Wednesday, March 30, 2016

With Love to Patty Duke

    With Love to Patty Duke

   With the sad passing of Patty Duke yesterday, I was reminded of a story. I loved Patty. “The Miracle Worker” was the first drama that I saw as a little girl. I walked around the house for weeks with my arms reaching forward as if I was sightless. My obsession though was not with Helen Keller, but with Patty Duke playing Helen Keller. She was my hero! A year later “The Patty Duke Show” came to TV and I couldn’t get enough.
   I watched every Wednesday night, as the Lane cousins, Patty and Cathy, would “be identical in every way”. The magic of filming two Pattys made my imagination soar....i just knew that I could do that too....I could be identical cousins!!
   My next-door neighbor was a little girl who didn’t get out much. I was 7 years old and thought of myself as worldly because I was originally from New York. She was only 6, born and bred in Greensboro, not as enlightened. My neighbor was an only child at the time. Her parents kept her locked up much like a veal calf. She was never allowed out of their fenced yard, she was kept out of the sun, never allowed to be messy,  and most importantly she never got to watch “The Patty Duke Show“
   For the sake of anonymity, let’s call the girl “Sally”. Sally and I had been neighbors and playmates for 3 years by this time. She knew me as well as any child who had never been allowed to come to my house possibly could. We played with each other nearly everyday...BUT Sally was about to learn some shocking that would rock her world!
   We were playing Barbie in her perfect bedroom with the frilly eyelet canopy bed. There were immaculate shelves lined with Madame Alexander dolls that were never allowed to be touched. I looked up from playing with my Barbie, who was wearing the skintight, black, sparkly, nightclub singer outfit that came with a microphone, and revealed to Sally that I was a twin...An Identical Twin!! Describing my twin sister, i said, “We laugh alike, we walk alike, at times we even talk alike”.  Sally gave me the eye-popping reaction that I was hoping for. I said that I would go home and have "Sis" come to play.
    I ran home, changed my shirt and ran back to Sally’s house. Speaking with my best British accent, I introduced myself as Donna. (where Donna had been keeping herself all these years- and why she had an English accent were details I hadn’t fleshed out yet) We went back to her room and played with the dolls. Sally was wondering where Ruthie had gone. I said I would go get her. Once again I ran back to my house, put the other shirt back on and returned to Sally’s. This back and forth went on for quite a while, then, as “Donna” sat on the floor in Sally’s room, giving Beachwear Barbie another ensemble change, Sally’s mother came in, saying it was lunchtime. Sally introduced me as “Donna” to her mother... Ruthie’s much more sophisticated twin sister. One look at her mother’s face and I knew the jig was up. Her mother always found fault with my creative side. With her bright orange, nail polished index finger pointing to the door, I was sent home and banished for a few days. 
     So ended “Donna”, my refined, civilized, British accented identical sister.



Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Family Decorator: Part 4 - The Final Chapter

