One Way to Raise a Great Cook

Little Liza's Cookbook

Liza’s Personal Childhood Cookbook

As I recall, this is the time of year that gave rise to “Cook ‘Til You Drop”, the cookbook my daughter, Liza, made when she was six or seven. I can’t remember. The book,  including title and cover art, was entirely her idea.

Every year, when the raspberries ripened around the first of July, we’d say, “Where’s that Raspberry Cheesecake Parfait recipe?” Since it was the old days, the early ’90s before the Internet, that meant searching through a huge stack of Cooking Light magazines until we found it. Liza, having much less to do than I and forever the Martha Stewart, thought it made sense to preserve her favorite recipes in a self-adhesive photo album. We photocopied only her besties to make Cook ‘Til You Drop.

From that time on, Liza has always kept a personal recipe book. Perhaps it’s a reason why Eliza Hartley in the Kitchenshe is a fabulous cook today.

Here are two summer favorites from Cook ‘Til You Drop:

Your thoughts: Did you cook as a kid? Do you cook with your kids? What do you make?

Got To Do It: Take a Hike!

trail marker for the Appalachian Trail.This past weekend, I went hiking on a bit of the Appalachian Trail in the Delaware Water Gap. (That’s the Delaware River on the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border, not Delaware, the second smallest state.) The A.T. is a marked hiking trail running from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. I decided that I will hike the entire A.T. in sections over the next twenty years. I might have done 20 miles so far. Just 2180 left to go.

Sandee Takes a Hike Sandee Ostwind Hiking in the Delaware Water Gap

This is my friend, Sandee, a 60 year old woman who had not hiked a day in her life until last October. The very idea makes her daughter convulse with laughter. Sandee is still not your typical hiker (“Let’s sit down and take a rest.”); however, she enjoys it immensely. Why? Sandee says, “Hiking has everything – physical, mental, spiritual. I feel great about myself when I finish a hike.”

Mountain LaurelMountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia, the flowering evergreen shrub, blooms in May and June in the mountainous forests of the Eastern United States. The Mid-Atlantic States are blanketed this week. White flowers in the shade and pink flowers in the sun.

 

Damn You, New York Times!

Circada on a leaf

Little Circada

I’m mad at The New York Times, with their multimedia features and images enlarged 100 times, for scaring me about cicadas. Cicadas are insects that crawl out of the ground every 17 years for a three-to-four-week frenzy of mating before they deposit their nymphs underground and die. We saw cicadas on leaves, and they are cute little critters. First, we heard them (Is that the sound of a broken fan belt? You decide…) and then we saw them on leaves here and there. Their swarming actually takes place 40 feet above in the trees. Not once did a molted carcass fall on my head.

Your thoughts, do you hike? What do you like about it?

Beware of the Ground Turkey Trots

ground-turkey-406x250“Don’t buy the ground turkey,” I said to my nonagenarian aunt at the supermarket. She is just too frail and too old to take that risk.

Consumer Reports’ recently investigated 257 samples of raw ground turkey meat from major supermarkets in the United States. They tested for five bacteria (enterococcus, E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and campylobacter) that may cause severe foodborne illness and be fatal in some cases. Consumer Reports’ found that 90 percent of the samples tested had  one or more of the five bacteria.  But what’s worse is that nearly 80 percent of the Enterococcus bacteria were resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics, as were more than half of the E. coli and 67 percent of the Salmonella strains. Who can forget the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak of 2011? One person died, 37 were hospitalized and 136 people were officially sickened – from ground turkey. The CDC said the outbreak might have sickened 4,000 more people.

Consumer Reports’ recommends buying ground turkey labeled “no antibiotics” or “organic” because turkeys “raised without antibiotics” contain fewer antibiotic-resistant bacteria – they still harbor bacteria, but they are less likely to be superbugs. Still, just to be safe, IMHO the very young, very old and frail, pregnant, and sick should avoid ground turkey and the risk of getting the turkey trots.

Your thoughts, Do you eat ground turkey meat?