Tag Archives: Worcester

Edith in Rose’s space!🌲🌲🌲🌲

A New Normal?

By Edith Morgan

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Edith🌲🌲🌲🌲

We have a new year, a new President and Vice-president, a new vaccine or two (or maybe three, if the single-shot Johnson and Johnson pans out), and so many new businesses turning out the new protection products we are all grabbing up as fast as they are produced. I have a collection of masks, hand sanitizers and disposable gloves, and even travel kits to use on airplanes or busses.

There are so many ways to part us from our money – if they cannot get it at restaurants, theaters, museums and other venues where we used to gather together, then the enterprising have found ways to supply us with substitutes at a nice high profit and to reshape our needs and tastes to meet their new supplies. Being incessant consumers has been normal for some time: all that is different is what we consume, when, and at what price.

So, in 2021, what will be the new “normal” – and when?

If “normal” means a return to some past time, which time period do we pick? If you’re my age (90), maybe you are looking back to the rather quiet times of the Eisenhower years. If you are an activist, the “sixties” with all their upheavals, protests, marches and projected changes that somehow always seem to get partially lost as something else, newer and hotter, comes along may be your pick.

The one thing that always seems certain is that there will be some kind of change, largely brought about by technology, that grabs us more and more rapidly, leaving us constantly scrambling to keep up to date.

Politics has changed, too: big money, which has always played a large role in America, now is almost in charge. I am constantly bombarded with requests for money – though I never quite know how it will be used, and by whom. And the requests for my opinions and the surveys now are always accompanied by requests for donations. And, above all, the constant “hair-on-fire” pleas for help, describing the opposition in colorful emotional terms fill my e-mail box daily – as well as my mailbox.

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Kids learn at different rates and in different ways. The pandemic has limited Worcester Public Schools students to ZOOM classes.

So, is “normal” to be a return to the lying, lawlessness of the past four Trump years? The lack of shared values, the lack of cooperation, the vengefulness of our justice system? Or will the new normal be a shared belief in the values we profess to hold, in moderating our language, taking responsibility for what comes out of our mouths, and in feeling responsible for sharing with those who have the least, not just in the glow of the Christmas season but all year long?

And will we finally realize that learning and education are not the same! And that our children learn all the time, from everything around them, not merely in a brick-and-mortar building …

And, finally, will we expect our leaders to be concerned about us, who elect and pay them – rather than accumulating wealth and power and holding on to it?

I hope, while in our bubbles during the global pandemic, we have at least learned that there is a dangerous form of insanity which can be quite charming but very destructive. So as we rebuild, let us be more forgiving of those who merely err, not be taken in by the con men and hacks …

We were not “normal” before the pandemic, but we could be a new kind of normal soon, when the vaccine is ubiquitous. Until then, wear your facial masks – wash your hands – disinfect, and keep your distance, Save your hugs for later!
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Good riddance!!!!!!!

❄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!

It’s not “IMPOSSIBLE”! DELICIOUS VEGAN lasagna!

Text and photos by Chef Joey

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Joey!🍇🍞🇮🇹🍜🍝🎂🍰🍪

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Joey’s Gigi! … You can also make vegan marinara sauce!

Having invited friends over for the holiday and realizing they did not need me gave me a chance to try out the IMPOSSIBLE meat – a plant-based, vegan alternative to conventional hamburger. It’s made from a bunch of vegetables – the majority is beets and carrots. It has a benign taste, but it resembles meat when you’re chewing it. I assembled a lasagna the way I normally would and baked it. To be honest, you couldn’t tell the difference!

It had a wonderful lasagna flavors and it wasn’t as heavy. What I did was the following:

I mixed the “meat”…
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… with 1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup ground Parmesan cheese

2 cloves of mashed garlic

a teaspoon of fennel seeds

chopped parsley

and 2 eggs

I mixed it and then I fried this mixture in a little bit of sunflower oil.

I made my standard sauce …

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… of 5 cloves of garlic and a handful of parsley that I purée in a nutri bullet

Plus 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds.

