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V is for Vegetables (Autumn)

Fresh autumn vegetables mean one thing. “It’s comfort food time!” Here are 5 of my favorites and suggested uses. Rutabaga – This is my favorite autumn vegetable. This root plant adds delicious flavor and texture to soups, stews, pasties, and even by itself. Mashed with a pinch of nutmeg, a dash of salt (optional), and heavy cream (or low fat milk for a healthier version), rutabaga will surprise most tasters. Mash well to obtain a smooth texture. This is a must-try if you haven’t already indulged. Squash – Another autumn favorite, there are plenty of wonderful squash varieties. A few favorites include butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash. They are great in soups, mashed, roasted (cut into s

U is for Umbrella

Do you own an umbrella? Most people do. You may have heard of umbrellas by other names. For example, parasol (primarily a sun shield), rainshade, (Irish) brolly, or my favorite—bumbershoot (as sung by Dick Van Dyke in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). I didn’t think that umbrellas had changed much over the years. They were used in Egypt some 3,000 years ago to offer shade from the sun. Umbrellas to protect from rain are thought to have been invented in ancient China. Did you know that the first single-purpose umbrella shop, James Smith and Sons, opened in London’s New Oxford Street in 1830, and is still in business? In the 1950s, nylon canopies, which do not rot, came into use as an umbrell

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