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Articles in "Island Epicure"

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Diabetes has become epidemic in this country. It runs through my family, too.. If Americans could defeat diabetes, think how our medical expenses would go down, and our productivity increase!

Several issues ago, I began a series of home remedies for common ailments. To carry on with that series, here’s what I’m doing for an eye infection: It’s another application for my Magic Potion. I call it that because it works fast in most cases and can help for many health problems.

Pancakes are the quickbread I make most often. They’re perfect for a guest breakfast or a Sunday night supper. You can dress them up with real maple syrup, or more healthfully with yogurt and fresh fruit. Or bake them with fresh or frozen blueberries folded in just before baking. Added before the last minute, frozen berries tend to bleed blue juice, spoiling the beauty of our product.

As I write this, the July heat wave has passed and it actually rained for a few minutes this morning! But we all know we’ll experience more hot days and may be in the midst of a series of them when this hits print in early August. Cold meals that require little or no cooking please the cook and the family best on such truly hot days.

Chicken, though pricier that it used to be—what isn’t?—is still about the thriftiest meat you can eat. When I cooked chicken with green beans in curry sauce, extemporizing from what was in the freezer and the vegetable bin, the grandson who came to dinner, kept saying, “Mmm-mm, good!”

These are our salad days. You don’t have to be vegetarians or vegans to put cold, high protein, salad-based meals on your table.  A white bean salad even looks cool, whether you chill it before serving or not. This one is adapted from an Azerbaidzhani recipe in“Cooking from the Caucasus” by Sonia Uvezian. 

Of course, your best bet is to avoid burns in the first place. I keep hot pads in the kitchen drawer next to the stove, and know from experience to use them.

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.