Then heat that up in a little sunflower oil

And add 4 – 28 oounce cans of ground tomatoes – stir in 1 can of water. Then I swish each can with and cook for about 2 hours . I then make a béchamel with 1/2 gallon of milk:

melt 1/4 stick of butter in a pan and add 3 tablespoons of flour and mix with a whisk and slowly add the milk and keep stirring over a low heat to keep it thick – add a 1/2 tsp of nutmeg set aside.

To assemble the lasagna take your large pan and add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom and sprinkle with bread crumbs … this stops the lasagna from sticking … place your lasagna noodles across the bottom …

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… – I prefer the no bake style.

Cover with sauce – add the entire meat mixture.

Then cover with a little more sauce and place the next layer.

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Cover with a slight amount of sauce and layer shredded mozzarella and sprinkle Parmesan over that – you can even add Asiago, if you want!

Cover with a bit more sauce add a layer of noodles and pour the béchamel over the top – let it set.

For a bit to let the noodles expand if you used the no bake – cover with foil and bake 350 for 25 mins, then uncover and cook another 10 min.

Insert a dull knife blade in the middle and pull it out. If the knife is warm, you are good to go. Let it sit for 5 mins before cutting – and enjoy!

GREEN ISLAND = CHRISTMAS!🌲❄⛄🐧❄

By Rosalie Tirella

I just made some apple crumble and cooked up a yam/?sweet potato. (Are they the same root veggie?)

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The sweet potato is so orange and yummy. So tasty I don’t even sprinkle sugar/cinnamon on it. Fresh from the good earth.

These simple pleasures remind me of a few of the small Green Island winter wonders of my childhood: Hoodsies!! – which we kids used to get at Lamartine Street School, the day before Christmas, as we watched a fun winter Disney movie in the yellow-walled auditorium of Lamartine Street School. Mr. Chickarian, Mr. Gilman and grade 5 teachers coordinated it all – the teachers leaning against the side wall, chatting and joking with each other. We kids – all poor from the Green Island neighborhood – thrilled to be at “the movies”! A Christmas treat just for us! The movie was the same as last year’s, an old Disney movie; the metal folding chairs uncomfortable, but the otters sliding down the snowy slopes in the Disney movie made us kids – grades 4, 5 and 6 – laugh like crazy. Best of all there was no penmanship or phonics class. And we could eat – with that classic small flat little wooden spoon – our HOODSIES: teeny cups of Hoods vanilla and chocolate icecream – split right down the middle. Half the Hoodsie was chocolate, the other half vanilla! Delicious but so small, Mr. Chickarian (a great teacher whose daughter was my classmate at Burncoat High years later) gave the older boys in his sixth grade class two Hoodsies! No matter! We younger kids savored our treats: some at the chocolate side of their Hoodsie first, some dipped into chocolate and then vanilla (like me). At the end, you had a soupy chocolate shake at brought your Hoodsie to your lips to drink off the last bit of your ice cream treat.

We were so grateful! We – or many of us – came from broken homes, with an abusive (usually) dad or boyfriend. Ben’s Cafe was down the street, but even the snow on its sign and roof couldn’t cover up all the alcoholics or pi*sy smalls that emanated from it … Across from Lamartine the WPD still gad its minny jail – every year we Lamartine kids were taken to the jailhouse only yards away from school to tour a cell. To show us that this is where we’d land if we screwed up, broke the laws … I wonder if the students at Flagg Street School got such tours … The small upright sink, the toilet, the thick metal bars, the darkness…so anti-Christmas to little kids who long for Christmas every day!

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circa 1965, Rose’s cousin and Jaju!

