Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
leaf and flower scanned at SRN 10-27-08
The leaves have a beauty of their own. Reminiscent of water lily pads, the more common ones are flat and round, with the stem attached to the center and the vein radiating out from there. Most varieties have deep green leaves, but there are now a number of nasturtiums that are variegated, almost speckled.
In addition to the more traditional hues of bright yellow and orange, the range of blossom colors that are available these days is exciting: "Empress of India" - brilliant vermilion red blooms; "Whirlybird" - shades of tangerine, soft salmon, deep mahogany and cherry rose; "Peach Melba" - the color of a cut white peach with an accent of raspberry in the throat; "Butter Cream" - soft cream toned colors in delicate double flowers. With names like those, no wonder Nasturtiums are so welcomed in the kitchen.
Although the blossoms appear delicate, they are actually very durable and make for vibrant and long-lasting garnishes, one of their best uses. Use the blossoms either whole or chopped to decorate creamy soups, salads, butters, cakes and platters. Their sweet, peppery taste (both in the leaves and in the flowers) adds to the enjoyment. In fact, it is for its tangy taste that nasturtium gets its common name. It comes from the Latin "Nasus Tortus" meaning convulsed nose, referring to the faces people made when tasting the spicy plant. Its scientific name is Tropaeolum majus.
Take advantage of this spicy flavor as well as the decorative color. Use both leaves and blossoms in salads. Try adding them to spinach salads for a dramatic effect. Nasturtium's spiciness is also a winning addition to cheese spreads. Both the leaves and the blossoms look and taste great in tea sandwiches. For a stunning look, pair orange nasturtium blossoms with violets on open-faced cucumber sandwiches on white bread.
Make your own zesty vinegars by using the blossoms. Place same colored blossoms in a decorative bottle (five blossoms per cup of vinegar) and cover with hot, but not boiling, white wine vinegar. You can strain out the spent blossoms after the liquid has cooled and settled for a day. Replace them with fresh blooms to make an attractive gift.
For a tasty and sensational hors d'ouvere, stuff the blossoms. Seasoned cream cheese mixtures, egg salad or chicken salad work well, although thy must be finely chopped to be able to pipe them into the tiny throat of the flower, One of the most colorful choices for filling is guacamole - a great summertime appetizer with a chilled margarita! You can also make little appetizer packets. Wrap a blossom around a mixture of cream cheese, raisins, walnuts and orange peel for a tea time treat.
Nasturtium buds also have their place in the kitchen. They can be pickled and used in place of capers, although I think I'd have to have a very large patch of nasturtiums before I'd sacrifice those beautifully dramatic blooms to eat the buds.
The chopped leaves also make a zesty addition to mayonnaise or vinaigrettes. As the summer sun gets hotter, so does the "pepper" in the nasturtiums. More sun and heat, the spicier the taste. So if you are looking for a milder tang, choose flowers from nasturtiums grown in shade or semi-shade.
Most varieties can survive when grown in partial sun. In fact, they will produce lush foliage but then you tend to miss the best part of your nasturtiums: they flower less under those conditions. Ideally, nasturtiums like to be in full sun, with moist, well drained soil. Since it is considered an annual, plant the seeds in spring when the danger of frost has passed. Once they are established, nasturtiums will continue to spread and bloom until the first frost, with little more than the occasional sprinkling.
Nasturtiums basically come in two forms: compact and trailing. The compact variety is low and busy, usually staying at about 12" tall. They are useful as border plants, creating a colorful and dense edge. The trailing variety cascades dramatically down walls or tumbles brightly out of hanging baskets. They are also perfect for window boxes and container herb gardens. Just be sure to keep them trimmed back or they will crowd out the other plants.
