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This week is Veteran's Day.  We should all be proud of all the fine men and women that serve our country.  Of course we all know that no matter what our feeling our about why and where their services are needed-they deserve the very best when they come home.

My husband's father was one of the men who guarded Emperor Hirohito.  I'm sure he would have regaled his grandchildren and later great-grandchildren with many an interesting story about his work overseas in both WWII and the Korean War had he lived.  

My own father was in the Naval Reserves and never ventured further than a base in San Diego.

I've had co-workers who have had brothers, husbands and cousins all serve.

Why I'm bringing this up in a cooking column is to bring up making some tasty dishes to both send overseas as treats from home and to serve for festive celebrations when these brave soles come home-whether on leave or permanently.

Now overseas shipments:  Do not send anything with chocolate.  I know this isn't fair or just, but the fact is that chocolate melts and the goodies will have to be disposed of-trust me, as a former brownie leader who had her troop make up boxes as a project we were given a list of dos and don'ts.  It's easy enough to find out via the internet what the rules are on what holds up best and is most appreciated.  

I won't get into the personal items, but as food goes-use recipes that stand the test of time.  Oatmeal cookies with cranberries, coconut and/or raisins.  Shortbreads or biscotti's that haven't been "dipped".  Send mints, chewing gum, candy canes and other hard candies.  Now licorice might be on the "send" or deny list-again check it out online.

On Friday-let's talk about a "good home cooked" meal for when our brave ones join us for the holidays.

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