Friday, August 25, 2006

Mixed Greens with Honey and Oranges in the Kitchen

Lily e-mailed with a huge problem and wondered if it was just her? She just purchased Barbara Doyen's The Everything Quick Meal Cookbook. Lily wrote: "I know you said don't, but it was half-price and and it said 'quick' in the title. Now I feel like a fool."

Don't feel like a fool. You're not the author. Here's a new tip for those attempting to purchase a cookbook. Read the "advice" because these days, they all seem to need to open with some sort of self-help chapter. One of Doyen's tips is to shop for groceries only once a week. Say goodbye to fresh fruits and vegetables! She also doesn't understand large families (Lily is currently raising a large family and I have eight children).

I don't see a great deal of nutrition in her cookbook -- I see a lot of "canned" this and "canned" that. I have several recipe collections our church has put out and they usually contain several recipes where all you're doing is dumping cans of things into a pot and calling it a meal. For your home cooks and chefs, that may be okay. But I really question any cookbook (commercially published, as opposed to a charity fundraiser) that relies on recipe after recipe of canned items and discourages fresh fruits and vegetables. Doyen allows that iceberg lettuce isn't very nutrious -- it's not -- and her solution, in her self-help section, is for you to purchase 'leaf' lettuce -- which she never provides an example of in the self-help section -- and eat that first during the week and then you move to the iceberg lettuce. Under Doyen's guidance, you'll get some fresh, nutritous lettuce at the start of your week but iceberg at the end. Someone help the self-help set.

I couldn't find the book at my library so I put out a call to my friends and one of them had a copy. She's never used it. She said she read the opening, after purchasing, and never used the thing. The recipe's aren't all bad but I can't imagine ever needing a recipe for "Cheeseburger Soup." And that's sadly true of most of the book. At one point, page 249, Doyen offers a 'recipe' for guacamole which includes 'canned tomato.' That alone tells you that the recipes have a loose relationship with nutrition and taste. Anyone not using a fresh tomato in guacomole may as well admit that they have no business making the dip.

I'm not against canned fruits and vegetables. I do use them. I'm also aware of the high sodium count canned goods usually have. Once, my oldest daughter made salsa using canned tomatoes because the hour was late and she wanted it. In an emergency like that, maybe. But for anyone to recommend it, strikes me as rather silly. I do use canned tomatoes in sauces or any other dish I might cook because to get rid of that canned, stale taste, you have to cook it.

Lily shouldn't be embarrassed, she didn't write the book. I would advise everyone to avoid the pasta 'recipes.' In most cases, all you're doing is tossing some garlic in a skillet and then using a prepared sauce. If you're using a prepared sauce, don't try to mock it up. It's a prepared sauce, it will taste like one no matter what you do. (Some actually taste very well.) Instead of wasting your time with garnish, use the time to fix a nice salad, or other non-canned dish, to go with it.

The salad's sections actually contains some of the book's strongest recipes. If Lily paid $6.48 for the book (that would be half the cover price of the copy my friend had), then she can get her money's worth out of that section. Skip the Oriental Noodle Soup, not just because "Oriental" is offensive but also because anyone who's providing a "recipe" that depends on garnish being added to Ramen isn't really telling you anything about cooking. But Doyen, with most of the other salad recipes, really demonstrates a knack for quick and nutrious with these recipes (which we'll assume she prepares immediately after returning from her once-weekly shopping spree).

I'm going to offer two because I love cabbage but there's a fault line in my family on that with about half lining up on one side and the rest on the other. So I'll offer that and one other. And I'll recommend that if you have the book (like Lily and my friend Sharon), you look through the book's salad recipes because it is the strongest part of the book and if Doyen ever wrote a book just on salads (or if she has and someone tells me of that), it would obviously be one worth checking out.


1 small head red cabbage, shredded
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 apple, peeled and shredded
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parley for garnish

Put the cabbage, onion, apple, vinegar, juice, water, sugar, salt, and papper into a large saucepan. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, or until cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally. Serve with parsley sprinkled on top.

