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Thanksgiving is [only about 5 weeks] away and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put out guidance on how to stay safe this holiday during the coronavirus pandemic. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC is recommending families who usually travel to see each other hold virtual Thanksgivings instead.
Since travel increases the chance of coronavirus transmission, staying at home is the best way to prevent the spread, the CDC says. For those who must travel during the pandemic, the CDC has a list of potential risks and how to protect yourself and others.
The agency recommends families skip traveling altogether and have smaller Thanksgiving dinners with people only living in the same household. The CDC also recommends having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family, as a way to celebrate the holiday while social distancing.
The CDC also recommends “preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.”
In addition to alternative Thanksgiving Day activities, the CDC also has recommendations for Thanksgiving weekend, saying people should shop online rather than in-person on Black Friday and the following Monday.
The CDC also recommends that sports fans or parade-goers watch these events from home. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be held without crowds and will be television-only this year, for the first time in its history.
Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19, the CDC says. The agency has guidance on how best to hold an outdoor gathering, including keeping track of guests’ COVID-19 status.
Other outdoor fall activities can be made safer too. The CDC recommends going to pumpkin patches or orchards where hand sanitizer, social distancing and wearing masks is encouraged or enforced. Outdoor sporting events are also possible if safety precautions are in place, the CDC says.
The CDC also named higher risk activities, which people should avoid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Going shopping in crowded stores, attending a race or parade, or attending any large indoor gatherings with people outside your household are not recommended.
The CDC also notes that using alcohol or drugs can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors. The Thanksgiving guidance comes after the CDC released guidance pertaining to Halloween, recommending traditional trick-or-treating be avoided.
Look at the CDC’s helpful pages for traveling during COVID-19 and for holiday celebrations at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html
The HPCC Board of Directors continues to stay in touch and meet occasionally. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and look forward to eventually being able to do more than talk about our ideas and plans. Once the pandemic is no longer an obstacle, we feel it will be especially important to have activities that bring community members back together, like community picnics or other gatherings. We’re also exploring some other ideas, as was mentioned in our article in the July 2020 High Prairian — movie nights and/or open mic evenings, and possibly a series on the history of High Prairie and Klickitat County. Let us know if any of that sounds like fun or if you have other good ideas or suggestions. Send feedback and ideas to the Board via mail to HPCC, PO Box 592, Lyle, WA 98635; via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (that’s co, not com); or call 360-518-1697. In the meantime, to all our neighbors, stay safe and well.
These are incredibly tense times. On top of COVID-19 and its serious ramifications, we’ve also been trying to cope with what many people see as the most important election in our country’s history. I don’t have to tell you how deeply and passionately the country is divided.
Thankfully, the long, divisive nightmare of the election season is almost over. It’s time to start thinking about what life will be like in the aftermath. We’ve been so focused on the win-or-lose moment of the Big Election that it has tended to crowd out our vision of life continuing beyond it.
Here’s a post-election vision for you: Normal, constructive interactions among neighbors. A return of trust, mutual respect, personal friendship and local community. Now, I’m not so Pollyanna as to think that everything can be sunshine and roses, but it would definitely make all our lives better if we turned the volume way down on our differences and reclaimed our connections with each other as we go forward.
It’s been hard to avoid getting caught up in the roiling, nationwide political drama, but we should remember that here is where we actually live our lives, in this community, among these people. Here is where our attitudes and actions have the most effect on the quality of our lives and the lives of those around us; and if we put our attention to it, we will see that we actually have much in common. In case anyone has trouble seeing the connection we all have, I’ve come up with a few observations to start it off:
> As neighbors, and members of a community, we all have shared and overlapping needs and concerns. > Since we live where we do, we all know about the elevated risks and complications of living at a distance from services in town. > We must all cope as well as we can with the snow and cold in winter and the potential for fires in summer. > We all face health issues at one time or another. > We all have some kind of financial concerns. > At times we need help; at times we reach out to help others. > We love our families and have great concern for their welfare. > We appreciate friendship. > We all have interests we enjoy pursuing. > We would all like to feel safe, and confident of the future. > We all want to live as well as we can.
There’s so much value in being on friendly terms with each other and in being part of an active, caring community. Then, even when differences do arise, they tend to resolve more easily. The knowledge that neighbors need each other has long been a part of rural living. Neighbors would pitch in to help each other when there was need; and they’d work together for the good of their community. Everyone would benefit.
So when this great election-circus finishes its run and leaves town, I suggest we send distrust and animosity packing, too. Let’s leave off identifying each other only by political leanings. Let’s focus on the things we have in common, move past apprehension and anger, and start rebuilding our connections with each other and in our community.
