Category Archives: InCity Voices

Inauguration 2021!!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith!🌸🌸🌸

January 20, at 12:32 p.m: Now it’s time to get to work! There was some wind, a couple of snowflakes, and then blue sky, as the ceremonies began, just before noon in Washington.

US Senator Amy Klobuchar stepped up to the microphone, made introductory remarks, as co-chair of the planning committee for the event, followed by co-chair Roy Blunt. A few moments of invocation followed …Lady Gaga then made a grand entrance, wearing an enormously bouffant red gown, she and sang the National Anthem. She was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by a Black female officer.

And then came Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor …our first Latina Supreme Court justice, she came up to swear in Vice-President Kamala Harris, our first female, woman of color vp. She looked pretty – bareheaded and windblown in her deep purple suit designed by a designer who is Black. Jennifer Lopez, dressed in flowing white gown, then sang two songs: her own special blend of “This Land is Your Land” and “America.”

SC Chief Justice John Roberts then administered the oath of office to our new President, Joe Biden, who had his left hand on what appeared to be an enormous antique Bible, held by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. It’s been in his family for decades.

Biden then gave his address. As we probably all expected, he touched on all the themes America needs to hear now: UNITY, renewal and resolve. He had us all take a minute of silent prayer for all the victims of the novel coronavirus and their families and friends. A constantly recurring theme was that ALL of our people are needed, and that while democracy has thus far triumphed in our country, it is fragile and needs us all to survive. We achieved the peaceful transfer of power this time, as we have so many times before. The TV cameras several times panned over the past US presidents who were there with their wives: the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas. The Carters were missing, as Jimmy Carter. 95, could not make it; outgoing VP Mike Pence was there also throughout the entire ceremony.

Biden listed all the great tasks before us: we have great challenges in the area of the coronavirus, jobs, business, racial justice – but together, in UNITY, we can work on all of them!! While there were no specifics, there was instead a repeated exhortation to work together, remember our shared history, our faith and reason. Biden urged us all to start afresh, listen to each other, really see one another! He promised to give his best, so that our children would be able to say “He did his best.”

After thousands of Trump lies, distortions and misinformation, we can expect that Biden will, as he promised, always level with us, the people.

Garth Brooks then sang “Amazing Grace,” asking the audience to join him for the final verse. That reminded a number of us of the rendition of that song sung by then-President Obama after the Sandyhook massacre …

As a sort of grand finale, America’s first youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, recited her poem – a most impressive rendition of all that we have been through these past four years – exhorting us to have hope, be strong in our diversity … She really brought out the rhythms and sounds of the English language to remind us all of our goals and tasks ahead. I was amazed that one so young – just 22 – and beautiful! – could be so persuasive!! She was truly a fitting finale to this very important and classy event. After the flags were retired and the guests of honor filed out, the attendees filed out quietly and in a peaceful procession.

I was glad to see that decorum and style had returned to our national proceedings. The rest of the world surely was watching and must have been impressed. American Democracy is, for now, alive and well.

🌺Countdown to the Inaugural!!!🌺

By Edith Morgan

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Edith, in her urban garden🌾🌾🌾🌹

President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration promises to be one we will not soon forget: It takes place amid the continuing spike in the contagion of the COVID 19 epidemic, so there will not be great discussions about the size of the crowd. (there will not BE a crowd!!) There will be no unusual and memorable events to fix this one in our hearts and heads.

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Go, Joe!!!

At my age (90 years old), I have seen many such events, every four years, since I came to America when FDR was President! I really do not recall anything about the events of 1944, as I was just getting acclimated to this country, and scarcely aware of national politics. And, of course, there was no TV and no other mass media, and telephones were rather rudimentary.

FILE - In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)
FILE – In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)

The Presidential inauguration ceremonies and parades that stick in my mind were JFK’s and, of course the 2016 one. JFK’s sticks in my memory because the weather was cold and icy and the newspapers reported there was a heater beneath the podium. And when Robert Frost read a poem of his, the podium caught fire! We were watching the TV with some friends from New Zealaind, who commented that our ceremonies were so quaint! They felt we really needed a King and Queen to carry out these ceremonies properly!

The next inauguration I remember vividly was the one which gave us our first Black President, Barrack Obama, and the approach to the Capitol was packed as full as possible. Four years later, when Trump was inaugurated, there were many fewer people assembled there, but Trump claimed, despite the obvious difference we all saw in the newsreels on TV, that it was the BIGGEST crowd ever!!! Those lies continued for the next four years. But the evidence is still there despite the exhortations to ignore our eyes and “follow our leader.”

