Happy New Year!

Okay, so it’s been awhile.

I actually typed up a bunch of recipes just before New Year’s, but apparently I forgot to post them . . .

I made Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells for Christmas dinner, which included making homemade tomato sauce, which got me thinking about Deep Dish Pizza (because my tomato sauce recipe was developed, over 30 years ago, from one included in a recipe for Deep Dish Pizza).

I should mention that it’s been a few years since I made this Deep Dish Pizza, but I used to make it quite a bit. Growing up outside Chicago in the 60s and 70s, Deep Dish Pizza was all the rage. Making it yourself takes all day, but the result is INCREDIBLE! The crust, from a buttery egg dough, is so yummy that many people prefer to save it and spread it with butter as a separate treat. A great party can be had from doubling the dough recipe and having guests bring their favorite topping ingredients. Back before I owned a pizza stone and deep dish pizza pans, I used to bake these pizzas in any oven-safe frying pan (cast iron is good, or anything that doesn’t have a handle that will melt in the oven). Using different size pans also allows you to personalize the pizzas for different guests.

Nothing else much new on the cooking front, though I just placed an order from King Arthur Flour, so my search for the perfect Italian Bread recipe will be on again soon. I ordered Duram Flour, Semolina and a special Italian Style Flour in the hopes that some combination of these will do the trick!

Of course I’m very excited about the recent inauguration of President Barack Obama. I have to refrain from singing “Oh Happy Day!” everywhere I go 🙂 I posted lots of inaugural links to my Facebook page, but will try to include some of them here for those of you not on Facebook.

But all this writing about food has made me hungry, so I must go get some lunch!

The Day After the Morning After

Election Day was long, but worth the wait. My trip to the polls was uneventful. Took about 30 minutes, no ID required (I was already on the list; here in Minnesota we just sign by our name on the list). I was #565 to vote that day (around 11 am), so they were handling about 100 people per hour.

Then the waiting started. I occupied much of the day watching reruns of “The West Wing” on video tape. Also took advantage of the warm temps to apply tung oil to my new windows in the TV room. Took a nap during a lull in the road construction still going on in front of my house. Baked “Stuffed Squash” as a wish for the “squashing” that I hoped would happen in the election . . .

Once the polls started to close I checked in occasionally with CNN, but I have no patience with all the talking heads on TV, so kept watching The West Wing until 9pm when Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert came on Comedy Central with Indecision’08. When the big announcement came at 10pm (CT) I switched over to WGN from Chicago and watched the celebration in Grant Park.

I was thrilled for Barack Obama and his family, relieved that any Republican attempts to steal the election were thwarted, in awe of the accomplishment, and very proud of my country. All of the talking and arm-twisting and cajoling was worth it (for once). I sat back and just absorbed the celebration and the speeches.

The morning after made me realize that this was the first time in my 28 years of voting that I was truly happy with the outcome of an election. I had supported a candidate that I believed in; AND HE WON!!

1980 had elected Reagan. The morning after that one I was so shocked by the outcome that I went into a pretty serious depression (helped along by John Lennon being murdered) for months (maybe years).

The Clinton years were a bit of a relief, but only financially. In terms of social policy, things continued down hill. After saying during the campaign that he would reverse the military’s policy on gays in the military, he almost immediately agreed to the inane “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Later he agreed to “Welfare Reform” that hurt millions of women and their children. And I’m not even mentioning his inability to keep his pants zipped . . .

The Bush years (senior and junior) are still too painful to think about. I was beginning to think that US society had become SO stupid and mediocracy so overwhelming that we would never elect a president who could speak in complete (even eloquent) sentences.


I’m not really ready to jump from “Yes We Can” to “Yes We Did”. As far as I’m concerned, this is just the first step. The real challenges of “Yes We Can” are yet to come. To fix the financial mess, provide health care to all our citizens, rejuvenate our education system, get out of Iraq, repair the planet, and restore the standing of our country with the world will require work and sacrifice by all of us. At least now (I hope) our government won’t try to brush the problems under the rug and tell us to “go shopping”. Most of us can’t afford to do that anyway.

We will all need to keep remembering “Yes We Can” and work together. I pray that the hole isn’t so deep as to be impossible to crawl out of. May God and the Secret Service protect President-elect Obama and his family. May we all call on the better part of our nature to look to the future.

God Bless Barack Obama


God Bless America



Ups and Downs


Apologies to anyone who has had difficulty accessing this site or my main homepage lately. Seems all the excitement of Super Tuesday has set California a-quiver. And Dreamhost.com, my server host, is located there. Most of the time the outages are only for a few minutes, though lately there have been a couple that were much longer than that.

My hope is that it’s all those people donating money to Obama ’08 that are causing servers around the nation to crash and burn 🙂

I’ve been munching on some yummy Rugalach (fresh from the batch I made in December and then froze), watching the snow fall, finishing Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, and preparing for the warning-level wind chills that are on there way.

Stay warm!