Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Table Talk: This Time of Year

It is that time a year again. 

While farmers all over the Hoosier state are finishing up harvest, the fall air is turning crisp and cool and causing everyone to grab for those warmer clothes in the back of the closet.

This season also marks the time of year that a lot of Hoosiers settle into some familiar traditions. So, we asked our Table Talk Contributors to share with us about this time of year and loved seeing all the great activities Indiana families are digging into.

Like many families, Michelle and her crew took every advantage that this past October had to offer. From pumpkin patching to apple picking and corn mazing, they got their fall fun in.

Bloggers Beth and Angie also participated in all the fall fun by visiting a local dairy farm. Angie soon discovered that once her kiddos got up close and personal with "Where milk comes from," the questions started flowing and used this seasons ample opportunities to help teach them about the food they eat.

Last but not least, Sarah shares how this time of year gets her back to baking, much to her family's delight. Sharing that this season leaves little to want... except more counter space.

What is it about this time of year that you love most?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thawing Frozen Foods Safely

Submitted by Denise of BOAH (From FightBac.Org)

One of the advantages of freezing foods at or below 0 °F is that they can be preserved indefinitely. But, once the food begins to thaw in temperatures warmer than 40 °F, bacteria can multiply rapidly and the food can become unsafe to eat.  

Before preparing frozen meat, poultry, seafood, or frozen fruits, thaw them using one of these methods:  
1.      In the refrigerator - never at room temperature or in warm water 
2.      Under cool, running water (less than 70°F) as long as the food is small enough to be thawed in under two hours.
3.      In a microwave, if the food is going to be cooked immediately or use a microwave for thawing fruits that will be served with some ice crystals remaining.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Family Fun

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

If you are looking for a fun fall activity for your family, Kelsay Farms is one example of the many farms that open their doors to the public throughout the year. The Kelsays are a sixth generation dairy farm that milks around 500 cows and they open their farm to the public on the weekends throughout October.  They also farm approximately 2,200 acres. 


Kelsay Farms was land-granted by President Van Buren in 1837 making this year their 175th anniversary!  Amy Kelsay states, "We are blessed to have four generations on the farm today-from Great Grandma all the way down to our children.  It's amazing when you think about it that we are still farming the same ground that has been in our family for all of those years!"

When asked why they decided to open their farm to the public Amy explained, "I have always loved working with children and in Ag/Youth Education so in 2007 I decided to combine the two and open our farm up for school field trips and to the public.  We live in a highly populated county and it's been a pleasure to give thousands of children the opportunity to see first-hand where their milk and other dairy foods come from."


The Kelsays have taken things around the farm that they loved to do as kids such as: play in the corn, climb on straw bales, roast a hotdog on a campfire-and they have recreated them for our customers to enjoy.  According to Amy, "Most kids today don't get the opportunity to walk through a corn field or take a hayride, so we really enjoy not only providing that experience, but also watching them as they may experience it for the first time."

So if you and your family would like to experience dairy farm tours, baby calves, a 7 acre corn maze with a scavenger hunt, hayrides, Moo Choo train rides, Bale Mountain, Corn Crib, Baby Barnyard play area and many other games and fall activities then visit Kelsay Farms at 6848 N. 250 E. Whiteland, IN 46184.  You can also visit their or or follow them on Facebook at Kelsay Farm Tours or Twitter at @Kelsay Farms.

If you are interesting in finding more great Indiana Farms to visit this fall, check out the Indiana State Department of Agriculture's Agritourism Guide and My Indiana Home's Pumpkin Patch Locator and Corn Maze Locator.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Food Recall Basics: What You Should Know

Submitted by Denise of BOAH (From FightBac.Org)

Food recalls are issued for your safety and should not cause panic. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to be informed and pay attention to guidance issued when a major food recall occurs.

Food recall notices are given in the news, at your local grocery store, or online at

Understand that the recall of one product does not mean all forms of that product are a potential problem. 

Find more on Recall Basics and a FAQ's flyer here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Table Talk: Healthy Snacks On the Go

It seems as though the busy season is upon us... Between practices, games and fall family fun, a lot of families are constantly on the go. So, this past month, we asked our Table Talk Contributors to share a bit about the healthy snacks they prepare their families on-the-go.

Crystal over on Mom For Less reminds us that even healthy snacks can turn unhealthy quick if they aren't handled and stored properly. She shares resources for keeping food safe and goes on to give readers a great list of snack ideas for busy families.

Heather over on Miscellaneous Mom has three very active girls that keeps her calendar full and her need for quick and easy snacks constant. Check out her tips for planning ahead to keep her girls full of energy for their full schedules!

You might recall a while back that DeDe from Winners Drink Milk shared her tips for after school snacks. Here is a taste of what she shared:
Try to avoid non-nutritious goodies as in chips, sweets and sweetened beverages and stock up with healthy, fun foods from the FIVE food groups.  Here are some easy suggestions: DAIRY: go for lower-fat dairy treats, as in: 
  • String cheese or small chunks of cheese
  • Top a small bowl of cottage cheese with applesauce or salsa.
  • Mix some herbs into fat-free plain yogurt and serve with carrot and celery sticks, or small broccoli or cauliflower bunches.
  • Have flavored yogurt on hand for them to gobble up.
  • Make smoothies with milk, yogurt and fruit.
What are your favorite snacks for the kiddos?