In the past, people of all walks of life were at our inaugurations – packed together like sardines but quiet and orderly and happy! This year, there will be tens of thousands of armed police and national guard troops, guarding the approaches to the site, as well as physical barriers of cement, barbed wire and fencing and hovering helicopters and government snipers. And I suppose all kinds of surveillance equipment.

I noticed that in the past, at the ceremonies, there were whole families assembled: children in baby carriages, others sitting on their fathers’ shoulders, couples, old people – all knowing they were participating in a historical event. To see but not to be seen … It was the age before “selfies” and the incessant ego trips which are so common now.

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MLK Jr. worked closely with US Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy – and LBJ – to pass historic civil rights laws in America in the 1960s.

I remember our various First Families strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue, with crowds lining both sides of the street, waving flags and cheering. Now, that will not happen because of the virus, but mostly because it would be too dangerous.

And, as for the speeches, I have to admit that I remember little of what was said! I was really much more intent on seeing all the people: America, our country, proudly honoring our Constitution. Lovingly following her democratic traditions …
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The global pandemic has changed the way we will celebrate tomorrow …

Breakfast time, in France …

Text+pics by Chef Joey

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Pal Joey!!!!

France. The country known for its delicious food, rich in butter … sauces, creams and, of course, flavor. One thing about the French: lunch is the meal of the day. Breakfast and dinner are the light side of the spectrum. My grandmother Hélène had an expression: “You eat like a prince in the morning, a king at noon, and a pauper at night.” This still rings true; lunch is an important meal. Here in France banks and many stores close for a two-hour civilized lunch break.

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Breakfast is typically always a warm beverage, café au lait, tea or even hot chocolate. When I was a kid in France I walked to the bakery every morning to get the paper for my grandparents and a fresh baguette. Every now and then I would get a croissant. However, it was a treat because it cost more than a loaf of bread. It still is the same here. The price of fresh bread is set by the government and cannot be more than .95 cents for a baguette. There are many different breads, all at various prices: country style, brioche, whole wheat and even double-sized baguettes called “restaurant bread.”

My favorite memory of being a child, and now doing the same for my daughter Gigi, is a fresh baguette sliced in half and filled with butter and jam.

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French toast, an afternoon snack

Confiture “Bonne Maman” is available in the states, and hands down it is one of the best. I do not go to the bakery daily; I buy the bread and freeze it immediately. Five minutes in the oven and it is as fresh as the day I bought it!

Another alternative is frying your bread in butter. It’s delicious and a great way to use stale bread. French toast is an afternoon snack for energy – I’ve never really had it for breakfast.

Another item is a piece of cake, literally! This recipe is from my grandmother, who named it after herself – Gâteau Taunte Hélène.

Aunt Helene’s Cake:

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the recipe❤

Simple and delicious:

1 plain yogurt yogurt (8 oz)

1 cup sugar (I use ½)

1 tsp rum

2 eggs

½ cup oil

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

Beat the eggs. Mix with the yogurt and add everything else. Pour into a pan and bake 350 degrees for about 15 mins in a 9-inch round pan. Use a toothpick to test. Simple and delicious!

New column from our intern, Fatimah!!🇺🇸❤

Worcester’s Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Celebration Ceremony

By Fatimah Daffaie, senior at Doherty High School, Worcester

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Fatimah attends Doherty High Schoool via ZOOM these days, as do all WPS students

The Martin Luther King Jr. youth celebration ceremony was held on Friday January 15, 2021, virtually through Zoom at 10:00 a.m through Worcester State University. This event is held every year; this year marked the 27th annual anniversary. Around 105 people attended this great celebration!

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photos: FD

Manasseh Konadu, a Worcester State University alumni, was the minister of the ceremony. Vanessa Ford was the vocalist of the ceremony, who sang various amazing songs throughout the ceremony. The ceremony started with a moment of silence for everyone who has passed in this pandemic and also for Edna Spencer, who was a former WSU employee who was known for her compassion, volunteerism and passion to care for others.

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Barry Maloney, president of WSU, spoke about the current events with racism and the BLM movement. His inspiring words were a highlight in the ceremony and a great reminder to continue fighting for justice! Following his speech, Mr. Konadu said, “The marathon continues, as we continue to fight.”

