Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The first thing Joyce Maynard will tell you when you ask for her pie recipe, is that she doesn't use one.

A writer for over 40 years and the author of 11 books, Maynard is almost as well known for her pie as for her novels.

"It's not about the recipe," she insists. "It's the handling of the dough. The only way to learn was standing at the elbow of my mother, while the pie crust is being made, and that's the way I like to teach pie-making, with someone at my elbow."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Using Joyce Maynard's directions, I created a Peach Blueberry Pie. I've always been a good pie maker myself, but I think I've fallen in love with a new crust.

For a 10-inch pie

3 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening (approximately), or lard

7-8 tablespoons butter, (approximately), cut into small pieces

7-8 tablespoons ice water, (approximately)

6 cups sliced peaches

2 cups blueberries

Sprinkle of Minute tapioca (maybe a tablespoon)

Sprinkle of cinnamon, maybe 1/2 teaspoon

1/2 cup sugar (or less)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Q. What happens when you have a heart valve that leaks?

Valves can malfunction and strain the heart. If a valve doesn't close properly, blood will flow backward. This is called regurgitation. If valve flaps don't open correctly, they prevent blood from flowing through them. This is called stenosis.

Advanced valve disease can cause blood clots, stroke or sudden death from cardiac arrest.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Autumn Apple Cheese Soup garnished with Sauteéd Apple Slices.

The aroma of onions sautéing in butter offers so much promise you could go anywhere from here. Today, we're going to leap into fall with an apple and cheese soup.

Sounds a little crazy? I thought so too.

A few weeks ago I saw a photo on Pinterest for a soup that featured cheddar cheese, apples and brandy. My first reaction was to wrinkle my nose in distaste.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

(Our last column was about dry eyes. Today, we go over some treatments for the condition.)

Tears are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Dry eyes are common in people older than 50. A lack of tears is more common among women, especially after menopause.

The treatment for dry eyes depends upon the cause.

First, physicians have to determine if a disease is the underlying cause. Then the disease is treated.

If a medicine you're taking for another condition is causing dry eye, your doctor may recommend switching to a different drug.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
@$:KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Fried Zucchini with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce

A few weeks ago I got a little carried away buying zucchini at my favorite farm stand.

After making the usual dishes, I still had some left, so I tried to come up with something different. I recalled having a fried zucchini appetizer at a restaurant once, and really enjoying it.

I played around with a couple different methods until I had something that was crunchy on the outside and soft, but not mushy, on the inside.

Panko breadcrumbs, and a method of "double breading," helped create the perfect combination.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Q. My eyes are dry a lot. Is this something common when you get older?

If your eyes seem to have become drier than normal, you should visit an eye doctor for a checkup. It's always better to have a professional examine you when you experience a troublesome bodily change.

Dry eyes are common in people older than 50 because our production of tears diminishes as we age. A lack of tears is more common among women, especially after menopause.

The tear film in your eyes has three basic layers: oil, water and mucus. Problems with any of these can cause dry eyes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Earlier this month I enjoyed a visit from a dear friend and her son from Maine. Liz, in addition to being a mom, wife, teacher, doctoral candidate and Red Sox fan, is a terrific cook. During her visit, she offered to whip up a salad one night, and it was amazing.

The recipe is essentially hers, but to give credit where credit is due, she admits to adapting it from a dish she tried at Jerry Remy's Sports Bar & Grill, which is located in Boston, right behind Fenway Park. She tried it earlier this year when she and her husband took their son to his first game at Fenway.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Q. When seniors gather, it doesn't seem to take long before we get to our aches and pains. You must get more than your share of that.

My friend, Pete, has instituted a colonoscopy rule. He insists that, if a bunch of us geezers are talking about aches, maladies and visits to the doctors, everyone has to change the subject as soon as someone uses the word colonoscopy. Usually we switch to grandchildren, which is a lot more fun.

But, while we are on the subject of colons ...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I've been singing the praises of local farm stands and farmer's markets lately, and this week is no different.

I stopped at a farm stand for corn on my way home from an appointment on a recent Friday evening, and the bins of fresh string beans, tomatoes and eggplants were calling my name.

You already know what I did with the green beans and the tomatoes, but what about those eggplants?

I've tried ratatouille. The word that rhymes with that phooey! sums up my opinion on that dish.