THE CONSUMER VISION
 
January 2021
 
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Phone: 508-994-4972
Email: bobbranco93@gmail.com
Website: www.consumervisionmagazine.com
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editing and Proofreading: David and Leonore Dvorkin
Formatting: David Dvorkin
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
In this Table of Contents, three asterisks *** are used to separate the title of each article from its author. In the same way, three asterisks *** will be used to separate articles to make using your browser’s search feature easier. If any of you have screen readers that make searching difficult or undoable with asterisks, please let us know not only that, but also if three number signs ### would be easier. If you are a screen reader user for whom neither symbol works, please let us know what works best, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
 
In columns like Special Notices, Readers’ Forum, and Recipes from Karen Crowder, letters of the alphabet—A, B, C, etc.—are used to separate items.
 
1. HEALTH MATTERS: Metformin, Melatonin, Rice, a History Lesson, and More *** by Leonore Dvorkin
 
2. A WORD ABOUT SPORTS: 2020: The Year in Review *** by Don Wardlow
 
3. WEATHER OR NOT: The Tempests of Tomorrow, Part Two *** by Steve Roberts
 
4. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs *** by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
 
5. AUTHORS’ CORNER
 
6. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too) *** by Penny Fleckenstein
 
7. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
 
8. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
 
***
 
1. HEALTH MATTERS: Metformin, Melatonin, Rice, a History Lesson, and More
by Leonore Dvorkin
Email: leonore@leonoredvorkin.com
Website: https://www.leonoredvorkin.com/
I welcome comments on any of my articles.
 
Note: The information in the medical pieces below has been shortened and is paraphrased from the original articles.
 
A. Study finds metformin reduced COVID-19 death risks in women
(Source: EurekAlert and University of Minnesota Medical School, 12/3/20)
 
Metformin is an established, generic medication for managing blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes. It also reduces inflammation proteins, such as TNF-alpha, that appear to make COVID-19 worse.
 
Patient data for about 6,000 patients in UnitedHealthGroup, patients with Type 2 diabetes and COVID-19, was analyzed to see if metformin use was associated with decreased mortality. It was found that women with diabetes or obesity who had filled a 90-day prescription for metformin before hospitalization had a 21% to 24% reduced likelihood of mortality compared to similar women not taking the medication. There was no significant reduction in mortality among men.
 
A personal note from Leonore: I have Type 2 diabetes and take metformin. While I’m doing all that I can to protect myself from COVID-19, I was glad to read this information. I also passed it on to members of my family who take metformin.
 
B. Melatonin: finally, a supplement that actually boosts memory
(Source: EurekAlert and Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 12/10/20)
 
In the United States, melatonin is marketed primarily as a sleep aid. Now researchers in Japan have shown that melatonin and two of its metabolites help memories stick around in the brain and can shield mice, and potentially humans, from cognitive decline. In the studies, the melatonin accumulated in the hippocampal region of the brain, a region important for turning experiences into memories. It appears that one of melatonin’s metabolites, AMK, can facilitate memory formation in all ages of mice. The researchers are hopeful that future studies will show similar effects in older people.
 
Personal notes: Here in our mid-70s and with no plans to retire from our editing and writing and my teaching of languages, David and I are always looking for anything to help in the memory department. For many years, we have both taken melatonin every night as a sleep aid. Whereas it can have some negative side effects, we have never had any. What I can tell you is that it is both fairly effective and quite inexpensive. We hope that this news about melatonin and memory will not cause the current low price to rise. The brand that we’re currently using is Nutricost Melatonin, 5 mg capsules, 240 capsules per bottle, currently still only $10 per bottle, thus only 4 cents per capsule. We order it on Amazon.
 
C. Alcohol-free hand sanitizer just as effective against COVID as alcohol-based versions
(Source: EurekAlert and Brigham Young University, December 1, 2020)
 
The BYU researchers who carried out the study found that benzalkonium chloride, which is commonly used in alcohol-free hand sanitizers, wiped out at least 99.9% of the COVID-19 virus within 15 seconds. These sanitizers are also effective against common cold and flu viruses, and they don’t cause the “burn” sensation that you might know from alcohol hand sanitizer. This might make things easier for those who have to sanitize their hands a lot.
 