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Participants usually honored and celebrated MLK Jr. at Worcester State University, with terrific breakfast buffet and lots of live music and poetry readings. This year the city event was held virtually.

This message resonated with everyone that attended the ceremony, and it was heartwarming to hear such great messages throughout the ceremony, especially with all the current events that are happening in our country, which Maloney touched upon.

Mayor Joseph Petty …
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Mayor Petty. ICT file photo

… gave a speech and presented some of the awards. Mayor Petty spoke about Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and his impact till today. He said, “You see his face all over the protests … .” Mayor Petty also mentioned the current events with BLM movement rallies and the Capitol siege. He said: “Be involved, don’t be neutral.” It was definitely an inspiring speech – and a crucial speech during these times in our country.

There was a video shown of Worcester elementary school students sharing their “Dreams for the world” which were:

“Not to have covid anymore.”
“Not to have racism.”
“To be back in school.”

It was wonderful to see those young kids having such dreams … their maturity and understanding was incredible!

Then the Dr. George Storms Smith Youth Service Award was presented by Mayor Joseph M. Petty to Walter Jovel, who is part of the Teens Leading the Way and H.O.P.E Coalition. The Dr. George Storms Smith Community Service Award was also presented by Mayor Joseph M. Petty to Madison Whalen, from St. Peter Central Catholic School in Worcester.

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Everyone was on ZOOM!

Provost Lois Wims, from Worcester State University, presented Worcester State University Recipient M.L.K. Jr. Youth Recipient award to Elvis Njoki, Biology, Class of 2023 and Cristian Negron-Rivera, Business Administration, Class of 2023. Following that, there was a performance by In Da Zone, Boys and Girls Club, directed by Shauree Allotey.

The Olivia Rochelle Spencer Recipient Memorial Scholarship was presented to Genevive Baddoo, Class of 2021.

Poetry Contest winners were presented by Dorothy Hargrove, Chair of M.L.K. Jr. Youth Poetry Committee. She presented the awards to students from 7th-12th grades. Congratulations to all those students! We are so proud of such amazing young people!
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Book Review by our new CECELIA Intern, Fatimah!❄🇺🇸😀🌸

🌸🌸Book Review!🌸🌸

By Fatimah Daffaie, senior at Doherty High School

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Go, girl, go!!!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen Covey

As we begin this new year, 2021, many people find it to be a fresh start to hopefully something better. The best way to achieve our goals is by setting successful habits that can help us become better at achieving goals faster and more effectively.

One mesmerizing book that I believe best helps with setting successful habits is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen Covey.

The seven habits are:

😊1. Be Proactive

In the book, Covey says that behavior is a result of our decisions not our conditions. Being proactive means that you make the decisions and plans for your life. Life is unfair and despite our hardships and terrible conditions, we still have to remember that we are in control of our situations. We have the brain power to make decisions, goals, and plans to live the life we want to live.

😊2. Begin with the End in Mind

In other words, know what it is that you are trying to achieve. What are your goals? What actions are you going to take to achieve these goals? For example, when I write a paper or prepare for a presentation, I always keep my end in mind, which is about what my audience and readers will take away from my work that is of value to them.

😊3. Put First Things First!

This is a simple and direct habit: Prioritize the things that are most important to you first. These are the things that most align with your principles and values. As a student, for example, I have to always get my work done based on priority, which means: when is the due date, how much time I have to spend on something, and how much that thing means for me and does it align with my values and principles.

😊4. Think Win-Win

Have a win-win mindset. Covey explains that habit by saying that we should see life as a cooperative rather than a competition. Going through life sometimes, there are a lot of tough times that we have to go through, so it’s easy to feel put down. Despite the tough times, we should keep healthy and positive mindsets. If athletes went into their games always thinking that they were going to lose, why even try if you think you’ll never win? Always go into things with confidence that you have the skills and preparation to do great!

😊5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood!

Stop trying to be understood! Rather, seek to understand the situation in front of you. This habit will help improve your relationships with others. This is a skill of being a great listener and understanding the situations and what someone is saying rather than focusing on the other person understanding you. I have learned from this habit that when having conversations in work, school, or family, I always keep in mind to understand what they are saying, before I respond and make them understand my response or my opinion. At this time in the world, it is very important that we respectfully listen to each other, before we say our opinion. Just listening is not enough, there should be an intended effort put in on both sides to understand what the other person is saying.

