension and the Peanut Butter Challenge donate 10,000 pounds of peanut butter to help take a bite out of hunger for local families in need. Oh, and we’ll do the heavy lifting.

For more information on how UF/IFAS Extension faculty are working to provide food access to more people and stem this tide of hunger, read Nick Place on 2018 PBC.