Friday, February 28, 2020

Small Pharmacy at the Mexican Grocery in My City

The pharmacy section at the Mexican grocery

American and Canadian familiar with this three letters “OTC,” stand for “Over the Counter.” Drugs include in this kind of category are available on the shelves in front of pharmacies.

The term of OTC refers to medicines which could be bought by patients or people without prescriptions from a doctor (healthcare professionals).

The common OTC drugs for pain relievers and cough suppressants which sold in regular pharmacies in the USA are:
- Robitussin (dextromethorphan)
- Claritin 24H ( antihistamines)
- Tylenol (acetaminophen)
- Advil and Motrin (ibuprofen)

In addition to pharmacies, the OTC drugs might be found in the groceries and gas stations across America as well.

However, in my city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I saw several ethnic groceries supply this kind of OTC drugs. Sure the drugs are manufactured from outside USA:
- Mexican groceries
- Vietnamese stores
- Asian markets (drugs mainly from China).

I myself favor healthy tea from ethnic drug stores, and off course pain relievers and cough suppressants from American pharmacies.

Have you experienced to buy OTC drugs? What kind of medicines?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Fat Tuesday! Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras

It is Fat Tuesday, it is a legal holiday in Louisiana. School holidays for Mardi Gras are 21 through 26 February 2020.

Exactly, Mardi Gras is not one day celebration. This is the biggest and the longest event in Louisiana.

In the first of January, many stores and markets in Louisiana had started to display their King Cakes and all kinds of stuff which are needed for Mardi Gras.

Since January 6th,, every weekend in Louisiana roll parades with fantastic designs of floats, and the biggest festival is the Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, resumed by Krewe of Rex, the King of Carnival.

Today is the last day carnival seasons, and tomorrow will be Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent. So, it is the last day to enjoy the King's Cake.

The King Cake has a baby inside.

King cakes are made of a rich brioche dough, with filling or with no filling. There are wide selection of fillings, such as cinnamon, raspberry, chocolate, custard, pecan praline, and cream cheese. 

The topping are glaze and sprinkle sugar with the Mardi Gras colors: purple, green, and gold.

There is a baby inside the King Cake. He is the baby Jesus, the baby symbolizes a good luck. The lucky person who gets the tiny plastic baby from the slice of King Cake, this person has the next King Cake party.

Mardi Gras necklace beads.

The krewes have many souvenir to pass out during the parades. The most common are the necklace beads.

There are many different sizes, colors, and shapes of necklaces The most popular size are thirty inches long with the traditional Mardi Gras colors, purple, green, and gold. 

A small float for King and Queen

Each color has meaning, the purple symbolizes justice; the green represents faith; and the gold reveals power.

Ready to join the parades? Let's step into this float.

Friday, February 21, 2020

When the Georgian Chicken Came to My Kitchen

Astalk celery and a tomato

I was excited reading and commenting the Natalia's blog. She just posted the savory chicken recipe that she called Georgian Chicken

I had curiosity about this recipe. The name of this chicken recipe was intriguing me. I was not alone, Ella also wondered about this name, and she asked Natalia, “The name of the chicken was George?”

This chicken recipe is from Georgia, the name of a country.

Surely, my friend Valerie does not know this recipe, because this recipe might be not familiar in Georgia where is Valerie from. Yes, Valerie was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Here, Georgia is a name of state in the Southern US.

What is the special from this recipe?

In this recipe, Natalia used white meat chicken (chicken breast) and bunches of vegetables: a cup chunk tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro, or parsley, or dill. 

Chicken breasts

Bay leaves and allspice give good-tasting in this dish.
Then, I looked what I had in my fridge.

Okay! I had chicken breasts, tomatoes, and celery. Cilantro was out, I used it for cooking tom yum last two days ago, so I would use celery instead of cilantro.

I also had dried parsley, dried chives, and died dills. These ingredients were good for me to get started a new recipe, a Georgian cuisine.

Georgian Chicken in my pan is nicely cooked.