The Family Decorator


    No longer working at the design store, I was now free to take Betty shopping anywhere her heart desired. Her heart desired stores that were not my usual haunts, but I was only interested in pleasing her. Betty was furious that I had been fired and told me she would like to talk to the owners. Not wanting to be in the middle of a story on the front page of the Post, I said not to bother. We had decorating to do and I was now free to give her my undivided attention
    London Betty, was short and a little bit plump. My knowledge of regional English accents is not acute, but I was pretty sure her early life in London wasn’t spent with the Queen. Although this story takes place in the not so distant past, it was before easy Google searches existed. It was hard work for me to find out about this charming funny woman. I think that I might have read somewhere, that London Betty had been a showgirl at one time. I can’t remember if this is a fact or if it just seemed like the most plausible scenario.
    Betty and I selected her recliners and nesting side tables that could easily accommodate drinks and dinner plates for watching TV. Betty was definitely not from the “Less is More” School. To tie in with the mix and match multi-surfaced walls, we selected plaids and florals in pinks and greens. All of this would go perfectly with the sea-foam Naugahyde and the Pepto pink carpeting.
     When we had picked out everything, I sat her down and gave her a choice of furniture floor plans that I thought would make the most sense. The room was large and even with two recliners in the middle facing the TV, we had plenty of room for sofas and other seating areas. I suggested a layout that I explained made the most sense. My plan, I clarified, was the most conducive for conversation. Betty looked at me, then she had me follow her through the living room and dining room. She turned to the left and opened the door to a dark windowless room with a desk and a few chairs. London Betty looked me straight in the eyes and said, “If my husband wants to have a conversation, he comes in here.”
    Everything that I had ever learned about design was now out the door. Usually I would worry about people seeing my decorated rooms. The thought of bad design showing up in my portfolio worried me. In this house, absolutely no pictures would be allowed to be taken. My design reputation was safe.
     As we ordered everything, we were now rushing to get all shipments and installations done before her husband’s return. She had ordered a lot and unlike my other customers, did not use a credit card. One morning Betty had me come over to collect her deposit. We went into her kitchen, and she took a wooden carved box from a shelf near the stove. From this little box, she took out cash for the payment. Betty handed me $16,000.00 in crisp hundred dollar bills. Then she put the rest of the money back into the box. My mind went all over the place, but as she returned the box to the shelf, it became clearbto me....NO one would EVER touch that was safe.
    A few weeks later, everything was delivered and installed. It was a cacophony of pink and green and Betty could not have been happier. That last day, I went to the house to finish the job at ten in the morning. Who was sitting at the kitchen table, but Betty’s husband, himself. He was Matty “The Horse”, the notorious Head of the Genovese family. Fresh from his all expense-paid vacation in federal prison, Matty was wearing a pair of gray flannel slacks and a wife beater tee-shirt tightly tucked into the pants. He sat with both elbows on the vinyl covered kitchen table. He had an oxygen tank on a wheeled cart with a breathing tube in his nostrils. Although it was two hours before noon, Matty was wolfing down a big plate of manicotti. London Betty chirped introductions and gushed that I was the one responsible for how perfectly beautiful everything was. Matty barely looked up from his bowl of marinara then grunted something. It was hard to understand what he said to me with his mouth full of pasta, but I was relieved that he didn’t find it necessary to tell me his opinion in the “Conversation Room”


( thank you to Lisa De Paulo for this family favorite....HER family, not Betty's!)

First, the shells (or crepes):
6 eggs (or 4 jumbo eggs)
2 tablespoons oil
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups milk and water (half of each)

Beat eggs first. Then add other ingredients, beating with hand mixer or egg beater until smooth. Cover in bowl and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Use a small Teflon pan (8 inches or smaller). Butter pan only once and very lightly. Pour just a thin layer of batter in, so the manicotti is very light. Cook on one side only. Put cloth on table and lay out all the shells as they are made. Then fill with seasoned ricotta. Then roll them up.

2-3 pounds ricotta
2-3 eggs
Handful of grated parmesan or pecorino
Handful of fresh chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

Bake the manicotti in a lasagna pan with a thinned marinara sauce. (Put some sauce on the bottom, then the manicotti, then cover with more sauce).

