Saturday, August 16, 2014

Chagrin Falls

Since I uploaded an article to be published, and the upload worked on my first try, I decided to reward myself by driving to Chagrin Falls.

We have had much rain and my kale is growing tall in huge bunches. I packed a kale shake for both of us and we drove to the falls pictured below.  I made the kale shake with Almond Milk, bananas, and about 4 long leaves of the wonderful Heirloom Kale growing in my garden! The Heirloom Kale does not have the many white flies my red-leaved kale has. I poured dish washing liquid on my red-leaved kale as it was loaded with white flies, but luckily, they did not attack my Heirloom Kale growing immediately next to the red-leaved kale!

We stayed away from the wonderful treats in downtown Chagrin Falls, but decided to go for lunch at Hunan by the Falls, down on Washington Street. We had Hunan Chicken with steamed brown rice for lunch and the best spring roll in the world!

On the way home we stopped at Patterson's Fruit Farm and purchased an entire half gallon of the tart cherry syrup (80 calories in 2 tablespoons) and I am mixing mine with sparkling water. My husband does not like sparkling anything, so I mix his with plain water. We love the tart cherry juice and it is reported in the literature to be a natural source of melatonin. Having the highest level of antioxidants,  I figure it can not hurt. Since I am doing heavy physical labor these days per all the yard work, I will try anything that is reported to help with joint pain.

The sparkling water plus tart cherry juice reminds me of a drink I liked when we were first married. We only ate out maybe once per year, but on our first and second wedding anniversaries in Columbus, Ohio, we ate dinner at the Jai Lai Restaurant -- their Slow Gin Fizz was my favorite. Our third wedding anniversary was spent potting tomato plants in The Ohio State University greenhouse. When I think back to my husband traveling all week and coming home to help me work in the greenhouse, I am truly amazed!

My youngest sister, age 12-13 years at the time, also helped me water the hundreds of plants in that old greenhouse! She is the third author in the article I submitted for publication this morning.

The title of the article is "Mentoring Power: Key to Sustainable Economic Growth and Innovation,"
to hopefully be published in JOTMI, the Journal of Technology, Management & Innovation.
Authors are William Sharp, Rosa Raskin, and Maria Shine Stewart!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tart Cherry Juice

As a baby boomer starting to have problems both falling asleep and staying asleep, I recently read that the sour (tart) cherry is one of the few sources of natural melatonin. I was very excited to read about natural sources of melatonin and noticed many articles about tart cherry juice.

My Mom, who was born and raised in Germany, loved sour cherries. We planted a sour cherry tree in her backyard. The tart cherry is the cherry in commercial "cherry pie filling." Unlike a sweet cherry tree, the sour cherry tree does not need two trees to produce wonderful cherries. Unfortunately, the deer in our area get most of the cherries these days, along with the birds and other animals that love this treat.

Here is a photograph of my Mom at age 94 with the sour cherry tree blooming in the background. The tree was loaded with tart cherries. I made several cherry pies from the cherries in the tree and froze the cherries too as the tart cherry freezes wonderfully.

Per the pits in the cherry, one must always be careful, same true when eating commercial products made with these wonderful cherries, one might find a pit among the pitted fruit. It is interesting the sour cherry is used in many German recipes. I know that my mother never had any sleeping difficulties, but her three daughters do. Maybe some of the German recipes, like Schwarzwälder kirschtorte, named for the Schwarzwald  or Black Forest in Germany, might have a secret to sleeping like a baby?

Karlsruhe, Germany, my birthplace, is considered the northern area of the Black Forest region in southern Germany. The cake named after the forest is the "Black Forest Cherry Cake" or "Black Forest Gateau". This cake is a most famous German dessert, one of the few that I have never made. I wonder if the cake holds some secrets per sleep? It is heavy in whipped cream. In the authentic cake, one must use only tart cherries as my Mom told me many times. The cake also includes Kirschwasser, a clear liquor made from the same tart cherry! The cake is a light chocolate alternating with sour (tart) cherries layered with whipped cream. The cake is frosted with whipped cream and has more sour cherries as an adornment on top of the cake. It is not unusual to go out for dessert in Germany and just buy a piece of this cake. I can not imagine trying to eat even a slice of the cake after a meal, but the cake is an afternoon delight in many places in southern Germany.

After reading about tart cherry juice, I called my youngest sister and I learned that she had been drinking some tart cherry juice. I found a bottle of "First Pressed" juice at Whole Foods and then at a local fruit market, I found the true tart cherry concentrate and cherry preserves.

I am giving tart cherry products to both of my sisters whose birthdays are in August. I am shipping juice to Georgetown, Texas, via and my local sister will get the tart cherry preserves and bottle of the concentrate.

I think the juice tastes better than any wine. It is not as sour as I would have expected.

Per the concentrate, it says to take 1-2 tablespoons. Per the juice, I drink about 4-6 ounces per day, but I could drink the entire 32 ounces as it is so very delicious!

From here forward, there will be no wine in our house, only tart cherry juice!

Here is a link to research articles on tart cherry juice:

Dr. Oz also did a show on the juice and termed it an amazing antioxidant!

If juice is in your diet program, this is one that you might enjoy both for its taste and for any health benefits.

I am flavoring my plain, nonfat Greek yogurt with the cherry preserves. The concentrate would be wonderful over ice cream. If one makes cherry juice from the concentrate it is to be diluted by seven
times it volume with water!


Monday, August 4, 2014

First Ripe Blackberries and Monarch Butterflies

The first ripe blackberries coincide this year with our seeing the first Monarch Butterflies on Milk Weed plants at North Chagrin Reservation