Rabbit and Horticultural Bean Stew

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Eating Local, Food Porn, Meta, Recipes

Barb is an Athens, OH blogger, and as a lover of all things local, and many things Athens, was immediately drawn to her writing, her recipes, and the simple recipes that result in spectacular dishes. This recipe, in particular, I made after a trip to the huge farmers market in Athens on one fine Saturday. Because of this, I was able to source the ingredients from the same suppliers she uses. It’s a beautiful stew, with the heady aroma of the stock, wine, and herbs bringing out the best of all the other ingredients.

Rabbit and Horticultural Bean Stew

Rabbit and Horticultural Bean Stew
recipe from Tigers and Strawberries

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil or bacon drippings
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks–white and light green bits only
3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 pound boneless rabbit meat
1 tablespoon each fresh minced rosemary leaves, fresh thyme leaves and minced fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2-2 quarts of rabbit stock (or chicken stock, if you must–or water, if you haven’t anything else)
1 1/2 pounds freshly shelled horticultural beans
the meat from the rabbit stock, if you have any
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs–I used rosemary, thyme, sage and flat-leaf parsley–for garnish

Method:
Heat the oil or drippings in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot on medium high heat.

Add the onions and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until the onions turn golden. Add the leeks, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms, and cook, stirring until the onions are a deep golden brown and the other vegetables have been tinged with brown and everything is smelling wonderful.

Add the boneless rabbit meat, and cook, stirring, until it browns lightly.

Sprinkle in the first measures of fresh herbs and the Spanish paprika. Pour in the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot, then allow the alcohol to simmer out of the wine.

Add the rabbit stock or whatever other liquid you are using, and stir in the beans. Add the meat from the rabbit stock, if you had any. Throw in the bay leaf.

Bring to a brisk simmer, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and cook until the beans and rabbit are both tender.

If the stew liquid isn’t thick enough to your taste, take out about a half cup of beans and mash them thoroughly. Stir them back into the stew and voila–instant thickener! No extra added fat or starch. Beans are like magic that way.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with the fresh herbs just before serving.

Quark Spatzle

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Eating Local, Food Porn, Recipes

I came across this recipe while searching for a way to use quark from Blue Jacket Dairy. Even though I love spatzle as a base for a delicious stew (sauerbraten, I’m looking at you!), this preparation is a vegetarian meal unto itself. I love what the browning process does to them. I could eat this for days on end!

Quark Spatzle

Quark Spatzle
recipe from I Can Do That blog

1/2 c. quark cheese, homemade or store-bought
3 eggs
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground white pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Sea salt and ground white pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, about a quarter of the whole nut
1 c. grated Swiss cheese
1/4 c. water

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon salt for every quart. In a small bowl, mix flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and white pepper. With a wire whisk, blend the quark and eggs together in a large bowl. Stir in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until smooth.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Keep the heat at medium while boiling the spatzle.

Push the dough through the holes of a colander, spatzle maker, or a potato ricer into the boiling water. Stir the spatzle and cook for 1 minute. Then, using a skimmer or a large slotted spoon, transfer the spatzle to the hot skillet. Raise the heat up to high and fry the noodles until they begin to turn golden. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Add the cheese and stir-fry until it begins to brown slightly. Add the water and stir-fry until it is absorbed. Add more water if you want the noodles to have a thick soupy consistency. Serve immediately.

Mayor: Crime Prompted Hazleton Crackdown

AP Online March 15, 2007 SCRANTON, Pa. – A crime surge in a former coal town prompted a crackdown on illegal immigrants, the mayor testified Thursday as he defended the ordinance against claims that it is unconstitutional. see here illegal immigration statistics

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta said violent crime spiked 60 percent between 2003 and 2006, driving businesses away and making residents afraid to come out of their homes. Within weeks last spring, he said illegal immigrants were arrested for fatally shooting a man, shooting a playground with a BB gun and dealing drugs.

“People were demanding that something be done,” Barletta said on the fourth day of a trial to determine the constitutionality of Hazleton’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act.

