I Miss Vinegar! - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at Allrecipes.com - 192745

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

I Miss Vinegar! 
Aug. 30, 2010 4:14 am 
Updated: Sep. 4, 2010 12:06 am
We still need to keep SouthernGma and Kira in our prayers and thoughts! Here’s the links.
If you want to read SouthernGma’s original post about Kira and all the supportive comments from the AR family, use this link.
When I had first read of little Kira’s plight, I had an incredible guilt feeling. Here I am an old man whose prognosis for a continued life has been rated as good. My life has been great and fulfilling. I have not only been given this life but I have tempted death and got away with it! Then there is little Kira who hasn’t even got a start on life and she could die at any time. It didn’t and doesn’t seem fair at all. She is so young, beautiful and innocent. So, rather than futilely question God’s will, I decided that I would do whatever I can to keep everybody aware that Kira needs our prayers and thoughts. Please, visit SoutherGma’s web site for Kira at Caring Bridge and leave a note in the guest book. It only costs the time you want to spend. If you have been there then return. SouthernGma is a large part of Kira’s life and healing so a note on her current post would be great!

Cindy Lepp and Dan need our attention, as well.

I miss vinegar!
I didn’t realize that vinegar was such a big part of my eating. Pickles (especially Bread and Butter Pickles), some sauerkraut, salad dressings, catsup, mustard and pickled bologna. How can a burger be any good without my vinegar products?
Well I tried to make a new condiment that (I thought) would become a replacement. It was fairly good but didn’t give the "kick" that vinegar offers. Here’s what I did. The measurements are approximate but close.
½ C finely diced cucumber
½ C finely chopped onion
1/4 C Chopped green olives
½ C finely chopped red bell pepper mayonnaise to bring it together
Now, this was good but it stops there. I need to find a way to upgrade this to delicious without using sugar or vinegar. I thought about apple cider but it is not in season. ( I didn’t freeze any last year because I was tied up with medical problems then, too.) Any suggestions? Remember, I can’t have high acid foods like lemons, tomatoes etc.

What has surprised me about all the restrictions (that I blogged about in my last post), is that I do not miss sugar! Sugar and I have been inseparable all of my life and I thought there would be a withdrawal. Nope! Didn’t happen.

The first successful recipe is "Cathy’s Amazing Fish Chowder".
This is excellent! That complement from a person that has little like for seafood! I’ve been calling this diet a "bland diet" because I can’t have acids, sugar, or hot spices. Well, if this recipe is bland, bring me more bland!

Lady Sparkle suggested a recipe that, I’m sure, will become a staple at our house. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Homemade-Four-Cheese-Ravioli/Detail.aspx <
It looks like my definition of bland is getting wronger and wronger.

Yesterday was the end of my first week of radiation. (One week being five days, Monday thru Friday.) My position on the table was re-measured and then they zapped me. After treatment, I was interviewed and learned I have made another error. I am supposed to keep the surgical site moistened. The nurse did not like what she saw and was very emphatic that I get it moistened immediately. Then I was weighed and I had lost three pounds from last week.
I said,"Yes! Great!"
Then, she told me that losing weight is not something that they want to see.
After the interview a nutritionist interviewed me and gave me some samples of diet supplements that they suggest I use as a replacement for snacks or light meals.
Today, when I showed up for treatment, the radiation tech saw the moistening on the surgical site and had to clean it off with an alcohol pad. She told me to moisturize after treatment.
So far, I haven’t impressed the staff at all! They must believe I’m a doofus! Oh well! They only have five more weeks of me then they are free!

This morning I decided to fix waffles. In the past we have rarely fixed them- deferring to pancakes. We don’t do "Belgian" waffles. We prefer the old fashioned ones with the smaller cells. I believe that waffles offer more opportunity to be creative because the little cells that can hold a lot of goodies, proportionately, without using a lot of goodies. Plus, I like the crispy textures. I wanted to add something to the batter and decided on peaches because we have a supply of home canned peaches. I drained off the liquid into a measuring cup. The recipe called for 1 ½ cup water so I topped off the juice with water to the required measure of water. I rough chopped the peaches. I added the liquid to the flour and rough mixed it then added the peaches and folded them in. When the waffle had finished cooking, I noticed the peaches had burned on their surface. They didn’t taste bad but they looked bad. We did eat them and we found the taste very similar to grilled peaches. I decided to put mixed berry yogurt over my waffles. That was very good- after I warmed it. My wife chose syrup.

I fixed the recipe suggested by LadySparkle. Wow! It was good! Very filling, as well. Thank you, LadySparkle.

BigShotsMom has given me a recipe for Cheddar Bread that may substitute for Cheetos. After looking it over, I believe it may. Thank you, BigShotsMom!