D. New way of cooking rice reduces arsenic but retains mineral nutrients (2020)
 
Rice, both brown and white, contains a significant amount of arsenic. This cooking method reduces the arsenic but not the micro-nutrients. Method: Boil 4 cups of water for every cup of raw rice. Add rice and boil for 5 minutes. Discard the water. Add fresh water, 2 cups for every cup of rice. Cook rice on low to medium heat, lid on, until water is absorbed.
 
E. The Health of the Nation – and a Little History
 
The 1956 presidential election is the first one that I actually remember, as I was 10 years old at the time. My parents were not at all happy the day after the election, as they had voted for the Democrat, Adlai Stevenson, instead of for Dwight D. Eisenhower. But looking back, the Republican Party’s platform for that year looks pretty darned liberal, even progressive, by today’s standards. Here are its main points:
 
1. Provide federal assistance to low-income communities.
2. Protect Social Security.
3. Provide asylum for refugees.
4. Extend the minimum wage.
5. Improve the unemployment benefit system so it covers more people.
6. Strengthen labor laws so workers can more easily join a union.
7. Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.
 
Are you surprised by these points? I was.
 
You can easily find the Democratic and Republican Party platforms for 2020 online. They are long documents, but below are a few things that stand out for me in the Democratic platform. Naturally, many of these points address problems that did not exist in the 1950s—or problems that had not yet come to the forefront of national consciousness, such as the need for protections for the LGBTQ community.
 
As a left-wing Democrat and a person who cares deeply about protecting the environment, education, and the rights of others, as well as a host of other issues, I am happy to see all of the following goals, as well as many more with which I wholeheartedly agree, spelled out in clear detail in the Democratic platform:
 
Defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. Protect workers and create more jobs. Achieve universal, affordable health care. Provide good, universal education. Reform the criminal justice system. End the epidemic of gun violence. Protect civil rights. Protect women’s rights. Protect LGBTQ rights. Reform immigration. Combat the climate crisis. Strengthen international relations and global trade.
 
However you yourself voted in November, surely we all hope that 2021 will be much better than 2020 was. I, my husband, and the vast majority of our family members and friends are glad and relieved that the Biden/Harris administration will be coming in on January 20. We can only hope that Congress will give them the help they’ll need as they seek to defeat this devastating pandemic, move the country forward, and improve our standing in the world.
 
About the Author
 
Leonore Dvorkin and her husband, David Dvorkin, live in Denver, Colorado. Leonore teaches German, Spanish, and English, now by Skype. From 1976 until March of this year, she also taught exercise classes, mainly weight training. She hopes to resume those classes when the pandemic has abated.
 
Together, Leonore and David have been running run DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services since 2009. Most of their many clients are blind or visually impaired.
 
David and Leonore have written 34 books of their own, plus dozens of articles. Thirty of the books are by David. They both write fiction and nonfiction.
 
They invite you to visit any of their websites for more information on their publications and their comprehensive, very reasonably priced services.
 
David Dvorkin: http://www.dvorkin.com/
Leonore Dvorkin: https://www.leonoredvorkin.com/
DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services: https://www.dldbooks.com/
 
***
 
2. A WORD ABOUT SPORTS: 2020: The Year in Review
by Don Wardlow
 
After this grim year, we may only hope that 2021 will be a year of recovery for the world in general and our cruelly used country in particular. Hopefully, sports will be able to assist in that recovery effort as it did during and after World War II and following 9/11.
 
As 2020 began, my concern was for the UConn (University of Connecticut) Huskies women’s basketball team. As usual, they were destroying their conference foes, since they played in the dreadful American Athletic Conference. Playing such poor competition left them unprepared to face top 25 opponents, and it showed. They were brutalized by Baylor and overwhelmed by Oregon, both at home. Shameful. They were shredded by the Gamecocks in South Carolina. Even then, bad as that was, it began to look like something much worse than lost basketball games was on the horizon. In fact, the Huskies won their final nine games, while life as we all knew it began to disintegrate.
 
It didn’t happen quickly, as in Stephen King’s masterpiece The Stand. I feared that kind of fast collapse. Instead, piece by piece, the sports world and the larger world shut down. Baseball was first, with other sports following the cue given by the national pastime. Basketball and hockey closed up shop. There was no March Madness, no college baseball season after March 12. Schools and businesses had to close. In my native New Jersey, the pandemic was killing 500 people a day at its worst, which was the last part of April and early May.
 
