This is a quick French recipe for lemon cookies. It makes a dozen at a time and is perfect for that quick after-school snack. It is healthy, low-calorie and always fresh because it is quick to make!
You can substitute orange – or just keep it vanilla – or even add chocolate. This recipe is so versatile!
Lemon tree outside Chef Joey’s French maison!
100 grams (1/2 cup) soft butter
150 grams (1 cup) flour
1 organic lemon🍋
200 grams (1 cup) sugar – or less for less-sweet cookies🍋🍋🍋
2 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Mix the butter and sugar and add the egg. Mix until fluffy add the flour little by little and then add your baking powder.
You can substitute oranges or tangerines for the lemons in this recipe!
Using a zester, scrape the skin and add to the mix. Then using a juicer – take the juice and add to the mix. If using an orange just use one half of the orange for juice. 💙NOTE! – if making orange cookies, cut the sugar in half!
Mix and place with a tablespoon on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes.
The Red Devil is my father – handsome, passionate, hot-tempered and fair-skinned. Red haired as a youth. They called him Red when he was 12 and 13. 100% Italian but his roots were Northern Italy – they are fair-skinned up there. And his family owned land in Italia. Bragging Rights. The opposite of the modest, good, generous and gracious man my late uncle, “Mark,” was. Yeah, they called him Polack. Uncle Mark was thick-waisted, built like a Frigedair, but he was kind, stoic, the smart son of Polish immigrants. He went onto college – Fordam University – in the Bronx and became a school principal. You’ve read the columns about both men here but, as I grow older and the love of the superficial fades and becomes a yen for the gracious, generous and good, I think of Uncle Mark this Father’s Day. He was as close to a Dad as my two sisters and I ever knew. But today I am obsessed with my Italian father, too: the dross.
My sweet mom’s marriage to him was a disaster. …
My mother married my father for lust. And because she was pregnant with me! Surprise!!!! I recently learned this from my usually tight-lipped auntie who, after I took a good look at my parents’ marriage certificate, counted nine months … and pressed her, “fessed up.”
The marriage certificate
That’s right. Ma had me – her enchanted one, her Beloved – out of wedlock. A sin back then. After doing it for weeks and weeks with with Daddy in the cab of his big red truck!! According to my aunt who spared me no details. Under the yellow Worcester moon, under the spell of my vain, goodlooking father. Just dating. Not even engaged!
What was my pretty mother thinking?
She wasn’t thinking at all! She was flush with orgasms … This must be love, she felt. Felt!
No wonder Bapy hated Daddy all those years. Bapy: We kids (I am hugging her) with Bapy during a Lafayette Street birthday party!
No wonder Bapy was always enraged around Daddy in our Green Island flat – enraged at everybody, come to think of it. No wonder, out of the blue, Bapy would fling her hard-boiled-egg sandwich at my cocky father and start screaming in Polish: “DOGS BLOOD!! DOGS’ BLOOD!!” A terrible Polish curse usually reserved for the men. And it always sounded so menacing when Bapy spat it out! DOGS BLOOD! DOGS BLOOD.
I think it was menstrual blood …
It is all coming into focus.
What did Bapy and Jaju think of all this? Ma growing heavy with me, her belly starting to pop? Who took Ma to the Mart in Main South for maternity blouses and dresses? Did Bapy and Jaju think we were we all going to Hell for my mother’s Sin? Nakedness! Breasts!! Fornication!! For pleasure – not procreation!! Under God’s eyes!! – without coming to Him at the altar, asking to make sex holy … Ma virginal in a white wedding gown. … A glimmer of hope: I was not going to Hell. Babies, like me, if we died, we went straight to Limbo – not the beautiful Heaven but not the flaming Hell, either. As a kid I pictured Limbo as a kind of big white waiting room … boring … a no man’s land, but at least I would get to hang out with the other millions of dead babies – for eternity.
