In light of the COVID-19 precautions...
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizers that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid close contact with anyone who appears sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then toss the tissue in the trash.
Disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
Talk to your doctor if you develop symptoms.
Stay home if you develop symptoms.
Avoid nonessential travel to areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.
Visit the website for your local health department for updates.
If you are caring for an older adult:
Know what medications are needed and help them have extra.
Monitor food and medical supplies and have a back-up plan.
Stock up on non-perishable food to reduce shopping trips.
If a loved one is in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the residents and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Carmela to the rescue. Hot Buttered Rum.
She called it a classic. Just the thing for a Winnipeg winter day.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Shaking Ma off, Mrs. Kekelia turned to me. “Tina, you come mit us. Haf such plans. Take family und see everyting. Tina, you like see show?”
Would I! But, before I could say anything, Ma said, “Tina will be busy” and went back to hustling Mrs. Kekelia away from the table.
When they got to the door, Mrs. Kekelia had an inspiration. “You not know ven...”
“And you don’t know what we’ll be doing in May. We’re busy.” And with that, Ma slammed the door on Mrs. Kekelia. I went to the living room to enjoy the rest of my strudel.
Aunt Demi looked up from her crocheting and said, “Netta, it was a good idea for you to make the Easter dinner this year. I have to save my strength. I’m going to have my time in hell with my sister-in-law.”
Liz grabbed a cashew and asked, “Which sister-in-law is that?”
Aunt Demi dismissed Liz. “What does it matter to you? You never met her.”
Ma grabbed an opportunity to sit. “Demi, refresh my memory. Which one is coming?”
Aunt Demi sighed. “Eh. Who else would give me this trouble? You know,” Aunt Demi cupped her hand around her nose. Ma had a good memory.
Aunt Demi gave a huge sigh. “With her husband and three boys. Hmmph. I have to scrub the house top to bottom.”
Liz loved company, even when it wasn't hers. “There’s so much to see... They’ll have a great time!”
Aunt Demi gave Liz a withering, ‘you simple-minded child’ look, sighed and explained, “They’re coming to see family, not to have a great time.”
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Carmela Soprano's Neapolitan Crostini with melon and prosciutto, Anna Sultana's Maltese Style Pickled Onions
Our local Safeway marks down day-old bread every morning. Pretty good deal. Last week they had a large loaf of Italian bread marked down. Tomatoes and cantaloupes were also on sale.
It was a sign.
I'd made melon and prosciutto before. No big whoop. Don't bother buying an Italian cookbook for this one. Cut the melon into 12 slices, toss the seeds and cut off the skin. Place 2 slices on a serving plate. Drape 2 or 3 slices of prosciutto over each pair of melon slices, sprinkle with pepper and garnish with a lemon or lime wedge.
Hey, not everything is as big a bother as Carmela Soprano's Baci Cake.
Back to the Italian bread and tomatoes... Carmela had a recipe for Neapolitan Crostini. Another Italian quickie. It's March and I'm sick of winter so this is as much effort as I'm putting into this project this week. So sue me.
Okay. Basically we're talking a broiled tomato and cheese sandwich here. An easy pizza substitute. I told you, it's March. I left the anchovies out of Paul's sandwich. He doesn't like them. I wasn't worried about some guys from Tony's gang pounding on the door because I'd left out a lousy anchovie.
If you need measurements, here are the recipes for Carmela Soprano's Neapolitan Crostini and for Carmela's Melon and Prosciutto.
Ma had something even easier than Crostini. She would cut the Italian bread into large chunks, slice each chunk horizontally, then smear tomato paste on each slice. Then she'd drizzle some olive oil on the tomato paste, sprinkle some salt and pepper and top with Maltese style pickled onions.
When I was little I helped Ma make pickled onions.
