Cranberry Harvesting

The cranberry harvest takes place once a year from mid-September through early November. There are two methods of harvesting cranberries.

Dry Harvesting

Dry harvesting uses walk-behind machines to comb the berries off the vines into burlap bags. Berries are then removed from the bogs by either bog vehicles or helicopters. The fruit is delivered to fresh fruit receiving stations where it is graded and screened based on color and ability to bounce (soft berries will not bounce). Dry harvested cranberries are used to supply the fresh fruit market. These cranberries are most often used for cooking and baking. Click here to learn more about dry harvesting.

Wet Harvesting

Cranberries have pockets of air inside the fruit. Because of this, cranberries float in water, and thus, the bogs can be flooded to aid in removal of fruit from the vines. Water reels, nicknamed “egg-beaters” are used to stir up the water in the bogs. By this action, cranberries are dislodged from the vines and float to the surface of the water. Wooden or plastic “booms” are used to round up the berries, which are then lifted by conveyor or pumped into a truck to take them to the receiving station for cleaning. More than 90% of the crop is wet harvested. Wet harvested cranberries are used for juices, sauces, sweetened dried cranberries, ingredients in other processed foods or in nutraceutical products.

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History of Chicory Coffee in New Orleans

Image from Healthline

Chicory coffee is a beverage made using the roots of the chicory plant, which are roasted, ground and brewed into a coffee-like drink. … Chicory coffee tastes similar to coffee but has a flavor that’s often described as slightly woody and nutty. It’s used either on its own or mixed with coffee to complement its flavor.

Following previous French practices, New Orleans locals turned to chicory to help satisfy their coffee cravings According to the, during the American Civil War, Louisianans looked to adding chicory root to their coffee when Union naval blockades cut off the port of New Orleans. With shipments coming to a halt, desperate New Orleanians looking for their coffee fix began mixing things with coffee to stretch out the supply. Acorns or beets (cafe de betterave) also did the trick. Though chicory alone is devoid of the alkaloid that gives you a caffeine buzz, the grounds taste similar and can be sold at a lower rate.

Because chicory is used variously, locals could drink it on its own or mix it in with their coffee as a flavor complement.

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Tips for Civil Dinner Conversation

From politics and religion to matters of race and climate change, it’s hard to have a civil conversation these day especially in our cancel culture. People struggle with agreeing to disagree.

ABC News Correspondent Dan Harris shares his tips to help us maintain our composure — and relationships — around family during the holidays.

If all else fails pull out the board games.

Strong Coffee: The Starbucks Red Eye

I never drank a cup of coffee until I was hired to work a news morning show at age 32. Delusional, I convinced myself into thinking that a strong black tea or hot chocolate might spark the needed boost for a 4 AM in prep time before the morning news. This newbie barely stayed awake while on her feet. I wanted to keep my union job so I poured my first cup of java to get the done.

For years now I’ve had this on and off again affair with coffee. I still prefer for it not to be a need. No longer working the early morning hours, I often opt for a green tea concoction as an alternative. However, given my experience I can’t negate the power of a strong cup of coffee. if you’re a student, early bird or just need a jolt, Starbucks may have an extra special coffee drink for you.

The “Red Eye” from the Starbucks Secret Menu is a regular coffee (iced or hot) with ONE shot of Espresso added. This drink is a nice way to get a little more caffeine in your cup. However, there are plenty of other drinks that have much more caffeine than this Red Eye coffee.

If you question how effective it may be, note ABC news anchor David Muir drinks it. During the 2020 election week many a news staffer worked on very little sleep and a whole lot of coffee. Muir drinks the Venti sized version of the Red Eye.

Written by Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor

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Thanksgiving Table Decor

In sunny Los Angeles where I’ve made my home 17 years, Thanksgiving can often be celebrated outdoors. For those of us transplants from colder climates, we love the weather but miss those familiar autumnal colors. Enter autumn decor. These days Thanksgiving and fall colors are growing in popularity. Set your table with colors of autumn leaves of burnt orange, red, and yellow. Incorporating gold or cream add a more refine touch.

Don’t let the view of palm tree deter you if you opt to eat outside. Opt for fresh flowers.

Burnt orange or a cream colored table cloth pair well with rust or golden charger or napkin wrings.

Pumpkin Roll Recipe

The earliest published reference for a rolled cake spread with jelly was in the Northern Farmer, a journal published in Utica, New York, in December 1852. Called “To Make Jelly Cake”, the recipe describes a modern “jelly roll” and reads: “Bake quick and while hot spread with jelly. Roll carefully, and wrap it in a cloth. When cold cut in slices for the table.”

The terminology evolved in America for many years. From 1852 to 1877 such a dessert was called: Jelly Cake (1852), Roll Jelly Cake (1860), Swiss Roll (1872), Jelly Roll (1873), and Rolled Jelly Cake (1876). The name “Jelly Roll” was eventually adopted.




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The History of Candy Corn

Although it is currently most popular in the fall, the tri-color treat, the candy corn was not always associated with the fall and Halloween season. For the first half of the 20th century, candy corn was a well known “penny candy” or bulk confectionary, and it was advertised as an affordable and popular treat that could be eaten year round.

Candy corn developed into a fall and Halloween staple around the 1950s when people began to hand out individually wrapped candy to trick-or-treaters. The harvest-themed colors and increased advertising in the month of October also helped candy corn become the fall staple that it is today.

Chicken Feed” was the original name of the candy with production starting in the late 1880s.[6] It was first invented in the 1880s by a Wunderle Candy Company employee, George Renninger.[7] Wunderle Candy Company was the first to produce the candy in 1888.[8] Following the Wunderle Candy Company, the Goelitz Confectionery Company (now called Jelly Belly) began manufacturing the product in 1898.[9] While Jelly Belly still makes candy corn, the largest manufacturer of candy corn is Brach’s Confections owned by the Ferrara Candy Company.[9] Brach’s makes approximately 7 billion pieces of candy corn per year and possesses 85 percent of the total share of the candy corn industry during the Halloween season.