TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 Foods That Taste Better Now Than They Will All Year

Here's what should be on your grocery list this month

Want to know what’s growing now? Let’s take it one month at a time, with TIME‘s Foods That Taste Better Now Than They Will All Year.

August is one of the best months for produce, according to Chris Romano, an associate produce coordinator at Whole Foods. “In summer there are a lot of good choices out there,” he says. Based on where you live in the U.S., your produce offerings can vary, but in August there are several fruits and veggies that are in-season and tasty nationwide.

Pluots: Summer is the season for stone fruit like plums, peaches cherries and pluots—which look like deep red or nearly forest green plums—are especially flavorful this month. “August is by far their peak,” says Romano. “They really sharpen in flavor and are very dramatic in color.”

Tomatoes: These need long, hot days to really develop in flavor, Romano says. “Heirlooms have gotten so popular in the last few years,” he says. To find the perfect tomato, our friends at Cooking Light recommend looking for one with bright, shiny, firm skin that has a little give when gently squeezed.

Grapes: Grapes need a many hours of sun and heat to develop their flavors, and they concentrate all their sugars in August, says Romano. “We will see all sorts of varieties from champagne to cotton-candy grapes.” A good way to select grapes is to pay attention to the color of the stem. If the stems are brittle it means they likely won’t last very long once you bring them home. Grapes with a flexible green stem are a good bet.

Melons: Though you can get a decent melon in the fall or even winter, summer is really their peak. “Whether it’s a melon with a white, deep orange, or a salmon flesh, there’s nothing better,” says Romano. To pick a good melon, look for symmetry, a heavy weight, and no bruising.

Okra: August is a good month to keep an eye out for okra. Look for small green pods and steer clear of bruising. In the United States, okra has become a Southern cuisine staple, but people living in other U.S. regions can enjoy it too. When okra is overcooked it can have a slimy texture, so be sure to look up a couple recipes before diving in.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

The Science of Why You Crave Comfort Food

200418751-002
Getty Images

It's not just because these foods are tasty. It's because they make us feel less alone

In mid-July, I was visiting my hometown in Minnesota when I happened upon the unmistakable scent of something deep-fried. I was at a concert, and no matter how off-brand a dietary choice of corn dogs and cheese curds may be for a health writer, I went for it. How could I not? I spent two thoroughly enjoyable summers during college working at the Minnesota State Fair, and that experience continues to make corn-and-grease-dipped hot dogs not only appetizing but somehow irresistible, too.

Summer is the season for nostalgic eating: Hot days in the park call for a trip to the ice cream truck, concerts call for corn dogs, baseball games call for hotdogs and beer, ice-cold movie theaters call for popcorn. And it’s not just me. Researchers suggest that when we associate foods with happy memories, the effects are profound, impacting how good we think foods taste as well as how good those foods make us feel.

It makes intuitive sense that positive experiences with a given food could influence our craving for it later on, but recent research also suggests something else is at play, too: comfort foods remind us of our social ties, which means they may help us feel less lonesome when we feel isolated. In a recent July 2015 study, Jordan Troisi, an assistant professor of psychology at Sewanee, The University of The South, and his colleagues found that people with strong relationships preferred the taste of comfort food when they experienced feelings of social isolation.

“Comfort food seems to be something people associate very significantly with close relationships,” says Troisi. “This probably comes about by individuals coming to associate a particular food item with members of their family, social gatherings, and people taking care of them, which is why we see a lot of comfort foods [that are] traditional meals or things had at a party.”

Of course, what counts as comfort food is different person to person. When Troisi has asked people write about an experience they’ve had with a comfort food, essays have ranged from soup to kimchi. “It’s not just that ice cream, for instance, is really tasty. It’s that someone has developed a really significant meaning behind the idea of ice cream due to their relationships with others, and that’s what is triggering this effect,” he says.