My earliest memory is of helping Ma at a chipped white enamel table in our back yard. The yellow jackets buzzed lazily while I peeled onions. The dry paper skin crackled and fell around my feet. Ma would gather her skirt between her legs and slowly climb the swaying ladder to the top shelves in the garage. Then she'd carefully bring down jars she'd saved. They weren't a pretty matched set. A pint-sized mayonnaise jar squatted next to a gallon-sized olives jar.
After I'd put the onions in her jars, Ma poured the wine vinegar syrup. The onions bounced in the bright red liquid. Then she'd tighten the lids and arrange the jars on the table so that the sun could cook the onions. There they stood, a monument to the passing summer. We knew winter was coming when Ma told us to carry the onions to the basement.
During the winter we'd taste summer in those onions when Ma placed them on fresh bread covered with tomato paste and olive oil. Ma and Pop would remember when they were young, before the war. They would laugh, drink glasses of sweet tea and talk about living on a tiny Mediterranean island where it was always warm.
Sometimes simple is better than fancy.
Another two recipes down. Yes, I'm counting the melon and prosciutto. It was in the book. Seventy-three more to go.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Jessie and her husband Walter, who was an ordained deacon, were very active in our parish. As Father Mike Koryluk said at Mass, "You looked at Walter, you saw Jessie. You looked at Jessie, you saw Walter."
We first met Jessie 22 years ago. She went out of her way to make newcomers to St. Peter's Parish feel welcome. Paul had volunteered to help at the parish's Bingo game. Jessie came over and said, "You must be Paul" and gave him a very firm handshake. We were grateful to her for welcoming us and impressed by her taking the time to notice newcomers.
Jessie's approach to life was expressed in her obituary
Jessie's lifelong fidelity to God and to her Church prompted her to share her time and gifts in so many ways.
That she did through her devotion to her daughters Josephine and Elizabeth and her extended family, and also her work with the Catholic Women's League. She and Jean Keating were founding members of St. Peter's C.W.L.
Jessie and Walter also volunteered at nursing homes, and were active in several capacities in Polish "Sokol" C.P.A.C. club. They also were host and hostess for the Folklorama pavilion for many years.
Jessie loved music and sang in the parish's choir. She also loved nurturing house plants and continued crocheting, knitting, sewing, reading and attending the opera until her vision failed.
Last week I mentioned that we've learned a lot over the past year. Some things we had thought were important, aren't. Some things we took for granted we now realize are very important. Things like God, family, our parish community, friends.
Jessie's life was very well lived. She always stayed focused on what was important.
Thank you, Jessie.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Mrs. Kekelia nodded, “Tsk. I know. Ich bin ein New Yorker. I see all shows. Dey see notting, go no vere.”
Liz said, “Ain’t that the truth.”
Ma went back to her eternal excuse. “We were working.”
Mrs. Schultz wasn't impressed with Ma's priorities. “Tsk. Alvays mit vorking.”
Aunt Demi didn’t want this talk of Broadway shows to lead her brother Peter and his family into going into Manhattan. Who knew where that could lead? Demi announced, “They saw enough.”
Ma got worried when she saw that Demi had put down her crocheting. She didn't want a real old fashioned fight this Easter. Demi was getting on in years, but she did have her crocheting hook. She could still draw blood. Ma didn't know how she could explain that to Liz. Watching Demi, Ma said, “Grazie but I told my brother to save his money. We saw the best parts. That was enough.”
Liz was really warming up to Mrs. Kekelia. Crushing another nut, Liz told her, “Your family will have a great time. There’s so much to see.”
Nodding, Mrs. Kekelia agreed. “Yah. You und Charlie come mit us. I get tickets. More people, more fun.”
Liz beamed. “We’d love to.”
Aunt Demi huffed and went back to her crocheting.
Glancing at Ma, Mrs. Kekelia smiled and continued, “Und I cook all best recipes. No garlic. You come. I make plenty.” Mrs. Kekelia smiled broadly and patted her stomach. “Ven haf company, I alvays haf extra.”