It did not take long to prepare and cook it, and here, the Georgian Chicken from my kitchen.

For this moment, the Georgian chicken in my kitchen used celery instead of cilantro, but next time I will be well prepare for the ingredients and I will have the exactly Georgian Chicken with true Georgian flavor.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Curcumin in Turmeric, the disease-fighting agent – Alzheimer's 23

Turmeric roots
Do you have any opinion about my photo above, the roots of fresh turmeric? Have you cooked any recipe with turmeric? Do you like it?
This root is associated with curry, even some curries are cooked with no turmeric. The flavor of turmeric is quite strong, and its color gives foods or drinks more vibrant.
In Southeast and South Asia, turmeric is always available in their kitchen. This root is not only used for cooking but also for healing. 
In the way back, there were very common that the kids in the countries of Asia, they loved to play outdoor: pretending fight, practicing kung-fu, riding bicycle, or jumping to the small river. 
They were easy to get cut or tear on their skin. They knew what they had to do, just took the turmeric from kitchen or pulled from the yards, peeled, crushed, and applied it to the cut or tear. 

Crisp and refreshing turmeric punch (Credit: Larasatiria).
The cut and tear would dry soon. They also took care of it to avoid infection. This turmeric has active ingredient, which is curcumin. 
Curcumin in turmeric gives powerful anti-inflammatory by turning off protein that promotes abnormal inflammatory response in our body. 
Many evidence-based have proven the health benefit of turmeric in our body and brain.
Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., the geriatric neurologist and dementia specialist, mentioned that turmeric more potent antioxidant than Vitamin E and more potent anti inflammatory than ibuprofin. 
He also explained there is no wonder that India has the lowest rates of Alzheimer's Disease in the world, since the carefully study researchers concluded the Indian diet play crucial role in avoidance of this pandemic. 
All told, their diets include the disease-fighting agent, which is turmeric that contain curcumin.
The curcumin able to block the accumulation of amyloid plaque and reduce inflammation of neural tissues that related to Alzheimer's disease.
In that event, there is a breakthrough to enjoy Indian curries, turmeric punch, and tea infused with turmeric to the healthy brain and body, and also to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Empty Parking Lot at My Neighborhood Library

No single car at the parking lot

My city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana has 14 libraries. I consider main library is my neighborhood library, because of its distance not far from my house, less than 15 minutes by driving.

The library opens 7 days a week, from Sunday to Saturday. The hours are different on each day:

- Sunday: 2 PM to 10 PM
- Monday: 8 AM to 10 PM
- Tuesday: 8 AM to 10 PM
- Wednesday: 8 AM to 10 PM
- Thursday: 8 AM to 10 PM
- Friday: 8 AM to 6 PM
- Saturday: 8 AM to 6 PM

The empty parking lot, left side of library

I always find no spot for me at the parking lot when I came on open hours, especially on Saturday and Sunday.

It seems that family days on the weekend. Grand mothers and grand father with their grand kids look “abundance” both inside the library and the library small garden at outside. 

The parking lot without cars

I just tried to come to library hours early last weekend, it was surprising me that no single car at all at the library parking lot. The space is empty.

I think that cloudy weather is the “best reason” to discourage people to come early to library.

Did you experience no single car at the public parking lots in your city?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

“It Sounds too Good to be True” – Alzheimer's 22

50 tablets supplement

We know there is no drugs to cure Alzheimer's disease, meanwhile the number of persons who suffer with this disease is increasing. So, many individuals in their midlife try to prevent or may delay onset of Alzheimer's disease by taking supplements.

A bunch supplements can be purchased from the stores or online. Supplements come in many formulations: pills, tablets, capsules, powders. Liquids, and food bars.

The evident AARP Brain Health and Dietary Supplement Survey 2019 revealed that 1 of 4 adults in US, age 50 and older, take one supplement with a reason: the healthy brain.

Three years ago these supplements brought about $ 3 billion and it will grow to $ 5.8 billion in three following year.

Last posting in this Alzheimer's was about Ginko Biloba

Ginko Biloba and Alzheimer' Disease – Alzheimer's 21

supplement, the claims and the fact.