😊6. Synergize

Do not be scared from group and social interactions. There is a great power when people come together. Take this pandemic as an example, we had to come together to stop the virus. Together as a society we had to take initiative and responsibility for everyone’s health and safety. We, as people, grow together to achieve our goals and become better individuals.

😊7. Sharpen the Saw

Here, Covey talks about four dimensions: physical, social and emotional, spiritual and mental. The physical category speaks about taking care of your body by exercising and having the necessary duration by having a healthy everyday diet. The social category refers to having a social life with healthy and loving relationships and friendships. It is also crucial to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally.

As you may have noticed, these seven habits are interconnected and build on each other. Having them all together is the best way to achieve your goals effectively in the fastest way possible. These habits will also make you a better individual! I recommend this book for everyone, especially if you are trying to improve your life professionally and personally.

🌸⛄Another new column from Edith!❄🌸❄

Finances for Kids

By Edith Morgan

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Edith🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

With the students still out of school, learning at home, we have a great opportunity to fix our curriculum – the heart of the educational enterprise, which gets short shrift, coming in a poor second to the need to get good scores on commercial tests, with their very limited scope (after all, they have to conform to the machines so they have to be paper-and-pencil tests.)

What if we re-invented the purpose of public education and our primary task were to be to prepare every student to become a knowledgeable, critical and creative thinker, ready at high school graduation to assume the full responsibility of an American citizen? Would if we molded an intelligent voter and a self-supporting individual able to support him/herself while realizing the American Dream?

How then does our present curriculum fit those goals?

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Active, creative little beings! Gigi file photos: Chef Joey

Thankfully, US Secretary of Education Betsy Devos has resigned, and with her hopefully goes the noxious push to destroy public education and substitute charter, private, for-profit, “training.” I do not call it “education,” as it is generally geared to create obedient, cheap and unquestioning labor or acolytes, not really independent, responsible, life-long students. Full participants in a vibrant, actively involved citizenry!

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Keep kids learning during the pandemic!

If we are going to live to 90 years old or beyond, in the future, we need to graduate students who can handle so many years of life beyond the “working” years“ – the years when they will have put in their time at a job, a profession, a calling – and will have put aside enough to live comfortably, travel, enjoy grandchildren, develop talents for which there was not time before, etc. Also tonmaybe devote time and energy to volunteer activities, since they now have the skills and experience to help the next generation get a good start.

More and more, technology is supplying us with “labor-saving devices,” theoretically freeing us from some of the drudgery of daily life. But human services – the care of children, fellow-family members, our ill or handicapped persons – all will still require the human touch. The importance of that kind of work should be raised up in importance in our society, and paid well, because that kind of work requires special skills and dedication that are more important than working on the various machines that technology supplies to make our lives a bit easier.

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Edith and her family

Let us look closely at whose work is really vital: If the President spends a month at the golf course, what happens? Nothing much. But if trash and garbage were not collected in our towns and cities for even a week, the city of New York would come to a standstill and rats and vermin would overrun the streets …

Trust Your Eyes and Ears!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith!

From the time we are born, we rely on the testimony of our senses: we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste the world around us. Then our brain receives the information from all those senses, processes it – interprets what came in, and goes into action. At least that is, in a very simplified way, what is supposed to happen.

But in the last four years, too many of our fellow citizens have been exhorted to disregard the evidence of their eyes and ears, and to listen to the words of their all knowing (by his definition only) leader and simply blindly follow Trump’s lead. That should have been enough warning that something was amiss: in a democracy, no functioning adult citizen should ever relinquish the responsibility to see things for him/herself and always to “question authority.”

All elected officials should always undergo constant scrutiny by their constituents and should hear from the folks back home, if they do not appear to remember that they are the “servants of the people” – and we pay them to work for us. Somehow, for too many of us, that idea has gotten lost. Getting re-elected and paying for the incessant campaigning take up much of the two-year terms of local candidates, and six years for Senators, four years for President.

Surely, two or three months should be enough to find out whether the candidate in question has the background, track record as a decent human being, and the skills to perform the job in question.
That would leave plenty of time to actually perform the job for which they are running – and would relieve us, the voters, of the incessant campaigning.
Meanwhile, the media, enhanced by our ubiquitous cell phones equipped with fairly good cameras, can supply us with sight and sound of happenings wherever we happen to be. We do not have to rely on anyone else’s perceptions to know what is true: our own eyes and ears are there.

