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Posts in category High Desert Living

“Feel Good” Flavors of Real Butter

Butter vs. Margarine

Years ago, when my mother was being “the 50s house wife” and raising two children, I was eager to enjoy foods prepared with butter. Rich, creamy and flavorful. Those are the “feel good” flavors that many people enjoy with their memories.

Golden Muffin Topped with Melting Butter

Golden Muffin Topped with Melting Butter

Then the health concerns of butter and heart-healthy features of margarine popped into view. We would die from heart disease and clogged-coronary systems by indulging in the dairy products with high saturated fats. I begrudgingly began training myself to use oleo products, and eventually to olive oil-based margarines.

Over time, the margarine products that I chose to be better than butter, turned out to be less rich in flavor and actually broke down to cause more problems – like carcinogens, producing chemicals that are potentially harmful.

Our health industry has found, through 30 years of research, that maybe some oils are bad when overheated, and yet others are better. Oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 and omega 6) are especially unstable at high temperatures.

We have many more choices to consider now: coconut, palm, nut oils, avocado, rice-based, refined olive oil, canola, processed vegetable oil, and more, each with their own benefits.

The confusion continues.

But what makes me decide to return to real butter is the fact that baked goods retain a rich density and flavor that margarines really haven’t supplied. Products brown easier in a sauté pan and even caramelize nicer without over cooking. Crusts are flakier and retain their shape much better.

Butter-flavored olive oil-based margarine is still oil. It doesn’t hold its shape. It loses flavor and tastes like … well … oil. Even though I do want to be as health conscience as possible, the butter on muffins is like honey – a sweet treat.

So, I delved into the controversy to read up on the research. And I was right. It’s very confusing. If you are a foodie, then you probably have your favorites to cook with. If you’re vegan, then you have specific products you stay with. And if you indulge in deep frying, then you should know what oils are less loaded up with chemicals and which ones produce a good batch.

Light flake crust

Light flake crust with golden brown

Here’s what The Heart Foundation says on their website:

“While using small amounts of butter every now and then shouldn’t be a problem for most people, the clear, unequivocal evidence remains that there are far healthier fats for our heart. It is better for our hearts to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats. Making the simple swap from butter to margarine spreads is one way to do this.

“For those who choose not to use margarine spreads, consider avocado, hummus, plant oils (such as olive or avocado oil) and nut or seed butters as good options for a less-processed, more whole food approach. Alternatively, you may choose to use no spread at all.

“Putting aside the butter versus margarine debate, we need to remember that it’s our whole dietary pattern that counts. The total available evidence tells us that a heart-healthy dietary pattern is based largely on minimally-processed foods and includes plenty of vegetables and fruit; some whole grains in place of refined grains; legumes; nuts; seeds; and other sources of healthy fats such as oily fish or olive oil; and may contain non-processed lean meats or poultry and/or dairy. By following this pattern, the fats in our diet will take care of themselves.”

http://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/wellbeing/healthy-eating/nutrition-facts/is-butter-good-for-you/

Take-home messages:

  • Choose olive, canola, or rice bran oil for shallow frying or barbequing
  • Only use sunflower oil for salad dressing or in spreads (and don’t heat)
  • Try to include healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds and oily fish in your diet
  • Products with high levels of saturated fat, such as coconut, butter and lard, should be used only very rarely
  • Avoid deep frying foods but if you must do so, avoid oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fats because these are unstable at high temperatures

 

Back to the butter —

I have decided that with all the other things I have given up to be healthy, that I can put butter back into my diet. I won’t go crazy and slather it on everything. I will refrain from globs on my pancakes. But, boy, does real butter melting on healthy red potatoes bring me right back to the good old days.

Thanx Mom for raising me in a kitchen full of great mouth-watering memories.

 

Rusty LaGrange

if you like what you see here then check out my our blogs:

www.RustyLaGrange.com

LV Museum.org

 

Small Towns with Big Hearts

Rural Towns Grow Big Hearts

I love small towns.

