Thoughts on getting older

As we get older things that were important to us and didn’t bother us when we were young seem to change as the years pass . For instance, we were petrified if we didn’t make good grades in school and afraid of getting punished when we took our report card home to our parents to see. We would get upset if one of our friends would stop playing with us and go play with someone else that would even make us cry or getting embarrassed by a comment from our teacher in front of the class. Now that all of that is behind us, our new concern is if our family is healthy, if we have enough money for retirement or employment that we enjoy, and even to get a good report on our visit to our family doctor. We just look at things differently and in a different respect as the years pass it seems. So actually, there are two different ways to look at life in general: First, if you die young, you do not have to worry about getting old and confined and ending up in a nursing home or being a burden on your children, and on the other hand if you live to be older, then the health problems appear, loss of family and friends in death and taking on a whole new set of problems. We do not really have a choice, so therefore we must learn to take life as it comes.

Driving to the mall almost daily, I always pass an older lady bent over wearing a coast and scarf on her head with a broom in one hand and dust pan in the other sweeping the sidewalk in front of her home. I am almost sure she lives alone and does all the chores to pass the time and for a feeling of accomplishing a task. I would guess this lady is in her nineties, and so many times I thought about stopping and sweeping the sidewalk for her, but hesitated because I do not know how she would react.

I gave up sweets for Lent this year and so far have kept my commitment and sweets are my weakness as I have mentioned before.

In closing today, I will share a rather funny story that happened to me last week going through a drive through establishment: I ordered my food and proceeded to the window where you make payment, and a young man told me, “that will be $8.03.” I gave him a $20 dollar bill and a 10 cent coin. He did not see the 10 cents and just rang up the $20 and he was lost as to how much change he should give me. Finally I saw he was frustrated so I just told him to give me $12.07 back, then I mentioned to him that evidently he didn’t like math (with of course my accent.) He misunderstood me and replied, “Oh ma’am! I quit meth two years ago!” I told him I was referring to mathematics, not drugs.

Last reminder: Don’t forget the Spring Easter Celebration and Egg Hunt at PHS at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, and then on Saturday April 13 the free breakfast for children at the free-standing Chick fil A, followed by the Easter Parade at 2 p.m. in downtown Parkersburg.

Hope to see you all there! Until next week!

***

Spinach Waldorf Salad

1 pound fresh spinach, washed, dried, stems trimmed and torn into pieces

3 red-skinned apples, unpeeled, cored, thinly sliced and tossed with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or mixture of lemon juice and water

1-1 1/2 cups diced celery

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

Dressing:

3/4 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced scallions

2-4 teaspoons chopped fresh mint or 3/4 teaspoon dried mint

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon curry powder or to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine salad ingredients in large bowl. In glass jar, shake dressing ingredients until well blended. This may be made ahead of time and stored in refrigerator. At serving time, add to salad and toss to coat.

***

Spinach Salad

spinach, bibb or romaine

Mandarin oranges

strawberries

red onions

Dressing;

1/2 cup oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons pineapple juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Blend oil, vinegar, sugar, juices and seasonings. Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water, then blend into first mixture. Heat over moderate flame until dressing thickens. Cool. Blend with greens and fruit just before serving.

***

Spinach Seafood Casserole

2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach

salt and pepper

8 ounces flat noodles, cooked and drained

4 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 pint dairy sour cream

1 tablespoon dried onion

10 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Sauce:

1/4 cup diced onion

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 pound shrimp, cooked, shelled and deveined

juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper

1/2 cup sherry

1/2 pound scallops, cooked and cut into pieces

paprika

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a large casserole. Mix cooked spinach with 1 cup sour cream, salt, pepper, dried onions and drained noodles. Pour half of the spinach mixture into the casserole, then sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat with the spinach mixture and end with the cheese. Top with slices of butter and the remaining 1 cup of sour cream. Bake for 30 minutes. Sauce: In a large saucepan, cook diced onion in 2 tablespoons butter. Blend in flour, salt and pepper and cook until bubbly. Add milk, sherry and cooked seafood. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Pour over spinach and noodle casserole and sprinkle with paprika. Continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes. Toward the end of the second baking, almonds can be added as a topping. Can be frozen.

***

Shrimp in Angel Hair Pasta Casserole

2 eggs

1 cup half and half

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

9 ounces uncooked fresh angel hair pasta

16 ounces mild, thick and chunky salsa

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Grease a 12×8 pan. Combine eggs, half and half, yogurt, Swiss cheese, parsley, basil and oregano in medium bowl; mix well. Spread 1/2 of the pasta on bottom of prepared pan. Cover with salsa. Add 1/2 of the shrimp. Cover with remaining pasta. Spread egg mixture over pasta and top with remaining shrimp. Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese over top. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes.

***

Shrimp and Cheese Puff

10 slices white bread

6 eggs

3 cups milk

2 tablespoons minced parsley

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded processed sharp American cheese

2 cups cleaned, cooked or canned shrimp

Heat oven to 325. Remove crusts from brad; cut slices into cubes. Beat eggs, milk and seasonings. Stir in bread cubes, cheese and shrimp. Pour into oblong baking dish, 11×7. Bake, uncovered for 1 hour or until center is set. Serve immediately.

***

Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

COMMENTS