Category Archives: Holiday

PSSS

birthday-pilgrim-style

Sooooo…

I didn’t exactly spend my birthday all Pilgrim style.

Not a single spoon…..and I’m OK with that. Instead there was

Pretty Spinach Salad with Salmon

The distaff cohort of the family – meaning Sis, Mom and Me – went to Isaac’s on the waterfront  – because, seriously, when you live on the coast you should eat with a view when you can .

issacs

It was actually the day after my birthday – my UnBirthday, and I was fine with that, too. There are so many more UnBirthdays in a year to celebrate…..

We began with individual preambles about what we were choosing and why, and then commented on all the choices and the specials, and asked questions about the choices to Sue, our heroic waitress, and the commented all over again when the food came and then gave commentary as we were eating….typical Italian meal.

This makes food sound like sport, but really, it was  great, good fun. Sue  was a delight and seemed to be having almost as much fun as we were.

There something about a leisurely meal  out in the middle of the day, that wafts of having not a care in the world….and we had an ocean view to boot. No troubles.

On Tuesdays many places in Plymouth are closed, especially in February, the official ‘it’s probably gonna snow so let’s just stay in’ month.

We did not take a single photo of the food. Which is a pity because it sure was purdy, and the light was great and the view fantastic.

My salad was….

HUGE

and a study in green and pink, a lovely bowl of spinach tossed with a light dressing, teeny-tiny nubbins of bacon and cheese and olive oil and  lemon juice….and on top of this pastoral springtime loveliness was a beautiful, hot, cooked to perfection salmon fillet.

salmon-meledezStill Life with Salmon, Lemon and Three Vessels Meléndez, Luis Egidio Copyright ©Museo Nacional del Prado

 

Imagine this fillet cooked to perfection.and piping hot on top of a bowl of green, green, greens. Such a large piece of salmon I thought I’d save half, but ate maybe ¾ –  still enough left to be worth saving and made another (less piggy) meal.

spinach

And talk

And talk

And laugh and laugh…..and then coffee.

Sue not only was able to figure what we wanted, what we wanted  saved, and saved it, but had overheard enough of our chatter – OK, not that difficult – to figure there was a birthday girl and brought a birthday surprise.

Ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and a candle.

single-birthday-candle-clip-art-i19

Sue also started sing the Happy Birthday song, loudly and with spirit.Mom and Sis chimed in, in parts no less.

Having been raised with these people, I merely smiled, and nodded, and gave my Queen of England wave to the the rest of the lunch crowd. patiently waiting to eat whipped cream with chocolate sauce.

I do love the un-birthday!

 

 

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Filed under Birthday, Eating, Lunch

PORKY TOAST

I had a chance to go to Dorchester. Work related.

For this, the most ancestral of homes, the place the Patriarch was raised and identified as being from. Not matter how many years we lived in Pembroke, he would  still say he was from Dorchester.

Besides, the place is in the midst of another resurgence. Places get that every 80 years or so.  It’s a deep breath away from being – dare I say it? – Hipster. Or whatever will follow hipster, because in 2 years it will no longer hip to be hipster, so whatever we call what follows.

Work The Commonwealth Museum.

And then to lunch.

Local 149, South Boston

On the menu was deep fried mac and cheese….

Yes, please

Then

Lots of deliciousness….

Excuse me, waiter

What is Porky Toast?

 

Pulled pork AND Toast??? Could this be like the Reese’s Cup  – two great tastes that taste great together?

toast toaster

Wall of Toast – toast is pretty awesome on it’s own

porky-toastlocal149

I didn’t even notice the eggs until the plate was sitting in front of me.photo from Local 149 instagram

How to re-create this at home?????

Sister Trish added slow cooker pulled pork to the Christmas Feasting at her house last year…..

which makes it the perfect time to introduce the clan to Porky Toast.

And I just like saying the words:

Porky Toast

I supplied Sis with a Butt. There was Butt discussion.

