Tag Archives: Worcester

Edith – always in style! EDUCATING OUR STUDENTS DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC!

It’s not Where they learn, but WHAT they learn!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith with the love of her life, Guy, on the wedding day.

There’s a big rush to get the kids back to school: Our working parents need to get back to work, kids are bored, and those who can not afford all the latest technology are falling further behind on all the material that gets tested.

So there are so many good reasons to get the students all back in school, as soon as it is safe. But as a retired school teacher and former Worcester School Committee member, I worry that we have paid almost no attention to WHY we have public schools in the first place! For me, the curriculum – WHAT students are to master – is the heart of the enterprise. And to make it all fair, equitable, and useful for a lifetime as decent human beings, life-long learners, good citizens, with the skills to learn new skills in an ever changing society

Curriculum is the heart of it all.

Public schools should never be a money-making enterprise, and should be decently funded for ALL our students, so that some of the social inequities that exist everywhere will not be visited on our children. And the most skilled teachers should be teaching those most in need of help, even if that means extra pay and other perks to level the playing field where society has not.
All our children will grow up to be citizens, voters, and full-fledged members of what I hope will be a democratic society.

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Edith’s free neighborhood lending library.

This month we celebrate “Black History” and I am all for that. But we need a lot more K-12 attention to all of our history – and how we got where we are now. As I watched the events of January 6th, THE US CAPITOL SIEGE, I was particularly appalled at the gross ignorance of many in the violent crowd and at how very easy it was for a demagogue like Donald Trump to mold them into an unthinking juggernaut bent on destroying our fragile democratic framework.

How well did those people learn that the freedom of speech guaranteed to us in our Constitution is not totally limitless. We all know about the examples everyone has heard: you can not yell “fire“ in a crowded theater, you can not plagiarize other people’s work … Are we really teaching and modeling the proper interpretation of these rights, so that every high school graduate really understands there are limits to everything? And above all, that each of us in a democracy – and has to think for him/herself and take responsibility for that?

Remember Adolph Eichmann’s defense for the abominations committed under the Third Reich: “I was just following orders.” Did we all hear some of the rioters on January 6th tell us that, “My President told me to do this”?

It is high time that our public schools prepare our graduates to be more than just good worker bees! We need to prepare every student to be able to think critically, to accept responsibility for his/her own actions, and to have a solid hold on reality. In this day of seductive media, mostly motivated by greed, our schools need to equip our kids with the defenses they need to keep from becoming the unthinking victims of those who would use them for their own gain, like Trump.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

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Joe Biden, our new president – yet many Americans do not believe – or understand – the facts.

YES! SEX AND THE CITY returns!🌺

🌺By Rosalie Tirella🌺

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Carrie would adore this magenta nubby dress Rose wore to work last December! pics: R.T.

Best “news” today! Sarah Jessica Parker and her “SEX AND THE CITY” TV show is back! For just 10 episodes – but still! – that’s enough television writerly finesse and smarts and joy to get us to whip out our old vibrators and shout “Hooray!!” into the Woo night-scape!!

Lead character Carrie Bradshaw (SJP) and her TV gal pals are my age in the rebooted series – in their 50s. Wow. THIS FACT ALONE IS GROUNDBREAKING. When do we ever see 58-year-old women portrayed as sexual, curious, fashion-loving, attractive, creative humans on the little – or big – screen? Hardly ever. We’re always the cool stepmoms, the feisty grandmas, the lone women who open independent book shops by the sea. AURGH!!! What crap!!

I bet the SEX AND THE CITY ladies are still, like me and my ol’ gal pals, discussing men, relationships … their best orgasms ever … but loudly in their local coffee shop! While eating hearty, butter-laden breakfasts! They will still live in New York City, which was always filmed and portrayed so lovingly, so magically by the series’ original writer/creator/director Michael Patrick King, who is back, too, writing the episodes as I write this!

In the rebooted show, Carrie is still a writer and still married to her dream man “BIG,” the gorgeous Wall Street money guy who got around in his own private limousine in the original series and adored Carrie but stomped on her heart about a million times. Because Big couldn’t own his feelings!!!!!!!!!!! Poor Carrie!!!!

