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RDJ-- Chicken Souvlaki Salad, 08-04-12  RDJ
 Aug 04, 2012 07:57 PDT 

Volume 15      Number 137
US Library of Congress ISSN: 1530-3292

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Chicken Souvlaki Salad

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic, divided
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
3 cups cubed peeled cucumber (about 3 cucumbers)
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped pitted Kalamata olives
2 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup grated peeled cucumber
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat grill or broiler.

Combine 1 teaspoon garlic and the next 6 ingredients (1 teaspoon garlic
through chicken breast) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal the bag and
shake to coat. Remove chicken from the bag. Grill or broil chicken 5
minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces.

Combine chicken, cubed cucumber, and the next 4 ingredients (cubed
cucumber through tomatoes) in a large bowl. Combine yogurt and remaining
ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over chicken mixture; toss well. Makes
4 servings.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
    Calories: 259
    Calories from fat: 28%
    Fat: 8.2g
    Saturated fat: 3g
    Monounsaturated fat: 3.4g
    Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
    Protein: 31.8g
    Carbohydrate: 15.3g
    Fiber: 2.9g
    Cholesterol: 79mg
    Iron: 2mg
    Sodium: 679mg
    Calcium: 161mg

By Walter Mills

(I have been going through the archives of my newspaper columns for
stories about Florida and my childhood there. I intend to put together
an e-book that my mother can read on her Kindle. These days her eyesight
is too faint to read books on paper. Though I am unsure about what
electronic publishing will do to books and libraries, I can’t help being
happy for my mother and others who have lost the ability to read books
in print. The following is one of the stories I discovered that will be
in my eventual e-book.)

John Mills

When I was a child of two I sat in the sawdust of the shop where my
grandfather built his small boats and watched him work. Each morning he
would put me on his shoulders and carry me down the path through the
orange grove to the shop he had built among the Florida pine trees.

I played there with blocks of wood, always quiet and contented, so I am
told. For years after he died I still preferred small blocks of
unfinished wood to any other toys. I floated them in the tub for boats,
made them into trains. Though I was only two and do not remember the
shop or my grandfather, I imagine myself in the sawdust at his feet
listening to his stories as I pushed my cars and trains of wood.

My grandfather, John Mills, was born an unimaginably long time ago,
eleven years after the end of the Civil War. By the time I rode on his
shoulders he was already in his middle 70s. I don’t know what memories
we imprint by the age of two, but I feel as if I know this man who died
before I learned to talk. When I see his photograph or hear his name, I
feel my heart racing. He was an adventurer, a ship’s captain, and some
of his blood, no matter how thinned, flows in my veins.

A few months ago a packet arrived in the mail from Miami from his
daughter, my Aunt Clare. It contained a book about central Florida
called “Ocali Country,” along with a small pamphlet published by the
Silver River Museum consisting of a short essay and dim photographs of
riverboating on the Ocklawaha River. It also included a copy of a
three-page handwritten life story by my great-uncle Charlie, a younger
brother of John Mills.

By the time Charlie was born in 1889, my grandfather would have been
thirteen and already would have been working for three years on a barge
on the Ocklawaha, the “crooked river”. The Ocklawaha was the main
highway into the interior of Florida in those days, busy with freight
and passenger traffic. I think of my grandfather as a boy of ten lying
out under the stars on an open barge while the steam driven
paddlewheelers went by in the dark.

It was a wild, swampy country, the books say, full of wild turkey and
wild boar, bears and geese, ducks, quail and doves. The rivers and lakes
were filled with bass and bluegill, speckled perch and catfish.
Alligators sunned themselves on the bank. Giant Cypress trees towered
over the river, and hardwood forest stretched deep into the distance.

Why was a boy of ten working on the river? Nothing in Uncle Charlie’s
3-page life history gives any clues, except that times were hard. He
writes, “I can remember the big freeze of 1894 and 5. We lost
everything, our grove was completely killed.” This was the great freeze
that ruined the crops and blighted the orange trees, ruined the economy
and shut down the banks.

There were other problems. “We lived near the Heather Island ferry and
near the river swamps. I soon began to have chills and fever, so had a
hard time of it. Was sick several years with malaria.” His brother John
came home and helped the family move their house several miles away from
the swamps, rolling it on logs with mules to higher ground. I would
like to see that place someday.

Someday I would like to take a notebook and camera and visit the orange
grove country of central Florida and take a look at that twisting
Ocklawaha River where my grandfather sailed on a barge when he and the
country were still young. Something from long ago calls to me from
beneath the surface of memory, a voice out of childhood.

Read more of Walt's writing at his blog:

(The above column originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times and is
copyright © 2012 by Walter Mills. All rights reserved worldwide. To
contact Walt, address your emails to    awmi-@verizon.net ).

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