Archive for the ‘Green tips’ Category


How is Honey Made in the Beehive

Honey is made and used by bees as a food source. The worker bees collect the sugar-rich nectar from flowers and transport the nectar in their honey stomachs to the hive.

Relaying it to the house bees, the bee nectar which differs in content for each species of plant, is processed by the house bees and filled into the comb cells.

Honey bees transform saccharides into honey by a process of regurgitation a number of times. The bees use their “honey stomachs” to ingest and regurgitate the nectar until it is partially digested. The bees regurgitate together as a group and digestion until the product reaches a desired quality.

It is then stored in honeycomb cells. However, the nectar is still high in both water content and natural yeasts, which, if not processed further, would cause the sugars in the nectar to ferment. The processing continues with the bees using their wings to fan the honey in the comb cells to further reduce evaporation. Once the honey reaches the correct consistency within the combs it’s sealed with a wax cap.

Composition and Properties

Honey can be from specific types of flower nectar or can be blended after collection. Most commercial honey is blended with two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density or geographic origin.

Polyfloral honey is derived from the nectar of many types of flowers, also known as widflower honey.

When nectar is collected from a single plant for processing honey this is called monofloral honey. Different monofloral honeys have a distinctive flavor and color because of differences between their principal flower nectar sources.

To produce monofloral honey, beekeepers will place beehives in areas where the bees have access to only one type of flower. In reality, because of the difficulties of containing the bees, a small proportion of any honey will be from additional nectar from other flower types. Typical examples of North American monofloral honeys are clover, orange blossom, blueberry, sage, tupelo, buckwheat, fireweed, and sourwood.

All Nectar contains a small amount of pollen which is present on the anthers of plants when forage bees collect. Pollen can be detected under a microscope and it’s possible to identify the plants family, species and genus.


Instead of taking nectar, bees can take honeydew. Honeydew is the droplets of the sweet secretions of aphids or other plant sap-sucking insects, which hang on the flower in the morning, or from other parts of the plant such as the stalk, leaf or calyx.

This form of honey contains a high concentration of dust and yeasts particles and is very dark brown in color, with a rich fragrance of stewed fruit or fig jam. Honeydew is not as sweet as nectar honeys. Often sour and cloudy this type does not keep as long.

Honey is a strong supersaturated sugar solution. Ripe honey contains approximately 80% sugars and 20% water. The sugars crystallise eventually and the product takes on more of a solid form. Mostly monosaccharides such as fructose and glucose, if these sugars contain a higher concentration of glucose in comparison to fructose, the honey will crystallise sooner.

Before harvesting, some honey crystallises in the hive, but due to high hive temperatures, it takes longer for the honey to crystallise in the hive than after harvesting.


The unprocessed honey in the comb contains small amounts of pollen, wax, propolis and possibly some bee venom.

The amount of these substances depends on how long the honey is left in the comb. If the honey comes from combs previously used for brood, it will contain propolis from the membranes of cocoons.

However, only minimal amounts of pollen are contained in honey. Other particles that the flying bees have caught while in the air and combed off with the pollen are also present in minimal amounts in the honey.

Honey contains enzymes, biologically active substances from the bees’ saliva and stomach fluid, as well as short proteins or oligopeptides. Pure honey has very little vitamins, minerals, and spore elements.

However, if there is a lot of bee bread in the comb, this honey is a combination of honey and pollen. This ‘enriched’ honey contains, with addition nutrients in the pollen, a much higher amount of vitamins, minerals and biologically active substances.

What Happens Within the Beehive

Living within colonies, Bees collect various substances in nature for their own colonies uses and to feed the colony. Some substances are used for nesting material or for protection from predators and weather.

Bees also have an impact on the natural vegetation by cross-pollinating which leads to better fructification and to seed formation by flowers that produce fruits or seeds.

Collecting raw materials by gathering substances from the vegetation, adding substances and processing them, this process allows to serve as raw materials for other bee products. With the help of the honey bees specialised organs and glands, transforms the raw materials into new, and very different products.

When referring to a beehive, we make mention of both the bees and the whole nest. Bees collect substances from the vegetation and process these in the hive.

Since bees pass the collected substances on to each other in the hive (trophallaxis), substances from the bees’ own saliva, stomach fluids and gland secretions are continually added. Bee products can be made up of hundreds of different substances, since all bee products contain small amounts of other bee products, as a result of trophallaxis.

