FCS Day set for December 3rd

Edith Lovett Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

The Annual Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Day, "Dining In" for Healthy Families campaign is Monday, December 3. FCS Day is an opportunity to promote family and consumer sciences programs, and resources that support family mealtime. Families are asked to commit to making and eating a healthy meal together on December 3rd. Since 2014, nearly half a million people have committed to "dining in" on Family & Consumer Sciences Day.

Please keep in mind that if you can't celebrate FCS Day on December 3rd, it's okay. The date is flexible - "dining in" most anytime between now and December 15th counts! Just make time to have meals with your family regularly.

We have several men that read our weekly article, and this news article will be of interest to our hunters. The University of Kentucky Nutrition Education Program (NEP) recently released a series of recipe cards aimed at helping the state's most vulnerable citizens learn how to prepare wild game. The series, titled Cook Wild Kentucky, features 17 recipes with some of the state's most popular wild game including venison, rabbit, fish, frog, dove and duck.

Right before hunting season begins, hunters and their families often clear out their freezers to make room for the next season's bounty. Much of their surplus goes to local food banks, but with little knowledge of how to prepare the wild game, some food banks struggle to accept and distribute it to their clientele. A brainstorming session a year ago between UK Cooperative Extension Service staff and Tamara Sandberg, executive director of Feeding Kentucky, led to the idea of the recipe cards featuring wild game.

"Protein is one of the most expensive items at the grocery store, so beautiful ground venison or steak are really highly desired items by the families we serve," Sandberg said. "It will make a big difference."

The recipe cards include everything from venison chili to rabbit jambalaya. Nutrition professionals with NEP tested all the recipes over the past year to ensure that they not only taste good but are healthy, inexpensive and readily accessible for the program's limited-resource families.

"We definitely look at the types of foods that are available in the counties, so our recipes include ingredients that are low-cost and accessible throughout the state," said Jann Knappage, UK food system specialist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. "As we develop the recipes, we look at the nutrition guidelines to make sure they do not include too much salt or fat but still taste good. All of the nutrition labels are included on the recipes, so folks can keep track and be aware of what is in their food."

Throughout the recipe development process, NEP staff relied heavily on the expertise of staff at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, who have knowledge in wild game sources, processing and preparation. "We jumped on board and provided a lot of recipe suggestions," said Becky Wallen, Field to Fork coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources. "Many of our recipes were deep-fried or not as nutritious, so they were able to take that foundation and make the recipes more nutritious and tasteful. That, in turn, is better for our programs, because we now can provide these recipes that we know are nutritious."

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources was able to connect UK with Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry who readily became a partner in the project. The charitable volunteer organization's mission is to relieve hunger and malnutrition in the state. It pays for the processing and distribution of donated venison to those in need. NEP plans to expand Cook Wild Kentucky and add more recipes next year. "The problem is not that we don't have enough food in Kentucky but that we need to get better about making the resources we have available to the people who need it," Sandberg said.

Free Cook Wild Kentucky recipe cards are available at the Pulaski County Extension Office. You can pick the cards up Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30. You can also find them on the web site www.planeatmove.com.

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.

If you have deer meat on hand, or maybe your neighbor has given you some, you may want to try this Venison Chili.

Venison Chili

1 pound Ground Venison

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

4 garlic cloves minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

½ teaspoon black pepper

1-14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained

1-14 ounce can chicken broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1-15 once can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Heat a small Dutch oven over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ground venison. Cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring constantly to crumble the meat. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno pepper; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add chili powder, salt, cumin, red pepper and black pepper. Add the drained venison meat, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and tomato paste, stirring until well combined; bring to a boil, Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add red kidney beans; cook, uncovered 15 minutes more. Garnish with sour cream, and/or shredded cheddar cheese. Will make 6 cups of chili. (If you don't have venison, you use also use ground beef)

Events at the Pulaski County Extension Office

Janella Miller will be having a yarn spinning class on Monday Night, December 9th, at the Extension Office. The class begins at 6:00 p.m. Call the office to register at 679-6361.

The Pulaski County Extension Homemakers will be going to the Derby Dinner Theater on Thursday, December 12. The group will meet at the K-Mart Parking Lot on Highway 80 leaving at 7:30. The bus should return by 6:45. Come join the homemakers for a fun day at the Derby Dinner Theater in Clarksville, Indiana. After a delicious buffet luncheon, the group will see the show "Elf the Musical." The cost is $79 which should be paid to Martin Tours.

Bessie Bane will be teaching a painting class on Wednesday December 11, at the Extension Office. The class begins at 10:00 o'clock and cost $20. You will complete the painting on this day.

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