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Articles in "Island Epicure"

A faithful reader, my daughter Suzanna, plagued with a recurrent sinus infection, asked me to jot down all my home remedies, the secrets to why when everyone else is down with a cold, the flu, sinusitis, arthritis, or any other malady, do I remain basically healthy.

This is a dish I learned to make by peering over the shoulder of my then-young husband’s grandmother, born Jane Macbeath. She was Scotch, not Scottish. She wanted it clearly understood that she was a Highland Scot. “Scottish,” she told us, “are people who live near the English border.

It’s as bright and balmy as Hawaii as I write this, so today you get a few Hawaiian recipes. Actually the Pineapple Boat Salad is one I first ate in Thailand, and that one was served without the Papaya Seed Dressing. The recipe is shamelessly adapted from the Hawaiian cookbook in my kitchen. It’s a bit sweet and a bit spicy.

Have you ever thought of getting something out of a kitchen cupboard and, by the time it took to turn around, open the cupboard and look at the contents, forgotten what you were looking for? It happened to me the other day. It scared me, and I don’t frighten easily.

A real feast for your eyes is not merely beautiful, but also superb nourishment that promotes eye health. Want to keep your night vision? Avoid macular degeneration? Counteract the fatigue of working under fluorescent lights?  For the vitamins and other nutrients that support eye health, go for raw or lightly cooked colorful vegetables, also eggs.

What do you do with all those beautiful colored boiled Easter eggs? You can and probably always do make them into deviled eggs. Here are a tasty deviled egg recipe and some other ways to use up Easter eggs.

Nutritionists advise us to avoid inflammatory foods, but few tell us what foods aren’t inflammatory. It would take more space than this column to give you a complete list of inflammatory and non-inflammatory meats, so I’ll just list the most and the least inflammatory meats.

This morning, a pre-weekly-shopping morning, one of my sons and one of my grandsons were present for breakfast. What to feed them?

Listed below are what I regard as the most magical of greens. they spark your menus, keep your blood sugar level under control, protect you from diabetes, and nourish your immune system. Besides, they taste good raw or lightly sauteed. I’ll list them alphabetically. Kudos to those of you who clip my columns and file or scrapbook them.

We’re still in the flu season. I’m still working on getting my energy back from my this-years edition of The Flu. Many of you probably are. Whatever sort of malady is going around when this column hits print, you can benefit from this old-fashioned chicken soup.

When she said, “Eat your vegetables, they’re good for you,” she had the nutritional fact right, but she could have put it in a more kid-enthusing way. And she could have cooked the veggies in chicken broth, or put a little butter with them.
 

One of the best things about winter, January in particular, is that now it’s cool enough for heating up the kitchen by baking something.

The Christmas cookie-baking season rushes on in my neighborhood. There are going to be lots of children, and older people, too, high on sugar if we don’t lock up some of the cookies.  Also, we can choose our sugars wisely.

For stamina to keep you up with all the delightful demands of December—chilly weather, snow, winter colds, Christmas shopping, the planning, the parties to give and to go to—we need to feed our bodies and minds well. A good breakfast fuels us for these high energy expenditure days.

Down on the coast, this year’s cranberries have been raked, sorted and packaged for our pleasure and good nourishment. We’ve enjoyed them in baked goods this month, especially these scones, made with low-gluten barley flour or no-gluten sorghum flour combined with almond meal for texture and flavor.

My grandson, James, an innovative epicure, often cooks our breakfast. This morning he made us a spicy spinach and cheese omelet that fueled us well and quite deliciously with plenty of protein.

You can still be a frugal cook, even when you splurge on something as expensive as scallops. Frugality is not the same as miserliness. It means not wasting a thing, and making the most of what you have.

Don’t let the dairy promoters fool you: Calcium does not make strong bones. It provides mass, but magnesium is what you want for bones that don’t break easily. But, experts say, our diets are notoriously short on magnesium.

My rice cooker works best when I cook at least a cupful of raw rice at a time. It produces more than can be consumed at one meal. It’s good, though, to have some cooked rice on hand. Some ways to use it:

As the weather cools, we seem to get energized. We involve ourselves in new activities. One way we save our personal time for these is to cook once to eat twice.

You could make a package of ground lean beef or bison into meat loaf, but then you’d have to heat up the oven. and the weather is seldom cool enough for that yet.

Why am I avoiding genetically modified foods, foods created by Monsanto to be able to tolerate huge amounts of insecticides, like Round-Up which Monsanto also sells? Read that sentence again and think about it .

Any trip to the grocery store causes sticker-shock. Prices go up, but my income doesn’t. Frugality is the only way to survive. I means not wasting anything. Here’s where we can profit from my childhood during the Great Depression years.  Our motto was, “Use it up or wear it out; make it do or do without.”

In hot countries, hot dishes and spicy foods help people sweat, and thus cool off. Here, we rather like cold soups. Today, I give you a Chinese soup that’s served hot or tepid. My daughter Suzanna Leigh, whose inspirational motif is the dragon, gave me the name for it.