I love cabbage and this was a dish I'd never found a recipe for that tasted as good as the version my grandmother fixed. This one does. If you like cabbage, I strongly recommend this recipe. Some of the ingredients may be more than many of you keep on hand so to determine whether to go out and purchase them for this recipe, ask yourself how much you enjoy cabbage?

It's a very easy recipe that produces wonderful results and with Labor Day coming up and summer get-togethers going on, I'd also recommend it if you're looking for something to take to a gathering. Chances are few will be bringing cabbage dishes so your dish will stand out and the recipe strikes me as fool proof.

For the cabbage haters, here's another strong recipe Doyen provides.

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 heads butter lettuce
2 heads radicchio
3 oranges
In a small saucepan, bring the water, honey, and vinegar to a boil; reduce the heat and let cool.
Arrange the butter lettuce and radicchio on 6 salad plates. Using a sharp knife, peel the oranges, removing all the bitter white membrance, then free the sections from the membranes by cutting along either side of each section. Remove any seeds and divide the orange sections among salad plates. Drizzle each salad with the cooled dressing and serve.

If you're considering taking this dish to a gathering (it's also fool proof), I would recommend that you bring it in three containers: one for the lettuce and radicchio, one for the orange slices and one for the dressing. Bring a salad bowl with you and, right before it's time for everyone to head for the buffet tables, quickly mix the three ingredients into the salad bowl.

The book is Barbara Doyen's The Everything Quick Meals Cookbook and if you can check it out at your local library or if you purchase it, the thing to focus is the salad recipes.

I'm having problems with the computer this morning so I'll wrap up quickly. Some items I found worth reading this week:

"And the war drags on"
"'British Leave Iraqi Base; Milita Supporters Jubilant' (Amit R. Paley)"
"On Our Vacation, Thomas Friedman Got Burned" (Betty's latest chapter)
"thoughts on the bully boy with the emphasis on 'boy'" (Rebecca's essay)
"Vets worry the draft's coming back, Zogby obsesses over Tom Cruise"
"Bob Herbert disappoints"
"NYT: Plays 'who matters?' (the same game J. M. Laughner played)"
"Other Items"
"house cleaning and preparing for the future "
"Abeer and who's trying to get the military into the Sudan?"
"Who thinks for you? (It should be you)"
"Bob Watada and more from the Snapshot"
"Crunch time for Bully Boy (humor)"
"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts 'Bully Mama Babies Bully Boy'"
"Iraq: This is what failure looks like"
"TV: Kyle XY -- SEE!" (this is a review of my youngest daughter's favorite show)
"Whack-a-mole (Recipe for Disaster)"
"Iraq, the war independent media forgot"
"Recuriters struggle to meet lowered targets but gays and lesbians are still 'unfit'"
"Tricky Dick in the (White) House again (humor)"

And I'll close with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" which, as usual, covers a bit more on Friday than made it into my Saturday paper:

