Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Healthy Start to the Day

I knew right away when my friend loaned me her book it was going to be a very good read. She had many page corners turned over, lines underlined and notes written in the margin for reference purposes. As I got into the book I wished I had my own copy. I also wanted to underline, turn page corners and write in margins. So I resorted to note taking in my journal which in turn did slow down my reading a bit. But there were so many well written and thought provoking sentences I felt compelled to get them down on paper.

"The Latehomecomer" by Koa KaliaYang is an outstanding Hmong family memoir. The author begins the family's remarkable journey by chronicling her grandmother's story which midway through the book becomes part of the author's story. Yang gives an insightful look into the Hmong culture, their political situation, how powerful family connections can be and the challenges the Hmong people face adapting to a new land.

The Hmong began immigrating into the US after 1976. They are a people without a country and lack a written language. The 2010 census showed that California has the largest Hmong population followed by Minnesota.

Koa Kalia Yang's book is a wonderful tribute to her family. They settled in St. Paul, Minnesota. As the story unfolds, she captures her family's remarkable spirit as they survived a harrowing escape across the Mekong River, seven years in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp and the challenges of making a new life in a different country. I was impressed with the family's determination that their children receive a good education. Koa Kalia Yang and her sister Dawb had to overcome great odds. They are grateful along the way for the many teachers who encouraged and helped them succeed. Yang is a graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University. She and her sister are co-founders of Words Wanted. This is an agency dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating and business services.

Add "The Latehomecomer" to your reading list.

Write what should not be forgotten.
Isabel Allende
Chilean Journalist and Author

Yogurt with Berries and Granola

Cook's notes: Here's a healthy breakfast to celebrate Valentine's Day, Two Presidents' Birthdays and Fourth of July. One 5.3 oz. container yogurt will make two medium sized parfaits. I used Greek Yogurt OIKIOS Toasted Coconut Vanilla by DANNON. But you can be very creative as there are many flavors to choose from in this brand as well as other brands. One container is only 160 calories and that would be for 2 servings for this breakfast item. Instead of granola I used several tablespoons of Oats & Honey with Almonds All Natural Cereal. Tasted just as good :)

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
Granola or Oats & Honey with Almonds


Starting with yogurt layer in a glass alternate with fruit and granola mixture ending with granola on top.

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Avocado Caprese Chicken Wraps

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