make sure the table has a fresh vinyl tablecloth

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Family Decorator PART 3

The Family Decorator

   After checking out London Betty’s house, with my black marbled composition book full of notes, I went back to the furniture and design store where I worked. We carried very traditional, mid-high to high-end furnishings. A  sea foam green, Naugahyde recliner was not something that we sold. We also had a strict policy of not buying anything from any other stores to complete our designs.We would push our product as an only option.  I had never crossed that line and taken anyone shopping. I always convinced  the customers that our product was the best choice. I was dutiful and up until that moment, a team player. But now, I looked around the chintz and passementerie and knew I was about to break some rules.
   London Betty’sjob was really the straw that broke the camel’s back with me. I was working long hours and the commitment to my job was apparent to the customers who often asked me if I was the owner. I was certainly not the owner, I was an underpaid laborer, making a draw with a very small commission. I was a good decorator and a better sales person. I had just sold more than any other salesperson in any of their stores the previous month, but never got even as much as a pat on the back. I wasn’t going to let rules get in my way anymore....if ever there was a time to break the rules, the time was now!
    The days at the store were long. Some days felt like ten
extra hours had been tacked on after lunch. One day I received a phone call from a woman who was looking for a $5 piece of drapery hardware. I said I would put it to the side for her and she said she would pick it up before we closed at 5:30. The day just dragged and I was in charge of closing up the store and locking it. With only one other salesperson there, I made the executive decision to close early. My shoes were already off, I counted up and locked the register, and then I went to each door and locked them as well. As I locked the door nearest to the front window, I saw a woman pull into the parking space directly in front of the shop. It was the $5 was my 30 cents commission....I should have opened the door.
    I didn’t open it....i yelled to the other saleswoman in the store, “Duck!!! Hide!!!” I have no idea what she thought, but she complied immediately and threw herself behind a chair in one of the vignettes. I ran and hid next to her saying, “I am NOT reopening the store,  I'm going home as soon as she leaves!!” The other salesperson seemed simultaneously both horrified and hysterical. She couldn't believe two grown women were hiding behind a chair while a customer was hammering
furiously on the door. I felt the need to cover her mouth so that her laughter wouldn't be heard, but controlled myself from do that. We sat there for what seemed an eternity, then like a dough boy peeking out of a foxhole, I slowly checked from behind a cushion to see if she was still there. RAT-A-TAT-TAT.... she fired at us...banging and incensed... shouting, “I SEE YOU!!!!”
    There was no way I was getting up now...what would I say? “Oh, did you want to come in?? I’m so sorry...I always crouch on the floor behind chairs and sofas....puhhhleeeeze, come right in!”
    So there we two stayed until we felt that the coast was clear. We both carefully crept from chair to chair as if we were dodging bullets...but she was gone ...we were able to get to the back room and out the door to the alley.
    The next morning, to no one’s great surprise I was fired...I took my black marbled composition book and called my customers. First call was to London Betty, we had sea foam green Naugahyde recliners to buy!



I am not very familiar with Irish cuisine ....
I looked through my cook books, searching under "Irish" 
and this was the only recipe I could find. 
It is in the chapter titled "Invalid Cookery".
My guess is, this will be a handy recipe for those of you who take your 
Saint Patrick's Day celebrating very seriously.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Josie's Easter Pizza

               Easter Pizza recipe, aka Pizza Rustica

This is a recipe shared with me by the multi-talented, author, correspondent, and gifted gourmet
Lisa DePaulo.....she said it is "really killer"..... so I believe it would be a hit in Betty's house!

The following is for a 10-inch square or 9x13  ceramic or glass baking dish.

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick margarine (yes, margarine)
2 eggs   

Mix flour, sugar and baking powder together in large bowl. Work in the margarine with your fingers. Make a well in the center. Drop in the eggs. Knead from sides to center. Let dough stand under a bowl for at least 10 minutes while making your filling.

2+ pounds ricotta (if I have a 3 lb container, I add a little more than 2 lbs)
4 eggs
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, baked (about 20 mins), skinned and chopped
1/2 pound mozzarella, diced1/2 cup grated parmesan or locatellia heaping 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Beat ricotta and eggs (I just use a whisk). Add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together.

Divide the dough into quarters. You'll want 3/4 of it for the bottom and sides crust and the other 1/4 to cover the pie. Roll out the bigger portion, using a bit more flour to roll it out.  Dough should be the consistency of Play-doh, and the sides can be pieced together with your fingers. Do not grease the baking pan. Put your bottom and sides crust down in the pan. Then add the filling. Then the top crust, rolled out. Prick top of pie with fork. Bake at 400-degrees for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 325 for another 45-55 minutes. You will know it is done when a knife comes out wet but clean and top is beautifully browned. Do NOT overcook (it will set more as it cools).
When it is totally cool, cover with foil or saran and put in the fridge. It tastes better after a day or so. Serve it cold or room temperature, sliced in little rectangular wedges. Or whatever. Yes, cold or room temperature. Do NOT heat it up. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Family Decorator: PART 2

