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Around the Home: Lessons learned from my gardener grandfather
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My maternal grandfather would have celebrated his 94th birthday today. He’s been gone for 2 1/2 years.

The man who was a brick mason and U.S. Navy veteran spent a great deal of time in the garden. I miss seeing him in his dirt-covered, denim overalls walking to and from the garden.

His garden included a variety of fresh veggies from green beans and collards to corn and tomatoes.

When I was growing up, I didn’t think a meal was complete without meat. And a tomato sandwich was absolutely out of the question.

Don’t get me wrong. If someone gave me one, I ate it and said “Thank you.” 

Now, I’m just as happy with a plate of veggies and will gladly enjoy a tomato sandwich any day of the week.

I didn’t care much for squash, either, until I ran into a squash casserole that was so good. Now, I’m hooked and would rather have that instead of a burger.  

Even if you think you’re set in your ways, venture out and try some new recipes or even just a new fruit or vegetable. If you’re looking for new fruit and veggie recipes or ideas, start with friends and family. Church cookbooks are great resources, too.

And remember to stop by a branch of the Hall County Library System. They offer a wide collection of cookbooks for all ages.

Also, visit www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov and www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/main-recipes to expand your menus and meal choices.

If your school, place of worship or organization is planning parent activities or outreach, consider our Food Talk nutrition sessions. Part of the UGA Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, it’s free and gives parents tips on how to eat healthy on budget.

The sessions include food demos and samples of desserts, main dishes and salads.

I can personally testify the recipes taste really good and save time and money. My family loves the peach crumble, chicken divan, confetti chicken salad and the skillet spaghetti.

I don’t have to worry or wonder about menus anymore. The Food Talk recipes are a great resource and I’d love to share them with the parents at your school, place of worship or organization.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.

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