Even the smell of a meaningful dish can elicit feelings of belonging, some research suggests. In a February 2015 study, Virginia Commonwealth University researcher Chelsea Reid and her colleagues had 160 people smell 12 different scents, including apple pie, cotton candy and baby powder and rate the extent to which the scent was familiar, arousing, autobiographically relevant, and the extent to which it elicited nostalgia. “Nostalgia can be evoked in different ways, but scents may be particularly likely to evoke nostalgia due to the strong link between scents and memory. The smell of pumpkin pie might bring all those holidays with family flooding back, or the smell of a familiar perfume might arouse memories with your partner,” says Reid.

Biologically speaking, scent and memory are closely tied. “Psychological research has demonstrated that smells are powerfully linked to memory, and to autobiographical memory in particular,” says Reid. “The olfactory bulb, which is involved in the sense of smell, is linked to areas in the brain associated with memory and emotional experiences.”

Humans have a fundamental need to belong, says Reid, and because nostalgia often centers around personal events involving people they care about, she sees the evocation of nostalgia as one way people can obtain a sense of belonging even when the people they are close to are not close by.

So while corn dogs in the summer may not be fine dining by any standard, for me, they trigger happy memories of summers long ago—and that’s a good thing. In moderation, of course.

TIME public health

Kroger Recalls Spices Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

Grocery stores in 31 states are affected

National supermarket chain Kroger Co. is recalling four of its house line of spices, which could be contaminated with salmonella.

The recall includes Kroger Ground Cinnamon, Kroger Garlic Powder, Kroger Coarse Ground Black Pepper and Kroger Bac’n Buds.

The FDA found traces of salmonella in spices at a store in North Augusta, S. Carolina. The recall affects not only stores in South Carolina but also locations in 31 states under other Kroger franchises, such as Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less and Foods Co., among others. A full list of store locations can be found here.

There have been no reports of illness related to the spices, according to the FDA.

TIME senior citizens

Seniors Could Soon Use Food Stamps for Grocery Delivery

About 9.3 million seniors lack reliable access to nutritious food

Senior citizens could start using food stamps to pay for groceries to be delivered to their homes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently proposed allowing homebound seniors and disabled persons touse benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to cover the cost of food delivery from government and non-profit agencies. The Department is currently seeking 20 programs to host the one-year pilot program.

In a conversation with TIME, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the programs could help more seniors live as independently as his wife’s aunt. He recalled that the 93-year-old did not like the idea of living in a nursing home, but wasn’t able to go to the grocery store on her own because of a broken hip.

“Having services delivered to her enabled her to stay in that home with greater dignity for a longer period of time,” says Vilsack. “I’m sure that there are a lot of Aunt Jessie’s out there that will benefit from this program for a multitude of reasons.”

Seniors have long been able to use services such as Meals on Wheels to have food delivered to their homes, paid on a sliding scale based on their income. But allowing food stamps to be used would open up the program to a lot more seniors. Some experts think it might encourage more seniors to sign up for food stamps as well.

About 9.3 million American seniors are “food insecure,” meaning they don’t have consistent access to nutritious, affordable food, but only about four million of those seniors are on food stamps.

Still, getting seniors enrolled in SNAP can be a challenge. The application process can be cumbersome and many seniors think the benefits aren’t worth the effort—in 2013, the average elderly SNAP recipient received $113 a month in benefits. Katie Jantzi, program manager of the Central Virginia hunger-relief organization FeedMore, says elderly clients—who are already able to use their SNAP benefits to pay for meals if they choose to and fill out the paperwork—face particular challenges when it comes to enrolling in the program.

As an example, she cited an isolated, elderly man living on a fixed income in a rural area with shaky vision and hearing who’s easily confused would likely benefit from having the extra resources that SNAP provides, but getting him through the application process would be difficult.

“He can’t hear on the phone to answer questions, can’t see the application and he can’t drive to the local services department to fill it out in person,” Jantzi explains.

And some seniors are simply too proud to take what they consider to be a government handout, says National Foundation to End Senior Hunger president Enid Borden.

“This is a generation that says, ‘I don’t want a handout,’” says Borden, who is supportive of the USDA’s new plan. “They don’t understand it’s not a handout, it’s a helping hand.”