I got Pirate Spread to sub in/ totally improve on the herb cream cheese.

pirate-spread

Pirate Spread: A spicy, sweet spread made with Salty Sea Feta, sundried tomatoes, rosemary, cayenne pepper and olive oil. Its boldness makes it a perfect match for grilled meats, veggie pizza or oven fries.

Then I got some onion rolls, split them and toasted them

AND

I got to spend Christmas Day saying, “Porky Toast”

 

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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, winter

Rabbit, Xmas rabbit

tizian-madonna_mit_dem_kaninchen

Titian.Mary and Infant Jesus with a rabbit, Paris, Louvre

rabbits_christmas_title

rabbit-xmas-janbrett

puigaudeau_ferdinand_du_-_chinese_schadows_the_rabbit

Ferdinand du Puigaudeau, Chinese Shadows, the Rabbit

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Filed under Books, Holiday, winter

Turkey talk

turkey-lectern-boynton

Turkey lectern at Boynton, St. Andrew’s Church, Yorkshire. William Strickland is said to have brought the first turkeys into England, and donated this lectern to his church.

william-strickland-coat-of-arms

William Strickland’s Coat of Arms.    Yep, that’s a turkey on top.

albert-flamen-gallus-indicus-coq-djnde-the-turkey-cock-from-thirteen-birds

 

  •  Albert Flamens. Gallus indicus, Coq d’jnde (The Turkey-cock), from Thirteen Birds Fine Arts Museum San Francisco
turkey-delft-tile-1620

Delft tile – 1620

 

Twelfth Night:

SIR TOBY BELCH: Here’s an overwheening rogue!
FABIAN: O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him; how he jets under his advanced plumes!

turkey-brought-to-jahangir-from-goa-in-1612-ustad-mansur-l-brown

Turkey Brought To Jahangir From Goa In 1612

 

Thomas Tusser   Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, 1577.

 Good bread and good drinke, a good fier in the hall,

brawne, pudding and souse, and good mustard withall.

Beefe, mutton, and porke, shred pies of the best,

pig, veale, goose and capon, and turkey well drest ;

Cheese, apples and nuts, joly Carols to heare,

as then in the countrie is counted good cheare.

black_spanish_turkey_tom1

Norfolk or Spanish Black – the turkey Columbus brought back to Europe, probably, more or less….

“The Turkie, which is in New England a very large Bird, they breed twice or thrice in a year, if you would preserve the young chickens alive, you must give them no water, for if they come to have their fill of water they will drop away strangely, and you will never be able to rear any of them: they are excellent meat, especially a Turkey-Capon beyond that, for which eight shillings was given, their eggs are very wholesome and restore decayed nature exceedingly. But the French say they breed the leprosie, the Indesses make Coats of Turkie feathers woven for their children.”

john-josselyn-2-voyages

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Filed under Autumn, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, The 17th century, Wicked Wayback

Happy Birthday Roses!

for Rose Marie

also known as Sally Rogers

Rose-Marie-8

… my favorite on the Dick Van Dyke Show.

I loved that she was funny and sharp and quick and witty, and proudly, and without explanation wore her  little hair bow like angel kisses on her temple.

Sally Rogers always seemed to have a real life going on, somewhere out of camera range, not a just a TV set life.

emmys - 3

Rose Marie has three Emmys for the Dick Van Dyke Show

Even when the Dick Van Dyke Show ended, Rose Marie kept popping up – guest spot here, another there, Hollywood Squares, mother of the Monkees…

But I knew nothing about her.

I always wondered why she didn’t have a last name…..Hey, Marie is my middle name….

There was the whole child star thing…a little before my time

Her career began in 1929

rosemariebring bacon3

Radio Digest 1930

rose marie babyvit-94-baby-rose-marie-mike

But she wasn’t in the gossip pages or even in People magazine all that very much.

rosemariefinal book cover without copyright

She wrote a book

At least that I noticed.

But it’s her birthday  today and…. she’s 93 and still kicking.

Miss Rose Marie official sites

She is also famous for her spaghetti sauce.

