It Helps Sometimes If You Live Way Out In The Suburbs.....
If you are wanting to grill huge amounts of food, over an open flame, that is.
As much as I envy(deeply!)all my city-pals, and as much as I DO plan to again be "ITP"(that's Inside-The-Perimeter for all of you who don't know the Atlanta-speak), last night was fun because we have the space for Hansoo to do his somewhat-famous grilling:
grilled sausages of every possible kind: all-veggie, smoked turkey, Italian sweet and mild, and then Hansoo's sweet and smoky BBQ Chicken--heavy on the sauce(with honey!), and lightly charred. We have a large deck that allows for open-air grilling(banned in most of Atlanta-proper due to fire hazard).
I made fried green tomatoes as a go-with(YUM!) and must confess my fried green toms have gone through several, not-quite-good-enough incarnations. Here's the recipe I created, and have tweaked--I think!--to near-perfection! Enjoy.
"LisAhhh's Organics"* Fried Green Tomatoes:
You will need:
4 very firm, large, symmetrical, pale-to-bright green organic fryer tomatoes(paler usually means firmer, and less water-y, which is what you want!)
3 whole, organic, free-range, vegetarian-fed eggs(it DOES make a difference, kids--in the best-farm-practice, and in the taste!)
Approximately 2 cups of buttermilk (I love Mathis Dairy--but that's local here in Atlanta; look at your grocer's for a local dairy with a great reputation.)
Plain yellow corn meal, 3 cups (I love House-Autry Mills)
All-purpose white flour,2 cups (I love Gold Medal)
Sea Salt, large crystals, to taste
Fresh-cracked black pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, approx. 4 tablespoons
Dried Oregano, approx. 2 teaspoons
Paprika, aprox. 4 teaspoons
Sugar, approx. 4 teaspoons(I love "Sugar in the Raw")
A really great Extra-Virgin Olive Oil(Phillip Berio or good ol' Pompeian are excellent)
"Tabasco" hot sauce, if desired.
Using a smooth-blade, very sharp knife, slice the green tomatoes into med-thick slices. Don't cut them too thin, or they'll tend to break-apart.
Place the eggs, cracked, into a large bowl. Dip the toms in, and take those egg-y slices and place them into a long deep pan, where you will have poured your buttermilk. Let the toms soak for a few moments.(Save your eggshells--crush and place into the soil of your house or outdoor plants. It nourishes the soil like fertilizer.)
While they are soaking, place all dry ingredients into an equally long, deep pan, where you will then place each tom, and roll such that each tom has a thick "coat" of ingredients--the batter this will create should be somewhat stiff and grainy.
Using a large skillet(cast-iron is best, but any will do) you will fill half-way with Extra-Virgin-Olive-Oil, sprinkle in some salt(to keep spatters down)set to med-flame, and once bubbles begin to appear, place the toms in. Let them crisp slowly, reducing the heat to low-med, then flip. Then raise heat to med-high, and then flip, AGAIN, both sides.
Place several paper towels on a good platter, and lay the hot toms on the towels, such that they can easily drain.
I love mine with a bit of feta' or montrachet'cheese, crumbled on top.
Hansoo loves them with lots of Tabasco sprinkled on top, and then he dips them in chilled Ranch Dressing.
One special note: Nowadays, folks use green fryer tomatoes, even if they have "gone red", and they will fry, and taste good, BUT: they tend to be water-y, so be careful when you're frying those!
So today, I'm going to soak some beans(very important to soak dried beans for at least eight hours, to remove nasty "gas" from them!) for my 15-bean soup. Tomorrow, I'll add vidalia onions, green onions, chunks of potatoes--and maybe instead of vegetable broth, I'll try chicken-broth.I love adding in raw fresh sliced garlic, too.
