Friday, November 18, 2011

"How to Succeed . . " 50 years later

On one of our first dates, Edgar and I attended the Philadelphia showing of "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying." Since the show opened in New York in October 1961, we figure that we saw it in September 1961, a little more than 50 years ago. Robert Morse, Rudy Vallee, and Charles Nelson Reilly stole the show and our hearts. After the final curtain, we just sat there and clapped, and cheered, and I remember saying, "if we stay and clap and cheer some more, would they perform the show for us again."

Last night, believe it or not, we saw "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying," at the cheerful, bright, new Lower Merion High School. Our beautiful 16 year old granddaughter, Kayla, was stage manager and, according to the teacher sponsor of Players, "she's the one who made the whole thing work." I seemed to have flashed back to 50 years ago and wanted to just sit there and see the whole show over again and Edgar and I enjoyed every part of last night's experience. The singing, the dancing, the acting, the stage sets, the lighting - you name it - were all professional. It's hard to imagine that teenagers, so often maligned, were so dedicated, and "together."

We know that the finished product required hours and hours and hours and hours of work, practice, study, and dedication in addition to attending regular high school classes. But it seemed effortless, a true mark of professionalism. And the audience showed its appreciation with a standing ovation after the last curtain.

One humorous note, the young people in attendance did not appreciate one of the jokes. The Secretary arrived at the desk of one of the bosses; said that he was to be assigned a Secretary, and that she was his "assignation." We laughed. A few of the older people did too. As far as we could tell, the students did not. Maybe they learned the meaning of that word today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Penn State's scandal

I was standing in line, at the bank, the other day and heard two men who were talking about a Deli that they used to frequent. One said that he no longer goes there - it's too dangerous - they sell all kinds of drugs there. The other one nodded in agreement. So, I butt in. "If you know about it, and the neighbors know about it, why is it still operating?" They seemed abashed by my questions and said, well, the police are probably on their payroll, the neighbors are afraid of getting involved and winding up dead, and it wouldn't do any good anyway, because the drugs would just move down the street.
Then the conversation turned to Penn State and I asked if either of them would have let the alleged sexual abuse continue if they were witnesses. They seemed a little disturbed by my question and answered that they wouldn't want to do anything that would wind them up in jail. "Even a shout?" I asked. "Well, maybe, but that probably would have been ineffective. The abuse in the coaching is systemic," they answered.
And the contributions by the Sandusky-led charity to political candidates and elected officials is obscene. Pennsylvania's Governor, Corbett, received a contribution to his campaign and then, after election, OK'd a 3 million dollar grant to that charity. The original judge who released Sandusky on a one hundred thousand dollar no money bail was the recipient of a sizeable contribution to her campaign. She did not recuse herself. Another judge has since been appointed and it is alleged that he has never had any dealings with the charity. I'm sure that such incestuous political/charity behavior is not unique to Pennsylvania. SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!!!
The list of honorary board of director members even includes George W. Bush. I hope he has removed himself as Cal Ripkin,Jr. and Andy Reid have done.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

American Airlines has ruined our winter

We made a final attempt, yesterday, early November, to book our Waikiki vacation for February with American Airlines vacations. It's not easy to do under the best of circumstances and I finally figured out how to search for the airline flights that I wanted from Philadelphia. First, we wanted only one stop between PHL and HNL. American Airlines charges at least $100.00 a person more for the one stop than for two stops - one in Dallas and one in Los Angeles on the way to Honolulu. Then we wanted a flight that landed earlier in the day (3:30 or so) rather than later (5:30 or so). Again, American Airlines wants another $100.00 a person for the extra two hours in Hawaii.
So, I used the up and down arrows on the web site, and the skip to the next page on the web site, and found the perfect round trip flights. I filled in all the blanks but, did not click the purchase the tickets because I wanted to use our Advantage miles to upgrade to first class on all four legs of the trip. We're old, crotchety, and need our conveniences.
The telephone number of American Airlines vacations was answered relatively promptly but, the operator could not help us with the upgrades and politely told us to call the Advantage number because she could not connect us. Did that. Again, after shouting "agent" into the phone, spoke to another lovely person who told us that the flights that we had selected did not have first class upgrades but, others (even more expensive) flights did. OK. We were trapped. I asked her to please stay on the line with me until I could make the selections and buy the vacation. She said that she couldn't. And hung up. And so did we.

roasted barbecue chicken

Remove all the skin from a whole chicken and separate away the wings. Either put them in a separate pot and make soup or roast them with the whole chicken for those who have a fondness for the wings.
Remove the inside package of chicken inners and neck and again, either throw them away or add the skinless neck to the pot of chicken soup. If your cholesterol can handle it, enjoy the separate prepared liver.
Wash the chicken thoroughly and put it in an oven proof pot with a cover.
For the barbecue sauce - pour in a large can of no salt added tomato puree, a small can of Polaner's all fruit peach jelly that you smear over the chicken, and then sprinkle 1/4 cup instant decaf coffee and 1/2 cup cocoa powder for baking. Add thyme or tarragon or rosemary to taste and some white pepper.
Cover the pot and roast at 350 about two hours or until the chicken is tender.
Serve over cooked brown rice and enjoy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup
28 ounce can tomato puree, no salt added
6 ounce can tomato paste, no salt added
10 ounce jar Polaner All Fruit Peach
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Folgers instant decaf coffee
1 large sweet onion
1 compact medium head cabbage
1 cup uncooked raw brown rice
2 chicken leg quarters
2 quarts water