Rosemarie sauce to doris day july2016

Rose Marie recently whipped up a batch for her friend Doris Day from her Facebook page

 

August is just a saucy kind of month this year

Directly from her website:

Rose Marie’s Spaghetti Sauce

  • One pound of ground round

  • One-half pound of ground pork

  • One-half pound of ground veal

  • Three eggs

  • Salt and peper to taste

  • Three colves of garlic (chopped fine)

  • Three-fourths cup of Italian cheese (Romano)

  • Three-fourths cup flavored bread crumbs

  • Two tablespoons chopped parsley

  • About three-fourths cup water

  • Olive oil

  • Two cloves garlic

  • Three to four pieces medium size country spareribs

  • Eight to nine Italian sausage links

  • Three large cans Italian tomatoes (no puree)

  • Three cans Del Monte tomato sauce

  • Two large cans of water (use Italian tomato can for measure)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • One-fourth cup oregano

  • One-fourth cup chopped parsley

  • One-eight cup chopped sweet basil

  • Use ingredients in order listed.
    Mix ground meats, eggs, salt and pepper to taste, three cloves of finely chopped garlic, Romano, bread crumbs and parsley in one bowl. Dampen with water, using enough to keep mixture fairly moist. mix with hands, but do not handle too much. Put aside.
    Cover bottom of large sauce pan with olive oil. Chop the two cloves of gralic and brown. Remove garlic.
    Brown spareribs and sausage until fairly well cooked; remove from saucepan.
    Make meatballs with two full tablespoons of meat mixture for each. Brown in olive oil; remove from saucepan.
    Put Italian tomatoes in blender and process until pureed. Put tomatoes in the saucepan containing the olive oil. Add the tomato sauce, the two cans of water, salt and pepper, oregano, parsley and sweet basil. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Put in the meatballs, sausage and spareribs which have been cooked. Let cook for three to four hours over low heat, stirring frequently. Keep tasting for salt and pepper need. If sauce gets too thick use water to thin it out.

Roses_-_Vincent_van_Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh – Roses  -1890 – National Gallery, Washington D.C.

 

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Filed under Birthday, Recipe, The 1960"s, TV shows

Birthday Cake!

Today is someone’s birthday….

Well, that’s true about every day, but today it’s someone close to me….

Jacob and me

and much, much taller then he was twenty five years ago!

I found the recipe I used for his fifth birthday, so it seemed time to use it again.

First, get out the trusty 9×13 pan

13x9-pan nordicware bake and store

one with a lid…and get to work.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

2 eggs

1 ½ cups firm packed brown sugar

2 oz (2 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

2 cups sifted cake flour (like I had a 5 year old and cake flour in the house at the same time – HA!)

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

¼ C white vinegar

¾ C milk

1 t vanilla extract

½ C butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Have all the ingredients at room temp
  3. Butter and flour a 13x9x2-inch pan.*(I used a pan that has its own travel lid.)
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt (the Drys)
  5. Separately, combine vinegar, milk and vanilla (the Wets)
  6. In a big, deep bowl beat together eggs, brown sugar and chocolate (3 minutes by hand – 1 minute with an electric Mixer)
  7. Into the big, deep add the drys and half the wets.
  8. Beat 3 minutes by hand and or 1 minute electric.
  9. Add the rest of the wets and beat for another minute.
  10. Pour into the prepared pan.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes or until it shrinks from the sides of the pan and tests done.
  12. Cool completely and frost.

*or 2 8-inch layer cake pans

– Adapted from ‘3-Minute Fudge Cake’ in Nika Hazelton. From Nika Hazelton’s Kitchen. Viking Penguin. 1985. p. 298.

from-nika-hazeltons-kitchen

And don’t forget the candles – and some matches….

Birthday-Cakecandles closeup

Happy Birthday!

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Filed under 1990's, Birthday, Cake, Holiday, Recipe, Summer

HOPE

Hope is a thing with feathers…..

EmilyD

 

I was going through my files and found a recipe  for HOPE cake.