In the interest of helping us all to cope with the ongoing/increasingly aggravating/frustrating election, and to help us be in a good place, mind/body/spirit-wise come November 4th, here you go, kids, from Chinese Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Below, from Dr. Mao's Secrets Of Longevity:
7 Ways to Slash Stress
Chronic stress seems to be our national disease, especially these days. Millions suffer from symptoms of stress: nervous tension, restless sleep, difficulty focusing and remembering, irritability, and health complications. Generally speaking, stress speeds up aging. Learn the ways to manage stress, and you will look and feel younger.
1. Start your day with meditation
Spend time every day in meditative relaxation, with calming music if you desire. Start with five minutes and work your way to 15 or 20 minutes each day. Meditation is your number one way to reduce the output of stress hormones and avoid adrenal exhaustion, serious threats to your health.
Try this Stress Release Meditation: Breathe consciously, relax, and with each exhale focus on relaxing each area of your body in sequence, starting from the top of your head and moving all the way down to your toes.
2. Manage your mood with diet and herbs
Chinese Medicine considers the liver to be the center of your emotions. To allay stress and balance your emotions, keep your liver healthy and happy:
• Every day, eat lots of green leafy vegetables, barley grass, seaweed - anything high in chlorophyll - to keep the liver in good health.
• Take 500 mg dandelion daily for a month or longer to cleanse the liver and help release built-up anger.
• Take 400 mg white peony root daily for 1 to 3 months to soothe the liver and balance your mood.
• Schisandra berry protects the liver from chemicals and calms the spirit. For emotional anxiety, take 200 mg daily for a month.
Take these herbs anytime during the day and before bed in tea or capsule form. All the herbs are available from health food stores and Eastern medicine practitioners. Many of my patients have had remarkable results with Calm-Fort Elixir, an all-natural formulation of herbs to calm your spirit.
3. Suppress stress with positive thinking
Instead of letting your thoughts run wild with anxiety, say affirmations to yourself, such as "I can handle the tasks I have ahead of me. I enjoy my responsibilities and fulfill them well." In fact, repeating positive affirmations can actually suppress the cortisol that the adrenal gland releases in times of stress - leaving you peaceful and calm.
4. Get stress out of your head and on paper
Writing in a journal every day can help you release thoughts and emotions that are causing you stress. Write from the position of an observer, recording your thoughts without any judgments. Just write it down so that you can see clearly what is going on inside. The next step is to identify the source of any anger or stress so you can begin to make changes. Looking into your thoughts give you the opportunity to gain insight into your feelings and reflect the underlying issues.
5. Unblock tension with exercise
The constant pressures of your job and family can lead to chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is a direct cause of muscle and joint pain. Clenched jaw? Lump in your throat? Chronic back and neck pain? These can all be manifestations of stress in your body. Release physical tension and clear these emotional blockages by using massage therapy, exercise, yoga, tai chi, or qi gong to get the circuits moving.
6. A Retreat to Avoid Burnout
Overloading your brain is a recipe for stress and health problems. Information overload is particularly harmful at midlife because we have less tolerance for stress, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. Press the "reset" button on yourself. Give yourself a retreat from the stresses of modern life. Take one day out of the seven-day week to minimize "screen" time. Don't watch TV, don't check email, and don't look at the news - it will be there tomorrow, and after a day of rest, you will be refreshed and ready to look at them.
7. Perspective from the Natural World
Use nature to reduce stress. Go outside, hike in the woods, walk on the beach, anything that puts you in contact with the natural world. It is difficult to feel stressed when you are surrounded by nature's abundance of vitality and wonder.
I hope you find the ways to have less stress! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
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For more of Dr. Maoshing Ni's advice about reducing stress, go to:
. For a guided meditation, look for our stress release cd.
Learn hundreds of ways for living a long and happy life with Dr. Mao's book Secrets of Longevity.
Find out amazing ways you can naturally increase your energy and heal common ailments in Secrets of Self-Healing, Dr. Mao's landmark book on natural healing.
Transform your health and bring quality to your years with Dr. Mao's natural health products from the Tao of Wellness.
There are several products available at Dr. Mao's website. I cannot vouch for the products personally, but I think his advice via his columns and newsletter, is spot-on!