Expect the Unexpected

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Archive for the month “June, 2013”

Poetry Friday: Play ball!


Friends Tatsu (left), and Len and Mary (right), join my husband in Chicago to watch the Red Sox play the Cubs.

Friends Tatsu (left), and Len and Mary (right), join my husband in Chicago to watch the Red Sox play the Cubs.

baseballboyEvery year I say I’m not going to watch so much baseball, I have better things to do, and every year I break that promise. As a kid and young adult I played softball, but except for a company game here and there, my playing days are over. But I still love the game. My team of choice is the Boston Red Sox, but I’ll happily watch and cheer other teams too.

And what about the New York Yankees, our bitter foes? The way I see it, we all need a worthy contender and rival to motivate us to do our best and keep us on our toes. The Red Sox and Yankees are true rivals. Their games are arduous and long, with each team working hard to tire out the other pitcher and hit that long ball. Without the Yankees, the baseball season wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. So I celebrate the rivalry.

Here are a few selected baseball poems written from different points of view and perspectives. Also, here is a link to perhaps the most beloved baseball poem of all time, Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. Batter up! Read more…

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Recipe Reveal: Lemon Budino with Strawberry Sauce


LemonPuddingPlated

Lemon Budino is a “supporting cast” family favorite.

When it comes to dessert, does your family all have the same palate? Do they all like and dislike the same things?

If so, you’re lucky. Mine don’t.

My husband loves chocolate, hates all nuts especially peanut butter, and detests coconut. His sister can’t stand fruits, especially strawberries. My father-in-law doesn’t like chocolate, neither does Kevin. Hank is allergic to eggs. Katie doesn’t like sweet things like frosting. Only my mother-in-law enjoys everything. I love HER. Read more…

Recipe Reveal: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie SECRET


Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb make a ruby red delicious pie.

Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb combine to make a ruby red delicious pie.

With strawberry season in full bloom in Connecticut and fresh rhubarb still hanging on, a little voice inside me was saying, “Make Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.” So I listened.

My father-in-law is a big fan of rhubarb, so it seemed like the perfect thing to make for our Father’s Day cookout.

There are no bells and whistles in my recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Just fresh fruit, sugar, a small touch of orange zest, tossed together and baked in a homemade pie crust.

Oh yes, and there’s also tapioca in it. That’s my secret, if you can call it that.

I use Minute Tapioca for the thickening agent rather than flour or cornstarch. For years, I used a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken the pie filling. But I noticed the flour gave the filling a cloudy, sometimes muddy look. Then I tried cornstarch and found it was hard to gauge how much was needed. Sometimes the pie didn’t thicken and was runny.

Read more…

Cooking 101: Learning from mistakes


Katie and her Banana "Bread."

Katie and her Banana “Bread.”

Flat banana bread, soupy coffee cake, and molten barbecue beef stuck to the bottom of a pressure cooker.

My daughter Katie is learning how to cook.

It wasn’t until recently, at the age of 25, she decided to take the culinary plunge.

Growing up, she was never interested in cooking. She was barely interested in eating. She liked spaghetti, hot dogs, tacos, and pizza and that was about it. She turned up her nose at most meats, fruits and vegetables. When she found out chicken nuggets were made with real chicken, she cried and stopped eating them. Read more…

Happy Father’s Day


My sister, my daughter and I surprised dad at his nursing home.

My sister, my daughter and I surprise dad with a visit.

Happy Father’s Day to everybody who has a father or is a father.

Parent’s Murphy’s Law

1. Parenting is a 24-hour-a-day job with no salary, no raises, no promotions and very few
vacations.
2. Parents are responsible for everything that happens to their children.
3. Guilt and self-blame are occupational hazards.
4. Parents don’t get worker’s compensation or any other fringe benefits.
5. Parents can never retire — even when their kids ask them to.
6. Parents “don’t get no respect” —until they die— and then it’s too late.
—Bruce Lanksy
Read more…

Strawberry Picking


It's strawberry season on Connecticut. I picked these at Jones Family Farms.

It’s strawberry season in Connecticut. Picked these beauties at Jones Family Farms.

After days of disheveled New England weather — intense heat one day, torrential rain the next, today there’s nothing but bright sunshine. So in mid-June that means one thing — it’s strawberry picking time!

We are fortunate to live just a half hour away from Jones Family Farms in Shelton, Connecticut, where you can pick your own strawberries. One of the last few running farms in the area, they have something going on every season. Right now, it’s strawberry season through the end of June. In July, it’s blueberry season (yay), followed by pumpkins in the fall, and then Christmas trees in the winter. A great farm run by friendly people. Read more…

Poetry Friday: William Butler Yeats


William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

The poetry of William Butler Yeats inspired a nation and the world. Born in Dublin on June 13, 1865, (Happy Birthday!) Yeats was an Irish nationalist, who became the leader of the Irish literary renaissance.

Yeats is considered a Romantic poet who evolved into a Modern poet. His poetry has such a brilliant intensity it hits home and haunts me.

Yeats drew heavily on Irish mythology and history, which he would later interweave with his interest in mysticism and occultism. He shared those spiritual interests with Maud Gonne, a 23-year old heiress and Irish revolutionary he met in 1889. Obsessed with Maud, he proposed marriage to her four times, and each time was turned down. Read more…

Carol Channing deserves a Kennedy Center Honor


Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian at the Tribeca Film Festival. —Patricia Gay photo

Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian at the Tribeca Film Festival. —Patricia Gay photo

It’s time for a Broadway legend to be recognized for her hard work.

Carol Channing, America’s Dolly Levi, deserves a Kennedy Center Honor.

The Kennedy Center Honors are awarded annually for exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts.

Last year’s Kennedy Center honorees were Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova and the rock band Led Zeppelin.

In her introduction to the 2012 Kennedy Center award ceremony, host Caroline Kennedy said, “Tonight we salute honorees who, through their artistry and daring, have banished monotony and provided extravagant pleasure and joy to audiences the world over.”

That statement applies to the much beloved Carol Channing, who turned 92 this year. An entertainment icon, Carol first wowed audiences in 1949, as Lorelei Lee in the Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In 1964, she became a huge sensation as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! which became her signature role. The show ran on Broadway for years, and in order not to disappoint fans, Carol never missed a performance. Read more…

Amy and Samy: TV’s next reality show stars?


Tareq and Michaele, Amy and Samy, Heidi and Spencer in all their glory.

Couples therapy? Tareq and Michaele, Amy and Samy, Heidi and Spencer.

Couples we love to hate. Amy and Samy you have SO arrived! The couple who went viral following their stint on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares has become the subject of numerous parodies and videos. Including the cartoon below. Read more…

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