Colony Production

Honey bees collect the flowers nectar and make honey. This is stored on the top and on the outer walls of the hive as a food supply and raw material for wax and heating. Beeswax is made in their wax glands and the energy source and raw material used to make beeswax is honey. When the bees land on various flowers of one species, cross-pollination occurs. This leads to better fructification and larger seeds and fruits.

While sucking nectar out of a flower,  pollen from the stamens sticks to the chest hairs of the bee. The bee combs this off and rolls it into pollen pellets with its hind legs. Back at the hive, pollen loads are pushed into the honeycomb cells where they are processed further and ripened into bee bread. This occurs on the inside of the comb nest.

Products of the Beehive.

The young bees use secretions from their head glands to process bee bread into bee milk and royal jelly, which form together with the eggs and pupae, the so-called brood. Located in the combs on the top and inside of the bee bread, the brood is in the middle of the colony where it replaces the bee bread formerly stored in the combs that was removed to make bee milk. The bees that emerge from the brood are workers, queens and drones (the males).

The Workers make honey from nectar, clean the cells for the brood with propolis, make bee bread from pollen, and then in turn bee milk and royal jelly from the bee bread. The house bees sweat wax and make honeycomb out of it.

After their work in the hive is done the house bees become guard bees that guard the beehive with their stingers by injecting bee venom into the skin of an intruder.

The worker bees and the queen make bee venom in their venom gland, which is then stored in the venom sac located next to the stinger.

The guard bees finally become forager bees, which collect nectar and pollen. The bees also collect waxes, gums and resins from trees and plants, which they mix into propolis by adding beeswax and saliva. Propolis plays an important role in keeping the hive warm because it is used to seal up holes in the walls of the nest. Heat is a product of the hive and the warm air released from a hive (bee odour) has therapeutic value.

Sometimes water is collected for cooling. It is stored in the bees’ honey stomach. Only bee milk and brood contain a lot of moisture.The other bee products are dry or concentrated. Bees, bee swarms, new bee colonies and new queens are also products of the beehive.


Get Started With a Weight Loss Plan

The holidays are a festive time.  “This the season to eat, drink and be merry.” But it’s also a time to reflect on personal evaluation, self improvement, and resolutions.

You may be looking to improve your health and gearing up to eat better and lose weight. Way to go!  But how do you get started and choose the best approach.

Besides feeling run down and sluggish, we all know obesity is unhealthy and there are secondary complications in individuals who are overweight. Excessive weight can increase the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer.

Many are asking “I want to lose weight but have no idea where to start. What should I do?” Read on…and I hope to answer this question.

This is a very informative article from the WebMD Feature Archive.

Getting Started With a Weight Loss Plan

Before you try to make any changes to your habits, first you need to see where you are right now. Find out what your body mass index (BMI) is. See how it compares to a healthy weight. Start keeping a record of what you eat each day and how much exercise you get.

Once you start writing it down, you may learn things you never knew about your habits. You could be drinking five pops a day and have no idea. Taking stock of where you are now gives you a sense of what needs to change.

When it comes to weight loss, it’s calories that count. Weight loss comes down to burning more calories that you take in.

Weight-loss basics

Your weight is a balancing act, and calories are part of that equation. Fad diets may promise you that counting carbs or eating a mountain of grapefruit will make the pounds drop off.

You can do that by reducing extra calories from food and beverages and increasing calories burned through physical activity. Once you understand that equation, you’re ready to set your weight-loss goals and make a plan for reaching them. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone.

Read this article….Weight Loss: The No-Diet Approach, by Melissa Conrad Stöppler. Melissa is an MD, who is a U.S. board-certified anatomic pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of experimental and molecular pathology.

Introduction to weight loss

Remembering the following simple guidelines and putting them into practice can lead to weight loss without the aid of any special diet plans, books, or medications. Our body weight is determined by the amount of energy that we take in as food and the amount of energy we expend in the activities of our day.

Energy is measured in calories. If your weight remains constant, you are probably taking in the same amount of calories that you burn each day. If you’re slowly gaining weight over time, it is likely that your caloric intake is greater than the number of calories you burn through your daily activities.

With the New Year right around the corner it is time to stop feeling overwhelmed by the thought of losing weight and embrace the  fact that you will be healthier,  so… enjoy the process.