I know I did! I SAW ALL THE MAGICAL GREEN ISLAND things, like all kids, even in the depths of February. For instance, Jimmy, the boy I had a crush on at Lamartine, lived on Winter Street. Off Green Street – now part of the chi chi Canal District. Back then it was lined with rundown three deckers, but I did not know that. I lived a ways on Lafayette Street. Jimmy was sooo cute – looked like the cartoon race-car driver in SPEED RACER! He had that jet black hair over his blue eyes – the Irish can have that beautiful look – and was so smart in class. A great reader, a fave with the teachers: yet tough as diamonds – walked to school, across Kelley Square, every day in all weather, with his big brother Pat. Jimmy rolled up his sleeves high up around his biceps. He had biceps! I never saw his parents – I think his big brother Pat – godlike in Jimmy’s eyes – brought him up. So, Jimmy was Winter Street as in magical, cute, precious street – Christmas. When my mother and my two kid sisters and I walked up Green Street to get to Downtown Woo, we’d walk by Winter Street and I’d feel toasty and warm – Jimmy’s street – and it would be Christmas. I imagined big snowflakes with 100 points, no one like the other: like my Lamartine Street School kids. The girl in grade 5…the very poor girl with red hair and freckles who showed us her big knife in the school yard. She had a pet guinea pig she brought to school once – and a boyfriend! Wow! Coolio! Special like Christmas, we kids thought!!

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Baby Rose and her mother, Cecelia.

Or the big big Santa next door to the drycleaners where my mother worked: Kiddie Castle (for rich kids) had the best Christmas display window – a 7-foot tall Santa waving to all passersby. Beneath him, girls and boys hats, scarves and mittens and wrapped gifts. By his side an animated Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with a real red light bulb nose. The light bulb was small – Rudy’s nose!!! Visiting our mother at the cleaners, we’d stop before the great big plate glass window and watch Santa, wearing a red luxurious red velvet and white fur trimmed suit, wave to us kids. And Rudolph was so cute – the size of a large dog (my wish for many a Christmases until Ma caved in and got us a puppy years later when we no longer believed in Chris Kringle).

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Rose, center, when she loved her latke and pigs knuckles! Her two kid sisters, pictured, were neutral!

Or the canned latke Ma would buy at Buelher Brothers Market up Millbury Street. More for Hanukkah, but Water and Green streets were still ethnic Jewish, many Poles like my mother and even some of the younger moms and dads crossed over and experimented with different Eastern European foods. The latke were easy to make: Ma just opened the can and slid out the white pasty latke roo and cut it into 1/4 inch slices and fried them in butter in her frying pan. Ma loved her latke, so did I. My kid sisters were neutral, often passing on this Cecelia Christmas treat. Sometimes Ma bought a jar of pigs knuckles – and ate them out of the jar, a delicacy. I’d eat one, too, paying no mind that they looked like little pigs feet…Pre-WOKE/PETA days!

Sometimes I’d just be walking home from school in winter, books in my knapsack, and feel Christmas-y. I was 9 and just starting to write little essays for the Telegram and Gazette’s HAPPY TIMES page. On Sunday, next to the “funnies,” you could read Worcester city kids’ best essays – and win new books for points (I think). Writing made me happy! What gifts would be under this little writer’s tree? Ma read all my essays – first out of kindness, then because she liked the stories I was telling her. Stories about my pet mouse Gigi, about my Polish grandmother Bapy, about books and trees and wolves howling outside my secret Prince, Jimmy’s, house on Winter Street. About the stamp collection Ma kept when she was 12 1/2 years old and went to work in Springfield with her sisters during the Great Depression. For a Bishop! They had cats and kittens and two beautiful Doberman pinschers – Rocky and Bridgette. And when my auntie played Christmas carols at the piano, Bridgette would sit by the piano and howl. It was Christmas!
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Bridgette❤❤❤❤

❤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!!🌲🌲🌲🌲❤

My Mom’s Christmas notebook

By Rosalie Tirella

I have been leafing through my late mom’s “Christmas notepad.” …

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I bought it for her at the Christmas Tree Shop in Shrewsbury, 15 or so years ago, when I learned she was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 81 – and had just been diagnosed … She became ill after she had chosen to stay in her little studio apartment by the Holden line during that horrific ice/snow storm that turned all of Worcester County into a white, crystal castle – with no electricity for a third of our residents. Telephone wires dripped with iridescent, five feet long icicles, people snow shoed to their neighbors house down the street. It was all mystical and gorgeous to look at, but treacherous to survive in … brutal to drive through … scores of thick black lines down. And NATIONAL GRID WAS SO SLOW in fixing things. I am convinced they were the cause of many old timers’ deaths …