Not dated, not accredited, just a print out. I have no memory of ever  making it….it sounds great, though – Pineapple and orange pound-cake with a cream cheese honey icing….is HOPE Honey-Orange-Pineapple …???Eggs????

Google and discover.

Monday, really Big Fourth Celebrations here in America’s Hometown (that would be Plymouth, not to be confused with all those other America’s Hometowns). Parade with lots of fire trucks and police trucks, all with sirens blaring. Politicians smiling big, waving like the Queen of England, shaking hands; floats with people tossing candies into the crowd. Youth sports teams and other groups of young people, waving their trophies high. Bands, oh those bands. Marching bands, jazz bands, and even rock bands on floats…..and a group from the Priscilla Beach Theatre did a number from A Chorus Line in front of the Grandstand.

pbtchorus line

 

ONE

(Singular Sensation)

Kay and Bunk were there on their red, white and blue bicycles…this image is from another year…..there’s photo another of Bunk at July 4th – Plymouth MA

Bunky and Kay 4July

Cheering, waving.

Dragonflies like crazy all morning. HUGE dragonflies.

The woman seated near me up on Cole’s Hill passed her sunscreen over to me as the morning wore one, Hawaiian Tropics coco-nutty SPF 50 or 70 or 85 – something uber screening for pale Irish skin.Hawaiian tropic several

…..Hawaiian Tropic, an old summer friend, shared by a new friend by location

Milling with the post parade crowd, old friends to catch up with.

Time to head home, buy some OFF and take a little nap to go back for the Phil concert.

july-4th-ply-WATD-2016-phil-concert-full-v3-500x.jpg

Sprayed the OFF on, milled about, kept seeing people I knew, but not able to get up to them before they were lost in the crowd. And it was a crowd. Finally picked a spot where I could see the firework barges in the harbor that didn’t have trees crowding the view overhead AND see the bandstand.

A Bus comes down the blocked off street – the Philharmonic arriving!

They played all the  usual suspects, as well as a Star Trek tribute (50 years since the show first aired) and a tribute to the King – Elvis Presley.

Last number – The 1812 Overture, of course.

And then the fireworks begin.

OOOOOWWW!

AAAAAAHHH!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

 

And then – and then a really big display, mostly low down, close to the water.

And I thought to myself,” It almost looks as if the barge is on fire.”

Plymouth-photo---Denise-A--Maccaferri--1--jpg

Denise Maccaferri Photography

july4th 2016

Then nothing.

People around me started saying it was a pretty short show this year and were getting up to leave.

I had to get up so I wouldn’t get trampled by the people climbing up the hill to get to their cars.

Almost every announcement about the fireworks during the day included remarks about how expensive they were, it wasn’t too late to donate…..so a short show WAS a possibility.

I only live a couple of blocks from the waterfront, so I was home lickety-split.

An hour or so late, I found it there really was a fire on the barge.

And thus begins a week of promise that just kept going downhill……

As if Orlando weren’t bad enough, St. Paul, Baton Rouge and then Dallas….too much red blood on too many American streets….

Early this morning a little bird held on the the edge of my window screen,

House_sparrow04

and I thought of Emily Dickinson…Hope is a thing with feathers…..

 

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
– Emily Dickinson

And I remembered the cake –

A  Cake called HOPE

It was from Tinky Weisblat’s blog  In Our Grandmothers Kitchens to celebrate the Inaugural of Barack Obama back in January of 2009…
Tinky had also e-mailed me on Thursday to ask me to judge in a Pie Contest.

I said YES.

I’ve been to Pudding Hollow before for judging Puddings….and I love Pies
Pudding hollowjudgesweb

Edie Clark on my left; Michelangelo Wescott to my right – was this 5 years ago?

