While the CSA deliveries may have ended our preparation for the colder weather hasn’t. The last of the crops have been harvested and what remained was brought into the food shelf. It was fitting that the night before the Bible story the boys selected was The Good Samaritan. While we talk about the importance of helping others, I don’t know if they fully comprehend the importance of what they are sharing. We are grateful that we have the opportunity to give back.
People have been fascinated by popcorn for centuries. Some Native Americans believed that a spirit lived inside each kernel of popcorn. When heated, the spirit grew angry and would eventually burst out of its home and into the air as a disgruntled puff of steam. A less charming but more scientific explanation exists for why popcorn pops.
Popcorn is scientifically known as Zea mays everta. It’s a type of maize, or corn, and is a member of the grass family. Popcorn is a whole grain and is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm, and pericarp (or hull). Of the 4 most common types of corn—sweet, dent (also known as field), flint (also known as Indian corn) and popcorn—only popcorn pops! Popcorn differs from other types of corn in that its hull has just the right thickness to allow it to burst open.
Each kernel of popcorn contains a small drop of water stored inside a circle of soft starch. Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop. The soft starch is surrounded by the kernel’s hard outer surface.
As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand. Around 212 degrees the water turns into steam and changes the starch inside each kernel into a superhot gelatinous goop. The kernel continues to heat to about 347 degrees. The pressure inside the grain will reach 135 pounds per square inch before finally bursting the hull open.
As it explodes, steam inside the kernel is released. The soft starch inside the popcorn becomes inflated and spills out, cooling immediately and forming into the odd shape we know and love. A kernel will swell 40-50 times its original size!
Source: The Popcorn Board
Recipe of the Week
Thanks to one of our shareholders for sharing her freezer coleslaw recipe. Hope this helps some of you that may still have that cabbage hanging around in the refrigerator.
Freezer Cole Slaw
From: Fern Vesledahl
1 quart chopped cabbage
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red pepper (optional)
Combine above 3 ingredients. Add 2 cups water, 2 Tablespoons salt. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse and add 3 cups celery and syrup.
Syrup – makes 1 1/2 cups
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon mustard seed
Combine ingredients for syrup, boil and cool. (This syrup keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator.)
Note: Add green pepper and celery according to what is on hand. A small can of chopped pimento maybe used if no fresh is on hand.
Make a double recipe it keeps a long time and stays crisp and freezes well. Thaw before using. Freeze in large mouth pint jars.