This evening I’m cooking Sauerkraut over pork steak. I bought the refrigerator kraut that has no vinegar or other acid. This recipe is far more than we’ll eat tonight but it warms up very nicely so we’ll probably freeze the leftovers. Pork steaks are quite large so an accommodating baking
dish is used. Serves 4.
2 pork steaks
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow onion
16 oz sauerkraut
Old Bay Seasoning
granulated garlic
2 stalks celery finely chopped
2 T yellow mustard seed
1T Caraway seed
Preheat oven to 375 0
Rough chop the pepper and spread evenly on bottom of dish.
Slice onion into ½" sections. Separate rings and spread evenly over pepper
Lay pork steaks in single layer
Sprinkle meat with old bay and garlic
Cover pork and open areas of dish with sauerkraut
Sprinkle with the seasonings and celery
Cover dish with foil- dull side up.
Bake for 1 ½ hours.
I made the recipe and it is very high acid. Must be from the fermentation? I don’t know. I ate it anyway and afterwards brushed very well, rinsed with the soda/salt mix then rinsed with the fluoride. I’ll repeat in an hour.
Aug. 30, 2010 4:57 am
Hi Mike! Glad that recipe was a good one :) It sounded delicious, but I haven't made it yet. I found this interesting chart. http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm I wonder about making a "spread" with tofu and miso? Up the protein of your spread, add whatever spices or extras interest you. It appears miso is an "alkalizing" food. I don't always post about Kira, but she has been in my prayers since I read about her. I'm hoping for the day she gets an "all clear". I'm sure SGma and her parents are right there with me. Only five more weeks?! All will be well :) &hearts;
Mrs. C 
Aug. 30, 2010 7:38 am
All through radiation, I do not recall anyone asking me WHAT I ate, just if I was "regular." LOL! You are experimenting, changing your definition of bland, finding new dishes... at least the mind is occupied and the spirit positive! Like Lady Sparkle says, five more weeks, all will be well! Thank you for sharing the link to Caring Bridge. I arrived on AR in the middle of the story, so I appreciate knowing more, even though the Lord knows every detail. Take care, Mike!
Aug. 30, 2010 9:50 am
LadySparkle, I did not put the ravioli in the oven nor did I use the marinara sauce. We were very happy with the meal. Aren't we all holding our breath for that day. She sure is cheerful throughout all that is happening to her.
Aug. 30, 2010 9:53 am
Certainly will keep them in our prayers as we go about our life. And also don't forget 1gdcowgirl as her husband is healing from surgery
Aug. 30, 2010 10:00 am
Mrs. C, I am being radiated above and under my jaw. The radiation will erode the teeth and if acidic foods and/or sugars get on the teeth that they will erode further. A very thorough regimen has been prescribed for me to follow. The whole purpose is to save me from tooth loss and gum sores. At first, I was unaware of the program but I found the information in the book from the cancer center. When I told them about what I had read, they were shocked that I didn't know about it.
Aug. 30, 2010 10:40 am
Point well made, Nancy!
Aug. 30, 2010 1:32 pm
Mike - glad to hear you don't miss sugar. I know I would! Thank you for reminding us to keep little Kira in our prayers. It does seem like that staff is a tough crowd to impress!
Aug. 30, 2010 7:12 pm
I am so happy to be a part of the AR family! I am relativley new to the blog site, but never have I read come into contact with a more caring group of people ready to help and encourage whenever asked. I will be praying for little Kira and for you too! I am honored to know that we are all connected no matter where we live. Great blog Mike. Thanks for sharing.
Aug. 31, 2010 12:31 am
Oh MIke, wonderful,careing Mike! Always thinking of others before himself.You are truly an angel for our little Kira and her Granny.Thank You for helping us get her and her family through such Trying times. I am sorry bout the vinegar prob. Hopefully soon, it will pass. Sounds like you are coming along. God Speed. Keep on a Rockin:):) &hearts; Patty
Aug. 31, 2010 7:21 am
Ever since I said I don't miss sugar, I wonder if I said the truth, stretched the truth, colored a lie or flat out told a lie. One hour or two is great the next hour I want to grab something I shouldn't. Really, I think it's the greed thing- if I can't have it I want it anyway, d@mmit! Thank you, Mother Ann!
Aug. 31, 2010 7:29 am
Candice and Patty Cakes, my family and AR have been propping me up for nearly a year now, through more than a few problems. I can't express how grateful I am. I can only pass it forward. Thank you.
Aug. 31, 2010 8:49 pm
Mike,You are in my thoughts and prayers. You are always so thoughtful of others and have such an upbeat outlook. You are truly an inspiration! Good luck on the vinegar replacement search. That would be a tough thing to replace!!! Ginny
Aug. 31, 2010 9:10 pm
Thanks for always giving a shout out to the others who also need a kind word...
Sep. 1, 2010 5:11 pm
grannygigi and Magnolia Blossom, and Patty Cakes my folks raised me that it's OK to talk about yourself as long as you acknowledge that other people are facing the same situation. Very few people are the only ones involved with anything.
Sep. 2, 2010 7:21 am
Glad for the update, Mike. I have a daily list of those who need positive thoughts. SGma and Kira are at the top. I think what you are doing keeping all of us aware of those who need them is a great thing! Wow, I don't know what I would do without vinegar, mustard and hot spices. There are alot of herbs that can be easily grown in pots-basil, oregano, chives, rosemary to name a few. Adding fresh herbs might help boost the flavor while you're modifying your recipes.
Sep. 2, 2010 4:02 pm
I've been experimenting but the suitable replacement eludes discovery. Thanks for commenting, Cat!
Sep. 3, 2010 6:02 am
Mike, I was wondering after I posted can you have spicy tasting things? I know stupid "?" but I went outside and there were my nasturtiams (sp?) in a pot. The leaves are peppery tasting like arugala. I thought maybe you could use something like that to add a little kick. Stuff like that can be grown on the window sill since we are headed for the cooler months. Chives especially do well potted.
Sep. 4, 2010 12:06 am
Hi, Mike, I LOVE vinegar too!I used too drink the pickle juice from my grandmother's homemade pickles it was so good. Not that the pickles were't,just something about the juice--vinegar? My mom and My grandmother had Kitchen Aids, I always wanted one, they are highly recommended by the Americen cooking program I watch on Saturday and I believe Consumer's Report rated them pretty high.Mike, it is so noble minded of you to be so genuily caring of the people suffering in NZ. Prayer is always appropriate to our Creator as he also cares for the straned ones and can provide more than sustanance and covering. In these stressing times a sense of peacefulness and a feeling of security can help deal withtense and terrorizing situations, so you are right to encourage ones to help this way. I find it always helps me to know I can help this way even when I can't phisically, bless your vinegar-less pickle-pickin' heart!!!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13101603/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=204609
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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