Unlike most of our more common kitchen herbs, which originate in the Mediterranean region, nasturtiums are from South America. The conquistadors brought these brightly colored plants back to Spain in the 1500's. The Indians of Peru used the leaves as a tea to treat coughs, colds and the flu, as well as menstrual and respiratory difficulties. Being high in vitamin C, nasturtiums act as a natural antibiotic, and as such were used topically as a poultice for minor cuts and scratches. Nasturtiums are also used in Ayurvedic medicine. The leaves are rubbed on the gums to stimulate and cleanse them. Because of it origins, early English herbalists referred to nasturtiums as "Indian cress."
Once introduced to European gardens, nasturtium's popularity caught on. Monet was rather fond of them and planted them in the border of the pathway that led to the front door of his home in Giverny. Later, during World War Two, dried ground nasturtium seeds were used as a substitute for black peeper, which was unattainable.
But don't wait for a pepper shortage to plant these showy herbs - enjoy them all summer long!
What beauty from the parking lot stands along the Fox River! The prices are higher nowadays, but, heck, I remember paying 25 cents for a gallon of gasoline, too.
And (take it, Erin and Leland... ) a box of Kraft Dinner macaroni and cheese cost only ll cents.
["Yah-yah, we know, Dad."]
Yes, my mother used to give me a dime and a penny to go up to Budzien's grocery at Oakland and Arcadian to buy a box of that still magical product.
But there's nothing like real vegetables, produced from area truck gardens and brought at dawn by the grower-operators, delicacies sure to explode their super-fresh flavors on your palette.
Smiling customers crossed the foot-bridge over the Fox in high anticipation as I walked to the car with my hefty load. Now to take a knife to that luscious stalk of brussel sprouts. To have some slices of real tomatoes..........
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sept. 24th, and although windings-down can be manipulated digitally on the PC, as above, what's really happening is a gradual browning-down. Gourd tendrils are not advancing, imminently to dry and encrispen; cosmos seeds are either going to be picked by me or will be plucked clean by the hungry gold-finches. A squirrel ruined the sunflower plant, burying a nut in the too-late- protected top soil in the flower pot.. Yet the thing continues, until frozen-out, to cast a small blossom.
A pair of mourning doves have taken up squatters' rights on the deck and are so lacking in fear or sense that they allow me to come and go and do my watering and pruning chores without flying off. ome people hunt these creatures. But for their erratic flight patterns their peaceful nature assures easy bags.
In this political season there is a much broader dichotomy than just between Dems' and Repubs' philosophy. The blood-lust of hunters, as currently on our decision plates with the great white huntress of the north before us - that alone makes up my mind to pass on SP, now and forever. And there are plenty of other reasons not to vote for her.
The SRN prefers for things to attrition-out naturally, like our deck plants, unslain except for those pesky squirrels.
(Let's kill 'em! Not.)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
my backyard shows what happens
when houses are left vacant
or not maintained;
or if "the economy"
Likewise, what happens
if the earth is spoiled.
Or, if time just runs
Monday, September 22, 2008
Wasilla AK/ Officials at recent high school swimming meets here are in disagreement over whether a competitor's pet raccoon shall be allowed to boost her speed at Alaskan contests. This is a phenomenon peculiar to the state's plentiful wildlife.
"In the lower 48 this would never fly," Grace Kari admitted. In her case it began innocently enough when she would swim recreationally with her raccoon, and attempt to escape his habitual tickling. But swimmer Kari soon realized that in her desperate effort to move out of range of her four-legged friend she was becoming a speed swimmer.
So far, the coon, Rocky, has been allowed to participate in the swim meets, and Grace is all smiles as she moves up the ranks.
to be continued
Economic exigencies obtain.
The SRN ed. - back in the day - visited a friend's grandmother's condo in Fort Myers. The complex, like so many others in Florida, was built on "reclaimed" swamp land. Affluent retiree residents wore snake skins for hatbands, and thought little of alligators crawling on their manicured lawns.
But this is different circumstance.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
(A Political Fable)
The seven dwarfs always left to go work in the mine early each morning.
As always, Snow White stayed home doing her domestic chores.