The pilot program USDA is proposing wouldn’t directly tackle the issue of getting seniors enrolled, though there are existing programs to increase enrollment. Yet those who work in the space, like Ellie Hollander, the national president and CEO of Meals on Wheels, say that addressing senior hunger in every way possible is important.

“Here we have the opportunity to do not only what’s socially and morally right, but what’s economically brilliant,” says Hollander. “We can feed a senior meals on wheels for an entire year for less than the cost of that same senior being in the hospital one day, or in a [nursing home] one week.”

Adds Vilsack, “If you want to reduce health care costs, if you want to avoid unnecessary health care expense, one way to do that is to make sure that senior citizens get adequately nourished.”

TIME Diet/Nutrition

The 9 Worst Breakfasts for Your Waistline

And what you should eat instead

healthiest foods, health food, diet, nutrition, time.com stock, eggs, breakfast, dairy
Photograph by Danny Kim for TIME; Gif by Mia Tramz for TIME

Recently, food marketers have noticed a new trend. Even as younger consumers have become more kale-curious and health-conscious, they are still clamoring for one particular type of fast food: breakfasts. In response, Taco Bell introduced an A.M. menu—including the new and terrifying Biscuit Tacos, where half the calories come from fat. McDonald’s, meanwhile, announced it was going to experiment with serving Egg McMuffins and pancakes all day long.

The media dubbed this battle for your dollar “The Breakfast Wars”—but you may be the true casualty.

Breakfast can be a good thing. Studies show that people who take time for a morning meal consume fewer calories over the course of the day, have stronger cognitive skills, and are 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese. But when food marketers get their hands on it, “a hearty breakfast” turns into something more like “a heart-breaking breakfast,” because much of what’s on offer at America’s restaurants—and the grocery aisles—is a collection of fatty scrambles, misguided muffin missiles, and pancakes that look like manhole covers.

It’s time for a wake up call. Eat This, Not That! magazine editors searched out the good, the bad, and the greasy and put together this special report: The Worst Breakfast Foods in America 2015!

  • Worst Sweet Cereal

    Kellogg’s Honey Smacks (1 cup)

    100 calories, .5g fat, 40mg sodium, 24g carbohydrates, 15g sugar

    That’s the Sugar Equivalent of: Scarfing a Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie and calling it breakfast.

    The Smacks mascot, Dig’em Frog, needs a smackdown: His cereal has more sugar than Tony the Tiger’s, Fred Flintstone’s or even Cap’n Crunch! Worse, each puff is coated with partially hydrogenated oil, a substance even fast-food chains are about to ban because they contain traces of trans-fats. Smacks also contain caramel color, which has been shown to increase the risk of cancer in animals and is a possible carcinogen for humans, too. General Mills just announced they’d be removing artificial colors from their cereals; ask Kellogg’s to do the same.

    Eat This Instead!

    General Mills’ Kix

    110 calories, 1 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar

    Kix is the safest of all sweet cereals, and go great with blueberries.

  • Worst “Healthy” Cereal

    Bear Naked Go Bananas…Go Nuts Granola (1⁄2 cup)

    280 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated), 4 g fiber, 10 g sugar

    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: a Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Muffin in a bowl—except this granola has more saturated fat!

    Granola may be the most overrated breakfast food of all time. What do you think is holding all those banana-y clumps together? Sugar and oil. And 4 grams of fiber just isn’t enough to save this bowl. Studies have shown that if you eat more fiber at breakfast, you’ll consume fewer calories throughout the day.

    Eat This Instead!

    Kellogg’s All-Bran Original (1 cup)

    160 calories, 2 g fat, 20 g fiber, 12 g sugar

    It’s called All-Bran! This is as fiber-rich as it gets, with a touch of sweetness, too.

  • Worst Doughnut

    Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Butternut Donut

    420 calories, 17 g fat (8 g saturated), 60 g carbohydrates, 35 g sugar

    That’s the Sugar Equivalent of: one serving of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream—except this doughnut has 130 more calories, 3 grams more fat and 22 more carbs!

