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Cook's Corner

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    Each morning between 2 and 3 a.m., Leigh Rowan rises to begin making the dough to create whole-grain breads and rolls at her business, The Big Brick House Bakery.
  • Roanoke mother of 4 bakes up business
    Natalie Warner has enjoyed baking since she was a girl when her mom, Carlene Staller, would give her free rein the kitchen to bake cookies.“I like cookies or pies. I like to make them and eat them.
  • Blind grandmother still active in kitchen
    Nancy Ake has always loved to cook, even preferring homemade meals to eating out. So when the Fort Wayne woman lost her eyesight, she didn’t let that stop her.
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If you go
What: Donating hair to Locks of Love and selling “Recipes for Life” cookbooks to help raise money for transplant-related expenses for Orlan Holmes
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: A Cut Above Hair Salon, 4514 Parnell Ave.
Contact: 483-7904
Diana Parker | The Journal Gazette
The “Recipes for Life” cookbook will be sold to raise money for transplant-related expenses for Orlan Holmes, right, at Timothy Swihart’s A Cut Above Hair Salon from Thursday through Saturday.

Cookbook raises cash for transplant recipient

– During the mid-1980s, Orlan Holmes, 62, and Timothy Swihart, 45, worked together at a computer store and a friendship ensued. When they meet, it doesn’t take long before good-natured ribbing starts up.

“I can do anything with a spoon. I can flip eggs with a slotted spoon,” says Swihart, owner of A Cut Above Hair Salon, describing his favorite cooking utensil.

Looking over to Holmes, he quips, “Yours would be a can opener, right?”

Suddenly they both break out in laughter.

“He’s waiting to get better to take me,” Swihart says referring to Holmes’ recent surgery.

Holmes had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had severe heart problems for at least 10 years. It had gotten so bad that about four or five years ago doctors told him he needed a double lung transplant.

“They sent me home to die. I went from working full time to being totally disabled in 13 days. I was very sick. They sent me to Indianapolis, and they turned me down. They told me to go to the Cleveland Clinic,” Holmes says.

On Aug. 3, he had a double lung transplant in Cleveland. The difference has been remarkable, Holmes says.

“My lung function went from 15 percent to 92 percent afterward. It’s 98.46 percent now. At one point I was the sickest patient in the (clinic’s) ward. I’m doing things I haven’t done in 10 years,” he says, smiling.

Swihart agrees, “In my old shop, it took him 15 minutes to walk about 40 feet. Stairs were tough for you to get down.”

Since the surgery, Holmes’ is careful about following dietary restrictions. He carries a small notepad in his pocket to remind him of his do’s and don’ts.

“Grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Anything that’s not pasteurized and that includes goat cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese. No raw meat, so that rules out sushi. No rare meat. No honey. No raw eggs, which leaves out eggnog. Organics, if they’re not pasteurized, I stay away from them,” he says.

“I don’t do salad bars. I consider them to be Russian roulette,” he says adding, “Nothing cooked with charcoal briquettes.

“That solves the debate between gas and charcoal. Gas wins,” Swihart says.

To help offset Holmes’ huge hospital bill, Swihart is hosting a fundraiser at his salon from Thursday through Saturday. Stylists will be cutting and donating hair to Locks of Love as well as selling “Recipes for Life,” a cookbook from the National Foundation for Transplants, for $12.

“It pays for my drugs, my gas to the Cleveland Clinic,” Holmes says. “I had to live in a hotel for six to eight weeks. It’s not cheap. I had to stay there because they told me to.”

As for cutting his hair, Holmes says this is his third time donating to Locks of Love.

With a big grin on his face, Swihart looks over at Holmes and says, “I’m just donating so it helps with my dating situation.”

Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced

1 medium green pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 celery stalks, chopped

3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 pounds medium-size fresh shrimp or crawfish, peeled

2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste

1/4 cup dry sherry

6 dashes hot sauce

Salt, to taste

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and green onions, green pepper, garlic and celery; sauté 15 minutes. Add tomato. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add shrimp and remaining ingredients and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta.

– “Recipes for Life”

Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 limes, juiced

1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to season

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup roasted red peppers

5 green onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Ground black pepper, to taste

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, sesame oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Combine quinoa, tomatoes, red peppers, red onion and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator. Makes about 6 servings.

– Timothy Swihart

Gluten-free Cheesecake

Crust

1 1/2 cups frosted cornflakes crushed fine

1/2 tablespoon tapioca starch

5 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (8-ounce) package Neufchatel cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon tapioca starch

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 cup sour cream

3 large eggs slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To make crust, combine cornflakes with tapioca starch; add butter and press into a spring pan refrigerate. To make filling, beat cheeses in a bowl until smooth. Add sugar and starches and blend until well incorporated. Add sour cream and blend well. Add eggs and blend until color is uniform. Add vanilla and stir. Fill in the Springform pan and bake for 45 minutes or until top is starting to turn light brown. Allow to cool in oven for 2 to 3 hours with heat off and door propped open slightly. Chill until cold in the fridge.

– Timothy Swihart

Cook’s Corner is a weekly feature. If you know of someone to be profiled, write to Cook’s Corner, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-0088; fax 461-8648 or email dparker@jg.net.

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