BAPY AND JAJU HAD TO DEAL WITH A PREGNANT UNMARRIED DAUGHTER. Ma. Their youngest. Their fave. The one they indulged. The one Jaju calked Little Sparrow because Ma, as a kid, loved to whistle tunes, was an excellent whistler. Bapy’s right hand. Ma, the perfect Catholic girl who once dreamed of being a nun, was a live in housekeeper – for A DECADE! – for the Bishop of Springfield, along with her two sisters. A good Catholic girl who attended St. Mary’s school by Kelley Square, prayed to the saints, God, Jesus, The Virgin Mary three or four times a day, reading her prayers to them from penny bookmarks and pamphlets you bought at O’Brien’s Religious Store in downtown Worcester. They were cheap, often photo copies, black and white, often adorned with a small picture of Jesus nailed to the cross and bleeding from his palms and feet – the places his tormentors drove the spikes thru. Under Roman law citizens were never crucified – just the slaves. The outsiders. They had no rights. Jesus the radical had no rights. Was Ma nailed to her own cross? Did she think she had rights? The right over her own body, the right to self-determination, the right to learning, a career … ? Of course not! Never mind that she STILL attended every Novena at our Lady of Czetchowa church near Kelley Square and prayed the rosary every night in bed. Big and round with Rosalie – named after Bapy, her beloved mother.
I was Ma’s beloved. Her gift to herself.
I try to picture Ma doing it in the cab of a truck with Daddy, panties off, skirt hiked up. She was small and lithe at the time, but still. And Red Devil Daddy knowing what he was doing all right, another notch on his steering wheel, covered in axle grease. Ma and the sterering wheel.
Me. The mistake. Pooh poohed by my dismissive father BUT ADORED BY MY MOTHER. The man who RUINED MY MOTHER’S LIFE pre-birth control, pre-abortion … Gave her 35 years working as a counter girl for minimum wage at the dry cleaners down the street. Poverty. Single, impoverished working mom.
But she was the gifted one! So she gifted me … Summers at the Worcester Girls Club … Music…reading…stories…dreams. I was the rickety little basket my mother put all her eggs in, the little girl she spent her hard earned money on to rent! the violin for, the one who took violin lessons at Lamartine Street School … the artiste. The dreamer of my mother’s dreams. All As in the WPS schools. Up until my senior year at Burncoat High – physics did me in. My mother took a nightmare and turned her into Rosalie, Her Beloved. Special art and science projects for her Rose at Lamartine Street School. I can still picture Ma proudly carrying my huge detergent flakes painted VOLCANO project on a gigantic slab of wood. Painted volcanoes and mountains! So heavy! Volcanoes molded by me – and Ma – on our big kitchen floor. Would I get an A for the project! Of course I would!… Join the Worcester Public Schools orchestra, Rosalie. Play your violin before hundreds! You can do it, my Rosalie! … I was shaking NO, Ma! I am only seven! … Ma’s brilliant mistake – the first in the family to go to college. And graduate cum laude! Later … a gal with her own community newspaper. Ma read every issue cover to cover – and would call me with her critiques! In the nursing home, at the end, she would wheel herself in her wheelchair to the nurses station and give the social worker a copy of InCity Times! See? she’d say, her hair matted and uncombed, See MY DAUGHTER’S NEWSPAPER? The social worker didn’t give a cr*p about my rag and snapped at Ma. I watched from behind my mother’s half closed door at the nursing home. Then I came out and said to the nurses at the nurses station: COMB MY MOTHER’S HAIR. SHE LOOKS DEMENTED. I NEVER WANT TO SEE HER LOOKING LIKE THIS WHEN I VISIT HER HERE.
So. I see. A lot now. This is why Daddy could never stay long in our old Green Island flat when I was a little girl, why he literally ran out the door. My father was never in love with my mother. She, my sisters and I – we were all a huge mistake. No love. He had a Rumanian sweetie in the next town. And she had a child by him – my half sister. Just found out. Jeez.
