1. Call down the monkeys for breakfast

    Every December I try to bake a couple of times with my oldest son, it's our special thing. He is 14 so I welcome any time he wants to hang out together. Getting some hands-on time in the kitchen has even more benefits this year since we are distance learning and our kitchen IS school.

    My grandparents Rae, Joe, Barbara & Jim would be so proud as each of them taught me how to cook. Grandpa Joe taught me how to cut and prep veggies before Grandma Rae would use them in her dishes. Grandpa Jim taught me how to use those same knife skills to make beef jerky.

    Here is one of our favorite recipes that we talked about in the December 3 newsletter. This can be made the night before. The beautiful smell, while it bakes, has been known to bring the sleeping monkeys downstairs better than any other method on a cold winter morning.

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  2. How to quickly and easily peel farm-fresh hard boiled eggs

    'Tis the season for parties and table treats. Right around the corner is the season of regretting all the over-indulgence. You want to show off your cooking skills and not add to the calorie guilt. All the cooking shows you have been binging praise the "farm fresh egg" as the key to top-notch dishes - it turns out they are also nutrient-dense and low in calories!

    If you keep chickens or buy eggs direct from a farmer you are working with fresh eggs. Many folks shy away from making deviled eggs, which are a party favorite because hard boiling eggs have frustrated many chefs.

    Blame the membrane - it's egg-citing science!
    Farm-fresh eggs have multiple membranes. In a fresh-laid egg the pH of the egg white is low and causes it to stick to the egg shell membrane tightly. As an egg ages those membranes break down - and thus their shells come off easily. Who knows how long you have to wait to have the membrane break down. Dozens of methods are out there

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