“I understand those who say the federal government is in charge of regulating immigration,” Barletta said. “However, these crimes are being committed on our streets.” The ordinance, passed last summer, imposes fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and denies business permits to companies that employ them. A companion measure requires tenants to register with City Hall.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued to overturn the measures, saying the federal government has jurisdiction over immigration matters. Enforcement of the laws was barred pending trial, the first to examine local efforts to curb illegal immigration. go to web site illegal immigration statistics

Statistics show that illegal immigrants were responsible for less than one percent of the more than 8,000 crimes in the city between 2001 and 2006, ACLU lawyer Witold “Vic” Walczak said.

“I don’t have a dollar for one of them,” replied Barletta, who is facing a budget deficit. “We don’t have a dollar or an extra policeman for one of them.”

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 7/2/2011

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, North Market, Produce

It’s finally starting to feel like winter around here – we finally got a little snow. No more than just a dusting, but just enough to remind us winter hasn’t finished rearing its ugly head just yet. What better time to look at pictures from last summer’s farmers markets, and to start counting down the days until it’s that time again…

Cabbage

Small Red Potatoes

Eight Ball Squash

Blueberries

Pickling Cucumbers

Lettuce

Rabbit, Mushroom and Tarragon Stew

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Eating Local, Farmer's Market, Recipes

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have a freezer chock full of meat that I bought and never got around to using. If you, like me, managed to find yourself with an extra rabbit in there, this is a perfect recipe for a chilly day. The rabbit is from the Athens Farmers Market – it was much easier to prepare than I thought it would be, and the result was a hearty stew that I could very easily see myself making again.

Rabbit, Mushroom and Tarragon Stew

Rabbit, Mushroom and Tarragon Stew
recipe from the We Are Never Full blog

What you need:

* 3 rashes of bacon, cut into pieces
* 1 small onion, diced finely
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 box of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced lengthwise
* 1 whole rabbit, cut into pieces
* 3 sprigs of tarragon – 2 with tarragon leaves removed and chopped and 1 left whole, bruised by back of a chef’s knife
* 2 1/2 cups of white wine
* 2 heaping tablespoons of dijon mustard
* 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
* 1/2 cup light cream

What to do:

1. Heat heavy-bottomed pan/pot to medium-high and cook bacon pieces until almost crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Pour bacon fat into a bowl and, starting with one tablespoon, add the fat back to the pot. Cook onion, garlic and mushroom in the bacon fat until medium-soft (about 5-6 minutes). Remove and set aside in the bowl with the bacon.

3. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Add a bit more bacon fat (or butter if you’d prefer) back to the heavy-bottomed pan and add your rabbit pieces. Sear the outside on all sides of each piece until they are nice and golden brown (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove to a plate for a moment.

4. I know, I know… lots of removing of food from the pan. They’ll be back soon. Deglaze the bottom of your pan with wine – keep heat up to medium and scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan. After about a minute or so, add your chicken stock, tarragon, bruised tarragon sprig and mustard. Stir.

5. Now, add back everything – rabbit, mushrooms, bacon, onions, garlic, etc. – to the pan. Bring to a boil and then lower to medium/medium-low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. After that, continue to simmer the dish uncovered for another 20 to 30 minutes. It will cook down to a thicker sauce.

6. Finish by stirring in the cream and fishing out the loose tarragon sprig. Enjoy!

Pokemon to Host International Video Game and Trading Card Game Championships August 16-17.

China Weekly News August 26, 2008 Pokemon USA, Inc., the worldwide leader in trading card games and video games, announced details for both the 2008 Pokemon(R) Trading Card Game (TCG) World Championships as well as the first-ever Pokemon Video Game Showdown, which will pit the most skilled Pokemon video game players from the U.S. and Japan against one another in a battle to determine the ultimate champion. Both events will take place August 16-17 at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, bringing together hundreds of Pokemon fans from around the globe. site pokemon diamond pokedex

The Pokemon Video Game Showdown will feature 64 of the most talented players from the U.S. and Japan competing in two different age divisions. U.S. qualifiers were selected from two regional tournaments held in Los Angeles and New York on July 12 and July 19, respectively. Over 1,000 players from ages 6 to 43 came from all over the country to battle playing Pokemon Diamond or Pokemon Pearl for the opportunity to compete against the best players from Japan. Participants will strive for the chance to call themselves a champion and win a grand prize that includes a six-day vacation package for four to New York City, Honolulu, or Tokyo. Runners up will win custom Nintendo DS(TM) game systems and special Pokemon prize packs. go to site pokemon diamond pokedex

The 2008 Pokemon Trading Card Game World Championships follow a record-setting U.S. National Championships in June, which drew nearly 1,000 competitors. Hundreds of players from nearly 30 countries will compete in the invite-only event for the title of Pokemon TCG World Champion. The top 32 winners in each of the three age divisions will be awarded various Pokemon prizes and merchandise, including scholarship awards worth more than $100,000.

