October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat for UNICEF

Tonight’s NBC news noted it’s 60 years since the first time young children collected pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters for UNICEF.

“Do you remember that?” I asked my husband, who grew up in the Deep South bayous of Louisiana.

“No, that was thought part of the international conspiracy,” he said, grinning.

We are a bit too old to remember the first year UNICEF was part of Halloween, but as an elementary student growing up in South Orange, NJ, in the 50s, I regularly collected for UNICEF – always, I confess, in tandem with my own request for sweet offerings of a different nature.

October 28, 2010

Cookbooks and the recipes we cherish

Pork has never been made a regular appearance on my table, which may be why, after each of my few feeble attempts to cook a pork chop for my pork-chop-loving husband I sugest he just order them in a restaurant. (FYI: John highly recommends Palmer Crossing's chops)

After the last attempt he asked me, "Has pork always been cheaper than beef?"

I looked at him in bewilderment. How was I to know?

I was raised in a kosher-style house. We didn't drink milk at the dinner table, but usually had butter on the vegetables. We ate lobster and shrimp in restaurants, but I don't think my mother knew how to cook them. And the only pork I can ever remember in her fridge was bacon - served exclusively on BLTs.

October 23, 2010

In spite of everything...are people really good at heart?

I had forgotten the power of The Diary of Anne Frank, which we saw today at the Westport Country Playhouse.

The theater was filled with middle school aged-children: the Playhouse was hosting “family day” to encourage this next generation to learn not only about the Holocaust, but about the play’s eternal message of optimism and hope.

Like so many, I first read the book when I was about Anne’s age, which meant I of course identified with Anne, and tried to emulate her eternal optimism. I’ve seen the play and movie several times, but not in the last 20 years or more. And so I was, to put it mildly, blown away, yet again, by this story.