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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, .

Here's an email we received from Sylvia in Culver City.

Dear Aunt Nettie,

I like to serve a salad of mixed greens to my dinner guests but find that I'm always in a time crunch and can't squeeze in the extra few minutes to fuss with washing and drying the greens last minute. How far in advance can I make a salad and still keep it fresh?

Here's Aunt Nettie's suggestion:

Dear Sylvia,

I don't usually hanker fer a kitchen full 'o modern gadgets, but ta tell the truth I really fell fer one of them salad spinners. Best thing I ever did! I jes wash my greens under cold runnin' water, tear 'em in half, an' put 'em into the salad spinner. Then I put on a little elbow grease and spin this gadget fer 'bout a full minute. Now ya have ta really git it goin' purty fast ta git the extra water outa the greens.

Now some folks like them electric gadgets with lots 'o buttons that make the thing go, but I jes like that ole hand crank spinner 'cause I git some exercise out of it, too. Then there are them bags 'o lettuce in the supermarket. They're all ready ta go, but I worry 'bout them 'cause I don't know what's in 'em.

I jes love the way the salad spinner leaves the greens with the perfect amount 'o moisture ta keep 'em crisp. Then I tear 'em inta bite size pieces, put 'em in a plastic bag, an' tuck it inta the fridge the day before a party.

The handy part is that ya don't have ta use yer last two clean dish towels ta pat each little leaf dry. Now, you go on out 'n buy a salad spinner, and Sylvia, you'll love it like I do. Then if you wanna chop up a few extra veggies ta fancy up yer salad before yer company comes, it takes no time at all.

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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