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Food for Health

The big three: calcium, magnesium, potassium

It’s autumn and you, me and the farmers are all clearing out the last of our produce from the 2019 growing season.
Even the eggplants, tomatoes and cucumbers are pretty much gone. 
Winter squash, however, is coming into its own. And in my garden, the leafy greens are really enjoying the cool, wet autumn weather. 

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Eggplants and why we salt them

One of the really nice things about late-summer tennis is that the players sometimes bestow armloads of their overflow garden vegetables.
In this way, I came into possession recently of a half dozen extremely fresh, beautiful, unblemished eggplants (thank you, Nora and Allen!). 

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In which I justify eating white bread (but it has to be good)

What’s the point of writing about white bread in this glorious summer season of corn and tomatoes and melons and cucumbers and eggplant and on and on?
I’ve been feeling guilty about my consumption levels of white bread and I’ll tell you why in a moment. 
But first, why am I eating white bread at all, especially when there is so much other good stuff to eat? Part of my guilt process is to seek self justification. I’ve been digging deep and trying to figure out why bread is in fact an important part of my diet.

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Be cool, fool: Mayonnaise, pies and smoked salmon

As I write this article, I’m at my desk eating shrimp and a mayo-based potato salad that have been sitting unrefrigerated for about four hours.
This is a bad idea, I’m discovering, not because the food is making me sick (yet), but because I’m reading warnings that are very serious and strict from the Centers for Disease Control about not doing exactly what I’m doing. 

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In which I learn to love rhubarb (at last)

It’s that time of year again, when I talk about how much I don’t like rhubarb. But this year it’s different; this year, I’ve decided that I’m such a fan of rhubarb that I went out and spent actual money to buy a rhubarb plant of my own.

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An ode to the humble green bean

In “Walden,” Henry David Thoreau recounted his experience growing what he estimated to be a 7 mile length of bean plants. It was certainly a Herculean task, especially considering that he had few tools other than his hoe. And all the more so since, sadly, he took little or no pleasure in eating the beans — only in planting, cultivating and selling them.
Chinese are the champions

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The sound of food as a meditation

My daughter, who is too skinny, asked me to make her a Jewish Passover dinner last Friday night, April 19, as the week of holiday observances was beginning. 
I was happy to comply, not only to honor this most holy holiday but also because Passover meals are fairly rich in calories and this provided an opportunity to fatten her up a bit (not like the idolatrous calf; just like a beloved but skinny child).
The sound of simmering oil

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Yes, the berries actually are getting bigger this year

It’s not your imagination, berries this year at the grocery store have in fact been fatter, sweeter and more abundant. 
The big berry growers (notably Driscoll but also a giant Spanish company called Planas) have developed some new varieties of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. It’s very important to these companies, by the way, that you know that none of these varieties was developed through genetic modification (where a gene from another organism is introduced into the berry) but rather through old-fashioned cross-breeding. 

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’Tis the season for plain toast and tea

Like a bad house guest, the flu season arrived in the Northwest Corner in December and still  has not left. 
I personally feel its presence acutely because I was sick all day Wednesday; but I’m one of the lucky few who is up and out of bed after only one day of misery.

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Warming winter foods and your yin and yang balance

Hang on, we’re about to get a little woo-woo here. This column is about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the idea of eating special seasonal foods to counteract the effects of the weather (in this case: winter weather). 
Last month was the beginning of the Chinese Lunar Year, of course (happy year of the pig!). But I’ve just been thinking generally about the TCM recommendation that, when it’s very cold, you should eat foods that are warming and that heat up your body, especially your kidneys.

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