Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of cel­ery

The Saline Courier Weekend - - LIVING - By Joy Buchanan

Who knew? Ac­cord­ing to the Farmer’s Almanac, cel­ery is a most un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated veg­etable. With so many food shows demon­strat­ing the virtues of baby veg­eta­bles, heir­loom toma­toes and su­per greens, cel­ery seems to have been rel­e­gated to rel­ish trays and the “holy trin­ity” of Ca­jun cui­sine.

Un­til the early 20th cen­tury, cel­ery had a dif­fer­ent rep­u­ta­tion. A mem­ber of the Um­bel­lif­erae fam­ily, cel­ery as been around for al­most 3,000 years and is re­lated to car­rots, pars­ley, fen­nel, car­away and anise.

Cel­ery is full of Vi­ta­mins A and C and potas­sium.

The stems also con­tain coumarin which is good for the heart and blood ves­sels and has been known to al­le­vi­ate mi­graine headaches. Cel­ery also acts as a nat­u­ral pes­ti­cide for the cab­bage moth, which seems to dis­like the strong smell of cel­ery, and which eats more than just cab­bage. This makes cel­ery a great com­pan­ion plant in any gar­den.

Cel­ery has al­ways grown wild in the tem­per­ate re­gions of Europe and Asia. The leaves were be­lieved to be good for pre­vent­ing a hang­over, if woven into a wreath and worn on the head while par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fes­tiv­ity of the mo­ment. Cel­ery was also pop­u­lar as a Ro­man fu­neral plant and was of­ten used to em­bel­lish tombs.

Cel­ery is now grown through­out the United States with 90% of the cel­ery crop com­ing from Cal­i­for­nia. Cel­ery is cur­rently the sec­ond most im­por­tant salad crop in the United States and is avail­able year-round. So even though we tend to dis­miss it lightly as just an­other veg­etable on the party rel­ish tray, don’t un­der­es­ti­mate it. Don’t for­get the vi­ta­mins and other health ben­e­fits of cel­ery.

On Fri­day, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Phar­ma­cist Ben Ram­sey from Cor­ner­stone Phar­macy will be at the Ben­ton Se­nior Well­ness and Ac­tiv­ity Cen­ter to an­swer any ques­tions re­gard­ing med­i­ca­tions you are tak­ing or ques­tions about any med­i­ca­tion. I es­pe­cially want to know about drug in­ter­ac­tions with over-the-counter drugs like as­pirin, al­lergy med­i­ca­tions and foods.

Thank you to Katy Ram­sey with Kindred Hospice for com­ing last Fri­day for blood pres­sure checks and su­gar mon­i­tor­ing. This is some­thing that we all need to be vig­i­lant about track­ing.

Katy will be here the third Fri­day of each month so if you missed it this month be sure and get yours checked next month.

Each month on the sec­ond Thurs­day and Fri­day, 60-plus com­modi­ties are dis­bursed at the Cen­ter. Vol­un­teers are need to help pack the boxes. If your church, youth group, or­ga­ni­za­tion or yourself would be will­ing to donate a few hours your time once a month to help se­niors in our com­mu­nity, please con­tact Sherry Par­sons at 501-776-0255.

Mon­day – The Coun­try Ramblers Band will play at 9 a.m. for your lis­ten­ing plea­sure and a lit­tle boot scootin’ if you are so in­clined.

Wild­cats will host the BBB team from West Cen­tral at 9 a.m.

Vol­ley­ball prac­tice will be­gin at 12:30 p.m.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sen­si­bily) will be held at 5 p.m.

Tues­day – Bus leaves for the farmer’s mar­ket at 8:30 a.m.

At 9:30 a.m., PEPPI Exercise and Move with Bal­ance will be held.

Gospel singing will be­gin at 10 a.m. and every­one is wel­come to share a song or just sing along.

Vol­ley­ball prac­tice is set to be­gin at 12:30 p.m.

A sign lan­guage class is of­fered at 12:30 p.m.

At 7 p.m. each Tues­day, a dif­fer­ent band will play for your lis­ten­ing and danc­ing plea­sure. The band for this week is Straight Coun­try. Tick­ets are $5. PLEASE RE­MEM­BER THE RULES FOR THE DANCE.

Wed­nes­day – At 9 a.m. Har­mon­i­cas for Health will be held. Har­mon­i­cas and mu­sic are pro­vided. All you have to do is show up. Not only are you learn­ing some­thing new, it is a great way to help your breath­ing.

Bingo starts at 10 a.m. Great way to spend a morn­ing and you can prac­tice for bingo at Chick-fil-a on Thurs­day.

A genealogy course will be given at 12:30 p.m.

Vol­ley­ball prac­tice will be­gin at 12:30 p.m.

In­tro to Win­dows 10 will be held at 1:30 p.m.

Thurs­day – PEPPI Exercise and Move with Bal­ance will be­gin at 9 a.m.

Monthly birth­day party will be held at 10 a.m.

Vol­ley­ball prac­tice and In­tro to Com­put­ers will each be­gin at 12:30 p.m.

In­tro to Com­put­ers will be­gin at 12:30 p.m.

Fri­day – Bus will leave for yard sales at 8:15 a.m.

Old Coun­try will en­ter­tain us from 9 to 11 a.m. If you dance by the cam­era you just might find yourself on TV show­ing off your danc­ing skills. Sort of like a se­nior ver­sion of Amer­i­can Band­stand or Steve’s Show.

Line Danc­ing will be held at 1 p.m.

Each day, a de­li­cious, hearty meal is served. For ages 60 plus, a $3 do­na­tion is re­quested. For those 59 and younger, there is a charge of $8. If you want a take-out plate the charge will be $8 as well.

Mon­day – Kiel­basa, fried pota­toes, cab­bage, corn­bread, trop­i­cal fruit and milk.

Tues­day – Meat­loaf, mashed pota­toes, mixed veg­eta­bles, wheat bread, pineap­ple up­side­down cake and milk.

Wed­nes­day – BBQ chicken, corn on cob, potato salad, wheat bread, bread pud­ding and milk.

Thurs­day – Breaded fish, oven fries, coleslaw, whole wheat bread, choco­late cake and milk.

Fri­day – Chili dog with bun, sweet potato tots, fresh fruit cup, cookie and milk.

The Cen­ter is open each day from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Come join in a game of domi­nos, work­ing a puz­zle, a rowdy game of bean bag ball, a game of pool, vol­ley­ball or maybe re­search­ing some­thing on our com­put­ers.

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