In small towns, families tend to stay in one place and raise generations. Extended families and extended friendships can grow. Interaction and traditions become second-nature. I love it when the trends of today become the traditions for decades and beyond.

Where else can you drive through a small town and wave to a handful of regulars you recognize and appreciate every day.

Burger Depot

The First Business you see entering Lucerne Valley

You can also see the same store owners and clerks managing the storefront business with the bonus feature of actually knowing you when they say, “Is there anything I can help you with?”

In the small community of Lucerne Valley, we have the basic needs covered. You’ll find schools, plenty of churches, two shopping centers, a bank, thrift stores, barber, salon, and fire department and sheriff sub-station. We have an active library, senior center, chamber of commerce, local weekly newspaper, museum, and two parks.

Just one of everything.

Small towns know how to play nice together. Even though we can support many restaurants, each one offers a specialty: from Chinese to Mexican to American cuisine to fast food, pizza, and deli … even a doughnut shop arriving soon. Very little overlap in menus makes this an accommodating community.

And where else can you go to Burger Depot, our one drive-thru, and get personal service? While I was making my order last week the voice on the intercom asked, “Is this order for your daughter, too?” The owner, Laura Mount, recognized my voice.

Railroad themed drive thru

Inside Depot Burger you are surrounded by railroad and train photos and clocks that toot and whistle

I answered, “Yes, it is. The first burger’s for me; the second for her.”

“Well, she doesn’t like anything but ketchup, lettuce, and cheese on her burgers.”

“Really? I didn’t remember that.”

“Do you want me to change it for her?”

“Yep. You know best.”

When I continued driving up to the window to pay, I smiled at the owner and commented, “This town is so small that you know nearly everyone’s’ choices. How do you do it?”

“They’re regulars. It’s easy.”

 

And there ya go. Small town living has its perks. With or without pickles.

You can enjoy yummy burgers, burritos, shakes, and sodas plus much more.

Phone (760) 248-6576 · Burger Depot has been in this one locale for over 35 years at 31337 State Highway 18 (near Custer Road intersection.) Monday thru Friday only 10am – 6pm.

Rusty LaGrange

now with three generations living and thriving in Lucerne Valley, CA

follow me at www.RustyLaGrange.com

 

Take the Time to Read a Book

Read More Books

High Desert, CA bookstores

Hi Desert Book Oasis

Digital or Paperback?

Digital books may be easier for you to read because of convenience. But when is the last time you read an actual paperback or hardback book? Allow yourself the pleasure of spending an hour browsing in a bookstore. Notice the different sections instead of gravitating only to your favorite interest.  READ MORE »

How Can You Hate Halloween Bats?

Halloween bats are not your biggest fear for tonight.

bat rescue babies on clothesline

How Can you Hate Halloween Bats?

Bats are night fliers, sure, but they don’t really bite humans, they only come out at night to eat bugs that bug you. Aren’t these cute? In a rescue clinic down in Australia, they place them in little mini-sleeping bags and hang on a clothesline while they grow up. Ah … how cute!!

Bats Get a Bad Reputation

Yes, I did have a friend who freaked out when a bat got stuck in her hair. But she was getting out of a pool at dusk when the bats love to swoop down over water surfaces. They use their radar-like aerial system to fly fast and avoid hitting objects. She got out of the pool just as the bats were arriving to dinner hunting time. They didn’t know she was a dinner guest.

Not a Halloween Bat in sight!

Then in a panic, she swatted at the bat that got tangled in her hair even more. Panic of the other gals screaming while exiting the pool just caused more hysteria. And sure enough, the little scared bat bit her. I won’t go into the details here — but she survived. Although she does avoid pools … at night … in the summer … in the desert.

They weren’t even Halloween bats.

Like I said, your biggest fear should be those smelly, lurking zombies.

What’s up with that?

 

Rusty LaGrange

The Burger Den–Site of The First Del Taco

Most High Desert residents know that Barstow was the home of the first Del Taco restaurant, but what they may not realize is that the very first Del Taco wasn’t in Barstow Proper.  The very first Del Taco was founded in Yermo in 1964.   This was when Arrowhead trail (also known as U.S. route 91) was the main road to Las Vegas.  During that time, Yermo was home to multiple gas stations, motels, and restaurants.