I rely on my own senses for most decisions I make: I sniff or examine groceries (vegetables, juices, milk, fruits, etc.. to see if they are still edible. I can tell by their color, smell, feel, maybe even taste, whether I can still use them.) Why not apply similar tests to those who want our vote and who want to make decisions for us? Often we have a “gut feeling” that something is not right, someone is not trustworthy – that is a sixth sense that many of us have learned to heed, when it is difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially now when we have been lied to for so long, and so often, and about so much.

Trust your own senses, your own brain, even your own gut – you will never be 100% sure or right, but you will come a lot closer than if you rely on someone else or on some money-making machine that merely exists to pick your pocket.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” should be the motto of every one of us, if our democracy is to survive.

🇮🇹CHEF JOEY’S vegan chicken pot pie and winter soups!💙💛💚

By Chef Joey

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Chef Joey says: M ASK UP AND WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN!

Dare I say winter is here, folks! But that can be a good thing. With the colder weather the yearning for hearty food goes up, and believe it or not you can cook up some delicious fare for cheap!

Using beans …
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photos: Chef Joey and Rose T.

… as your protein source not only reduces the cost of your meal, it actually is better for you. We so often look to short cuts – a quick “dollar” meal, frozen microwave meals, or all out dining. Investing in a $15 crock pot makes cooking a breeze: you come home to a prepared meal!

On the flip side 45 minutes to an hour will also yield a delicious soup or stew made on your stove top.

TOMATO SOUP

You can make more than 1 gallon of homemade tomato or cream of tomato soup for less than $5. It’s easy fast and delicious!

All you need:

onions

carrots

celery

tomatoes
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garlic

… water and a soup base – I prefer “Knorr’s” or “Better than Bullion” veggie base for the flavor. The wet bullion base will cost you upfront – but the yield is amazing.

So, Joey, how do I make that soup?

Well, it is easy!

Get a big pot, slice up 2 large onions and add to the pot with 1 – 2 inches of water and let those puppies heat up – the water softens the onions and does not allow them to burn.

Now peel and rough chop 4 carrots …

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Just 4!

… and 4 or 5 stalks of celery and 3 or 4 cloves of garlic

Put them in a blender with 1 cup or 2 of water, depending on the volume

Blend until smooth.

Add this to your onion mix then open a large
6 pound can of crushed tomatoes (called #10 cans – your food club stores sell them for under $4) and stir

It will be kind of thick so add ½ can or less of water and stir well.

Bring it to a near boil and let it simmer
a good 40 minutes.

Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of your bouillon at this point and taste for flavor

Now would be the time you salt and pepper.

Add heavy cream for cream of tomato soup, or enjoy it vegan fast and easy.

The carrots add a sweet tinge and give another veggie element to the soup!

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Notice how I had you finely chop the onions and cook in water. You can add a little olive oil if you like, too. This helps act as a baby sitter so your
onions don’t burn.

Blending celery and garlic is a great way to introduce it to your broth without having to cut it up small small.
This is the basis for just about everything. The carrots and celery need to be pureed for the tomato soup. Cubed or chopped is fine for other soups. Garlic, however, I feel works best in this application.

💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

LENTIL SOUP

To make lentil soup start with your onions

then puree garlic

when the onions are soft add about
2 quarts of water , 8 cups , and one bag of lentils that have been rinsed off.

To this add 3 peeled (or unpeeled) potato

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💚

… finely diced and 4 peeled and
diced carrots and 4 or 5 stalks of celery.

A tablespoon or 2 of cumin or turmeric, it does wonders!

For this soup the lentils need a solid 45 minutes to cook.

At the end taste for flavor – if you feel ths need for bouillon, go ahead.

If not salt and pepper – you can add fresh lemon juice and a whole bunch of fresh chopped spinach, too (blender trick works
great).

Substitute the bag of lentils with barley for another great soup and instead of cumin – try
turmeric or curry powder!

One cup of barley goes a long way, and it keeps “growing”! So don’t use more than a cup per 2 quarts.

Ok. We get it but I don’t like lentils. Well, that’s great but I say try them as an adult. But you still don’t like them…Ok then start your base of onions. This time triple your garlic (I LOVE bags of whole peeled garlic and NEVER use the chopped up stuff – you will ruin your recipe). Blend it together and add Cannelli beans or white navy beans juice and everything into your onion base.

