Bena Mae's Kitchen: Averting Tragedy
The weather is in the nineties, the yards look like the Sahara Desert and it hasn’t rained in days. Would that the rain that has deluged Wisconsin and Minnesota would come our way but not in such great proportions.
But I have something else to talk to you about today. And it may save your life. Especially if you live alone.
It’s about Life Alert. Many of you have seen the ad on TV “I’ve fallen but I can’t get up!”
The alert system consists of an alarm console and a transmitter of your choice, either a pendant or wristband transmitter. In an emergency, you just press the button on your transmitter to activate the life alert system and someone will speak to you through the alarm system and get help to you immediately. In case of a power outage the alarm will continue working up to 18 hours. It also has a feature that sets off the alarm in case you have fallen and cannot speak.
I was recently surprised by this feature when I was getting out of the shower and dropped the pendant to the floor. I simply picked it up and replaced it around my neck, thinking nothing of it when I began to hear the console screaming HELP IS ON THE WAY! I then realized that when the pendant dropped to the floor, it broke the sensor and set off the alarm. I didn’t have to say a word, the console picked up on it and alerted the people who monitored my system.
This would have been invaluable if I had fallen and knocked myself out and was unable to speak.
After about 15 minutes of assuring the monitors that I was alright, the little drama ended. But it was reassuring to know that I was protected if it had been a serious accident.
Three of my friends have suffered immeasurably by not having Life Alert. Across the street, my neighbor fell on a Sunday morning. She lay there all day but was unable to move. She could hear the phone ringing incessantly but could not answer it. Late that night, her children became alarmed and with the help of the police, broke the door down and found her lying on the floor. She had had a stroke. They took her to the hospital and she never returned home.
Another friend fell out of bed in the middle of the night and broke her back. She lay beside the bed, unable to move until her daughter found her the next morning. For a year, she had to wear a back brace but is still suffering the results of the fall.
A horrendous scenario describes the fate of another friend who had a terrific fall. She lay bleeding for three days until a neighbor decided to check on her. What she found was a terrible scene of blood on the walls and floor where my friend had tried to crawl to get help but was unsuccessful. A cleaning crew charged $300 to clean the blood from the walls and floor.
I’m not trying to scare you friends. I only want to make you aware that accidents can happen without warning. They are unpredictable and can happen to anyone. The cost of a Life Alert system is miniscule compared to the danger that can occur by not being protected. Mine is my security blanket.
Might I add that it is a terrific burglar alarm. When my monitor screams HELP IS ON THE WAY, you can hear it a block away.
The curry flavor adds a wonderful taste to this chicken salad.
Chicken Curry Salad Recipe
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 heaping Tbsp yellow curry powder
1 cup raisins
1 apple (tart or sweet, your preference), peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (just lightly packed)
2 green onions, sliced
1 Tbsp mayonnaise optional
Heat olive oil on medium/medium-high heat in a thick-bottomed sauté pan. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring frequently until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on the chicken pieces while cooking. Check doneness by removing the thickest piece and cutting it in half. If it is still pink in the middle, keep cooking. Try not to overcook the chicken or it will be dry. Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon, set aside in a bowl.
Add yellow onion and cook. After a few minutes, when the onions are beginning to get translucent, add 2 heaping tablespoons of yellow curry powder. Cook a few minutes more, stirring frequently. If the curry sticks to the bottom or the mixture gets dry, add a bit more olive oil to the pan. As you stir, scrape up the stuck curry bits. Add raisins, and cook, stirring another minute. (If adding optional mayonnaise, remove curry from heat and mix in mayo.) Add raisin and onion mixture to chicken and mix well, coating the chicken pieces with the curry infused olive oil. Refrigerate until cool. At this point you can make the salad a day a head of time.
When you are ready to serve the salad, mix in the apple, green onions, and cilantro.