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Apples and Oranges

22 Nov

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”
(George Bernard Shaw)

My favorite Doc illustrates how to eat a whole apple.

“What’s the point of eating an apple whole?”, you ask.  The Atlantic’s medical journalist, James Hamblin, makes two good cases: 1) From an economic standpoint, we can save $13.2 billion worth of wasted apples that ends up being trashed, when the money could be put to relief aids or other helfpul uses. 2) Though the good Doc didn’t explicitly say it, this point is a smart take-away: you get more bang for your buck for eating the whole fruit (minus the seeds, unless you have a thing for cyanide).

I’ve tried the “bottom to top” method several times now and though I like the concept, I could not eat the apples as fast as I wanted to as I always try to carefully avoid eating the seeds.  Whenever I’d finish eating an apple using the “no core” strategy, I’d feel like Applejack feeling smug after picking loads of apples then realizing that there were more to be picked… “How’d ya like them apples!”

In my case, realizing that it takes me longer to eat an apple because I become cautious and self-conscious when I reach the seeds, it makes me less enthusiastic about eating apples.  My solution is to slice the apple, remove the area containing the seeds, and compost said area.  I may not be able to eat an apple like a boss but I sure can slice apples into quarters and put the mythical apple cores in the compost like a boss.

I feel as if I can’t talk about apples without talking about oranges so for those of you who’d like to try eating whole oranges, meaning orange peel and all, go for it.  Orange peels contain a type of carbohydrate called pectin which can help increase beneficial bacteria in the large intestine.  How’d ya like them orange peels!

With the holidays approaching, let’s revisit the tradition of putting oranges in stockings, or why not just give a fruit basket that includes apples and oranges.  Give the gift of health – it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Blue Raspberries

1 Apr

This will blow your mind… blue raspberries.

Yes! Blue raspberries!

Can you believe it?  Can you? Can you?

I know I can’t.  The first time I saw them I went “Whoa!”  They’re mind-boggling, aren’t they.  I bet your visual-neural connection is taking its time getting used to the idea.  Can you imagine topping ice cream with a lone blue raspberry, or making blue raspberry pie?  Your guests would certainly be amazed.

I bet you’re thinking, “Where can I find them?”…  If there are specialty markets near you, check with the produce manager.  Otherwise you’ll just have to forego these fancy blue raspberries and go with regular raspberries.  You know, the red kind.  Bummer for you.

Melon Shake

12 Aug

Last Sunday, we hit a scorcher at 93°F, which is just shy of 5.6°F compared to our internal body temp.  Yes, that’s bloody warm (pun intended).  Islanders have devised various ways of cooling off – from taking a long dip in the water (for those lucky enough to live near a body of water or a pool), having mid-day cold showers, enjoying iced treats, to standing in front of a fan or fanning themselves wild (which really only has an opposite effect… I’ll let you think about the “why?” on this one).  As we are enjoying, or not enjoying, summer heat in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere and maybe wishing for cool weather, Curiosity is experiencing extreme weather.  Lucky us, we’re not in Mars.  Yet.

Today, we will hit a high at 81°F.  Not bad compared to last week, but still very warm nonetheless.  I could use a nice chilled drink…

My islander parents have treated my sisters and me to various tropical iced drinks and shaved ice desserts when the weather is hot.  As a result of a long history of being exposed to cold treats, I’m big on chilled desserts and drinks.  A favorite is an iced cantaloupe drink that involves shredding the melon (with a neat tool specific for it) and letting the dainty shreds “sit” in sweetened water for a couple of hours.  Then you pour the melon water into a glass with ice.  Sometimes condense milk is added to increase the sweetness.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the melon shredding tool, so I turned to my blender to help me create a cantaloupe shake.  Simple and quick.

Melon Shake

2 cups cubed cantaloupes (or a melon of your choice)
1 cup herbal tea (or any tea of your choice)
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream (optional)
Honey, to taste

In a blender, puree the cantaloupe, tea, ice cream, and honey.  Separation will occur, so just stir with a straw or a stirring stick.

Smile and enjoy.

Yellow Watermelon

4 Sep

Imagine my surprise when I sighted yellow watermelons in Trader Joe’s (Issaquah).  The Hubby and I almost left TJ’s without grabbing one.  Interestingly enough, as soon as I cradled it in my arm, The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine wormed its way in my head, and I’ve been humming it ever since.  Don’t know how the song Yellow Submarine goes?  Watch someone’s Lego musical version below and get the song in your head too.

I suppose my musical ohrwurm will be free when we run out of yellow watermelons.  For the love of watermelons, I posted an article about the popular summer fruit last summer.  I learned a few things, including but not limited to watermelons having a “Viagra-effect.”  (If you’re a guy, don’t even think about stuffing yourself silly with watermelon for the purple pill effect.  Here’s why.)

What makes yellow watermelons different from red watermelons?  Taste wise, it has a pronounced dry sweetness that comes off subtle at first.  Its color is tricky in that your taste would expect it to be on the sour side.  Just think of all the yellow fruits that you know, all of them are sour, right?  (Not considering bananas.)  In fact, looking at a slice of yellow watermelon reminds me of pineapple.  This is my million dollar question that I couldn’t find the answer on: would yellow watermelons have the same nutritional content as red watermelons?  I searched the USDA National Nutrient Database but it doesn’t have any info specific to yellow watermelons, it does have data on raw watermelon and watermelon seeds.  I wonder if it’s all right for me to assume that the USDA data on raw watermelon covers both red and yellow, hmmm…

All this mention of yellow is churning my noggin into thinking up of songs with yellow in the lyrics such as “…they call it mellow yellow…,” “…it was that itsy-bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini…,” “look at the stars, look how they shine for you, and everything you do, yeah they were all yellow…”

“We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine…”

Sangria y sangria blanca

14 Aug

There’s nothing like beating wintertime chill and blues with eggnog, mulled wine, or hot spiced cider.  Or all three even, if you really want.  During summer, on the other hand, comes an explosion of drinks perfect for beating the heat… and to name a few… pina colada, Long Island iced tea, margarita, mai tai, daiquiri, et cetera, et cetera.  For my family, sangria is the summer drink of choice.  That is specifically, sangria blanca.  Sangria requires red wine while sangria blanca involves white wine.  My father has a lovely recipe shared to him by a cousin, but I wanted to “go my own way” (yes, a reference to Fleetwood Mac) and used a different mix of summer fruits for the sangrias served at a recent lunch affair with friends.

The ingredients for sangria are: wine, sugar, fruits, brandy, and juice (the last two ingredients are optional).  Keep in mind that the entire bottle of wine is a part of the recipe, the additions are based on your taste requirements, which means you can add as much sugar and juice as your sweet-tooth dictates.

Here’s a simple photographic narrative of how to make a sangria and a sangria blanca.

Chill overnight and enjoy.

Happy summer!