Fall'S Gifts - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at Allrecipes.com - 201912

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Fall's Gifts 
Oct. 24, 2010 8:37 pm 
Updated: Nov. 1, 2010 5:57 pm
The recent two weeks have been fairly busy. I have put up mustard pickles, pumpkin pickles, zucchini relish and pickled peppers as well as freezing pumpkin puree and butternut squash. Our small patch has produced beautifully this year, and the local road stands have been moderately priced. The weather even cooperated by being cool while I had the stove steaming. I have one more canning project and that is to make some piccalilli. I’ll probably start that tomorrow and finish it Tuesday.

For the past few years, my wife and daughter have spent a Saturday making apple pies for the freezer and the rest of the family gratefully reaps the pleasure of their work. They use four different kinds of apples and have altered the spices. So far, they are keeping their ingredients guarded. When wife got home, she had six apple pies for the freezer. Five made it in.

Health issues? Hmmm. Yup! I’m doing fine, now, but during the time from October 9, 2009 and the present I’ve had two health issues that required the whole year to get straightened out. Now, after many lab tests, x-rays. MRIs, MRAs, radiation treatments and CAT Scans I have been deemed healthy enough to get healthy. Now, I have to decide how to do that. I need a plan of diet and exercise for a weaker less responsive body that will restore the strength and endurance of a year ago and then build upon that. I cannot use the plan I had in the spring because my body has changed too much. Instead, I need a plan with the guidance of a health/ fitness professional. Things did get more complicated.

What are the parameters for a plan?
1. A 65 yoa male, retired
2. Former smoker of 46 years
3. Weakened from recent surgery
4. Modest hypertension
5. Mild vertigo

What do I need to do?
1. Rebuild muscle strength and reflexes
2. Re-establish an effective diet.
3. Return to an ideal body weight
4. Incorporate a year- round physical regimen with daily activity

Actually, now is a very good time to start because there is little food that I can enjoy because my taste is messed up. I have a couple appointments on Monday so I think I’ll contact a health pro afterwards and get started.
Oct. 25, 2010 3:18 am
Sounds like you've been busy "stocking up" for the winter. If you run out of room in your freezer for those apple pies I'd be happy to share some of my freezer space! Won't guarantee you'd ever see the pies again, but hey - you are on your way to a healthier you anyways, I should remove the temptation for you. Take care of yourself Mike and get back to 100% soon!
Oct. 25, 2010 3:50 am
Hi Mike: You amaze me and I admire your perserverance. I wish my husband even remotely was interested in making pies let alone all the canning that you do. I think it is wonderful and so rewarding to see the fruits of your labour during the winter months to enjoy....I agree that seeing a health pro would be an excellent idea; they will help you with getting you on a excercise routine that would not be boring and would keep you motivated over time...I am sure that they can provide you with the best choices for a meal plan to help build your body up as well....Looking back and seeing how far you have come since your surgery the distance to getting stronger and healthier is only a short time away. Stay motivated and focused is 90% to getting where you want to be....take care.
Oct. 25, 2010 5:44 am
Your offer to let us use your freezer doesn't go unnoticed. Guess what? It ain't a gonna happen! Call me any name you want but I'll still have the pies!
Oct. 25, 2010 5:55 am
Thanks, Janet! It has only been recently that I actually started canning. When I discovered it wasn't some magical process and that I could do original recipes, I tried it and liked doing it. Unfortunately, it is a lengthy process and I can't take shortcuts and that has tried my patience a few times.
Oct. 25, 2010 1:34 pm
You have come such a long way, Mike. It sounds like perhaps a Dietician would be able to help you with your dietary needs. I hope your taste comes back soon! Take care..
Oct. 25, 2010 2:48 pm
You are blessed to be given a second chance... I'm thrilled to see you're not letting a moment go to waste. Next season, start planning your garden around your canning menu.. married to an Englishmen, I put up some pickled beats and mincemeat :) The only canning I did this year.. *sigh*
Oct. 25, 2010 3:47 pm
My hats off to you Mike>> if I wore a hat LOL I would take it off!! I have not attempted to can. I really have no storage. Altho, I could take over a DD's closet. HHMMM? I might try that come to think of it. You are Amazing and your family is lucky to have you. Start by walking, go a ways, after a week, go a little farther. Maybe throw in walking a little faster. Go to the high school and walk up the bleachers! Don't forget to take a water bottle:) I know you eat lots of vegies. Start taking vitamins if you don't already. I am a True Carnivore. Eat what you like in moderation and lots of fruit/veggies. I wish you well my Friend!! Now go squeeze your wife and tell her how much you LOVE her!
Oct. 25, 2010 4:43 pm
Hi, Nurse Ellen! I'll be talking with the nutritionist at the cancer center who happens to be a fitness instructor for the hospital. She'll evaluate me and point me toward the appropriate coach.
Oct. 25, 2010 4:53 pm
Next year, Belles, we'll have a larger garden to do just that. What we plan to buy are the items that we use few of (like pumpkins)or require too much garden space (like corn). Our potted plants (tomatoes, peppers and lettuce) did fantastic so we'll repeat that again next year but on a larger scale.
Oct. 25, 2010 5:02 pm
Hey, Patty Cakes! I do walk somewhat but I cannot go far. I have to rest very frequently because I get tired very fast. Last time I rested a passing motorist thought he had found a seriously ill person.
Oct. 25, 2010 6:59 pm
God Bless you Mike. Sounds like you are now on another journey. Getting healthy from the Cancer Tx to get you healthy. hehe. Go slow and remain consistant. Your first hurdle has been crossed. You have the desire. Doesnt' it make you feel like you've done something so good for your family when you can and put up food? That's the best part of canning for me. Great Blog!
Oct. 25, 2010 8:00 pm
Yup, Candice! This is the first year I have canned alone. My wife still works so I get this done so she can kick back a bit after work. I do find quite a bit of satisfaction when I put the stuff on the shelf.
Oct. 27, 2010 2:17 pm
Glad to hear you are on the road to healthy! Have I missed the pickled pumpkin blog? Pumpkin pickles? Hmmm.
Mrs. C 
Nov. 1, 2010 7:07 am
You say your energy level is less, but look what you have accomplished! I admire your organization and focus. You will put that power into accomplishing your diet and fitness goals, as well!
Nov. 1, 2010 5:57 pm
Hi Mrs. C! The energy level is slowly coming back. A friend (who needs activity a blind person can do) and I have found a trainer that will work us accoording to our needs. No. I have not made the Pumpkin Butter Cake. With my taste all messed up and with my wife being very cautious with sugar and fat, I'm putting it off for a while.
Click to Change your Profile Picture
Mike Harvey, daPITA

Living In
Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

Member Since
Dec. 2008

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Gourmet

Gardening, Fishing, Photography, Reading Books

Go Pro!

In Season

Christmas Appetizers
Christmas Appetizers

Dozens and dozens of appetizers perfect for the winter season.

The Season’s Best Sides
The Season’s Best Sides

Complete the meal with your favorite holiday side dishes.

Special Holiday Offer!
Special Holiday Offer!

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $5!

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.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States