2020-4-22

Quarantine Recipe: Mustard and Herb Pork Chops

I don't even remember where I found this recipe or how  long ago. I doubt that there are many pork chop recipes that are simpler. There are no amounts listed, as everything is based on the size of the port chops.


Ingredients:

4 Pork Chops

Whole Grain Mustard

Fresh or Dried Herb of Choice (try Rosemary, Tarragon or Sage)

Panko Bread Crumbs

Difficulty: Easy. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None.

Pre-planning needed: Thaw Pork Chops.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes, Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spoon out what looks like enough mustard to cover one side of the chops (there is no need to contaminate the entire jar of mustard). Season chops with salt and pepper, coat with a thin but generous coating of the mustard. Top each with herbs to taste and coat with the Panko.

3. Bake in preheated oven until crumbs are browned and chops are cooked trhough.

Suggested sides: Green Beans and Oven Roasted Potatoes (wedge potatoes and place in a large plastic bag, add enough olive oil to coat and season with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Roast in a preheated oven alongside the Pork Chops).

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

REMINDER: Spring Brings Increased Bear Activity

Richmond, VA- Springtime provides exciting opportunities for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing. As the winter months leave and spring approaches both people and wild animals are more active, which allows for unique encounters with wildlife. The spring months are a busy time for wildlife; especially black bears as they emerge from their winter dens hungry and in search of an easy meal. During this time of increased activity it is important for homeowners to secure un-natural food sources to reduce bear encounters on their property.

Natural foods are scarce this time of year, so bears will look for the easiest source of food. Often these sources may be your garbage, compost pile, barbeque grills and pet food stored outside, "The goal is to not make human sources of food easier for a bear to acquire than what nature provides – especially food that is high in fat and calories," said Nelson Lafon, Forest Wildlife Manager for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Bears are naturally cautious of humans, but they can overcome their wariness if people reward them with food - intentionally or unintentionally. Although bears may appear sluggish and thin during this time of the year you should never attempt to feed a black bear found on your property. Take the following steps to avoid attracting black bears to your homes

  • Never feed or approach
  • Clean and Secure Attractants including: garbage, food, grills, recycling
  • Remove pet or livestock food from areas accessible to wildlife
  • Take down bird feeders including seed and hummingbird feeders
  • Clean up fallen fruit
  • Avoid storing food in your vehicle

"By following these steps, people can prevent most problems with bears," said Lafon. "Our staff respond to hundreds of situations involving bears every year, and most are due to these attractants."
For more information on black bears in Virginia, please visit the DGIF website and learn how you can do your part to keep bears wild: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/

If a bear has a visible injury, appears mange-infested, or has been seen in the same location for more than 12 hours, please contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Wildlife Conflict Helpline, toll free at 1-855-571-9003 or if after normal business hours your local Sheriff’s office.

REMINDER: IF YOU SEE A BEAR CUB, LEAVE IT ALONE

Richmond, VA- It is that time of year when black bear cubs and their mothers begin leaving their winter dens and exploring the landscape in search of available food resources. During this time bear cubs can become separated from their mothers for short periods of time. In almost all instances no intervention is necessary and the cubs should be left alone.

When a female bear with cubs perceives a threat, whether due to barking dogs, people in the area, or otherwise, she will often “tree” her cubs. While the cubs are still very small (normally weighing 5lbs or less) they are adept climbers! The cubs will scamper high into the tree tops and await guidance from their mother on when it is safe to come back down. The female will often leave the area, circling back periodically to check for when she feels the area is secure. If you see cubs in a tree and no female in the area, you should leave the area immediately. The female will return (often at night) and call the cubs back down when she feels there is no immediate threat to her or the cubs. Keeping the area free of disturbance (humans and particularly dogs) is critical for the female to be able to return and collect her cubs.

It is not uncommon throughout the spring for black bear cubs and their mother to return to their den, particularly during periods of inclement weather. Outdoor recreationists may come across an occupied den site (either in the winter or early spring) and should always leave the site undisturbed. The female may leave the den if startled by someone approaching the area. Do not handle or take the cubs from the den area. Leave the area immediately as the female will often return once the perceived threat is gone. This is also an important reminder to always maintain dogs on a leash when hiking so that they don’t spook a bear from the den, or attempt to pick up the cubs.

Never attempt to handle or capture a black bear cub found on your property. If the cub has a visible injury, is lethargic, or has been seen in the same location for more than 12 hours, please contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Wildlife Conflict Helpline, toll free at 1-855-571-9003 or if after normal business hours your local Sheriff’s office. For more information on black bears in Virginia, please visit the DGIF website and learn how you can do your part to keep bears wild: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/

USDA Service Centers Open for Business by Phone Appointment Only

The Greensville County USDA Service Center will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible.

USDA Service Centers are encouraging visitors to take precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.  All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call to schedule a phone appointment.  

Farm Service Agency: (434) 634-2462 Extension 2

Employees may also be contacted by email at the following email addresses:

Natural Resources Conservation Service: (434) 634-2462 extension 3

Chowan Basin Soil & Water Conservation District: (434) 634-2462 extension 4

Employees may also be contacted by email at the following email addresses:

Online services are available to customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal, various FSA online services and the NRCS Conservation Client Gateway. Through the farmers.gov portal, producers can view USDA farm loan information and payments and view and track certain USDA program applications and payments. On the FSA website, customers with an eAuth account can enroll in certain programs and access maps and farm data through FSAfarm+. Online NRCS services are available to customers through the Conservation Client Gateway where customers can track payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents. Customers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll at farmers.gov/sign-in.

For the most current updates on available services and Service Center status visit farmers.gov/coronavirus. 

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