Deadline for tomato recipes set Sept. 14

I am getting a number of questions about the tomato recipes. A ny of your favorite recipes that contain tomatoes or tomato products is considered a tomato recipe. Please keep the recipes coming until Sept. 14.

The tomato recipes are in celebration of the 100 Years of 4-H History. A recipe booklet will be prepared and be available during the National 4-H Celebration of Tomato Clubs in Texas on Oct. 9th in Cameron. Send your recipes labeled with your name to the Milam County Extension Office at 100 E. 1st Street, Cameron, Texas 76520 or email with the subject line Tomato Recipe.

Look through your recipe boxes and submit your recipes. Be a part of the 100 Year Celebration of Girls Tomato Clubs in Texas.

GRILLING, FOOD SAFETY— Over the Labor Day holidays, many of you will be grilling. Years ago, grilling was just a holiday meal, but today it is a year-round way of meal preparation. We grill outdoors and indoors on a variety of equipment, but food safety must be a major concern to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing food-borne illness.

If you use frozen meats for grilling, completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling. Thawed meats will cook more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. For quicker thawing, you can defrost in the microwave if the food will be placed immediately on the grill. Don’t thaw meat at room temperature.

A marinade is a savory, acidic sauce in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to two days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to five days. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it.

However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.

Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.

When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler to prevent cross-contamination.

Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent food-borne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.

Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.

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