Life! I Love It! - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 235480

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Life! I Love It! 
May 12, 2011 8:35 am 
Updated: May 17, 2011 5:51 pm
Last Thursday, I had a scarey moment. I was getting into the shower when everything suddenly went blurry. I could determine no shapes at all- just shades of light. I was afraid I was having another stroke and there was no way for me to get help. (My wife was not home.) I forced myself to be calm. I knew I could find my way to my robe and from there find my way outside to get help. In these few seconds, I went from near panic to calm rationalization and that is what made me realize...
... I was still wearing my glasses! Off they came and life was good.

We went to Columbus, Ohio to spend a long weekend with our son and his family. Actually, their neighborhood was having a "garage sale" and my wife didn’t want to miss an event as large as that one. She was speculating more than a few times about what could be found there and more than a few times she re-lived the sale she went to several years ago. (Of course, I dutifully absorbed all of this quietly. Or, maybe, that word "absorbed" should be changed to "ignored".) My son and his wife had their own sale going on so they had their work cut out for them. My wife was in her heyday with so many sales within walking distance. And she did walk! She only drove the car to pick up what she had bought- several times.

I was the designated granddaughter watcher and care giver for the duration of the two days event. It was my job to provide her with anything she wanted and then provide stuff she had no knowledge of prior to our visit. We played all day and I didn’t waste her time with silly stuff like naps- unless she asked for a nap. We had a wonderful time together and her parents are saying they may disavow any relationship to me. It was fun!

I began the long weekend at 199 lbs. I threw my diet to the wind and ate sweet food, salty food, fatty food etc. Today, I weighed in at 194. Hmmm.

This week, I was given the results of an endoscopy and colonoscopy that I had on May 3. My endoscopy only showed the same problems as I have had for 15 years (or better) and the treatment will remain unchanged. But the diet has n new twist. I am not supposed to eat raw or lightly steamed vegetables- they are harder to digest. I don’t think I will abide by that. My diet s so restricted now that to cut out raw vegetables would be nearly a starvation diet. Also, I cannot stand most vegetables after they are cooked. Any problems that raw vegetables cause are slight and very livable. (I bet Nurse Ellen has something to say to me about that!)

The colonoscopy showed no problems at all.

During the past twenty months, I have been poked, prodded, palpated, pinched, pushed, penetrated, probed, parted and patched only to be declared a healthy person. Finally!
So far, I have dehydrated strawberries, mango, papaya, kiwi and blueberries. The strawberries I made as slices (for adding to cereal or drinks) and chunks (for adding to health bars). A supermarket has been having a sale on fruit for the past two weeks and I have been trying to take advantage of those great prices. Also, my wife has been busy making pies with the sale items and stocking them in the freezer as well as just freezing the items.

As I was going to post this I saw a late entry on my last post. Wendie has purchased a new dehydrator based on my description and she asks if she will save any money dehydrating everything. That is a tough one to answer. We only dehydrate for the purpose of making our own health snacks and special ingredients. Everything else (a few exceptions) gets frozen or canned. Economy may be a regional thing, also. Our electricity bills are much less than if we had the same usage in New York (state) where people pay an outlandish usage bill. We are after the health benefits of creating our own snack foods. Too much of the ready made stuff, even that called healthy, has too much sugar, or salt, or preservative for our liking. When we dehydrate we don’t add any salt, sulphur or sugar.

