Raisins- Yes or No?

My friend Bill’s sister used to make him a raisin pie. I believe it was for his birthday.  One time I made raisin filled cookies for him once he told me. He would be a YES on the raisin question.

And then there is the NO response to Raisins- Yes or No?

I have a friend who prefers oatmeal cookies without raisins in them. Not sure if he dislikes raisins or just in cookies.

The other day on Zoom virtual knitting group we were talking about pick-up  bakery items available at Jean Marc Chatellier French Bakery in Millvale.  You can order via phone and pick up baked goods between 10-1, different items available different days. Then someone in our Zoom Virtual Knitting group asked if the Apple Strudel made by Jean-Marc had raisins in it.(no was the answer)  Another participant said they hoped the apple strudel didn’t have  raisins in it because “Raisins are the Devil’s Candy!” I’d never heard of that expression before. Have you? Sure enough when I googled I found a 2015 blog post with that very title.  Oh my. A rant agains the lowly raisin? Who knew?

Last week a reader objected to the rice pudding with raisins in it when I posted a few days ago.  Yes to the Rice Puddings but No to the Raisins.

Ready to make Raisins Filled Cookies . Raisins plumped by covering with boiling water.

April 30 is National raisin day

And the story of the image of the Maid on the Raisin box who passed away in 1983

So which is it-

Raisins. Yes or No?

 

 

Portrait at Panza’s and Friday Night Take Out

Everyone who knows me and  what’s in Millvale PA, was pretty sure I was at Jean-Marc Chatellier Bakery when they saw yesterday’s post of the snow topped mailboxes.

Not this trip-  although I wish I’d thought of when I was over there.

Right after school I drove in the snow and met my wonderful printer, Tom, to pick up a print.  Tom was waiting on the side of street on 31st  between Liberty and Penn, right before the 31st Street bridge.

His good idea so I could get to Millvale before closing.

I was dropping off a print to be framed at my favorite framer, Mark Panza Gallery. He and his daughter Jennifer do an excellent job.  I always leave there with a rejuvenation in spirit and lots of creative ideas after we talk.

Mark took this photo me with my new SONY mirrorless camera, testing it out.

I love the vintage mannequins in the background as they are waitng for pick-up to be in a movie being filmed in Millvale and Pittsburgh.

Thanks for taking this photo of me Mark.  

PanzaGalleryPortrait

and here is our selfie  usie  taken with the tilt screen option that opens up.

I made it a tad smaller so I don’t feel so bulky when I look at it.

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I cropped myself out and got a nice portrait of Mark

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Steve brought in take out tonight. Fish sandwich and slaw.  I reheated the sandwich in the oven.  Mmmmmm.

FishSupper

Macarons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost everyone’s crazy for Macarons these days.  What’s all the fuss about?

Macaron stores popping up in NYC every few blocks. And in Pittsburgh!

They’re everywhere.   “meringue- like almond cookies” says Jean- Marc Chatellier’s website

And they’re gluten-free.

Have you made them yourself yet?  Most people don’t, but buy them at the bakery.

Preferably an excellent French bakery. In France.

I’ll skip the peanut butter and jelly flavor, though.

I was knitting at a friend’s for tea and she had a lovely sleeve of multi- flavors and colors including a lavender, a lemon  and a salty caramel. (See the red box!)

My favorites are still Jean-Marc Chatellier in Millvale, PA, across the Allegheny River.

I read David Lebovitz- Living the Sweet Life in Paris blog  I Love Macarons with terrific photographs and a multitude of links for more info on macarons you ever thought possible….and if you want to try making his French Chocolat Macarons click here for directions and recipe

 

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New York City display

macarons in a box

From Squirrel Hill French Bakery

 

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West Village, New York City

 

Macarons 4

 

Jean -Marc Chatellier Bakery    Millvale PA

 

 

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Independence Day Macarons in July

 

 

Born on the Fourth of July, 1952, Brooklyn New York

But I really grew up in New Jersey.  New York always sounded better to me and I have held onto that fact all these years. Joisey, the Garden State, just didn’t seem as cool.