The annual Lyle Christmas Bazaar won’t be happening this year for the first time in more than 25 years. We’re sad to announce that the 2020 Bazaar has been canceled due to COVID-19, and we’re hopeful conditions will allow us to open again in 2021. Thanks to everyone who has enjoyed the Lyle Christmas Bazaar over the years. See you next year!
Gwen Berry, with excerpts from www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/28825
Remember a few years ago when a new bark beetle, the Five-spined Ips, was discovered killing pine trees in our area? It had spread north from California and finally reached the Columbia Gorge. Most of us are aware of the increasing damage being done to our forests by invasive insects. The many dead pine trees throughout our Gorge area, killed by the invasive Five-spined Ips, testify to the vulnerability of our forested areas.
The following paragraph is from a Washington DNR publication, “Forest Health Highlights in Washington – 2019”:
“Pine mortality attributed to Ips pine engravers was observed on approximately 3,900 acres in 2019, more than three times the 1,100 acres observed in 2018. Similar to WPB (Western Pine Beetle), this is the highest level recorded since 2006. Ponderosa pine was the most common species affected. The highest concentration of 2019 mortality was in Klickitat County. In the southern part of the county, near the Columbia River Gorge, California Five-spined Ips (Ips paraconfusus) is the most likely species responsible for mortality. In north Klickitat County and elsewhere in Washington, Ips pini is more common.”
The first signs of attack are multiple small accumulations of fine, light-colored powder (frass) upon the surface and in crevices in the bark of the tree, where it collects after being excavated from burrows drilled into the phloem by attacking adults. The burrows themselves are often not visible without removing bark flakes. The Five-spined Ips prefers top branches, and branches or boles up to 3”, where the bark is thinner and easier to get through.
Infested trees develop a ‘red flag’ appearance in the crown, as needles in branches above attack sites begin to turn red. Later on, the entire crown turns red and then brown. The bark becomes riddled with 1.5-mm emergence holes made by emerging offspring and can be pulled off readily due to beetles and other insects mining the phloem layer under the bark.
As the tree under attack becomes even more stressed, other insects are attracted and attack the lower parts of the tree. Once under attack, a tree very rarely survives, although it is not always easy to establish whether Ips actually killed the tree, rather than other co-attacking species, or whether the tree was dying from other causes that predisposed it to bark beetle attack.
Winter is the very best time to take action on forest problems. Around here, that means from October through the end of January. If you wait until insect pests become active in the spring, all your trimming and clearing will become a smorgasbord for the bugs and encourage further infestation. If you wait for the fair days of summer and fall, fire danger makes forest work risky.
If you can’t do the work until spring, you can minimize the chances of infestation by making sure all your cuttings dry out as quickly as possible. Leave your small slash in a loose, open pile in a sunny location, or cover it tightly with clear plastic so it gets too hot for insects underneath the plastic. You could also run all your trimmings through a chipper and turn it into small pieces that will dry quickly. It would be ideal to remove the bark from anything too big for the chipper.
Now is the time to begin trimming and clearing pine branches and saplings on your property, while fall temperatures are moderate and the snow is still in the future. You can help reduce Ips infestations and the loss of beautiful Ponderosa pines throughout Klickitat County.
After Thanksgiving Day the leftovers live on. Here is a great way to use some of those leftovers to capture that perfect bite. You know, the one where you load up your fork with turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, and gravy all at once. Here I package that perfect bite in a pastry pocket.
Roasted turkey (enough for 2 cups chopped)1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands!® Flaky Layers Buttermilk biscuits
1 cup Mashed potatoes
1/2 cup Mashed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups Dressing/stuffing
1 1/2 cups Gravy
Preheat your oven to 350º.
Chop the turkey to about 1/4” and set aside.
Mix the mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl and set aside.
Flour your board or counter. Roll one biscuit to about 7 inches in diameter, keeping it as circular as possible.
Smear two tablespoons of the potato mixture on one half of the pastry.
Evenly distribute about three tablespoons of the turkey on top of the potato mixture.
Evenly distribute about two tablespoons of the stuffing on top of the turkey.
Drizzle about two tablespoons of the gravy on top of the stuffing.
Fold the exposed half of each pastry round over the filling and pinch and roll to seal the edge.
Repeat the stuffing, folding and sealing with the remaining biscuits (eight total).
Arrange the pockets on a baking stone or sheet pan leaving about an inch between each.
Cut a one-inch X in the top of each pocket.
Bake on the center rack until golden brown (about 20 minutes).
Serve and enjoy!