I cannot afftively answer Wendie's quetion. Perhaps a reader could offer her something?
May 12, 2011 11:00 am
Obviously you took your shower in the wee hours of the morning prior to coffee 101 right?
May 12, 2011 11:10 am
Aw, Mike thank you for thinking of me. And although my question was rhetorical and I've chosen dehydrating for the fun of it, suggestion and ideas are always welcome. More importantly, I'm glad you've received a clean bill of health!
May 12, 2011 11:36 am
Mike, you nearly gave me a heart attack! Then you had me laughing. I was so worried you were going to say your vision cleared up and you just went on with your day. Thank goodness it was just steamy glasses LOL! So glad to hear you've been given a clean bill of health. This has been quite the journey for you! I WISH I had a food dehydrator!! I used to have one and used it until it died. I'm going to have to start saving my pennies to get another one. I loved drying my own fruits and herbs and making my own beef jerky and turkey jerky.
May 12, 2011 10:57 pm
Oh you had me worried too. I'm glad to learn you don't suffer from anything worse than a bad case of absent-mindedness -- welcome to my world. Being a grandparent is so much more fun than being a parent, I am just about as strict as you are.
May 13, 2011 3:10 am
At first I was worried you were going to say you had had another stroke. Then I remembered I was reading your blog - I was sure it would have a happy ending! :-) And happy ending it has indeed! Congrats on the clean bill of health. I'm sure the drop in pounds this past week was due to chasing the granddaughter around?? Glad you got to "spoil"her a little. All kids need to be spoiled by grandparents. Oh, and my son is going to attempt the drying of the spaghettios today. I'll let you know how that turns out.
May 13, 2011 4:39 am
I had my coffee 101, Dog Fish Head. I guess I failed to retain enough of the class.
May 13, 2011 4:41 am
Thank you, Wendie! Your question is an important one for many folks and that is why I woulg like it persued.
May 13, 2011 4:46 am
Good Morning, BSM! I do need to be more flexible with the grandkids. I should relax some of the discipline and rigid rules.
May 13, 2011 4:52 am
Hi, Keri! Right now, I'm just dehydrating the fruits that have been coming on sale but I will be doing jerky in the near future. The recipes I had long ago have disappeared but I can remember most of the ingredients.
May 13, 2011 4:55 am
Good morning, Mother Ann! I have been thinking about the spaghettios and wondering how it would be. How is he intending to use the product?
May 13, 2011 6:16 am
I thought the same as Keri. "OH NO!" and then I got to the rest of the story! LOL I bet we have all had days like that but you're brave enough to admit to them :)(: I bet you are a GREAT grandparent! As to the dehydrating ?, I don't think you can go wrong dehydrating your own foods and spices. I know I'm getting a better product when I dehydrate my oregano. I have 5 different flavors. The color and smell from the end result is heavenly. Not to mention how it flavors my food. How much would I have to pay for that in the store? I'm guessing more than the electricity it takes.
May 13, 2011 12:36 pm
Hi All, Not intending to hi-jack Mike's blog however, I dried strawberry sliced and pineapple chunks yesterday, oh yum, like candy but better. Beef jerky is in the fridge marinating to be dried this evening or tomorrow. Agreed Cat Hill on all counts, and can't wait to dry sage. Who needs Febreze with a house of sage aroma? :-)
May 13, 2011 2:28 pm
Mike, if you were in driving distance, I'd come up there and kick your....for scaring us like that! Like everyone else, once I realized what had really happened, I had to laugh. With me, I look all over the house for my glasses only to discover they've been on my nose the whole time. You do what you gotta do with the grand daughter:) I get to do that every Tuesday with my nephew Leo (he'll be 8 months on the 20th) it's awesome isn't it? BTW, got an e-mail from MIL today reporting that our radishes are up and everything else looks good, too (no word on bunnies, though). Perhaps there is a truly fresh salad in my near future!
May 13, 2011 4:21 pm
Good evening, Cat! I'll be dehydrating Oregano late next week and in the first part of the week, it will be chives and mint. The chives will be blossoming shortly and I'll be making some Chive Blossom Vinegar to complement some special dinners this year.
May 13, 2011 4:26 pm
Hi, Wendie! Not a hi-jack at all. Glad to hear you're having some fun with that new dehydrator. My sage hasn't come on good yet but it will soon. Spearmint and peppermint are almost ready to pick, too.
May 13, 2011 4:29 pm
Now,now, Mangel! Play nice. You should be happy you didn't have the experience. For those few seconds, I was quite concerned for my future.
May 13, 2011 6:23 pm
Oh Mike you had us all concerned....I have had my contacts in and put on glasses as well forgetting that the contacts were in to begin with. It is a very scary thing to say the least....Happy to read that all is well, you are an inspiration.
May 13, 2011 7:52 pm