Pokemon has proved its dominance over the past 10 years as one of the most successful kid’s franchises of all-time. The Pokemon animated series is broadcast in more than 30 countries in over 25 languages. Nintendo’s Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl games sold more than 1 million copies in the first five days and more than 14 million copies since their launch. The Pokemon Trading Card Game is the number one collectible trading card game and boasts over 80,000 organized play members. Both championship events will promote the fun of the trading card and video games as players are required to use skill, strategy, and creativity to play.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/18/2011

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, Food Porn, Produce

Today’s entry is going to be a quick one, as I’m going to be leaving in a few minutes to head up to Cleveland in a few minutes with the Columbus Food Adventures peeps to attend the one night FreshStreet popup (note: Facebook is down at the moment – will update entry later on to link to FreshStreet) at Jonathan Sawyer’s Noodlecat. I won’t be getting back until after midnight, so it’s now or never, although I should be doing some live updating on Twitter.

But back to what you’re looking at – I these were taken when I was still in Dodd Hall, and when P. was going out to the farmers markets and I attended vicariously through these photos. Out of all the things I missed last year, that was a biggie for me. So needless to say, these pictures became my motivation – when I was learning to walk again, it was in hopes of being able to walk by the time the farmers markets started this year. I’m so happy that I’ve got there with time to spare.

So in all honesty, I’m not sure which pics were taken where, as I’ve totally lost my frame of reference, and P. doesn’t remember. But enjoy, anyway – and remember that this is only about 4 or so months away…

Rhubarb

Lettuces

Red Raspberries

Kohlrabi

Flowers

Chard

HAVING FUN SERVING OTHERS; Alternative spring-breakers forgo bars, beach.(FAMILY TIMES)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC) March 23, 2003 Byline: Alexandra Rockey Fleming, THE WASHINGTON TIMES Boston College junior Jeff Capotosto needed a break from the daily grind. Like most students, he hit the road, hoping to put some miles between himself and the stress and responsibility that riddle higher education. Mr. Capotosto’s spring break – unlike those of many of his peers – didn’t include any tequila shots, no honeycomb of revelers crashing cheap motels, no random hookups with unknown coeds. He traveled to Washington instead – on his own dime. Here the 21-year-old and his compatriots spent a week laying insulation and posting drywall on a couple of houses in projects supervised by D.C. Habitat, an affiliate of Habit for Humanity International, the Christian nonprofit housing organization based in Americus, Ga.

Nearly 30,000 students nationwide will participate in some type of alternative spring break this year, says Dan McCabe, executive director of Break Away, a national nonprofit group that assists colleges and communities in promoting alternative break programs. Organizers say this type of trip appeals to students who want to make new friends, help other people, learn about different cultures and experience a new environment – minus the bacchanal more frequently associated with spring break.

Before his trip, Mr. Capotosto said he was confident that his vacation, organized through Boston College’s service group, Appalachian Volunteers, would be a great opportunity – “everyone coming together for a cause,” he says.

“A lot of times you’re worried about your own life,” he says. “This is a week where you can actually do something for someone else. It’s a nice thing to do that’s also rewarding for everyone involved.” +++++ Concerns The three B’s booze, beaches and bikinis commonly are linked to spring break in the minds of many students. Some considerations for parents of teens who are planning spring-break vacations include:

* Many “all-inclusive trips” to foreign destinations such as the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada include all-you-can-drink parties, booze cruises, unlimited open bar and parties sponsored by liquor distributors where alcohol is distributed free of charge.

