Monthly Archives: September 2016

National Coffee Day

coffee-shop-17thc-london

I went to the Coffee Club and heard very good discourse… ~Samuel Pepys, diary, 1660 January 17th

Coffee beans in the shape of a coffee cup. Stock Photo

Coffee beans in the shape of a coffee cup. Stock Photo

A fig for partridges and quails,
ye dainties I know nothing of ye;
But on the highest mount in Wales
Would choose in peace to drink my coffee.
~Jonathon Swift

jean-baptiste-simeon-chardin_glass-of-water-and-coffee-pot_1760carnegie

      Chardin, Glass of Water and Coffee Pot, 1760, Carnegie Museum of Art

 

No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils.

~Henry Ward Beecher

coffee-pot-renoir

Coffee Pot -Pierre Auguste  Renoir

A cup of coffee — real coffee — home-browned, home ground, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfectly sweet, neither lumpy nor frothing on the Java: such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all. ~Henry Ward Beecher

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“There was a special Nolan idea about the coffee. It was their one great luxury. Mama made a big potful each morning and reheated it for dinner and supper and it got stronger as the day went on. It was an awful lot of water and very little coffee but mama put a lump of chicory in it which made it taste strong and bitter. Each one was allowed three cups a day with milk. Other times you could help yourself to a cup of black coffee anytime you felt like it. Sometimes when you had nothing at all and it was raining and you were alone in the flat, it was wonderful to know you could have something even though it was only a cup of black and bitter coffee.

Neeley and Francie loved coffee but seldom drank it. Today, as usual, Neeley let his coffee stand black and ate his condensed milk spread on bread. He sipped a little of the black coffee for the sake of formality. Mama poured out Francie’s coffee and put milk in it, even though she knew that the child wouldn’t drink it. From time to time, she’d smell the bitter sweetness of it. That was better than drinking it. At the end of the meal, it went down the sink

Mama had two sister, Sissy and Evy, who came to the flat often. Every time they saw the coffee thrown away, they gave mama a lecture about wasting things.

Mama explained: “Francie is entitled to one cup each meal like the rest. If it makes her feel better to throw it away than to drink it, all right. I think it’s good that people like us can waste something once in a while and get the feeling of how it would be to have lots of money and not have to worry about scrounging.

This queer point of view satisfied mama and pleased Francie. It was one of the links between the ground-down poor and the wasteful rich.  The girl felt that even if she had less than anybody in Williamsburg somehow she had more.”

treegrows-in-brook-1947pb

Popular Library ed. pp. 15-16

Harper edition published August 1943; 29 printings.

tree-grows-in-brooklyn-coffee

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Wallyburgers

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It started, as myths often do, in the dim, misty long ago times. Summer was ending, the days still hot but the nights were cooling, and school was beckoning. There was a fire, a charcoal grill fire. This was long after we had invented BBQ Cheetos, and we stood around the fire and talked of how good, how very good, how very much better than ordinary were burgers and dogs on a charcoal grill, and how we would miss that goodness through the winter, and why couldn’t there be charcoal grilling all year round, why must fire end with summer??????

Why couldn’t we make a place where we could have a charcoal fire all year long, where the burgers and dogs always taste like fire and we would call that place:

WALLYBURGER

And it was good.

And the story did not leave us with summer, but grew and changed and morphed over time.

When the youngest brother was still very young, we began to see him as the emblem of the Wallyburger,

the Wallyburger chef.

The story grew strong.

He would wear all white, like a superhero. A white cap and a white apron; white T shirt and white carpenter pants…..and as the story grew, the apron grew greasy. What was once shiny white became a little…less so.

Like Mel on Alice. Only more so.

vic-tayback

A little more grease, a little more scruff…

And Wallyburger Chef would have a 3 day growth of beard, even though he was really 3 years old, and the whole hipster scruffy face thing was decades in the future.

And

He would have a cigarette hanging out one side of his mouth, with a long ash that was just about to fall……

But because the burgers and dogs were

SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD

The people would come  anyway, and pay any price. That good.

