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Articles in "Island Epicure"

Today, February 15th, my devout readers begin their Lenten six-week fast from red meats and eggs.  Their menus will offer diners bean dishes and seafoods. No beef, lamb, bison, or pork need apply for admission to their kitchens.  Even so, gourmet meals can and will be served. Fish will also be allowed. After all, Jesus and his friends ate fish at the Last Supper.

On these rainy, blustery winter days, there’s no food that warms you as well as a steaming hot soup.  Son Steve and I have have warmed our souls  and bodies with fish chowder, shrimp in coconut sauce, beef stew, minestrone, lentil and vegetable soup, and chicken in various soup and sauce modes.

Oysters have never been better than they are right now. Their fattening time begins in October as the weather cools off.  They go right on improving and being well worth eating until early spring.

Each year, according to Brad Lemley, in his book The Secrets of Underground Medicine published in 2017, 2,00,000 people in America get the frightening diagnosis of cancer of some sort.  Despite millions of dollars spent yearly on cancer research,  and on treatments, the percentage of those cured does not rise.

In my previous column  I mentioned Chicken Soup for flu prevention and to ease symptoms if you already have a cold, stuffed up nose, or the flu. How do you know the difference between a cold and the flu ? With a cold you don’t have a fever; with the flu you have cold symptoms plus both a fever and aches. Both are caused by viruses.

To remain healthy through this coming holiday season, we need to pamper our immune systems. Iron feeds the immune system. Think red meat, the best food source. Think zinc gluconate, a 13 milligram  lozenge of it at the very start of a cold, every two hours for up to a week but not longer. Too much zinc actually weakens immunity says Reader’s Digest book 1801 Home Remedies.

On Thanksgiving Day eleven to fourteen family members--counting heads is like trying to count a flock of chickens--will gather around my dining table to feast on smoked turkey, cranberry relish and whatever  dishes the others contribute.

You start with the leanest, cleanest, grass-raised beef. You can ask the butcher to grind a pound of round steak for you. Besides its yummy flavor, each low fat serving provides 20 grams of high quality protein, 3 mg Vitamin B12, 5 mg niacin (the happiness vitamin) and a smidgeon of B1, B2, and B6, also 258 mg of potassium.

Now that most of the deciduous trees have cast down their leaves and we’re having  cooler weather, often with a brisk breeze that makes it feel even cooler, we’re also hearing complaints of aching joints. Of course, those are always with us, but now the cold and the dampness actually interfere with people’s ability to do what they need and want to do.

I got my wish, folks, a lesson in how to make a delicious Syrian salad, by taking notes as Jamila made Tabula in my kitchen. Her daughter Iylaf, a third grader, and speaks excellent English already.  My daughter Suzanna has an app on her cellphone that translates between Syrian and English.

They are extremely brave people. They’ve escaped civil war in their home country, Syria, a conflict that cost them family member’s lives, their homes and all their valuable things. Jamila left behind her olive orchard and ten gold bracelets. The gold could have provided capital for funding her new life here in the USA, but there was no way she could save both her jewelry and her family.

People from India are noted for their high intelligence, for which they credit turmeric. It’s the spice that gives Indian dishes their  yellow color. The intricate blend of other spices gives Indian cooking it’s mysterious and delicious flavor.  Most gourmet cooks believe that, if a dish contains coconut in any form

We do a lot with quickly cooked and marinated dishes like the ceviche recipe I grave you most recently in which briefly cooked fish marinated in lemon juice featured. This time we’ve enjoyed and pass on to you a dish deliciously presenting Thai rice noodles, shrimp and coconut cream.

It’s a rare cool, cloudy August day as I write this, but on the day I cooked the dish in the recipe below, the temperature in my kitchen was 81 degrees.  Son Steve, visiting from China, and I had no desire to turn on the cookstove. Instead, we pressed my microwave and rice cooker into doing cooler cooking.

My son Steven, home from years of teaching in Chinese Universities,when asked what  he would like for dinner, replied, “Not another stir-fry. That’s all we get in Zhengzhou.”

Don’t tell me there’s no global warming, Mr. Trump. We’ve already had some pretty hot days, and there are more to come. Our first winter in Washington after arriving  from Okinawa where the temp never goes below 50 degrees, here it snowed two feet.

Do you ever walk into a room and not remember why you went there? Open your refrigerator and find only that you can’t remember what you meant to get from it? Struggle to introduce a newcomer to someone you’ve known for years and suddenly come up blank on your old friend’s name?  Or be introduced to someone and within five minutes forget that person’s name?

Hurried day, too-full days, or lazy days call for ideas for quick, satisfying meals. Yet we want to give our families, and ourselves, healthy foods. Here are some ideas that work for us.

The colors and scents of spring and summer flowers cheer us, but not their pollen. Some us must cope with continual runny noses, bouts of sneezing , and sinus congestions when we combat those effects with antihistamine. I thank the good Lord and the highway department for eliminating most of the Island’s Scotch broom, but there’s still grass pollen, alder pollen, ragweed and many others.

Everybody I know seems to like chicken: the thrifty, because it’s a less expensive meat than most; the novice cook because the recipes range from simple to more complex as skill increases; the hurried because a skinless breast or boned thigh

I sort of remember last time saying something about a partial report from Arizona in need of completion. As it is, sort of remembering is kind of how it is these days, which I believe can at least partly be attributed to creeping old fartism, combined with a certain lack of urgency in many of my filing systems.

This week’s column features an Italian recipe for vegetarians and vegans, but anyone can enjoy it, even those who normally shun beans for fear of flatulence. The trick is to start a couple of days before you want to serve the delicious  dish. You start from scratch with dried beans that you soak overnight, drain,

For some reason we find ourselves this week somewhere outside of Phoenix, dodging wildfires and driving around looking at all the development, the already oversized freeways waiting to be clogged with newcomers, and wondering,

Some time ago I wrote a series of columns on which foods and herbs help people combat which ills. Now some readers have inquired what they can to remedy for their problems.  One of them asked what to do for fatigue. Besides recommending that she turn off TV and computer after supper, and to reduce the evening light level in her house, I suggested a little extra Vitamin Bl.