* The drinking age is 18 or 19 in Mexico, Canada and much of the Caribbean, and in many of these places the age limits are only modestly enforced, if at all. alcoholpoisoningsymptomsnow.net alcohol poisoning symptoms

* U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country they are visiting. If a teen is arrested, there is little if anything that the State Department can do to help. Also, medical care in many resort areas often is inadequate to respond to drinking and other substance-related crises.

* Although some travel companies provide adult chaperones, these adults are not responsible for monitoring students’ alcohol or drug consumption or sexual activity.

* Many young people don’t know the signs of alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include the following: The person doesn’t respond when spoken to, pinched or poked; the person vomits when passed out; the person cannot stand up or remain standing without aid; the person has a very slow rate of breathing fewer than six breaths per minute; he has bluish or purplish or clammy skin that feels cool to the touch; his pulse is slower than 40 beats per minute.

Source: Students Against Destructive Decisions +++++ More info Books * “The Uncollege Alternative: Your Guide to Incredible Careers and Amazing Adventures Outside College,” by Danielle Wood, ReganBooks, 2000. This book includes ideas and resources on opportunities for adventures around the world; internships, apprenticeships and training programs; and community service projects.

* “The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Adventures: Internships, Extraordinary Experiences, Seasonal Jobs, Volunteering, Working Abroad,” by Michael Landes, Ten Speed Press, 2002. This guide contains more than 1,000 opportunities to work, play, learn and help, introducing readers to previously unconsidered options. this web site alcohol poisoning symptoms

* “Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years,” by Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller, Griffin Trade, 2000. Using case examples and real-life dialogue, this book shows how parents may have lost control over their college student, but they haven’t lost influence.

Online * SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions, (www.sadd-online.com) has identified spring break as a time of year when teens are particularly at risk. Its Safe Spring Break Campaign offers a safety kit that includes materials that warn young people about some of the dangers of underage drinking. SADD also encourages young people to turn their energies to community-service projects that will strengthen and improve their communities. The Spring Break Safety Kit includes ideas and information about community-service projects that teens can organize that will provide opportunities for teens to get together, have fun and accomplish a worthwhile objective over spring break.

* Break Away (www.alternativebreaks.org), a national nonprofit organization, provides workshops and facilitates a network to connect nonprofit groups that need volunteers with the goal of having students become lifelong participants in community service.

* Youth Service America (www.ysa.org) is a resource center and alliance of more than 300 organizations committed to increasing the quantity and quality of opportunities for young Americans to serve locally, nationally or globally.

CAPTION(S):

Boston College junior Jeff Capotosto helps repair the house for D.C. Habitat, an affiliate of the nonprofit organization. “This is a week where you can actually do something for someone else,” he says. “It’s a nice thing to do that’s also rewarding for everyone involved.” [Photo by Jessica Tefft/The Washington Times] Boston College students and AmeriCorps workers put siding on a Habitat for Humanity house in a Northeast community in the District. Nearly 30,000 students nationwide will participate in some type of alternative spring break this year, says an official of a nonprofit group. [Photo by Jessica Tefft/The Washington Times] Natalie Battle, a junior at George Mason University, traded sand, sun and relaxation for an alternative break in New York City. There she spent a week caring for victims of HIV/AIDS via the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, an AIDS advocacy and education organization. [Photo by Jessica Tefft/The Washington Times]

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 10/9/2010

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, Produce

Don’t know how I missed posting this one, but here’s another long lost post of the farmers market in October, 2010. This was right before I got sick, so unfortunately it was pretty much the last market I saw until mid-summer, 2011. Looking at this makes me inspired to make some cold weather dishes that encompass these seasonal ingredients. Keep your eyes peeled for some upcoming posts using these very items…’

Monster Cookies at Sassafrass Bakery

Fall Decorations

Painted Pumpkin

Colorful Peppers

Pumpkins of All Colors, Shapes and Sizes

Apples

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/4/2011

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, North Market, Produce

When the farmers markets started up for the season, I unfortunately was still in the hospital being weaned off a ventilator and hopelessly weak (I couldn’t even sit up without toppling over). Going to the farmers market is the one thing that grounds me, no matter how frenetic the rest of my life is at any given time. It’s a yearly ritual that I hadn’t missed for years. Paul did a great job going to the markets for me, taking plenty of pictures, and bringing me fresh fruits and veggies (btw, a quick shout out to the folks at Select Specialty Hospital is in order – they were so great in adjusting my meals to make things that I could tolerate eating – their veggie omelet (which included whatever fresh veggies they had laying around, along with some nice melty cheese) is one of my fond memories of that time. The other biggie? The shampoo cap that was super relaxing – go figure.