Chronic Bronchitis And Smoking

What is Chronic Bronchitis?

Chronic bronchitis is a lung infection that persists over the course of several years and it is contagious for patients. Additionally, this is a chronic inflammatory condition in the lungs that causes the airways leading to the lungs (respiratory passages) to be irritated and swollen. This causes thick mucus to form, which damages the lungs. Additionally, Chronic Bronchitis is one type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

The Main Cause of Chronic Bronchitis is smoking 

About  90% of the over seven (7.5)  million person living the the United States, who have chronic bronchitis have been cigarette smokers. Smoking causes most cases of chronic bronchitis, however not everyone  who smoke get chronic bronchitis, so there must be other factors at work. A few Medical professionals stated that “There is probably a genetic component that puts someone at greater risk for chronic bronchitis if they smoke”. We all know that smoking is dangerous however, if you have a family history of chronic bronchitis,smoking is extremely dangerous.

Quit Smoking

The longer you smoke:

  • The chances of your lungs recovery reduces
  •  you are reducing your life expectancy
  • The chances of bronchitis being treated reduces
  • The greater the risk for emphysema, heart disease, and lung cancer

Is Bronchitis Contagious –


Nicotine Addiction

  • Tobacco industry studies in 1964 concluded nicotine was an addictive drug. During the 30 years the tobacco industry withheld this information about the addictiveness of nicotine, 9 million Americans died.
    Source: Joseph Califano, former secretary of health, education and welfare, Carter administration, and White House staff member during the Johnson Administration; Source: “If Only We’d Known,” Washington Post, May 29.
  • If the U.S. government had such information in 1965 they would have put much stronger warning labels on cigarettes during Lyndon Johnson’s administration. If Carter administration had that proof in 1979, the 1979 Surgeon General’s report would have found cigarettes addictive, and the government would have pushed for regulation.
    Source: Joseph Califano, former secretary of health, education and welfare, Carter administration, and White House staff member during the Johnson Administration; Source: “If Only We’d Known,” Washington Post, May 29.)
  • Ninety-one percent of those polled say cigarettes are addictive – including 87 percent of former smokers, 91 percent of current smokers, and 93 percent of people who never smoked.
    (New York Times/CBS News poll, May 1994, and ‘Nicotine Poisoning: Risks, Symptoms, Treatment‘)
  • Forty-three percent of those polled thought the tobacco companies deliberately make cigarettes addictive — including 36 percent of current smokers, 41 percent of former smokers and 48 percent of those who never smoked.
    (New York Times/CBS News poll, May 1994)
  • A poll conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation found that 83 percent of non-smokers and 79 percent of smokers believe nicotine is addictive.
    USA TODAY, Aug. 3, 1994
  • Of those who smoke, 70 percent expressed an interest in quitting. Another 28 percent said they had no desire to give up smoking. Forty-eight percent said they want to quit and have tried to do so but failed, and 22 percent want to quit but have not tried.
    (Source: USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll, March 1994)
  • Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has accused Philip Morris of suppressing a 1983 study that proved rats could become addicted to tobacco. Philip Morris forced company researcher Victor DeNoble to withdraw his report after it had been accepted for publication in the journal Psychopharmacology, Waxman claims. DeNoble left Philip Morris in 1984 and re- submitted the article in 1986, and withdrew it again after receiving legal threats from Philip Morris.His conclusions have since been confirmed by others and used as the basis for the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on the addictive quality of tobacco products.
    The study is called “Nicotine as a Positive Reinforcer for Rats: Effects of Infusion Dose and Fixed Ratio Size,” by Victor J. DeNoble, Paul C. Melc, and Francis J. Ryan; Philip Morris Research Center, Richmond, Va.
    (New York Times, et. al., April 1)
    Most people start smoking by age 15 and are hooked at age 18, said Michael Eriksen, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. CDC researchers interviewed 2,975 current and former smokers between the ages of 10 and 22 and found that a large majority showed signs of nicotine addiction. Some of the study’s findings include:

    • About 73 percent of those who smoked 6 or more cigarettes a day said it was “really hard to quit,” and 72 percent said that they smoked or used tobacco because it calmed and relaxed them.
    • Ninety-three percent of daily smokers reported feeling the withdrawal symptoms of irritability, restlessness and hunger
    • Forty-two percent of people who smoke as few as 3 cigarettes go on to become regular smokers.
    • Seventy percent of teenagers who smoke regret that they ever started, 64 percent had tried to quit, and 49 percent had tried to quit within the last six months.
    • Sixty-three percent of teenagers who smoke consider themselves to be “addicted.”

