Fort Wayne – 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
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
1 1/2 cups frosted cornflakes crushed fine
1/2 tablespoon tapioca starch
5 tablespoons melted butter
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