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Cheese, wine the secret to a long, proactive life

Honestly, I did not make that statement up myself but rather heard it on the national news one day last week.

I have always heard that a little red wine daily is good for your heart but I have never heard that about cheese?

I have always heard that cheese is bad for a person’s cholesterol. However cheeses are very popular and you can see that by the many different variety of cheeses on display in the deli cases in all grocery stores.

We have made many trips over the years to the Amish country which is noted for their cheese-making and variety of cheeses. Like most people we take a cooler when we plan to visit the Amish Country.

It is fascinating to visit the various cheese factories and watch them making cheese that will be for sale … The great thing is that most of the stores put out samples of lots of different cheeses that people can try themselves along with samples of jellies and crackers to help people decide which flavor they like best.

I always enjoy going to the Amish Country starting early in the morning because as many of you know they close their stores at 5 p.m. even on Saturdays and of course everything is closed on Sunday. I am not so sure why they are in such a hurry to close and go home … Many that live in the area do not have electric, which means no television to pass their time plus their transportation is with horse and buggy and during the winter months it is dark at 5 p.m.

It is great to just take off driving by the back roads and seeing all the beautiful homes and fantastic farms. You can tell when it is laundry day for you can see all the clothes lines full of fresh washed clothes … Since there is no electric that means naturally there is no washer or dryer or iron. It is very interesting to see how they live and they do live a very productive and good life, but to me “no thank you” for I like my conveniences I have.

Several years ago my mother and aunt were here visiting from Greece and we took them to the Amish Country for a day.. Heini’s was one of the many cheese houses we stopped to visit and probably the largest selection of different cheese samples a person would ever see … My mother and aunt sampled so many different cheese there that when we took them for dinner they were too stuffed to eat. That has been many years ago now but they still talked about it for years afterwards … It ended up being one of the highlights of their visit to America.

I like and often use different types of cheeses in a lot of the recipes I prepare from time to time. Cheese may be fattening and so on but at least it is low in carbs and delicious eating. LOL.

Now you must keep in mind that cheese goes well with wine and many recommend a glass of red wine every day.

Since I use a lot of cheeses in my cooking we keep several different kinds and always Feta being Greek … Feta cheese is a cheese that a person either loves or hates but it has even become very popular even in America anymore along with Greek Yogurt .

SAVE THE DATE:

The ANNUAL EASTER PARADE is scheduled for Saturday, March 20, at 2 p.m. in downtown Parkersburg.

More details will follow … So everyone get prepared and get your organization along with your church ready to participate by decorating a float or whatever to show off your creativity … All entries are welcome including dogs and horses as always.

Elks Lodge #198 will be providing over 4,000 plastic filled eggs for the children plus the Elks Lodge will be donating a boys and girls bike to a lucky boy and girl.

Till next week.

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HEARTY VEGETABLE SOUP

6 slices of bacon

1 can (17 ounces) whole kernel corn

1 can (16 ounces) sliced carrots, drained

1 can (16 ounces) cut green beans

1 can (14 and 1/2 ounces) tomatoes, cut up, drained

1 can (10 and 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of potato soup

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded process American cheese

1 cup PET Evaporated milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon minced onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 drops hot pepper sauce

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cool and crumble. Combine vegetables, cheese, milk, sugar, onion and seasonings in three quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat until steaming. Do not boil. To serve, ladle into bowls; garnish with crumbled bacon.

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SAVORY PORK SOUP

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 bunch green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans (14 and 1/2 ounces each) condensed beef broth

1 jar (16 ounces) small boiled onions drained

1 can (16 ounces) vegetable juice cocktail

1/2 cup water

3 ribs celery, sliced into 1 inch pieces

2 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Dredge pork in flour. Brown pork in hot oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add green onions and garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

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SPICY CRAB SOUP

2 cups water

2 cans (14 and 1/2 ounces) tomatoes, chopped, drained

1 can (10 and 3/4 ounces) condensed low-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup diced onion

1 teaspoon seafood seasoning

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed

1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed

1 pound crab meat, cooked, flaked, picked over

Combine water, tomatoes, broth, celery, onion, seafood seasoning and lemon pepper in six quart sauce pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in corn and peas. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add crab meat; heat through.

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