Daddy’s trapped persona is easier to understand now. His impatience at us and resentment of our poverty easier to grasp. Being dragged to City Hall by Ma, her parents, her big sisters and big brother – the justice of the peace did his duty. No priest at this wedding. Classic late 1950s/early 1960s saga. What a mess. The price paid by my mother and millions of naive Catholic girls who confused lust with love back then: physical, emotional abuse. The screams and recriminations. They were cheated on, too, and eventually – sooner rather than later – abandoned.
Daddy-o, with my two sisters on his lap. Bapy’s moniker for him: “Red Devil.”
So … Today I miss Ma all the more for learning her secret. She rose to the occasion. And more. … And I dismiss my peripatetic father – nothing but a sperm donor in work clothes. And I think of my Uncle Mark who did it all perfectly: Kept my Aunt Mary virginal, got down on his knees to propose marriage to her, built her a cute cape off Burncoat Street, supported her and three kids with a good job, family vacations … and day trips that we went along on:
Me and my older cousins at a religious shrine – Saint Anne’s? Saint Joseph’s?, I forget which one – in Leicester. Prayers followed by a cookout and games of Pickle at Uncle Mark and Aunt Mary’s!
Uncle Mark never hit or yelled at Aunt Mary – he never hurt anybody! He always hugged you and laughed and complimented you. He was even warm and nice to Daddy!!! He played touch football with his boys in their big backyard. He sent his daughter – he called Ann “my Polish Princess” – to Marion High School on the West Side and Anna Maria College in Paxton – all-girls (back then) Catholic schools where they studied hard, prayed to Jesus, went on dates with the WPI boys and, hopefully, stayed virgins until their wedding nights.
A whole other can of worms.
My mother loved this song – esp the Patti Page version.
Ever since my father died (about two months ago), I’ve been seeing him every where. When he was alive, he made about 1,000 entrances in my family’s life. Married with kids but not wanting to be married with kids, my father lived with my mother, two sisters and me some months and was Missing in Action (MIA) during others. He was as tentative as the junk yard dogs he loved so much (and owned).
Pieces of my father, photos of him all over the house
Some of his entrances were comical – like the time he waltzed into our Lafayette Street apartment with some Frank Sinatra LPs and sang “I Did it My Way” to me. My mother had sent him out for a loaf of bread!
But most of his entrances were cruel, small, mean. He made my sisters, my mother and me cry and succeeded at that so well that we eventually learned to … simply dismiss him — cut him out of our world the way you cut the bruise out of an apple. We went on with our lives, worked around our peripatetic “Daddy.” My mother held down a 60-hr-week job to pay the bills, we kids went to school, held after-school jobs, applied to colleges. My father popped in – for weeks or months.
Then, after all these years, my father died in the nursing home two months ago. And Bingo! He’s now larger than life for me – omnipresent, so to speak.
As I drive around Worcester selling ads for my newspaper, InCity Times, with the radio blaring and paperwork to the side of me, I see him. I’m eight years old; my sisters are six. It’s Easter afternoon and my father strides into our Green Island flat, chomping on a big cigar. My mom has my two sisters and me sitting in our three little kiddie rocking chairs waiting for her to get dressed. We’re going to Easter Mass! We wear new pastel dresses with butterflies embroidered on them. My mother “set” our hair the night before, and now our straight brown hair bounces happily around our faces in “baloney curls.” In my father strides, enraged. We had not seen him for almost … forever. We did not know from which land he strode – not the sweet and holy world that my mother and grandmother had created in our apartment, a world filled with prayers to the saints, rosary beads, homework papers, rules and pet hamsters! Was my father going to hurt anybody this time, I asked myself?
No! He was going to have his picture taken with the Easter Bunny! God love my wonderful, hopeful, dreamy mother, she had my father sit in the grownup rocking chair in the kitchen. She would put the big, vinyl Easter Bunny she had bought at the five and ten and blown up (to our merriment) near the rocking chair where he sat. Then she told us little kids to “sit on Daddy’s lap.” We would all say “cheese” on the count of three! It would be a great Easter picture!