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Carrie would approve of Rose’s fringy hippie boots – parked in her laundry room!

Charlotte is back, too, and, we hope, still preppy, spacy and filled with kooky naivete. The hard-edged but mushy-hearted Miranda (the actor Cynthia Nixon who ran against DeBlasio for NYC mayor) is back, also. Is Miranda still a hard-charging lawyer? Or has she mellowed out after marriage and motherhood and is now helping her cute, cool hubby run his cute, cool neighborhood bar, Scout (named after his dog! How lovely is that!)?

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Brazen beyond belief, oversexed and proud of it, public relations maven Samantha Jones is MIA (Kim Cattrall was always the show’s prima dona), but we’ll adjust. This will still be a television hot fudge sundae for us! 🌸I’m 59 years old and, like so many of you late-40/50+ gals, I sat riveted to my TV set in the early 2000s to see parts of me come alive, to figure things out with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. To commune with my cooler soul mates as they (we) experienced/discussed: aloneness, friendship, lust, romance, men, anal sex, breast cancer, careers, abortions, halter tops, rent control … the difference between rats and squirrels (Carrie said squirrels were just rats “with a cuter wardrobe”) SWEATERS, SHOES – amazing WARDROBES! Carrie, through all those TV episodes, never wore the same outfit twice! This was rich, seeing in real life SJP was raised by a single mom and called herself trailer trash …

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How cute is ROSE’S ROSE sheath?

Watching SEX AND THE CITY educated and empowered us now old broads – I hope the new shows will, too! They’ll be about (according to SJP) COVID 19 and NYC during these socially distanced days. I am certain they will cover being a mom of teenagers in 2021, being female and aging with the love of your life … menopause and all the changes in sex drive and sex and ovary size (gone from walnut-sized to pea-sized). Hope my Carrie writes a poem to her ovaries!

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Jail Cells

By Rosalie Tirella

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Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent

I’d like to talk about jail cells and America. This 60-year-old broad – with asthma! – was in several of them Wednesday. I want to talk about my jail cells, how even in the best of circumstances – when the police do their job in humane ways and treat you with respect – your jail cell dehumanizes you, makes you feel trapped, makes you feral, makes you feel the wild terror of a caged animal – a tiger at the zoo, a little grey mouse in the pet store window. An unnatural state for living creatures who crave sunlight and love. My jail cells frightened me …set my heart to beating two and three fold times faster. They made me look and find deep deep deep inside me the strength in myself…faith in me. Rose.

All my jail cells in Worcester, in the Worcester police department headquarters, in the Worcester courthouse that day, in our America, were clean and properly COVID sanitized. My jail cell sinks shone, my toilets worked, my ankle shackles on not too tight, my handcuffs readjusted so they wouldn’t hurt my wrists…BUT ALL THE TIME I WANTED TO BE FREE!! Never in my life did I love freedom more! To be at the end cell of my cell block craving freedom and to see a human face! I felt panicked and alone in those spare clean sanitized jail cells in Worcester with their pale yellow walls. Sometimes they were gray. Always no windows. No people to see come and go. No smiles to reassure you…I put my face against tbe dark one-way window between me and the police officers …to see them! To connect with the human race! I put my chained wrists through the slot in my jail cell door and thought about the many Black and brown kids and poor men and women who came before me and put their handcuffed hands through that slot …in trepidation? in anger? in wild mad panic?? And I felt sad for myself, Worcester, my country. I saw all the angry confused boys and men and girls and women who came before me – TERRIFIED – just like me – degraded, just like me. Thank you, America.

I sat still but filled with epiphany, holding my knowledge gently, sitting on the long cement block bench in my jail cell. I saw how my predecessors, fat, skinny, flat faced, sharp featured…I felt how they, human beings, reacted to this thing-a-fication of human beings, courtesy of America’s criminal “justice” system. I understood why prisoners – even the “innocent” ones – took their lives in such circumstances and why my scarf was taken away and asked WAS I WEARING A BRA? The system knows what crimes it perpetrates. I thought of ALL the deaths, heart attacks, broken bones, tears, curses that happened in these jail cells that went unreported, that never saw the light of day, that we the people never knew about – or mourned. When there were good cops just doing their jobs in a humane way! Never mind the abusers, the assaulters, the racists, the men and women cops on messed up power trips. The “bad apple” cops who maim and torture and have killed in jail cells. “Bad apples” … Such a cute name for such deadly deeds! For breaking souls and spirits and bodies and minds and families outside those small jail cells.

