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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Take Care When Shipping Food Gifts

By Pamela Redwine

    Saturday, the 4-H FCS Club members and parents enjoyed walking in the Water Valley Christmas Parade.  It was a beautiful warm, sunny day – not really what you imagine when you think of Christmas parade weather, but then again this IS Mississippi.  I do hope that we will enjoy nice weather this weekend as we participate in the Coffeeville parade on Saturday, December 8 at 2 p.m.
    The United Y.C. MHV Club will meet on Wednesday December 5th. At 10 a.m. they will meet at the Extension office and take books to Bryant Head Start.  And at 11 a.m. they will gather at the Cottage Tea Room to enjoy their annual Christmas Lunch-eon.  All members are encouraged to attend.
    If you ordered MSU Cheese it will be here Thursday, December 6 after 3 p.m.  Please remember to stop by and pick it up before the weekend.
    There will be a Child Care Provider Training at the Multi-Purpose Building Thursday, December 6 from 5-8:30 p.m. The topic of the program is Basic Spanish for Preschool Classroom.
    Healthy You Exercise Classes continue to meet every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.
Shipping Food Gifts
     Many of us ship or mail our gifts from the kitchen. Whether you are sending your package a short distance or out of the country, here is some advice to help get your package and its yummy contents to the final destination the way it was intended.
    • Do not mail highly perishable foods such as soft cheeses or meats. Cured dry sausages and hard aged cheeses are fine. Firm baked goods are best, such as cookies, candies, flavored nuts, fudge, breads, unfrosted cakes, and muffins, chutneys, and preserves.
    • Be sure bottled and canned items are tightly sealed in thick containers that won’t break easily.
    • Foods should be sealed in airtight wrap before putting them into the gift container and the final shipping box. Wrap moist foods separately from crisp ones to preserve their textures.
    • Pack cakes snugly into tins. Put homemade confections in individual bonbon cups or papers, layered and separated with waxed, parchment, or butcher’s paper. Leave no headroom in the container.
    • When shipping more fragile bottles of oils or vinegars, make sure they are tightly sealed.
    • Once all individual items are tightly sealed, place into a sturdy carton for shipping. Use popped corn, wadded up newspaper, bubble-wrap, styrofoam or cornstarch pellets to pack completely around any glass items. Line the shipping box with a large plastic bag before packing, use popped corn for the packing, seal the bag, and the recipient can enjoy the popcorn packing as an added treat.
    • If shipping more than one item, place heavier items at the bottom. Be sure there is ample space between each item, with packing surrounding each on all sides. Shake the box down to be sure there is no headspace left unpacked so the contents will not shift.
    • Use a waterproof marker on your shipping address and return labels. Print address and return labels in clear, large print and secure to the container with clear tape. Do not trust self-sticking or glue labels to stay in place.
    • Ship all food gifts via the fastest method possible.

Recipe of the Week

By Pamela Redwine

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Prep time is nine minutes– Cook time is 10 minutes
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup uncooked regular oats
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1 ounce white chocolate, chopped
• Preheat oven to 350
• Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat until smooth
• Combine oats, flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture, stirring just until blended. Stir in chopped white chocolate. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
• Bake at 350 for 9 minutes or until cookies centers are almost done.  Cool 1 minute on pan. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
Yield: About 10 servings (serving size 1 cookie)
Per serving: Cal 109, Fat 4.3, Pro 2g, Carb 17g, Fiber 1.1, Chol 25mg, Iron 0.7mg, Sod 52mg, Calc 25mg
Recipe Source: Weight Watchers  20 minute recipes; September 2008

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