When interstate 15 opened in 1968, the town of Yermo was bypassed and,  like many small towns across America, a large number of the businesses which relied on the patronage of travelers closed.   The first Del Taco was one of those businesses, but while Del Taco closed, another business rose in its place.      On the site of  the original Del  Taco stands the Burger Den.

Burger Den at the site of the first Del Taco READ MORE »

Cyber Crooks Hope You Make a Typo

Geneaology

A typo can lead you to Cyber Hackers and danger

Cyber thieves, ransomware, typosquatting– “om” my!

The latest ploy cyber crooks are using to spread ransom-ware and other types of computer malware to provide them with remote access to PCs and Macs or to steal log-in credentials, is to catch you making mistakes. After buying domain names with a missing or misplaced letter in website addresses belonging to well-known companies, they simply wait for you to make a typo. READ MORE »

“Forever Wild Sanctuary” Unscathed from Blue Cut Wild Land Fire

From Out of the Ashes

If you sat spellbound watching the news as the devastating wildfire raced into the High Desert, you were most likely wondering how any thing could survive.

The good news is that many homes and ranches in the Oak Hills and Phelan areas were spared. And where fire encroached deeper into the neighborhoods, fire fighting units deployed men and equipment to stand fast against the blast furnace-like flames. One critical non-profit business that I wondered about was Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary  — their close proximity to the fire and ash.

Defending the Sanctuary

Ready to Defend, a unit of fire equipment is stationed in the neighborhood.

READ MORE »

El Tropical Adds a Breeze of Latin Cuisine

A Nice Hide-Away Spot for Breakfast or Lunch

El Tropical sits in a hide-away spot near Nick’s Pizza and Stater Bros in Apple Valley on Bear Valley Road. You may not see it the first time around. Follow the strip of stores beginning with Nick’s and at the end you’ll find the cafe.

You can dine outside like a bistro or head inside to comfortable large booths.

Cafe in Apple Valley

El Tropical Coffee Shop and more

 

READ MORE »

Scenic 247 Route Moving into Approval ?

News around the High Desert can arrive in little gentle gusts of wind or full-blown twisters. In this case, the news about Scenic 247  is subtle and growing in a ground swell of political emotion.

Scenic routes and corridors can be a very good thing for remote locations like Barstow, Lucerne Valley, Johnson Valley, Flamingo Heights, Landers, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, and Twentynine Palms. They bring attention to natural attributes that desert communities can extol. Getting the politicians to jump on board is exciting.

vistas are what visitors crave

Scenic 247 offers visitors a vast stretch of pristine vistas

READ MORE »

Great Footpaths in the High Desert

High Desert Blogging publishes guest posts by High Desert residents and entrepreneurs. Interested in submitting your article? Contact us at hdblogging@gmail.com.

Guest Post by Beverly Prine

My family and I called Hesperia “home” for twenty-one years, but a little over one year ago we moved to Victorville. I loved our years there, nestled between the Church of the Nazarene and the new soccer fields.

California Aqueduct

There’s that old saying, “You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone” and it keeps ringing in my head because for twenty-one years I was able to bounce out my front door and reach the California Aqueduct trail in a quick ten-minute walk. Once I hit the Aqueduct trail, I could get lost in my mind and walk, run, or stroll along the waterway.

I always headed toward Main Street and made it a point to touch the chain-link fence before turning around. The route from Maple Aqueduct to Main Street and back was approximately 3 miles. Many times my walk was paused to stop and admire the ducks in the water, or to take in the pink clouds as the sun dropped into the west, or to stop and stretch out the muscles.

California Aqueduct in the desert

An aqueduct runs through it

Once I interrupted my walk to yell at some teenagers who had thought it was a good idea to walk out onto the concrete crossing over the Aqueduct and then jump into the swift-flowing water. They only laughed at me, and thankfully no one drowned. But that was a scary thing for sure, but to the kids, they saw it as funny. READ MORE »

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