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Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Cold

It all started on Saturday. That scratchy sore throat, no energy, just wanting to sleep. Ahhhh the dreaded summer cold. I'm the kind of person that doesn't get sick often and I can usually psyche myself "healthy"! I made a beverage of water with fresh ginger slices, orange slices, lime slices, and fresh mint. I let it sit in the refrigerator for hours. It was delicious cold, but I decided to heat a cup in the microwave. What a real sore throat soother...... just added a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it up a little.

There are certain foods that really soothe the cold for me. During the winter, I enjoy the Greek Avgolemeno soup. A soup with a chicken base with a lot of lemon and rice. It's not winter now, so what for comfort? Sure there are the beverages of citrus water (above), and of course hot tea. I remember countless mugs of hot tea, lemon, and honey when I was a child to soothe a cold. What else though?? My second thought was hot and sour or won ton soups from the local Chinese restaurant. I've even purchased frozen won tons to make my own soup from time to time. It's so easy with the addition of green onions, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Not enough time to make really good soup after work today as I have no stock in my freezer, so I may head to the local Chinese restaurant for some warming soup.

What are your favorite foods to "cure" the common cold? Who knows, I may try one of them too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Strawberries are possibly my favorite summer fruit. I remember as a child, my grandfather planted several strawberry plants at the back of the house. I remember the fragrant scent of those berries when I went to "help" him pick the berries. He would pick the berries and I was able to eat several of them as they were picked. You just can't beat a fresh picked strawberry. Even when I purchase them at the store, I pick up the container and smell it. I'm still searching for that "perfectly ripe" strawberry of my childhood. Sure I've come close, but never the exact same.

I've not picked strawberries since my sons were little boys. There is a certain excitement of spying the "biggest", "reddest", or most perfectly shaped strawberry. We filled a nice size bucket before continuing on our journey to Tennessee one year. This great berry needs no refinement or adornment to be enjoyed. I must admit that a chocolate covered strawberry is nice from time to time, and they do look nice on a chocolate cake, but I prefer them plain.

I attended a party this weekend and my job was to put the berries on a large white platter. These are the biggest berries that I have ever seen! They were so delicious too. A little powdered sugar and bowl of freshly whipped cream to give them a little more sweetness....which they did not need. These must be the berries my mom spoke of about their days of living in California. She said that the berries were so large, that she would peel them for the lady with whom she was helping! Now that is something I've never heard of.... peeling a strawberry!!! Perhaps the lady could not have seeds for some reason. I don't know as I never asked my mom.

If I am going to sweeten the berries, I'll add a touch of honey or sugar. I've been curious to try adding balsamic vinegar as I've heard that it really accentuates the flavor of the berry. I've not given it a try yet, but I do have some strawberries...................and some balsamic vinegar.

Two of my summer favorites for the warm evenings are zesty lemon sorbet and fresh strawberries. The tartness of the lemon (which happens to be my most used kitchen food) and the sweetness of the berry satisfy both the sweet tooth with a little tang to lessen the sweetness a tad.

I'd like to go strawberry picking sometime in the next month or so. I must look at farms in and around my area and see if that is possible. I do know that they must be eaten quickly as I'm not one to freeze them.


Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar