Finding foods that Cary likes that can be cooked to a mushy stage and put through a blender and seived has been harder to find than I thought it would be. Yesterday, I had success. I made chicken stock using a big package of *chicken wings, simmered it until it was reduced by half, used that stock to cook the tips of asparagus, sieved it and put it in a glass Mason jar, labelled it, put it in the refrigerator after offering it to Cary while it was hot. He rejected it with vigor! Sometime in the night, Cary became hungry and drank the cold asparagus soup. This morning he told me it was the best soup he had ever tasted and wanted more. I am on my way to an Asian grocery store where I can get really nice chickens for soup. The best tasting are old hens! I feel so much better. Maybe we can get his weight back up. He now weighs 139#. He is 5' 11", with strong bone structure. His muscles fade away so that he cannot open jelly jars for me. I'll also shop to see if I can find a jar opener that works for me. I have a pile in a box in the basement that were too awkward. If you know of a jar opener that we two can make work, I will give you a hat-tip.

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Comment by Idaho Spud on October 15, 2016 at 11:05am

Joan, I'm late to the party, but this is the best opener I've found:  "Appliance Science Open Up Power Twist Jar & Bottle Opener".  It has metal strips with teeth that bite into most any lid and make it an relatively easy job to open.  You just hold the container, push the lit up into the teeth, and it will automatically rotate the teeth while you hold the container with both hands.  It uses 4 D-cell batteries, but I took them out and rotate the container by hand.  That works best for me, as I still have hands that can grip tightly.

Here's a new one on Ebay for $35, but I saw a used one for $27:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Battery-Powered-Jar-Bottle-Lid-Opener-Appli...

Comment by Thomas Murray on October 1, 2016 at 12:00pm

My wife and kids are crazy about umami like cats gone nuts over catnip. My wife eats dried squid, dried shrimps, and uses oyster sauce or clam sauce in most of her cooking. She uses them in her congees as well. My son loves dried seaweed as do I.  All of us eat homemade sushi which contains umami too.

Comment by Grinning Cat on September 30, 2016 at 7:31pm

Joan, umami is a savory, meaty flavor, a basic taste like sweet, bitter, sour, and salty. (Just reading about how ripe tomatoes, among other foods, contain umami compounds!)

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 30, 2016 at 6:10pm

Thomas, I have never made Congee; thank you for the link 

When I was very sick during chemo treatments the only thing I could hold down was the sauce a local mom and pop restaurant made for their Sichuan dishes. I  could buy the sauce.

I just found Congee. and I can easily make a thin soup from that recipe. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 30, 2016 at 5:56pm

Daniel, Thanks for the suggestion for the jar opener, strap wrench! Here is your Hat-tip!

The mom and pop hardware store where I shop has one under the counter with my name on it. 

And thanks also for your support! 

I have never cooked umami, where do I look for it: how do you prepare it!

Comment by Thomas Murray on September 30, 2016 at 4:40pm

My wife, who is Chinese, makes Congee once in a while. My boys love it. The nice thing about congee is you can add any kind of meat, stock, sugar, fruits, vegetables and I mean ANYTHING to it to suit the taste. It is great for people who are ill and easy to swallow. You can go on line to find different congee recopies or create your own.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congee

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