As lunchtime approached, she would prepare their lunch and carry it to the mine.
One day as she arrived at the mine with the lunch,
she saw that there had been a terrible cave-in.
Tearfully, and fearing the worst, Snow White began
calling out, hoping against hope that the dwarfs had somehow survived.
'Hello!...Hello!' she shouted. 'Can anyone hear me? Hello!'
For a long while, there was no answer.
Losing hope, Snow White again shouted,
'Hello! Is anyone down there?'
Just as she was about to give up all hope,
she heard a faint voice from deep within the mine, singing . . ...
'Vote for John McCain! - Vote for John McCain!'
Snow White fell to her knees, crossed herself and prayed,
''Oh, thank you, God! At least Dopey is still alive...''
Friday, September 19, 2008
"I shall not dwell in that bird-house of a (painted) gourd forever."
Sic-biblical, and sick.
My subsription is cancelled. It's just a little too cute here at the raccoon news when the glossy Readers Digest-owned magazine starts rose-mauling stove pipe sections to thwart bird-seed-loving raccoons.
Bruce Springsteen recorded this traditional song with The Seeger Sessions Band during the "Seeger Sessions". The song is included on Bruce's 2006 cover album, We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
We are Beck’s minions bold and brave
each day we go a-driving
And some are bald and some don’t shave
Yet all each day are striving
We pay our money and take our chance
Piloting Yellows by the seat of our pants
Through the maelstrom of traffic we fearlessly dance
And at flag-up our loads are still living
We cabbies are lowly, many assay
Our job does yield little station
The dregs of the work force, bottom-rungers, they say
Back-washed from proud civilization
But didn’t we cheer the maudlin, brace up the drunk?
Didn’t we ferry them all, dog, chippie and monk?
Didn’t we treat them as equals though some might have stunk?
Yes, with verve and no small dedication
So take heart, fellow driver, heed what’s here writ
You’re a hero, a champion, a darer with grit
That you can’t quote the market
Doesn’t matter one whit
It’s your guts that call forth admiration
I’m proud to be with you, black men and white
Together on call on the streets day and night
We perform our service. Getting rich? No not quite
Yet to us be there be joy and libation
Yet to us be there be joy and libation
[David Dix in Cab No. 202 8-1973]
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Several readers have written to inquire about the face at the bottom of the canoe paddle in our Mona's new house posting of yesterday.
Herewith, an explanation in a correspondene with friends:
To Laura, Quin, 2 ea:
I thought of you today when posting this SRN piece on Mona's new harbor. If you look at the canoe paddle to the left of the cabinet you will see an old image of Bobby Lohman, the night watchman at the Guest House, Freiden's homeless shelter.
Do you remember seeing him? He's the guy who was the miraculous organ player who gave that concert performance in the church, circa 1984.
His pasty white face after X period of time on Milwaukee's streets that he presented that first time at the temporary shelter on Wis Ave was so void of any expression, so lost. John Helt and I discovered that he was a crossword puzzle-doer. So we would bring assortments of crossword books for him, and worked puzzles with him through the night.
When the permanent shelter was established in the old Friedens school bldg, he came there and eventually got hired as an entrance window-watcher when the guests would line up in front and outside that "gatekeeper" window beneath him.
You may remember that Bobby was killed, beaten for his meager SS check in the small south side hotel he established his own room in. The funeral was at Woods.
I remember Bobby sidling up to me once at the guest house, asking me very indirectly, with much hemming and hawing, if there was a pipe organ in that church building.
When I said there indeed was, and a good one too, he fell silent. "Why?" I asked him.
"Well, why do you ask?"
" I was just wonderin".............."
Looking away from me, he mumbled, "Wonderin' if I could try to play it sometime."
Why certainly, and we went over right then in the dark of the night and I unlocked the door and led him down the cavernous aisle to the altar where the console stood, at the left of the huge behind-the-pulpit picture of Christ knocking at the door.
