Sunday, May 30, 2010

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Memorial Day is a day of "National Mourning." All U.S. Flags should be displayed at half-staff during the morning hours. At noon, they should be raised back to full-staff.

It's a sacred day to all war veterans: None needs to be reminded of the reason why Memorial Day must be commemorated. But what about the general public, and more importantly, future generations? Do most non-veterans really recognize the importance of Memorial Day?

Why Remember? Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance. America's collective consciousness demands that all citizens be aware of and recall on special occasions the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime.

Far too often, the nation as a whole takes for granted the freedoms all Americans enjoy. Those freedoms were paid for with the lives of others few of us actually knew. That's why they are all collectively remembered on one special day.

This should be regarded as a civic obligation. For this is a national debt that can only be truly repaid by individual Americans. By honoring the nation's war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice.

How Do We Remember? Means of paying tribute vary. Pausing for a few moments of personal silence is available to everyone.

Attending commemorative ceremonies is the most visible way of demonstrating remembrance: placing flags at gravesites, marching in parades, dedicating memorials and wearing Buddy Poppies are examples.

Whether done individually or collectively, it is the thought that counts. Personal as well as public acts of remembering are the idea. Public displays of patriotism are essential if the notion of remembering war dead is to be instilled in the young.

Strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion became a tradition with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the Union veterans organization that made honoring Civil War dead a civic duty for all citizens. Until 1882, the practice of placing flowers at gravesites was known as Decoration Day.

Think of those who, in Lincoln's words, "gave the last full measure of devotion," and you have some idea of the price of liberty. It has been a terrible price to pay if freedom fails, but a small price indeed if the world can eventually be free.

New York was the first state - in 1873 - to legalize May 30. By 1890, all northern states had followed suit.

Until the National Holdiay Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363), Memorial Day was observed each May 30.

Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.

Perhaps the most profound tribute of all was made on the first national memorial observance in May, 1868, by then - General James A. Garfield when he said: "They summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue." VFW 2002

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cherry Salsa

1-1/3 cups frozen unsweetened tart cherries
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or canned jalapeno peppers, or to taste
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Coarsely chop frozen tart cherries. Let cherries thaw and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon cherry juice. When cherries are thawed, combine drained cherries, dried cherries, onion, jalapenos, garlic and cilantro in a medium saucepan; mix well. Combine reserved cherry juice and cornstarch in a small bowl; mix until smooth. Stir into cherry mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture is thickened. Let cool.

Serve with tortilla chips and/or cooked chicken or pork.

Makes about 1 cup.

Bartolomeo Bimbi, Cherries, 1699
Poggio a Caiano, Villa Medicea

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Shirley Temple
In a cocktail shaker with crushed ice, add:
  • A few drops of Grenadine
  • 4 ounces of lemon lime bar mix
  • 3 ounces of 7-up
  • 1 slice of orange
  • 1 maraschino cherry
Combine all of these ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well. Pour into an iced tulip glass and garnish with a slice of orange speared through a cocktail sword with a maraschino cherry. Add a coloured straw.

The Bellini
  • 2 ounces of peach nectar
  • 1 peach slice
  • 6 ounces of regular or de-alcoholized champagne
Pour the peach nectar into the bottom of a champagne flute. Top off with the champagne. Stir and garnish with the peach slice.

The Pina Colada
To a blender, add:
  • 2 ounces of coconut syrup
  • 4 ounces of pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces of orange juice
  • 4 tbsp of crushed pineapple
  • 1 handful of ice cubes
  • 1 ounce, white rum
  • 1 ounce, coconut liqueur
Start blending on a "pulse" setting and then to whip so that the beverage takes on a slushy consistency. Pour into a tall sling glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a wedge of pineapple, straws and a cocktail umbrella.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Here is the bird feeder. Here, seeds and crumbs.
Sprinkle them on and see what comes.
One cardinal, one chickadee, one junco, one jay.
Four of my bird friends are eating today.

Raisin Oat Cake


  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup lard (unsalted)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup flour


Mix ingredients together and blend well to form a thick batter. Add raisins dredged with flour. Grease a pie pan and flour lightly for baking. Pour mixture into pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately an hour. Cool and break into large pieces. Place in mesh bags and hang in shrubs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oh, to be lying,
On a beach,
With sand in my toes,
And the wind,
In my hair.

