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VOL. 40 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 8, 2016

Skip the movie popcorn, enjoy some seafood

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This month, hubby and I went on a short vacation, and when we returned my three grandchildren, who live in Tennessee, were on spring break and came to spend the week with us.

So the last half of March was not our norm, and cooking was pretty much put aside. However, I did cook meals for the kids, but two of them are so hard to please when it comes to food.

As for activities, I had every day planned with different things to keep them busy and prevent the “I am bored; there’s nothing to do” syndrome. I guess I did a pretty good job because I never heard that.

One of the things I did was to take them to the theater to see the new Walt Disney show “Zootopia.” Well, be prepared because I have a rant about theaters.

I haven’t been to the movies in quite a while. I guess since my mom and I went to see “The Passion” with Mel Gibson, quite awhile back. I want to say that I was floored by the cost of taking five people to the movies. (Mom went with us. She was on spring break, too.)

I guess, had I thought this through a bit more, I should have checked out the price of tickets before. The cost was outrageous. I paid for three tickets (the two smallest children were free), and then purchased a large bag of popcorn for them to all share, two cheese nachos for sharing and five drinks. It was well over $70. Thankfully, my husband had given me $100 before we left the house.

By the way, I read (after we had attended the movie) that movie theater popcorn in America costs more per ounce than filet mignon. Crazy, huh?

Fried Salmon Patties

1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs, divided
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large can Salmon, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup bread crumbs, green onions, eggs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic powder; fold in flaked salmon.

Place remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Divide mixture into eight portions; shape into patties. Gently coat in cracker crumbs.

In large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add crab cakes; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Yield: 4 servings.

*Note: Some cooks use about half a cup of chopped red bell pepper in the patties, but there are people at my house who don’t like it, so I omit it. Feel free to add red bell pepper; it’s really good!

Hubby and I never go to the theater because we don’t like dealing with the crowd. I was feeling bad for young adults with a family or teenagers on date nights having to spend a week’s earnings to go. Then one of our sons, who works near the theater we attended, said that the next day the line to get in to see “Batman verses Superman” trailed out of the theater and into the parking lot.

This is something I guess I am just too old to understand. However, as my husband said, movie theaters have a following, and those that follow don’t mind paying the price.

Next time I will omit the movie day. It’s like throwing money away. I will wait until the movie comes out on a DVD and then buy it to watch. Maybe not as exciting as going to the movies, but a lot cheaper and my snacks are healthier.

I took the kids to one of the larger parks in the city to play the next day and, honestly, we had more fun doing that, and it was free. Instead of sitting still and eating a bunch of junk food for two hours during a movie that was way too loud, we played on all of the playground equipment, played hide-and-seek, and then hiked a trail. We got so much exercise and fresh air.

Ok, well, I’m finished with that. You’re probably glad, too.

So for the recipe, I have something that is fairly healthy.

For our vacation, we went to Gulf Shores, Alabama. The weather was great and we made it in and out without too much of the Spring Break activities going on. But it had already started, and the condos and restaurants were filling up.

It didn’t bother us much though. The beach was full of young people and we enjoyed walking around and talking with them.

While we were there, we ate mostly seafood. It is one of the reasons we go. We love salmon patties and crab cakes. I love a salmon patty served with mashed potatoes, green peas and some nice bread. Here’s the recipe I use. This recipe can also be exchanged with the same amount of canned crab. Both fishes are good.

Kay Bona is an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.

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