Foodie Fall!

Sep 30, 2011 by

Fall is in the air.  No, forget that, fall is here! After an outrageously hot summer, the nights are finally in the 40s and 50s. Time to bring back the comforting things in life: sweaters, flannel sheets, toasty robes, hot spiced cider and meat. Admittedly, I am a meat person.  In the summer I tend to chicken and fish, but with the first taste of fall, I crave “real” meat: soups, stews, roasts, chili, all in the best tradition of comfort food.  A favorite (and this week’s staple) is formally known as Carbonnades a la Flamande. My onion-hating daughter refers to is as “that onion thing”.  Nevertheless, she loves it! There are a couple of secrets.  First, you cook the onions until they practically disappear.  The result is gravy that is nearly the color...

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Fermented Pickles

Sep 30, 2011 by

Were you the kind of kid who liked to save french fries in your dresser drawer?  Do you find yourself wondering why the zucchini you left out looks like an animal now?  Does something in you want to put the molding leftovers back in the refrigerator for another week to see what happens? Do I have a recipe for you! My preserving share this year included 25 lbs of cucumbers, leading to a search for a good pickle recipe.  Pickles can be made in several different ways.  You can brine them once with salt, then rinse and pickle in vinegar.  You can brine them with salt and then vinegar several times over before pickling.  You can even go straight to the pickling and skip the brining.  Each of these methods will produce a pickle...

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My Grandmother’s Pickles

Sep 23, 2011 by

It’s pickle time! Pickling cucumbers, those knarly, hard little cucumbers that always seem dirtier than their large glossy cousins are in my local co-op and at the farmers markets, right next to the large stocks of flowering dill. I’m assembling the ingredients to do my own pickles and have the dill in a bucket by my front door, wafting its unmistakable aroma as I go in and out. My mouth waters just thinking about the kosher dill pickles my grandmother made. And the thought reminds me of my favorite pickle story. When I was in my late teens, I worked briefly as a cashier for a grocery store in Roslyn, Long Island, the New York suburb where I grew up. The pickling cucumbers and dill arrived at the store the same week my grandmother...

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Why I like Baseball Not Football...

Sep 21, 2011 by

First of all, I’m not a sports gal at all. I like the Olympics but I’m pretty selective in what I watch. I do watch gymnastics, skiing, snowboarding, some of the races (winter or summer), and I love figure skating. I used to follow diving because a neighbor’s son was a diver – he missed being on the Olympic team by just a tenth of a point, or something. It was very tense and…ultimately, disappointing. Also, I have to admit that among my enormous family (about 80 and still counting, when we have family get togethers) I am an outsider because I don’t like football. I haven’t found anyone else in the family who finds football a waste of time, as I do. <sigh> This, of course, makes for difficult Thanksgivings. I mean, everyone...

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March of Loss

Sep 19, 2011 by

“I’m at the vet specialist with Snowball,” I said into the phone, “trying not to think about Snowball.” I’m losing cats in reverse order.  Spot, the youngest, died of heart failure four months ago.  Snowball, the middle cat, has barely eaten since then.  Did you know cats mourn when another cat dies?  I didn’t even know they liked each other.  For 13 years they fought.  Spot bullied Snowball and stole his food.  The wrestled over use of the heated pad and played a fierce game of King of the Cat Condo for the window space.  When Spot died, I tried to show Snowball that he was gone.  Snowball walked on the corpse, as if in triumph. And then he lost half his weight, as if to show that half of himself is missing without...

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Summer To Fall With A Little App Help...

Sep 16, 2011 by

This morning when I took my pup Max for his walk there was a definite hint of autumn in the air. I looked up into the trees .. and yes, there were even a few red and orange leaves. Where did summer go? Since it’s Foodie Friday on All The Single Girlfriends, I wondered how or if  you transition your cooking and baking to reflect the seasons. Not counting the holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa where tradition has a huge impact .. but more quietly.  Do your recipes include more root veggies than fruit? Are your meals hardier? If you live somewhere where the seasons don’t vary does the calendar influence your cooking style? Skipping around the Internet I found an app that can help transition your cooking from summer to winter....

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Five Fashion Magazines Even Grown-Ups Can Use...