Daddy and my two kid sisters, years ago.
I was only eight but thought my mother mad. No, I would not get on Daddy’s lap! No, I would not be in the Easter Bunny picture. My sisters – twins and safe in their look-a-likeness – happily clambered atop my father. Then my mother lifted her little Brownie camera, peered through the little viewer and said, “One two! Say Cheese!” and snapped the picture.
Today I look at the square little photo from the ’60s and see two little gangly girls in pretty dresses in baloney curls looking exactly alike and smiling widely. Each one straddles one of my father’s legs. The bottoms of their dresses fan out over my father’s lap. And there’s my 30-something father; he’s wearing a striped muscle shirt. His hands are on my sisters’ knobby knees and he stares into the camera, looking … trapped. His rugged handsomeness blows me away! When I was a little girl he seemed the ugliest person in the world!
When I’m on the road, I look out of my car window and think I catch my father’s eyes. But it’s just some old man.
“He’s dead!” I tell myself angrily and shake my head as if to shake out the images of him. Then four or so hours later I see my father walking down Shrewsbury Street (his favorite street) and I have to remind myself all over again.
When my father was diagnosed with cancer, he was not living with my mother and us. Mom had stopped giving him second and third chances a decade ago. My sisters and I had moved out of the apartment in pursuit of higher education/careers. So it was a shock to see him walking past the fish and chips joint on Grafton Street, red-faced, his nylon jacket unzipped, billowing out behind him. He wore no shirt that raw, autumn day and he looked dazed. Then there was his neck: as big as a basketball. The lymphoma had set in.
And yet my father went walking around Worcester – his hometown that he seldom traveled outside of –as if nothing unusual had happened. It was one of my aunt’s – his sister – who had found him in his mother’s old house, lying in the darkness, and said: “Bill, you’ve got to go the hospital.” And then he did – quietly and with some grace – because he knew he was dying.
Sometimes I look out my car window and see my father after the cancer ravaged him. I see a helpless old man – my father after the chemo-therapy, the radiation, the blood transfusions. The chemo treatment took all his curly thick hair away and left him with silver, wispy locks my aunt would cut in a bowl shape. Gone was all his wild, curly red hair that rode high above his already high forehead in some grand pompadour, the wild “do” that lead my feisty old Grandma (she was my mother’s mom and lived with us and loathed my father) to nickname him: “The Red Devil.”
Run, devil, run! There you are standing outside the Commerce Building on Main Street, waiting for the bus. There you are walking out of the Millbury Street fruit store, eating a juicy plum and throwing the pit into the gutter. There you are eating the same juicy plum over our Lafayette Street kitchen sink, my sweet mother looking absolutely smitten by you. You have no time for dishes, meals served on plates. Family sit-down meals are not part of your universe. “Gotta get outta here!” you used to say. “Here” being: our Green Island flat, poverty, a wife, three kids, responsibility.
You want to leave – I can tell. But I just can’t let you go, Daddy.
I remember picking up my first copy of InCity Times 19 years ago – seems like the other day!
It was exciting to have another newspaper in the city of Worcester to compete with the telegram and Worcester magazine and many other newspapers that were coming about, but not challenging the status quo.
I had a feeling the passion of its founder, publisher/editor/chief salesperson/delivery gal Rosalie Tirella, would drive this publication – that this paper was going to be the one that had legs and would stick around. Why? Because of the way she would gather content and the feelings of a community who felt lost and abandoned … from the issues that kept them stifled in their willingness to speak out against neighborhood Injustices.
Oh, the established media types of the day and its writers didn’t give Rose a chance in the beginning! They thought she would fall flat and fail, but they didn’t know that this young woman with a passion in her heart for our Worcester Neighborhoods would fight and challenge the city’s status quo.
