Seasonal preferences are often a bone of contention for those who enjoy cooking out of doors. Some of us can only stomach summertime meals like burgers and grilled barbecue. I personally have always enjoyed the fall season with the multicolored landscape and wonderful harvest season. Seafood thrives this time of year as well.
One of the more contentious issues for seafood lovers is the decision to buy wild as opposed to farm raised fish. One of the key questions is whether farm raised fish are higher in contaminants. It’s not a yes or no answer in most cases. Contaminants like PCBs are much better controlled today in waters where wild fish are caught while genetic modification, or hormones and antibodies are not permitted in the U.S. As the nutritionist and popular blogger Monica Reinagel reports in her blog Nutrition Diva, wild-catch fishing, and setting and enforcing standards protect the marine environment and fish populations. And fish farming is strictly regulated.
My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting with New York State Senator Kemp Hannon on Sept. 4 to discuss our significant concerns with the Common Core Curriculum. The senator graciously agreed to meet and spent almost an hour with us, listening to the issues associated with the curriculum.
By now, I am certain that most readers are familiar with some of the problems inherent with the curriculum. Chief among them are the lack of input from educators, early childhood experts and a completely unproven and untested curriculum, despite dubious claims by the creators that they are internationally benchmarked. The absence of such expertise is readily apparent, given the inappropriate expectations imposed upon our youngest students and the subsequent pressure placed on students and teachers alike to produce high marks on state testing.
Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn, ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom.
Alfred Griswold Whitney
The week of Sept. 21-28 has been designated Banned Books Week by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. During this time, libraries and schools around the country hold programs and readings to celebrate the “right to read.”
Some sports stories amuse me, while some anger me. Following are my musings about some recent sports section articles.
Medford’s own Marcus Stroman currently has a winning record for a Canadian team in the American League. So why didn’t the Mets sign this good young pitcher first?
I was very surprised when Alex Rodriguez’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, expressed such glee over A-Rod’s drug dealer finally facing a possible prison sentence; but then I remembered that
Anthony Bosch had forced A-Rod to inject all those steroids at gunpoint. Or have I misremembered that?
Cucumbers were always my Lithuanian grandmother’s favorite vegetable. Every fall, she methodically began the natural process of canning the cucumbers she had been growing. She didn’t speak English, so explanations were primarily visual. My brother and I assisted her in this process from searching for large pickle jars to finding dill and other pickling spices and vinegar in the local markets, It was always great fun which helped to make the end of summer and going back to school more palatable.
Here we are again. The fall is upon us and the number of cukes, especially the warty yet delicious Kirby cukes, make the “dilling process” that much more exciting. Below are a series of recipes that easily enable us to take advantage of the riches that cucumbers bring us this time of year. The first is an easy canning process. Other recipes illustrate that cukes are delicious cooked or raw. And we also have to recognize that cucumbers are grown to be skinless like the European varieties and rough and warty like the Kirby’s. A third variety is called burpless to help digestion. The most recent varieties are promoted as having few seeds and thin skins which contain fiber, silica, magnesium and potassium. And since the silica is said to be good for the face, we find a double advantage in the kitchen and for facials. See Deborah Madison’s discussion of this research in Vegetable Literacy 2014. I personally enjoy the warty Kirby’s over the European’s because they are smaller, 3-4 inches, and easier to handle in the pickling process. Further, grocery store pickles are waxed to retard the process of losing moisture. So shopping at your farmer’s market or growing your own pickles avoids waxing which can’t be that good for us to begin with.
Pickling Made Easy
Yield: A gallon of pickles
Requires no special equipment, no canning experience and tastes just like refrigerated kosher dill pickles. Use gallon-size container.
• 15–25 Kirby cucumbers, 3-4 inches long
• 1/2 gallon cold water
• 1/2 cup cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
• 1/4 cup kosher salt
• 4 cloves garlic
• 4 fresh dill heads, or 4 tablespoons dried dill
1. Wash cucumbers but do not scrub them.
2. In a gallon-jar container, or 16-ounce ball jars, layer the dill or seed and garlic cloves.
3. In a large bowl stir together the remaining ingredients including the cucumbers.
4. Pour all of the ingredients (the brine) over the cucumbers in the container, taking care to make sure all of the cucumbers are fully submerged. If needed, place something heavy on the cucumbers to weigh them down and keep them under the brine—such as a small plate.
5. Cover the container with a lid or place a piece of cheesecloth over the jar with a rubber band
6. Leave out of direct sunlight on the counter for 2-4 days. Fix your lid tightly onto your jar or container and chill. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months provided you keep them covered with brine.
7.Remove any foam on top of the brine with a spoon. Do the same attached to any cucumber. Remove those affected. And keep all pickles fully submerged. You have just created a wonderful, home-made specialty. Enjoy.
Baked Cucumbers—With Variations
By Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961)
• 6 large cucumbers
• 1/4 cup white wine
• 11/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/8 teaspoon sugar
• 3 tablespoons melted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon dill
or 1/2 teaspoon basil
• 4 tablespoons minced scallions
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
We are happy to report that we successfully met our goals for this summer of expanding programs, adding local trips and meeting new friends.
Center Members enjoyed a day at CitiField compliments of the New York Mets. Accommodations were made to make the day special and Center members gratefully anticipate being invited again next year! Let’s go Mets!
Here are a few other favorite eggplant recipes in Italian cuisine while others are more ethnically diverse. All of these delectables are easy to make and too delicious not to try yourself.
Residents were surprised to get tickets during the summer when they did not know schools were in summer session.
People know the difference between justice, and the law. Ticketing people who did not know school was in session is not just.
As fighting rages between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, many of us find ourselves faced with questions and concerns. What can we do? How can we help? How can this horror go away?
These were the questions on people’s minds as Dr. Asaf Romirowsky, Middle East Analyst and Historian, spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people at the Mid-Island Y JCC in Plainview about the current Mid-East conflict.
India is the birthplace of eggplant. But seldom do we see Indian varieties. In fact, many people assume that eggplant, which is actually a fruit not a vegetable, comes from the English who originally thought of eggplant as having an ornamental virtue rather than a culinary one. Its beauty is not to be under estimated but the numbers of ways eggplant can be prepared to eat are virtually endless especially during the summer months. And the more I explore this lovely fruit, the more I appreciate the multicultural possibilities.
However, the discovery that the fruit contained an alkaloid was thought to aggravate gout and arthritis. People with these conditions were even told not to eat eggplants.
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