My mom was probably one of the hundreds of Worcester County folks who got very sick/died because of that ice storm. No power at her complex!! No heat! No hot water! No electricity to run her oven/stove or refrigerator! … All the seniors at my mom’s complex chose to go to shelter with relatives or live, for a few days, in the gym at Doherty High School, the City of Worcester makeshift shelter for West Siders. My mother was the outlier – my strong-willed mother and her two Greek pals. They decided to tough it out. They were the healthiest of the 62 old folks at their seniors housing complex, so they were confidant … Four days later, four days of living in what amounted to a dark, freezing meat locker … the electricity was back on. My boyfriend at the time and I visited her twice a day – we pressed her to go to his house. He had gas heat. She was adamant: NO! THIS IS MY HOME!

… Health complications for the Three Amigos after the storm: Jane got blood clots and died four months later. Maria had to move in with relatives. And I assume my mom had something happen with blood clots, too, because she stopped being the smartest person in the room. She began asking me the same questions over and over again. Annoying! But when I found a chicken carcass in her stove’s broiler and not in the waste can by the kitchen sink, I called her doctor and made an appointment for her for a physical. Ma had a full medical work up: lungs, heart, mammogram, blood, urine, calcium level tests. Her doc told me: Cecelia has the early stages of dementia. Keep her as healthy and strong as you can – and call Elder Services of Worcester for visiting nurses aides, home health aides and MORE SUPPORT SERVICES so she can continue to live in her apartment for as long as possible. I did just that. I’d visit my mother every night to make sure all the cogs in this new machine rolled on …

And they did – for four years! And then Ma went into a nursing home where they over medicated her, killing her. Years later, I consider those four years of caring for Ma my noblest years! Some of my finest hours! It was so HARD – but I did it all: hugs and kisses, new dusters from Building 19, cute nighties for bed, McDonald’s take out coffee, fish and chips, the Turner Classic Movies cable TV channel … and those excellent home health aides and homemakers. Angels. They showered Ma, made her her farmer’s breakfasts, vacuumed her wall to wall carpet and more … My mother grew very attached to one young homemaker – buying her kids birthday, First Holy Communion and Christmas gifts. A beautiful friendship – until Ma’s dementia became MODERATE and she got more and more forgetful and hid her big porcelain dolls – standing on her TV set – in the closets and peed her pants more often than walk to her cute little bathroom to urinate. Even wearing Depends and me doing extra, and the help growing weary I knew it was time. When Ma fell over her cat April and landed in rehab, the docs recommended a nursing home …

So here are some pages from that time, Ma’s notebook, the early years, written in her straight, un-pretty penmanship … list, after mini list … I see so clearly my mother’s hard life in those thin note pages. Ma’s life: a series of to do lists so she, a single mim with three girls, could keep us all on track. Lists so she could get the right groceries to keep her girls healthy and strong. My mother was obsessive about the weather when we were young because we had no car and walked to school, church, work in the rain, snow, sleet, hail. We had to dress appropriately for the weather! I got awards at Lamartine Street School for “perfect attendance”! All seen today, again, in the palm of my hand: My mother a small woman swimming against grinding poverty, saved by her Catholic faith – and a will of steel … ans her daily to do lists, like what I see today:

“Lungs clear, blood pressure perfect … BUY MILK, ORANGE JUICE … Need qts for laundry … Buy eggs, cheese … Pay rent on 3rd … ”

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And at the end of those years, as Ma struggled against dementia and tried to hide it from me and the world, in her little Christmas notebook, she wrote desperate questions to herself: “Do I have money in the bank? … My telephone # [blank]” … or “today is Tuesday.”

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Missing my sweet, strong and loving mother this Christmas Eve!

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❤❤❤❤❤

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January 6th, then January 20th🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

By Edith Morgan

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Edith!🌲🌲🌲🌲

Most of our lives depend on cooperation: human babies are totally helpless for a longtime. And then throughout our lives we depend on others. And as we get older we learn some very basic lessons: there are some competitive areas where there are winners and losers. That’s competition: teams know that every game involves a winner, and a loser. Usually the losing team congratulates the winners; the audience cheers them on, and the losers vow to improve and do better next time.