America, Worcester, we need to reform this sick, broken system.

It’s Never too Late for Love!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith and Guy on their wedding day

Now you know: I was the first family member to get divorced, after 26 years of marriage. I stayed single from 1976 to 2013, busy with career, studying, being active in politics and in my community – and usually “going out” with a whole series of interesting male companions, but never ending up in a truly loving and permanent relationship.

Once I reached the age of 80, I rather assumed that I was past the age of “romantic love” and did not really expect it to strike me so late in life, set in my ways, independent, and with a full existence, financially able to sustain myself, well settled with friends and neighbors and many solitary and social activities filling my time. But, trying to be “modern,” I joined “Match.com” and began to look over the many profiles of men wanting to find someone. I had learned to look for certain things in those profiles, eliminating some right off, questioning others, and contacting those that remained.

While I am Jewish I am not rabidly so, and have spent most of my life among non-Jews, but I felt that there would be too great a gap between us if I got involved with someone who was a practicing Catholic. But then fate took a hand, and I was contacted by a man whom I had passed over: His name was Guy and he lived on Long Island, outside the perimeter I had decided on. He was Catholic and seemed not to share my interests. But he was insistent, and we talked on the phone – conversations which stretched into hours – the upshot being that he came to Worcester. And the rest is history!

We were only six months apart in age, but we began the alternating weekend commute, 250 miles each way (he was still working, so it had to be weekends). He was quite certain about his feelings toward me, but I was more hesitant. Nevertheless, on one of our Long Island excursions to Acadia National Park, he took me entirely by surprise and proposed marriage on top of Mt. Cadillac.

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Edith and Guy’s engagement photo

As those of you who knew us both soon realized, we really grew to love each other and became inseparable. We got married in September 2013, living here in Worcester. (two really CAN live as cheaply as one!!) It really seemed a marriage made in heaven: unburdened by the problems that usually create so much friction and argument among younger couples, we seemed to agree eventually on most things. Each respected the other’s ideas and opinions, often ending up on the same side.

And we gave each other time to pursue our own interests, some shared, some not. Guy made jewelry and we went to Beading Workshops where he found so many ideas for his own creations. He accompanied me to my political gatherings and listened patiently to my partisan rantings. We travelled across America to visit his sister in Arizona, fraternity brothers in California and Wisconsin, and my relatives in California and Minnesota. And always Guy was affectionate and considerate – and I reciprocated. We rather expected to “ride off into the sunset” together.

But that was not to be. He was brought down by a series of debilitating illnesses, one after the other, until he could no longer fight them and, at last, I brought him home to live out his last days in hospice in our Worcester living room.

But despite the pain of loss I still feel, I am so grateful that I had an unconditional, true love so late and so unexpectedly in my life – so rare and beautiful … but so brief …

My Worcester Police Department “experience” – Part 2

By Rosalie Tirella

The WPD cops outside my apartment door this a.m. were jerky, but just the two of them. My neighbors are PROFESSIONAL LIARS, and the cops listened to their lies… WHERE WAS THE WPD PAPERWORK? WHY NOT TELL ME WHY I WAS BEING ARRESTED?! I said: my vile neighbors are at the bottom of this. And Millbury State Police trooper TIMOTHY HARRIS. So…the morning unfolded in a paddy wagon, jail cells, hand and ankle cuffs…

But I need to say this: a TOTALLY HUMANE EXPERIENCE AT WPD headquarters at Lincoln Sq and Woo COURTHOUSE. I felt I was dealing with human beings who heard me, listened to me. I have never been so harassed by neighbors in my life, white, with cars – not disenfranchised at all – yet here were the authorities treating me with kid gloves!