From an article by Catherine Winter
There’s nothing quite like being able to pick fresh vegetables and herbs right from your garden, but that really isn’t much of an option when it’s 10 degrees and snowing outside, is it? Well, it can be. You’d be surprised what you can grow indoors over the winter months. Here’s what you need and some ideas to get you started:
You can grow an assortment of lettuces in a simple window box that you place on a sill, or on a table close to a sunny window. Just get yourself a packet of mixed cut-and-grow-again lettuce seeds, fill that planter with soil, and sow the seeds according to the packet’s instructions. You should see sprouts within a week, and within a month, you’ll have lovely lettuce leaves to gnaw on.
Kale and Cabbage
Like lettuces, brassicas are notoriously easy to grow, and do well all through the winter months. To grow them inside, follow the same instructions as with the lettuces, only sow the seeds a bit further apart, as these plants need more room to grow than lettuces do.
Sharp and spicy, this leafy green is a wonderful treat any time of year, and is as great on sandwiches as it is in soups and salads. Sow it generously in a window box or planter, but don’t water it too much: it’s easy to drown arugula roots. As soon as the leaves are a few inches tall, clip down down near the root; the leaves tend to get bitter when they get larger, and if you just cut them back, they should re-grow.
Tomatoes and Peppers
You can actually grow these a couple of different ways: in a windowsill planter or in an upside-down planter. (see balconygardenweb.com/diy-upside-down-planters-ideas/) The latter is my favorite method, as it allows the plant to channel all of its energy into growing fruit, rather than pushing itself upright. Considering that winter sunlight isn’t anywhere near as strong or warm as it is in summertime, this really is the best option.
Not only are these the easiest things in the world to grow, they can also be quite pretty as house plants. My favorite way to grow beans is to stretch twine over a frame, and secure that to a window. Sure, as the beans grow they’ll obscure a bit of the view, but enough light still gets through to illuminate the indoors, and seeing all of that greenery in the dead of winter is really quite lovely. If you don’t want to go the twine route, you can just stick long bamboo poles into the pot of soil, and lean those against a wall.
It’s lovely to be able to add fresh herbs to anything you’re cooking, and with the exception of dill (which needs a lot of sun and heat and is very temperamental), you should be able to grow just about any cooking herb you can imagine. Woody herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano do very well in window boxes, as will cilantro, winter savory, and chives.
It’s unlikely that you’d be able to grow nasturtiums or hibiscus during the winter months, but you can absolutely grow lavender, violets, calendula, and (if you’re patient) sunflowers.
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Tim Darland, Chief High Prairie Fire Department and Tom McMackin
The High Prairie Fire District has responded to 93 incidents to date this year. Included since the last High Prairian were two structure fires in KCFPD 4 (Lyle) and four wildland fires — two in District 14 (High Prairie) and two in District 4 (Lyle). I am proud to say that our volunteers from High Prairie and Lyle were quick to answer the page-out and worked efficiently and effectively to manage the flames and protect property along with any threat of spread to the wildlands around each of these fires.
The department has resumed our regular meetings under Covid 19 protocols (masks / social distance norms) to minimize risk. Masks / social distancing / washing hands / avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands / being careful when out of your home environments are simple things we all can do to mitigate some of the risks of exposure to this virus. Common sense and hygiene are keys to good health anyway!
We have added two new members to our crew. Ms. Sarah Hancock joins us as an experienced and compassionate EMT! She will truly be an asset in our efforts to provide our best services to all in KCFPD 14. Samuel Holman has also come to volunteer for our community and to learn about the fire service. Thank You!
If you have any questions or interest in seeing what KCFPD 14 is about… Please don’t hesitate to contact any of our volunteers or come to an activity or drill night. Our regular schedule starts at 7 PM every 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesday of any month. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 509-365-2786 for more information!
The burn ban for Klickitat County Zone 2 (including High Prairie) was lifted on 15 October 2020. The cooler weather and some rain have lowered the risk of wildfire; but remember that even with a little moisture the dried-out vegetation is highly combustible, and wind can push a fire along quickly. We still need to pay attention and be careful. If something happens and a problem develops, call 911 ASAP to get help on the way!
Please follow the outdoor burning requirements listed below. In the event the Fire Department gets called to an out-of-control burn pile, firefighters will be assessing the scene to ensure all outdoor burning requirements have been met. You may be responsible to pay costs if your burn pile escapes or has to be extinguished by the Fire Department.
Outdoor Burning Requirements:
1. Fire size: no larger than 10 foot diameter, burn only one pile at a time.
2. Minimum five (5) gallons water, shovel, fire extinguisher and/or charged garden hose.
3. Fire is built on bare soil.
4. Debris that can be burned: natural wood products, non-treated lumber scraps, trimmings, clippings. and natural vegetation. (Citations are issued due to this violation in Klickitat Co.)