    Good doughnuts hover in the 200- to 300-calorie range, but Dunkin’ Donuts has broken new barriers with this doughy disaster. At 420, it has more calories than a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin with hash browns and nearly as much sugar as 5 bowls of Froot Loops. In fact, it’s the highest-calorie doughnut out there—neither Krispy Kreme nor Tim Horton’s have one that tops 400 calories. Speaking of numbers, here’s another: The Blueberry Butternut has 44 ingredients, including Eat This, Not That! must-avoids like propylene glycol (aka an ingredient in anti-freeze), preservatives and artificial flavors. And how many actual blueberries? Zero.

    Eat This Instead!

    Dunkin’ Donuts Lemon Donut

    260 calories, 15 g fat (7 g saturated), 29 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar

    This has an equally-long list of artificial ingredients, but it’s one of the lowest-calorie options at Dunkin’ Donuts.

  • Worst Breakfast Burrito

    Taco Bell A.M. Crunchwrap — Sausage

    710 calories, 47 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 1,260 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Calorie Equivalent of: Two regular dinnertime Taco Bell burritos, eaten for breakfast!

    Taco Bell? For breakfast? The news made everyone laugh last year. But the joke’s on you: Most items are more than 500 calories. For the Sausage Crunchwrap, the Bell found a way to stuff sausage and hash browns into this carb vessel, plus shredded cheddar cheese, a pile of eggs and 50 other ingredients, many unpronounceable. The Breakfast Wars are most brutal to your belly.

    Eat This Instead!

    Taco Bell A.M. Grilled Taco — Egg and Cheese

    170 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated), 330 sodium, 15 g carbohydrates

    If you’re south of the border, order the Egg and Cheese sandwich, sound advice at any fast food chain in the A.M. hours. This one has 12 grams of tummy-filling protein.

  • Worst Breakfast Sandwich

    Hardee’s Monster Biscuit

    710 calories, 47 g fat (18 g saturated), 2,160 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Sodium and Fat Equivalent of: A 6″ Meat Lovers Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut! In one sandwich!

    This Monster monstrosity has three kinds of pork and more than a day’s worth of sodium. From the bottom up, you’ll find ham, and then cheese, and then a sausage patty, and then more cheese, and then a folded egg, and then bacon, all between a fatty biscuit. A close second for Worst: The Jack in the Box Loaded Breakfast Sandwich, which has the same ingredients between sourdough bread, for the same amount of calories—but with far less sodium.

    Eat This Instead!

    Hardee’s Frisco Breakfast Sandwich

    360 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1,100 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrates

    Every single breakfast option at Hardee’s has too much sodium—unless you order the grits—but at least this one also has 19 grams of protein.

  • Worst “Healthy” Breakfast

    Dunkin’ Donuts Multigrain Bagel with Reduced Fat Strawberry Cream Cheese

    500 calories, 17 g fat (6.5), 650 sodium, 78 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Calorie Equivalent of: A Bacon McDouble at McDonald’s, yet without the benefit of its significant protein!

    The worst part about this breakfast is that scores of health-conscious eaters (who somehow wandered into a Dunkin’, perhaps for the coffee) order this thinking they’re making a smart choice. No matter how healthy the bagel or its toppings may appear, there is just no escaping the fact that this one is bogus. In fact, you’re unlikely to find any bagel combination at chain restaurants that register less than 400 calories, because most have refined carbs and low-grade fats.

    Eat This Instead!

    Dunkin’ Donuts Egg and Cheese English Muffin Sandwich

    240 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 490 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates

    With 12 grams of protein and less sodium than in years past, this is a Dunkin’ Do.

  • Worst Pancakes

    Denny’s Peanut Butter Cup Pancake Breakfast

    1,670 calories, 105 g fat (33 g saturated), 2,765 mg sodium, 148 g carbohydrates, 64 g sugar

    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: 33 McDonald’s Hotcakes stacked high!

