Laura and James have a new puppy. Nine weeks old! Penny (from Penny Lane) has come to her new family. Anna changed out of her bathing suit into clothes in two minutes flat, got into the car with her seatbelt on, ready to for the drive to Laura and James’ house to meet the new puppy. What a sweet, soft, fluffy, puppy. Puppy dog eyes, just one sweet baby dog. It is a case of PUPPY LOVE all around. She looks a bit like a baby lamb to me. A Golden Doodle but 75% poodle, 25% Golden Doodle(mom).
When Mark was four or five all he wanted was the Millennium Falcon.
It was the one toy of childhood he truly longed for and did not receive. Oh how he wanted it! He LOVED Star Wars.
And I looked at it all those years ago and thought it was a lot of money at the time for a big hunk of plastic (at least that is how I remember it) So I didn’t buy it for him. Obviously, this topic has resurfaced over the years.
This past January I happened to sit next to a nice man and his wife at a friend’s 60th Surprise Birthday Party. We were chatting and he said he owned a Vintage Toy store- Where the Toys Are in Canonsburg PA.
“By any chance do you have a Millennium Falcon?”, I asked.
“Why, yes!”, he said he thought he did AND sure enough he emailed me and sent me photos. His friend (the 60th birthday guy was his childhood friend) delivered it right to my home (in the original box!) in February and I was so excited.
I kept it until Mark’s birthday but it was really hard to keep the surprise. I asked Matthew if he thought Mark would be happy to get it after all this time and he said he thought so and sure enough, look at Mark’s face in this photo.
A couple of weeks ago the Where the Toys Are man and his wife and the 60th Birthday man and his wife were in Zagreb and they called me on their cell phone from a 300 year old bar and I got to hear Matthew playing guitar and singing, 4550 miles away from Pittsburgh! Happy Happy Happy all around.
“hand-made, hand-rolled and patiently baked to perfection” Prepared in the Croatian manner by Strawberry Hill Povitica Company in Lenexa, Kansas. Since Matthew lives in Croatia I thought I would post this photo of the poppy seed bread and see if it looks like the bread in Zagreb. It’s expensive but delicious! They will mail order. 100% guaranteed. My son’s mother-in-law said it reminds of her mother’s poppy seed roll (she was Italian). I know several people who bake a poppy seed cake, too. Below is a Povitica recipe that has walnuts in the filling instead of poppy seeds.
Recipe from Kansas City Star. The recipe is From: Mary Lou (Pozek) Elbertson of Crystal River FL
No mention of poppy seeds. Walnuts!
Povitica, Croatian holiday bread Recipe
To activate yeast:
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cakes compressed or dry yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm 2 percent milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs, use 1 whole plus 3 yolks
- 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
- 8 cups sifted all-purpose flour (approximately), divided
- Walnut filling:
- 2 pounds shelled and finely ground English walnuts
- 5 cups sugar
- 2 cups scalded milk
- 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 11/2 to 2 teaspoons melted butter or margarine, divided
- 2 eggs, beaten
To activate yeast: Stir 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon flour and yeast into warm water and cover with plastic wrap; let stand for 5 minutes.
To make dough: Mix milk, 3/4 cup sugar and salt; add beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter and 2 cups of flour. Blend thoroughly and slowly add remaining flour, mixing well until dough starts to clean the bowl.
Turn dough out on floured surface and knead until it is smooth and does not stick. Divide dough into 2 large pieces (they will weigh about 21/2 pounds each), or 4 small pieces (11/4 pounds each).
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour in a warm place. Dough will double in bulk.
To make walnut filling: Measure 2 pounds of finely ground English walnuts into bowl and add 5 cups of sugar; mix well. Heat milk and 1 cup butter or margarine to boiling; pour over nut mixture. Add eggs. Mix and let stand until ready to be spread on the dough.
If the mixture thickens, add small amounts of warm milk.
To roll each piece of dough: Spread white sheet or cloth so entire table is covered. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons to a handful of flour (use sparingly). After dough is placed on surface, roll dough out with rolling pin to about 10 or 12 inches, spoon 1 to 11/2 teaspoons melted butter on top. Using tops of hands, stretch dough out from center until dough is thin and uniformly opaque.
Trim edges and save; spoon proportionate amount of nut mixture on the dough and spread evenly with rubber spatula until dough is covered.