Friday, August 25, 2006, chaos and violence continue in Iraq despite the wave of Operation Happy Talk launched yesterday by US military boys John Abizaid and George Casey that things are looking up and corners will be turned, equally laughable was Brit military boy Charlie Burbridge claiming that a base in Amara hadn't been abandoned. He offers a new punch line today. The inquiry into the death of Jake Kovco continues and Soldier 14 testifies again. But we'll start with the latest on Ehren Watada -- the first US officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq.
Late Thursday" J.C.Matthews told the AP that a recommendation had been reached by Lt. Colonel Mark Keith in Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing. Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports that the recommendation is "Ehren Watada face a general court-martial for failing to join his unit in Iraq" and Keith "has endorsed two other charges: conduct unbecoming an officer and contempt toward officials." Translation, Keith has endorsed all three charges made on July 5th. As the AP notes, "Keith could have recommended anything from dismissal of the charges to a general court-martial" as he weighed the issues and the testimony given on August 17th. Gregg K. Kakesako notes that Keith did feel that Ehren Watada was "sincere in his beliefs" which "should mitigate any future punishment" and Kakesako outlines the next step: "Keith's decision now goes to Col. Cynthia Murphy, U.S. Army Garrison commander at Fort Lewis, who will review it and then submit her recommendations to Lt. Gen James Dubik".
AP quotes Ehren Watada's civilian attorney, Eric Seitz, stating: "We always believed that when they went so far as to convene an Article 32 hearing that they had alread made a decision to proceed." Hal Bernton (Seattle Times) notes Seitz was left "somewhat astounded" that the charges endorsed by Keith included anything other than "missing the troop movement" because of "important First Amendment issues" that surround the other two charges.
Sarah Olson (Truthout) reports this today (of the August 17th testimony of Denis Halliday: "Halliday was called to testify regarding the impace of war on the Iraqi people. 'The people of Iraq had become used to living under very difficult conditions after the destruction in the name of the United Nations by the United States of the civilian infrastructure, water supplies, sewer systems, electric power, use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs.' Halliday was prevented from providing complete testimony when the investigating officer presided over the Article 32 hearing ruled that the 'consequences of the war or the situation on the ground' were irrelevant to Lieutenant Watada's argument that the war was illegal and that he had an obligation to refuse to fight it." That is the most that's been written of Halliday's testimony to date (which, for the record, wasn't delivered via mime).
Bob Watada continues his speaking engagements in the San Francisco Bay Area to raise awareness of what his son, Ehren, is facing. The events include:

Fri. 8/25
No. Cal. Japanese Christian Theological Forum Berkeley Methodist United Church- chapel 1710 Carleton St/McGee in Berkeley Contact: Laura Takeuchi 510-848-3614

Sir! No, Sir!"
Film Screening & Speakers Santa Cruz Veterans Building Contact: Sharon Kufeldt 650-799-1070

Sat. 8/26
Educational & Cultural Event Berkeley Friends Church; 1600 Sacramento St., Berkeley Contact: Betty Kano 510-684-0239

Sun. 8/27
Speaking Event AFSC building, 65-Ninth St., SF Contact: Martha Hubert 415-647-1119

