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Food for Health

The skinny on coconut fat

I’ve cooked for some people with pretty serious food restrictions, either by choice or because of allergies or intolerance.
It’s possible that I am now faced with my greatest challenge. I won’t lay out the full extent of it but I’ll say the list of forbidden foods is umm quite large. He’s a lovely person, however, and therefore worth the effort.

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Taking the smell out of cabbage

When we were young and looking for our first apartment, my husband would eliminate certain rental options by wrinkling his nose and saying, “Impossible. It smells like cabbage.”
Not raw cabbage, of course, but the boiled stuff.
What makes cabbage give off such a strong odor when it’s cooking? According to one website, it’s because the amount of sulfur in the leaves increases as you cook them; the longer you cook your cabbage, the stronger the scent will be.

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Food safety and power outages

For all you optimists who keep telling me winter is over, let me remind you that in New England, winter truly begins in February. 
Evidence of this is available in the number of snowstorms that have smooshed the region in the past week or so, including one that came with a power outage that lasted from eight hours to a week depending on where you live. 
I say “one” power outage knowing that another one could follow at any moment (perhaps even one that the region after this issue, and this article, went to press). 

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Turmeric is as good as gold

Turmeric is as good as gold 

I dabbed some turmeric on my finger and tasted it, expecting it to taste “earthy” or “Indian,” but what I found was that it tasted like my memories of exceptional Mexican food, eaten when I was growing up in Chicago. 

An internet search of “turmeric Mexican recipes” followed and it would appear that this curry-colored spice is a main ingredient in the yellow rice and beans that usually come with your burrito plate or your enchiladas.

How to get moisture in your body

I’m sick. You probably are too, or have been, or have someone in your house or close community of friends who is sick. 
I’m also dehydrated, because I’m older now and my body naturally retains less fluid; because it’s cold and dry everywhere; and because, as noted, I’m sick.
Chicken broth is the answer, as is so often the case.

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How to preserve vitamins — and citrus fruit

At this time of year, everyone needs some vitamin C because everyone is on the edge of catching a cold or flu (everyone). 
Also at this time of year, there are lots of enticing citrus fruits at the grocery store. Clementine oranges (and the many new iterations of the clementine, such as Halos, Cuties and Satsumas) are abundant at every supermarket, and relatively inexpensive. This year’s crop, based on a completely limited and personal survey of available product, seems to be sweet and juicy. 

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A sweet ending to the holiday season

Chestnuts are like the doctors of the nut world: Above all, they do no harm.
Unlike so many luscious, rich, dense, sweet foods, chestnuts are not bad for you. In some ways, they’re even good for you. They have a wee bit of manganese, a mineral that helps keep your skeleton fit and healthy. They have a fair amount of vitamin C (12 percent of your daily dose if you eat an ounce of them) and potassium (5 percent). 

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Foods won’t live forever in your fridge

If you still have food left over from Thanksgiving, it’s time to throw it out. I’m sorry, it just is.
But let’s talk about what to do with leftovers from your end-of-year holiday parties (and obviously this information also applies to all your leftover food, every day of the week).

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Don’t wash your turkey (anymore)

Wow, I looked away for one minute and everything changed.  I remember very distinctly being told in no uncertain terms that I needed to wash my poultry before cooking it (and then ultra sanitize every surface in my kitchen afterward).

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When your friend loves you, she brings beets

My college friend Tina is staying with me this week and because she’s nutty like I am, she brought a suitcase full of fresh beets to me from her father’s farmette in her hometown of Seattle. 
I love beets. My daughter loves beets and she isn’t exactly a big foodie. But so many people dislike beets. It makes me feel fortunate that my mother never inflicted canned beets or other flavorless, vapid variations on me. I came to adulthood ready to accept the delights of a well-cooked beet.

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