Extension Notes 

by Christina C. Swallows, UT Extension Agent

2020 seems to have come and gone in a blur, and with it has altered many traditions due to the corona virus. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving recommendations are no different. This is also a time when the flu virus spreads quickly too. So, now is the time to get your flu shot.

Thanksgiving is a time of celebrating our gratefulness with family and friends, but visiting persons in other homes especially those with a higher risk to both the corona and flu viruses needs to be rethought. CDC offers us safety suggestions. CDC continues to recommend staying 6 feet (two adult arm’s length) away from people not in your home especially persons who have a high risk associated with COVID-19. Remember, some people without symptoms may spread the flu or covid-19. Continue wearing a two-layer mask around others who don’t live in your home. The mask protects best when covering mouth and nose plus fits snug even under your chin.

2020 might be a good year for alternative ideas. This year my husband and I are going to try smoked salmon instead of the traditional holiday turkey or ham. This might be that year to work on the no calorie gain through the holidays. Starting now through New Year’s Day, plan healthy meals and stay active. Too often American’s put on three to five pounds during the holidays. The problem is they fail to get rid of them.

Instead of having twenty plus different foods on the table, have a menu of just four or five. Too often with my family we have to try a little of everything. What if you had turkey, dressing, a green vegetable (green beans with mushrooms or balsamic Brussels), a potato (mashed, sweet potatoes or yams), and roll with tea and limit the dessert to one option instead of many. In our home we are planning smoked salmon, apple cranberry salad (recipe below), baked sweet potato, and a small slice of pecan pie. Why do we think we need to gorge ourselves during the holidays? 2020 is our opportunity to change this for our health. Join me in this challenge by visiting overton.tennessee.edu to learn more.

Remember more and more stores are offering curbside pick-up… take advantage of this service and shop online for those black Friday sales, many have already started.

If you are taking food to others with limited immune systems, you are encouraged to leave the hot or cold food on the porch and call from a distance to visit with from across the yard. Or use virtual means to share the holiday with loved ones. This year try focusing on the important things… the things for which you are thankful. If you are hosting a party, reduce the numbers invited, host the party outside, limit persons access to the kitchen or food prep area, clean and sanitize often throughout the event.

Turn your focus this year to other activities like playing games, watching the Thanksgiving parade, sport events, taking a walk, etc.

Apple Cranberry Salad Toss from USDA

Enjoy the best of fall flavors with this sweet and tart green salad. Light yet crisp, it’s a perfect dish for fall.

Makes 8 servings.


1 head of lettuce (about 10 cups)

2 apples (medium, sliced)

1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup green onions (sliced)

3/4 cup vinaigrette dressing

Directions: Toss lettuce, apples, walnuts, cranberries, and onions in a large bowl.

Add dressing; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

The Overton County Agricultural regular fall meeting will be held, Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6:00 pm. at the UT Extension Office. Face mask and social distancing is required.