    The study did not take social and psychological influences, such as peer pressure, into account.
    “Reasons for Tobacco Use and Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal Among Adolescent and Young Adult Tobacco Users,” MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT, Oct. 21, 1994.

  • United States Tobacco Co. – the manufacturer of Skoal and Copenhagen – manipulates the amount of nicotine people absorb while using their products by adding chemicals that boost the alkalinity of smokeless tobacco, two former USTC chemists say. The more alkaline the snuff, the more nicotine is released. Two soon-to-be-released government studies corroborate their story.
    (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 26, 1994)
    Research studying nicotine’s effect on the brain may help explain why small amounts of nicotine create alertness and why nicotine is addictive. Results from New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center suggest that nicotine stimulates the release of the brain’s neurotransmitters, chemicals which carry messages from one nerve ending to another. An increase in neurotransmitters creates a heightened alertness and aids short-term memory.
    Lorna Role, one of the study’s principle investigators, offered an analogy to explain the effect of nicotine on the brain’s function: “It’s exactly like turning up the volume on a radio.”
    While scientists have studied nicotine’s effect on the body for years, these new findings explain nicotine’s effects at the cellular and molecular level.
    One of the study’s researchers, Daniel McGehee, suggested that with a better understanding of nicotine, it may be possible to develop drugs to counter its addictive effects.
    Victor DeNoble, a former Philip Morris tobacco researcher, notes that the study’s findings may remind people that nicotine is a drug. “It’s just like putting a needle in your arm and pushing something in,” he said.
    The study’s findings on nicotine could affect civil suits against tobacco companies and regulatory proposals by the Food and Drug Administration, both of which assert that nicotine is addictive.
    Sources: John Schwartz, “Study Says Nicotine Acts on Nerve Cells,” WASHINGTON POST, September 22, 1995, p. A5; Doug Levy, “Nicotine’s Power on Brain Tied to Smoker’s Alertness,” USA TODAY, September 22, 1995, p. A1; Jerry Bishop, “Nicotine’s Effect on Brain Cells Explained in Study,” WALL STREET JOURNAL, September 22, 1995, p. B3.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will released a MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT which contains articles pertaining to women and cardiovascular health. Featured articles include, “Indicators of Nicotine Addiction Among Women — United States, 1991-1992,” and “Smokeless Tobacco Use Among American Indian Women — Southeastern North Carolina.”
    The first study found that 80 percent of both younger and older female smokers report at least one indicator of nicotine addiction. The study also found:

    • Eighty-one percent of young female smokers and 79
      percent of female smokers 25 years of age and older report at least one indicator of nicotine addiction.
    • Sixty-three percent of young females who smoked as few
      as six cigarettes a day report at least one indicator
      of addiction.
    • Young female smokers are more likely to report needing
      more cigarettes to achieve the same effect than older
      female smokers.



Benefits of Almonds Soaked in Water

Discover the health benefits of almonds soaked in water.

Almonds are considered by nutritionists to be one of the healthiest and most nutritious type of nut. They are rich in protein, fiber, omega fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. The one thing about eating raw almonds is that they are difficult to digest because of an enzyme inhibiting substance in their brown coating. These enzyme inhibitors are there to protect the nut until it is ready to grow into a plant. The benefits of almonds, for humans, are less prevalent because of the difficulty in digestion and loss of nutritional value. So what we can do it ultimately release the powerhouse of nutrients in almonds?

Soaking eliminates the problem.

The first key to maintaining the most nutritional benefits is only using almonds that are raw. Pasteurized or roasted almonds have already lost the beneficial enzymes found in the health benefits of almonds.

Benefits of almonds soaked in water: Better digestibility

Soaking almonds removes the enzyme inhibitors and results in easier digestion. This releases all of the nutritional benefits of almonds and makes the nuts softer and easier to chew. Physic acid, which inhibits the absorption of vital minerals, is also reduced.

Almonds also work well as a brain tonic. Eating 4-6 soaked almonds every morning nourishment to the body and enhance memory.

