Be kind to to the men in your life

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

Don't forget that today, Sunday, June 21, is Father's Day. Dads come in many shapes, sizes, talents and walks of life. What sets your dad apart from the other males, is the memories you have made together from early childhood to your adult hood. Remember to be extra kind to the men in your life on this special day.

I think we would all agree that 2020 has been a different type of year, as Pulaski Countians and Americans have faced many challenges like we have never experienced before. As a result, many of us are experiencing emotional, mental, physical and financial struggles, as well as safety issues. One thing that we all need, and is available to all, is more kindness spread around to everyone.

Kindness is any act you do that benefits yourself and others. It doesn't cost money, just a reaction. Research shows that people who help others in various ways are happier and have an overall better feeling of well-being than those who don't practice kindness.

Kind acts do not have to take up much of your time or cost you a lot of money. They can be as simple as calling your friends, neighbors, and family to check on them, running an errand for an older neighbor, or letting someone with only a few items check out in front of you at the grocery store when you have a full cart. Or letting that car out of a side street when the line of traffic seems to go on forever.

You can be kind to others by just listening to them and lending an ear if they come to you with their problems. Or they may be lonely and just need to share their thoughts. While you may not feel like you are the best person to lend support, rest assured that you are the person they choose to confide in. That shows trust.

Extend kindness beyond the reach of your immediate contacts by doing good deeds for complete strangers. You can pay for the person's order behind you in the drive thru. You can offer to purchase or provide a nutritious meal for a person who is experiencing homelessness. Clean out that closet while you are at home and donate those items you no longer use or wear to someone less fortunate, or a charity of your choice. Volunteer your time to help an organization that needs volunteers. If you have extra money share that extra money with your favorite charity, God's Food Pantry, a club or church. It is always a good way to practice kindness by sharing with others.

This year, with its deep divisions, has challenged us to look deeper into ourselves and review our values, morals and priorities. This makes kindness even more essential than ever. Be kind to others and be willing to listen to them, even if their opinion differs from yours. Be respectful, open-minded and try to understand their perspective.

While kindness may not magically fix all the world's problems, it certainly will help start the process. For more information about kindness and other ways to nurture healthy relationships, contact the Pulaski County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Remember to visit our local Farmers Markets where you can find a variety of items. The Somerset Market, located on South Highway 27 near the Mall, is opened each Wednesdays and Saturdays. They are opened from 8:00 until 2:00, but if they sell out, then they close. You will find green beans, green onions, greens, fresh meats, honey, baked goods, canned goods, soaps, lotions, jams, jellies, and other items.

The Lake Cumberland Farmers Market, located uptown in their new building, is opened on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8:00 to 1:00 and on Thursday afternoon from 1:00 to 6:00. You will find asparagus, broccoli, cucumbers, greens, green beans, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash, chicken, beef, pork, eggs, jams, jellies, flowers, homemade candy, canned items, and more. While shopping at the Farmers' Market, take the time to pick up a free Farmers' Market Shopper's Guide that is filled with delicious recipes.

We often see recipes that call for Shallots, and you may wonder what the difference between an onion and a shallot. Shallots are a member of the onion family. They have a sweeter, milder, and more complex flavor than onions, with a slight undertone of garlic. That makes them an easy way to bring a subtle but distinct flavor to all kinds of dishes. Commercially grown shallots are relatively large and regularly shaped, while those grown in gardens or on organic farms are usually smaller and more irregular shaped but tend to have a deeper flavor.

Here are some suggestions for using the Shallots. Mix a minced shallot into ground beef or turkey before making burgers; Halve 2 or 3 shallots and add to vegetables before roasting them; Mix a tiny bit of minced shallot into yogurt and drizzle over grains or other roasted vegetables. Try making pickled shallots: Thinly slice and cover shallots with any kind of vinegar or citrus juice. Let it sit at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. Drain and mix into tuna, chicken, and other salads. Shallots are also good to add to the cavity of a whole chicken or turkey before roasting.

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