Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Taking a break

typhoons come
destroying nights
everythings boring
nothing seems right

so I'm home
reviewing documents
shunning compliments

thinking deeply
how to make money
without actually working
realife can sound funny

but I will achieve
because I do believe
to stay on vacation
yet work for my nation

you just wait
no pause no stop
see me in my t-shirt
and green flip flops

i'm laughing, smiling
you may not understand
but its all Reginald B...
an amalgamation of a man

Grace (the designer)

your the miracle
and heaven sent
you helpmed me
when I had no rent

I was jobless
and homeless
no money
you knew this

the school fees
the bills they
pilled up
were so grey

but now we
are stronger
and closer
no longer

the arguing
the spiteful
your Janet
I'm Michael

the jacksons
the jetsons
the flintstones
all bets-in

its cool now
you've got me
i tripped a little
you shot me

but yes I
got you
and tripped a little
but you knew

we're friendly

so I sing
a thank you
the wet hands
the real you

the PowerBook
the iBook
the G4's
the new look

the bluetooth
the touchpad
use mighty-mouse
we ain't mad

so play on
do your thing
i'm happy for
your new dream

the US
the stateside
you'll be back
head high with pride

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Folate: What is it?

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is found in supplements and added to fortified foods.

Folate gets its name from the Latin word "folium" for leaf. A key observation of researcher Lucy Wills nearly 70 years ago led to the identification of folate as the nutrient needed to prevent the anemia of pregnancy. Dr. Wills demonstrated that the anemia could be corrected by a yeast extract. Folate was identified as the corrective substance in yeast extract in the late 1930s, and was extracted from spinach leaves in 1941.

Folate helps produce and maintain new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia. Folate is also essential for the metabolism of homocysteine, and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Food: The Loves and Hates of a Kid

Breast-feeding, according to the child experts, is to be recommended. It isn’t only a matter of nutrition. A child’s future personality is also nurtured by it. It helps, apparently, with confidence-building. But what about when you’ve been weaned and are confronted with food you dislike?

Quite a few foods shook my four-year–old confidence in the possibility of survival and I am, to this day, apprehensive when friends invite me home for dinner. Suppose the hostess has prepared some cordon bleu dish I simply cannot eat?

I wonder if most people disliked certain foods when they were little. Movie stars don't look as though anything could have fazed them. Did spinach ever shake the confidence of any of the famous actors? Did Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears and Shakira, for instance, like rhubarb and custard when they were three or four? What was Brad Pitt’s tolerance for broccoli? Did Johnny Depp relish eggs? My guess is they took everything in their stride as they seem to do today.

But, as one of the rest, I hated eggs as a small child. A cousin of mine, whom I knew when he was three and I was fourteen, just didn’t want to eat anything. “Naah!” he would yell when a plate of food was put before him. Then, he would jump off his chair and dash for the garden.

His mother would run after him, the plate in one hand and, as often as not, his pyjama jacket, which he had wrenched himself out of as she grabbed at him, in the other. They would run several times round the garden. It was a futile exercise. He never ate whatever it was he was supposed to. He seemed only to drink milk.

I sympathised with him. I also envied his getting away with such behaviour. My mother would have given me a resounding wallop.

But it was my grandmother most of the time who presided when my brother and I were eating at breakfast and our parents were downing coffee and hurrying off to work. Gran was more tolerant and, for whatever the reason, I never thought of escaping into the garden.

There were several foods I couldn’t, or wouldn’t eat. Spinach, okras and semolina pudding were high on the list, but those didn’t appear on the table every day. Eggs, however, were another matter. We were confronted with them almost daily at breakfast.

Gran fried them, boiled them, poached them and scrambled them. No go.

Fortunately, Gran didn’t sit at the table, eagle-eyeing us all the time. She busied herself between the dining-room and the pantry fetching this and that. So, when her back was turned, I was sometimes able to throw a fried egg under the table, or put it on my knee for Sam or Suzy, one of our Labrador retrievers to slurp up.

My younger brother, Yazeed, seems to me to have been exceptional. He could—and did—eat everything put before him. Gran sometimes said: “Yazeed puts himself outside the food. He surrounds it. You barely put it inside you.” He later turned into a self-confident Gulliver of six foot among his 11-year-old peers.

In desperation, one day, Gran chopped up a boiled egg, melted butter into it, and tried to spoon-feed me like a baby. The humiliation was great, but the block to eating wasn’t that. It was the smell. I threw up.

Then, one day, the family went on holiday. My mother ordered a baked egg at breakfast the first morning at the hotel. To my amazement, it smelt really good and I ordered one myself the next day. The egg was buried under a crust of melted Cheddar and Stilton cheese and under the egg were chopped onions, olives, tomatoes, basil and garlic cooked in butter.

Ah, the aroma! The taste! Scrumptious! My egg problem was suddenly solved. Gran was delighted.

Many years later I discovered why grownups are so insistent on children eating eggs. My children were never fussy about food, thank Heaven, but a paediatrician once told my wife: “If you can get them to eat an egg in the morning, you needn’t worry about what they eat the rest of the day. Eggs are an almost perfect food.”

Incidentally, just in case you want to try a baked egg on your kid, you need to know it takes 17 minutes at 180 degrees C in my pre-heated convection oven to get the yoke into a non-runny state. Maybe you can improve on the speed by raising the temperature. I keep it at 180 C in line with the instructions for my ovenware. I hope, though, you only want to give your kid a change of fare and that you have a beautiful child who likes all food and will become a star.

Popular Posts