Monday, December 26, 2016

A Recipe For Disaster

On January 31st my mother June Rosenberg passed away. Since in many ways she is still with me, I’ve written this letter to her.

Dear Mom,

It’s been almost a year since you died. At first I was relieved for you that you no longer had to live through the process of losing your memory and I didn’t have to witness it. It was so painful.

Since that initial reaction has worn off, I’m remembering all the times before that and I miss you more. Especially toward the end of this election campaign, there were times when I wanted to call you so we could commiserate. Of course, I couldn’t so I’d thank God that you didn’t live to see it. That’s been my biggest comfort every day since November 8th.

Something happened this week though that I wished I could call you about. We would have had a good laugh together. Can you imagine – my blog has been hacked by Russian hackers. Don’t ask what that means but they’re spying on me and they have messed up the blog so that people can’t read it. Don’t worry that I’ve flipped out. I know it’s them because in the statistics, I see the largest number of my readers are in Russia. Besides that, I keep getting anonymous comments that don’t make any sense. Sometimes they’re just a bunch of numbers and I’ve had to send them to spam. Don’t ask. Who do they think I am - Hillary Clinton?

So I’m thinking of sending them a comment in reply. Let me know what you think.

Dear Russian Hackers,

I don’t know why you’re bothering to hack my blog, but I kind of feel sorry for you because you’ve wasted a whole lot of your time. You’re not going to find out anything from me that you couldn’t find out by reading the newspapers. I’m just a private American citizen exercising my freedom of speech while I still have it. The events I write about are all public knowledge that I’m merely expressing my opinion about.

It reminds me of two funny FBI stories. One was an old friend of mine was a member of the Communist Party. The FBI sent an agent to spy on him. They spent so much time together that they got to be friends. When the FBI agent’s dog ran away, my friend helped him find his dog.

During the Vietnam War, my friends and I went to an anti-war march. We met a man who was wearing a “May 2nd Movement” campaign button. I asked him what that was and he told us. About a year later, one of my friends told me that he read a story about an FBI agent spending six months with the May 2nd Movement and finding out everything we did in our ten-minute conversation. I guess bureaucracies have something in common all over the world.

I’m willing to let bygones be bygones if you’d just say you’re sorry and unjumble my blog. While you’re at it, could you do me a favor? My aunt was a great cook and she made fabulous beef Stragonoff. I lost the recipe so could you send one to me? If you tell me your real name, I’ll mention it in my blog.

And that’s another thing: Just a friendly tip: You’d probably do better if you used an American name on your comments and improved your English grammar. Just saying.

Happy New Year. May 2017 be a more peaceful one for all of us.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Recipe From My Mother

Sunday, January 31st my mother June Rosenberg died at the age of 94 from heart disease, old age, and I suspect the fear of having to move to a nursing home.  

My mother was always a political-social activist. She and my father Jack Rosenberg were involved in our New York suburb in founding a human rights committee to advocate for fair housing and racial integration. They were also active in Sane [the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy]. During the War in Vietnam, they were active in the protests against American involvement in it.

In my mother’s honor, I am re-printing the first post that I wrote on this blog. My mother loved it and encouraged me to keep writing. Once again, Thanks, Mom.

Honoring An Old Recipe For Social Change In America

While helping my mother to ready her apartment for sale, I saw a glint of a relic. “No!” I moaned. “Not that!”

Underneath the rubble of a half used bottle of vinegar, a quarter of a bottle of cooking oil, and various partially used spices on their way to 1-800-GOT JUNK were the vestiges of an old friend. Courageously, I dived into the rubble to rescue The Peace de Resistance, a cook book published by The Women’s Strike for Peace in the late 1960’s. Its cover was torn off and missing. Its pages were crinkled and stained, but it was still salvageable.

Feeling like I had just saved a long lost friend from an earthquake, I sat down to read it. It evoked nostalgia for a time lost when those of us who felt strongly mobilized for a greater good – to end the war in Vietnam. The recipes were ones we don’t often use now, but I relish the sentiment.

The introduction to the book recalls a time when women were just beginning to have an impact on the greater world:
            “…  We tried every which way to bring peace to our land. We protested; we marched; we wrote letters; we leafleted; we vigiled; we counseled on the Draft. We tried everything but inviting the President to dinner and cooking a meal out of the first Peace de Resistance cookbook…We’re impatient with the hash that has been made of things. We’re determined, by every means possible… stir things up, to stew about what matters, to go on serving Peace.

The recipes, basic well-balanced meals, reveal an understanding that the women of that era had of an often forgotten truth: You can’t do it all, at least not all at once. There isn’t time to change the world and cook a gourmet meal every night as well. Most of the recipes have a really short preparation time.

In the spirit of Peace de Resistance, I will try a different recipe from the book each week. If any of you have recipes to contribute, feel free to send them in. The one requirement is that the preparation time can be no more than 15 minutes. In the year ahead – It’s now 5771 on the Jewish calendar, I challenge myself and all of you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time making the world a better place. After all, hash is still being made of lots of things.

In the spirit of Peace de Resistance, I tried a recipe that isn’t in the book but should be. It’s my mother June Rosenberg’s recipe for quiche. At age 88, she wrote and circulated petitions in her retirement home to get the health care bill passed. Thanks, Mom.
Quiche – preparation time 15 minutes tops
One ready made frozen pie crust
One heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise
½ cup of milk
Tablespoon of flour
2 eggs
4 ounces of combined Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese diced
salt, pepper, and garlic to taste
1 6 oz. Can of tuna or cut veggies or slice of ham or whatever you feel like adding

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
      2) Beat the eggs
3) Dice the cheese – or cheat and buy it already shredded
4)      Mix all the ingredients (except for the piecrust and the tuna or whatever) in a mixing bowling
5)      Put the added ingredients that you choose on the bottom of the pie crust
6)      Pour in the rest of the ingredients into the pie crust
7)      Bake for about 40 minutes or until a knife inserted comes up clean.

 Preparation time 12 minutes. I put in broccoli and mushrooms this time. It was delicious.

To learn more about me, visit my blog or read my book “Breaking the Fall” available on Kindle and as a paperback on Amazon.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wishing Us All A Happy New Year In A More Peaceful, Less Violent World

A belated Happy New Year to all of you! 2015 was a year of violence in the United States and France and a year with a refugee crisis not experienced since World War II. I, for one, was only too happy to kiss 2015 good-bye.

I hope that 2016 is a happier, healthier, more peaceful world for all of us sharing Mother Earth. After all, it's the only planet that we have. I hope you try new, delicious recipes if that's your choice or you enjoy getting take-outs from the restaurants you love. I ended this recipe blog when I ran out of recipes to share. Nevertheless, I still love to cook and feel blessed to live in Chicago where I meet people from all over the world who have shared recipes from their home countries with me.

In other news, after a long absence from blogging, I started a new blog which you can visit at I hope you'll visit me there. I look forward to sharing what I've learned from people on my travels both near and far.

After much effort, I have published my book Breaking the Fall. It is available on Amazon as a paperback and as a Kindle. The link for it is It's also available on Nook and Smashwords.

I hope that you'll all take a look at it so that I can share the stories I've listened to from those walking in our midst whose stories have been invisible. They need to be heard. 

So Again. Happy New Year. May you enjoy great food, great travels, and the opportunities to make this world a better place.