Dorothy Ng's blog
When October arrives, the excitement is not about Halloween, costumes, and candy. October is apple season time and I can’t wait to go pick the best varieties to start my baking. I wonder which types of apples will make a “perfect” combination for a great tasting pie this year. There is so much to consider since the textures and flavors of apples vary from tart and crisp to sweet and soft. Just looking at the honey crisp, ginger gold, gala, granny smith, and golden delicious start those creative juices in me to dive into making those baked goods we especially enjoy in the autumn and winter months.
Ever since my colleague Nancy introduced Access Video on Demand, the database she recently acquired for our New City Library patrons, I was excited and curious as to what kind of videos and films there are in the area of cooking. I was immediately drawn to the Home & How-to category to see the variety of videos from cooking shows to how-tos, from regional cooking to cuisines of foreign cultures of various countries and ethnicity. There are hundreds of videos under the heading of Cooking with the following subjects: Drinks & Beverages, Elements of Food, Popular Cooking Shows, Regional & Ethnic Cuisine, and Styles,Techniques & Basic Skills.
The best thing about summer is the beautiful produce in full bloom. I love going to the markets to see and smell the variety of fruits and vegetables in season. I especially hunt for a favorite of mine - those Rainier cherries. As I gaze greedily along the aisles my “eyes become bigger than my stomach”. I want to try all this fresh luscious bounty knowing I would not be able to eat it all.
I was just reminiscing the other day of things I loved to eat as a little girl in the summer months. What came immediately to my mind were those ice cream sandwiches my brother and I would always get. Our parents would give us change to run to our local grocery store. We were barely able to reach down to the freezer to grab that 2½ x5-inch treat of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between thin layers of chocolate cake (cookie?). You know the kind. Funny, I remembered I was afraid I might fall into that freezer trying to get that ice cream. I often prefer the Good Humor strawberry shortcake ice cream bar on a stick but my parents discouraged it because it was too messy to eat. The ice cream sandwich provided a wrapper that can be torn circumferentially as this rectangular sandwich is consumed. My parents were very practical people…and neat. Wow, what tangent memories one little ice cream treat can evoke. Create your own forever moments.
It doesn’t get any better than having a well-made Asian roll. A bite into this lightly fried crisp wrap filled with mouthwatering ingredients is positively addictive! We are not talking about the typical egg rolls that are filled with tasteless cabbage filling rolled into thick egg roll skins that appear in some American Chinese restaurant menus. What is called an “egg roll” has evolved and the authentic types are varied by the texture of the wrapper (skin). It is complemented by an infinite choice of flavorful fillings, both savory and sweet, reflecting both Asian and non-Asian cuisines.
The potato is one of the healthiest and most versatile vegetables we have. Originating in South America, it was introduced to Europe in the early 16th century by Spanish explorers. A good source of vitamin C, it was once used to prevent scurvy on the Spanish ships. It is a member of the nightshade family along with peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes. Because of this relationship, potatoes were slow to rise in popularity because they were considered to be poisonous. Some even believed them to cause leprosy. Well, the simple potato has come a long way from these misconceptions.
St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday. We look forward to celebrating it every year along with our Irish friends. Rockland County’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Pearl River is the second largest parade in New York State behind New York City’s parade. After enjoying the parade with other enthusiastic revelers, we all look forward to continuing the celebration with great food and good friends.
This winter has been very tough. The onslaught of snow storms seems never ceasing, occurring one after another. After digging out from the heavy snow and ice in freezing temperatures, I look forward to coming back into the house for something hot, steamy and full of comfort. Such foods sure hit the spot when you are in need of recovery, rejuvenation, and relaxation.
I am grateful for beginnings. The New Year allows us to start all over with a clean slate after the holiday excess of sweets, rich side dishes, succulent meats, and those celebratory high calorie beverages. It gives us another chance to begin to eat healthier with lean meats, whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. There is an array of diets to choose from but I am terrible at following a diet, so I try to eat everything in moderation (yes, I have my white rice most every night). So, my goal is to eat smaller portions in my meals, have frequent healthy snacks, and drink more water. I have learned to not skip meals which would lower my metabolism and trick my body into starvation mode. Eating, like life, needs to be in balance.