Americans love popcorn. Plain, salty or sweet, we consume 13 billion quarts each year of this wholesome, whole grain treat, and we devote an entire month to honoring it. October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, a time to celebrate one of America’s oldest and most unique snack foods.
Sporting events provide great opportunities to gather with friends and family and enjoy some time together while watching a favorite sport or big game. Such gatherings are not complete without food, and some foods are widely considered staples of gameday get-togethers.
Gatherings of family and friends are better with food, and few foods are more universally beloved than salsa. Whether they’re hosting a gathering for the big game or a celebration of Hispanic culture and cuisine, hosts who want to go the extra mile can forgo store-bought salsa for the following homemade recipe for “Warm Black Bean Salsa” courtesy of Judith Finlayson’s “The Health Slow Cooker: 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness” (Robert Rose).
Winter squash yields some of my favorite vegetables, and there are so many varieties I can’t believe they all belong in the same family, from acorn to turban and butternut to pumpkin.
That’s right, pumpkin is a type of squash, and I include it here as an example of what you can do with winter squash — everyone knows you can bake with pumpkin, but you can use any type of orange winter squash and come up with the same results.
Squash, in botanical terms, is the fruit of a member of the gourd family. In culinary terms, we identify squash as a vegetable because that’s generally how we use it. In cooking, we tend to group the various types of squash into summer or winter.
This year, there are some big things going on at the Walworth County Fair in Elkhorn. Organizers are asking, “Are you ready for big?” As the theme of the annual event, it’s a good one. And I’m thinking the Horticulture Barn will have its share of big — entries will be accumulating this week in the biggest elephant garlic, biggest tomato, heaviest onion, largest pumpkin, biggest stalk of corn and tallest sunflower categories.
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