By the end of May, though it happened slowly, sports began to return. Baseball, the first to close, was among the last to start up again. For that, you can blame the entitled children who play the game demanding a full season’s pay for much less than a full season’s work. While the union and the team owners wrangled, the niche sport of NASCAR racing was first to return in America. The first race, with no fans on hand, was held at the end of May. European soccer was next. Then came boxing in early June, with no fans. At long last, baseball returned on July 23, with basketball and hockey following a week later. The Indy 500, a staple of late May since 1911, was run at the end of August with no fans.
 
All of the major sports kept going until a winner could be declared. Predictably, baseball had the most COVID-related illnesses, including one pitcher, Eduardo Rodriguez, who was shelved with a heart condition brought on by COVID. The Red Sox believe he’ll be good to go in 2021.
 
For the World Series, some 11,000 fans per game were allowed to attend. I’ve been unable to determine if the Dodgers’ or Rays’ broadcasters were there in person, with the exception of the Spanish-language broadcast for Tampa Bay. I know one of their broadcasters, and I know they did the broadcast from the studio in St. Petersburg. For the first time, the event was held at a neutral site, the Ballpark at Arlington, Texas, so the Dodgers and Rays wouldn’t have to risk shuttling between Los Angeles and St. Pete. In a six-game series, the Dodgers claimed their first World Series since 1988, four games to two.
 
College football has had very mixed results since returning. Teams like Alabama and Florida have played almost a full schedule, while teams from the West Coast have barely gotten five or six games in at press time. The Big Ten initially planned to scrap the season, then did a reversal and started playing in late October. Local or state rules determine whether fans may attend the games. In New Jersey, Rutgers doesn’t allow fans. A relative who watches games from around the country tells me that limited numbers of fans are welcome at games in the South.
 
The bowl games are in as much disarray as the college football regular season. The Holiday Bowl, always played in San Diego and usually high-scoring, is gone. So is the Pinstripe Bowl, scheduled for Yankee Stadium. As I write this, the Rose Bowl is in jeopardy. Pending future events, some of the best known bowl games—the Cotton, Sugar, and Fiesta Bowls—will have been played by the time you read this. The national title game will be held in Miami on January 11.
 
The major sport that has survived COVID better than any is, not surprisingly to its fans, pro football. The teams have played their full schedule. Again, fans may or may not be welcome, as the NFL has to abide by city or state regulations. While games have been juggled, none have been cancelled.
 
With the beginning of vaccine distribution, there’s hope that 2021 can be an improvement on 2020 in all regards and all walks of life, including sports.
 
***
 
3. WEATHER OR NOT: The Tempests of Tomorrow, Part Two
by Steve Roberts
 
The Blizzards of 1978: a Blast from the Past, a Hint of the Future
 
To understand what we face, it helps to look at what we have faced in the past. We will take a look at the Blizzard of ‘78 (January 20) and The Great Blizzard of ‘78, February 6 and 7.
 
The Blizzard of ‘78
 
On January 19, a strong storm was taking shape down in the Gulf of Mexico. That storm ran up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. During the nighttime hours, this storm overspread southern New England with heavy snow and high winds.
 
On January 20, a raging blizzard was in progress. The snow was falling at 1-2” per hour. The winds were gusting to between 50 and 60 mph. This storm left 15-25” of snow in its wake. The snow was blown into huge drifts that were up to 10-15’ in height. The blizzard of ‘78 was a remarkable storm, but there was an even bigger storm on the way.
 
The Great Blizzard of ‘78
 
On February 4, there was a dome of Arctic high pressure to our north. That Arctic high kept a fresh supply of bitterly cold air coming into the northeastern United States. As this was going on, there were two energy centers that were on a collision course.
 
These were a moisture-starved but energetic system out by Chicago and a moisture-laden system to the east of Jacksonville, Florida. Both of these systems linked up and bombed out to the east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
 
The Great Blizzard of ‘78 assaulted southern New England with winds of 60-80 mph. Coastal communities were battered by angry seas. Inland locations were buried by snows that fell at rates of 2-3” an hour. Millions of people were plunged into frigid darkness that lasted for days. Two thousand cars were stranded out on Route 128.
 
The Great Blizzard of ‘78 stalled for 24 hours due to blocking high pressure to its north. The storm’s long duration, combined with incredible intensity, gave it a truly incredible impact.
 
This great tempest left 2-3’ of snow in its wake, with snow drifts as high as 15-20 feet. To quote Harvey Leonard, “This storm was in a class all by itself.”
 
