Please Christmas don't be late"
Alvin and the Chipmunks
THE VALUE OF OLD MOVIES
Then there was all the drama and pathos of Kris speaking Dutch to the little girl whose adoptive parents had just brought her back from Rotterdam. Their singing duet of "Sinter Claes" had me crying like a baby and the tears kept coming until the end when Natalie Wood made Uncle Fred stop in front of that perfect house with the swing out back. Maybe the pursuit of things isn't everything but I have a lot of wonderful memories wrapped up in finding my first two-wheeler next to the tree or being able to give a VHS players to each of my siblings after that first year I'd moved to New York when I thought I was rich. My favorite CD is the one my daughter gave me and I'll never let go of the gold cufflinks Rick gave me that I keep tucked away in the drawer on my bedside table. Some gifts nay be worth thousands, some may have a value of only a few pennies, it's not the cost of the gift that matters, it's the memory it leaves that counts.
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COOKING TIPS WITH RICK
WHAT YOU'VE GOT ...
I love to cook and consider myself a fairly decent one; I even went to culinary school and considered cooking as a career. That was many years ago; now my skills are a bit rusty and my knowledge a little faded and somewhat old school (I couldn't whip up a foam if you put a gun to my head). I now find myself having to refer to recipes something I never had to do before. I used to read cookbooks like novels and I was able to put all the recipes to memory. Now things have changed.
Since we moved to Madison I have reborn my love for cooking, found the change in lifestyle has given me time to start cooking again, not to mention the joy I've discovered in unpacking all my skillets and mixing bowls. Here in the Midwest I shop with certain meals in mind and buy for multiple ones. We even have a chest freezer in the laundry room I've stocked with whole organic chickens, salmon steaks and curly seasoned French fries. However, there are times the planned meals are used up and I find I have to rely on my antiquated skills and knowledge and whatever I can find in the cupboard, frig or freezer. Here's where ingenuity takes over and sometimes something great unfolds from a pile of leftovers and ingredients on the verge of being food for the garbage disposal. Here's what I came up with this week
SHRIMP AND RICE ...It's very nice!
Today I had onions, celery, a bit of leftover red bell pepper, some frozen tomatoes my sister-in-law gave me a year ago, a handful of arugula that was about to go bad and some parsley. From the spice cupboard, besides salt & pepper, I added a tablespoon of paprika and a teaspoon of chipotle chili powder.
Start by sautéing diced onions, celery and pepper in about two to three tablespoons of olive oil. Just as the vegetables are turning soft add 2 cups of rice, the spices and stir for a couple of minutes without letting the rice brown. Now add the (thawed) tomatoes roughly chopped, 4 cups of water, and a teaspoon of salt. Bring this to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Now add the shrimp and chopped parsley, stir and cover for another 5 minutes. If you have a lemon squeeze it now and adjust the salt and pepper.
Christmas Tree in Living Room, Levitown, L.I., 1963
Diane Arbus, photographer
Represented by Alan Koppel Gallery, Chicago