Hi all,

Although I'm going to respond to several messages in this post,
please forgive me if I sound kind of clipped. This is my *third*
effort at responding to a digest. For some reason, *every*
time I got to a certain point--after three sections I'd answered
and had to get to the next one, my browser would freeze, and
the entire post was history! sigh. Forgive me if I growl! lol

Ev writes:

> Invest in a good wok. Mine is cast iron but was a gift and I have
> NO idea where one would find such a thing. It is used almost
> daily in my house.

Whether you use a wok made of cast iron or of other materials,
please remember to season your wok and *not* to use soap in
it when you wash it. Woks should be treated as if they're cast
iron and intended to retain flavors from prior cooking. Season
your wok before you use it the first time (and please don't think
electric woks would be superior...that'll never happen! lol) as
follows: 2-3 tablespoons of oil in the wok; add a slice of fresh
ginger root and a clove of crushed garlic. Stir fry about 30
seconds, and discard the garlic and ginger. Then wash the
wok without soap; dry it with a paper towel, and you're ready
to go. If there's food stuck to the side of your wok, add water
to the line where the food is, put the wok back on the stove,
and bring the water to a boil. It'll loosen the food you left
behind from your last meal.

> WARNING - if you buy tamari (the "real" name for soy sauce)
> in an Asian market - EXPERIMENT with it assuming that it is
> MUCH MUCH stronger than what we Americans are used to.

A rose by any other name may still be a rose, but all soy sauces
are not equal. There's Superior, thin, thick, black, mushroom...
and then the Kikkoman-type soys. The latter one tends to be
more appropriate for Japanese cooking, while Superior, thin,
thick, black and mushroom will be outstanding for Chinese
cooking. (Southeast Asian nations, like Vietnam, use a lot of
fish oil as well.) Black soy is best in fried rice and certain dim
sums (means "heart's delight...appetizers and snacks). The
mushroom soy is a special kind that is well worth the effort to
find it. I used to use mushroom soy in my mushroom vegetarian
eggrolls when we had an egg roll company. Kikkoman-type
soys are great for Japanese cooking, but I wouldn't use it in my
Chinese dishes. I use Superior for nearly everything, in fact.

At the Oriental markets, you can usually find 22-ounce bottles
of soy ranging between US$1.29 and $1.59 in contrast to those
you'll buy in the 5-10-ounce bottles for $1.29 to $2.59.

While the flavors vary greatly at the Oriental market, they're worth
seeking out. Yes, the flavors are stronger, but they aren't watered
down and don't contain the heavy sodium base that you'll tend to
find in the Americanized brands. And the flavors are pleasant. If
you're accustomed to visiting Chinese restaurants, you've already
been introduced to the authentic Oriental soys.

Ev, I believe--and if you'd like me to check it out with my sources
at Nagoya Gakuin University, I'll be happy to--"tamari" is a Japanese
word. It wouldn't be the same reference in Chinese and other
languages. "Tofu" is also Japanese, and in Chinese, for example,
(I think this is from the Cantonese dialects) "tofu" is "dow fu."

Ev also writes:

> I can't figure out why when I reply to messages in this group -
> they come back to me with a BLUE background. Honest guys,
> I send them out black on white. The other thing that seems to
> change is that I use the TAHOMA font, and yet it comes back
> to me in New Times Roman. Odd, very odd.

Forgive me, Ev, but it's possible I'm at least partly to blame in
terms of that font. As for the background, it sounds to me as if
you might have your settings to receive HTML. You might want
to check your membership to see whether you're receiving as
you wish--either in HTML or in text. As a courtesy to those on
digest form, I remove all HTML formatting when I'm moderating.
Digest form often prevents HTML from going through, and that
would result in those subscribers in not seeing your posts, so I
remove the HTML to prevent the problem. My apologies for
any this act on my part would offend; but while we're at it, I'll
remind longtime subscribers and newbies, please, to snip
posts to which you're responding to just the basics of what
you're actually answering. It saves scads of wasted space
for digests. Thanks.

Poppy, hats off to you for a superb post on AIDS awareness.
Years ago, and sadly, even today you'll still find some who
believe this, many people thought cancer was contagious.
That misconception ended up causing untold grief to the
families and patients of cancer-related disease. Now, AIDS
is often perceived in the same way. Medical safety, yes,
but not blatant rejection. These patients and their families
still need the love, compassion and understanding of their

One additional note on AIDS, btw. I noticed one name
that was missing and should have been included: that of
tennis champion (the first black to win at Wimbledon, in
fact) and human rights activist Arthur Ashe. He developed
AIDS after he, at age 36, suffered a heart attack that stole
his career before it was time. As a result of the heart attack,
he received a blood transfusion that carried AIDS, and he
died at the age of 49 on 6 February 1993. Our world is
poorer for the loss of all those your post mentioned and
Arthur Ashe. I had the honor of meeting him in 1984, and
I'll carry that memory with me for the rest of my life.