Ideally if you buy a bag of dried beans and soak overnight or quick boil prepare is the cheapest route – 1 pound bags range from $.89 to $1.50 versus the same price depending on the brand for cans. Add your water and base at this point for this soup.

Add fresh washed and chopped escarole to this, and there you have it! Escarole and bean soup.

Just add diced carrots – and boom white bean soup or get a package of grape tomatoes, rough blend in the blender with water – add to ths beans and you have a variation.

BLACK BEAN SOUP

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💚

Black bean soup is just as fun! A secret I taught myself when I didn’t have any cilantro was to add a jar of salsa to my black beans.

So basically start your base:

onions and garlic

then add 2 cans of black beans

8 cups water

Let that heat up – throw in a bag of frozen corn and a cup or 2 of diced carrots

a tablespoon of cumin – these old world spices really work!

After about a half hour, add the salsa – at least a cup.

Stir until hot.

There you have it!

All of these nutritious meals costs less than $5.

You can add meat to the barley soup if you have leftovers – it is ideal chop it up into little cubes. One half of a whole chicken breast goes a long way and can feed many.

CHICKEN POT PIE

Chicken pot pie is chicken stew with a crust. It is easy – once again the base of the
onions

Add garlic

a little oil on this one

toss in 4 or 5 chopped celery stalks

then add your diced chicken and sauté for a few minutes.

Add:

2 cups carrots

2 cups peas
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You can use frozen veggies – or canned – in a pinch

2 cups diced potatoes

Then cover with mixture just enough – about an inch over the mixture.

When veggies are done add some chicken base or veggie base. I am gluten free so I thicken with corn starch – 4 or 5 tablespoons mixed with COLD water (1/4 cup works fine)

Add to the broth

And there you have it! 20 minute chicken stew.

For pot pie: Pour it in a pan – make a quick crust …

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(1 stick cold butter 2
cups flour – salt and a teaspoon of baking powder.) Throw it in your food processor – or if you don’t have one mix the dry together.

Soften the butter – both ways require a little bit of cold water until it becomes pastry-like. Roll it out on a floured surface. No roller? Use a bottle or a can (clean it first) and bake
until flakey and golden.

When you go shopping and you see carrots potatoes, turnips etc. on sale buy them – they can last a while in dry storage. A 10 pound bag of carrots will sell for $3.99 vs 1 pound for $1.99. Always shop for the lowest price per pound. Speaking of carrots… peel 3 pounds of carrots, run them through the food
processor or blender with water to purée them. (if you don’t have one use the side of your box grater – or dice very fine.

Start your soup with the onion base

add garlic

then add your carrots

Cover with water

Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger

Let it cook for a good 30 minutes on medium – a tablespoon of curry powder will add another dimension.

Salt pepper and add base, if needed.

You can find many different spices in the ethnic sections of your supermarket – fennel, curry, turmeric etc. are way cheaper in the Indian section versus the spice section of the market. Look for the big Goya displays most yearly supplies are under $5.

Use chick peas with your onion and garlic blend, add water…when it boils add a cup of pasta! Pasta Cici – and if you soak your own beans – you’re talking $3 soup for 10 or more – that’s $.30 cents a serving! And no additives. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Remember the book stone soup? I don’t like to admit it much either because it shows our age, but it is true – you can make
soups and stews with anything – adding mashed potato will thicken the case nicely.

Save your leftover veggies no matter how small the portion and after a couple days well stored – “add them to the pot”!

If onions bother you – I feel bad for you! – use leeks instead and make sure you wash them well as they can collect dirt between the layers. They enhance soups wonderfully. Toss some cubed butternut squash in with your lentils or barley soups or even chicken stew – at $.79 a pound it’s inexpensive and just one will add 3 or more servings!
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Garlic: a cook’s best friend!

❄New!!: EDITH and ROSE’S NEW YEAR’S EVE COLUMNS🍷🍸🍸🍓

HOPE: A Four-letter Word

By Edith Morgan

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Edith!

We have lots of four-letter words at our disposal – and sometimes we misuse or overuse some of them. But my favorite is HOPE, and it can not be overdone! There should always be HOPE! As we enter a new year, we need hope more than ever: there is so much to do, to fix, to change, and to innovate …

Many of the greeting cards I get, and many of those I send out, express the HOPE that there will be peace and joy, presumably throughout the world, not just at home. And as we face probably several more months of mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing, our hopes are high now that there are two vaccines becoming available, and many more are being tested – giving us HOPE that there may soon be one that requires only one shot and no special refrigeration.

