26 December 2006

Kwaanza Observance & Food


Kwanzaa is an American celebration that is growing in popularity. Celebrated every year from December 26 through New Year's Day, this seven-day festival sets aside time for African-Americans to commemorate African and African-inspired culture and food, while reinforcing values passed along for generations.

I. UNITY
II. SELF DETERMINATION
III. RESPONSIBILITY
IV. COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS
V. PURPOSE
VI. CREATIVITY
VII FAITH

Kwanzaa means "first fruits of the harvest," and appropriately, this week-long festival culminates in a glorious feast on December 31 that draws on a variety of cuisines. At the center of the celebration is the table, set with a bowl of fruits and vegetables, a straw place mat, a communal cup and a seven-branched candelabra with black, red and green candles. And, while the table includes a wide variety of creatively inspired appetizers, main dishes and desserts, the feast is not complete without recipes made with sweet coconut.


CRISPY COCONUT CHICKEN FINGERS
1 C. sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch strips
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 C. butter or margarine
melted Apricot Dipping Sauce (recipe below)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix coconut, flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in medium bowl. Dip chicken strips into egg, then coat with coconut mixture. Place in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake 25 minutes or until chicken is browned and cooked through, turning once. Serve with Apricot Dipping Sauce, if desired. Makes about 2 dozen.

Apricot Dipping Sauce:
Mix 1 C. apricot preserves and 2 T. Dijon mustard until well blended.

BAKED CURRY CHICKEN
1/4 C. plus 1 T. flour, divided
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
2 T. butter or margarine, divided
1 C. coarsely chopped apple
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 C. plus 2 T. sweetened flaked coconut, divided
1 garlic clove,
minced 2 t. curry powder
1 1/2 C. chicken broth

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix 1/4 cup of the flour, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture. Place chicken, skin side up, in single layer in shallow baking pan. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.

Meanwhile, melt remaining tablespoon butter in medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add apple, onion, 2 tablespoons of the coconut, garlic and curry powder. Cook and stir until onion is tender but not browned. Stir in remaining tablespoon flour and chicken broth; bring to boil. Remove from heat.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Pour sauce over chicken pieces. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup coconut. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Place chicken and sauce on serving platter. Serve over rice, if desired.

COCONUT SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
2 pounds sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups)
2 apples, peeled, thinly sliced
2/3 C. maple flavored pancake and waffle syrup
1/4 C. ( 1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1/2 t. salt
2/3 C. sweetened flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place sweet potatoes in greased 13x9-inch baking dish; top with apples. Mix syrup, butter and salt; pour over apples. Sprinkle with coconut; cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until apples are tender and coconut is lightly browned. Makes 8 servings.

Note: Casserole can be prepared in advance and reheated, adding additional syrup, if necessary.

COCONUT BISCUITS
2 C. flour 2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt 1/2 C.
(1 stick) butter or margarine
1 C. milk
1 C. sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk and coconut until soft dough forms. Drop dough by scant 1/4 cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 15.

TROPICAL COCONUT CREAM PIE IN COCONUT COOKIE CRUST
1 1/2 C. Shortbread cookie crumbs (about 20 cookies)
1 2/3 C. sweetened flaked coconut, divided
1/3 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 large banana, sliced
1 1/2 C. cold milk
1 package (4-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, well drained
2 C. thawed frozen whipped topping
Baker's Angel Flake coconut (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix cookie crumbs, 2/3 cup of the coconut and melted butter in medium bowl until well blended. Press mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Cool.

Arrange banana slices in crust. Pour cold milk into large bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup coconut. Spoon over banana slices in crust. Gently stir pineapple into whipped topping. Spread over mixture. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Store leftover pie in refrigerator. Makes 8 servings

25 December 2006

In This Season

May all who visit this place have a wonderful season and a good year ahead. Whatever your customs and beliefs, I hope you will find something here to make you smile and add pleasure to your holiday.

Open House


Acholi - Mot ki Yomcwing Botwo Me Mwaka Manyen

Adhola - Wafayo Chamo Mbaga & Bothi Oro Manyeni

Aeka- Keremisi jai be

Afrikaans - Geseende Kerfees en 'n gelukkige nuwe jaar

Ahtna - C'ehwggelnen Dzaenh

Aklanon - Malipayon nga Paskwa ag Mahigugmaon nga Bag-ong Dag-on

Albanian - Gëzuar Krishlindjet Vitin e Ri!