 

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Time marching on

and years later, in front of the TV in the Ancestral Home, Dad gave the command.

 Invade.

That’s what Dad said as he was watched Phantom Gourmet.

phantom gourmet log

“The Walls should invade Wahlburgers

A little back story seems in order……

Dad – raised in Dorchester.

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The Neponset River as it runs through Lower Mills – this is where Nana is from

Wahlbergs – from Dorchester.

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Mark Wahlberg in Dorchester with reporter Lara Logan

Dad was a cop.

Donnie Wahlberg plays a cop in Blue Bloods

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Will Estes and Donnie Wahlberg in Blue Bloods

 

And so the plans for invasion began….the problem was that as Wahlburgers was being built ( we couldn’t invade until they were actually there) the various reports had the location sometimes in Hingham – the actual location – and sometimes in Boston, easier to get to, but out of town speak for a place in Massachusetts that isn’t Cape Cod or the Berkshires…..

hinghamburger

But Dad got sick right around the time that Wahlburgers opened in 2011, so he never got there.

This Spring, my Number One Son and his girlfriend and I all went to Hingham.

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Jake knew the way because in a past job, he delivered the buns.Because Dorchester is all about the connections, even in generations removed.

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The menu

I got the Thanksgiving Burger – natch.

 

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For desert I got the Apple Empanada. We forgot to take picture until dessert time.Too busy eating.

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SOOOO 

it wasn’t quite an invasion.

It was a good meal with a leisurely drive to and fro.

And we discussed if Dad would have gotten an O.F.D. (Originally From Dorchester)  or a Triple Decker…(more properly called a ‘Tree Decka’ from what I remember in Dorchester-ese). And since my son didn’t know the

Wallyburger

story….well. I guess that’s what this is for. Our family. Our story. Their burgers.

While the family is gathered round to remember and connect (and eat – eating is wonderful for the memory!)  we will not doubt be remembering  the Wallyburger chef. And Dad. XoX

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Eating, Thanksgiving, TV shows

At The Fishhouses

painting by Elizabeth Bishop

At the Fishhouses

To the Editor:

I wonder what was in David Orr’s mind when he decided to close his column about Ben Lerner’s “The Hatred of Poetry” (On Poetry, Aug. 28) by lifting his closing paragraph, practically word for word, from Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “At the Fishhouses.” He does Bishop’s gorgeously lyrical poem a huge disservice by pretending to pass it off as his own prose, which of course Bishop would have never approved, and neither do I.

FRANK LOPRESTI

KENT, CONN.

Well, well, well, Mr Orr.

Fie

Fie and for shame

Fie and for double shame

At the Fishhouses

“At the Fishhouses” from The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop. © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.fsgbooks.com
Source: The Complete Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1983)
 ebishop
Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was an American poet and short-story writer. She was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956,[1] the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976.
Now I must squeeze in a library visit to read more of her work.(wiki)
ebishop-poems
And her correspondence with Robert Lowell.
words-in-the-air
And look at her paintings.

Thank-you, Mr Lopresti, for bringing this wonderful artist to my attention.

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Lust for Life

If you’ve been paying the least little bit of attention, you might have noticed I’m quite taken by the work of Vincent Van Gogh

Lust-for-Life-Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project_454045-1887

Self portrait 1887

I’m also very fond of Kirk Douglas….

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That’s no whale of tale, I swear on my tattoo….20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

SOOOOOO

Kirk Douglas AS Vincent Van Gogh….

total fave

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Lust for Life

I also loved the book

 

lust for ife pb

I posted Van Gogh’s Potatoes recently…and then I found a celebrity recipe site – really, there IS such a thing – and there was Kirk Douglas with a potato recipe.

Kirk Douglas’ Nutmeg Mashed Potatoes

4 large potatoes
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 cup sour cream

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender and split open, about 20 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot.

Mash potatoes with butter, nutmeg, and salt using a potato masher until well incorporated; stir in sour cream and whip until mashed potatoes are creamy.