Yes, it is my sixtieth birthday today.  YIKES!  We were supposed to drive to Roanoke VA but power outages from the bad storm last Friday knocked that plan out!   You’ve seen a lot of my life these past three years on the blog.  The art room adventures, some knitting, my pleasure in the eating and making of food, my family, the city, my travels, and as Arlene says, the ordinary- making it interesting!

I have been talking about turning sixty since I turned fifty-nine last year.  Go figure.

My friend Mary Ann told me someone asked her if she was afraid to turn sixty and she told me  her response was, “I’m afraid to NOT turn sixty”  Many are denied the chance.

If you are born on the Fourth of July you receive a lot of red, white and blue presents. One has to post a little red white and blue on the Fourth of July so here are the two free marzipan macarons you receive when you buy the dozen at Jean-Marc in Millvale*

And here is my mom holding me. My cousin Paul sent me this photo last year at Christmas and it is the only baby photo I really have of myself.  Looks like I was bottle fed.  How about that wallpaper?

And then there is this prize winner of my wonderful haircut and chubby cheeks, I think I was  three,  This picture is stuck in one of those “magnetic” photo albums- meaning nasty glue that ruins your photo and you can’t remove it- EVER.

And here is what I looked like last week in the heat at the Pirates Game in Pittsburgh with  my three year old granddaughter Maura. A nice woman filling the ketchup dispenser came over and asked it I wanted her to take it of us.  She enjoyed seeing Maura enjoy her cone and I had photographed her eating it (of course).  I don’t get in many photos which is just as well at this point. But when I think about what makes me happy in my life, my family is at the top of the list. I am fortunate indeed.

Here is a picture a first grader drew of me last year which I photographed on my phone. I am so glad I documented this artwork cause on the rough days and the long days of teaching art in the city, I can read her inscription at the bottom.

 Ms. Hendricks is my hero.

It doesn’t get any better than that!

And I found this next photo in New York City when I visited my sister a couple months ago. Once I was visiting a family friend, Naomi,  in a home and she said told me how she would think of all she was grateful for in her life and when she focused on a theme of gratitude she just couldn’t  feel bad about anything. I remember her words and she died shortly after the visit.  It is easy to forget to be grateful.  Once I read about  thinking three things you are grateful for each day, right before you go to sleep and I try to remember.

I am grateful to my family, friends, fellow bloggers and followers and wonderful commenters who have encouraged me in my photography, blogging and writing.

Today is a very happy birthday!   I am surrounded by my family who love me.

Thanks everyone. (And Happy Birthday Suzanne who shares the date!)

*Here is a shot of Millvale,PA  taken the day I bought the macarons!

Celebrating 39 Years of Teaching!

It’s hard to keep this friend anonymous since her name is on the cake. In chocolate letters!

Ellen is a blog follower and I hope she doesn’t mind….

Colleagues, family and friends gathered together to honor Ellen today.  Effusive praise and accolades aren’t  what Ellen would wish for but let me just say – there are thousands of students who have benefitted from having been taught by her in her classroom.

I didn’t see the smiley face on the cake until I looked at the photos.

 Jean-Marc Chatellier baked this and decorated it so beautifully. It tasted delicious, too.

(You remember the colorful macarons?)

Enjoy your retirement Ellen. You deserve every happiness!  A job well done.

Macarons by Jean-Marc in Millvale

Not just motorcycles in Millvale.  Took these assorted macarons to the graduation party as a hostess gift.

They’re so colorful. And they melt in your mouth delicious.

Jean-Marc was featured on the blog before.  We are so fortunate to have a true French bakery right in Millvale.

Here ‘s what Jean-Marc says about the macarons on his website

Macarons, or French Macaroons, are GLUTEN FREE meringue-like almond cookies

filled with a buttercream or white chocolate ganache that is infused with natural flavors.

Extremely popular in Paris, Macarons are now available for Pittsburghers who long to

revisit their memories of travel abroad, or for those who want to try them for the first time.”

What’s Going On Across the River in Millvale, PA?

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.