    Wait, doesn’t this belong on a list of the Worst Desserts in America? IHOP has New York Cheesecake Pancakes. Perkins sells ones called Apple Pie. But Denny’s Peanut Butter Cup Pancake Breakfast out-sweets them all. They’ve stuffed two buttermilk pancakes with chocolate and white chocolate chips, and then topped it with hot fudge and peanut butter sauce. The result is a dish with more sugar than 5 servings of Edy’s Ice Cream. (Throw in eggs, hash browns and two sausage links, and the sodium count soars, too.) Craziest part: They offer maple syrup on the side.

    Eat This Instead!

    Denny’s Build-Your-Own-Grand-Slam with 2 Pancakes (370 calories) and 2 egg whites (60 calories).

  • Worst Breakfast Omelette

    IHOP Chorizo Fiesta Omelet

    1,300 calories, 106 g fat (34 g saturated, 1 g trans), 3,220 sodium, 33 g carbohydrates. But if you also order the accompanying side of pancakes and syrup, it’s 1,990 calories and 42 grams of saturated fat.

    That’s the Sodium Equivalent of: Eating 273 Cheetos for breakfast

    IHOP was one of the last chains to release its nutritional numbers, and given the national-debt-level calorie counts of much of its menu, we can see why. This overstuffed omelette is bursting with chorizo, roasted peppers, pepper jack cheese and onions and then smothered in sour cream and chili sauce. Throw in the three additional pancakes, and you’ve got a “healthy” meal with a day’s worth of calories.

    Eat This Instead!

    IHOP Simple & Fit Vegetable Omelette

    310 calories, 12 g fat (4.5 saturated), 750 mg sodium, 6 g carbs

  • Worst Breakfast in America

    Cheesecake Factory Bruleéd French Toast

    2,780 calories, N/A fat (93 g of saturated fat), 2,230 mg sodium, 120 g sugar

    That’s the Saturated Fat Equivalent of: 6 Sonic cheeseburgers, and the calorie equivalent of 40 Dunkin Donuts’ Munchkins.

    Speaking of dessert for breakfast! This “rustic” dish will rust your arteries. It has a full day’s worth of sodium, more than a day’s worth of calories, three to four days worth of sugar and a week’s worth of saturated fat. Cheesecake Factory won’t reveal the total fat count—maybe because they can’t count that high? Meet the absolute Worst Breakfast in America.

    Eat This Instead

    Cheesecake Factory Plain Omelette

    490 calories, other nutritionals N/A

    This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

    More from Eat This, Not That!

TIME Food

Court Recommends ‘Unprecedented’ Life Sentence for Peanut Executive Behind Salmonella Outbreak

Stewart Parnell peanut corporation america
Don Petersen—AP In this March 12, 2009 file photo, Peanut Corporation of America's president Stewart Parnell, arrives at United States Federal Court in Lynchburg, Va.

The salmonella outbreak prompted one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) — Federal court officers have recommended a sentence of life in prison for a peanut company executive convicted of selling salmonella-tainted food, a move that attorneys on both sides called “unprecedented” for a food-poisoning case.

The potential life sentence for former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell was disclosed by prosecutors in a court filing Wednesday.

Parnell, 61, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 21 by a federal judge in Albany, Georgia. Prosecutors filed a legal brief Wednesday in U.S. District Court revealing that the U.S. Probation Office, which prepares pre-sentencing reports to help guide federal judges, concluded the scope of Parnell’s crimes “results in a life sentence Guidelines range.”

Parnell’s defense attorneys confirmed the recommendation Thursday to The Associated Press, calling the possible punishment “unprecedented.” Bill Marler, a lawyer for victims sickened by peanut butter from Parnell’s southwest Georgia plant, used the same word.

In fact, Marler and other experts say the trial of Parnell and two co-defendants last year was the first federal food-poisoning case to be tried by an American court. A jury convicted Parnell of 71 counts including conspiracy, obstruction of justice, wire fraud and other crimes related to a salmonella outbreak in 2008 and 2009. The Centers for Disease Control linked the outbreak to nine deaths and 714 illnesses. It prompted one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history.