Though it may be hard to imagine, climate change could bring us an even bigger storm than the Great Blizzard of ‘78. That storm may be referred to as “The Great Winter Hurricane.”
 
The Great Winter Hurricane: A Two-in-One Tempest
 
The Great Winter Hurricane is a superstorm that stalls for a long period of time due to persistent blocking high pressure to its north. The Great Winter Hurricane will dump snow at rates of 2-4” per hour, whipped around by winds of 75-100 mph.
 
Out in the open ocean, this great tempest will cause the seas to build to heights of 30-50 feet. Coastal communities will be battered by huge waves that come in on massive storm surges. Coastal communities from Virginia to Maine will be inundated during multiple high tide cycles.
 
For those of us who live back from the coast, there will be considerable blowing and drifting of snow. This storm could deposit as much as 6-10’ of snow throughout the Northeast United States.
 
If you were to compare the Great Winter Hurricane to both blizzards of ‘78 in combination, the Great Winter Hurricane would dwarf those combined storms. The combined snow totals of the blizzards of ‘78 would add up to 3-5’ of snow; the Great Winter Hurricane could deposit 6-10’ of snow, double the total snowfall of the blizzards of ‘78. If the Great Winter Hurricane lives up to its billing, it will be head and shoulders above all other great snowstorms in our history.
 
Steven P. Roberts is the author of two books. Those are the nonfiction book The Whys and Whats of Weather (2014) and a weather-related novel, The Great Winter Hurricane (2015). For full information on both books, free text samples, handy direct buying links, and author bio, see https://www.dldbooks.com/stevenproberts/
 
***
 
4. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs
by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
 
Hello, readers. By the time this appears in your inbox, it will be 2021. 2020 is behind us, and it has been anything but boring. It has been a time of deep sadness and also validation for our family. We lost our beloved Verona, my first guide dog, but I also won the case against the VA for firing me. My husband received recognition for his dedication to his position as a U.S. Customs officer. We welcomed May the dog and my daughter’s kitten into the family.
 
As for the guide dog training programs, some have suspended classes or taken steps to limit contact to protect staff and students. Some schools have offered only home training for safety reasons. It’s difficult to anticipate how the coronavirus pandemic will affect raising, training, and the future placement of guide dogs, but from what I’ve heard, the longer we pause, the same amount of time for the pause will play out once vaccinations are provided. It could take two years past the vaccination process for guide dog schools to become fully functional. We don’t have a crystal ball; we don’t know what will happen, and this is a concern. It could mean that a wait for a guide dog will be much longer, or that breeding programs will slow down, or that puppy raisers keep the young dogs longer. Or perhaps all these will come to pass.
 
One thing we do know is that our dogs receive the best even before we take the leash, and training programs are hard at work making sure the staff and the dogs under their care do not suffer the stressors resulting from the pandemic restrictions. Another concern is the financial stress and how the post-pandemic economy will affect donations to keep the schools operating. This is an uncomfortable time, for sure.
 
I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well.
 
Annie C. –
Making meaningful connections with others through writing.
For everything Annie, including book–buying links, podcasts, interviews, and audio and video performances, check me out on the web: www.annchiappetta.com
Subscribe to my email announcement list by sending a blank email to anniesharesnews+subscribe@groups.io
Or follow my blog: www.thought-wheel.com
My book-related website, with full information about my four published books, is
https://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/    
My first novel will be coming later in 2021.
 
***
 
5. AUTHORS’ CORNER
 
DLD Books Produced in 2020
by David and Leonore Dvorkin
 
This has been a very productive year for us, DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services. While we have been in business since 2009, below is a list of the 11 diverse books that we edited and had published in 2020 alone. 
 
The books are listed in alphabetical order by author, with the author’s website URL included. Each website includes the cover image, the synopsis, the author bio, a link to a free text sample, and handy direct buying links to the author’s book or books in e-book and print formats. The e-books are text-to-speech enabled. The main selling platforms are Amazon and Smashwords.
 
Our business website is: https://www.dldbooks.com/
 
Now here are the books.
 
