Saturday, September 26, 2009
On my last post there was a photo of the brisket that Steve and Carol made for the holidays.

Harpoon Leviathan Quad Brisket

It looked so good (and believe me, it tasted as good as it looked) that a few of my readers asked for the recipe so here it is!


2 4 ounce cans mushrooms
1 onion, sliced
1 4 pound single beef brisket
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup ketchup
1 bottle Harpoon Beer
1 package onion soup mix

Spread mushrooms and onions on bottom of pan. Place brisket, fat side up, on top of mushrooms and onions. Add carrotts around the sides.

Mix together the ketchup, beer and onion soup mix. Pour mixture over the brisket.

Bake, covered , in a 350 degree oven for 2 l/2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool. (I like to cook the brisket up to this point the day before serving.) Place in the refrigerator.

Harpoon Leviathan Quad Brisket

The day you are serving, remove the brisket from the juices and slice against the grain. Put slices back in the pan, making it look like a whole brisket again. Baste with the juices. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.

(Steve used Harpoon beer but any beer will work)


Sunday, September 20, 2009
I grew up in a small Massachuetts city with a very large Jewish population. When a Jewish holiday rolled around the schools were closed because most of the students and the teachers were Jewish.

My mother did all the cooking to prepare for the holidays, she even made her own gefilte fish and horseradish. She could walk to the local grocery store, fish market and butcher to get whatever she needed for the holiday. Funny thing would happen, the owners of the shops always raised the prices of the items that were most in demand, especially the fresh fish!

Even as a child, I remember the heated conversations among the neighbors, "the nerve of the butcher or the fishmonger."

Today the hardest thing the hostess has to do is find the store that sells what is needed to give the holiday the taste and memories of the past.

This past week-end Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year "5770" started.

For many years I have had family and friends for the holidays. Every year there are fewer people at the table. Even so, there is still lots do. I don't cook much from scratch anymore, but I still make my chicken soup and potato pudding.

This year Steve and Carol made the brisket and mandelbrot. The brisket was delicious and guess what one of the ingredients was?

"BEER." No wonder it tasted so good!

Harpoon Leviathan Quad Brisket

The chocolate mundelbrot was equally good - even though it didn't have any liquor in it!

The Best Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot

Now getting back to what I said originally - one of the hardest thing that I had to do was find a store where I could get what I needed to make the holiday special.

Well as luck would have it, my friend asked me if I would like to join her on a trip to "The Butcherie" which is located in Brookline. She was willing to drive "over the bridge." The roads have changed, bridges have come up and driving through Boston "aint" what it used to be. If she was willing, I sure was!!

It was smooth sailing and we even got a great parking space. When you enter the store your immediate impression is "it's crowded, it's noisy, the isles are narrow and it's loaded with whatever you are looking for and MORE!"

I hadn't been to this area in years and it brought back so many memories - the wonderful bakery, the fish store and the Jewish Book Shop - they are still there, alive and well!!

What a wonderful way to start off the holiday!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009
When the Friday edition of the Boston Globe comes out I look to see what new movies have come into town. It's been weeks since anything worthwhile has played - so no movie this week.

Usually I get out to eat at least once a week - not this week.

Mah Jongg game was cancelled.

Too cool to sit by the pool.

I did have plans to meet with a friend who was visiting from Florida.

Doyle's Fruit Pancakes

We arranged to meet at 10:00am at a local pancake house. It was way to early for me but that was the only time we could get together. The older I get, the slower I get - I had my concerns - how in the world was I going to make it?

Well, not to worry - A few days before the appointed date I received a call from her. She informed me that she had just come home after a four day stay in the hospital and had to cancel her trip to Massachusetts.

I was sorry to learn that she took ill but at the same time I was relieved that our date was cancelled. Looks like I won't get together with her until I get to Florida. (and that will be for either lunch or dinner)

This week I had an appointment with my dentist who's office is a short walk from the library. For some reason I just don't get to the library as often as I would like but this was the perfect time to visit. And what do you know they had a book that was recommended to me - "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by first time author Jamie Ford.

It takes place in Seattle, Washington in the 40's when Japanese immigrants were taken to relocation centers. The story is related through the eyes of Henry, a 12 year old Chinese boy who's father insists he wears a "I am Chinese" button. Henry befriends a 12 year old Japanese girl "Keiko" - There's a lot of food for thought in this historical novel.

That's just a tease - I'm half way through and just might finish it tonight.

Oh, and speaking about tonight - Mad Men at 10:00pm EST on AMC!!

Sunday, September 06, 2009
As we age changes take place, some are so gradual you are not even aware of what is happening, some can hit you like a bolt of lightening.

Our hair thins, we put on weight, we don't have the stamina we once had, our habits change, our friends change, our tolerance level changes and things that we were able to do in the past that we took for granted are now a big deal- if we can do them at all.

That all sounds pretty serious but "those are the facts maam"

What got me thinking like this was "an evening out to dinner with the girls."

It was a beautiful night, not a cloud in the sky, no threat of rain and a full moon. What better time to go to a restaurant that has an ocean view. No waiting to be seated, no loud music and to top it off, a wonderful dinner.

After dinner we elected to take a walk on the beach. Even though we live a short drive from this area we don't get there as often as we could. After a while we pulled up a bench and started talking about past summer memories and what we are experiencing today.


On the Seawall

We all grew up on the North Shore and have fond memories of summers at the beach. When we were children our parents would take us to the beach for the day. As teenagers we would meet "fellas" - after we had children of our own we spent many happy times on the beach. (carrying chairs, blankets, food, and changes of clothing for the kids. You couldn't leave them in wet suits even though they didn't like being changed in a public place.)


Swim Lanes

Now the picture is totally different - Even when the kids were on their own we still would meet at the beach, still carry the chairs and all the other goodies that were needed. Then came the time we sold our homes and moved into condos that had swimming pools! Good-bye beach - hello swimming pools. There is only one senior that I know that still goes to the beach!

Going to the beach is too much of a hassle - the water could be cold - there could be loads of seaweed, low tide, rip-tide, hot sand, etc, etc.

Funny, when I was younger none of these things bothered me.

It's so much easier to just walk over to the pool - no problem parking the car - no chairs to carry and water that is always clean and the right temperature... and not coming home with sand between my toes!!

What we did in the past was good - as time goes by we adjust, and that's good too.

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