The Mill Town

How this Fast Diet  Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to FunnyJokesOf TheDay who is now Following.

We live in a Mill Town. Mill Towns began to spring up in New England in the early 1800s as people harnessed streams and rivers to run a variety of enterprises. Big Mill Towns often had a bad rep — dirty, crime-ridden, filled with the uneducated — not the sort of place ‘nice people’ would choose to live. Bennington, New Hampshire had many ‘mills’ in 1830: paper, knives, fabric, gun powder — all were made in the town. These mills were small affairs — no belching smokestacks, no teeming tenements for workers — housed in family homes clustered along the tumbling Contoocook River. Up until 1842, Bennington did not exist as a community. It was part of the agricultural town of Hancock and it was called ‘factory village.’ Hancock had no river downtown, and so the factories/mills were located in what became the town of Bennington. Now all the mills have closed except one: Monadnock Paper Mill which opened in 1819. Don’t picture some dreadful, noisy factory polluting the river — MPM has been aggressively promoted clean air and water in a carbon-neutral plant. This year they will celebrate their 200th anniversary of making specialty papers and the legacy of the Industrial Revolution in our little town. The Mill whistle still sounds at 7 am, noon, and 5 pm, making a comforting punctuation to the day.

The meals today reflect the town of Bennington’s factory history. One of the first mills was built by James Carken. There he made gun powder — until the mill blew up. Picturesque Powder Mill Pond had a restaurant in the 1980s/1990s that served their signature egg dish. As the mills prospered, immigrants moved to town. Italians [our oldest restaurant is Alberto’s], Greeks, Irish [the Catholic church was St Patrick’s], Swedes, and Swiss all made the town grow. Our dinner of corned beef and cabbage is a real working man’s meal.

Powder Mill Scramble: 141 calories 8.3 g fat 0.7 g fiber 11.2 g protein 6 g carb [5.6 g Complex] 49.8 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the Scramble and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF This recipe is straight out of Jerry Willis’ Powder Mill Pond Restaurant where it was a favorite. Alas, that restaurant is not more, but you can enjoy this at home.

1 ½ two-oz eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week ½ oz smoked salmon ½ oz or 2 Tbsp sliced scallion greens 2 oz melon or clementine or 2 oz sliced apple or 1-1/2 oz mango Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs [salt and pepper may not be needed depending on the seasoning of your salmon]. Pour into a pan which has been sprayed briefly with cooking spray. Quickly, before the eggs set, add the salmon and scallions. Scramble to taste. Prepare your optional beverage. Plate with fruit of choice.

Corned Beef & Cabbage: 299 calories 22 g fat 3.8 g fiber 22.7 g protein 14.8 g carbs 220.5 mg Calcium PB GF Fannie Farmer provides the inspiration for this recipe. Add deli corned beef to creamed cabbage with cheese, and you are in the spirit of mill town America.

3 cups sliced cabbage ¼ cup plain bechamel sauce 2 oz corned beef [pre-sliced from the deli] cut into strips ½ oz deli Swiss cheese salt & pepper

Steam the cabbage for 5 minutes. Stir in the bechamel sauce, corned beef, and seasonings. Put into an oven-proof dish and lay the cheese slice on top. Bake at 350 degrees F. until the cheese melts.

Summer of 1816

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Mary Ellen B. who is now Following.

In 1815, an Indonesian volcanic island near Bali blew its top. The eruption of Mount Tambora scarcely made the headlines, but it had long-ranging consequences. Tambora was a type of volcano that puts out huge quantities of ash and gasses [remember the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull in 2010?]. Ejected high into the atmosphere, they were carried by the jet stream around the world. This had the effect of blocking much of the solar energy [light] which enters the atmosphere. The result? Cooler temperatures in North America and Europe. Just as the farmers crops were sprouting from the ground, freezing temperatures and snow would kill them. While thousands of people died directly from the eruption, many more died half a world away due to famine and hypothermia as winter came on. This came to be called The Year Without A Summer, immortalized in books and doggerel: “Air so cold you could see your breath/ 1800 and froze to death.”

Our breakfast contains sprouted seeds, in remembrance of the crops that died in the fields that summer. The dinner is fish chowder, which probably became a staple that fall and winter due to the lack of food from plants. Whatever your weather is tomorrow, at least this isn’t the summer of 1816.

Sprouted Bake: 129 calories 5.3 g fat 1.8 g fiber 9.5 g protein 7.8 g carbs [6.9 g Complex] 45.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF Time to get the sprouts out of the sandwiches and into the breakfast.

1 two-oz egg ¼ c radish sprouts OR microgreens 1/2 oz avocado 1 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese ¼ cup blueberries Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Mash the avocado and mix with the cottage cheese. Heat the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with cooking oil or spray and put the sprouts in it. Whisk the egg with the avocado mixture and pour over the sprouts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Portion the fruit and pour the optional beverages. 

Chowdah: 294 calories 7.3 g fat 1.7 g fiber 33.6 g protein 17.2 g carbs 114 mg Calcium  PB GF Here in Northern New England, chowder is king. Cod or haddock is traditional but hake is more flavorful and lower in calories. If you can, make it one day and eat it the next day for richer flavor.