Spray the bottom of a deep soup kettle with vegetable spray
Remove as much skin and fat from the chicken leg quarters as possible
Brown the chicken leg quarters on both sides
Add the water, bring to a boil, turn light down, let simmer for 4 hours
Strain the liquid and refrigerate over night

The next day, skim the fat from the broth.
Put broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, peach all fruit, instant coffee, vinegar and rice into soup kettle
Slice the onion into thin discs - and put in pot
Slice the cabbage into thin pices (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) - and put in pot

Bring the soup to a boil, turn light down, and let simmer for 3-4 hours until flavors are blended, rice is soft, and cabbage and onion are soft.

Serve with crusty whole wheat bread

horseraddish whole wheat bread

horseraddish whole wheat bread
4 cups whole wheat flour
8 ounce can tomato sauce - no salt added
6 ounce jar white horseraddish
1-3/4 cups very warm water
2 tablespoons yeast

Breadmaker - set the breadmaker on dough
Add ingredients as suggested by the manufacturer

By hand - Add 2 cups of flour to the warm water, one cup at a time, Add tomato sauce and horseraddish. Then add the yeast and the rest of the flour. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead in the rest of the flour. Add more flour if necessary.
Put in a bowl, sprayed with vegetable oil. Cover. Let rest until double in size.
Punch down.

Baking - the same for breadmaker or by hand

Put in bread pan, sprayed with vegetable oil.
Put in oven.
Let rest for 5 minutes
Turn oven to 350, let bread bake for 40 minutes.
Turn off oven and leave bread in the oven until you can handle the pan without potholders.
Remove. Let cool. Slice

cinnamon raisin whole wheat bread

cinnamon raisin whole wheat bread
4 cups whole wheat flour
1-3/4 cups very warm water
1 cup raisins
8 dried apricots, cut into thirds
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast

breadmaker - set breadmaker to dough setting
add ingredients in order suggested by the manufacturer

by hand -
Put sugar, salt, raisins, apricots, cinnamon, ginger into bowl. Add water and applesauce. Add 2 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Stir. Add yeast. Stir. Add the rest of the flour. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead. Add more flour if necessary. Put into bowl, sprayed with nonstick vegetable spray. Cover. Let double in size. Punch down.

Turn into bread pan that has been sprayed with nonstick vegetable spray
Put in oven.
Let rest 5 minutes.
Turn oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Turn oven off.
Leave bread in oven until you can handle the bread pan without a potholder.
Let cool.

chocolate oatmeal brownies


2 cups raw oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup instant decaf coffee
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa for baking
1/2 to 1 cup raisins
8 dried apricots cut into thirds
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
10 ounce jar Polaner All Fruit Orange or Apricot
6-ounce container Dannon Coffee Yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

Mix all the dry ingredients together first
Then add the yogurt, apple sauce, and All Fruit
Stir until all intredients are combined

Spray a brownie pan with non-stick spray
Put dough into the pan
Put pan into oven
Turn oven on to 350 degrees
Bake for 37 minutes
Turn off the oven
Leave pan in the oven until cool enough to remove without a potholder
Turn pan over and remove the pan
Let brownies cool on a rack
Slice, store in the refrigerator

whole wheat french bread

whole wheat french bread
2 cups very warm water
4 to 5 cups 100% whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast

If you use a breadmaker, use the "mix dough" setting.
If by hand, dissolve yeast in water, stir in sugar and salt, add flour, 1 cup at a time until well mixed - use your hands and knead until smooth and shiny.
Let rise until doubled in size.
Spray a loaf pan with vegetable spray.
Put dough into pan and put pan into cold oven.
Let rest for 5 minutes, then turn on oven to 350 and bake for about 35-40 minutes. Let cool in oven.
Turn out, slice, and enjoy

pumpkin, cheese, chocolate dessert

pumpkin, cheese, chocolate dessert
1 small can pumpkin
1-lb container low fat, no salt added cottage cheese
2 containers Dannon coffee yogurt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup instant d-caf coffee
egg whites from 3 large eggs
1 whole large egg
heaping teaspoonful cinnamon
1/2 teaspoonful ginger

Mix it all together in a food processor.
Spray oven proof glass bowl with vegetable spray
Turn out into oven safe glass bowl
Bake at 350 for about an hour until the dessert no longer jiggles when you shake the bowl.
Let cool in the oven.
Store in the refrigerator, either in large bowl or individual containers.