The family decorator

   LondonBetty walked back into the room and peered at me as I was still looking at the array of “Family” photos on the piano. My expression of “AHA!” and the large light bulb, in a cartoon thought bubble, hovering over my head seemed to go unnoticed by Betty. She started pointing things out and showing me around.
  “ First things first”, she said, “I’ve had a lot of designers here already”...I looked out of the large picture window and wondered if they were encased in concrete under the mammoth fountain.
   “I LOVE my pink carpeting and if you cant work with it, then it’s a deal breaker!!” Betty cried out. Realizing I had let my imagination run wild, I told her, “pink is my favorite color...we will have no problems!”
   We left the living room and went into the dining room and then off to the right side was the kitchen. In those two rooms almost every surface was covered with clear vinyl slipcovers and cloths. Each seat was tightly sealed to ensure that a thousand years from now, they would still be as fresh as the day they were purchased.
    The kitchen table had a bright floral tablecloth with a clear vinyl one over it. “Sunday Red Gravy” splatters would never penetrate or stain the fabric. The kitchen was large and every surface was filled with bric-a-brac.
   The kitchen overlooked the back yard, pool and patio. The patio had stockpiles of mismatched outdoor furniture and every yard and pool novelty item ever made. Clever silly signs, fiberglass ducks and ducklings and frogs. There were deer strategically placed as if they just came from the   woods to watch the swimmers. A few bird feeders also dotted the lawn, in case an actual live animal  landed there by accident. Betty told me that she never really came out here, no wonder; there was  really no place for her  (unless she moved a couple of the gnomes) 
   We moved back through the kitchen and out to another pink carpeted hallway. To our left she had me peek inside of her husband’s dark wood paneled office. She told me the artwork was some of the paintings that used to hang in their restaurant in Little Italy. Others, like the large nudes, were painted with a heavy hand, a lot of red paint and almost gynecological detail. They were treasured gifts from artists. To her husband’s credit, there was no pink carpeting in this room.
   Back in the living room we started to discuss the details of design. She wanted matching sea-foam green loungers in front of the 72” television. I suggested reading lamps on each side. Betty said they didn’t read.
    I was glad the light bulb over my head was still there....I needed it for both ideas and lighting. 


Classic Fried Dough

It's the most popular and greasy pizza in Italy! Fried dough is usually
sold as street food but is sometimes included in the menu of fancy
restaurants. Get your fix of fried dough in the comfort of your own


4 cups flour 4 tbsp. shortening 2 tsp. salt 1/2 cup warm water 2 pkgs.
yeast, dissolved together with 1/2 cup warm water 2 cups warm water
Use a bowl with a cover. Combine liquids; add flour, shortening and
salt. Mix well. Grease top of dough lightly. Put in bowl and cover. Let
air out of bowl every 15-20 minutes. Let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Shape
dough with fingers. Put in hot grease and fry until golden brown.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The family decorator