5. Ditch and fence line burning can be done in 10’ X 10’ sections at a time with adequate water to put out area burned. The next 10’ X 10’ section can then be lit. Caution: Must have containment lines such as roads, driveways, plowed fields, or hand trails down to mineral soil.
6. Burn Barrels are not approved. WAC 173-425. (Citations are issued due to this violation in Klickitat Co.)
7. In the event of air inversions, it is recommended by the Department of Ecology to monitor media coverage for our area. If an inversion occurs, stop burning until DOE has lifted restrictions.
(For more information, contact DOE 1-800-406-5322. Website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov)
8. Agriculture burns must be approved by DOE by calling 1-509-575-2490.
9. Must be a minimum of 50 feet from any structure.
10. Fire must be attended to at all times.
This time of year we’re more concerned about indoor fires, too. The usual advice applies:
Check your smoke alarms. Make sure they have good (preferably new) batteries, and test the alarms frequently. Smoke alarms can save your life.
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, check your chimney for creosote buildup and have it cleaned if necessary. If you heat with wood it’s a good idea to have the chimney cleaned before each heating season and periodically during the months of heavy use.
If you do have a chimney fire, call 911 and leave the house. We’ll come and make sure it’s completely out and hasn’t spread into your attic.
Please feel free to email or call me should you have any questions. Darland007@gmail.com or 509-209-4381
If you haven’t been introduced to my bull riding/wildfire analogy… consider that they both fit this statement: It isn’t a matter of ‘IF’ it’s gonna happen, only ‘WHEN’ and ‘HOW BAD’ you’ll get clobbered!
California and our neighbors west of the Cascades, along with the usual western states, joined the flood/tornado/hurricane folks in NOAA’s recent report estimating $16 billion in damage loss on the economic ledger this year to date. The losses in terms of human lives and devastated lives for individuals and entire communities are well beyond any accounting formula.
This is already having impacts on us … and will into the foreseeable future. The price of a 2x8x16’ board at Home Depot has doubled in price from before Labor Day weekend!
To lend some perspective to these current incidents consider the Peshtigo Fire. This fire started at about the same moment Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over the lamp in a Chicago crib barn on the 8th of October, 1871, igniting the Great Chicago Fire. Chicago got all the headlines and press coverage. The wildfire that started in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, at the same instant burned 1.2 million acres and is estimated to have had fatalities in the range of 1,500 – 2,500 souls. You may never have heard of it because its story has been relatively forgotten in the ashes & dust of Time. History Pod ~ Peshtigo Fire ( 02:47 ) [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmsnVwLMWkg ]
The History Guy ~ Peshtigo Fire ( 08:27 ) [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4wi7ebOIWs ]
The Camp/Carr/Peshtigo fires were catastrophic, ‘tsunami’ grade wildfires, weather and conditions-driven fire-storms. These are events so intense and massive that little can be done in the midst of the holocaust to stop them. The best and only decision is to choose life safety and evacuate those areas threatened or in the progressing fireline! Many internet opinions were that nothing could have been done or would have made a difference.
For the average type of fire we see, there are many seemingly small things that each of us can do to make our places easier for first responders to defend. They could be the difference in ‘How Bad?‘ one of these natural fire events will impact you, our communities, and the greater Columbia Gorge environments.
FireWise – things to do for Fall/Early Winter:
Maintain [or Expand] your FIreWise buffer (defensible) zones
**Do a 360 degree Walk Around; create a list of defensibility things you can do… 0-5’/5-30’/30-100’/100’+
**Identify evergreens needing pruning! Between 1 Nov. and 31 Dec. pruning, culling trees and preparing the debris for an early Spring disposal party or bonfire will keep the Ips beetles at bay!!! (See Ips article in this issue.)
**Plan for clearing up the little stuff! That day when most of the oak leaves have fallen and you can pick a sunny few days to rake/gather up all the leaf litter around your buildings.
Contact Tom McMackin for more information on the ‘Firewise’ and ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ programs; if you have comments, questions, or suggestions; to get more involved with the High Prairie FireWise effort; or to get connected with resources available to us as a recognized FireWise Community. Contact Tom by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone message at 509-365-2786.
Ready, Set, Go! – http://www.wildlandfirersg.org or http://www.wildlandfirersg.org/Resident
If you have an emergency on a “dark and stormy night,” will emergency responders be able to find you?
