11/21/2007 – Editorials


By Richard Peterson

 

The arrival of Thanksgiving again gives us a chance to feast and gather around the table with loved ones.

I always roast a turkey whether we go out to eat or not because I simply can’t get along without the leftovers.

Once the meat is carved off the turkey’s carcass, the bones, gristle, fat and other leavings are thrown into a large pot of water and placed on the stove to simmer the remainder of the day, adding more water as necessary. At bedtime the stove is turned off and a cover placed over the pot.

Early the next morning, the aromatic juice and contents have cooled to room temperature so it’s safe to handle. The contents are strained and the juice goes into another large kettle. The meat is picked over to insure all the good turkey has been salvaged and the fat, gristle and bones are thrown away. You’ll be surprised how much meat falls off the carcass in the simmering process. The good meat is placed in the bottom of a large pot and the strained turkey juice is poured over it. A cover is placed on the pot and it goes in the refrigerator.

That evening or the next morning, the pot is removed from the refrigerator and the solidified fat is skimmed off and discarded.

This fat isn’t good for you. Don’t fry potatoes in it as I used to.

After that you can add any type of vegetables you want: peas, diced carrots, diced potatoes, cabbage or whatever. Add your seasonings and you’ve got a hearty and healthy soup. Wonderful!

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My life has changed significantly in the past six months since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I was pretty surprised when this diagnosis was delivered to me. I know my mother never had diabetes and I don’t think my dad did, either. However, my brother, Jim, has had diabetes for several years. I guess a combination of the genes of our parents predetermined that their children would be diabetics.

There is no other history of diabetes on either side of our families, except for some of Uncle Ed’s and Aunt Inga’s children, who inherited the disease from her.

My diabetes is under control by watching my diet and taking two pills a day (Metformin). There are no symptoms. I know that the disease is pretty much under control by pricking my fingers a couple times a day and checking the sugar levels in the blood. It only takes a few seconds and is virtually painless.

Diet is important. I’ve completely given up candy, soda pop, ice cream and wine, among other things. Beer consumption is limited.

Other alcoholic beverages find their way to my lips on only rare occasions.

I eat nearly everything, but try to stay away from fatty foods, French fries, rice, potatoes, white bread, butter, cheese and regular pasta. One of my favorites, Ramen, causes my blood sugar to soar. So, I practically live on low carbohydrate pasta, the Dreamfields brand which is made in Carrington. It’s just as good as regular pasta and is perfect for diabetics.

Instead of ice cream for dessert I have yogurt. I like it. I’ve never liked breakfast food, but I do like the lesser sweetened granolas with a few tablespoons of plain yogurt spooned over it. I’d rather eat bacon, eggs and toast, but yogurt and granola has to substitute these days.

We eat a lot more fish these days, too, although I still fry hamburgers on my George Foreman Grill. Most of the fat drips off.

That hamburger is eaten with a slice of raw onion, sliced jalapeno pickles and a small amount of catsup on a whole wheat bun. It makes a great breakfast, followed by a banana for dessert.

I’m supposed to eat lots of fruits, vegetables and beans. That’s fine because I like all that stuff. As a matter of fact, I seem to like everything, and that’s a part of my problem.

Exercise is also important, but walking the two blocks from my house to the Farmers Press is about as far as I’ve gotten in the exercise program. I’ve always said I get most of my exercise from digesting food.

As was stated earlier in this column, I used to fry potatoes in turkey grease, sausage grease and bacon grease. Good! Good! Good! But grease is forbidden fruit these days. Pre-diabetes my favorite meal was pan fried sausage with potatoes fried in the grease. Lord almighty! It’s amazing I’ve managed to hang onto life this long after a diet like that!


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