My neighbors and Millbury State Trooper Timothy Harris and Millbury barracks brazenly disrespecting the system because they know they can. The cops at WPD RESPECTING people and the law. And me. … The regular WPD officers all seem to love Police Chief Steve Sargent – …
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Chief Sargent

… they told me he’s a great guy. They also struggled – with their computer equipment!! Their computers were sluggish and crashed, and they had to take my mug pic twice! I told them: I AM 60 AND NOT WEARING ANY MAKEUP! The cops told me: BLOG ABOUT HOW WE NEED NEW COMPUTERS! The cops do – I was there! The WPD computer system IS garbage. Come on, Mayor Petty and city leaders, we’re the second largest city in New England. Help them do the paperwork …

Sweet: One of the cops was so gentle with me, so patient, patting my hand with a: “good luck.” Another cop said: “You’re a nice lady.”… Later I told the Worcester police officers – all of them – YOU’RE NICER THAN MY NEIGHBORS AND LANDLORD!!

One officer suggested, softly: Get out of there … (my apartment)

So, maybe the Worcester Police Dept is not so bad: if you are real, they are real. If you are calm and honest – they are, too. The hand and ankle cuffs were terribly traumatic for me. The cells clean but bleak. I see why people kill themselves in them. We do need changes – young kids, Black kids, they aren’t gonna react the way I did. THEY WILL PANIC. THE COPS WILL PANIC. CATASTROPHE in 30 seconds! But my Woo cops knew that I was harmless – and stressed – and kept the cuffs loose and comfortable and readjusted them numerous times when I whined about my delicate wrists …

So why the pure hatred and lies from my neighbors here? Why make up lies and call WPD and the staties – I will be calling state human rights commission re this incident. State Trooper Timothy Harris took my license plates months ago – told people: ROSALIE NEEDS TO TALK WITH ME TO GET THEM. I was creeped out by him – there were 2 boxes of license plates in the Millbury Barracks. Why DID TROOPER TIM HARRIS HAVE MINE IN HIS CAR? WHY DID HE SAY I HAVE AN ATTRACTIVE POCKET BOOK?? I called State Senator Mike Moore – told them about Harris – they called the state police – I got my license plates back – after the state police had told me State Trooper Timothy Harris had destroyed them.

What is WRONG WITH THE MILLBURY STATE POLICE BARRACKS?

Why such horrible neighbors – but such good Worcester cops? Wow. A few epiphanies over afternoon (very late) coffee and buttered bagel …

Questions

By Rosalie Tirella

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Rose, December 2020

Yep. 2021 begins in Worcester, but it’s the same old song and dance: Amanda Wilson, head of the City of Worcester Building and Code department, located on Meade Street, already seems MIA. Or maybe it’s just her heart that’s stopped pumping. Amanda says – YES! THE CITY NEEDS AN APARTMENT REGISTRY! But NO! NOT THIS YEAR! IT’S AN ELECTION YEAR!

Now why would a big important city department head, in charge of making sure all of the city’s rental units are fit for human habitation (many are not), not move ahead and DO HER JOB? Make sure all the rental apartments/units in Worcester are up to code?

Oh, right. It’s an election year. She needs to not upset the apple cart – keep her job. Amanda’s partner – a contractor – was once involved with bilking the City of Worcester of millions of dollars when he headed up various building projects for the City’s CDCs. He was found guilty of robbing the City of millions of dollars as he built his super-inflated$$$ CDC apartment complexes. So Amanda better keep quiet now.

Another question for you: Why would District City Councilor Matt Wally declare his candidacy for an at large city councilor slot this election year – and not mention his signature political campaign issue/promise of political campaigns past?: ESTABLISHING AN APARTMENT REGISTRY for the City of Worcester?

Well, Matt knows better: it’s an election year! And he wants to get elected to an at large seat at all costs. So he can run for mayor in a few years. … Why upset the apple cart? In this case a mighty voting constituency: developers, landlords, realtors, the Chamber of Commerce yahoos. It seems likely Mayor Joe Petty will retire from the job in a term or two. The pandemic, racial challenges, the tanking local economy…COVID. It’s all taken its toll on our modest, likable, often competent mayor. He’s tried to do the right thing but Petty, like CM Ed Augustus, has been wrung through the wringer many many times. They are both pushing 60. The Murray-McGovern political poo-bas seem to be poo pooing reality and grooming Matt Wally, another insipid Worcester-Irish boys-club insider, for the mayoral slot. Another boring, vision-less, gut-less white guy to lead Worcester, a city that’s fast becoming a majority-minority city. Can Wally lead us into a new post-pandemic reality?? Or is he another walking political anachronism? Another elite lucky Woo boy who will shy away from making TRANSFORMATIONAL changes in our city’s police department, school system?