Lift edge of cloth and roll like a jelly roll; trim ends and shape into a U. Place in loaf pan and brush with egg whites. Continue with remaining pan(s).
Cover pans lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest for approximately 15 minutes.
Remove plastic and place in preheated 325-degree oven and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check bread within 30 minutes and also at end of the hour to see that it is not getting too brown.
Laying sheet of foil on top of loaves will help prevent over-browning.
Remove from oven and cool on rack 20 to 30 minutes.
When cooled, put in food storage bag and wrap in aluminum foil if bread is to be frozen. Povitica bread can be frozen for several months.
Makes 2 loaves (one loaf yields 10 to 12 slices, including the end pieces).
Per slice, based on 10 slices: 641 calories, 23 gm fat, 92 mg cholesterol, 100 gm carbohydrates, 11 gm protein, 501 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber.
from the archives- My sister pointed this out to me as we walked by. Check out how different tenants use the same space on either side of the building. Three photos.
Here is the building
Happy Birthday Mark. I found this ship you made when you were a member of Den 1. I have saved it quite a few years and so today I dusted it off with Q-tips and took it out to the wonderful light in the garage and used my real camera instead of the phone! I think your kids would get a kick out of seeing this ship you made. Then I put it into the China closet in the dining room for when they come to visit. I remember the day you were born in Fort Knox, Kentucky! You have grown up into a fine man, husband and father. I am a proud mother! xxooxx
As I was leaving B & B’s home in the slopes, this little guy caught my eye. He is standing guard. I hadn’t seen a Steelers Garden Gnome before. B’s mom bought it. My DIL is always promising to get me a garden gnome for my yard but I bet she hasn’t seen this model.
And just a bit ago, V texted me- Hines Ward won the Dancing With the Stars competition. Earlier in the week she’d seen something on TV about Pittsburghers all watching and voting for Hines as the “Steeler Nation felt it was their civic duty”. With her instruction and encouragement, I was able to go online and vote for him, too! That was fun! Not sure if other regions have garden gnomes(click for origin of garden gnomes) sporting their team’s colors, but wanted to share this one wearing the Black and Gold.
From the archives: two years ago After supper we drove to the lake and the dam in Lewis Center Ohio. The grandchildren picked up some of the gravel and tried to throw it into the lake. Endless fascination with the small stones. Just before sunset.
Sticks and stones.
How many stones
do you weigh?
Bob’s, Like a Rolling Stone-
gather no moss.
Chiseled in stone.
What you could be
by the Queen of Narnia.
Skip one across pond.
Carve a quarry.
I gave my love a cherry–
it had no stone.
The heart of a peach.
Seaside FL (no I am not there now, from the archives) You know how difficult I find street photography. These women didn’t notice me and my camera. Here’s what I saw……
A couple of women and some crochet cotton, one stitching as fast as she could. The one looks like she’s holding something that is being undone and recrocheted by the woman on the right. The line of thread between the two looks like it was just unraveled from having been stitched previously.
I wish I’d asked what the story was, what she was making. And why right there on the sidewalk? Standing up?
Someone just recommended to me that I try to knit standing up, be easier on my neck, and I thought, impossible. I was in FL a couple of years ago with good friends Shuey and Connie and we were touring around, seeing where the Truman Show was filmed and the market with the most jams and preserves I’ve ever seen, floor to ceiling.
Dear Shiny Buick Man
in York PA,
You’ve lived in my upstairs hall closet
over two years now, in a frame and mat.
I wanted to tell you
I took your picture
one January Sunday
just before I pulled out of the lot.
I lifted my camera off the front seat,
shot you quick, no time to focus.
Your car caught in a lovely light,
a luster pristine-
and you in your tie.
Maybe you were coming from church.
Codorus Creek on your left,
but not the whitewater part.
The Heritage Rail Trail
(no trains that day)–
I want you to know
how I admire your fuzzy dice,
how they dangle still
frozen in that moment
from your rearview mirror.
I think you saw me.
But didn’t know what happened
so I thought I should write and tell you.
I hope you don’t mind.
A letter poem of address
to an unsuspecting man
who was just driving along
minding his own business.
Continuing with the comfort food theme, Arleen McC made this delicious cake when I visited in the fall. It was so lovely and rich. Here is a double chocolate cake recipe by Ina Garten. So think about cakes ( I know MMM, you prefer pie and Rob B what about you, certified pie taster?) but what is your basic cake preference?