½ slice bacon ¼ cup onion, chopped 2 oz potatoes, 1/2” dice 1.5 cups fish stock 4 oz cod or hake fillets, cut into 1-1/2” pieces ¼ cup 2% milk salt + pepper + parsley

Cook the bacon until it is almost crispy, remove from the pan, blot dry of fat, and chop coarsely. Pour most of the fat from the pan and add the onions. Cook slowly until soft and transluscent. In another pan, boil the potatoes in water until tender. Drain and salt the potatoes. Put the fish stock, cod, potatoes, and milk in the pan with the onions. Heat slowly until warm. Add the bacon, parsley, and seasonings to taste. [TIP: Best if held in the ‘fridge for 8-24 hours before you heat slowly [do NOT boil] and taste for seasonings again.]

First in the Nation

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Monday, eat the meals that will be posted on Sunday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                                                     Welcome to OnlineHealthReview who is now Following.

New Hampshire, my home state, is proud of its “First In The Nation” status.  What that means is that we hold the first primary election of the presidential primary season in the USA. [For those of you overseas, the candidate who wins the most state primaries is usually the one who receives the nomination from his/her party to be the candidate to run for the presidency.  This is not parliamentary politics!] Today we celebrate other New Hampshire ‘firsts.’  On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the US Constitution, which made the Constitution the law of the land. Other states quickly fell in line, and our Federal Government was established.   Also, on June 21, in 1805, the Great Stone Face [later called the Old Man of the Mountain] in Franconia Notch was first seen by European-heritage people. This rock profile became the geologic symbol of New Hampshire and was a famous tourist site.  When the rock cliff collapsed in May, 2003, it was a sad day.  Our older son, in Michigan for Grad School, was approached by another student who said, “Sorry to hear about your Old Man.”  Our son wondered why the other lad knew something about his father that he didn’t know!  As for the Old Man, sic transit gloria mundi.

For today’s meals, we feature two recipes from one of New Hampshire’s premier chefs, Hayden Pearson from Greenfield, NH.  He was an executive chef in New York and had a well-read column in the Boston Herald.  We love his cookbook, full of local recipes and musings on rural life. Both the breakfast and the dinner are based on his recipes.

Rhubarb Pudding:  273 calories    g fat   g fiber    g protein    g carbs    mg Calcium PB GF – if using GF flour  Hayden Pearson has a wonderful dessert called “Blanche’s Super Rhubarb Pudding” in his iconic Country Flavor Cook Book. This is a scaled-down version that is fit for breakfast: slightly tangy, lightly sweet.Rhubarb Pudding

6 Tbsp cooked, mashed rhubarb                                                                                                                          1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white                                                                                                                                          1-1/2 Tbsp sugar                                                                                                                                                         1 Tbsp flour + 1 Tbsp cooked oatmeal OR 2 Tbsp flour OR 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour                                                                                                                                                  2 Tbsp milk                                                                                                                                                                ½ tsp baking powder                                                                                                                                                          1 slice Canadian Bacon [½ oz back bacon]                                                                                            blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

Cut up 1 cup rhubarb and stew it in a little water. Drain thoroughly and mash. Measure what you need and save the remainder for another use [add it to a fruit smoothie]. Whisk the egg and white, then add all the other ingredients [but not the bacon!] Spoon into a baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. HINT: I did all this the night before. A real time-saver.  Bake at 350° F. until the batter is firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. While the pudding bakes, cook the bacon and prepare the beverages. Delicious.

Red Flannel Hash: 249 calories   9.2 g fat   1.9 g fiber  12.6 g protein   17.8 g carbs [16 g Complex]  43 mg Calcium   PB GF    This is a venerable New England farm meal, with the recipe coming from Hayden Pearson’s Country Flavors Cookbook.Red Flannel Hash

1 cup cooked diced beets (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                                              1/3 cup diced potatoes (1/3” dice)                                                                                                                       ¼ cup diced onions                                                                                                                                                 2 slices Canadian Bacon/back bacon, diced                                                                                                  one 2-oz egg

Cook, peel, and dice the beets and set aside to cool. [HINT: do this the day before]  Peel and dice the potatoes. Put into a pan of tap water and put the pan on the burner. Turn on the heat and let the pan sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the water starts to boil around the edges. Take off the heat and leave potatoes to cool in the water. Then drain and set aside. Dice the onions and bacon. Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the Canadian bacon. Cook it as crisp as you wish, or not so crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions with 2-3 Tbsp water, and cook until the onions are transluscent and the water is mostly gone. Now put the potatoes in the pan with the onions, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the potatoes are cooked. Add the beets and bacon to the pan and continue to cook until heated through. Meanwhile, fry the egg: sunnyside-up or over easy as you prefer. Plate the hash and top with the egg. Ahh, good country dining.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

Next week, I will offer breakfasts 1.5 two-oz eggs
 for Fasters who don’t like eggs.  broccoli  + tomato
 black olive
 choose one!  cottage cheese  + Parmesan cheese
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your hot beverage
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your smoothie

Dinner, single portion:

 Next week, I will offer breakfasts for 65-calorie corn tortillas
 Fasters who don’t like eggs.  cheddar cheese     +  chicken breast
 enchilada sauce [1 cup = 75 calories]
 Choose a dinner from the archives  carrot
Sparkling water Sparkling water