& COOKING ARTICLE
Corner Cupboard - July 2001
weather finds our family eating lighter, more vegetables,
and often, we have cookouts and picnics. Which I am
sure, is the case with most of you.
do you remember about food in the summer? Did your family
cook out a lot? Mine didn't, at least not until they
moved into the house where my parents still live. With
that final move, they got a small yard which was theirs
alone, and bought a grill.
to that, I remember neighborhood picnics where everyone
cooked hot dogs on sticks over a large fire. Once in
a while, Mom would pack a picnic basket, Dad would load
up the car, and we'd go away for a day to Idlewild Park,
Kennywood Amusement Park (site of the top roller coasters
in the world), or one of the area state parks.
I can't understand is how we never had food poisoning
or any digestive problems. Why is this such a problem
nowadays? At any rate, Mom would make baked beans in
a large casserole, cover it and wrap it in a towel to
keep it warm. We'd take fried chicken, and she'd put
a big bowl of potato salad in the cooler.
done similar picnics with our children. We've also stopped
and bought drive-through food and gone to Riverside
Park here in our town for an impromptu mini-break in
Merrill and I had a very romantic picnic - with just
the two of us. The menu consisted of a bottle of champagne,
fried chicken, gazpacho soup, cheese, fresh fruit -
it was wonderful. All that was missing was a flowing
stream and a couple of weeping willow trees, in order
to be picture perfect.
are very fortunate to have some lovely picnic spots
around this area, all within a decent driving distance.
Penn Hills Park, Freeport Park near Laube Hall, and
Boyce Park are among our favorites.
food - lighter, cooler, easier menus. Lots of salads
and vegetables. Once, when I was speaking on food and
cooking like this to a group, I couldn't believe it
when one woman told me her husband would be furious
if she ever served him simply a large salad for dinner,
or vegetarian type foods.
I knew this man, and he was always someone easy to get
along with. So after thinking about this for a minute
or so, I asked her some questions. And I found out she
felt compelled to apologize as she served certain foods.
if you apologize for the food before anyone even tastes
it, chances are your family will think there is something
wrong with the food. That means they will be very hesitant
to try it. You're the cook, you're in charge of the
kitchen, you should be able to introduce your family
to different things. That doesn't mean to disregard
their likes and dislikes - but how will they know if
they like or do not like something, if they do not have
a chance to try the dish?
today's multi-ethnic small world, our children are going
to be traveling, and perhaps moving to other countries,
or at least several states away, in order to work and
live. What are we doing to prepare them for this, if
we stunt their culinary growth now?
them to enjoy other cuisine's is just as important as
their learning another language, or how to work a computer,
or social graces. There is a wonderful world to explore
out there - whether they move 500 or 5 miles away from
cannot live on meat, potato and corn at every meal.
is a great time to offer something different - look
at the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that
are available, things our parents and most certainly,
our grandparents, never knew. We are blessed in this
the meantime, I hope you will Enjoy! the following and
CYH - consider yourselves hugged!
med. new potatoes (about 3/4 lb.)
2 med. cucumbers
1/3 c. chopped fresh mint
(OR 2 T. dried mint leaves)
1/4 c. olive or salad oil
4 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
potatoes in boiling water for 15 - 20 min., or until
tender. Drain and cool. Peel and slice into large bowl.
Pare cucumbers, halve lengthwise, and seed. Spread cucumbers
on paper toweling to dry completely. Cut into 1/4 inch
slices to make crescent shapes. Lightly mix potatoes,
cucumbers, and mint.
oil over. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Add salt and pepper
to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Garnish
with fresh mint. Serves 4. This is great for picnics,
as it does not contain eggs or any creamy mixture which
and Onions in Sour Cream
c. zucchini, peeled and sliced thin
1 c. onion, sliced
2 T. white vinegar
1 T. white sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. dried dill, or
1/4 c. chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper
prepared zucchini on paper toweling to dry for about
an hour. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate, serve chilled. Serves 2-3. Great for folks
who can't eat cucumbers.
lb. rotini, cooked, drained and cooled
1 c. oil
4 tsp. dry mustard
6 tsp. sugar
3 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
8 T. vinegar
1/2 c. chopped green onions
2 medium tomatoes, cut up
dressing ingredients in large bowl. Add rotini, toss
to mix. Stir in tomatoes and chopped green onions. Refrigerate
lb.. small zucchini
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
1 pint Plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 c. sliced, pitted ripe olives
1 medium (red) Bermuda onion, or other sweet onion,
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 sm. bottle Red wine vinegar and oil salad dressing
pat dry and slice mushrooms and zucchini. Place all
vegetables in large salad bowl. Pour salad dressing
over, just enough to season salad. Cover and let set
for 1 hr. or longer. Serve as is, or on lettuce leaves.
Makes about 6 - 8 servings.
med. tomatoes, chopped
1 sm. cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
3 c. cooked rice
1/2 to 3/4 c. Italian salad dressing
medium bowl, combine all ingredients using 1/2 c. dressing.
Mix well. Cover, refrigerate to blend flavors. If desired,
stir in an additional 1/4 c. dressing before serving.
Makes 9 (2/3c.) servings.
Cynthia Bowan, 2001
All rights reserved
Bowan is a free lance writer and has been a newspaper
food columnist for Gateway-Star publications in Monroeville,
PA, USA, for sixteen years. She often lectures on cooking
and food-related subjects; collects cookbooks; and has
taught classes on cake decorating and gourmet cooking.
She also moderates three recipe exchange lists, one
food / cooking information list, and three others.
work has appeared on World in Your Kitchen, an award-winning
Internet site which no longer is food-centered. Her work now
can be found at CynthiasCornerCupboard@yahoogroups.com, www.agourmetkitchen.com
and www.hub.uk.com. Her work also has appeared in the Pittsburgh
Post Gazette, the Pentecostal Evangel and Pittsbrugh's Expression
has been married to Dr. Merrill Bowan, a neurodevelopmental
optometrist, for thirty-six years-plus, and lives in
Oakmont, PA, just outside Pittsburgh. The Bowans have
three sons, two daughters, one daughter-in-law, two
grandsons (eight and five and a half), several cats
and other assorted animals their children have brought
home (including Monty the Python and Natasha the ferret
. . . )
Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org