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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Nancy W. from Venice, California asks Aunt Nettie for some advice on how to make a challenging kitchen task much easier.

Dear Aunt Nettie,

Do you have any special tricks for cutting things like dried fruits into an even size? When I put the fruits into the food processor, it either grinds them up too small, or the pieces are so irregular it looks awful. I like to make my own trail mix, and I guess I'm funny about wanting to achieve that professional look of "the perfect dice."

Aunt Nettie writes:

Nancy, Darlin',

Now don't you fret none. Sure as little apples grow on apple trees I do have an ole handy gadget I use in my kitchen 'most every day. Jes' take yerself out to a good quality kitchen store 'n buy yerself a good pair o' kitchen scissors. My favorite one is made by a company called Joyce Chen. Ta look at 'em ya might not be wantin' ta kick up yer heels none, but they cut through the toughest kitchen jobs. If ya don't choose that brand, be sure 'n git a good quality pair 'n ya won't be sorry later. I use mine fer cuttin' sun-dried tomatoes inta strips 'n dried fruits inta nice little squares them fancy cookin' folks call "dice." The perfect tool fer snippin' herbs inta little bits fer a soup garnish is that trusty little ole kitchen scissors.

I jes' love those little scissors. I even take 'em inta the garden 'n snip fresh herbs fer dinner. Sometimes you'll even catch me cuttin' sweet peas ta make the table look all nice 'n purty.

There's somthin' else I use my kitchen scissors fer that most folks might not even think 'bout. Fer special times when ya might want ta fuss a little extra 'n make a stand-up-'n-holler garnish, I put different pieces of vegetables together ta make a flower. The secret fer hitchin' them pieces together is with a toothpick er two. Now it don't look so purty when them little toothpicks are stickin' out, so I jes up 'n cut 'em off with my kitchen scissors.

Well, Nancy, I hope ya finds the perfect scissors fer yer kitchen, 'n do some fancy cuttin' up.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with megabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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