How to Soak Almonds in Water

Here is the easy procedure to soaking them in water and receiving more benefits.
Rinse the required amount of almonds in clean water
Place the almonds in a bowl and make sure that water covers all of the almonds.
Cover the bowl with a cloth or towel
Continue soaking the almonds for 8-12 hours at room temperature
Drain the water and rinse the nuts thoroughly

If you have the time to soak almonds before eating them, it is worth the effort. Remember the benefits of almonds soaked in water to obtain the full effect they have on your health.

Get your day off to a good start and snack on a few almonds soaked in water.

Another article you will be interested in: almond milk benefits


Green tip

Autumn is here!

The summer has come to an end and the colorful season of Fall has officially arrived. Fall is filled with fun celebrations and activities. Apple trees are ready to be picked, pumpkins are ripe for carving and trick-or-treating is right around the corner! Here are some fun fall green activities that you and your family can take part in:



Autumn Gardening

Autumn is a great time to rejuvenate a garden for the new season and for next spring. Collect the seed heads from plants in your gardens, and save the seeds for planting or swapping in spring.

This is also a good time to plant trees, fruit bushes and other hardy shrubs. It allows the new plants time to settle in. Roots continue to grow during the winter when the ground is not frozen. The roots are established during the next couple months and are ready to burst into life in the spring.



Backyard composting
Gather fallen leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps and shredded prunings, and layer them in a compost bin. Turn periodically to allow air circulation and decompose the organic matter quickly. Don‘t overload your compost with one particular ingredient – maintain a mix. You get great soil for gardening, and you can compost all winter long even in cold climates.



Visit to a Farmer’s Market
Autumn is the season of harvest. Enjoy the abundance of locally produced fruits and veggies that nature yields at this time. Take a trip to a farmer’s market and indulge in some fresh apples, berries and pumpkins. Or take the family to a local farm for a fun-filled day of apple-picking.



Hallow’s Eve
With Halloween around the corner, dressing up is on everyone’s minds. Costumes (for Halloween or any day) can easily be made out of old clothes at home, instead of buying a disposable one from a store. Stay tuned for some more Halloween tips and tricks, including costume ideas!

Get out this Fall and enjoy the cool weather!

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Green Tip

Fall harvest is the perfect time to start enjoying locally grown and harvested foods and stocking up for the winter ahead. Eating local foods that are grown in your own community not only helps your local economy and your neighbors, it also helps the environment and is generally better for you. Buying foods out of season or that aren’t found close to you means a lot of time and energy spent in shipping them from where they are grown to your grocery store and that often means they need to be loaded with preservatives so that they can last the long journey from the farm to your dinner table. Luckily there are a lot of great sources of local foods that you can take advantage of and skip all the extra stuff.

A local farmers market is usually the best place to find locally grown foods, but around this time of year even major grocery stores often stock a lot of local produce, meats, and cheeses and often at great prices. The problem is there is usually only a small window of time that you can stock up on local foods and you need to enjoy it before it goes bad. Spend a day or two cooking, and baking all that great local food and keep it in the freezer to be enjoyed later on. Instead of buying frozen meals to take to work I usually make a large batch of casserole or soup, portion it into single meals and put it in the freezer for my own frozen dinners that taste much better than the pre-portioned tv dinners you’ll find in the grocery store. You can also get all of your holiday baking done ahead of time so you can relax around the holidays a little more.

If you can’t find a farmers market or a grocery store that offers local you could always go right to the source. Contact a local greenhouse or farm and see what kind of deals you can get. A lot of places even let you come and pick your own which could be turned into a fun and educational family fall outing. The key again is making sure you don’t purchase more than you can either use right away or freeze until you need them. Most fruits and vegetables freeze better when they are already prepared into a meal or dessert.

There are some great resources for locally grown food that you can pick or purchase at the following websites;,, as well as amazing tips on how to prepare, freeze, and can your own foods to make them last longer. There’s a reason squirrels are busy stocking up on food for the winter right now and that’s because this is the best time of year for gathering fresh, delicious, and home grown food.

Adapted from


Green Tip

Carving a Pumpkin this Year?

Don’t throw any of it away  . . . saving money and the environment!

Here’s what you do can with all of your pumpkin!


Toasted pumpkin seeds are a healthy snack filled with zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and protein. They’re also great in salads, muffins, bread, and in other recipes as a nut substitute.