And can we hope that there will be, sometime in the not-so-distant future, some way to immunize us all against the evil relatives of the coronavirus and its mutations? We can surely hope, and meanwhile we can pin our hopes on the scientists who spend a lifetime studying these questions. And we can back up our hopes with support and funding so that their work can be continued uninterrupted and with the equipment they need.

During this global pandemic, we have found out that our healthcare system is inadequate, that we do not have a unified plan for meeting the challenge of the next one or two – or who knows how many are out there? So we need to back up our hopes with planning and organizing and funding.

Being hopeful is a life habit for me – but hoping is never enough: it lights the way to the needed action, and keeps me going. Hope is the carrot dangling before us, but we have to do the chasing and the running!

Meanwhile, I am heartened by all the wonderful and kind and thoughtful activities that are arising all around us, filling the gaps our systems have left. But these generous and well meaning acts, especially triggered by the season, are not enough, and will not be sustainable for the entire year. The efforts of all, from the single five-year old to the centenarian, from the small groups to the major organizations – they cannot keep up the effort all year in addition to their regular functions.

So I look to our elected representatives who, after all, are our paid servants – to put our money to work for all of us over the long haul. There will always be those who fall between the cracks (the neighbors, friends, relatives, who need us) … There will never be a time when kindness and caring will not be needed – and I continue to hope that we all create a “caring zone” around us, wherever we are, and share our hopes with those near and dear to us.

Remember: “Hope springs eternal in the human heart!”

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MY ALLEN FLETCHER DREAM

By Rosalie Tirella

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Rose, December 2020

I fell asleep last night while reading … and woke up this morning remembering the weirdest dream: It was about ALLEN FLETCHER, the big cahoona behind Worcester Publishing, the son of the old T and G’s papa, and, finally, the $$$$ – dare I say visionary? – behind the Canal District, my old neighborhood of Green Island/Kelley Square. My childhood dream/night scape❤.

In my dream, Allen and I were, of course, in the Canal District. We were eating at some cheapo Chinese restaurant on New Year’s Eve! The Chinese restaurant looked exactly like the Chinese restaurant in the Billy Wilder film THE APARTMENT, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley McClaine and Fred McMurray. Fred takes Shirley to the Chinese restaurant, on New Year’s Eve (I think), in the movie. Terrific looking scene: paper lanterns strung from the ceiling, dancers on the dance floor, silly hats with confetti splashed on them atop neatly coiffed heads … the works!

In my dream, Allen and I are laughing together, old pals: We are interviewing each other for each other’s podcasts! Simultaneously!! So it is all very confusing – and silly. We are talking about EVERYTHING! Our conversation is wide-ranging, eclectic … literary, but not in the boozy sense. I don’t know if we touch on urban renewal, Jane Jacobs or even the Canal District! But we’re sipping fancy drinks with paper umbrellas in them and buzzed. A mutual admiration society!!! After all these years of … acrimony, weird stares on Millbury Street, sour pusses and my photos of the homeless a block away from Allen’s digs on Ash Street.

Then, all of a sudden, Allen gets up out of our booth and absentmindedly – like he used to at WoMag where I worked for him 25 years ago – just walks off. I stare at him, wondering …hmmm. Bathroom break? A visit to friends he’s seen at another booth? Allen is a such a social butterfly, flitting and flirting about … I wait … and wait…and wait…but Allen never returns to our booth.

No matter! I am ok. I sit happily in my booth in the Chinese restaurant of the Billy Wilder film, in the Canal District, nursing my fancy cocktail with the paper umbrella in it.

Happy New Years Eve, Worcester!

❤From Chef Joey: a Christmas Treat!!!❤

Text and photos by Chef Joey

BUCHE DE NOEL

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This is my favorite cake ever – been making them for years!!!

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream

½ cup confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake part:

6 egg yolks

½ cup white sugar

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

6 egg whites

confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Whip the egg whites until fluffy.

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Mix the egg yolks with sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa until fluffy …

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… fold in the whites spread on to a 10 x 15 cookie sheet.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
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Dust a clean dish towel with confectioners’ sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel.

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Remove and discard parchment paper.

Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.

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Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down onto a serving plate, and refrigerate until serving.
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Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

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Merry Christmas!!🌲🌲🌲🌲❤