Marva writes:

> How I can sympathize with the trying to motivate the
> 12 and 14yo ds. For me it is my 11yo, it does help
> that his older brothers ride him for not doing his
> school work.

I think part of my problem is the single motherhood
combined with our present environment. I'm struggling to
get us back on our feet as quickly as possible, and the
challenges are sometimes overwhelming. Jamie, the 14-yo,
seems so lost, Marva, and to a great extent, that's probably
true. My heart breaks for him especially because its' as if
he seems to be punishing himself for not having gone through
as much--visibly--as the rest of us did.

> One of the things I have done with Colin
> is to ban him from video games if I have to keep
> reminding him to do his school work. Sometimes with
> boys it is a matter of finding a different avenue of
> working with them. If they like rap could they listen
> to it and still do the school work?

I have no problem with this, although this week, I have a special
treat planned: It's been ages since we were able to do something
really fun, even though the boys question my thought that this will
be fun. lol I'm taking them to the local museum on Friday for the
whole day. There, they'll explore the Indian artifacts, see the
current art exhibits, visit the Christmas tree forest with trimmed
trees from around the globe, and then attend the planetarium
show. After all that, we'll head to the Chanukah Museum 1/2
block away. The museum cost will total $14 for the day, and I'll
splurge with cabs both ways, so it'll be a good investment at
about $23. I earned a little extra this month, so even though
things are tight, some things you just have to do. Educational
food is equally important.

> Or what if you
> made them responsible for their own studies?

They are, but I'm dealing with a state where obsession with
standardized testing and assessment are intense. sigh. As
a result, I have to stick to state requirements in the midst of
explorations. Jamie actually prefers to work alone, so I
have no problem at all with that. The problem lies in getting
him to do more than one subject a day.

We did do an excellent exercise this past week that will have
an impact in time, I hope. I gave each boy a creative kind of
assignment in which they had careers that generate $35,000
in the current year's income. In the coming year, their
hypothetical situation includes a forthcoming marriage, and
they need to anticipate for that in their budget. In addition
to this, they have--completely separate here--$10,000 which
they will use to develop a stock portfolio of one or more
stocks. They need to watch what's happening with the
markets as well as determining when's best to buy or sell.
The object, of course, is to increase their income from these
investments as well as covering their living expense budgets.

> With my
> boys I by the time they are in 7th or 8th grade they
> are responsible for the majority of their studies
> (Colin of course being the exception here).

Sounds like you're in a flexible state. I seem to recall
someone mentioning a thought of moving to SC and then
doing the homeschooling there. The last I heard, SC was
pretty strict on homeschooling and that one must be
affiliated with religious-based studies and curriculum in
order to be approved for homeschooling.

> With Darren it is Mineralogy and the middle ages.
> Trevor (17) is studying Japanese, writing his own book
> (so is Darren), Walt Whitman/Allen Ginsberg, and what
> ever else he puts on his reading/study list. hth

That sounds wonderful! About the book writing, do check
Landmark Publishers to see whether they're still doing the
student competitions which can provide $5000 in
scholarships if they win. The competition is stiff, but the
effort of doing and the winnings if they land at the top are
clearly worth it!

Thanks so much for your thoughts, Marva, Ev and Poppy.

Btw, the latest on this saga with the fridge, you're current on
that. The landlady told me she plans to give me an electric
stove in January since this one isn't very safe; the lady
downstairs told me the landlady's husband (landlady owns
the house, not the husband) told her they're raising the rent.
I sure hope not! I can't afford it yet! They just put in a new
heating system, and honestly, they should have left the old
one. The new one hasn't been working right. For two weeks,
the landlady's husband didn't believe the lady downstairs and
me. Tuesday or Wednesday night, we had no heat, nor have
we had heat since. By this Tuesday (tomorrow, now), that will
be corrected, but in the meantime, we have a space heater
for nights...and the stove and space heater during the day.
It's been a high of 22° F during the days so believe me, we're
cold! Jamie, I think, has it worst. His room has not only no
heat, but a draft...but it's still his domain, of course.

Okay...4:37 am. I'm going to sleep! lol Night.