Rose went on the attack when they went after her personally, and those who are no more than faded journalistic names in a Dewey Decimal System in a library are not part of the conversation that we’re having in this community – our long history gone – but Rose is still here as a long established journalist who has successfully survived.
I have written many articles for InCity Times and have had welcome feedback from many segments in the Worcester community, some for its humor “What Makes You Happy, Worcester?” or “Mine is Bigger than Yours” and then, “Black Like Me Worcester,” a political history of the political involvement of Worcester and its Communities of color.
Bill’s cover story for ICT
This editorial space would never have been afforded by the mainstream media.
Today in our world we talk about finally ending racism and addressing the issues of police brutality, lack of job opportunities and affordable housing.
As we are grateful to have a voice in InCity Times and CECELIA newspapers and incitytimesworcester.org, we are even more grateful to have an editor – Rose – who understands the pulse of people’s heart and the climate in our communities, today 2020.
Through the publication of CECELIA and InCity Times newspaper and their above website, we have a permanent record of the events of our times – Worcester and the world. History will forever remind those in the future looking at what we did to improve the lives of people in our city neighborhoods.
InCity Times will be a part of that archive. Congrats, Rose, and thank you.
This summer I’m worried about our students: they just experienced a loss of learning during these past four months due to the pandemic crisis. Now comes summer vacation! Again, my advice to WPS parents is get your children and teens into an on-line summer school learning situation. It’s not the best – but it’s something!
Remember, research clearly shows us that students who read over the summer start school in the fall ready to learn. The same applies to math loss as well. Remember, summer vacation is great as a break from school, but it doesn’t have to be a break from learning. Now, due to the pandemic crisis, students have had more time on their hands. Here are more facts for you to consider about learning and safety during the summer, from the researchers. It applies as to what has taken place for the past four months:
🔰All students experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer.
🔰On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer months.
🔰Low-income children experience greater summer learning losses than their higher income peers because middle-class parents have the means to engage their children, for example trips to a number of learning institutions and museums.
🔰Students may not have the same structured meal schedule and sometimes lose access to nutritious meals during the summer.
🔰Studies show that out-of-school time is a dangerous time for unsupervised children. Research shows that at least 11 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 12 care for themselves over the summer months (unsupervised.)🔰🔰🔰
In addition, the academic delay that occurs over the summer is one of the greatest problems confronting teachers each fall. In fact, when your children return to school, they may have experienced such learning loss during the summer – added to learning-loss during these past four months. Students will need to spend several weeks catching up to where they once were academically!
On the positive side, as a former WPS elementary school principal (Belmont Community School), I know that families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school – and throughout life. Many studies have found that students with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, were more likely to succeed in school if parents or guardians encouraged and supported learning at home.
Again, you MUST BE INVOLVED IN YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING! Now more than ever!
Let’s look at what can be done. These suggestions come from the National Association of School Principals:
Devise A Plan. Tell your child that reading and learning activities will be an important part of their summer. Assure them that they’ll still have lots of time for play.
Transform everyday activities into learning opportunities. Children can count change, read directions for a trip, write a shopping list, or calculate a recipe’s measurements.
Gather activity books. Give children their own activity book with crossword puzzles or number games customized for their specific age group. Set a “due date” to keep them on track, but let them work at their own pace.
Initiate a writing project. Have your child keep a summer journal, write letters to family members or friends, or craft a play to perform with siblings or neighbors. Start a family cookbook with your favorite recipes, instructions, and shopping lists.
Strategize screen time. Educational computer games or apps can engage students’ minds, but make sure your child is spending enough time away from the screen.
No electric devices. Assign a daily block of time for family members to turn off phones, computers, and the TV, and instead play a board game or read together.
Designate daily reading blocks. Set aside at least 20 minutes a day for your entire family to read. (That means parents, too!) Organize a summer read-a-thon with goals for each family member, or sign your child up for your library’s summer book. Need additional books, contact me!