The family decorator
Part one-------------

i have been a person who has jumped around from creative careers. In the late 1990’s I tried home design, working for a store that sold furniture and had a home decorating service. Other than liking to look at nicely decorated homes, I had no design education, which seemed to make me just the person they were looking for.
   The company sold very beautiful furniture and had a sewing studio in Virginia with a stable of illegal Vietnamese women, probably tied to their workstations who sewed the most fabulous creations.
  As time passed, they trained me to be a good decorator, and I did a lot of very beautiful homes on the North Shore Gold Coast of Long Island. This was when McMansions were going up all over the place and people needed a lot of home furnishings and drapery to fill their 12,000 square foot houses.
   We had quite a variety of customers coming to our establishment. I was required to greet everyone that walked into the store with a script and then write their names and information into my black and white marbled composition book. There were the Jewish ladies from Great Neck, the Waspy country clubbers from Locust Valley, the “browsing only” people from mid-island, Greeks, Persians, and Italians. You never really could peg who was going to spend a lot and who wasn’t
   One afternoon a little old woman walked in and I greeted her. She was a tiny woman elderly woman who still dyed her hair blond and wore it in a hairdo that was last in style in 1975. She had skin as thin and transparent as tissue . She spoke with an English accent and said her name was Mrs Ianniello , but everyone called her Betty, “London Betty”. She was a sweetheart, and we took to each other immediately. I had the feeling she was going to be a “browser “, but I took her around the store and started asking her the usual questions as I jotted her info into my book.
   Betty said she wanted to do her house from top to bottom. From her appearance, I assumed her house was going to be small. She said her husband had been away and she wanted to fix it up for his return. I asked her, “Oh, ok...where has he been?”  she looked at me and repeated he’s been “away”
Still not getting an actual place from her, I set up an appointment to see her house and do design plans. She gave me a Westbury address and we set a time for me to go there. The next morning i drove to her house. I was in a neighborhood that had enormous homes on large lots of at least 2 acres. Driving up the street, you got a clear idea of who lived in each house. There were the slightly shabby chic white shingled colonials that screamed, old money. These were the neighborhoods that once housed Morgans and Whitneys. Nothing much had changed in these houses. There are long stretches of fences with horses grazing and women in Lily Pulitzer dresses and tennis whites. But there were also houses with large electronic gates, fountains and lots of statuary. With every house I passed I mentally played the guessing game “Don or Deb”
   I got to Betty’s house with the gigantic fountain in the middle of the circular driveway and no shrubbery around the perimeter of the building. The outside not as showy as some of the houses I had driven by, but what was awaiting me inside can only be described as Awesome!!
   London Betty greeted me with all of her bubbly effusiveness and walked me in. She felt the house needed freshening, but her pride of home was still obvious. The place was very large and there was an open floor plan. The spacious entry opened into the living room and wide hallways led in different directions. All of the floors were covered in a plush pile of Pepto Bismol colored carpeting. Every wall, in every direction had a different finish....straight ahead was a flagstone wall, to the left a wallpapered wall, to the right were floor to ceiling mirrors. And there was artwork.... reproductions of Renaissance masterpieces on velvet, nudes that had poses with all the subtlety of Screw Magazine, still lifes from adult night-classes and clowns. So many clowns...reclining clowns, happy clowns, a close up with a single tear clown and clowns on bicycles.
  Betty went to the kitchen and left me alone in the living room. There, on the baby grand piano were framed many there was no room for even one more. I looked and there was Betty and others with Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, Dean Martin and men in hats with cigars ...there were also pictures of Danny DeVito  and Robert DeNiro on the set of a movie.
  Betty walked back in and said , “Ohhhh! Don’t you love those pictures?” she said something to the effect that her husband helped with “research” on the set of “Hoffa”. I was beginning to understand that he was not by trade in the movie business....
....and by “AWAY” she didn’t mean that he had been on vacation.



Linguini with Little Neck Clams, Shrimp and Bay Scallops
10 cloves whole
2 T pesto
1 large can Marzano tomatoes
1/2 t fresh oregano
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 large pinch crushed red pepper
3 oz olive oil
3/4 c dry white wine
5 lbs clams 
1/2 lb cleaned deveined shrimp
1/2 lb scallops
1 box linguini ....cooked according to box instructions

saute garlic in olive oil til fragrant....add all ingredients except seafood
bring to simmer...throw in clams, cover and simmer approx 5 minutes or till all are open
add shrimp and scallops cook another 3 minutes at a simmer
toss with pasta

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Let Me Sing Backup

today i am going to see Beautiful....

Carol King wrote the songs that made me stand on my stage (bed) with my microphone (brush) in my hand. I was the greatest back up singer of all time. The adoring crowds (voices in my head) cheered wildly and wanted me to step forward. But i knew my destiny was standing a step behind, with another, in a matching sequined gown.
 I glided back and forth on my twin trundle bed when the song was slow. i did breakneck trampoline moves when the tempo called for it. The overhead light was off, the swing armed desk lamp shining a spotlight on me. A full show with standing ovations, then off to Kiser Junior High
...i was leading a double life- by day Mediocre Student, by night Backup Superstar!

