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Food for Health

Apples, custard and inner peace

The delicate early apples that come in late summer are pretty much gone. Now is the time to pick and buy the heartier late summer/early autumn fruits that are less transient and will stay tasty and firm through the winter.
In something that I read recently, a novel about children during World War II, possibly by Kate Atkinson, I became aware of something described as apples in custard. 
That sounded kind of good, so I did some research in the 85-degree heat this week on baking custard and baking apples.

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When your zucchini requires its own wheelbarrow

Just for the record, I am not the one who grew the giant zucchini in the photo, right (I added the mini Tintin toy for scale). It was given to me by my friend and colleague, Libby Hall-Abeel, and I am not going to ask her where she got it because I don’t want to know.

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Plum delicious

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with plums for most of my life. I want to enjoy them; a good plum is divine. But the skin is so often so sour that it ruins the fun for me; and (as with peaches), many supermarket plums never quite ripen to that exquisite place where the fruit is perfectly soft and deliciously sweet. 

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No need to overcook your corn

I ran into my friend Eric yesterday and had to apologize that I haven’t been to his restaurant in Salisbury lately but, really, who wants to eat out in the Northwest Corner in Connecticut when there is so much incredible fresh produce in the backyard garden and at the local farm stand? 
Even people who don’t like to cook or prepare their own meals should be eating at home. It’s late August. 

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‘Sharon Cooks’ cookbook debuts at Hotchkiss Library author signing

Surprising bit of pork trivia: The cut that is known as the butt actually comes from the shoulder (which reminds me of a common expression used when people are perennially confused and are said to not know their, umm, their butt from their elbow).
Pork butt got its name, according to Wikipedia, because butchers used to put the “cheaper” cuts such as the ham and the shoulder into butts or barrels to transport them from place to place. I guess the tenderloins got to travel by coach or something.

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Should you consider a vegetarian or vegan diet?

I was reading recipes online for vegan meals and found a comment stream that said that Dijon mustard is not considered an acceptable vegan ingredient (neither is honey, apparently), and I felt like that was taking things too far. I protest. 

Sugar: the good, the bad and the ugly

cythiah@lakevillejournal.com

There was a news story going around a couple weeks ago about sugar that raised the question of whether people realize that sugar is fattening. There was an accusation being made that the sugar lobby had been hiding this fact from people. (In my opinion, if the sugar lobby’s job was to keep us from realizing that there are a lot of calories in sugar, then they failed and need to be fired.)

The case of the speckled hound

You have to love a winter squash whose name is a portmanteau of iconic Sherlock Holmes tales. Take “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” and moosh it together with “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and you end up with a speckled hound squash: It tastes great, makes excellent soup and might  one day end up as a Masterpiece Mystery special starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Cooks: The Adventure of the Speckled Hound).  

The sweet (?) scent of ripe tomatoes … and other plants

cythiah@lakevillejournal.com

What do tomatoes have in common with cannabis? They both have strong scents that are apparently caused by something in their genetic makeup called terpenes. 

Can’t beat beets for a sweet summer treat

One of the many nice things about buying vegetables from local farms is that you can ask about the conditions in which your vegetables were grown.

Of course, just because you ask doesn’t mean that you’ll get a complete answer. There is so much anxiety these days about genetically modified foods that even if your farmer is using GMO seeds, he or she might not tell you about it — even if you ask point blank.

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