I’m planning on attending the first markets of the year later this spring. Going without asparagus and morels and ramps and other spring goodies had me a little bit down, as did not being able to plant or tend to my garden. This year, nothing will keep me from picking up where I left off before I got sick. All of these pictures were taken at the North Market, if my memory serves right.

So, as the temperature plummets tonight and a little bit of snow falls, look at these pics as a reminder of what’s to come in just a few short months…what spring rituals are you most looking forward to?

Strawberries

Praying Mantis Nests

Heart Shaped Cucumber

Grape Tomatoes

Green Onions

Asparagus

Obituary: Lucienne Bloch

The Independent (London, England) April 3, 1999 | Nick Caistor BORN IN Switzerland in 1909, living most of her long life in the United States, the artist Lucienne Bloch is best-known internationally for her friendship with a Mexican couple.

The first record of Lucienne is as a small child in her birthplace Geneva, photographed with her brother and sister by her father, the composer Ernst Bloch. Bloch was also a photographer and taught Lucienne how to develop photographs as a child. In 1917, Bloch sailed with his family across the Atlantic to take up a position in New York, and a few years later became director of the Institute of Music in Cleveland and then, from 1925, of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He had a somewhat tempestuous relationship with his wife, who after a few years took her children back to Paris. detroitinstituteofartsnow.net detroit institute of arts

Lucienne studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and spent a year making glass sculptures in Amsterdam. Returning once more to the United States, it was in 1931 that she both held a one-man show of her glass in New York and first met the formidable Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. In her diary, Bloch recalled that this was at a dinner in Rivera’s honour in New York, where she was seated next to the great man, much to the irritation of the jealous Kahlo, whose first words to the bemused young Swiss woman were: “I hate you.” Soon though, Kahlo became satisfied that Bloch was not infatuated with her husband, and over the next few years, she became Kahlo’s faithful companion, accompanying her during the difficult loss of her child, and the death of her mother, and even travelled to Mexico with her. On one occasion, in August 1932, Bloch wrote in her diary: “We took cold chicken in a little basket and went to Belle Isle dragging Diego with us at the last instant. It did him good to go out. He was so surprised at the beauty of the trees when lying down in the grass. He says trees are ugly and nature is hokum, but he can’t help admiring it when he’s in it.” Bloch herself was a talented sculptor – Frank Lloyd Wright offered her the post of sculpture director at his school in Wisconsin. But she was particularly impressed with the public murals that Diego Rivera was busily creating in Mexico and the United States, and instead became Rivera’s assistant. She also fell in love with his chief plasterer, the Bulgarian Stephen Dimitroff. She helped on Rivera’s most controversial projects, at the Detroit Institute of Art, and on Man at the Crossroads, for the Rockefeller Center in New York. Nelson Rockefeller had commissioned the 1,000sqft work, but the Rockefeller family was horrified when it discovered that Rivera intended to make it a paean in praise of Communism, with Lenin as the great spiritual leader of mankind. Rivera was quickly paid off, and armed guards moved in while the mural was covered with screens. Bloch attempted to defend it, even going so far as to scrawl on the whitewashed windows of the Rockefeller Center: “Workers unite! Help protect Rivera M-” – at which point, she was dragged away. She returned however, on 8 May 1933, with Dimitroff and Kahlo, and while Kahlo distracted the guards, Bloch climbed up on the scaffold and with her camera managed to capture the only images of the mural to survive. Throughout the 1930s, Bloch continued to work as a muralist and sculptor in glass and terracotta. She and Dimitroff married and became an artistic fresco team, he handling the plaster and she the painting on around 50 projects around America. Her photographs of Frida Kahlo were widely shown, but she also took photos for Life magazine, again demonstrating her strong political convictions, as in the series of striking carworkers in late 1930s. Dimitroff became a union organiser until the couple moved to California in the 1960s. Towards the end of her life, there was a renewed interest in Lucienne Bloch’s work. The singer Madonna, researching for a film project about Frida Kahlo, talked with her at length and set up a fund to preserve the best of her murals, The Evolution of Music, in the George Washington High School in New York. From 1965 Bloch lived in Gualala, California, and it was here that the first exhibition of her photographs of Frida Kahlo was recently held. Lucienne Bloch, muralist: born Geneva 1909; married Stephen Dimitroff (died 1996; two sons, one daughter); died Gualala, California 13 March 1999. see here detroit institute of arts