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting?
Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting?
Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting?
Granted we know there are Martha Washington and Hummingbird cakes, Pound cakes and cheesecakes and Orange or Lemon, Almond and Spice, Marble and Boston Creme Pie……Today I am thinking basic combinations.
And Mark your birthday is coming up and I know that Angel Food Cake is your first choice. No icing. You didn’t even like the frosting when you were one!
Cupcakes are all the rage in a lot of places these days but my sister says the amount of frosting is disproportionate to the amount of cake which is the part she likes to eat. We have all seen kids at birthday parties eat all the frosting and leave the cake part untouched or vice versa. There are lines around the block like waiting for tickets to a rockstar concert at Magnolia’s in Greenwich Village on Bleecker Street.
Just last week Laura baked a classic 1-2-3-4 cake with vanilla icing for her Mom-in-Law 2B and it was well received.
show details May 21 (3 days ago)
Finish the meal–
wait a bit.
Not many folks
keep a layer cake on hand.
It is usually a special occasion.
I like to serve dessert
on my grandmother’s glass plates.
The addition of fresh berries
and or ice cream can’t hurt!
Some blog readers say they just look at my picture of the day and don’t bother reading what I write. They are “visual”.
The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is debatable some days. The number varies. On Thursday, a freshly pressed blogger suggested using photos you find on blogs to inspire writing and mentioned my blog as a resource which was flattering. I love the idea of my photos being a writing prompt.
The New York City sidewalk image of the pizza box and the pair of shoes was a recent example that triggered some one-sentence short story writing!
Today’s post is experimenting with a new feature- distraction free writing- initiated by smart people at wordpress.com. I’m checking it out even if everyone stopping by is just looking at the photo of the day!
This baked pasta recipe was in the newspaper more than four years ago and I have been making it ever since. I haven’t looked at the recipe in a long time but decided to search my email and the year 2007 came up. I also discovered the author of the recipe was Jamie Oliver. Four years ago I didn’t even know who Jamie Oliver was. Since it is his recipe I will send you to his page to find it and he calls it baked pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella (pasta al forno con pomodori e mozzarella)
My mother always said to buy the best ingredients and do as little to them as possible. The best ingredients you need are fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (no green-can-shaker-cheese!).
You can make the sauce in about twenty minutes and use the best quality San Marzano tomatoes just as he suggests. I’ve made it with fresh tomatoes, too.
This photograph was taken in my daughter-in-law’s (and son’s) kitchen. My son says don’t call the pasta “little ears” (orecchiette) as it grosses him out. “Call it pasta. Just plain pasta.” The four grandchildren call it pizza noodles!
And if there are any leftovers, it tastes even better the next day.
for different people
Chilly and rainy?
Bake and cook.
from the archives Invitation. Waiting to be selected, a thumb poked into the center, then peeled with ease. Each section eaten separately. Morning citrus. Seedless.
One of the most useful dishes.
Fill a bowl with food.
Pasta, chili, soup.
Cereal flakes or
corn meal mush.
Or in this case, fruit.
You take it off the shelf
or out of the cupboard
and fill it with something good.
From the archives- Some readers get the blogs mixed up and think I am asking for a vote on what’s shown, helping me downsize.
I made this a year or so ago in the summer, thinking it would make good notecards to send to the grandchildren. My mother’s tea set, a doll (with the braids) given to me in 1959 by my second grade teacher when we moved from Newark. So when the grandchildren visit there will be opportunity for a real tea party, not just the one I set up on the front lawn to amuse myself. V gave me the bear says What’s Cookin. Clearly, I am too sentimental. Ann, I know you would throw it all out!!
from the archives
Waiting for the rain to let up.
Everything super green.
Feels like fall.
You know good customer service is no easy thing to come by these days. Except at Home Depot. Check out this stack of badges and pins awarded to Liz for giving great customer service. Liz knows where EVERYTHING is in the whole store…switchplates, twine, recycle bin, picture hooks, the right shaped shovel for the job, you name it! She was gracious to allow me to capture her numerous awards and her wearing them, too. She has to be the nicest Home Depot employee there is!! Modest, too.
A topic I’ve written about before-
The frustration of making a call
and pushing buttons in response
to an electronic voice.
Remember when a human used to answer?