Tablets of 200 mg supplement

The CGHB said, “Scientific evidence does not support the use of any supplement to prevent, slow, reverse, or stop cognitive decline or dementia, or Alzheimer's disease”

The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) is independent collaborative of scholar, scientist, and physician from the world. This team concluded that dietary supplements do NOT improve brain health or prevent cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer's disease. And the team also recommend do not take any supplement for these goals.

Swallowing a pill or capsule or tablet of supplements to prevent, slow, reverse cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer's disease, they said “It sounds too good to be true”

On the flip side, before someone take any supplement, he or she needs to talk with his or her health care provider.

Save your money” is the the suggestion from the AARP. Instead of buying supplements to get benefit the healthy brain, better save your money to buy a new walking shoes and to enjoy a plate of salmon Mediterranean dinner.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Why is the White Perch Chosen as Louisiana State Fish?

The white perch, just caught from a lake

Most 50 states in America have their own uniqueness to be honored or preserved such as flowers, foods, song, flag and even underwater animals, a fish.

Louisiana government had chosen white perch, the schooling freshwater fish as the state fish in 1993.

The fish has scientific name, Pomoxis annularis. The locals may call different names:
- Sac au lait
- Specled perch
- Papper mouth
- Silver bass
- White crappie
- Goggle eye
- sack of milk

The size of fish is not big enough, about 9 inches (23 cm) length and 1 pound (0.45 kg) weight.

Fillet white perch ready to cook

Then, Why is the White Perch chosen as Louisiana State Fish?

The common reasons that White Perch are selected as the Louisiana State Fish:
- abundance in water (river, lake or reservoir)
- important to earlier settlers of Louisiana, French, as source of protein
- part of state history

I believe the reason white perch is assigned as official state fish due to its popular as delicious food in Louisiana since long time ago.

After cleaning and fillet, white perch may be boiled, steamed, grilled or fried. I would like to blend the fillet with seasoning, then deep fry it.

Sac au lait is Cajun French for white perch, one of popular dishes in Louisiana due to its sweet flavor

Have you tasted the white perch? Do you like it? 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Sign of Arrival of Spring from the Sidewalks

Blooms along sidewalks

Among plants along the sidewalks and in the residential front yards around my neighborhood grow magnolia and redbuds trees. The blooms of these trees give a sign of the arrival of Spring.

In the winter, the trees look so awful-dying trees. Their trunks and small branches with no leaves seem dry and white, but one of my friends, Zhao Ya Li  who also has trees in her front yard, said those leafless trees give an impression of amazing silhouette.

I took some pictures when they bloomed, the magnolia was in late of January, and redbuds was in the second week of January.

The most famed magnolia is the Southern Magnolia which is the state flower of Louisiana. The magnolia in photos is another variety of magnolia, the tree much smaller than the Southern Magnolia and bloom in the very early spring, before leaves grow. This type magnolia is called saucer magnolia.

Saucer magnolia trees have different color of flowers: pure white petal, white in petal and pink-to-purple around the base, and purple petal.

Saucer Magnolia blossom, white in petal and pink-to-purple around the base.
The redbuds trees also bloom before the leaves grow. The blossoms beautifully grow in clusters from the twigs, branches, and trunks. The pink to purple color of flowers with the heart shape are very attractive among the leafless other deciduous trees in the cold early January. 

The last blooms of Redbuds

In the “Palindrome Day” 02.02.2020 last Sunday, we had a good time watched FOX News Channel for the Super Bowl LIV. I saw Connie and Annie un-blinked watching Shakira and J.Lo “hip-shaking” performance in the halftime show. Easily, we always have small party for Super Bowl. Seems Super Bowl could be another sign of the arrival of Spring.

What do your particular signs of the arrival of Spring?

Why do Birds Sing in my Backyard in the Morning?

Fig 01- A bird, photo taken from my neighborhood. I just wonder birds sing loudly in my backyard every morning. They keep singing their son...