Go global. Set aside several nights during the summer to have an international evening. Together, cook a meal with recipes from a different nation. Learn basic words in that country language. Find the country on a map, and together examine a book or article with information on what life is like there.
Don’t forget math. Finally, try to motivate your child to complete 5 to 10 math problems (from a grade-appropriate workbook) a few times a week, ask him/her mental math problems as one drives in the car and play math problem games ( or card games) as the situation arises. Hopefully, the work will be fun (keep it low-level and simple), and the child will do it for enjoyment.
Learning alone and informally, or via a structured group for either part of the day or part of the summer will help to prevent learning loss and help your child stay sharp for school next year.
Remember to be creative during summer learning and, most important, have fun with learning!! Also, be sure to check out various learning websites for other ideas, too. Good luck! Most important, be consistent with a plan each and every day.
😸Have any questions, class?😊Please ask John via firstname.lastname@example.org
It is so great to live in a part of the world that has four seasons! Every year we participate in nature’s birth, blooming, reproducing, then sleeping, resting – and then beginning the whole process all over. Each season brings its own unique beauties!
Children love nature!
That’s why I enjoy watching what will come up on its own, starting seeds in my various indoor experiments in March, and going out daily to see what’s up. On a bad weather day I can dream over the wonderfully tantalizing catalogs that come before March and see what is sprouting in my eggshells, pots and other trays.
My house sits on a 70’ by 70’ lot and takes up most of it, so there is not much space left to grow things. But nature manages to get a foothold in cracks, in the lawn, anywhere there is a bit of dirt, some sun, and occasional rain. What started out as a fern or two is now a lush yearly cover around the house; the Solomon’s seal has filled in every available space before the porch, and the lilies of the valley crowd each other out on the side, yearly more dense and fragrant. The forsythia bloom despite their northern location, and the azalea bursts into full flower in the spring.
This year I am trying out two raised boxes (4′ by 6’) beside the house, filled with a rich mixture of soil, manure and fertilizer. Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and sundry herbs are thriving there, and I just have to make sure that they get watered on dry spells.
At the only really sunny corner I have, I am growing, or letting grow, strawberries, two yucca plants, and a wild mix of daisies, day lilies, a few scattered tulips, an invasion of chives, and pots of all kinds that have geraniums, gladiolas and various other bulbs. I call that area. “my little God’s one-tenth acre” and just watch what comes up. As I get older (almost 90 now) I want to enjoy seeing things grow without having to babysit a lot of plants each year.
Things seem far more lush than usual this year. I think it is one of the few benefits of the novel coronavirus: less driving, less air pollution, more totally clear blue skies, all have given Mother Nature the go-ahead to expand and celebrate!
AS I write this, my mock orange bush is in bloom, the peonies too are putting out their wonderful fragrance, in three colors, and the roses are full of buds – they should be open for Father’s Day. The invasive wisteria still snakes around everything Maybe next year I can train the tendrils along some kind of structure, give it its own place, and hopefully get it to finally bloom, too.
Mother Earth likes it when we grow things!
If am still “self-quarantined” due to the pandemic next spring, maybe I can undertake more ambitious gardening. That is something we can all do, alone or with others. And sharing cuttings, harvest and floral gifts is always an added blessing.
Here in France I was thinking about things that I can get in the states, and English muffins came to mind. …
During the global pandemic, the French government gives free facial masks to all people! Joey – pictured here wearing his mask – got his daughter Gigi ready for school. The kiddos went back to school last month – avec social distancing and stringent cleaning protocols.
It’s an easy recipe, and by eliminating the butter and using oil and water instead of milk you can make it vegan!
2 1/2 cups flour
1 packet yeast
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
The not-so-secret recipe!
Mix it all together, well.
Cover and let rise 16 hours.
Form into muffins and place in a heated skillet that’s dry. Cover.
Cook a couple of minutes and flip. Let cook, then serve. It’s that easy!
BLACK LIVES MATTER – BUT WORCESTER’S “COMFORTABLE” BLACK FOLKS MUST DEMAND REFORM, TOO!