And only the sound,
Of the seagulls,
On high,
On a beach,
Under sunny blue sky.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Farm Fresh Eggs, Cane Creek Farm in Snow Camp, NC
Summer Garden Poached Eggs
(4 servings)
Lightly and simply sauteed summer vegetables make a nice platform for the runny yolk of a well-poached egg. Serve this dish for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner. From Waldorf, Md., resident Diane Leveglia, who placed third in the Post Food section's 2008 Top Tomato Recipe Contest.

2 T. olive oil
2 med. onions, quartered and sliced (2 cups)
3 med. cloves garlic, minced
8 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
10 to 12 basil leaves, stacked, rolled tightly and cut crosswise into thin strips (chiffonade)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 med. zucchini, trimmed and cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan (or skillet with high sides) over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onions and cook for about 7 minutes, until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and add the tomatoes, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the zucchini and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the desired degree of doneness.

Break or crack each egg into a separate saucer or small cup. Working with 1 egg at a time, tip them carefully into the hot tomato-zucchini mixture by lowering the lip of each egg cup ½ inch below the surface of the mixture. Use a spoon to gently corral the egg whites closer to their yolks, if necessary. Immediately cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let sit, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. The yolks should be quite delicate and not at all firm.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


A mystery series set in a variety of beautiful English and European country gardens, Rosemary & Thyme features two friends who, although partners in a gardening business, often find themselves in the middle of a crime scene.

Laura Thyme (Pam Ferris) is a former policewoman whose husband has abandoned her for a younger woman; Rosemary Boxer (Felicity Kendal) is a plant biology lecturer whose academic career is cut short. A sudden death brings them together and they discover their shared love of the soil and a natural inquisitiveness.

Forced to reassess their lives, they hope their new-found friendship will lead to future gardening commissions, not more detective work. But whilst Laura and Rosemary don’t think of themselves as sleuths – they are just as interested in a problem with a rosebush as with a dead body – mysteries have a habit of following them around.

The fact that they are inconspicuous gardeners means that they overhear secrets and dig up clues which not only lead them to rectify the floral problems but also solve the crime and capture the criminal. If you aren't familiar with these two sleuths, do yourself a favor and meet them wont you?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."- Edwin Way Teale

Asparagus salad with shallot vinaigrette

The acidity of this vinegary dressing is a foil for thinly sliced uncooked asparagus spears. Try to choose pencil-thin stalks, which are usually more tender than thicker stems.

2shallots, thinly sliced
1/4cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4cup olive oil
30spears fresh asparagus
1/4pound piece Parmesan cheese, chilled
1. In a medium bowl, combine the shallots and vinegar; set aside for 30 to 60 minutes minutes. Stir in salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.

2. Snap off and discard the woody bottoms of the asparagus stalks. Cut the spears on an extreme diagonal into 1/2-inch thick pieces.

3. In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with the shallot dressing. Arrange on a platter. With a vegetable peeler, shave off paper-thin slices of Parmesan to garnish the dish. Adapted from Max London's

Friday, May 14, 2010

When drudgery and care impose themselves,
Each request and promise a feather turned to brick,
Even the strong and stalwart plead for
Kind relief. What wise soul first decreed an
Ending to weekly trials? ...with Sunday comics,
Naps and leisurely brunch -- time to arrange flowers,
Dogs curled at your feet, and a stack of good books nearby.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two of my favorite cookbooks
The Frog Commissary Cookbook


Hi. I am Steve Poses, a caterer and restaurateur. I am on a mission to increase home entertaining. We need more parties. In fact, not just more parties, better parties. And we can have them! but my mission is only going to really take off if better parties are easier. I know how to make great parties, easier, so I wrote a book.

But first, I wrote an earlier book, The Frog Commissary Cookbook. It sold 150,000 copies, mostly in 1985, mostly in and around Philadelphia where I had most of my restaurants (including Frog and Commissary) and I still have a catering business. Since then, I have learned a lot about hosting great parties. So I spent five years putting together a 500 page book called “At Home” with a companion website called – A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining.

With help from this guide, almost anyone – certainly YOU – can host More Parties. Better. Easier.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
- Edwin Way Teale