Our High Prairie Fire District encourages residents to install reflective address signs that we will make for you. The sign costs $20. Installed with hardware as needed is typically an additional $5. These signs help first responders find you! Not all responding units are from High Prairie. County ambulance crews are dispatched from White Salmon, Dallesport, or Goldendale. They follow directions from 911, so good signage and address signs are very important
Signs for named private roads can also be ordered and installed. The price is based on a quote from the sign company and cost of needed materials.
To order signs, contact Fred Henchell: 541-980-0539 or email@example.com.
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Across the nation, the economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions has increased the need for food stability programs. According to an article in the Seattle Times on September 10, 2020, 1 in 5 Washington residents could face hunger by the end of this year, as effects from the pandemic take a toll on families as well as the food distribution system. Data shows a marked increase in the number of those asking for assistance who have never been to a food bank before.
The Lyle Good Food Pantry reports that on average each month 50 families are being served, and for 15 of those families this is the first time they have asked for support within the Washington Gorge Action Programs (WAGAP) Food Bank system. This adds up to a site average of over 4,600 pounds of food or 3,700 meals being delivered each month.
The pantry began operating as a satellite site within the WAGAP Food Bank system on July 1, 2020. It serves clients from a wide range of areas including Lyle, High Prairie, Appleton, Dallesport and Murdock and is open on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. within the Lyle Activity Center at 308 Klickitat Street.
The pantry started this year in March to support students who were negatively affected by school closures, as school had been a major source of their food stability. The Lyle Community Council quickly recognized that this need extended beyond students to other families, the elderly and those who might have a limited ability to travel to secure their food. The council, in partnership with the Lyle School District and the Lyle Lions Club, created a volunteer effort out of the school’s cafeteria to organize a food drive, box food and then distribute it along the school bus route that was being used to deliver assignments to students. As the school year ended, the operation moved to the Lyle Activity Center and WAGAP agreed to make the effort part of its Food Bank network, to be staffed by local volunteers.
Kate Willsen volunteered to be the Lyle coordinator to continue the mission. “We have a great team to support locals with food stability concerns,” Willsen said. Community members are invited to join and volunteers can assist with a shift on a distribution day, help with packing boxes or other projects. “We invite community members to join us and we really appreciate the community’s help to spread the word about our bi-monthly services,” she said.
The Pantry is also accepting donations such as non-perishable foods and gluten-free, sugar-free and healthy kid-friendly food options. Baby and toddler goods are also welcome, as are eggs, dry pet food and grocery bags. Donations can be accepted on the morning of distribution days or call to arrange an exception. Monetary donations are also appreciated, and checks can be made out to WAGAP with Lyle Good Food Pantry written on the memo line and mailed to PO Box 364, Lyle, WA 98635.
Qualified individuals and families are eligible for one monthly food box which includes items such as canned goods, fresh produce, bread, and frozen meat. Guidelines for eligibility come from the Washington State Department of Agriculture under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Janeal Booren, the WAGAP Food Bank Director, explained that TEFAP works on the honor system and to receive benefits a client’s family income could be up to 400% of the federal poverty level. Booren emphasized that regardless of income level, this is a non-judgmental program, “Our belief is that if you are in need, we are here for you.”
For additional questions, or to volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (509) 281-0884.
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Easy Maple Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash. Cubes of butternut squash tossed with maple syrup, cinnamon, and rosemary, roasted to caramelized perfection.
PREP: 10 mins COOK: 30 mins TOTAL: 40 mins SERVINGS: 4–5 servings
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt (not regular table salt, or the recipe will be too salty; or reduce the amount and add a bit at the end as needed)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat two baking sheets with nonstick spray.
Place the squash cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and maple syrup, then sprinkle the salt, cinnamon, and pepper over the top. Toss to coat, then divide between the two baking sheets, discarding any excess liquid with that collects at the bottom of the bowl. Spread the cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets, taking care that they do not overlap.
Place the pans in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven, turn the cubes with a spatula, then return to the oven, switching the pans’ positions on the upper and lower racks. Continue baking until the squash is tender, about 10 to 15 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the rosemary over the top. Serve warm.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Squash can be diced 1 day in advance. Store cubes in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
TO STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
TO REHEAT: Reheat gently over low heat in a skillet on the stovetop, in the oven at 350 degrees F, or in the microwave until warmed through. Between these three options, the oven or skillet will give you the best consistency.
TO FREEZE: Lay cooked butternut in a single layer on baking sheets, and place in the freezer until frozen. Place frozen squash in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator the night before reheating. Note that when frozen, roasted vegetables will become somewhat more mushy (but they are certainly safe to eat and we don’t mind a little mush for the convenience!).