By Rosalie Tirella
IF BLACK FAMILIES WANT CHANGES IN WORCESTER – ESPECIALLY IN OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT – …
WPD Chief Steve Sargent – the buck stops with Steve! ICT file photo
… THEN THEY HAVE TO WORK FOR IT, TOO! It can’t be CECELIA, the college kids, the young people, Gordon Davis, Dante and activist Kevin Ksen, D4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera and the usual suspects. THE REGULAR FOLKS – BLACK MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES WITH NICE HOMES, KIDS IN OUR SCHOOLS, GOOD JOBS IN CITY GOVT OR IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS … They must rise to meet these days!
It cannot only be Woo college kids …
… and the city’s vocal progressives demanding reforms in the WPD!
I know from 20 years experience running CECELIA, InCity Times, our website and more: Too often Blacks who are “all set” in Worcester, have reaped the benefits of a good city job etc, are middle class, are professionals, keep their mouths shut, do not get involved so as not to jeopardize their good jobs, their situations in their nice neighborhoods. They know how Worcester rolls. They do not want to lose their good jobs, their comfy situations, their good relations with Worcester’s white power brokers …
Cowards. Through the years some terrific, educated Black people who know the score, have said to me: Rose, don’t quote me. I have to be careful …
These African Americans walk a tight rope every day here in Worcester. Even the recent open letter from Worcester’s Black Clergy to the City of Worcester was wimpy! It didn’t say very much at all, despite its lengthiness! Just asking for talks with the City. Well, pastors, Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus will be glad to meet with you and blab and blab and say beautiful sentences. His rhetoric will soar! But you will get nothing from him and City officials: No civilian review board. No body cameras for all WPD cops. No banning of chokeholds, etc by WPD cops. No defunding WPD overtime to give $$$ to other city services that help Blacks and other minorities and the poor – homeless agencies, social workers, health services. And no removal of WPD cops from our public high schools.
YOU WILL GET NOTHING. NONE OF THE ABOVE. BECAUSE YOU ARE PLAYING IT SAFE SO AS NOT TO ANGER City Manager Ed Augustus and the city’s powerful players. So as not to hurt your and your families’ situation.
The city poo blahs know this – they know the patterns of our city better than anyone!
So nothing of substance will happen for Worcester’s Black Community.
A recent photo of Edith in her beautiful Worcester Victorian. photo submitted
Is the George Floyd murder the “last straw” – the one that “broke the camel’s back?” Are we, the American people, finally ready to make some REAL changes?
And why now?
Violence of all sorts is deeply embedded in all areas of our culture. WAR is our prime metaphor as a solution for anything that needs changing: We have the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on cancer, the war on crime, the war on bacteria and viruses – on anything that harms us. And the Trump administration declared war on certain immigrants, on people of color, on Muslims, and on anyone unfortunate enough to try to seek refuge from countries where the drug lords rule, getting rich by feeding our deplorable drug habit) or where a tyrant is in charge. And murder, mayhem and fear rule each day.
We do not have a great history of being hospitable to newcomers, have always had quotas (with Hitler killing in Europe … I came under a special quota in 1941, as a member of my European family, Jewish, penniless and deprived of citizenship (and thus made into non-persons). It was by the grace of God that my family entered the United States – just two months before Pearl Harbor, when all immigration stopped as we went to War.
All during World War II there was never a weapon in our home, nor did we children play with toy guns. And we came from a nation where the police were not armed (neither was the population).
Here, as an American citizen, I have participated in our local “Crime Watches” and have supported “Community Policing” and always enjoyed great cooperation and caring. I know that being assigned to that group is not the road to promotion, but I always felt that this activity was the most important one. But over the years, in many cities, police work has morphed from the community model (what comes to my mind is the Norman Rockwell painting of the cop sitting on the soda fountain stool next to the boy – obviously a runaway –with the clear implication that he will talk him into going home) to the fully armed, militarized force so much in evidence nowadays.