Feathers of hope, wafting this was way and that

 

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Filed under Cake, Holiday, Pie, Recipe, Summer

D.E.A.R. Beverly Cleary

DEAR banner

Drop Everything And Read DAY and Beverly Cleary is 100 years old today..

so drop everything and read some Beverly Cleary! Like Henry Huggins

Henry_Huggins

 

or

bc luckiest girl

or

bc books

There are lots and lots to choose from – she’s been writing for decades!

and she even wrote a little about herself

 

bcyamhill

and

bc my own 2feet

Happy Birthday, Bev!

bc statue

 

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Filed under Birthday, Books, Influencers

Pancakes! Pancakes!

Today is Shrove Tuesday

 a/k/a/ Mardi Gras

or

Fat Tuesday

and is also, also known as

PANCAKE TUESDAY

That would be today, day before Ash Wednesday, which is the day when Lent begins. Today is the day to traditionally chow down before the fasting begins. Chow down on pancakes.

pancake EC

Eric Carle walks you through everything you need to do to make pancakes in this gem. First, harvest the grain…..

As it happened, the box I was unpacking while waiting for the Blizzard (I’m sure it has a name, but we are NOT on speaking terms, raging storm and I) was the pile of magazines that was beside my reading chair the night before the fire in my old place. Since it was a Friday night, and the recycling was due on the curb first thing Tuesday morning, I was going through my April issues, earmarking, ripping out, passing on…..It’s a little spooky to find a magazine folded back to a page you left it on months earlier, let me tell you.

But FoodNetwork Magazine April 2015 issue was a special BREAKFAST issue

FNMApr 2015

So, of coarse, there’s a pancake story.

Pancakes, Your Way

click the links

FLUFFY

DINER-STYLE

THIN AND LACY

MULTIGRAIN

jack-of-lent

17th century English  Hunger is following Jack of Lent, riding a fish, following Shrove Tuesday who has a pancake pan, and possibly some weight issues….

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Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Eating, Holiday, Lent, Recipe

10th day of Christmas

There’s a little flexibility, shall we say, on what the tenth day of Christmas is  all about.

There are10 red

pipers piping

or

lords a leaping

or

ships a sailing

MAYFLOWER-II_Photo-courtesy-Plimoth-Plantation1

Mayflower II.

or

 

drummers drumming

or

cocks a crowing

rooster crowing

But enough about the music…..time to review the FOOD.

New Year’s Day had a food change of plans….so I still haven’t made the Overnight Baked Crunchy French Toast, but since the ingredients are in my fridge, I’ll be making that tonight for tomorrow’s  breakfast. And lunches and suppers and Freezer Treasures.

Usually

I have oatmeal for breakfast, which I started doing a few years ago. One month of oatmeal for breakfast  – and I swear no other deliberate or conscious changes –  it really did lower my cholesterol, just like the ads said it would. Still working.

I put different things in it, but not on a day to day sort of change – I just don’t have enough brain before coffee to make those sorts of choices – but more of a week to week thing. The Gracious Pantry  had a whole run of oatmeal add-in suggestions that I still haven’t run through.

I don’t like mushy oatmeal and I’d rather have salt and pepper then sugar and cream. First, coffee, though. No oatmeal before coffee.

Darth Coffee Roz Cummins

Roz Cummins posted this picture today and asked if the coffee maker  looked like Darth Vader, to which I replied, “I like my coffee on the Dark Side..” Enough Star Wars.

Back to New Year’s Day.

Since there were more then enough leftovers from the New Year’s Eve Chinese Food Feast at the ancestral home, making MORE food was uncalled for.

Redundant.

Just plain silly.

Wasteful, even.

No need for French Toast or Waffles or any other food.

take out carton

Carton, carton, what’s in the carton? And there were the things already moved to Tupperware….

There were egg rolls

Eggroll

There were 2 left, so Mum and I each took one. One carton down and out.

Egg foo young (Chinese: 芙蓉蛋; Jyutping: fu4 jung4 daan6*2, also spelled egg fooyung, egg foo yong, or egg fu yung)  – thank you Wikipedia

Egg_foo_young

Again, just one, so we each took half. Another carton down.

Chinese_Chickenfingers

Chicken fingers and Shrimp fingers. We each took a shrimp – which were pretty dang NOT SMALL, downright JUMBO Shrimp shrimp -and then there were NONE.