Mary Alice Baluck
Heaven’s Doorway
A dramatic and moving novel set in three countries, Ireland, Canada, and the U.S., from the late 1800s to the early 20th century. The talented author is now 93 years old and lives in Ohio. Her second novel, one with a more modern setting, is projected to come out in January of 2021.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/marybaluck/
 
Susan Bourrie
a. Meander: The Princess Who Had Ants in Her Pants
A whimsical tale about a princess who hates being idle and all the activities she discovers.
This is also in audiobook format from Audible.
b. More Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse
This is a charming Christmas-themed book that handles the COVID-19 pandemic in a wise and gentle way. It is the author’s third book. All three are for children in the 4 to 9 age range. Her previous Mistletoe Mouse book was The Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/susanbourrie/
 
Ann Chiappetta
A String of Stories: From the Heart to the Future
This is the author’s fourth book and her first collection of stories. Her first novel is coming in 2021.
Her previous books were collections of poetry and essays, as well as a moving memoir about all the dogs in her life, mainly her guide dogs.
Website with full details of all her books:
https://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
 
David Dvorkin
Randolph Runner
A satirical science fiction novel set mainly in the near future. The title refers to the name and type of the main robot character.
This book is not by a client, but it was published this year, so it belongs on this list. It’s David’s thirtieth published book. He has written primarily in the genres of science fiction, horror, and nonfiction.
For full details about this particular book, go to http://www.dvorkin.com/ranrun/
David’s website: http://www.dvorkin.com/
 
Jena Fellers
Five Keys to Surviving Life’s Storms (in e-book only)
A short book with calming, hopeful messages rooted in faith. This was the author’s second book done with DLD Books. More are to come.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/jenafellers/
 
Penny Fleckenstein
Lessons in Love: A Poetic Autobiography
This is the author’s first book, featuring poems and some short prose entries about her love for family, friends, nature, God, and more. An illustrated children’s book is coming in 2021, as well as a longer autobiography at some point.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/pennyfleckenstein/
 
Trish Hubschman
Tidalwave: A Tracey Gayle Mystery
This is Trish’s third Tracey Gayle mystery, but it’s a prequel to the other two, which are Stiff Competition and Ratings Game. Trish and her husband particularly liked the cover on this book, which features a blazing red electric guitar superimposed on an intriguing photo of blue ocean water. Danny Tide is the main male character in Trish’s books, and Tidalwave is the name of his rock and roll band.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/hubschman/
 
Frederick J. M. Kamara
Lighting the Darkness
This is the first volume of the African author’s impressive autobiography. Fred is from Sierra Leone, has lived and studied in England, and currently lives in Maryland. This volume covers his early life and education up to the time of his marriage.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/fredkamara/
 
Robert D. Sollars
Murder at Work: A Practical Guide to Prevention
The title tells you exactly what this book is about. Based on his decades of work in the security field, Mr. Sollars has written extensively about security in the workplace and in schools. Another of his books is about how to provide good customer service. More books by him, including a novel, are to come.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/robertdsollars/
 
Butterfly Thomas
In My Feelings: A Book of Poetry
This is the author’s second book, featuring often hard-hitting poems about love, family, disability, social justice, and much more. Her first book was the novel Head Held High, a gritty urban thriller with a most unexpected ending.
Website with full details of both books:
https://www.dldbooks.com/bthomas/
 
 
Books by David Dvorkin in New Hardcover Editions from IngramSpark
 
Below are the titles of the 13 mainly older books by David that were put out in late 2020 (and very early 2021) in beautiful, high-quality hardcover editions from IngramSpark. All of the books are also available in paperback and e-book formats. Full details of the books are to be found by clicking on the various links in this section of David’s website: http://www.dvorkin.com/dwriting.php
The books are listed below by category.
 
Science Fiction
Budspy (alternate history with a Nazi theme, a book that received very good reviews)
Central Heat
Dawn Crescent (This is an alternate history novel by David Dvorkin and his son, Daniel Dvorkin. It starts during the Gulf War and Desert Storm, a conflict in which Daniel actually served as an Air Force medic, as an emergency medicine specialist.) 
Pit Planet
Randolph Runner (satirical science fiction, David’s most recent book)
Time and the Soldier (a time travel novel that begins during World War II)
 
Horror
Children of the Undead (a humorous novel about zombies – and pickles)
Ursus (featuring bloodthirsty mutant bears)
                                                                
Vampire Novels
Insatiable
Unquenchable (the sequel to Insatiable)
 
Satire
Business Secrets from the Stars
 
Mystery
The Cavaradossi Killings
Time for Sherlock Holmes (a Sherlock Holmes and time travel pastiche; one of David’s most popular novels)
 
***
 
6. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)
by Penny Fleckenstein
 
Blog: http://www.notyouraveragesinglemom.com
Email: goodthaimom@gmail.com
 
Happy New Year, and welcome to 2021! Let's make it a good year.
 