Aleut - Kamgan Ukudigaa

Alsatian - E gueti Wïnâchte & E glecklichs Nej Johr!

Alur - Wafoyo Kado Oro & Wafoyo Tundo Oro manyeni

Alutiiq - Spraasnikam & Amlertut Kiaget!

Amharic - Melkam Yelidet Beaal

Amuesha - Yomprocha' ya' nataya

Angami - U kenei Christmas mu teicie kes a-u sie teicie
kesa-u sie niepete keluo shuzaie we

Apache (Western) - Gozhqq Keshmish

Arabic - I'D Miilad Said ous Sana Saida

Aragonese - Nabidà! & Goyosa Añada benién.

Aramaic - Edo bri'cho o rish d'shato brich'to!

Aranés - Bon Nadau!

Arawak - Aba satho niw jari da'wisida bon

Armenian - Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Soorp Janunt

Aromanian - Crãciunu hãriosu shi unu anu nãu, bunu!

Araucanian - Wi tripantu in che

Asturian - Bones Navidaes & Gayoleru anu nuevu!

Assamese - Rongaali Bihur xubhessaa lobo

Ata - Maroyan na Pasko woy kaopia-an ng Bag-ong
Tuig kaniyo't langon mga sulod

Aukan - Wi e winsi i wan bun nyun yali

Aymara - Sooma Nawira-ra

Azeri - Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun

Bafut - Mboni Chrismen & Mboni Alooyefee

Bahasa/Malaysia - Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru

Bamoun - Poket Kristmet & Poket lum mfe

Banen - Enganda ye hiono mes & Hion Hios Hes

Bandang - Mbung Mbung Krismie & Mbung Mbung Ngouh Suiie

Basque - Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!

Bassa - Ngand Nwi Lam & Mwi Lam

Batak Karo - Mejuah-juah Ketuahen Natal

Bemba - Kristu abe nenu muli ino nshiku nkulu ya Mwezi

Belorussian - Winshuyu sa Svyatkami i z Novym godam!

Bengali - Shuvo Baro Din - Shuvo Nabo Barsho

Bhojpuri - Naya Sal Mubarak Ho

Bicolano - Maugmang Capascuhan asin Masaganang Ba-gong Taon!

Bislama - Mi wisim yufala eerywan one gutfala Krismas
& mo wan hapi New Year long

Blaan - Pye duh di kaut Kristo klu munt ug Felemi Fali!

Blackfoot - I'Taamomohkatoyiiksistsikomi

Bohemian/Czech - Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a Stastny novy rok

Brahui - Arkas caik xuda are

Breton - Nedeleg laouen na bloav ezh mat

Bulgarian - Chestita Koleda i Shtastliva Nova Godina

Bulu - Duma e bo'o

Bura - e be Zambe e Usa ma ka Kirisimassu

Catalan - Bon Nadal i feliç any nou!

Cantonese - Seng Dan Fai Lok, Sang Nian Fai Lok

Carib - Sirito kypoton ra'a

Carrier - Zoo dungwel & Soocho nohdzi doghel

Carolinian - Ameseighil ubwutiiwel Layi Luugh me raagh fee

Cebuano - Malipayong Pasko ug Bulahang Bag-ong Tuig!

Chamorro - Filis Pasgua & Filis Anu Nuebo

Chaha Bogem h n mh m & Boxem as nana-h m

Chamba - Wi na ge nyare Su dome Kirismass

Cherokee - Danistayohihv & Aliheli'sdi Itse Udetiyvsadisv

Cheyenne - Hoesenestotse & Aa'e Emona'e

Chichewa - Moni Wa Chikondwelero Cha Kristmasi

Chiga - Mwebare khuhika - Ha Noel

Choctaw - Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito

Cornish - Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth

Corsican - Bon Natale e Bon capu d' annu

Cree - Mitho Makosi Kesikansi

Creek - Afvcke Nettvcakorakko

Creole/Seychelles - Bonn e Erez Ane

Croatian - Sretan Bozic

Dagbani - Ni ti Burunya Chou & Mi ti yuun

Damara/Nama - Khiza

Danish - Glædelig Jul og godt nytår

Dibabawon - Marayaw na Pasko aw Bag-ong Tui g kaniyo tibo na mga soon

Dinka - Miet puou yan dhiedh Banyda tene Yin

Dine/Navajo - Ya'at'eeh Keshmish

Divehi - Ufaaveri aa ahareh

Dschang - Chrismi a lekah Nguo Suieh

Duri - Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak

Dutch - Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

Egyptian - Colo sana wintom tiebeen

English - Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Eritrean - Rehus-Beal-Ledeat

Esperanto - Gajan Kristnaskon & Bonan Novjaron

Estonian - Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi ja Head uut aastat

Éwé - Blunya na wo

Ewondo - Mbemde abog abyali nti! Mbembe Mbu!

