Friday, August 18, 2017
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Image via Wikipedia Depending on the size of the banana, they have between 90 and 135 calories Bananas are so inexpensive you can buy three of them for the same price as one apple. I recently read an article in The Washington Post’s The Mini Page for children (created, BTW, by a former Raleigh, North Carolina elementary school teacher and Mom who credits her grandmother’s running a community newspaper with her inspiration for The Mini Page, now carried in 500 newspapers). It discussed a blight threatening bananas. It is serious for two reasons – all varieties of edible bananas come... (Read More ...)

Betty Crocker's Cooky Book Making brownies with my five-year-old grandson. From my husband’s favorite recipe, a variation of Brownies from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, the only cookbook I brought to our marriage 1. Wash and dry hands. Make sure grandson washes and dries his hands. Put on apron. Fold and tie apron to fit grandson. 2. Unwrap a stick of butter (1/2 cup). “See on the paper it shows you markings for tablespoons, and ¼ cup. We’re going to use the whole thing, ½ cup, the same as 8 tablespoons.” Watch him drop it in a mixing bowl. Show him how to use the buttery side of... (Read More ...)

Glorious Grits cookbook Just like I try to visit local museums wherever I travel, I often pick up local cookbooks to add to my collection. This year, a trip to Columbia, South Carolina for a family wedding, led me into a shop that had several cookbooks featuring grits. I picked “Glorious Grits: America’s Favorite Comfort Food,” published by Southern Living. We eat grits most Saturday mornings. An old-fashioned Southern grits recipe is slow – never use instant grits! They take about 45 minutes to cook, but, served with eggs over easy, or, very occasionally, red-eye gravy, taste, of course,... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia My Mom used to make the best pies of any I’ve had before or since. Lemon meringue was one brother’s favorite. I liked her cherry pies, and had the lump to show for it one day when I fell off the top of a ladder, picking cherries from the tree in our back yard. At Thanksgiving, she made pumpkin and mince meat. Our local Safeway, the only place we found mincemeat, says they sell fewer and fewer jars every year. I suppose it once really was made of meat, but now is apples, raisins, and spices. Making pie filling is pretty straightforward. Just follow the recipe. But,... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia We eat at a lot of Cracker Barrel restaurants, on our frequent trips to Georgia. They mostly line major highways, so are easily spotted. They stock audio books that you can rent for $3.49 for a week, and return at any other Cracker Barrel. We listen to a lot of books when we travel. And, they serve vegetables, which are often hard to find in restaurants on the road. My favorite lunch menu is the Kids’ Menu, beans and greens. Cooked kidney beans and turnip greens with ham. Since my husband turned me on to greens many years ago, I find this a perfect vegetable lunch. Add... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia Our daughter-in-law just fixed us a wonderful brunch. Fruit smoothies made with fresh watermelon, strawberries, peaches and raspberry sorbet. Three omelets: with ham and cheese, with sautéed mushrooms, with goat cheese and spinach. Yoghurt, drained, then flavored with orange juice and honey, over fresh blueberries and strawberries, topped with walnuts. Coffee cake muffins. Orange juice and champagne mimosas. Finished with coffee. We talked about the wonderful picnic she had made us for last week’s Mary Chapin Carpenter concert at Wolf Trap and how we promised to pass... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia Tonight we went to the Mary Chapin Carpenter concert at Wolf Trap. She started out in Washington, DC and now finishes her summer tours here as a gift to the city. It’s a mutual admiration society kind of evening. The concert and picnic were a birthday gift from my son and daughter-in-law. They asked what concert we’d like to see, got the tickets, and made the most wonderful picnic, packed in a picnic basket, along with serving utensils, plates, tablecloth, napkins, wine glasses, hand sanitizer, a lovely white wine to accompany the menu of salmon/dill/caper salad,... (Read More ...)

Lots of Vegetables A Taste of Lemon in LaGrange, Georgia, is a gem of a restaurant, serving lunch only, in a beautiful converted church, just on the edge of downtown LaGrange, Georgia. I go for the vegetables, but my husband has never had a miss whether he was ordering the smothered pork chops, fried catfish or chicken potpie. A regular vegetable plate gives you ten choices of vegetables, with rutabaga being a standard choice, sweet potatoes, fried okra, of course, turnip greens, and sometimes, field peas. If, like me, you only want five vegetables, order the small plate. It will still be a full... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia I use our blender to make wonderful hot soups and, more recently, delicious fruit smoothies with nothing but fruit and milk. My grandchildren love to help and I feel virtuous in giving them such healthy snacks. Today, I read this month’s August 2010 bon appétit magazine (subtitled, appropriately, Eat Well/Savor Life). I read it on one of my breaks from cutting back the azaleas. I know. I know. I should have done that two months ago, just after they stopped blooming. I give myself credit for doing it at all. They had suffered horribly from snowmageddon last winter and... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia After noticing smugly that people who ate huge BigMacs and fries also often ordered Diet Coke, I used to joke that Diet Coke makes you fat. While we now know that artificial sweeteners are sweeter to the taste than sugar and may make you crave more sugar, there is something else going on too. Recent research suggests we make a mental calculation when we do something healthy and give ourselves permission to do something that counter-balances the effect. It is called moral licensing. This phenomenon first came to my attention when insurance companies discovered that cars... (Read More ...)