i am bringing my brush with me today....i will be ready just in case

Monday, March 7, 2016


  My mom was living alone in the house that she had lived in for nearly half of a century. It was by no means a grand house standing alone on a hill. It was a one floor ranch house in a neighborhood with houses just two driveway widths away from each other. But when she turned 80, it was like a switch was flipped. My mom became old, and this house was too hard for her to navigate.  She had a few falls, and with bones made of dust, the time had come to move her into a "Home".
  The story of moving her into Abbotswood is a long one for another time...lets just jump to her having lived there for about five years. By this time she was the Queen of this independent living community. She knew everyone, the staff loved her, a few men wooed her, she starred in the plays, and with an iron fist, she called the numbers at Bingo.
  She was physically a different woman from the one i grew up with. For her entire life, weight was her enemy. She was always heavy. BUT, she was always pulled together. Her long black hair was in a  neat tight bun and her lipstick was always reapplied.  She was also strong. If you wanted a jar opened, you never gave it to my father. It was my mother with the strength. By her 85th birthday, all of that was now a memory. She was a slight, weak woman who could not walk very far and had to use a walker.
  My mom did not let her infirmities stop her. She never complained. The doctors would look at her x-rays and tests and marvel at her great disposition and tolerance for pain. Whenever you asked her how she was doing, she always replied, "Fine!" ....and not in the Jewish mother, guilt way of, "im fine...don't worry about me ....ill just sit alone in the corner"...she meant it.
  One afternoon, my mother was invited to a large luncheon and canasta party to be hosted at a hotel. She had her hair done, she "put on her face", she pulled out one of her St Johns knit suits.(she single-handedly kept St Johns in business)- one of the few concessions that she had to make in her 80's was buying flats. She had ALWAYS worn heels. (My sister and i had to actually take them away from her after one of her many falls. It was a black day on her calendar.)
 The independent living center had a bus service and a few people who drove in cars. My mom had a driver that took her everywhere. He took her to the hotel and brought to the front door. She waved him off and said she would be fine from there. Mom went to the front desk and was told the luncheon was in a conference room on another floor and on the opposite side of the building. Turning her walker, off she went from the very large lobby and down the long hallways to the elevators. She didn't know everyone who would be coming but rightly assumed she would run into others going to the function. Sure enough, out of the corner of her eye she saw another older woman walking to the elevators. 
  My mother was a kind, friendly woman, but she was not one to just start up a conversation with a stranger. She was also opinionated and a bit judgey. She turned and smiled at the woman and saw her smiling back at her, but the woman didnt start any exchange, so neither did my mom. Down one hallway and then another, mom maneuvered her walker at a snail's pace. The other lady never passed her. As mom glanced at her she noticed the outfit the lady was wearing and took a mental note of her obvious good taste, wearing something she thought she would certainly pick out for herself. She also noted the scowl that this woman gave to my mother.
  Finally, they arrived at the elevator doors and as the doors opened, the woman disappeared. The hallways were all mirrored and that smartly dressed scowling woman was her reflection.
  When she got to the luncheon, my mother was hysterical laughing and also very happy that she had selected such a great looking ensemble for the day.

Harriet's Brisket Recipe:

5 lbs of Brisket
2 onions chopped
1 bag of baby carrots
1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix
1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 16 oz can cranberry sauce
3/4 c red wine
put just enough olive oil to cover bottom of dutch oven -sear meat on both sides -fat side down then ending with fat side up....combine all the other ingredients.... pour over meat and cover tightly... put in a 350* oven....cook for 40 minutes....take out meat and slice while still tough....put meat back in tightly cover pan.... lower temp to 300 and cook for 2 1/2 hours....uncover, cook another 30 minutes

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Shrimp and Grits

going shopping for recipe



1c stone ground grits
1T sugar
2T butter (+ 4T cold, cubed)
3lbs shrimp peeled tails on
2T spice rub:
       1T paprika - 1 T salt- 1T garlic powder - 1T onion powder -
       1T cayenne - 1T dried oregano - 1T dried thyme
cracked black pepper
1/2 diced yellow onion
3 diced bell peppers (1green -1red-1yellow)
2 large ribs celery -diced
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 c dry white wine
1/2 c Worcestershire sauce
1 c chicken broth
1 c heavy cream
1/4 t salt
1/4 c chopped chives
1 lemon