It’s a given that this is how fair competition works, and for most of us – we accept this, with just very occasional deviation from such behavior. Enter Donald J. Trump.

The winner/loser rule applies also to political wins and losses: There may be some grousing and gnashing of teeth, and perhaps second-guessing, but usually losers admit defeat, and wish the winner well, sometimes even pledging to help winners get started, for the sake of the nation and the future. And for the past US 43 presidencies, (with very rare deviance), the loser has been gracious, helpful and ready to fade into the background, obeying the will of a majority, even when the will of the people is rather narrowly expressed.

It has always been so, no matter how bitter and competitive our presidential contest has been, or how many really hard things have been said. I have lived through many such transitions since I came to America – from FDR to this time. Republicans and Democrats were both equally gracious and cooperative, and attended the formal inauguration ceremonies. Up until 2020, all were steeped in reality.

This time is the first time that an incumbent president, badly beaten by the voters, badly beaten despite so many shameful attempts to subvert the votes of the putative opposition with every device possible to frighten voters away from polls and mailed ballots, is refusing to accept the results! Donald Trump is making up his own reality and is bent up on destroying everything around him that in any way opposes his demented views.

I do not know for sure what exactly will happen after January 5th, if Georgia sends two Democratic senators to Washington and displaces Mitch McConnell But Trump will not recognize that he has lost the race, though gradually as the news unfold this week, a number of his acolytes have seen the handwriting on the wall and are scurrying to find ways to leave the sinking ship. Trump, of course, is turning on them because they will not drink the Kool Aid for him.

We have two critical dates still before us: January 5th, and then the final one: the Inauguration on January 20th. People around the world are watching this spectacle – so many immigrants who are now Americans have come from countries where they or their families escaped and remember …

But in this season of rejoicing, and much talk of peace, joy and love, maybe enough of it will carry over to the New Year to help our American democracy survive and thrive.

These have truly been “times that try men’s souls,” but I am still full of hope that good will triumph, sanity will prevail and evil will be rooted out!

LOVER COME BACK!!!!

By Rosalie Tirella

I’m watching what the film critics tout as the quintessential Rock Hudson-Doris Day romantic comedy: LOVER COME BACK. For me, PILLOW TALK is #1 – this Day-Hudson classic is like a John Ford cowboy film without the cowboys, guns and Monument Valley: perfect, as in not one superfluous line of dialogue, one flat joke, gesture, kiss. Resolves beautifully. Lovely to look at.

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Rock Hudson gets a free ride from the ladies!

LOVER COME BACK is still lots of fun!: filled with glitter, swanky night clubs, kisses, two sexy stars … rife with double entendres, witty repartee and a showcase for cool 1960s Manhattan apartments, offices, sky lines … and hokey tourists. And it’s got Tony Randall – a third wheel who’s anything but!

Doris Day is Carol Templeton, a very early 1960s career gal working in advertising high up in a gorgeous NYC skyscraper. …

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Carol at work❤

Carol is hard-charging and ambitious – she pretty much has the job that actor Jon Hamm had in the cable TV classic MAD MEN: creating advertising campaigns for all kinds of products and dealing with the creepy guys behind the products. And managing an unruly love life on the side. They work to make cans of wax fun! They mold America’s tastes and desires!

Whereas the MAD MAD TV series was wonderful but always pretty dark and foreboding, LOVER COME BACK is wonderful but always light and fun. Both look a lot alike: linen sheath dresses for the gals; starched white dress shirts for the guys; clean-lined, mid-20th century furniture; deep, saturated colors all over the place. … Both TV series and movie depict the advertising game realistically: sex sells (Hudson’s character, Jerry Webster, says, “Give me a well stacked dame and I’ll sell after-shave lotion to Beatniks!”); they take their boorish male clients out to strip clubs and ply them with drinks; they learn everything they can about the product – and their clients. LOVER COMES BACK opens with a voice over, This is the Manhattan advertising world where Americans are taught: this is what you must eat, drink … smell like!

