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P1090345.JPG Today, I will bid a final goodbye to my Uncle Ed, so I will not be posting a normal Friday’s Fresh Five! Instead, I would like to share a memory of him. Being an engineer, my Uncle Ed was an intelligent and clever man, but it was his big heart and gentle soul that endeared him to so many. In three days, my Uncle Ed would have celebrated his 94th birthday. A remarkable age for a remarkable man. I cherish the fond memories I have of him and of the many childhood days spent visiting with him and his family.

The Dark Room

As a child, the thought of entering a dark and creepy space, filled with unimaginable things, always made my pulse race and my stomach churn. Possessing a wild imagination, unfamiliar dark spaces scared the daylights out of me. Then one day, during one of my summer visits to my Uncle Ed and his family, something happened.

The day was sunny and looking to be a fun one when my cousin Bobbie called out, “Come on! Let’s go down there.” I quickly replied, “No, I don’t want to!” Excitedly, she said, “I want to show you something and it’s down there!” Fearfully, I exclaimed, “I don’t want to see it!” Bobbie persisted and before I knew it, she opened the door and we were leaving the sunny fun day behind.

I followed her down narrow wooden stairs and willed my legs to cooperate, so that I wouldn’t stumble and fall headlong into the dank stale air and the oncoming darkness. My heart beat like a metronome set on high by the time we reached the bottom step. While my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I sensed movement to my right and smelled something very strong and acrid. “What is it Bobbie?” I whispered. “I’ll show you,” she replied calmly. “I’m never going to visit her again!” I thought to myself as she nudged me forward. As she guided me closer to the source of the movement, I noticed an eerie light. What I finally saw not only altered my impression of that particular dark space, but also introduced me to something I would grow to love. Standing yards ahead of me was my Uncle Ed. He was busy moving things from tray to tray. As I stepped closer, he explained to me that he was developing black and white photographs. I stood mesmerized, while watching familiar faces slowly come into being. To a young girl, it looked like magic.

That day was the beginning of my lifelong fascination with photography. And, knowing that Uncle Ed created magic within the confines of that basement, I no longer felt afraid to go down into the “darkroom.” 

Thank you Uncle Ed. I am forever grateful to you for introducing me to the magic of photography and for being in my life. I’ll miss you.

 

 

 

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon Simple and easy recipes make dining during the hot days of summer more enjoyable. Brush a sweet-tangy glaze over salmon fillets and you’re half way there to an effortless meal. Yes, this recipe requires you to turn your oven on, but only for a short time. Even better, get out of the hot kitchen and throw those salmon fillets on your barbecue!

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon Fillets
Allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS
6 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Coat a small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook and stir garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

3. Arrange salmon fillets on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush fillets with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with oregano.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily with a fork. Brush fillets with remaining glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to transfer fillets to serving platter, leaving the skin behind on the foil.

Yields 6 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Instead of purchasing small individual salmon fillets, I purchased a large fillet and sliced it into 6 pieces.

2. About 1½ tablespoons of honey went into the glaze to counterbalance the acidity of the vinegar.

3. To reduce the risk of contaminating the glaze, I recommend in step 3 segregating some of the glaze into a small bowl for later use. Brush the glaze in the pot onto the uncooked salmon. Then in step 4, brush the glaze that has been set aside onto the cooked fillets.

4. The fillets can be grilled on your barbecue. Use a piece of foil to avoid sticking. Because of the sugar in the honey and in the reduced balsamic vinegar, the glaze could burn easily.

Enjoy!

June 19, 2015 Edition The journey my dad took as a young boy from China to the United States amazes me every time I think about it. Consider his story of leaving his mother and walking barefoot to a neighboring village to catch a junk, of sailing down a pirate-infested river, of staying alone in Hong Kong while waiting to catch a steamer ship that would take him one step closer to his father, and of enduring the prison-like internment at Angel Island. I often wonder if I would have had the courage to do what he did. The experiences of leaving his mother and of the traumatic journey are forever etched in his soul. They influence him everyday of his life. They molded him into a determined, hard-working man of integrity and, more importantly, a loving husband, father, brother, and loyal friend. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

#1 – Sacrifices
I cried while watching this video, because I could relate to the sacrifices identified. They are similar, if not identical, to the ones my parents and my grandparents made in order for their children’s lives to be better than their own. We should remember and be grateful everyday for all the sacrifices made for us, and not just on Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Veteran’s Day, or Memorial Day.

#2 – Camping Out In Style
Amazing Camping Trailer Because my parents worked just about everyday of the week, camping didn’t fit into our family’s schedule. That’s not to say we didn’t own camping supplies or enjoy the great outdoors. If we had a camper like the one in When Their Trailer Transforms Into a House . . . , camping out might have been more of a priority!