Nick Caistor

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 9/5/2009

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, Produce

When I was going through my drafts to see what I have and have not posted yet, I came across this market report from 2009 that has never been shared. I’ve got to tell you, looking at this makes me homesick for August/September when we can get the best of what summer has to offer (tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, eggplant) AND the best of fall as well (apples, winter squash, potatoes and other root veggies). Am I the only one who is counting down the days to spring in the same way that a baseball fan counts down the days to the first day of spring training?

Tomatoes

Onions from Elizabeth Telling Farms

Winter Squash

Okra

Various Peppers

Sticky Buns from OK Mercantile

Fruit Basket from Gillogly Orchards

What are you looking most forward to? Events, or seasons, or produce, or whatever, all replies welcomed.  Next up, the market reports from 2011…

`MISSING’ WEDDING INVITATION A LESSON IN FADING FRIENDSHIPS.(LIFE & LEISURE) go to site essing wedding invitations

Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) September 14, 2003 Byline: CAROLYN HAX Washington Post Writers Group DEAR CAROLYN: I have a group of about 12 close girlfriends from college. At the end of our senior year, one of those girls, “Heather,” became engaged. Heather wasn’t my closest friend, but we were certainly considered in the same “group.” I am extremely offended that I was not included. If I were in Heather’s shoes, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would invite her. Am I overreacting?

– Offended DEAR O: No, not unless your engagement party, shower, bachelorette, rehearsal dinner, wedding and brunch invitations got lost in the mail. If I were in your spot, I’d be really, really hurt.

But there’s getting validation and there’s getting over it, and don’t be so tempted by the former that you keep putting off the latter.

It won’t help, but look at it this way. You have 11 friends who will miss you and one who’ll be glad you stayed home. That not only makes for pretty good likability stats, but also is probably how it would be if you were invited but weren’t able to go — right?

Because, setting aside that you would have offered Heather a courtesy invitation, you and she aren’t close, and I’m sure there’s mutual indifference for some of the others, too. Few of us ever go 12 for 12 when it comes to impressing people, and your sense/illusion/delusion of being liked by all 12 wasn’t bound to outlast your 20s. (Ask any over-30 member of a school-era “group.”) You just had the veil ripped off in one swipe, whereas most watch it slowly wear thin.

DEAR CAROLYN: I lost touch with my best friend a year ago — she and I had a falling out when I revealed to her that I had feelings for her. She was in a really bad place in her life and, unbeknownst to her, so was I, though my feelings for her were true.

We’ve always been victims to bad timing; she liked me a few years back, when I was in a relationship. Right now we live in different cities, but I don’t see my future without her. I tried to get in contact with her right after our argument but she told me she would call me back and never did.

I can’t get her off my mind. Should I just forget about it and hope she comes back to me? I don’t know what else I can do … without looking like a chump.

– Missing Her DEAR MISS: If you want to look like a chump, then let fear of looking like a chump keep you from getting in touch. I mean really. Is saving face more important to you than saving a meaningful friendship?

Say, “No.” Good.

Now call her. If Chumpty Dumpty has a great fall, so what? At least you’ll have shown her that you had guts enough to try. And you have enough feelings for her. CAROLYN: My roommate brings over his on-again, off-again girlfriend just about every night, and I can’t stand her. I just want to scream, I’m so sick of seeing her there. I’ve tried talking to my roommate about it, and he seems to be of the opinion that he pays rent to have the freedom to do as he chooses. But I’m going out of my mind. Is there something I can do? see here essing wedding invitations

– L.R. DEAR L.R.: Move. (Just in case the mind-loss is advanced.) He freaked out! He felt that my not telling him sooner was an indication that I might be hiding other information about myself. Am I supposed to say, “Hi. My name is Jane, I’m a divorcee, I love margaritas and long walks on the beach”? Or, is it OK for me to feel things out before deciding whether it’s going somewhere and needs to be disclosed? — In Need of Divorcee Etiquette DEAR DIVORCEE: Nice to meet you. I’m “In Need of a Forehead Slap.” It’s a divorce, not an ill-gotten virus. You had a husband, and now you don’t, and even though few little girls wish upon a star that they might grow up to become ex-wives, it’s been a while since people used a stage whisper to say the D-word.