Faroese - Gledhilig jól og eydnurikt nýggjár!

Fali - Use d'h Krismass

Farsi - Sal-e no mubarak

Fijian - Me Nomuni na marau ni siga ni sucu dei na yabaki vou

Finnish - Hyvää Joulua or Hauskaa Joulua - 0nnellista uutta vuotta

Flemish - Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar

French - Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

Frisian - Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!

Friulian - Bon Nadâl e Bon An Gnûf

Fulfulde - Jabbama be salla Kirismati

Gaddang - Mangamgam Bawa a dawun sikua diaw amin

Galician - Bon Nadal e Bo Ani Novo

Gari - !Soalokia God i gotu vasau, mi lao ke ba na
rago vanigira ara dou i matana!

Gciriku - Mfiyawidi yaKrisimisa & Marago ghaMwaka waUpe

Georgian - Gilotsavt Krist'es Shobas & Gilosavt akhal ts'els

German - Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!

Gikuyu - Gia na Thigukuu njega Na MwakaM weru wi Gikeno

Gitskan - Hisgusgitxwsim Ha'niisgats Christ gankl Ama Sii K'uuhl!

Golin - Yesu kule nongwa kaun umaribe ongwa ena mone di mile wai wen milo

Greek - Kala Christougenna Ki'eftihismenos O Kenourios Chronos

Greenlandic - Juullimi Ukiortaassamilu Pilluarit

Guahibo - Pexania Navidadmatacabi piginia pexaniapejanawai paxainaename

Guambiano - Navidadwan Tabig tugagunrrigay & Sru pilawan kasrag utunrrigay

Guarani - Avyaitete ahi ko Tupa ray arape qyrai Yy Kapyryin rira

Guarayu - Imboeteipri tasecoi Tupa i vave! & Ivve ava Tupa
rembiaisu toyuvirecoi turpi oyeaisusa pipe!

Gujarati - Natal ni shub kaamnao & Saal Mubarak

Gwere - Osusuku Omusa & Masuke Omwaka

Gwich'in - Drin tsal zhit shoh ohlii & Drin Choo zhit zhoh ohlii

Han - Drin tsul zhit sho ahlay & Drin Cho zhit sho ahlay

Hausa - Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!

Hawaiian - Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou

Haya - Waihuka na Noeli & Waihhuka n 'Omwaka

Hebrew - Mo'adim Lesimkha. Shanah Tova

Heiban - Ati kalo gathje uwa gigih

Herero- Okresmesa ombwa Ombura ombe ombwa

Hiligaynon - Malipayon nga paskua & Malipayon Nga Bag-ong tuig

Hindi - Shubh Naya Baras

Holo - Seng-tan khoai-lok!

Hmong - Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tahiab

Hungarian - Kellemes karácsonyi ünnepeket és Boldog újévet!

Hungduan - Maphon au nitungawan. Apo Dios Kituwen baron di toon

Iban - Selamat Ari Krismas enggau Taun Baru

Ibanag - nga Pascua

Icelandic - Gleðileg Jól og Farsaelt Komandi ár!

Igbo - Ekelere m gi maka Keresimesi na ubochi izizi afo ozo

Ikiribati - Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa nakoimi nte Kirimati ao te Ririki ae Bou

Ilocano - Naimbag a Pascua ken Naragsac nga Baro nga Tawen!