1c grits, 1 T sugar,..cook grits according to package directions...add 2T butter to finish

season shrimp with spice rub and a lot of pepper
heat a T of EVOO in pan and saute 1-2 minutes---(do in batches, dont crowd pan) remove shrimp from pan
add more oil- add onions, peppers,celery and garlic cook til slightly wilted- add wine, deglaze, then add Worcestershire, chicken stock, cream and cubed butter...bring to boil...then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes....add shrimp and chives.... squeeze juice of 1/2 a lemon on top ...serve over cooked grits

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Recipe for Hot Dogs and Doughnuts
Hot dogs--
1 package of hot dogs
1 package of hot dog rolls
Make a fire, heat hot dogs over flame, put dog into roll

Drive to Doughnut shop and buy them
Do not make something from scratch
with so many steps involved if it can be eaten in 3 bites

I Love You....but please move

i have always been a TV addict-
i cant help doesn't matter what is on, i will watch it-
it doesn't matter what is happening around me...please move, you are blocking the TV...
On August 20th 1979 I had a terrible stomachache and left work early. Mark and I lived in a runned down apt on 110th St and Amsterdam Ave. We didn't have air conditioning, but we did have an  enormous window with a view of St John the Divine. When i got home, i opened the windows and stripped down to my underwear. An unairconditioned apt in NYC ,in late August, is not a place for clothing. I got a pillow and made myself comfortable on the sofa, then turned on our little black and white tv. Lucky for me "Father Knows Best" was on, so i had some serious viewing to keep my mind off my pain.
Mark came home and said he called my office and heard that i left early. He said "let's go out to dinner" and suggested an expensive restaurant. I said, "Are you Crazy?!?We cant afford to go there!!" Then he said that we should splurge. I said , "i have a stomachache ...and be quiet, I'm watching this show"
 ----at this point Bud and Betty's friends were being convinced to help fix the roof...Mother was cleaning or cooking...i cant remember perfectly, because Mark had been interrupting me----
 the next thing i know, Mark is coming out of the kitchen with a bottle of champagne and says, ''let's have a drink." i yelled at him and said that he doesn't listen- i had a stomach ache!!!
He poured two glasses anyway and stood in front of me.
 ----Jim Anderson had by this time come home, Kitten had said something adorable that made her father pat the top of her pig tailed head--
 I am insane with anger now...MOVE!! i am watching and i don't want a drink!!!
A lesser man would have moved...and by moved, i mean all of his belongings from the apartment and found a new girlfriend...but not my Mark...he is patient and kind....he dropped to his knees in front of me and pulled out a diamond ring, and asked me to marry him!
my stomach no longer hurt, we drank champagne and with a ring on my left hand we sat and watched the thrilling conclusion of the show!
----Mother and Kitten brought out platters of snacks for the teens on the roof...Hot dogs and the platters were passed the kids all chanted "Hot dogs- doughnuts- hot dogs-doughnuts"
It was like a dream!

Friday, March 4, 2016

The KKKKKKabats Move South

In 1960 my family moved from Long Island to Greensboro North Carolina.
In a Cadillac and a Pontiac loaded with show tune records, Halavah and Judaica we pulled into town.
A Jewish family of six...we did our best to fit in...
Doing our best not to upset the neighborhood, after all we had killed their Lord and Savior......

Brownies are always a good idea...bring them to your next rally 

2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 lb unsalted butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t dry instant espresso 
1/4 t salt
1 c chopped walnuts

pre-heat oven 325
butter a 8x8 baking pan (i like to dust with cocoa instead of flour)
in heavy sauce pan melt butter and chocolate over low heat...stir till completely melted...remove from heat, stir in sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat vigorously ...add flour, salt, espresso and nuts...mix well...empty into baking dish and cook 40 minutes
try not to eat till cooled...share with your neighbors...they will start to like you!
i am starting my blog just as i start every single day....with a lot of coffee...
we are starting slowly, i need caffeine before doing anything

As I write my first entry in this blog, I feel like a girl with a new diary..I touch the yellow leather with gold embossed lettering..."MY DIARY". Opening the book, with clean blank pages that I can write my private thoughts is exciting and a bit daunting. But I will not be intimidated, I will say whatever is on my mind....because it's safe in here. The cover has a thick leather strap with a brass lock and an adorable miniature key.......i am making keys for all of you, come on in