Remove the seeds, rinse them in water to get rid of the stringy inner membrane, and dry them out a little on a towel. Flavor with coarse salt for a traditional taste, or let your imagination and spice rack run wild. Some options for flavoring designer seeds include: pumpkin pie spice; Cajun seasonings; ginger powder; garlic salt; curry powder; Tabasco; cinnamon; vinegar and salt. Once seasoned, bake the seeds on a lightly oiled cookie sheet (single layer thick) in a 250-degree oven for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Or, my preferred method is to cook them in a spray-oiled skillet over medium heat on the stove top, stirring and shaking (the skillet, not your booty) constantly. On the stove top, they’ll be toasted nicely brown in only about five minutes. Store in air-tight containers.

The Meat of the Matter

The thick, bright orange pulp lining the inside of the pumpkin is the real meat of the matter when it comes to making pies, cakes, bread, soups and most other pumpkin delicacies. Using a large spoon or other sharp-edged instrument, scrape and scoop the pulp from inside the pumpkin, working it down about an inch or so, to the whitish-colored layer beneath the skin. This will leave you with the outer shell to carve as a jack-o’-lantern. If you’re not going to get double duty out of your pumpkin as a lantern, then it’s easier to slice it as you would a melon and use a knife to peel away the outer skin and white layer.

Once you’ve extracted the pulp, steam it over a pot of water until it’s tender (about 30 minutes or more). Run it through a food processor to puree or mash by hand (add a dash of lemon juice to prevent freezer burn), and freeze it in plastic bags or containers to use later in your favorite recipes. You can also eat the cooked pulp just like squash, but it’s even better than squash. Here are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes:

Pumpkin Cider Bisque:
Make a cream soup by melting two tablespoons butter and mixing in 2 tablespoon flour, and then slowly stir in 2 cups of whole milk. Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened. Add one cup pumpkin puree (see above), and heat through. Slowly add 2 cups cider. Correct seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream, or cold with apple slices to garnish. (4 servings / approx. cost per serving = 30 cents)

Pumpkin Milk Shake:
Try this one as soon as the pulp cools. In a blender, mix 1 cup vanilla ice cream, 1/4 cup milk, 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree, and a dash of any or all of the following: pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, nutmeg, rum extract. (1 serving / approx. cost per serving =35 cents)

Jack-o-Lantern Casserole:
The Green Cheapskate’s salute to cosmetic surgery — truly tongue AND cheek, but pretty tasty. Save the cut-out nose, mouth, eyes, etc. from your jack-o’-lantern carving to decorate this face-shaped casserole. Fry one pound of sausage and one cup of chopped onion on the stovetop until brown. Add two cups of cubed, raw pumpkin pulp (you can get about that much by cutting the pulp off from the bottom of your jack-o’-lantern lid). Cook it for about 5 minutes, until the pumpkin starts to soften.

Stir in one can of condensed Cheddar cheese soup and 1/4 cup milk, and remove from heat. Grease a round or oval casserole baking dish (about face size). In the empty dish, mix two cups Bisquick mix with 3/4 cup water, spreading the dough evenly on the bottom of the dish. Pour meat mixture on top of dough. Sprinkle one cup shredded Cheddar cheese on top of casserole. Spray “face parts” lightly with spray oil, and arrange on top of casserole. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until face parts are lightly brown and the dough has cooked through. (6 servings / approx. cost per serving = 60 cents)

Truly Smashing Pickled Pumpkin Rinds:
If your lantern survives the night of hell-raising by neighborhood teens and shows no signs of worrisome rot, inordinate candle scorching, or excessive wax buildup, real cheapskates separate themselves from the rest by pickling the rind of their jack-o’-lanterns the day after Halloween. I’m told by Miser Adviser Doris Sharp that this dish is particularly popular in Northern Germany. Here’s how:

Peel off the outer skin and cut the white-colored rind (about 1 inch thick) into two inch squares. For each pound of pumpkin, use 3/4 lb sugar, 2 cups vinegar and a piece of fresh ginger. Use a stick of cinnamon for the whole batch of several pounds. Put pumpkin in vinegar and let it soak overnight. Remove the pumpkin from vinegar (discard*) and let it dry on a towel. Bring fresh vinegar to a boil with sugar, ginger and a stick of cinnamon. Add pumpkin and simmer until pieces are translucent and golden yellow, about 3 hours on low heat. Never stir with a spoon; just shake the pot occasionally so the pumpkin doesn’t fall apart. Can and seal, or store in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.

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