#3 – Two Kinds of People
Clever Illustrations Reveal the Two Kinds of People There Are in the World I laughed when I viewed the article, Clever Illustrations Reveal the Two Kinds of People There Are in the World, because it reminded me of some of the differences between me and my husband. He sets multiple annoying alarms on his digital watch and he bends back pages in books to mark his place. I, on the other hand, rarely set an alarm (because his alarms wake me up), wear a traditional dial watch, and would never dream of defacing a book. What kind of person are you?

#4 – Ways to Repurpose Bottles!
23 Ways to Repurpose Plastic Bottles I grew up in my parents’ grocery store. Literally. My sister and I played hide and seek in the warehouse, scaling tall stacks of cardboard boxes. We also helped sort coupons and soda pop bottles, while our parents worked. Back in the day, soda pop bottles were made of glass. These days, as we all know, most are made of plastic, a substance with which the world has a love-hate relationship. In an effort to find ways to repurpose plastic bottles, here are 23 Insanely Creative Ways to Recycle Plastic Bottles Into DIY Projects.

#5 – Five for Fathers
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”
Jim Valvano

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
Clarence Budington Kelland

“I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.”
Sidney Poitier

“In our house, Mother’s Day is every day. Father’s Day, too. In our house, parents count. They do important work and that work matters. One day just doesn’t cut for us.”
Margaret Heffernan

“Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.”
Victor Hugo

Happy Father’s Day to all the deserving fathers out there!

Now go and spread joy!

Orange Popsicle Ice Cream One part nostalgia and two parts warm weather call for an iconic dessert flavor. The taste of Orange Popsicle Ice Cream transports you to summer days passed and the tinkling song of the ice cream truck in your neighborhood. The fresh flavors of orange juice and orange zest conspire with the creamy goodness of sour cream and half-and-half to bring out the child in you.

Orange Popsicle Ice Cream
Recipe from the Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

INGREDIENTS
⅔ cup (130 g) sugar
Grated zest of 3 oranges, preferably unsprayed
1¼ cups (310 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (from 4 or 5 large oranges)
1 cup (240 g) sour cream
½ cup (125ml) half-and-half
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier or another orange liqueur

DIRECTIONS
1. In a blender, pulverize the sugar and orange zest until the zest is very fine.

2. Add the orange juice, sour cream, half-and-half, and Grand Marnier and blend until the sugar is completely dissolved.

3. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then process it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Yields: About 1 quart (1 liter)

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. For fun, the next time I make this, I’ll pour the ice cream mixture into frozen pop molds.

2. My husband tripled the recipe, because 1 quart is not enough to serve my ice cream-loving family!

Enjoy!

June 12, 2015 Edition Rotti doesn’t dwell on his disability. In fact, he’s a pretty darn happy guy. Despite the fact that he has a disease that caused his hind legs to become lame, his infectious joyful demeanor remains constant. Rotti runs on all fours now and the only thing that would make him happier would be for someone to adopt him.

#1 – A Home For Rotti
Rotti Needs a Home Rotti is a super cute and loveable 4½ year-old male tri-color Welsh Corgi with IVDD who is in need of a “furever” home. Rotti had back surgery and is currently being fostered by my oldest son. Being an energetic dog, Rotti’s disability never slows him down or prevents him from enjoying all the things that dogs love. Rotti recently received a set of “wheels” to help strengthen his muscles and to help improve his mobility. After watching video clips of him running with the aid of his cart, all I could do was smile and say, “Run Rotti, run!” If you are interested in learning more about Rotti, check out these links:

The Adventures of Super Rotti
Dogs of Instagram
The Daily Corgi

Rotti Needs a Family and Home And, even better, if you’re interested in adopting this adorable and affectionate dog, contact Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue.

#2 – Enabling the Future
Enabling the Future Last month, one of my friends attended the 2015 Maker Fair and came across a booth sponsored by Enabling the Future. She learned that this organization solicits volunteers from around the world to use their 3-D printers to fabricate mechanical hands for children in need. With Rotti in mind, my friend asked the representatives if they ever made prostheses for dogs. They had not, but thought it could be possible. She brought me back some literature to read. I found the organization’s website to be very inspirational. Here is a segment from its “About” page:

What originally started out as a couple of guys who created something to help one child in need . . . has grown into a world wide movement of tinkerers, engineers, 3D print enthusiasts, occupational therapists, university professors, designers, parents, families, artists, students, teachers and people who just want to make a difference.

They are coming together to create, innovate, re-design and give a “Helping hand” to those that need it – whether it is helping to print parts for them, creating a completed device for them or simply helping to guide them as they build one themselves.