Then we meet Carol and Jerry. The narrator continues: “THIS IS A WORKER” and Carol (Day), in a gorgeous white dress with stunning black hat, struts out of her cab. The narrator narrates: “AND THIS IS A DRONE,” and we are introduced to Jerry (Hudson): chauffeured by a lovely brunette still in her lovely sea-foam-green evening gown driving her matching gorgeous sea foam green convertible. …
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Jerry at work❤

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Two yokel local tourists are behind the couple. They’re in a big cab with a regular old cabbie – they ogle Jerry and his date as they French kiss GOOD MORNING! These two fat, balding middle-aged guys from fly over country are the film’s Greek chorus: at various points in the film they see Rock at “the mercy” of yet another beautiful woman. How does he do it? they ask each other. And marvel at their super man …

The movie takes shape when a canned wax mogul from the South is in New York City looking for a new ad agency to represent his canned wax company. Jerry and Carol, working for two competing ad agencies, right across the street from each other, vie for the account. Jerry wins after he takes the guy to a night club to show him some better “cans”! …
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Carol is enraged! Jerry Webster is an unethical hack! She drags his bunny with the great can – “Rebel” – in front of the Ad Council for justice. Rebel, is supposed to rat out Jerry, but she only sings his praises – after Jerry promises her (a few days earlier) that she will be the TV face behind a brand new product: VIP.

The problem is THERE IS NO VIP! Jerry made it all up to get Rebel to say nice things about him during her hearing before the Ad Council. He saw the word “VIPs” as in “Very Important Persons” in a newspaper headline when he was at Rebel’s smothering her with kisses to … kiss up … and get her to lie before the Ad Council. His kisses didn’t take, but his promising her that she will be the ONE AND ONLY VIP GIRL – ON TV!! – did.

And so begins the Rebel TV advertising campaign of VIP – a product that doesn’t exist. All of America wants to buy VIP!! But what is it? And where can they buy it? The problem seems daunting until Dr. Linus Tyler steps in – Jerry visits this misanthropic quack in his Greenwich Village basement lab and bribes him with $5,000 to get back into the research game, to develop a VIP. Carol hears of this, and determined to steal the VIP account, tracks Dr. Tyler down in his lab. Only it’s Jerry in a lab apron washing some beakers – the real Dr. Tyler stepped out for a minute. Smitten by the pretty Carol, Jerry doesn’t tell her the doc has stepped out, but plays along. Meet the new Dr. Tyler. THE DOCTOR IS IN!

And so, a la PILLOW TALK, this beautiful play boy dupes Carol (a little too gullible, in my opinion) into believing he’s someone he’s not: the naive, innocent, VIRGINAL Dr. Linus Tyler. They date and smooch and date some more and smooch some more … and fall in love.

At one point, the wolfish Jerry is on the cusp of bedding down the chaste Carol – in the maid’s room in her apartment – when the telephone rings. It’s Carol’s boss and he enlightens Carol. SHE WAS DUPED! Carol is enraged! For spite, she lures Jerry out of bed to the beach 30 miles away where they first kissed … It’s time for a midnight skinny dip … but she does not take so much as her lipstick off and drives away with all of Jerry’s clothes. “GOOD NIGHT, MR. WEBSTER!” Carol yells from behind the car steering wheel as she zooms off. I won’t give away the ending of this terrific flick because it’s the funniest scene in the movie (to me!). But no one should ever write off Rock Hudson’s comedy chops or dismiss Doris Day as a sexless 1950s movie actress – Eisenhower’s girl but never JFK’s. Well, Day was sexy! She was more than a bridge to Jane Fonda and the American actresses of the 1960s and ’70s! Yes, she turned down the Mrs. Robinson role in THE GRADUATE, but did Ann Bancroft love and support Rock Hudson when he was dying of the then mysterious and taboo disease called AIDS? Doris Day was there for Rock. Sweet as sugar. Tough as nails.