Just had to come back and report something funny. While making WFDM?'s pretzel dogs for lunch, DH has temporary work on 2nd shift right now, I thought I'd make cookies too. Choco chips-none. Raisins-too few to count. Ah ha! Who dehydrating grapes from her vines then put them in the freezer and forgot them. You guessed it! So we got to have oatmeal with Cat's own raisins in them. So dehydrating when there is a surplus for when there is a rainy day is also a great thing :)
May 14, 2011 5:48 am
Haha...too funny! I can just see my hubby doing that. I'm glad you are ok and were able to remain calm to get yourself help if really needed. Wonderful you got to spend time with your granddaughter. Yes, life is great~
May 14, 2011 5:57 am
Good morning Mike! Yesterday my son did his spaghettios so here is the update: He dried them at about 135 deg. F and they took about 12 hrs. It was very humid here yesterday so I expected it to take a long time. They dried to the consistency of a fruit roll up and he simply put it in a ziploc bag. He's going to rehydrate them and eat them today or tomorrow to taste-test. His plan is to take them on a backpacking trip. He's planning several trips this summer with friends and wants his pack as light as possible. He weighed the dried spaghettios in the ziploc vs. what a can weighs. It was an amazing difference! And, a ziploc will be easier to pack as well. I'm anxious to see how they taste once he rehydrates them and heats them up. He also dried some sour cherries for me. I have a cherry almond bread recipe I make that they are fantastic in. I think him drying them was a hint for me to make some of that bread! :-)
May 14, 2011 7:20 am
Dang Mike, if you only knew how many times I've done something like that...I'm tickled that you got a clean bill of health. Good for you it was a long time coming. And we often have neighborhood garage sales around here too. Die hard fans are in their element at those events so I know how your wife felt. As far as spoiling the granddaughter, at this stage in your life, that's your job. You had a good time, she had a good time, and now her parents are doing their job of reprogramming her. :)
Old 'N' Still Cookin' 
May 14, 2011 1:47 pm
Hey Mike! My problem is having to keep my glasses on, cause if I don't, I see two of everything stacked. Makes me have to wash everything twice! It's just the opposite when I cook. Everything looks like twice as much to eat, so in reality I am only eating half as much as i think I am. Helps keep my weight down! I have been interested in your blogs on Dehydrating and for years tried several types of box store offerings. All have been trashed and i now realize that you can not get a decent product from the box stores of America! In 2008, I spent a few hours on the net researching Dehydrators. I finally settled on one called L' Equip model 528 that seemed to be just what i wanted. It proved to be just that. It certainly cost more than I had been paying but I am really pleased that I bought it. It is one I can put in my will and feel like I really gave someone something. In time saved, quality of product. etc. it can't be beat. if others are interested.
Old 'N' Still Cookin' 
May 14, 2011 1:57 pm
By the way Mike, I live so close to you we might pass on each others old age diseases so it's best we are careful with our Blog's.
May 15, 2011 2:27 pm
Hi, Janet! Thanks for stopping by!
May 15, 2011 2:32 pm
Hi, CAt! We keep so much stuff in our chest freezer that we can only keep track of it by diligently maintaining a list of its contents. When we first started the list, we also included the approximate location in the freezer. That was a futile stab at organization. We found it to be less time consunsuming to just sort until we find the item. But to forget about home made raisins? Naughty!
May 15, 2011 2:35 pm
Hi, Cook In Argentina! Glad you found my (something) amusing ;)
May 15, 2011 2:40 pm
I've had lot's of fun with my granddaughters, Avon. I have three. ages 16 13, and 2 1/2. I don't know if I am having more fun spoiling them or irritating their folks by spoiling the girls. Regardless, it is a blast!
May 15, 2011 2:45 pm
Old 'N' Still Cookin',I looked at the L'Equip but I don't remember why I didn't choose it. I'm glad to hear you are happy with it. I am enjoying the food from the dehydrator as snacks- my sweet tooth finds it very satisfying.
May 17, 2011 8:45 am
Whew! Mike, glad you are ok! I had the opposite problem - woke up thinking everything looked clearer than normal...maybe my eyesight changed improved overnight? Nope! I went to bed with my contacts in! Anyway, glad you are ok and received a clean bill of health!
May 17, 2011 9:35 am
Thanks, ChristineM! Eyesight is so taken for granted until it goes whacky- or we think it does!
May 17, 2011 5:32 pm
Loved this Mike. Isn't it fun getting older. I swear they are just trying to take ALL our dignity before the end LOL
May 17, 2011 5:51 pm
Dignity, mauigirl? That sounds familiar. Maybe, it was an experience from long ago?
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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.
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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