Fresh Start, New Direction

Our website image I’ve been posting to this blog for over five years and each entry has been written with great thought and consideration.  However, after several years of sharing, I think it’s time to try a new format.  Beginning tomorrow, I hope to make this blog a kind of news broadcast for the busy FACS professional who’s looking for information, ideas and resources to freshen up and revitalize their existing FACS program.  Here’s a sampling of the kind of information you can expect to find in upcoming posts:

  • Links to useful and cutting edge websites
  • Quick historical FACS facts.
  • FACS Word of the Day
  • Tables, charts and other quick references
  • FACS applicable apps
  • Quick quizzes
  • Quick-to-prepare recipes
  • Useful health and nutrition tips
  • FACS in the news mentions
  • Lesson suggestions
  • Holiday and special occasion ideas for your FACS classes

I am committed to making each post quick to read, useful and specifically geared to the needs and interests of FACS teachers.  I hope you’ll follow along as we chart a new direction together.

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The FACS—Earth Day Connection

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Happy Earth Day, everyone!  I hope you’re discussing some of the FACS of living green in your classes today.  It would be impossible for me to let Earth Day come and go without reminding anyone who reads this blog post about the positive environmental impact made by FACS Founder Ellen S. Richards.  Here’s a link to one of my favorite articles about Ellen and ecology.  I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it and then share what you’ve learned about Ellen and her work. 

I have been an avid recycler for years, but some of this recycling information from the April 20 issue of Parade Magazine was new to me so I thought I’d share it with all of you.   Guess this is an example of recycling, too, right?

  • CFL light bulbs can be recycled for free at IKEA and Home Depot stores.
  • Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs accept old video games for store credit.
  • Participating Nike stores will accept old sneakers for recycling into building materials.
  • This one totally surprised me!! The charity Matter of Trust is actively soliciting clean pet hair to be used to soak up oil spills. 
  • Your old greeting cards at can be sent to St. Jude’s Ranch where they will be recycled into new cards that they sell to raise money.

You’ll find some interesting statistics about recycling from the MIT website, Ellen Swallow Richards’ alma mater.  Appropriate, don’t you think?

Happy Earth Day!

Looking for more ideas for bringing ecology into your FACS classroom?  Check out one of our classic resources, Home Ecology, The FACS of Living Green on our website.

Q & A With Kathryn Williams (Part 2)

Recently Fresh FACS Sophie posed a series of questions to Kathryn Williams, author of Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous on behalf of teen chefs everywhere.  Ms. Williams has been kind enough to answer those questions.  Here’s the first installment of her answers.

Sophie Q 6

A: Not a specific chef but, again, a specific imagining of a general type. Celebrity chefs are huge these days. They have business empires, which leaves them very little time to actually be in the kitchen. I wanted readers, like Sophie, to be lured in by Tommy but ultimately suspect of him. Tommy’s not necessarily a bad guy; he’s just out for Numero Uno.

Sophie Q 7

A: I love just about every kind of food. Recently I’ve started cooking Indian at home. Before, I was very intimidated by all the spices and foreign ingredients, but I found a fantastic little cookbook that demystifies it. My fiancé is also teaching me his grandmother’s Italian recipes. When eating out, we have a local Japanese ramen place that we love.

Sophie Q 8

A: I wish I was a good baker, but like Sophie, I’m just too impatient. When cooking, I never measure, I always eyeball, which is anathema to bakers. I’ll eat whatever you bake me, though!

Sophie Q 9

A: I have not, but I would definitely do it if someone let me! As I was writing the scene, I kept thinking of that classic I Love Lucy grape stomping scene. Also that almost-as-famous YouTube video of the TV reporter falling out of the vat of grapes.

Sophie Q 10

A: Improvisational, probably. I see recipes as jumping off points. I love looking in my fridge and pantry to see what I have and then going from there. Like Mary, I want my ingredients to be fresh and flavorful enough to speak for themselves. Also eclectic. I’ll cook Indian saag paneer one night, roast a chicken French-style the next night, and then make Southern shrimp and grits. (Leftovers for lunch.) Then I’ll probably go out to eat the next night, because chefs need a night off too!

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Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous is the foundation for our resource Four-Course FACS, A Fictional Culinary Adventure.  Check it out on the Fresh FACS website.

Learn more about Kathryn Williams.

A PDF of this Q & A for classroom use is available for free download on our website.

Happy Easter!

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