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January 6, 2016

Hanging up the apron after 15 years as a columnist

With time to spare, we went to one of our favorite “hangouts,” Sur La Table. Not surprisingly, an hour can easily be spent perusing gadgets and kitchenware. This time, I had a mission. Judy’s sister Chris suffers from arthritis and looks for tools that relieve pressure on her hands. I recently purchased a slicer a great tool for slicing onions, potatoes and other vegetables that are not tough skinned. I thought the tool would be helpful to her.

While looking at slicers, a clerk was helping a woman who needed a gadget for making vegetable noodles. I offered my endorsement of the ceramic slicer I purchased and asked her how she planned to use the slicer.

She told me she and her husband love zucchini noodles. For a meal, she needs about two zucchinis per person. Peeling, slicing and julienning them into noodles is a time consuming activity.

Her story about the noodles led me to ask for the recipe. She said once the noodles are made, she sprinkles them with salt which draws moisture from the noddles. Then she rinses them and dries them with paper towels. She noted she likes to refrigerate them for an hour on the towels to draw out more moisture.

From there the recipe was simple. Heat olive oil and minced garlic in a skillet, toss in the zucchini noodles and stir them to fully coat the noodles with the oil and garlic. Once the noodles are limp and soft,
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People generally are willing to share recipes. For my column, I receive lots of ideas and feedback from people who enjoy cooking. They generally are well experienced in the kitchen and often are looking for new ideas.

Week after week,
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In the early years, I had the support of fellow columnist Grace Reade, whose stories and adventures in cooking were a spark for me. Cathy Zimmerman always was supportive. She helped encourage new ideas and improve old ones. Nancy Edwards also is a responsive and careful editor of my column.

I learned much from these mentors, but it is the responses from readers that has kept me committed to sharing the joy of cooking. Readers often ask for help with a recipe,
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My years as a columnist for The Daily News have run their course,
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