We now have a whole list of young Black men and boys, killed by police, often unarmed, often with their hands up, usually not in the midst of some imagined heinous crime – mostly just out walking.
When did we give our policemen the right to be judge, jury and executioners?
What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?
Why do we need to know about every occasion before we know what really happened?
Clearly, the case of George Floyd was different in one important respect: This time, a brave and bright 17-year-old girl with a steady hand and camera, held it on the activities from beginning to end. The whole world saw the unending horror of this killing, thanks to modern technology, so there was no way of playing games with the evidence.
Even though President Trump has in the past said we should not believe our eyes, but believe him (with his record of at least 10,000 public lies??), most people all over the nation and the world this time saw – and were horrified.
We have always heard that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and these pictures certainly were …
So I am hopeful that this time there will be some soul searching, some thinking, some planning, and that gradually we really reform our failed “criminal justice system,“ rife with its inequalities, vengefulness, emotional excesses and politicization.
Any democratic society has to rely very heavily on TRUST: We assume certain things in a free society, that as we go about our daily lives, we can take for granted that the vast majority of people will automatically do what is right and legal: stay in their lane, stop at signs, let pedestrians cross, look out for children and the old and infirm, take turns, and pay for what we select in stores, etc. Laws exist to remind those who choose to do their own thing at the expense of us all that they will lose their freedom to prey on us. All human endeavors have their flaws, so we have to change and/or improve the rules.
We have a right to challenge bad laws, assemble with others, protest and encourage changes.
But we do not have a right to become enraged and destroy the property of others. A good look, usually from an aerial view, of the tens of thousands of protesters, in so many cities, show that they are peaceful, unarmed, slow moving, and of mixed races and ages. But a closer look at the looters and burners and rock throwers shows that they are NOT part of the concerned Americans who truly mourn and want a change.
I took part in the protest marches in the 1960’s, and millions marched peacefully, always on the lookout for the “agents provocateurs” who come to disrupt and give the event a bad name, or who were just hooligans doing their own thing.
The rest of the world does not look upon the protesters as anything but peaceful- and truly concerned citizens exercising their rights. And tens of thousands in other nations have joined our people, and will continue to support them.
Already there are good signs that real changes are taking place …
Perhaps now that we are on the march, the ongoing tragedies of Columbine, Newtown, the Falklands and so many others will also receive attention and lead to making our children safe in their schools without the presence of armed policemen.
Turns out it is a rainy day here, with a chance of thunderstorms. So my morning excursion to the supermarket was thwarted by the heavy rains that accompanied some thunder. Instead, I looked around my kitchen and discovered I had a plethora of ripe bananas and needed to do something with them …
… – so I threw together a batter that comes out like the consistency of a thicker pancake batter. You can use this as a pancake batter, too! I made some pancakes with the excess mix that I made my banana cupcakes with!
So I had a bunch of short bananas that I threw into my mixer – make sure everything (except the milk) is room temperature. You can do this in a bowl too – by hand. I was lazy, it was raining after all.
1 stick of butter
½ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla
I gave it a blast and added 1/3 cup of brown sugar and a ½ cup flour, with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
Mixed it again and put it in a bowl. I added another cup of flour and ¾ cup of buttermilk – or regular milk with 1 tsp of white vinegar added
Mix well and pour into your pre-greased or papered cupcake pan:
This made 12 cupcakes and a large apple banana pancake!
I baked them at 375 degrees for about 18 minutes in my convection oven turning once.
With the extra batter, I sliced an apple thin and sautéed it in a little butter until soft and poured on the remaining batter and covered and cooked over a medium heat. When the batter set after a couple of minutes I slid it onto a dish and slid it into a pan to cook the other side, as it is too heavy to flip. …
Cooked another couple minutes and served with sprinkled sugar.
The cupcakes are great as they are not too sweet – you can add more sugar but soft bananas yields enough sugar, in my opinion: