Are You Ready for the 4th of July?

To get you in the proper mood for this blog, please start with this:

Now I could probably stop right here, and we’d be fine.  But there is more to this major American holiday than a rousing march.  There are fireworks (in less dry weather)!  And parades!  And picnics!

In June of 1776, the original thirteen colonies’ Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, where a document was drafted to formally sever ties with Great Britain. This document was crafted by Thomas Jefferson, the most eloquent writer on the committee charged with this task.  Eighty-six changes later, the final version of the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4.  Copies were distributed the following day and the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print this historic document in its July 6 edition.

The first public readings of the Declaration of Independence were held on July 8, 1776, in Philadelphia’s Independence Square.  Bells were rung and band music was played; the following year, bonfires and fireworks were added to the celebration.  This type of festivity grew and spread throughout our young nation, becoming more common at the end of the War of 1812 with Great Britain.

In 1870, Congress established Independence Day as a holiday, which Congress reaffirmed in 1938.

Communities large and small across the country mark this major summer holiday with parades, firework displays, picnics and the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and marches by John Philip Sousa.

One Indiana town, in particular, has a special meaning on July 4.  Patriot, Indiana – population 209 – can’t help but enjoy a day that celebrates the patriot in all of us.  Located on the Ohio River in southeastern Indiana, Patriot is also home to Dr. Elwood Mead who supervised the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930’s.  Hoover Dam impedes Lake Mead, named after him.

So now that we know why we’re celebrating, the question becomes how are you going to celebrate this great day?  Since the Fourth falls on a Wednesday this year, my family’s celebrating will a little smaller than those that fall on a weekend.  I don’t have my menu planned just yet, but it will definitely include watermelon; that’s about the only time of year my husband will eat it.  I think watermelon just fits so well into the red, white, and blue theme.  Need some ideas yourself for fun Fourth of July foods?  Abby, our dietetic intern, has a cute idea here:

How about a Patriotic Parfait?

Both of these ideas are colorful, fun, and nutritious!  And why not top off your Fourth of July meal with a cold glass of milk and some very special cookies?

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Outdoor Fun in Hoosierland

By DeDe Hausmann

It’s summertime and we all need to make the most of doing fun things outside when we’ve got warmer weather.  But do think smart—keep hydrated especially on hot, muggy days.

If you’ve got a chance to get to go boating or to a pool or lake, do it.  Think safety first:  make sure everyone knows how to swim.  And load everyone up with SUNSCREEN—in fact, for most summer outdoor activities everyone should be lathered up!

Ever tried family camping?  I could never get my husband to do this but I know many families enjoy camping, whether in a camper or tent or just “under the stars”. Google CAMPING in Indiana (or be more specific and list the counties you want to camp in) and see what interests you the most and go for it.

It’s biking and hiking time and we have loads of city, county and state parks that offer so many neat things to do.  Just make sure to be properly dressed for the activity and again, use sunscreen and keep hydrated.

To keep you cool no matter what you are doing outdoors, don’t forget to wear a hat or at least a sun visor.  Protect your head from sunburn with a head covering.  If you are hiking in the woods a hat will ensure ticks don’t gravitate to your scalp.  And if its white or light colored, the sun’s rays will be reflected off your head and you’ll feel cooler (an old Girl Scout tip!).

Enjoying a meal in the outdoors is special but please remember food safety:  KEEP HOT FOODS HOT AND COLD FOODS COLD.   Ice packs keep foods colder longer than ice.  And if you are grilling, don’t leave left-overs out. Wrap them up and get them in your cooler ASAP.

Let’s say you’ve been hiking, biking or swimming and are POOPED.  Grab an icy cold bottle of low fat or fat free CHOCOLATE MILK and know that you are replenishing your body with 9 nutrients, as in calcium, Vitamins A, D, and B12, protein, potassium, riboflavin, niacin and phosphorus.  Sports recovery beverages can’t boast that.

Enjoy summertime activities by planning ahead, prepare for all kinds of weather, stay hydrated, wear proper attire for what you plan to do (sandals or flip flops aren’t hiking or biking shoes), and have fun!

Ice Cream Flavor Fun

By Michelle Plummer

Whether you are celebrating June Dairy Month, National Ice Cream month in July or just crazy for delicious ice cream this post is just for you!  There is a little bit of everything from great ice cream shops to trivia for your friends and yes, recipes. Everyone loves ice cream from ages 2-102 there is something fun about the licking of a cone, building that perfect spoonful from a bowl or drizzling in the perfect flavoring to be churned, that makes babies squeal with excitement and elder’s hearts race just a bit faster!

Indiana Trivia:

  • Did you know Indiana ranks second in ice cream production, how fun! California, Ohio, Texas and New York round out the top five slots!
  • Local ice cream shops: Goods Candy Shop and brics
  • Sunday Drive Ice cream locations: Lick Ice Cream
  • The oldest Ice cream parlor in Indiana, since the 1900’s: Zaharakos

Flavor Fun:

  • First with simple vanilla or lemon flavorings to now flavors and ingredients such as lavender, roses, cheeses, roasted vegetables and fruits and everyone’s favorite bacon, ice cream is for every taste palate!  Some such luscious licks are:  Lavender Honey , Roasted Strawberry Balsamic, Bourbon Bacon Maple Syrup or my new favorite is Gorgonzola Walnut found at Licks –these gals are making ice cream history at farmers markets!
  • Check out Edible Communities with incredible flavor combinations such as blueberry and roasted corn! What a must try recipe!