Justin Lugar, one of Parnell’s defense attorneys, confirmed Thursday that the recommendation before Judge W. Louis Sands is for life in prison, with no lesser range. Parnell’s lawyers are trying to persuade the judge to disregard numbers used as aggravating factors to boost the suggested sentence to its maximum: an estimate that Parnell’s customers suffered $144 million in losses as well as health officials’ tally that 714 people got sick.

Parnell’s attorneys say the cost estimate was “based on speculative, incomplete, and untrustworthy information” compiled by investigators and that none of Parnell’s customers were asked to testify about the losses in court. Parnell’s lawyers similarly questioned the reliability of the CDC’s tally of how many people got sick, noting that no medical doctors were called to testify and only one victim took the stand.

“That recommendation is truly absurd,” said Ken Hodges, an attorney on Parnell’s defense team. “We hope the judge will see that Stewart Parnell never meant to hurt anyone. He ate the peanut butter himself. He fed it to his children and to his grandchildren.”

In their court filing, prosecutors stood by their numbers for victims injured and financial losses — and insisted they possibly understate the impact.

“Life in prison, especially in a food case, it’s frankly unprecedented,” said Marler, who has represented victims of food-borne illnesses for two decades. “But the case itself, on a factual basis, is unprecedented.”

Marler said he suspects the judge and prosecutors will think carefully before deciding to pursue a life sentence for Parnell. Still, he said, even the possibility of such a stiff sentence sends a message to food companies.

“The same shock or sobering impact that you and I have talking about it, you multiply that by 100 for some food executive sitting in an office,” Marler said.

Even if objections raised by Parnell’s attorneys to the sentencing recommendation are denied, it’s still possible the judge could impose a lighter sentence. Federal judges are required to consider recommendations based on complex sentencing guidelines, but they are not bound by them.

Parnell and his co-defendants were never charged with sickening or killing anybody. Instead prosecutors used the seven-week trial to lay out a paper trail of emails, lab results and billing records to show Parnell’s company defrauded customers by using falsified test results to cover up lab screenings that showed batches of peanut butter contained salmonella. The tainted goods were shipped to Kellogg’s and other food processors for use in products from snack crackers to pet food.

Prosecutors wrote that court officers “correctly calculated” Parnell’s recommended sentence, but stopped short of saying whether they plan to ask the judge to impose a life sentence. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department in Washington, Nicole Navas, declined to comment.

Prosecutors’ legal brief also noted stiff sentences were recommended for Parnell’s two co-defendants. Punishment of 17 to 21 years in prison was recommended for Parnell’s brother, food broker Michael Parnell, who was convicted on fewer counts. The recommendation for Mary Wilkerson, the Georgia plant’s quality control manager, was eight to 10 years. She was convicted of obstruction of justice.

According to the CDC, deaths linked to the outbreak were reported in Idaho, Minnesota, North Carolina and Virginia.

TIME hot dogs

Nathan’s Demands A Hot Dog Emoji

Hot dogs in buns at the official weigh-in ceremony for the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 3, 2012 at City Hall in New York City.
Stan Honda—AFP/Getty Images Hot dogs in buns at the official weigh-in ceremony for the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 3, 2012 at City Hall in New York City.

Pizza and a burger emoji just won't cut it.

It’s National Hot Dog Day, as part of National Hot Dog Month, and Nathan’s is taking the time to demand none other than a hot dog emoji. Naturally.

The Coney Island-hot dog maker went so far as to tweet its consternation over the lack of an icon on the popular texting feature. “The world cannot live on 🍔 and 🍕 and 🍟 alone. Give us #HotDogEmoji. Share to show your support!”

The timing, of course, is impeccable with the national holiday on Thursday. Fun fact: “In 2014, consumers spent more than $2.5 billion on hot dogs in U.S. supermarkets,” according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council.

It continued, “During peak hot dog season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs. That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period.”

Nathan’s then tweeted out a YouTube video in which throngs of people express their passionate desire for the American meat product. It’s only 15 seconds long, but it certainly gets the point across.