Sep 14, 2011 by

According to most fashion and beauty magazine publishers, women “age out” of fashion magazines somewhere in their 40s.  By that time, we’re supposed to have grown up to “mommy mags’ like Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and Family Circle.  Or we’ve decided to go the route of Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, or Better Homes & Gardens.  Not that there’s anything bad about those magazines—they are, perhaps, not where we’re at in our lives. Or we could graduate to More magazine and Real Beauty.  Personally, I find these two a bit like the Chinese food of fashion and beauty mags:  they’re fine at the time, but forgettable two hours later. Yet there’s hope! Over the past year I’ve been reading fashion magazines like there’s no tomorrow. I didn’t read this many fashion magazines even when...

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One Nation

Sep 11, 2011 by

Has it really been 10 years? I know we all remember where we were.  I had just started a new job, fresh out of graduate school and ready to take on the world.  In the years since then, I’ve wondered if 9/11 played a role in my shifting focus, in my disillusionment with the corporate world.  How could I expend so much energy climbing the corporate ladder when my homefront needed protection? My first sign that something was amiss came in the form of an incredulous comment by a coworker, “The World Trade Center has been hit by an airplane!”.  Some of us sought out the televisions scattered throughout the building.  Some of us kept on working, but none of us suspected an attack until the second plane hit.  America, we thought, is safe....

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9/11 – From The Eyes of a New Yorker in Paris...

Sep 11, 2011 by

The wedding announcement ‘save the date’ card arrived in February 2001. Written in French with the beautiful touch of calligraphy that I knew came from my cousin Joseph’s fiancée Ingrid.  A  September wedding in Paris, at the synagogue I’d be tossed out of years ago. How could I resist? Ingrid was a tall blonde German model that Joseph met at an art opening his last year in university when he did an internship in Berlin. She was a lovely girl. Very bright, with a sharp tongue and the nails to match, I liked her. We met 2 years prior at the French Open when Joseph brought her to our box at Roland Garros. She was a German-Catholic amongst a sea of French Jews and she held her own. I admired the fact that she...

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To Color or Not to Color, Is That The Question?...

Sep 10, 2011 by

I recently read an interesting article in the Huffington Post about hair color for women over 50.  Barbara Hannah Grufferman’s article had some very interesting points to make.  I especially like the reference to actress Helen Mirren.  Is there a double standard being applied?  Why is grey hair in men considered distinguished and sexy, like George Clooney when you can look like Ms. Mirren? I’ve been playing with hair color since high school.  In the ’80’s I embraced the wild cuts and colors of punk rock, in the 90’s I went for the streak/highlights thing in my dark hair and hated that.  I’ve had blue hair (that’s royal blue), green hair, tri-colored hair (base color and red & white highlights) and everything in between.  Now that I’m of a certain age, I color my hair...

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Plum Delicious

Sep 9, 2011 by

I heard a local radio foodie declare that this time of year is the very best for just about everything worth harvesting from our gardens. For me, this is the time when the fruit on my Italian plum tree ripens and I start salivating just thinking about my favorite ways to enjoy them. I love picking one or two, covered in their silvery grey cloak, rubbing them on my shirt or pants until they polish up, revealing their amazing deep purple sheen, and then biting through the thin skin into amber flesh for a satisfying mixture of sweet and tart. Last year the branches seemed weighted by the fruit. But this year’s harvest is sparse –probably related to our odd weather.  I’ll have to reach or climb to find them hiding in their small...

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Five reasons I want a husband (or at least a partner)...

Sep 7, 2011 by

It takes all kinds to make the world go round, or so they say.  Girlfriends don’t always agree and as much as many of the women writing for this site are avowedly single, I want a partner again. Partnered relationships aren’t for everyone.  They take a lot of energy, they require compromise and sometimes a commitment beyond what seems reasonable.  Just look at the biblical Sarah, a woman married to a man whose search for meaning brought her a pregnancy at age 90!  She laughed when she heard this prediction, just as I would have laughed if told what my marriage would help me grow into by midlife. Thus, I respectfully submit to the Girlfriends my list of what I have learned about long term relationships. A stable relationship frees my energy How do...

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