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#Living

Prairie Fare: Are you sitting too much?

As I rose from my office chair after a day filled with Zoom meetings, I felt like the Tin Man with stiff joints in the “Wizard of Oz.” Fortunately, my joints didn’t creak and squeak audibly. A can of oil was not necessary. I walked slowly to ease the stiffness from too much ...

Let’s Cook: Moments to Savor

A year ago, who would have thought that our lives would be dramatically changed in the first quarter of 2020? As I sit down to write this column on the Eve of the Winter Solstice, I think of the long, long year we all have endured. There is a long list of the many things we miss doing due to ...

Do-it-Yourself Holiday Centerpiece

Dress up your holiday meals with a centerpiece crafted from greens, colorful stems and seed heads collected from your garden. Or purchase fresh materials you need from your favorite garden center or florist. Most gardeners spend some time gathering a few blossoms and creating a bouquet or ...

Prairie Fare: Watch out for miracle nutrition promises

“Just 1 cup before bedtime,” the text message said. “Take off your huge stomach.” I read it to my daughter. “Your stomach isn’t huge,” she responded teasingly. I’m not sure I liked her emphasis on “huge.” At least she didn’t restate the message to say “massive” ...

Cottagecore holidays: Decorations with a homespun vibe

Along with bread-baking and closet reorganizing, another nesting trend on the home front is “cottagecore” style. “The cottagecore aesthetic swarmed the internet this year with its revival of traditional ideals and the glorification of a simple yet charming cottage lifestyle,” says ...

Prairie Fare: Say cheese and smile

“What’s that smell?” I thought to myself. I was just a child at the time. I decided to investigate. I followed my nose into the kitchen and found my dad and uncle huddled at the kitchen counter. They were enjoying saltine crackers spread with Limburger cheese. They were relishing ...

Toxic and not-so-toxic holiday plants

Tis the season to be decorating for the holidays. Colorful poinsettias, holly plants with spine-tipped leaves and fast-growing amaryllis bulbs brighten our homes. Anytime that I mention poinsettias, the question arises as to their toxicity to people and pets. People widely assume that this ...

Let’s Cook: Cookies from Home Ec 204

Once again, we are starting to stir things up for Christmas. What comes to your mind when you reflect on preparing for Christmas? As a child, a big part of getting ready for Christmas for me was dreaming. Yes, dreaming, of what the tree would look like, what part would I have in the church ...

Prairie Fare: Celebrate with gifts that promote health

“What would you like for Christmas?” I asked my husband a few years ago. “I just need new undershirts,” he replied. He grabbed a package from the rack in a store and tossed them in the cart. I wrapped them up and tied those cotton undershirts with a bow. “Oh, look - ...

DAKOTA GARDENER: Holiday Cacti

When I started in Extension many years ago, I took a cutting from a co-worker’s Christmas cactus. The plant grew extremely well. In fact, it has taken over the top of my file cabinet and frequently gets pinched when I shut drawers. The plant loves to be left alone and it has rewarded me ...

Grow frilly, bold, unique Amaryllis indoors this winter

When squirrels are busy storing nuts for winter, it’s time for gardeners to start gathering amaryllis bulbs to sustain them through the dreary months ahead. Ordering now will ensure you have lots of choices, so you can select an assortment of different flowers styles, colors, and bloom ...

Prairie Fare: How to cook for one, two or a few

A few years ago, I bought a large table that can seat 12 with the added leaves. My children were beginning to resent being seated at a small card table at the end of the dining room table. They didn’t fit very well at the small table anymore. In fact, they would scurry to an “adult ...

Winter care for trees, shrubs and perennials in containers

As you prepare your landscape for winter don’t overlook the trees, shrubs and perennials you have growing in containers. These need a bit of extra protection to help them survive cold winter temperatures. The small amount of soil in container gardens does not always provide sufficient ...

PrairieFare: Food gifts can be shipped

I noticed the shelf inside the entry of a small restaurant. It was lined with brown paper bags and attached receipts. The four shelves were labeled “self pick up” or they were labeled with one of three different companies that pick up and deliver food. People in masks popped in and out ...

DAKOTA GARDENER: Thoughtful holiday gifts for gardeners

For years, I have railed against the encroachment of the Christmas holiday season on Thanksgiving. As I get older, I just want to slow time and savor each holiday. I steadfastly refuse to put up Christmas decorations until the last of the turkey leftovers and pumpkin pie have been consumed ...

Prairie Fare: Let’s talk food safety

“When is the turkey going to be ready?” someone asked. I opened the oven and admired the glistening, nicely browned bird proudly. I planned to make some gravy from the drippings. With a little help, I lifted the turkey onto a serving tray. The turkey was clutching its wings to its ...

DAKOTAGARDENER: Spring blooms during winter

Forcing spring bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinth is a great way to brighten up the dreary days of winter. Forcing bulbs does require planning, though, because the bulbs need a cooling period that imitates the cold conditions bulbs would experience outside during the ...

Let’ s Cook: An Enchanted Bazaar

Due to the pandemic, several events have been crossed off our fun-for-fall list. We certainly missed attending Minot State Homecoming, Hostfest, and various fall suppers. When fall comes calling, we note on the calendar several church bazaars that we would enjoy attending. Darting about to the ...

DAKOTA GARDENER: Invite songbirds to your yard

Would you like to get closer to nature? Put up a bird feeder. Birds are wonderful to watch, especially in winter. Our feathered friends provide bright flashes of color, wonderful songs and curious movements. It’s a fun activity for everyone in the family. Now is the time to take action. ...

Prairie Fare: Consider virtual family meals

The other day I was wrapping my collection of snowman salt and pepper shakers. Yes, my snowmen witnessed the spring and summer seasons of 2020. In some ways, time has stood still during our pandemic. After eight months of ...