I’m starting to get groggy…food coma by association …..there was more ….spare me, spare RIBS – boneless spareribs and VERY tasty.

Spare_ribs_with_Chinese_barbecue_sauce

Between the Jumbo Shrimp and Boneless Ribs, these seeming oxymora are beginning to sound  like the opening of a George Carlin routine…

george_carlin_0203

George Carlin 1937-2008

OF course, there were both fried rice AND noodles

Chinese_fried_rice_

Our version had considerably more soy sauce in it creation

 

Chinese noodles

These are more chop suey-ish then the noodles on the table…no flowers in our batch

Keep in mind, there are the leftovers.….

There was also some Beef Teriyaki, but that was put aside for my little brother to eat later, which he did.

Chicken Wings – Chinese Chicken Wings. We took one each.

And we heated the plates in the microwave and sat down and ate.

And ate.

and ATE.

We did not have seconds.

We did have some fruit later, and coffee and charmellas later then that.

While I was there and not stuffing my face, I packed up more of my things to take back to the shiny brand new  place. Which included various jars of beans as well as a jar of lentils that I was going to cook for supper.

mason jar storage

This looks like my cupboards. I have lived in houses with moths (do not store bird seed in the house, that’s why we have garages and steel cans, people!) and mice and I got tired of feeding both.

Perhaps, because of the Michael Pollan ‘In Defense of Food” that aired in December,

defense of food tv

it seems that the internet is full of New Year’s Resolutions

to cook.

At home.

As if you could go out and cook in other peoples house without their invitation or out on the street or ….where else would you be cooking? Because people who go out and cook in  kitchens other then their own do it to make a living, not their own meals. Life is not a cooking show.

And I do cook. At home. Sometimes at work, because that’s my job, too.  But even my recent spate of ‘not cooking’ still include coffee and oatmeal each morning; supper each night, although a few of them have been tea and toast.

(FLASHBACK: Ma and Pa Flynn used to have tea and toast each afternoon as they watched Merv. I’m becoming my great-grandparents. Without the Merv. )

mervgriffin

Merv Griffin . He sang, he danced, he played the piano, he  hosted, he created Jeopardy and he married Zsa-Zsa….

But not all of them.  I cooked down a 15 pound pumpkin and have had pumpkin and potato frittata as well as just plain pumpkin and potato ‘dish’; I made rice the other  night, but that dish also isn’t named, and it wasn’t a recipe per se.

Here’s the directions:

I open the fridge and said to myself,  “What’s a deep breath away from compost? What’s a day or two from talking back to me? What’s about to start walking around under it’s own power tonight?? What is that thing behind the egg nog?”

Then,  I  cooked the things that I had. I started with plain ole white rice cooked in the leftover carrot juice (if you cook carrots in carrot juice they are carroty X ∞ (that’s ‘carrot times infinity’), thank you Kevin from Solstice in Kingston. Cooking veg in veg broth or veg juice incredibly improves them!)

I also had some a deep breath away from perky pea-shoots that we great in salad earlier in the week, but were not quite up to salading again, so I added them in half way through. Topped the whole thing off with a little grated cheese. A lovely contrast of golden/orange  rice and greeny greens.If I had to name it, it would be:

Risi e Bisi : Variation for the Autumnal New England Kitchen.

That’s a name that could be twenty bucks a plate.

Or, as I called it : Supper. Actually, I called it, “hmm hm hmmm yum yummm yea” as part of a happy food hum. There was another veg and fruit and pear cider to drink. Hot chocolate with marshmallows later as both the coffee and dessert course.

Not the flashy production values of a new FoodNetwork Show, but pretty tasty and quick and note to myself to try veg juice with rice again.

I did not cook the lentils because….I ate enough food for 2 days. Seriously, I wasn’t very interested in breakfast the day after.

But I don’t have a dainty appetite, and I’ve since recovered.

Now, to make that Egg Nog French Toast…..

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Filed under Eating, Holiday