Beauty is a Sense of Freedom

Sep 5, 2012 by

It was a warm, wonderful summer day. We’d all piled into the car, my step-mother, my Dad, my two sisters and myself, and were taking a leisurely drive to the lake. I say leisurely because that’s how I remember it. It could have been hurried and frantic, for all I know. In memory, I savor the warmth of the sun pouring in those fully rolled down windows of the car (no, I have no idea what kind of car; to this day, my relationship to cars is to answer the, “What kind of car do you drive?” question with, “A gold one.”), and the chatter of the family talking about what we’d do once we arrived at the lake. The lake was a frequent destination. Dad likes boating and while our boat was nothing...

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The Thanksgiving List

Nov 24, 2011 by

The Thanksgiving List …and don’t forget the real whipping cream for the pie…;) Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday, and not only because of the turkey and cranberry sandwiches at midnight.  Properly observed, the holiday is all about friends, family and being grateful for all you’ve had and have. Every year I sit down and make a list. Some years it’s longer than others, but it could still go on for pages. It’s amazing how much I have, even when the bank account could be larger and my hips smaller. (Hmmm…maybe I should cut back on that whipping cream…) Here are the top three from my grateful list this year: I’m grateful for the perspective of age. My heart’s been broken more than once. Loved ones die.  And, I don’t believe you ever “get...

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Thanks Mom

Nov 24, 2011 by

Thanksgiving has been a take it or leave it holiday for me. When my dad was alive, my mother would make a huge Thanksgiving Day feast – she made the best stuffing with oysters. It was very good. (I could never duplicate that recipe even though I credit my mother with my skills as a good cook and my perfection with making a bed with hospital corners and a tidy house). After my father passed away and my mother came to live with my husband and me, our tradition was going out to eat at usually a fancy place (that was my indulgence considering I cooked for Christmas – I LOVE to cook and bake for Christmas  – you should see the spread I usually put out). Even though my husband and I ventured...

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Grandmother Frederiksen’s Indian Corn Pudding...

Nov 11, 2011 by

If you’ve been reading my recipes you probably guess that I am big on holiday traditions. Many years ago, shortly after my divorce, a good friend invited my two young daughters and me to spend Thanksgiving with her extended family. Knowing my preference for pies she asked me to bring basic apple and pumpkin specimens to the feast.  I agreed, but warned her I would bring my corn pudding as well. Thanksgiving simply isn’t Thanksgiving without Grandmother’s corn pudding. My friend was clearly skeptical, but polite. Thanksgiving day we showed up with boxes of steaming pies and two casseroles of corn pudding.  Still skeptical she smiled graciously as she put the first one on the buffet.  I watched quietly as her family members, with exquisite manners, each took a small bite of my corn...

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Photo Opportunities

Oct 31, 2011 by

Remember back to the days when we took photographs with a single-function device? Perhaps you still have one from before we all went digital and you still produce actual photographs to hold and look at. Over the years I accumulated hundreds of photos and fully intended to put them into albums. I had been a diligent mother of a young child, documenting my daughter’s baby and toddler years, affixing the school and birthday party photos  into dated albums up through the Third Grade. But the rest of them:  me, my friends, the holiday celebrations and vacation, were still in their yellow Kodak envelopes, with the negatives neatly tucked in front and stashed into a large bin to await the eventual transfer to the appropriate album.  Most of the envelopes were labeled although there were...

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Angel Kitty

Oct 10, 2011 by

It seems as though sometimes we sustain losses in chains.  Spot died in May, then Snowball got sick and just as he got better, Kitty got sick. I’ve never seen my feisty little cat so weak.  She would stand over the water bowl, staring at the water and muster all her strength to make a soft, desperate sound.  It was the same sound she made when I greeted her on Sunday.  I had been out of town for a few days and was shocked at how quickly she had gotten so sick. Last week she was stealing Snowball’s food and insistently displacing my computer in my lap.  We had an “argument” last Thursday about who was going to sleep in the middle of the bed (an argument she won).  Kitty had stopped eating on...

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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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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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The French Toast Throw Down

Aug 26, 2011 by

Or as we called it .. Duel of the Spatulas!  Kaye insisted her French toast souffle recipe, with caramelized pecans, was the best. But Sandy was sure that chocolate chips that melted into her oven baked French toast had the “omg factor!” Note: In the photo .. Sandy on left & Kaye on right. This summer my cousin Kaye  and her husband David hosted a family party for about fifty of our cousins and close friends. Their home, in Hull, MA, a block from the beach, was a perfect location to reconnect with people who I hold dear in my life. Of course there was lots of wonderful food and drink including jello shots (are jello shots food or drink?). My niece Jessica spent weeks making 8 dozen different kinds of jello shots .....

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Daddy’s Tomato Garden

Jun 24, 2011 by

My father spent most of World War II on Attu, a frozen, treeless dot in the northern Pacific at the end of the Aleutian Chain. Although he spoke little of the experience of flying bombing missions over Japan, Daddy often reminisced about the weather.  It is estimated that there are 8-10 precipitation-free days a year on the island, all of them cold! Our treasured black and white photos show Daddy in front of his plane, smiling and bundled against the snow…always snow. Three years on Attu gave my father a passion for green and growing things.  He loved mowing the lawn and puttering in his garden!  When I was just six, we moved to a small town outside Cleveland. Our tiny home had a huge yard, the back third of which quickly became Daddy’s...

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A Dad For Daughters

Jun 18, 2011 by

There are dads who were meant to be fathers to boys and dads who were made for girls. My dad, Lou Bloomberg, was a dad for daughters. Perhaps that’s why I love dads & daughters. He was the oldest child in a family with 4 sisters, so I suppose he grew up with an added dose of sensitivity. With my mom, my sister Susan and me he continued to be surrounded by girls. When people asked if he regretted not having sons in his life he’d look at them as though he felt sorry they were missing something extra special. As with the story of my mom, my dad took joy in being a father, however, his first love was being Anne’s husband and soul mate. (But that’s a post for another day.) I...

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