Mary’s Memo #2155


The American Dietetic Association says a nutritious diet, not pills, is the best way to promote health and reduce the risk of disease. In a new position statement, the dieticians' group stated: "The best nutrition based strategy for promoting optimal health and reducing the risk of chronic disease is to wisely choose a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods." Citing concerns that consumers lack information on the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements, the association called its membership to keep abreast of research findings on supplements and help educate the public. The position paper added: "Additional nutrients from supplements can help some people meet their nutrition needs as specified by science-based nutrition standards."

Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, February 2010.


What you eat and drink is a big factor in the health of your teeth and gums. Your mouth naturally teems with bacteria. The ones in dental plaque (a film on your teeth containing bacteria) are the chief element in producing tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease. In fact, tooth decay, known as dental caries, is classified as an infectious disease. Tooth enamel is constantly losing and regaining minerals. Your own saliva, which contains minerals and other chemicals, promotes remineralization. Sugars, any kind, are changed into acids in the mouth, producing an environment in which bacteria erode the teeth permanently. Tooth decay is uncommon among those who avoid sugar.

Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, March 2010.


Next Sunday is Easter. I like to think that when it comes early, warmer weather follows. Whether I'm right or wrong, you'll have to admit it's a happy thought! Some of you are already planning a brunch or dinner to celebrate the occasion. Others are responsible for taking a side dish, salad or dessert to someone else's meal. Chief and Rays is ready with all the foods you'll need for this special day and many will be on sale.

First things first, though. Easter eggs are surely a symbol of Easter. I cringe when people say "hard boiled." That's because they should never be boiled but hard cooked. Boiling toughens the egg white and risks overcooking the yolk. If you don't have an electric egg cooker put room temperature eggs in an appropriate size saucepan (the more you're cooking, the large the pan), cover with water, bring to a visible boil, remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Chill immediately under running cold water. Refrigerate until decorating time. Coloring eggs at Easter is believed to have originated with a North African tribe more that 500 years ago. In Poland and southern Russia, eggs were decorated by painting patterns and polka dots, each design having a special meaning. Egg hunts started in Germany but the most famous egg hunt of all is at the White House in Washington on Easter Monday, a custom started by first lady Lucy Hayes, wife of Rutherford, during his presidency.

Ever since daughter Mary Ann told me gelatin salads are a "my generation thing" I feel like I have to apologize when I share one but I'm doing it anyway. Orange Sherbet Salad partners with ham for dinner or a ham sandwich later.


1 6-ounce package orange gelatin
1 3/4 cups boiling liquid (reserved pineapple juice plus water)
1 pint orange sherbet
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, drained saving juice
1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, well drained
3 to 4 sliced bananas

Dissolve gelatin in boiling liquid. Add sherbet and stir until melted. When mixture starts to thicken add fruits. Pour into 2-quart oblong glass dish. Chill until set. Recipe makes 12 servings.

The above salad is versatile enough to go with Ham and Swiss Cheese Brunch Dish.


12 slices white sandwich bread (I prefer Pepperidge Farm)
3 4-ounce cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound chipped deli ham
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
6 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup lightly buttered soft bread crumbs

Arrange 6 bread slices in 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Saute mushrooms in butter. Alternate layers of ham, mushrooms and cheese. Cover with remaining bread slices. Whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper and mustard until well blended. Pour egg mixture evenly over top. Sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake in 325F oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Recipe makes 12 servings.

HAPPY EASTER TO ALL! Download PDF of Memo #2155

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