Check out the video here:

https://youtu.be/tQnqZN3D2-k

https://twitter.com/originalnathans/status/624207762327613441

TIME curiosities

How to Make Summer Watermelon Punch for a 1940s Party

For adults of drinking age, the spiked watermelon has long been a beach party staple

A 1940s beach party might conjure images of chaste bathing suits and innocent fun, but even the party people of yesteryear had a few tricks up their sleeves. One of the best: spiked watermelon. It may seem like an invention of the Girls Gone Wild era, but beachgoers have been pouring vodka into their watermelons since Joe Francis’ parents were in diapers.

Times have changed since LIFE photographed this spiked watermelon party in 1948, but the recipe is still as simple as ever: about 3 cups of vodka funneled into a 10 lb. watermelon to spike the fruit itself; or into a hollowed-out rind along with the juices of the melon, to create a punch served inside the fruit. Bonus points for huddling around the melon Kumbaya-style and sipping through straws side by side.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME Food

USDA Says Bird Flu Vaccine Works on Chickens

Officials are testing the vaccine on turkeys

(DES MOINES, Iowa)—Scientists have developed a vaccine strain that has tested 100% effective in protecting chickens from bird flu and testing is underway to see if it also protects turkeys, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on Wednesday.

If it does, the agency plans to quickly license it for widespread production and is seeking funding from the Office of Management and Budget to stockpile it nationally.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to get a lot of folks working collaboratively together and we stockpile enough so that if this does hit and hits us hard we’re in a position to respond quickly,” Vilsack said.

Developing a vaccine targeted to the H5N2 virus that has killed 48 million birds since early March in 15 states, including hardest-hit Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, is one aspect of planning for a potential recurrence of the bird flu, Vilsack said.

Scientists believe the virus was spread through the droppings of wild birds migrating north to nesting grounds. They’re concerned it could return this fall when birds fly south for the winter or again next spring.

While this year Midwest turkey and egg farms were hit hardest, the industry that raises chickens for meat in the southern and eastern states including Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia is worried it could spread there.

Still not all poultry producers are on the same page when it comes to using vaccine to fight an outbreak.

Turkey producers tend to favor vaccination to protect flocks because turkey immune systems appear more vulnerable to viruses. Some egg producers and farmers who raise broilers — chickens produced for meat — often resist vaccination programs because of the possible impact on export markets.

U.S. producers export nearly $6 billion worth of poultry and egg products yearly with about $5 billion of that chicken meat.

“There are many unanswered questions that must be addressed before any strong consideration is given to a vaccination program,” said Tom Super, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, which represents producers of 95 percent of the U.S. broilers sold. “Two concerns of several are the effectiveness of the vaccine and potential impacts on trade.”

Meetings also have been held with importers of U.S. poultry products to try and convince them not to block all poultry imports if a vaccination program is enacted in response to another outbreak.

“That’s still an open question and we’ve been working with a number of countries today to get them convinced to ban regionally as opposed to the entire country,” Vilsack said.

Many countries have a strict policy of refusing to accept meat from nations using a vaccine because it can be difficult to discern through testing whether birds were infected with an active virus or were vaccinated, said James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

Even during the current outbreak which affected 15 states, about 10 trade partners banned poultry imports from the entire U.S., Sumner said.

Vilsack said it’s uncertain when a vaccine would be ready for large-scale production. Even once stockpiled, a vaccination program would not begin until the USDA, consulting with affected states, decided it was necessary to control an outbreak

TIME Diet/Nutrition

3 Easy Peach Recipes That Will Make You Look Like a Gourmet Chef

Celebrate the nutrient-packed summer fruit with these recipes

Summer is the perfect time for peaches—a classic farmers’ market staple that is not only juicy and refreshing, but also packed with essential nutrients, like vitamins C and E, calcium, and iron.

Here are three creative recipes from Peaches ($14, shortstackededitions.com), a new cookbook from Health‘s food director, Beth Lipton, to help you make the most of this healthy and versatile seasonal treat.