Why, when I called the Worcester Police yesterday about the abusers downstairs here in my building, did the lady cop in the WPD’s Operations Division start SCREAMING – abusing – me?!! Right after the police department touted their just-received grant$$$$ to help abused women? Why aren’t these nasty people trained – despite all the training they receive? Why the police brutality? Still? And why would Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent tell the city: THERE IS NOT ONE IOTA OF RACISM IN THE WORCESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT!!! What blue-colored goggles is Police Chief Steve Sargent wearing?

2021. In Worcester. Again. Just press the rewind button, fellow citizens!

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Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent. CECELIA file photo: Ron O’Clair

🐶Victory for Siberian Huskies and Husky mixes!❤🐶 ExxonMobil to Drop Iditarod Sponsorship!!

From PETA.ORG:

Victory! ExxonMobil to Drop Iditarod after Massive PETA Campaign!!

By Katherine Sullivan

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Rose’s Husky mix, Jett, and hound mix, Lilac, are THRILLED at the great news! Huskies are sweet, intelligent, beautiful dogs who deserve our respect and love – not exploitation!! pic: R.T.

ExxonMobil — one of the Iditarod’s last major sponsors — has confirmed that 2021 is the last year it will sponsor the death race. This huge victory for dogs, who deserve better than being run to death for mushers’ prize money, follows a tenacious PETA campaign …

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Photos: PETA

ExxonMobil has sponsored the Iditarod since 1978 and has given the race $250,000 per year for the last several years, so to get the gas giant’s attention, we pulled out all the stops. Together, we “stuck” it to Exxon at its gas stations, erected a billboard near ExxonMobil’s Irving, Texas, headquarters; placed bus ads near the Iditarod’s start in Anchorage, Alaska; slammed the company on Twitter; sent it more than half a million e-mails; called it hundreds of times; and held protest, after protest, after protest:

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And it has all paid off. ExxonMobil will soon join the growing list of companies – including Chrysler, Alaska Airlines, Coca-Cola, and Jack Daniel’s – that have listened to PETA and the public and stopped supporting an evil industry in which dogs are chained up like old bicycles …

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At a kennel operated by former Iditarod champion John Baker and by Katherine Keith, two of whose dogs died during past Iditarod races, a PETA eyewitness observed dozens of frantic dogs kept constantly chained to dilapidated wooden boxes, often with little to no straw, in subzero temperatures … And forced to run so far and so fast that their bodies break down, their paws bleed, or they die after inhaling their own vomit.

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In response, PETA has canceled our upcoming ads — featuring a spoof “ExxonEvil” logo and a twist on the company’s “Tiger in Your Tank” campaign — that we had planned to run in the Anchorage Daily News and the Texas edition of the Wall Street Journal next week.

After meeting with executives, the group has agreed to withdraw its 2021 shareholder resolution (the action that was apparently the final straw), which asked ExxonMobil to end all sponsorship of activities in which animals are used, abused, and killed.

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COCA-COLA💙 NO LONGER SPONSORS THIS CRUEL EVENT!!!

More than 150 dogs have died during the Iditarod since it began, and that doesn’t include those who died during the off-season. Birch, an Iditarod dog endured horrific neglect at this “kennel” co-owned by former Iditarod champion John Baker. Despite sustaining a crippling, extremely painful spinal cord injury when she was just a puppy, she was denied veterinary care and chained in the freezing cold 24/7.

Then when officers visited Team Baker Kennel in 2019, Baker claimed that Birch had recovered and said (suspiciously) that he’d sent her to another dog musher in Canada.

… or the Siberian Huskies and Husky mixes who were killed because they weren’t fast or fit enough to make the grade. Dogs used in the race are forced to pull heavy sleds across approximately 1,000 miles of grueling terrain, through blinding blizzards and subzero temperatures.

