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After 85 upbeat Jittery Cook posts, it’s time for a wee bit of sobriety. Having a platform for self-expression just begs for bearing personal concerns. Here’s hoping you don’t mind a little pathos on your plate.

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My dear, sweet father, who turned 89 on Valentine’s Day, has spent his whole life helping others. He grew up in an era that didn’t coddle its young. After about 6 years of schooling, his work life began. My grandfather proved to be a taskmaster as a boss, thinking that his employees would learn valuable lessons through my father. My dad never loved running a business, but he dearly loved the people he encountered. He was famous for his generosity of spirit and for the material assistance he provided.

Just this year my dad has slipped from the world of independence to needing care. This handsome, proud man, who has given so much to others, is finally in a position to receive. It’s ‘pay it forward’ in reverse. Here’s a little open prayer that the remainder of his days be filled with a little of the joy and hope that he extended to so many over the course of his life.

As my dad was a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, this recipe is a tribute to all the wonderful produce that he showered us with throughout the years. Thanks once again to Barbara Eiswerth, who paired this coleslaw with the outstanding Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise at El Encanto, in Mexico.

Healthy recipe

Jicama Cabbage Carrot Coleslaw with Anise Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 T anise seeds (or cumin), toasted in a dry frying pan, cooled then ground with mortar and pestle or in a processor
  • 2 lb. jicama, peeled, or skinned with a knife and julienned
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, grated
  • 3/4 lb. red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 t sea salt

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Combine the cabbage, carrot, jicama and parsley.

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Combine the oil, lime juice, anise, salt and Dijon mustard.

Healthy recipeMix the coleslaw and the dressing, adding lime juice and sea salt to taste.

Jicama Cabbage Carrot Coleslaw with Anise Dressing Print Ready Recipe

Final notes:

  • Here’s another great jicama salad, extracted from Chow Hound: cucumbers sprinkled with salt and left in a colander to drain for a while, cubed jicama, pineapple very thinly sliced, chile pepper finely chopped, cilantro finely chopped, lime juice and olive oil.
  • Shop for jicama at Rocky Montana in NDG. They have a wonderful selection of ethnic products.
  • Preserving your golden years is a theme that may resonate with some Jittery Cook followers. Then there’s also Glowing Older.
  • Through my father I’ve learned the value of not judging and of not giving unsolicited advice. It isn’t easy to practice what he preaches, but he does and we should.
  • A special thank you to the staff at St. Margaret’s Day Center. You gave my dad the gift of belonging. He literally danced a jig to show how much he enjoyed attending. Your day center program is fantastic for seniors needing a safe haven. Thank you as well to the JGH staff, who struggle to meet the needs of so many with limited resources.

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  • Jicama sticks with lime juice, sea salt and cayenne pepper. Great appetizer or snack food.