A Little Bit of Germany in Columbus

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Ethnic, Holiday, Oma

The Christmas memories of my childhood are often punctuated by thoughts of the baked goods they used to make for the holidays. My grandfather’s stollen had a prominent place In those memories, and so did German style cookies. Holidays were big in their household, going over there on Christmas Eve every year was something I looked forward to all year.

Bierberg Bakery Outside

In the heart of German Village (where else did you think it would be?) there is a little shop, only open for 2 months a year, that sells old fashioned German cookies, the kind that is just perfect for serving with coffee or cocoa. They closed for the year on Christmas Eve, and unfortunately I didn’t make it there this year – they do, however, make the same things from year to year, so this will give you an idea of what to expect.

Bierberg Bakery Cookies

Posting this today (on the 16th anniversary of my Oma’s death) is a bit bittersweet, but in a good way. So many good memories to cherish that don’t fade away one bit as the years pass by. Even though she’s been gone a while, I still hold her close to my heart and feel like one day, somehow, some way, we’ll be together again.

What holiday traditions of your childhood are a part of your current celebrations? Which ones started with your generation and will continue for years to come?

If you’d like to go (unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until fall): Bierberg Bakery, 729 S. 5th Street, Columbus (German Village), 614-443-9959

Salad Nicoise

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Eating Local, Produce, Recipes

By the time I got out of the hospital in mid-July, nearly half of the summer had already disappeared before my very eyes. It was extremely disconcerting to not have my usual summer tasks to tend to (gardening, putting food up for the winter, etc.), so I kept things fairly simple, trying to take my focus away from sweets and refined carbs, while trying to keep my protein levels up.

I started craving salads like crazy – one Saturday at the farmers market one of the farmers had small red potatoes and green beans packaged together, and what immediately came to mind was a recipe for Salad Nicoise that I had seen earlier that week on a television show. I hunted down the recipe, and was quite pleased with how it turned out. I have yet to try it with tuna, but it was fantastic with wild salmon.

Salad Nicoise

Salad Nicoise
recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

8 oz. fresh green beans (2 cups)
12 oz. tiny new potatoes, scrubbed and sliced (2 medium)
1 recipe Nicoise Dressing (recipe follows) or ½ c. bottled balsamic vinaigrette
Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
1 ½ c. flaked cooked tuna or salmon (8 oz) or one 9 ¼ oz. can chunk white tuna (water pack), drained and broken into chunks
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 hard cooked eggs, sliced
½ c. pitted ripe olives (optional)
¼ c. thinly sliced green onions (2)
4 anchovy fillets, drained, rinsed and patted dry (optional)
Fresh tarragon (optional)

Wash green beans; remove ends and strings. In a large saucepan cook green beans and potatoes, covered, in a small amount of lightly salted boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes or just until tender. Drain; place vegetables in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

Prepare Nicoise Dressing. To serve, line 4 salad plates with lettuce leaves. Arrange chilled vegetables, fish, tomatoes, eggs and olives (if desired) on the lettuce-lined plates. Sprinkle each serving with green onions. If desired, top each salad with an anchovy fillet and garnish with tarragon. Shake dressing; drizzle over each salad. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Nicoise Dressing: In a screw-top jar combine ¼ c. olive or salad oil, ¼ c. white wine vinegar or white vinegar, 1 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. snipped fresh tarragon or ¼ tsp. dried tarragon (crushed), 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard, ¼ tsp. salt, and dash black pepper. Cover and shake well. Makes about ½ cup.

Nutrition: 348 cal, 17 g fat (3 g sat, 11g mono, 2g poly), 139mg chol, 228mg sod, 24g carb, 5g total sugar, 4g fiber, 24g protein.