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School’s out for summer

School’s out and that brings a huge concern for families and parents. Are you prepared for it? Who will take care of your children while mom and dad are at work? You must prepare to control the devices to prevent your child from getting the wrong information and doing the wrong things.

So prepare this summer to enjoy your childre,n but at the same tim,e to protect them and find they are involved in constructive activities. Children are gifts from God and therefore we are responsible to see that they are led on a protective and good path in life. We all love our children, but we also must be fair and strict at the same time. Don’t let the time they are off from school go to waste, but rather get them involved in activities like church camps, sport camps and various community involvement, including summer school and if they are old enough, even a summer time job. At the present time, there are many many signs at all aspects of businesses for “Help Wanted” and this will enable them to learn responsibilities and earn their own money and also think twice before spending the money they earn.

Work: Nothing wrong with work and it teaches character and also serves as a learning situation since mom and dad will not always be around to provide them with money, a car, gas and so on which many parents do. You are actually doing your child a favor in preparing them to face the real world as they grow older. It would be wonderful if we could have a tree in our backyard that grew money, but unfortunately that is not the case.

Be sure to teach your child the value of money and responsibility, or otherwise they will have a awakening later in life. For many teenagers, it is a must for them to work to enable them to have spending money and it also develops a sense of self accomplishment. Some parents have the attitude to let them enjoy life now because they will end up working all their lives, which I personally do not agree with..

Each family have their own ideas on how they want to raise their children and it is their responsibility to implement what they want and think best.

As we all know, children grow up way too fast, so enjoy them now before they are grown and be out of the family nest. It therefore is a must to use your best guidance for who knows, “they may end up taking care of you one day as you grow old, like we take care of them while they are young”.

Have a wonderful summer.

Till next month.

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Fried Bananas

1 3/4 cups rice flour

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

3 cups canola oil

1/2 pound slightly green baby bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

honey for drizzling

Mix the rice flour, coconut, sugar, sesame seeds, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the water until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan to 350. Dip the banana pieces into the batter and then carefully slide them into the hot oil. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip over and cook another 2 minutes, until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Drizzle with honey and serve immediately.

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Poached Pears

4 medium pears, about 1 1/4 pounds, peeled, cored and quartered

2 cups cranberry juice

2 cinnamon sticks

3 whole cloves

zest of 1/2 orange, in strips

Put all ingredients into a large saucepan. Be sure that pan is not too large, so that the juice completely covers the pears. If the juice does not cover the pears and the fruit floats, place a small plate upside down in pot, to weight pears down in liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 7 (for ripe fruit) to 10 minutes (for less ripe fruit). Pears should pierce easily with a fork.

To make syrup, transfer pears to a bowl. Simmer the poaching liquid until it is reduced by one-third and thickened to desired consistency, 30-40 minutes. Pears can be stored in poaching liquid in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This recipe works well with fruit of the same firmness and ripeness. Try combining apples with pears. Softer fruits such as peaches and plums are also a good option, but you’ll need to reduce the cooking time so the fruit does not become mushy.

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Warm Stewed Fruit

6 medium apples (can use different varieties) peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon dried ginger

1/4 cup apple juice or white grape juice

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon sugar-free mixed berry jam

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until apples are soft.

Use apples and pears or apples and cranberries as a variation.

This recipe can also be made with 6 cups of fresh strawberries instead of apples – just omit the cinnamon, ginger and water.

Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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