Comcast is beginning to put a (V) before verified numbers that show up on your Caller ID. This way you know it’s a real person or company calling and not a spoof call. This will take a couple of months to complete. They've already started the process.
 
For 2021, I've ordered a monthly box from https://www.snackcrate.com/
 
Each month, they’ll send me snacks from a particular country. I've ordered the three-pound family box for $50 a month. We’ll open it as a family and read the literature together to learn about the selected country. For $15 you can purchase a half-pound box, or $27 for a pound box. You can add a drink for $6. I’m thankful for this opportunity to learn more about foreign snacks, and also for the family bonding that will occur during this monthly activity.
 
My friend Belinda is on a waiting list to borrow a radon detector from one of our local libraries. She’ll pick it up curbside, use it for three weeks, and return it to the window. She’ll check it out just as she would check out a book.
 
My friend Jose Lopez told me about a breakfast bowl product line called Just Crack an Egg at https://www.justcrackanegg.net/ These bowls contain three packets, one of meat (pork sausage, turkey sausage, sausage and bacon, or bacon), a vegetable packet, and a cheese packet. You open these packets, pour the contents into the provided bowl, crack one or two eggs, beat the eggs, and microwave for 30 seconds. You take the bowl out, beat again, and microwave for another 30 seconds. Within two minutes, you have a breakfast egg scramble. There are even kids’ bowls. I visited their website and found quite a variety of them. Just Crack an Egg is available at Walmart and Target and some local grocery stores. I haven't had the opportunity to try one yet, but I plan to soon. I love to eat my scrambled eggs on rice.
 
Susan Jones wrote to me thanking me for the recommendation of the game Quelf. She says she found Catch Phrase to be enjoyable. I am impressed with her bottle cap collection. She saves bottle caps for times she gets a salad dressing bottle that does not have a flip top. She can replace it with a saved flip top, making the salad dressing more pourable. She also uses a spare cap when the product in a pump bottle is close to the bottom and the pump is no longer useful. She fishes out a bottle cap from her collection and makes it useful again.
 
Our household had a very enjoyable Christmas, complete with new games. We had lots of fun playing Taboo, Quelf, Family Feud, the Office trivia game, and Cards Against Humanity, Family Edition. It was terrific having hours of fun-filled family time. It makes a mother's heart sing.
 
Please email any tips or friendly correspondence to goodthaimom@gmail.com
 
Welcome to 2021. May this year be fun–filled and joy–filled.
 
Note: Penny Fleckenstein is the author of the new book Lessons in Love: A Poetic Autobiography.  For full details, see https://www.dldbooks.com/pennyfleckenstein/ 
 
***
 
7. RECIPE COLUMN
by Karen Crowder
 
When January arrives, most of the U.S. experiences wintry weather. However, we are often surprised by a pleasant January thaw. In 2020, on the weekend of January 11-12, temperatures reached 70 degrees across southern New England and the Northeast.
 
After the magic of holiday celebrations, we face the reality of another winter. This year, there are four special days in January. New Year’s Day is Friday, January 1. Louis Braille’s birthday is Monday, January 4. Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 18. Joe Biden’s inauguration is Wednesday, January 20.
 
This month, I have three delicious recipes that I hope Consumer Vision readers and listeners will enjoy: Scallop Newburg, Delicious Cornbread, and Ann Donna’s Shortbread Cookies.
 
A. Scallop Newburg
 
On December 22, 2020, I made a delicious scallop Newburg. It was easy to prepare.
 
Ingredients:
One-half pound either sea or bay scallops
Two tablespoons butter
Two squeezes of lemon juice
Pinches of curry and garlic powder
One-half stick butter
One-fourth cup flour
One and one-half cups milk
One-fourth cup light cream
One-fourth cup heavy cream
Two slices buttered toast.
 
Directions:
 
1. Melt one half stick of butter in a four-quart saucepan on low heat for five minutes. Add one-fourth cup flour and stir with a whisk for 30-60 seconds, until smooth. Add milk and light cream.
2. Stir sauce until smooth. This takes 3-5 minutes. Stir sauce infrequently for 20-25 minutes on low to almost medium heat.
3. After 15 minutes, melt butter in a one–quart sauce pan. After five minutes, add lemon juice, curry, and garlic powder to the melted butter. Add rinsed scallops. Sautee scallops on low heat for 15 minutes. Turn scallops over gently with a spoon after 10 minutes.
4. When sauce is thickened, add heavy cream. The small amount of heavy cream brings out the flavor of the scallops.
5. Add scallops to the sauce and stir them around. Cover the saucepan and simmer until serving time.
 