  • Peach upside-down cake

    peaches-upside-down-cake
    Courtesy of Short Stack Editions

    “Take a tarte Tatin, mate it with a buttery cake, and the resulting love child is this fancy-looking but simple dessert,” Lipton writes. “The strong butter flavor and a little hint of ginger are a delicious setting for the slightly boozy, very brown sugary sauteed peaches.”

    Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided, plus more for the pan
    1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    ¼ teaspoon plus a pinch salt
    ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
    3 tablespoons bourbon
    2 to 3 medium-ripe peaches (8 to 12 ounces)—peeled, pitted, and sliced
    ¾ cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
    Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

    Instructions

    Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a 9-inch-round cake pan. In a bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk until well mixed and set aside.

    Cut 4 tablespoons of butter into slices and place in a large skillet. Add the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, bourbon, and a pinch of salt and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined. Add the peach slices and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften and their liquid thickens, 7 to 9 minutes.

    Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the peach slices and arrange them in circles in the bottom of the cake pan, beginning on the outside and moving into the middle of the pan, overlapping if necessary (you may not use all of the slices; save any extras for snacking or another use). Pour the remaining juices from the skillet over the peaches, taking care not to move them.

    In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and remaining teaspoon of vanilla, then the remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

    Using an offset spatula, gently spread the batter over the peaches, taking care not to move them too much. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden and bounces back when lightly pressed in the center. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the outer edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving dish. If any peach slices are stuck in the baking pan, carefully place them on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.

  • Halibut & shrimp ceviche

    Halibut-shrimp-ceviche
    Courtesy of Beth Lipton

    Best thing about ceviche in the summer: You don’t have to go near a stove, Lipton writes. “Peaches set this ceviche apart from others I’ve tried; the fruit’s sweetness balances the salty fish and spicy jalapeño and makes the whole thing just scream ‘summer.’ Plus, the peaches add a burst of color that plays well with the pink in the shrimp and the green of the chile.” You can also try serving it in small paper cups at a party.

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    ½ small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
    1 large peach (or 2 small ones)—peeled, pitted and sliced or cut into ½-inch chunks
    1 small jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
    8 ounces halibut, cut into small chunks
    8 ounces medium peeled and deveined shrimp, cut into 4 or 5 pieces each
    ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    Zest of 1 lime, for garnish, optional

    Instructions

    Place the onion, peach, jalapeño, halibut, and shrimp in a nonreactive bowl. Stir in the lime and lemon juices and a large pinch of salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

    Drain the fish mixture and return to the bowl. Stir in the oil. Taste and season generously with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the cilantro. Spoon the ceviche into glasses, garnish with the lime zest, if desired, and serve.

  • Peach preserves

    peaches-preservative
    Courtesy of Beth Lipton

    As Lipton explains in Peaches, this recipe adopts the techniques of French jam maker Christine Ferber, who macerates the fruit overnight, cooks the resulting syrup first, and then returns the fruit to the cooked syrup. The result: jam that just screams fruit. This is especially important with peach preserves. Using this method, the fruit itself isn’t cooked as much, so it retains its essential peachiness.

    Makes: 1 ½ cups

    Ingredients

    1½ pounds ripe peaches (about 5 medium)—peeled, pitted and chopped
    ¾ cup sugar
    Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
    Generous pinch of kosher salt

    Instructions

    Combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

    Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large saucepan. Pour the peach mixture into the sieve and let the fruit’s juices collect in the pan. Reserve the solids, place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring often, until the liquid is syrupy and reduced by half, about 8 minutes.

    Add the peach mixture to the pan and bring back to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Crush the peaches with the back of a wooden spoon as they cook (for a smoother preserve, use an immersion blender). Transfer the preserves to a large bowl to cool.

    Spoon the peach preserves into a pint-size jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. The preserves will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks. Or seal the preserves in sterilized jars using the boiling water method and store at room temperature.

    For more cool summer recipes celebrating all things peach, be sure to check out the rest of Lipton’s cookbook!

    peaches_center-fold-copy
    Courtesy of Short Stack Editions

    This article originally appeared on Health.com

    More from Health.com:

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com