Archive for June, 2012

An Introduction to Lithuanian Cuisine By Alex Spirikaitis

June 6, 2012

Featuring a cuisine influenced by climate and culture, Lithuania possesses a unique culinary history. Home to a moist northern climate, the country produces beets, greens, mushrooms, potatoes, and barley, as well as numerous dairy products. In addition to this fresh produce, the local diet often includes smoked sausages, hearty rye breads, and savory stuffed plums. Throughout history, other Eastern European countries and various Jewish traditions have helped to shape Lithuanian cuisine. Several classic Lithuanian dishes include šaltibarščiai, or cold beet soup; cepelinai, or stuffed potato dumplings; and koldūnai, or meat dumplings. Lithuanians also pride themselves on their excellent mead and unique herbal brandies. Breweries across the country specialize in various lagers and honey beers. Devoted to hospitality, Lithuanians strive to provide a quality dining experience for both tourists and their fellow citizens. About the author: A native of Lithuania, Alex Spirikaitis enjoys cooking, fishing, and target shooting in his free time. Since immigrating to the United States, Alex Spirikaitis has held several professional positions, serving as an Assistant Manager at Coles Shoes and as a Blacksmith for the Cleveland Frog and Crossing Railroad.

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An Overview of Donating Blood By Alex Spirikaitis

June 5, 2012

Before attending a blood drive, donors should hydrate and eat healthfully, concentrating on foods high in iron. Upon registration, donors must present a driver’s license and complete all required paperwork. Donors will then meet with a health care professional for a mini-physical, entailing a check of the donor’s pulse, blood pressure, hemoglobin level, and temperature, and a confidential health interview.

If a potential donor meets all requirements for a safe donation, another health professional seats the donor, cleans the skin on the inner elbow, and inserts a disposable sterile needle, beginning the actual blood donation. This process typically takes eight to 10 minutes and is followed by a trip to the refreshment area. Individuals may donate blood every eight weeks.

About the Author: A resident of Cleveland, Alex Spirikaitis frequently donates blood through the American National Red Cross. Over the course of his career, Alex Spirikaitis earned degrees from Cleveland State University and Panevezys Polytechnic School, where he studied business.