🎆New recipe from Chef Joey: For these days🎆 – simplicity🌲… PIEROGI!❤🌲

Pierogi

Text and photos by Chef Joey

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Joey, Rich, their daughter Gigi and Santa, pre-global pandemic🎄🎆

Since it’s going to be such an odd Christmas this year my partner’s family was wondering what they were going to cook for Christmas. Every year they would make piles of traditional pierogi: sauerkraut, farmers cheese, mushroom and even mashed potato.

This year I was intrigued because everyone has to pretty much be by themselves, and I kind of enjoy these Polish traditional treats. So I decided to make pierogi!

The dough is quite simple:

you need two cups of flour,

two eggs …
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… some water

and a pinch of salt.

If you add a little oil to it that makes your pierogi dough a little bit more malleable.
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Basically, roll out …

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and make your pasta sheets and set them aside.

For the fillings it was quite simple. I made farmers cheese …

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… by pouring a half a gallon of milk into a pan and, while it starts to boil but not scald, you add a quarter cup white vinegar.

Immediately it will start to curdle. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Then strain into a colander that is lined with a cheesecloth:
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Lift the cheese out and form into a ball.

Let it sit for about an hour in the refrigerator.
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Once it is cooled down, mix two eggs, salt and pepper.

For your stuffing … for the mushroom stuffing:

I simply sautéd shiitake mushrooms this year, with a small white onion – simple yet delicious!!

To make a ravioli … give an egg wash for the pasta, stick together, cover and cut into shapes.

So you can do triangles. We can do round, we can do squares…

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You can make your pierogi ahead of time and freeze them when you are ready to cook them.

Just drop them into boiling water for a few minutes – until tender.

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You can sprinkle with a little fresh olive oil or sprinkle salt or just some butter. Absolutely delicious and they embody simplicity.

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Go, Gigi, go!🎠🎠🎠

Edith in Rose’s🌲 space: Guess who is still boss?❄❄❄

By Edith Morgan

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It’s mid-December in New England and guess who is in charge?

Everything went quiet last night, as we all hunkered down to await the inevitable. Four days from the winter solstice, as it gets dark so early, the snow is falling inexorably on us all. Streets and sidewalks are obliterated, and the skeletons of the deciduous trees stand bare and black. Because it is so cold, the snow is light and fluffy and – thankfully – does not stick to branches. So there should be fewer power outages caused by overloaded trees. But a less than gentle wind is blowing snowflakes around, undoing a lot of the work of all the diggers and sweepers and shovelers. It’s a veritable army of workers out there, trying to keep things cleared enough so that at least emergency vehicles can pass.

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Edith’s winter wonderland!

So, who is in charge? We who choose to live here know: we play second fiddle to Mother Nature’s whims and wishes. We really make an effort to cooperate with her and try to make it possible to live happily in this climate. I myself can hardly imagine living year round somewhere where there is only one season – and no surprises! Here, it is the surprises that keep life more challenging, and the great exercise it is to keep on our toes trying to stay ahead of what nature dishes out.IMG_3542
Little birds scrounging for food.

There are of course some pluses: for a brief time, the whole world around us is so clean – all the litter, potholes, weeds and other debris are all are hidden in the same, smooth blanket of snow – though not for very long, as it is a week day and a working day for many, so walks and steps and roadways are being cleared even as the last flakes drift to earth.

A few generations ago, snow would not have brought everything to a standstill: horse-drawn sleighs can negotiate all sorts of terrain and were immortalized in the well known song, “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

Animals hibernate (wish we knew how!!), and the ones who have come to depend on us for feeding are sitting on the railing and waiting for today’s handout …

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Can you spy the birdies on Edith’s front porch?❤

The squirrels watch from the tree nests and come swishing down as soon as some food hits the ground. So all is well in nature.

Naturally, I did not get my newspaper, or maybe it is buried in all that snow. And so far today I hae not received my mail. But at least the power outage preceded the storm, so I can save my candles and flashlights for another time.

Now I can, with a clear conscience, read, write cards and letters and pay the bills. And maybe even rot my mind with a bit of recreational TV. And enjoy the great calm and quiet out there …

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