Recipe: Cracking the común chayote

by Chrishonda Brown

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) is the perfect fall occasion to celebrate exotic flavors and ingredients from Spain, Mexico, the Carribean and Central and South America. One of these fruits, a proven family favorite, is the chayote.

The low-calorie chayote is a delicious treat, high in water and fiber and loaded with vitamin C, potassium and amino acids.

Although the chayote fruit is the most popular, the leaves, stem, root and seeds are edible as well. In fact, traditional folklore suggests that ancient royalty enjoyed the slight almond flavor of a single toasted chayote seed as a delicacy.

When preparing parts of the chayote, the root is cooked much like potatoes, while the leaves and stem work well in salads or cooked like greens. The flesh is often cooked like summer squash but can also be marinated in citrus juice or eaten raw in salsas and salads.

Chrishonda Brown, M.S. in kinesiology, is a guest columnist for Kansas State Research and Extension, Wyandotte County. For more recipes visit www.kidsacooking.org Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KSREWyco and follow on Twitter @WyCoSnapEd.

Mexican Vegetable Medley
Makes: 8 servings
5 small red potatoes
3 chayotes (not the prickly kind)
2 large zuchinni
2 lemons
1 4-oz jar of chile con limon seasoning
Directions:
Boil potatoes until soft. Chill, then peel and cut into 1-inch squares.
Boil chayotes until soft enough to prick with a fork. Cut into 1-inch squares.
Cut zuchinni into 1-inch suqares. Boil in water for about 5 minutes.
Mix all vegetables together in large bowl. Cut and squeeze the lemons into bowl and mix, thoroughly coating vegetables with lemon juice.
Sprinkle chile con limon over vegetables and mix. Add salt to taste.
Nutritional information for each serving: 106 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 24g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 4g sugars, 32mg sodium, 4g protein, 3% Vitamin A, 61% Vitamin C, 4% calcium, 8% iron.

Kansas City, Kan., police reports

Sept. 17
Burglary, criminal damage, 1200 block of Douglas Avenue, garage door panel damage, three electrical panels, electrical panels and generators, $90,200 value.

Sept. 18
Burglary, criminal damage, 1800 block of Village West Parkway, business, window, two display cases, necklace, $8,000 value.
Aggravated burglary, criminal damage, 7100 block of Ohio, three televisions, video game system, $1,430 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 7000 block of Kansas Avenue, card, birth certificate, personal check, $40 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 200 block of South 11th, door, two laptops, three necklaces, $455 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 2500 block of North 22nd, window, computer tablet, trumpet, $400 value.
Burglary, vehicle, criminal damage, 200 block of North James, car window, Glock handgun, $700 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 200 block of Southwest Boulevard, business, door, two generators, $4,711 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 2200 block of South 49th, screen, two jeans, one purse, $670 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 1600 block of West 39th Avenue, two pairs of men’s pants, window, $300 value.

Sept. 17
Burglary, 500 block of Sandusky, moped, $650 value.
Theft, criminal damage, 400 block of North 78th, church, five commercial air conditioners, copper, $35,000 value.
Theft, 8900 block of Parallel Parkway, purse, cash, identification card, cell phone, $641 value.

KCKCC celebrates national White Cane Safety Day

by Kelly Rogge
Kansas City Kansas Community College is celebrating White Cane Safety Day Oct. 15 with a demonstration of its new crosswalk signal.

White Cane Safety Day is a national observance, celebrated on Oct. 15 of each year. The goal of the day is to celebrate the achievements of those who have visual impairments as well as the symbol of blindness, the white cane. President Lyndon B. Johnson was the first to sign a proclamation for White Cane Safety Day, which is also referred to as Blind Americans Equality Day.

This year, staff from the Kansas State School for the Blind, 1100 State Ave. in Kansas City, Kan. will be visiting KCKCC to demonstrate the new and improved intersection on the KCKCC campus, crossing Campus Blvd. from the main building to student housing. Cheryl Covell-Seaton, career education and mobility specialist at the Kansas State School for the Blind, said the crosswalk started with a simple email to Michael Burns, director of the Academic Resource Center at KCKCC, explaining the need for an accessible pedestrian signal at the crosswalk.

“Without it, it was not really safe for anyone, sketchy at best for someone with a visual impairment and impossible for someone who is both blind and hearing impaired,” she said.

The intersection has been retrofitted with Accessible Pedestrian Signals, channelized walkways and detectable warning strips, which provide information for individuals with visual impairments. The signals are activated by a cross walk button that continuously “chirps,” so blind or visually impaired students can find it to activate the stop lights. The APS system also provides information verbally, telling students when it is safe to cross as well as tactilely via vibrations for individuals who have dual sensory impairments-auditory and visual loss. The light at the cross walk turns solid red to stop cars, and then after a timed interval, flashes red to allow cars to pass if the intersection remains clear. After a time, the signal will go dark, allowing for vehicles to pass freely. The sidewalk has also been straightened extending it to the south side of the Fine Arts building and automated door openers have been installed at those doors.

The demonstration will take place at 4 p.m. Oct. 15 on the KCKCC campus. Blindfolds and white canes will be provided for those who would like to experience using the new APS signals without vision.

“This made crossing very difficult at busy times of the day. This strategy was also not completely full-proof when you consider how quiet hybrid vehicles are, background noise (such as construction, wind), etc.,” she said. “As you can understand, someone who cannot see or hear the vehicles would have no way to make a safe crossing without having a way to stop traffic.”

Previously, there was no formal traffic control at the crosswalk. Students and staff crossing the heavily traveled Campus Boulevard had to rely on drivers to stop on their own. Covell-Seaton said they would teach their blind students to only cross when it was completely silent (indicating that there is no traffic coming from either direction).

“The APS that was installed is state-of-the-art,” Covell-Seaton said. “It has made traveling between student housing and main campus safer for all students.”

For more information, contact Craig Phillips, certified orientation and mobility specialist and teacher of the blind and visually impaired at the Kansas State School for the Blind, at cphillips@kssdb.org or by calling 913-305-3044.