Classic Celebrity Recipes

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National Cheese Pizza Day

…was September 5th – I can’t believe I missed it!

But wordpress was too busy publishing what I was trying to schedule, so the docket was pretty full that day, anyhow.

 

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Sicilian Pizza Cake FoodNetwork Magazine October 2016

A CAKE that looks like a pizza…and pretty convincing, too

Might I make a few changes….

  1. Pizza is a PIE, not a cake

so – change out the cake mix for Pasta Frollo (sweet, short crust)

2.  then – instead of strawberry preserves, why not some sweet tomato jam – here’s a recipe – I’d leave out the hot pepper – or not….

Tomato Jam

The top with Marscapone cheese

marscopone NEC

New England Cheesemaking Supply Company if you want to make your own

and then white chocolate shavings as the grated cheese…

white-chocolate-curls2

FoodNetwork Magazine adds fruit leather pepperoni….but pepperoni has never been my number one pizza, and it IS

National Cheese Pizza Day.

National Pepperoni Pizza Day is February 9th.

 

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See Poem

Renoir – 1879 Seascape

The hurricane is a statement and not a watch or a warning,  but the wind is gusty, the sky is grey and there are whitecaps in the harbor…Yep, it’s still Summer, but it wants to be Fall in New England.

On a related note….

New York Times Book Review. August 28, 2016. On Poetry/ David Orr.

“In Loath with the Lyric” p. 16. Review of Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry.

        “Let’s forget the distance between my isolated archipelago and your bustling, workaday neighborhood, and let me tell you about how, where I sit, the ocean seems suspended above the rounded gray and blue-gray stones, how I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same, slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones, and about how, if you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn as if the water were a transmutation of fire that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame.”

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Gauguin – Seascape in Brittany

In the article, there’s a reference  to William McGonagall The Tay Bridge Disaster

Blue-and-Silver--TrouvilleWhistler

Whistler – Blue and Silver Trouville

 

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Van Gogh

Seascape at Saintes-Maries (Fishing Boats at Sea), 1888, Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia

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Book Club Chairs: Locale local

 Grab a seat…with your feet in the water, the sun on your back  OR  curled up in AC comfort OR in front of a fire.  It’s

                              Book Club time!

I’ve been reading…

Often I have a seasonal reading theme, whether I begin with one or not. I just like reading things that build on each other, complement each other, and keep my brain in the same neighbor for a while. This summer’s theme turned out to be:

Books set in Plymouth by

Local Authors who I know.

How’s THAT for a theme?

It started this spring with ROBERT KNOX

Bob Knox

Suosso’s Lane

Which is about Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who lived in Plymouth – just up the road from where I live now – and  early 20th century immigration issues and the labor movement  and…well, you’ll have to read it find out more….

 

Suosso's Lane cover

And then I heard that PETER TRENOUTH had a book out….

Peter Trenouth

Cloudy Hands

We worked together decades ago and have kept off and on in touch. This is a story that is heart wrenching, heartwarming and heartfelt and a bunch of other heart and flowers terms that are making me sound cliché instead of must read.

cloudy hands cover

Judith Campbell and the Holy Mysteries

Judy campbell

Olympia Brown / Holy Mysteries  series

There’s the story, the great people we meet, who grow and change and don’t change, revealing a little more of themselves in each volume AND there’s the moral AND the mystery AND the great food. I’m thinking Olympia Brown is a Leo, because she’s rather fond of ginger. I’ve offered to be a recipe tester for the companion cookbook…..

 

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It’s been a summer to connect and re-connect with old friends and read great books with familiar locations and have friendly books on the shelves.

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Rabbit…almost

 

hareBrooklyn_Museum_-_California_Hare_-_John_J._Audubon

Audubon – hare

hare Common_and_irish_hare

Hare – common and Irish

hareFederico Uribe (b. 1962, Colombian)

Federico Uribe 1962

Hail, hail the gang’s all hare!

 

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