There are people around the Globe – 3d printing fingers and hands for children they will never meet, classes of high school students who are making hands for people in their local communities, hundreds of Scout troops working together to assemble hands for children in underserved areas around the globe, a group of people that are risking their lives to get these devices onto people in 3rd World countries and new stories every day of parents working with their children to make a hand together.

If this project interests you and you want to give someone a “helping hand” check out the link above.

#3 – Who’s Disabled?
The Amazing Art of Disabled Artists Could you be an artist, if you didn’t have arms or eyes? Looking through the artwork in The Amazing Art of Disabled Artists, I realized that if a person is an artist, he will always be an artist, no matter what his circumstance. I am blessed with four limbs and eyesight, but never in a million years could I ever paint or sculpt anything as incredible as the work of these artists.

#4 – Touching Two Lives
Soldier's Best Friend If the dog is man’s best friend, then the pairing of a shelter dog with a wounded veteran makes for the most compelling bond imaginable. Assisting veterans and combatting pet overpopulation is the mission of Soldier’s Best Friend, a non-profit corporation. Its work focuses on “touching two lives at once.”

#5 – Are You Disabled?
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
Scott Hamilton

Now go and spread joy!

P.S. Remember Duke, the Corgi-Dachsund-Jack Russell-mix dog I wrote about back in March? Well, I’m happy to report that someone adopted him!

Korean Bulgogi Taco Recipe Tender pieces of grilled Korean bulgogi on top of a spicy slaw and wrapped in a soft corn tortilla, exemplify fusion cuisine. Sriracha sauce replaces taco sauce. Taking a favorite Mexican dish and reworking it with Asian flavors, yields a mighty tasty combination. You might even say it’s “Seoul food” at its very best.

Korean Bulgogi Taco Recipe
Recipe courtesy of Garbo’s Grill

INGREDIENTS
3 pounds beef short ribs, off the bone
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sesame oil
6 cloves garlic
6 scallions
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger

Korean-Style Slaw:
3 cups roughly chopped Napa cabbage
1 cup matchstick-size daikon slices
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 scallions, diced

Soy Lime Dressing:
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Taco Assembly:
Twelve to fifteen 6-inch yellow corn tortillas or flour tortillas
Sriracha, for serving

DIRECTIONS
1. Cut off any excess fat from the short ribs then thinly slice the beef and cut into 1½-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl or in a plastic resealable bag.

2. In a blender or food processor, blend the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, scallions and ginger. Pour half of the sauce over the short ribs, ensuring all the beef is covered. Seal tightly and marinate the short ribs in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

3. Place the other half of the marinade in a pan and reduce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick. Place in a serving bowl and reserve to drizzle on the tacos.

4. For the slaw: Place the cabbage, daikon, cilantro and scallions together in a medium to large bowl.

5. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, mirin and Sriracha. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Place the dressing in the fridge until ready to use.

6. For the taco assembly: Heat your griddle to high. Flash cook the meat while simultaneously caramelizing the marinade. Place your short ribs on the griddle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and flip. Cook an additional 3 minutes, then wrap the meat in foil and set aside.

7. Grill up your tortillas. Flip after 45 seconds. Grill for another 45 seconds and remove.

8. On the grilled tortillas, pile some Korean slaw, dressing, beef, reserved and reduced marinade and extra Sriracha to taste.

Yields 12-15 tacos

LINNELL’S NOTES:
1. This is not a difficult recipe to make, but it does take some time to prepare all of the components. To make it easier, next time I will marinate the meat in store-bought Korean B.B.Q. Sauce. Not only will this be easier, it might also make it less salty.

2. For several years now I’ve tried to watch my sodium intake. When I dine out,  most food tastes salty to me. This recipe falls in that category. Other than the soy sauce there is no additional sodium added in the recipe. It would be difficult to cut the amount of soy sauce down, because the ratio of marinade to meat would not be correct. Perhaps the remedy would be to use a low-sodium soy sauce.

3. According to Food Network, “If you can’t find short ribs, you can substitute with tri-tip.”

4. I added shredded carrots to the slaw for color and more daikon sticks for added crunch.

5. The recipe says to add the dressing while assembling the tacos. Dressing it as a salad before hand will cause the cabbage to become limp.

6. My husband grilled the meat outdoors on his barbecue.

Enjoy!

June 5, 2015 Edition
Dear Readers,

Due to circumstances beyond my control (lovely warm day, beautiful blue skies, and adorable granddaughter), the writing of Friday’s Fresh Five! lost out to the joy of the moment. Check back next week for a new edition.

Have a wonderful weekend and remember:

“Happiness, not in another place but this place . . . not for another hour, but this hour.”
Walt Whitman

Now go and spread joy!

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