Ice Cream making trivia:

  • Twelve gallons of milk is use to make one gallon of ice cream.
  • Vanilla is the number one selling flavor of ice cream
  • 80% of the world’s vanilla bean used for ice cream is grown in Madagascar
  • Super premium and premium ice cream represent about 64.8% of the total dollar sales of ice cream
  • Ice cream is a $20-billion retail industry
  • The biggest ice cream sundae ever made was on July 24, 1988 — it contained 20.27 tons of ice cream, 4.39 tons of syrup and 5.22 lbs of topping

IF after reading all about ice cream and you want to be better schooled, check out: Ice Cream University founded in 1995 by Malcolm Stogo. The company specializes in all things ice cream – now that is a nice summer vacation!  Enjoy!

Indiana’s 5th annual Brunch on the Farm, Saturday, June 23

Free breakfast and a behind-the-scenes look at modern dairy farming are on the menu at the American Dairy Association of Indiana’s 5th annual Brunch on the Farm, Saturday, June 23.

The event, in celebration of National Dairy Month, takes place from 9 am to 12 noon on the Willemsen Dairy Farm, 6615 W 500 N, Frankton.

Throughout the morning, representatives of the American Dairy Association and radio promotional partner WFMS will join members of the Willemsen Family for festivities – meeting and greeting guests, serving up brunch, handing out a variety of prizes, and leading farm tours for an up-close look at how delicious, nutritious dairy products are produced.

Some of the  brunch menu includes sausage egg and cheese biscuits, string cheese, yogurt, and, of course, ice cold milk.

Guests are asked to bring non-perishable food items for contribution to the Frankton Community Food Pantry.

For additional information about this June Dairy Month event, including directions to the Willemsen Dairy Farm, visit,

Let’s Party at Indiana Summer Celebrations

By DeDe Hausmann

It’s summertime and many communities throughout our great state have fun events planned. You don’t have to travel far from home to find fun things to do.

Continue reading

New Twist on Salad

By Abby Cropper

I am a Purdue University graduate and currently an IUPUI dietetic intern at the Dairy & Nutrition Council in Indianapolis.

The summer months tend to bring salads to our tables.  But, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and a slice of cucumber can get pretty boring.  It’s funny the way we associate salad with lettuce.  To some people lettuce is called salad and to others salad is just lettuce in a bowl!

So, according to the dictionary, the definition of salad is:

sal·ad/ˈsaləd: a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients Continue reading

Fire Up the Grill

By Michelle Plummer

I don’t remember a Father’s Day without two things happening.  First was my Dad cutting the yard on the riding lawnmower with my twin sisters on his knees (it has been a while) and the grill being ‘fired up’ early and going until late in the evening.  We cooked sausages, chicken, pork, veggies and even dessert!

Grilling is a passion and when done well it makes everyone anticipate with delight!  We have friends that grilling begins the day before with brine and the making of the rub and then the rubbing of the secret spice blend and then on the grill for additional mopping and WAITING and WAITING!  I realized years ago that there are so many delicious, mopped, spritzed and slathered options!  There’s roasted corn on the cob smeared with butter, rich and thick baked beans, the creamy goodness of macaroni and cheese, mounds of Cole slaw and vegetable salads with Buttermilk dressing- tables full of food fit for a king and his court!


Did you notice the common denominator in the side dishes?  Dairy and Calcium!  So really, the food that can up stage terrific BBQ is milk, cheese and yogurt!  Which begs the question is Dad getting his three servings of dairy daily?  Dads can get osteoporosis just like Mom!  Dad, good ahead enjoy grated cheese on your salad, the mac and cheese as a side dish and a glass of milk with those cookies your babes made for your special day!  The goal this day and every day is to eat well and exercise so you can enjoy all the wonderful treats you have on Father’s Day!  OHHH don’t forget the grill, the ribs are done and ready to devour!  The sides have been eaten so there is plenty of room for the ‘good stuff’.

My favorite grill sites:  Each one gives a bit of something and before long you have your own secret brine, rub, sauce!  Use the best cuts of meats available!  Use the right cut for the best outcome!  Be patient! It is so worth the wait!!!  Like my Dad—go cut the yard…

My favorite rub:  Start with the link and become creative!  To help make your rub a bit better, take the brown sugar and bake it for 20 minutes at 300 degrees, turning to dry it not burn it, then put it in a coffee grinder and whirl until finely ground—this really gets in to the bits of meat making a more intense bark!

My favorite BBQ stop in INDYBlack Diamond!  The ribs and brisket are delicious!

My favorite grilled burger: Combine sausage, ground beef, sautéed onion, Worcestershire sauce and bits of cheddar crumbled in—each bite is just perfect!

The best shellfish recipe ever!: Oysters on the grill and just when they open, remove them and fill with cubes of a compound butter using orange zest, Cointreau and butter. This is the ultimate veranda and Pinot meal!

BBQ lingo: You have to talk the talk you know!