You notice when someone is caring or kind,
courteous and or helpful.
from the archives
Words can fall short
to describe a feeling
A camera can catch
the colors, light
there in person
looking up to the sky
watching the sun set
the camera feels insufficient.
from the archives- Found a special poetry book on the shelf in Poets House in New York City- Dorothy Holley’s Dream Quartet. Dorothy Holley was born 88 years ago today- May 15th. The poetry community of Pittsburgh misses her greatly.
I filmed a video of Dorothy reading her poetry in 2005, Quart Jar Poet. She was an inspiration, publishing her first book at age 82 and then three more books to follow. Here are a couple photos from Poets House. From the inside you look out onto the Hudson River. You can listen to Dorothy reading some of her poetry on YouTube, filmed by Barb Alsko, if you put in her name in the search. She was a good friend to me. I miss having tea with her. She kept a beautiful garden. Her iris are growing and blooming at Liane’s these days. Click here for last year’s postto remember Dorothy.
From the archives. Jim’s Steaks in Philly. Tastykakes. Behind glass. Mary wrote about Drake’s, Hostess, and there’s Little Debbie brands from different regions. Each one has a snack cake specialty - Ring Dings, Ho- Hos or Twinkies or Oatmeal Creme Pies!
from the Archives. I learned to drive on a VW bug. 1969. Black, stick-shift. Taken in North Carolina a couple of years ago.
I asked Ms. Aylon if I might take her picture (with my iPhone these days) and she graciously agreed. Then she suggested we take one under the portrait of Julia Warhol, Andy’s mother. It was Mother’s Day.
Her exhibit The Word of God: Helène Aylon, The Liberation of G-d and The Unmentionable runs through June 26th.
To read about Helène Aylon and her art visit her website.
Photographer Rick Byerly runs the Pittsburgh Art Blog click here for more information.
Details also at the Warhol calendar
A solo exhibit
at the Warhol
is very cool.
in River City- Pittsburgh.
(Photograph posted with artist’s permission)
Didn’t have to dig too deep for this series of shots.
A town about ten minutes away.
As with collections, decorators say to group
like items together.
Of course, as I look at the finished post I am
thinking of a return trip to capture the dinette store,
the modernize your home sign,
and the storefront with items for pet birds.
Seven images of Millvale, PA from the files. Millvale is happening! I love the Beatles painted on the mural by Attic Records and the laundromat.
Millvale,PA home to my wonderful framer Mark Panza at Panza Gallery and the delicious French bakery of Jean-Marc Chatellier. The beautiful St. Nicholas Croatian Church with the Maxo Vanko Murals and Holy Spirit Parish up on a high hill where Marlene’s Aunt Kitty and Uncle Shrimp married years ago.(J & J more recently, too)
Steve and I go to Grant Bar on Grant Avenue for a fish sandwich and sometimes I order tapioca for dessert. You can order a full dinner special for 9.95! Millvale has had a few floods. Check out the high water mark.
Attic Records Round out your 45′s collection at Attic Records
Two previous blog posts you might remember- If you want to see Panza Gallery and the great linoleum floor, click here
And to see the post of Jean-Marc at work frosting a cake click here.
I think I should be on the Chamber of Commerce for downtown Millvale.
There are delicious pancakes at Pamela’s diner next door to the Lanes. The Time to Eat clock is theirs. The hobby shop is where I bought some H&O miniatures illustrating laundry day.
For those of you following the Keep or Pitch blog, you know that Laura now has the Haviland Limoges China that belonged to my grandmother, her great-grandmother. Charlotte Elizabeth Rowley married Judd DeWitt Van Sickle in 1908. Uncle John born 1910, my mother Marian 1912, and Uncle Robert 1914. Laura and James will be married in the fall of 2011, one hundred and three years later. I am putting up this post, just as Mother’s Day is coming to a close.
My sister suggested a photo of our grandmother
for today’s post.
I think it was a good one.
Heinz Memorial Chapel on a Spring day. Built in the 1930′s of grey Indiana limestone. The family name Heinz is on a lot of landmarks in Pittsburgh. Heinz Hall, Heinz History Center, the Heinz House, the Heinz Plant (I hear the ketchup is made in Ohio these days) and of course Heinz Field where the Steelers play. It was the grandchildren of Anna Margaretta who had the chapel built. For info about the chapel click here or see what wikipedia has to say click here