Wednesday, December 17, 2014
     
AP Photos/Matthew Mead

Here's my holiday conundrum, and I bet you can relate: I am in charge of this year's holiday meal, which will feature a big standing rib roast.

Everyone in my family wants their meat rare, but I want the outside to be nicely seared. How to have both?

Cooking a big roast at high heat can get you that nice crisp outer crust, but it comes at a price. Cooking a roast at high heat for even part of the time generally means you end up with just a small core of rare meat running down the center of the roast.

JUDY DOLGOS-KRAMER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS An iPad or a tablet is a great gift idea for a senior citizen. With the ability to increase the size of the print, vision-impaired seniors can still read emails from family or friends or online articles. Even those with arthritis, who might find it difficult to type on a keyboard, can navigate through an uploaded family photo album with a simple swipe of a finger.

Finding the perfect gift for a loved one can be a challenge. It can be even more difficult when shopping for your favorite senior citizen, as many of our parents or grandparents may already have everything they need, or they just don't want more "stuff" or "clutter."

If that's the case, you may find yourself in a bit of a panic, especially with Christmas just nine days away. Relax. We have some suggestions that should bring a smile to your special someone.

Michael Capita IV and Samantha Thomas
The engagement of Samantha Thomas and Michael Capita IV has been announced by their parents. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Kim and Gar Thomas of Lake Hauto. She is a graduate of Tamaqua Area High School. She earned a bachelor of science in education degree from Bloomsburg University. She is currently employed as a global coordinator by Metso Minerals of Danville. The prospective bridegroom is the son of Eleanor and Michael Capita III of Berwick. He is a graduate of Berwick High School.

Q. How extensive is alcoholism among older people?

Alcoholism is a serious problem among seniors. Here are just a few statistics:

About 70 percent of hospital admissions for older adults are for illness and accidents related to alcohol.

About half of older adults in nursing homes have an alcohol problem.

Older adults lose an average of 10 years off their lives because of alcohol abuse.

About 80 percent of doctors misdiagnose alcoholism as depression in older women.

The highest growing number of alcoholics is among 75-year-old widowers.

Q. What causes motion sickness?

Many people including me suffer nausea when traveling by boat, car or airplane. It also happens on rides in amusement parks and playgrounds. The symptoms of motion sickness are caused by conflicting messages arriving at the central nervous system.

Different parts of your body let your brain know where you are and what you're doing. The inner ears let you know if you're turning, or moving forward-backward, side-to-side, and up-and-down.

Q. Whenever I drink a little too much wine, I find that I wake up at night and my heart seems to race for a while. Can wine do that?

The short answer is yes. But, first, it sounds like you haven't told a doctor about this. And you should immediately. What you're describing could be atrial fibrillation. The risk of atrial fibrillation increases with age, particularly after age 60.

Q. Is it my imagination, but am I getting fewer fevers than I did when I was younger?

The immune system doesn't function as efficiently in older adults as it does in younger people.

The body's fever response to infection is not always automatic in elderly people. More than 20 percent of adults over age 65 who have serious bacterial infections do not have fevers.

This brings us to germs, which are defined as microbes that cause disease. Infectious diseases caused by microbes are the leading cause of death.

AP Photos/Matthew Mead

Here's my holiday conundrum, and I bet you can relate: I am in charge of this year's holiday meal, which will feature a big standing rib roast.

Everyone in my family wants their meat rare, but I want the outside to be nicely seared. How to have both?

Cooking a big roast at high heat can get you that nice crisp outer crust, but it comes at a price. Cooking a roast at high heat for even part of the time generally means you end up with just a small core of rare meat running down the center of the roast.

This July 21, 2014 photo shows bacon apple baked pancake in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/MatthewMead)This Dec. 1, 2014, photo shows bacon apple baked pancake in Concord, N.H. The baked pancake was inspired by an upside down cake. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Like Thanksgiving, Christmas is one of those holidays that requires aroma.

On Thanksgiving, we need the house to smell of turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes. On Christmas, we need whiffs of indulgent breakfast items, like cinnamon rolls or a bubbling fruit crisp. Or maybe you prefer hash browns and bacon. Those get the job done nicely, too.

It really is hard to beat freshly baked cookies. Leave aside for a moment the deliciousness of the finished product; the simple act of cooking them makes your whole house smell like heaven.

But who has the time to whip up a batch of cookies every time a guest shows up at your door? Or every time you get a craving? Actually, if you rely on these refrigerator cookies, you do!

Editor's note: To help with last-minute calculations for tomorrow's big day, we're rerunning this article from the Associated Press.

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is enough of a pressure cooker, never mind having to do on-the-fly math to get it right. Here are all the numbers you need to have a safe, worry-free and delicious Turkey Day dinner.

All serving estimates are generous to allow for plenty of seconds and leftovers.

How big?