During the 2020 race alone, more than 220 dogs were pulled off the trail because of exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes. However, despite the death toll and a public outcry — and even though ex-sponsors have been running for the hills and a veterinarian has warned Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach that if the race is held during the COVID-19 pandemic, “the result could be dire” — Urbach and his colleagues still plan to hold the death race in less than two months.

💙💙TOGETHER, WE PERSUADED EXXONMOBIL TO STOP FUNDING CRUELTY. WITH YOUR HELP, WE CAN MAKE EVEN MORE OF A DIFFERENCE FOR VULNERABLE DOGS.💙💙💙
Wells Fargo, State Farm, Panasonic, and others have ended their support of the Iditarod after hearing from PETA and you — so let’s put the pressure on Millennium Hotels and Resorts to follow suit.
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Thank you!!!

💙Chef Joey in France! So stylish! Here’s his NEW RECIPE + PICS!!🌾🌹🌻

PASTRY CAKE!

Text and pics by Chef Joey

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Chef Joey has made Rose a beginner cook!

In France … We Catholics celebrate the Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas on January 6th every year. This is to herald the arrival of the three wise men who went to Bethlehem to see the newly born Jesus.

The Recipe’s History:

It is basically a puff pastry cake with an almond filling – “frangipane.” Not everyone likes almonds, so apple compote can be used, or even peach preserves, as the filling.

The cake or ‘pie’ also has a fève (bean) in it. The fève is now usually a small ceramic figurine! Whoever finds it in their piece of cake is king or queen for a day! This tradition dates back to the 14th century and now lasts the whole month of January.

Originally the youngest child would go under the table, and every time a piece of this cake was cut, he or she would dictate who received that slice of cake. Whoever gets the “bean” gets to be king or queen for the day and gets to pick their respective king or queen. Nowadays, whoever gets the ‘bean’ must buy the next cake – that is why it lasts the whole month of January!

The Recipe:

It is a quick and easy set up that requires pre-made puff pastry sheets that you can find in the freezer section of your local super market. They usually are the ‘Sarah Lee’ brand.

Open the package and separate the sheets – when thawed unfold the sheets and let them lay flat.

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You can make apple filling …

Take one sheet and place on the bottom, spread the filling all around leaving a 1-inch gap around the edges.

Note the American sheets are usually square – no need to waste and make it round it still tastes the same. Spread which ever filling you want and place the “charm” and then cover with the top sheet. Roll the edges and score the top with diagonal lines or swirls for effect. Then glaze the whole pie with a beaten egg for color.

For the filling:

1 cup of powdered almonds
2 sticks of soft butter:
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🌼🌼(you can use vegan butter – too: EARTH BALANCE is a great brand)

½ cup sugar
2 eggs

Mix all the above ingredients together and spread on the first sheet of puff pastry. You can cook up 2 or 3 peeled apples in a fry pan with a little butter and sugar and use that as a filling or spread a generous layer of peach jam in the middle. DON’T FORGET THE FEVE!!

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This is usually eaten …
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… with a sparking cider.

Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes.

If using a convection oven, be sure to turn your pie half-way through.

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Bonjour!

💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

❤Vegan Cheat Sheets❤:

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🌺New recipe and pics from Chef Joey!!🌼

Gnocchi!

Photos and text by Chef Joey

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Joe-Joe!🌞🌞🌞🌞

A quick fast recipe! To make gnocchi:

Take about 2 good sized potatoes …
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Boil them (you can also substitute a cup of mashed potatoes).

Add a cup of flour –
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Basically, it’s equal parts potato and flour. Then add some salt, and my trick is a tablespoon of baking powder.

Mix well until like pie crust (if using boiled potato mash it). Add a little water or milk to get the right consistency …

Roll your “dough” into logs …
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Take a fork and flatten out the top to make the lines …

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Cut the logs into strips …

Cut the strips into small pieces …
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Boil in hot salt water for about seven minutes …

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… until they float to the top.

Serve with your favorite sauce …
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For the tomato sauce you see here, I took some cherry tomatoes and put them in the food processor with a couple of cloves of garlic and a handful of fresh parsley. Then I simmered it for 15 minutes:
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Enjoy!
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Gigi!!!!!!!

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.