He never told us, though we asked often, how he became such an artist at the organ. We never did find out. He would't say. His history was locked up and we would never know it.
But that small man with the wandering, uncoordinated eyes and fuzzy beard could play! It was like a roller rink the night of the concert he gave for the band of Friedenites & guests. Probably a hundred (seemed like) songs and he never repeated a tune. All we needed was a spot-lit turning mirrored ball at the vaulted ceiling, to send colored reflections around the sanctuary.................
When he died, I glued his picture to a canoe paddle, and it has remained with Dee and me ever since.
Looking forward to the up-coming Friedens reunion!
Monday, September 15, 2008
All's quiet on the Western front; but all is not at peace on the Midwestern homefront & homestead: instead, in bed, with visions of the pacific shore and packers scores dancing in my head, i rose from my bed to the clatter of mobile phone ringing a predawn wakeup call saturday from a neighbor right across the alley in whitefish bay to tell me that the "tree planted by streams rivers of water" (days of rain), longstanding home for squirrels evicted from our attic, raccoons and possums,and sentinel over our garage,decided to split (literally) in the rain and windstorm, and go to rest in pieces on our garage roof, power lines, and north neighboring fence,with its still-standing better half now leaning for a fall on our south neighbor's new garage (rockabye treetop, in the highwires:down came that baby, cradle and lines . . .and the wisconsin lineman is still on the line with insurance agents, contractor, tree surgeon, electrician, WE energizer and adjoining neighbors, north, south and west through the alley, as all rally in the most collective neighboring since our last block party) Even as i speak (and the wooden corpse squeaks its last gasp) our hired burglar is flipping melted brats from the unfreezer. Give us a singe, Lord, i pray, not execution by electrocution, as i hear the kicker of psalm 1 say:
Meahwhile, back at the ranch, i ride a new paint purple integra, and the greatest danger is a filly who runs wild in the church.
Yours in the Great I Am,
Who is not in the wind or the tree,
He Who Is, Whirl Without End,
A Horseman of a Different Collar
Chaffing at the Bitin Horse Country,
watching out for a red, black or pale horse,
while calling (as i did in sunday's call to worship)
for a white horsewith the crowned rider
called Faithful and True, a New Jerusalem,a New Ramona,
and the Tree of Death removed
Tom Bentz, Rev. Dr.
"I would dearly love a new place to hang out, now that winter is coming and you have no warm radiators yet for me to sleep on. Somewhere preferably against an interior wall, up off the floor, and a cozy small enclosure. A niche where I can curl up and sleep for hours where/when the sun don't (sic) shine. Please................."
We saw to Mona's need, as is our respectful want, in the walnut commode opposite the sewing machine desk where this contemplator sits. There is a door on the right for a chamber pot, a perfect enclosure now that we have indoor plumbing. Clearing away the contents and placing a fluffy towel down for Mona to lie upon, we put her in and partially closed the door to give her privacy and to reduce any drafts.
It is indeed a snug harbor suitable to her need, apparently, for she is still in there.............
In 1904 his father, Leib Goldhirsch, emigrated to Winnipeg, only to move the family to New York City the next year. Harry became a stockbroker but lost his job in the 1929 crash. Convicted of mail fraud, Golden served five years in a Federal prison at Atlanta, Georgia. In 1941, he moved to Charlotte, where, as a reporter for the Charlotte Labor Journal and The Charlotte Observer, he wrote about and spoke out against racial segregation and the Jim Crow laws of the time.
From 1942 to 1968, Golden published The Carolina Israelite as a forum, not just for his political views (including his satirical "Plan for the Vertical Integration of the Schools", which involved removing the chairs from any to-be-integrated building, since Southern Whites didn't mind standing with Blacks, only sitting with them), but also observations and reminisces of his boyhood in New York's Lower East Side. He traveled broadly: in 1960 to speak to Jews in West Germany and again to cover the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel for Life. In 1974, he received a presidential pardon from Richard Nixon. Calvin Trillin devised the Harry Golden Rule, which states that, according to Trillin, "in present-day America it's very difficult, when commenting on events of the day, to invent something so bizarre that it might not actually come to pass while your piece is still on the presses."
