Latest articles


Tomato time

Enjoy your bountiful harvest — tomatoes are both tasty and nutritious

What does Jake have in his mouth?” my husband asked. I looked out the window to see the latest thing our dog had found. He was shaking something bright red. Oh, no! I hope he doesn’t have Carl the Cardinal, I thought to myself. A vividly coloured bird and his mate have been singing songs […] Read more


Health goals can come step by step

Set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed

There are plenty of reasons to want to take steps to become healthier. Maybe we want to save more money, get fit or wear a smaller clothing size. Improving our health and having more wealth are great motivators, but unfortunately, such resolve often falls by the wayside. This year, I decided to get more exercise. […] Read more



Avoid falling to the heat

An unseasonably warm later summer and early fall means you’ll need to stay vigilant

I can’t handle hot weather. While some people are basking in the heat, my face turns bright red almost immediately. My kids pretend they don’t know me. Then I wilt in the shade and retreat indoors. Recently, we had a heat wave that sent temperatures soaring near or above 100 F (38 C) in some […] Read more


Make some food memories with corn on the cob

Prairie Fare: Corn is used to make products like ethanol, plastics, matchsticks, glue and crayons... but it’s first and foremost food

I remember going out to our friend’s farm to help pick corn every summer when I was a child. I had fun harvesting the plump ears of corn in the cool temperatures of an early summer morning. After some training, I learned how to hang on to the stalk and then twist the ear toward […] Read more



Follow the new rules

The old ways may not be safe anymore when it comes to canning

Sometimes, I feel like a broken record, especially when we reach canning season. I keep repeating things year after year, hoping that more people will hear about the current rules. But wait: Some (younger) people don’t know what a “record” is or how you might break one, other than in an athletic race. Maybe I […] Read more


Take care with cantaloupe

Prairie Fare: Here are some tips for avoiding foodborne illnesses

Just get it started and it will practically roll out of its skin,” the man doing the knife demonstration assured his audience. I was thinking about those knife ads from years ago. The knives cut through tin cans and shoe leather, then through ripe tomatoes, making slices so thin “your relatives will never come back” […] Read more



Create family meal memories with picnics

Prairie Fare: Eating together as a family has many physical, mental and emotional health benefits

I always looked forward to picnics when I was a child. We would visit friends who lived on lakes or, sometimes, we went to a park. Getting ready for our picnic was quite a production because we had salads, fruit, meat, fresh buns, potatoes and dessert. Homemade lemonade was in a gallon-sized thermos container. We […] Read more


Enjoy fajitas using your slow cooker

Prairie Fare: A slow cooker shouldn’t be ignored in the summer months

Mom, that’s a female yellow pepper because it has four bumps,” my 14-year-old daughter said as she pointed at the peppers on a cutting board. “It’s sweeter.” She was grinning sweetly and looking at me. I mean my daughter, not the yellow pepper. “That red pepper is a male pepper because it has three bumps,” […] Read more



Staying hydrated in the heat of summer

Children, older adults and outdoor workers are especially vulnerable to dehydration

Like many people, I have been busy with yardwork lately. We have had a proliferation of miniature maple trees popping up all over our yard, thanks to hundreds (maybe thousands) of propeller-like seeds dropping from our tree. I wander around the yard every day, inspecting my pots and gardens for the telltale reddish stems and […] Read more


Rediscover cooking and baking this summer

Measuring cups and spoons, and digital temperature gauges take the guesswork out of modern cooking and baking

I thought back in time as I drove by the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center recently. I had reached the rolling hills near Washburn, N.D., on my way to the North Dakota 4-H Camp. Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark and their crew built Fort Mandan in the Washburn area in November 1804. The […] Read more