Salt

Salt can be either good or bad. A lot of people have been told by their doctors to reduce their sodium intake especially if you have high pressure. This can be somewhat hard to do because salt adds so much flavor. Here is where herbs find their place in our cooking. It is extra hard to give up salt when the fresh tomatoes and fresh sweet corn start to appear on the scene. If you start to decrease your salt gradually, you will be accustomed to it. The amount of salt used in the cooking process will give you all the salt you need, and you don’t get too much in an individual serving. A hint is to remove the salt shaker from the table. If you dine at a lot of fine dining restaurants you probably will not find a salt shaker on the table. The  philosophy applied here is that the food is prepared as it should be with the proper amount of salt. My daughter follows this guideline in her restaurant and I have never needed salt on anything. Of course, again, you should discuss this with your doctor and follow his advice.

Now I’m not suggesting that you not buy salt. There are many several non-food uses for salt, some of which we are all familiar with,  here are a few:

Cleaning pots and pans –cover caked on food with 3 TBS. of salt and add enough water to cover spot. After a good soak it should clean up easily. 

Soak up coffee, red wine or other fresh stains from your carpet by pouring an ample amount of salt on the stain. After the stain and salt have dried, vacuum them up. 

Set and revive color in the washing machine. Hard water can dull bright colors. To keep colors vibrant, add ½ cup salt to the wash. The salt will set the colors, so you will have less fading and your colors won’t bleed.

If you have fresh pecans or walnuts you need to shell, try soaking the nuts in salt water for a few hours and they will be easier to shell.

I didn’t list the familiar uses for salt but we all know at least one or two.

How’s your garden coming along? With the patchy rains we have been having you shouldn’t need to water it. I don’t know about your lawn but ours has been growing so fast. Back to the garden. I have a new way of preparing radishes. The daughter in Albuquerque is serving at her restaurant a pork tenderloin with roasted radishes as a side. This is how she prepared them:

Toss clean dry radishes with a little bit of oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. She said it takes out the bitterness and they don’t become mushy. I’ll let you know how they are. 

We have had an ample supply of radishes this year, so I am going to try it.

Daughter number one is home for the summer from Vietnam and she eats very healthy, so as a result we have been too. She fixed us the most delicious and healthy dinner. We had roasted organic chicken with oranges, lemons, olives and a fresh Vietnamese cinnamon stick. Also in the roasting dish were fingerling potatoes cut in half. We also had pureed cauliflower, baby beets with caramelized onions and sliced beet greens which were sautéed. And last but not least was a fresh cherry tart. That was my contribution. It was so flavorful and tasty. We should all rethink ours ideas of healthy eating.

Speaking of daughters, number two has just moved from Raleigh, NC back to St. Louis. She will be in charge of the kitchen and a fill in chef at an assisted living facility. This is a facilty with high end meal service, which is not at all like a nursing home. She wanted to be closer to home and I’m happy about that.

Well I must go and pick asparagus and radishes then mow the yard. The fun begins? More soon.

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