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A Favorite Mexican Soup

From the kitchen of Katherine J. T. Humphrey

At All Western Evergreen Nursery & Christmas Tree Farm
1968 to the present
Springwater, NY

8-12 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time:  10 to 20 minutes

2 (15 ½ oz.) cans Red Kidney Beans (any kind of Beans you have on hand), undrained (no salt added preferred)
1 (8 oz.) can Tomato Sauce (no salt added preferred)
1 jar (16 ounces) thick and chunky Original Salsa, medium or hot
1 can (14 ½ oz.) whole kernel Corn or Hominy, undrained or 1 ½ cups cooked brown or white Rice or Barley (can be cooked and frozen ahead in 1 ½ cup portions)
2 cups diced cooked Meat (cooked and frozen ahead in 1 or 2 cup portions) – Chicken or Turkey or ground Beef or ground Turkey or fresh or frozen Tilapia fillets or cubed Ham (optional)
1 to 2 cups Chicken Broth (home-made or 14 ½ oz. can) or Water
1 large diced or sliced Zucchini or 2 grated or sliced Carrots or 8 oz. package fresh or frozen chopped Spinach, or any favorite Vegetable
8-12 Corn Tortillas, broken up into bite-size pieces
Garnish with grated Cheese (optional) (vary the kinds of cheese) or with diced fresh Avocadoes and/or baked Corn Chips (make your own by slicing Tortillas into strips and baking until crisp in a warm oven)

Put desired ingredients into a large microwave safe casserole, cover and heat to boiling or until the vegetables are cooked, 10 to 20 minutes in the microwave on High power, stirring half way through.  You can also put all the ingredients you desire in a Dutch oven or large sauce pot and heat to boiling and simmer until done on top the range.  Keep warm until ready to serve or serve immediately.  Garnish if desired. Refrigerate any leftovers promptly.  This soup freezes well.  Use within 3 months for best quality.

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Recreating Responsibly During the Covid-19 Outbreak

State Parks encourages New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice social distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, ride a bicycle, or visit a park or state lands is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with your immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety while practicing physical distancing.

If you need a nature break and plan to visit State Parks, State Lands, and other parks we ask that all visitors:

  • Stay local and keep visits short;
  • Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;
  • Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks;
  • Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer;
  • Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces;
  • Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees;
  • If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and
  • If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.
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New WordPress Editor

Yesterday I received word that the Springwater Trails website has been upgraded to WordPress version 5.0.

The major change in this version is a new editor. When you create or edit a Post you will be using the new editor.  This occurs if you want to write about a hike we have taken – for example, if you lead a hike and would like to describe how it went and include some pictures.

Here are some of the changes to the editor. 

Melissa and Donna go over the edge
  • The editor seems much cleaner. In other words, things you are used to seeing around the editor box on your screen have moved and you will need to hunt for them.  So far, I haven’t noticed anything missing, but you will need to look.
    • Specifically the right side shows Document and Block tabs.  The default is Block, which contains settings for the current block – often a block is just a paragraph, but more later.
    • Most of the old settings are under the Document Tab.
    • Above the editor region is a short menu on the left and a “Publish” menu on the right.  If you want to save your Post to come back to later, you can “Save Draft”.  That way, only you can see it when you go to the Dashboard and click on Posts->All Posts. If you “Publish” then it becomes available to the public on the website, although you can still come back and edit it.  
    • We rarely change the date that a post is published. If you want to do that, the publish date is on the Document tab.
  • The editor uses blocks. Generally, when you press the Enter key at the end of a Paragraph, the editor will create a new block for you.  The idea is you then can easily move your blocks around, without concern about what is inside them.  Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to move blocks except by switching to the Code Editor and cutting and pasting the block.

More info later, as I learn.

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Annual All Western Mushroom Foray

On Sunday (9/16/2018), we enjoyed the fifth Mushroom hike on the All Western Evergreen Nursery & Christmas Tree Farm on Liberty Pole Road.  Thanks to Tony for the pictures. 

Twenty-four people enjoyed collecting mushrooms.  Even though the weather was warm and sunny, we were surprised at the number of mushrooms found. The Tree Farm has many trees that are native to the western US, so we are always on the lookout for unusual mushrooms. 

I was able to give a tour on the Utility vehicle to those that needed a ride.  Participants were issued paper bags for collections and Georgia helped identifying the found mushrooms. 

At the social afterwards we all had a wonderful spread of pot luck food.  Linda made a mushroom cake that went over extremely well.