His books include three collections of essays from the Israelite and a biography of his friend, poet Carl Sandburg. One of those collections, Only in America, was the basis for a play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee.
The Harry Golden Papers -- from UNC-Charlotte
1944-1968: The Carolina Israelite. (Weekly newspaper published in Charlotte, NC)
1950: (With Martin Rywell) Jews in American History: Their Contributions to the United States of America. (Henry, Martin Lewis Co.)
1952: (Martin Levin, Ed.) Five Boyhoods.
1955: Jewish Roots in the Carolinas: A Pattern of American Philo-Semitism.
1958: Only in America. (World Publishing Co.) Republished 1972 by World Publishing Co.
1958: For 2c Plain. (World Publishing Co.) Republished 1976 by Amereon Ltd., ISBN 0848810155.
1960: Enjoy, Enjoy! (World Publishing Co.)
1961: Carl Sandburg. (World Publishing Co.) Republished 1988 by Univ. of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-06006-7.
1962: You're Entitle. (World Publishing Co.)
1962: The Harry Golden Omnibus. (Cassell & Co.)
1962: O. Henry Stories. (Platt & Munk) ISBN 0448411059.
1963: Forgotten Pioneer. (World Publishing Co.)
1964: Mr. Kennedy and the Negroes. (World Publishing Co.)
1964: So What Else is New? (G.P. Putnam's)
1965: A Little Girl is Dead. (World Publishing Co.)
1965: Amerikah Sheli (My America). Hebrew. Selections from Only in America and For 2c Plain. (Jerusalem: Steimatzky)
1966: Ess, Ess, Mein Kindt (Eat, Eat, My Child). (G.P. Putnam's)
1966: The Lynching of Leo Frank. (Cassell & Co.)
1967: The Best of Harry Golden. (World Publishing Co.)
1968: The Humor Gazette - Funniest Stories from Country Papers. (Hallmark Editions)
1969: The Right Time: An Autobiography. (G.P. Putnam's)
1970: So Long As You're Healthy. (G.P. Putnam's)
1971: The Israelis: Portrait of a People. (G.P. Putnam's)
1972: The Golden Book of Jewish Humor. (G.P. Putnam's)
1972: The Greatest Jewish City in the World. (Doubleday & Co.)
1973: (With Richard Goldhurst) Travels Through Jewish America. (Doubleday & Co.)
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The sock monkey doll. You have it, and
what a classic!
Somebody way back when, a doll-maker of unknown fame, conjured on one of these traditional work socks and saw it. The red lips on the heel of a stocking. Imagine.
Since the first effigies began, prehistorically, all manner of substances have been used for the amusement of children. Corn-husks, chips of stone, sticks, bits of clay…..and now and for a long time, even socks!
These dolls live. Any child knows that.
In August, we took a drive to the Kohler Art Museum in Fond du lac WI to see a textile in arts exhibit. Our daughter was home for a month between graduation from Lawrence and the beginning of grad school at UW Madison. What to our wandering eyes as we strolled through the museum should appear? This artful configuration on the sock monkey theme. (top photo)
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all paper doll. And this creation urges, nay, demands a certain form upon which to store it.
The sock monkey theme - it’s like Scotch Tape or Kleenex or Elmer’s Glue. It sticks to you. Lipstick sticks to you, and is so politically in, til it rubs off.........
We went to the internet to explore further and came upon a woman in Hayward WI who runs her own monkey doll business. (Hayward, that’s just south of the Mesabi Range which is just south of the arctic circle, way up north.) This lady, Dee Lindner, has a website: http://www.sockmonkeylady.com You'll find lots of sock monkey products there.
We’ve enjoyed a few Dee-lightful Email exchanges with Ms. Lindner. Check her site out.