Serve Scallop Newburg on broken-up buttered toast. This Newburg goes well with a salad. It makes a delicious New Year’s brunch. Double the recipe if you’re serving more people.
 
B. Delicious Cornbread
 
In March 2011, I devised a better cornbread recipe. I was influenced by recipes from the 1979 Fannie Farmer cookbook. When preparing it in early December 2020, I added one extra egg, more sugar, sour cream, butter, and milk.
 
Ingredients:
One cup all-purpose flour
One and one-half cups yellow cornmeal; Quaker is a good brand
Six to seven tablespoons sugar
One and one-half teaspoons baking powder
One and one-half teaspoons baking soda
One-fourth teaspoon salt
Three large eggs
One stick of butter
One-half cup sour cream
One and one-fourth cups milk.
 
Directions:
 
1. Measure flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Briefly stir these ingredients with a wire or silicone-covered whisk to combine them.
2. Melt six tablespoons of butter (three-quarters of a stick) in a small bowl in a microwave oven for 40 seconds. Let it cool. In a smaller mixing bowl, break room-temperature eggs and beat with a whisk for one minute. Add milk and combine mixture with a whisk for two minutes.
3. Add one-half cup sour cream to the dry ingredients and stir batter with a wooden spoon. Add the milk and egg mixture to the cornbread batter and stir for three minutes. Add butter to the batter, stirring for 2-3 minutes until the cornbread batter is smooth.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch round metal or Pyrex cake pan with parchment paper or foil lightly greased with butter. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a custard cup in a microwave oven for 20 seconds. Measure moist cornbread batter into the lined pan with a one cup measure and pour melted butter over entire top of cornbread batter.
5. With a metal sandwich spreader or spatula, spread batter evenly over the entire pan. Bake cornbread for 45 minutes.
6. Leave the cornbread in the pan for 20 minutes if it’s not being served right away.
7. Invert bread onto a dinner plate lined with parchment paper or foil. Refrigerate cornbread, covering it with plastic wrap.
 
Serve hot cornbread with coffee and plenty of butter for breakfast or supper. This cornbread will be requested again by your family and guests.
 
C. Ann Donna’s Shortbread Cookies
 
Ann generously gave me this recipe the Christmas season of 2019. She said it’s simple to make. It was simple and a hit with my friend Jenny and my neighbor. I added salt and one teaspoon of vanilla.
 
Ingredients
Two sticks butter
One-half cup sugar
One and two-thirds cups all-purpose flour
One-fourth teaspoon salt
One teaspoon vanilla.
 
Directions:
 
1. In a large mixing bowl, place cold butter, flour, and sugar. Mix these ingredients thoroughly with clean hands. There should be few stray bits of flour in the bowl.
2. Add salt and vanilla. Mix again until dough is blended.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll small balls of dough, placing them in rows on ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Prick each cookie with a fork. Flatten cookies gently.
5. Bake cookies for 20-30 minutes. Remove them immediately and sprinkle them with confectioner’s sugar.
 
These are delicious and not too sweet. This recipe should make approximately 46-50 cookies. Everyone who tries them will be reminded of shortbreads they had as children. They go well with coffee.
 
I wish Consumer Vision readers and listeners a blessed and happy New Year. I hope 2021 will bring hope, happiness, and a return to the life we know and cherish. Let us pray for a united America and success for the people who will guide America and the world.
 
***
 
8. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
 
Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the December Consumer Vision. Irving Berlin wrote the classic Christmas song “White Christmas.” Congratulations to the following winners:
 
Henry Achin of Lowell, Massachusetts
Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts
Daryl Darnell of Urbana, Illinois
Don Hanson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Nancy Hays of Waterbury, Connecticut
Trish Hubschman of Easton, Pennsylvania
Susan Jones of Indianapolis, Indiana
Jo Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts
Robert Sollars of Tempe, Arizona
 
And now, here is your question for the January edition. What football player was known as Broadway Joe? If you know the answer, please email bobbranco93@gmail.com or call 508-994-4972.
 
Copyright © Consumer Vision Magazine, All rights reserved.

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