A complete list of the events Bob Watada will be taking part in can be found
Cedric (Cedric's Big Mix) is advising those calling Donald Rumsfeld (703-545-6700) or mailing him (1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000) to say: "Hands off Ehren Watada! Let him go." Billie advises that you can use to e-mail the Pentagon. She suggests "Re: Ehren Watad" or "ATTN: DONALD RUMSFELD." Courage to Resist and will continue to offer resources, ideas and inspiration. Get the word out.
Turning to the illegal occupation, violence and chaos continues.
euters reports one Iraqi soldier dead and two others wounded from a roadside bomb in Rashad and a "hand-grenade attack on a market in Hawija" left three people wounded. AFP notes the death, late Thursday, of "an Iraqi army officer" with four soldiers left wounded.
AFP notes that five were killed by gunfire in Baquba, two in Tirkit (bakery workers) with three other people wounded, Reuters notes that, in Nasiriya, gunfire claimed the lives of two and left two others wounded.
Reuters notes the discovery, in Qaim, of an Iraqi soldier ("signs of torture") while AFP notes that three corpses were discovered in Kirkuk ("tortured and bullet-riddled bodies").
In other violence, despite the British military flacks that were so eagerly allowed to
spin in this this morning's New York Times, Haidar Hani (AP) reports: "Looters ravaged a former British base Friday . . . taking everything from doors and window frames to corrugated roofing and metal pipes". As Ross Colvin (Reuters) reported yesterday, the base, which had come under nightly, heavy attacks, was abandoned. The AP story today notes: "Iraqi authories had complained that the British withdrawal had caught them by surprise" and allows flack Charlie Burbridge to holler Not-true-we-gave-them-24-hours-notice! Well, Charlie, on a rental, you usually have to give a minimum of 30 days notice. But it is good to know that as they packed up everything they could carry, someone did think to make a quick call saying, "Hey, we're about to split. If there's anything you want, better grab it quick, dude!"
Along with an adequate heads up, Iraqi politicians have other complaints they're sharing.
Aparism Ghosh (Time magazine) reports that Abdul-Azziz al-Hakim states that for over three years Iraqi politicians have persistently requested "and reliable evidence" that "Iran is interfering in Baghdad's affairs" only to be rebuffed. al-Hakim is quoted as saying, "[A]nd for three years we've told them, 'Show us proof.' But they never have." al-Hakim and others speaking to Ghosh make clear that they feel there is no proof and that Iran is being blamed to divert attention from the failure of the illegal war.
This as
Aaron Glantz reports for OneWorld that Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferenczz has declared that Bully Boy and Saddam Hussein "should be tried for war crimes."
In Australia, the inquiry into the April 21st death of Baghdad of Jake Kovco continues.
Figuring into the most recent testimony were "
NSW Police scientific officer Stephanie Hales" and Soldier 14. Soldier 14 has made mutliple appearances in the hearing. On August 9th, his testimony rejected the so-called buddy system where a pair was responsible for checking one another's weapons at the end of a shift (he also testified that what he said and what the military wrote up in his official statement were quite different). Last Friday, a DNA witness, Michelle Franco, identified some of the DNA on Jake Kovco's gun as belonging to Soldier 14. [Again from last Friday: The Herald-Sun reports that only the DNA "on the pistol's slide" were ruled by expert Franco to be a direct match (DNA on the "trigger, hand grip and magazine" are believed, by Franco, to be Soldier 14's but are "not direct matches."] Soldier 14 has maintained that he did not touch Jake Kovco's pistol (and he's refused to be questioned by the NSW).
At the start of this week, Soldier 14 again testified to the hearing and maintained that the DNA must have gotten on the pistol some other way such as via other equipment he acknowledges that he and Jake Kovco both handled such as a megaphone, a radio or telephone. Also in that testimony, Soldier 14 declared that "people" had warned him that Jake Kovco's widow, Shelley Kovco, was 'out to get him.' That was his excuse for avodiging her. Belinda Tasker (The Daily Telegraph) noted, of that testimony, that Soldier 14's avoidance of Shelley Kovco -- out of fear of being accused of something,apparently -- translates as Soldier 14 aoviding contact with her for "more than three months" and notes that Soldier 14 said "people were telling me" that Shelley Kovco was out to get him. Who these 'people' were warning him of Shelley Kovco will apparently not be explored.
That was some of the previous testimony. Today Soldier 14 testified again (not via video-link and remember he has stated he wants to get back to the apparent calm of Baghdad).
Malcolm Brown (Sydney Morning Herald) reports that the issues today revolved around: "Did you silently cock Private Kovco's pistol?" which Soldier 14 asserted he did not. Soldier 14 has maintained that he saw Jake Kovco a few days prior to his death. Brown describes the process as "a silent cocking operation, where the weapon is stripped down, a round put in he chamber, then reassembled, leaving the round in the chamber." Soldier 14 will also be testifying Monday.
Stephanie Hales' testimony is
characterized by the AAP as asserting that residue tests can not determine "whether Private Jake Kovco shot himself in Iraq or if someone else pulled the trigger" for a variety of reasons including the fact that Jake Kovco's "clothes . . . were destroyed," "the barracks room where PTE Kovco was shot was cleaned before NSW Police arrived in Baghdad to carry out their forensic tests," Jake Kovco's body was washed in a Kuwait morgue, Jake Kovco's hands were not wrapped "in paper bags" and the two roommates were allowed to shower and wash their clothing with no forensic tests being performed.
Finally, in England, British soldier Jason Chelsea has been buried. The
BBC reports that the nineteen-year-old "killed himself because he feared . . . he might have to shoot children" as he asserted he had been told in his training. The BBC notes that: "Earlier this month the MoD released figures showing 1,541 soldiers who served in Iraq are suffering from psychiatric illness."