Eat Healthy, Stay Well

Island Epicure


Sure, wash your hands often and thoroughly, disinfect all surfaces food will touch, plus all doorknobs and light switches. Also, give up junk food, forswear sugar, go light on honey and since we’re in the season for allergies, try to make it local honey. Honey the bees have made from the flowers that blossom here on Vashon Island has an anti-allergy blessing for you.
To eat healthy is to strengthen your immune system.  Cooking from scratch, using ingredients low on sugar and high on nutrients: Whole grains. Nuts and seeds, Goat cheese. Hummus. Peanut butter. Raw vegetables and fruits. Beans. Seafoods. Lean meats. Wholegrain bread.
Our favorite lunch is smorrebrod. We ate these open face sandwiches every day of our visit to “Oncle Hans” in Denmark back in 1974. (smorre=butter, brod=bread in the Dansk language).
Hans Vibbert was actually a cousin of my mother-in-law. He preferred we call him “oncle” because he was of the uncle generation.  Smorrebrod is very easy to construct. It’s rather like a salad built on a slice of Bavarian rye bread.

For 4 servings

4 slices totally rye bread
4 dark green lettuce leaves
4 slices of deli roast beef or chicken or ham or an assortment
Mustard, optional
Sliced  tomatoes
Dill pickles and/or gherkins
Pickled beet slices, optional

Put the bread slices on one dish. Arrange the vegetables on another. Present the mustard jar, the pickle jar or jars, the beet slices if using, and the mayo, each with a fork.
Set the table with place mars, dinner plates or smaller plates, knives and forks. Let each dinner construct his or her open faced sandwich. It is eaten with a fork and knife. We first butter a little square Bavarian bread slice. Then top it with a lettuce slice,  then a meat slice, then mustard spread on with a table knife, then tomato slices, then a bit of mayo on each slice. In summer we use beefsteak  tomato slices. One slice per smorrebrod. We arrange the pickles and olives beside our open-faced sandwich and eat it with a knife and fork in the Danish manner.
When “Uncle” Hans took us to visit other cousins at Aalborg, they asked us in English, “Would you like to have bread and butter?”
We thought they meant it literally–bread slices with butter on them, that they had little to offer us, but wanted to be gracious and give us some refreshments, so we  replied that we would be delighted.  Our hostess and her daughter disappeared, but within a few minutes, our hostess reappeared and beckoned us into the dining room. We beheld a table laden with all the smorrebrod ingredients plus potato salad, pea salad, and several other dishes and condiments. We really were delighted and amazed that they produced such a feast so rapidly.