Imbongu - Gotenga malo Jisasi Karaist

Indonesian - Selamat Hari Natal & Selamat Tahun Baru

Inupiaq - Annaurri Aniruq & Paglaun Ukiutchiaq

Inupiatun - Quvianaq Agaayuniqpak

Iraqi - Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah

Irish - Nollaig Shona Dhuit

Iroquois - Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson homungradon nagwutut & Ojenyunyat osrasay

Italian - Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo

Japanese - Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto

Javanese - Sugeng Natal lan warsa enggal

Jèrriais - Bouan Noué et Bouanne Année

Kabyle - Assegwas ameggaz

Kadazan - Kotobian Tadau Do Krimas om Toun Vagu

Kahua - Na vagevageha surireua na Kirisimasi ma na harisi naoru

Kala Lagaw Ya - Ngi ngayka Koei trimal Kaz

Kambaata - eman haaro wegga illisholce

Kamba - Ithiwa na Kisimsi Kiseo & Na Mwaka Mweu Museo

Kannada - Hosa Varushada Subhasayagalu

Karelian - Rastawanke Sinun, Uvven Vuvenke Sinun

Kaqchiquel - Dios tik'ujie' avik'in

Kashmiri - Christmas Id Mubarak

Kawalib - Amirnar Krismas Gi

Khasi - Krismas basuk & Snem thymmai basuk

Kinyarwanda - Umunsi Mwiza

Kirundi - Noeli Nziza & Umwaka Mwiza

Kom - Isangle Krismen & Isangle beng i fue

Konkoni - Khushal borit Natalam

Korafe - Keremisi ewewa

Korean Sung Tan Chuk Ha

Kosraean - Tok Tapeng & Engan ya sasu

Koyukon - Denaahto' Hoolaank Dedzaanh Sodeelts'eeyh

Krio - Appi Krismes en Appi Niu Yaa

Kuanua - A Bona Lukara na Kinakava

Kurdish - Seva piroz sahibe u sersala te piroz be

Kwangali - Kerekemisa zongwa & Erago moMumvho gomupe

Kyrghyz - JangI jIlIngIz guttuu bolsun!

Ladin - Bon Nadel y Bon Ann Nuef

Lakota - Wanikiya tonpi wowiyuskin & Omaka teca oiyokipi

Lamnsó - Kisheri ke Kisimen & Vijung ve kiya kefiyki

Lango - Afoyo Chamo Mwake & Apoyo Mwaka Manyeni

Latin - Pax hominibus bonae voluntatis

Latvian - Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!+

Lausitzian - Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto

Lebanese - Milad Saeed wa Sanaa Mubarakah

Lithuanian - Linksmu Kaledu ir laimingu Nauju metu

Livonian - Jovi talshpivdi un Vondzist uto aigasto

Lower Tanana - Bet'oxdilt'ayi bedena' ch'exulanhde dranh ninoxudedhet

Lozi - Kilisimasi ya nyakalalo & Silimo se sinca sa tabo

Luganda - Amazalibwa Agesanyu & N'Omwaka Omujaa Ogwemirembe

Luhya - Isuguku Indahi & Nu Muhiga Musha

Luo - Sikuku Mar Higa Kod Mor & Mar Kiga Manyien

Luritja - Wai! Nyuntu Larya?

Luxembourgeois - Schéi Krëschtdeeg an e Schéint Néi Joer

Macedonian - Srekan Bozik I Nova Godina

Madura - Pada salamet sabhala bengko areja

Makassar - Salama' Natal & Selamat Tahun baru

Malagasy - Arahaba tratry ny Krismasy

Mambwe - Kristu aye namwe umu nsikunkulu ino iya Mwezi

Malayan - Selamat Hari Natal

Malayalam - Christumas Mangalangalangal & Puthuvalsara Aashamsakal

Maltese - Nixtieqlek Milied Tajjeb u Sena Tajba

Mandarin - Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan

Mandobo - Mepiya Pagasaulog sa pagka-otawni Jesus aw maontong kaling Omay!

Mangyan - Mayad paq Pasko kag

Mansaka - Madyaw na Pasko aw malipayong Bag-ong Tuig kamayo, mga lumon

Manx - Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa

Maori - Kia orana e kia manuia rava i teia Kiritimeti e te Mataiti Ou

Marathi - Shub Naya Varsh

Margi - Use aga Kirismassi

Marshallese - Monono ilo raaneoan Nejin & Jeramman ilo iio in ekaal

Mataco-Mataguayo - Lesilatyaj ihi Dios ta i ppule ye, Letamsek ihi wichi ta Dios ikojejthi ta i honat e

Maya/Yucateco - Utzul mank'inal

Medlpa - Enim Mutuiyo!

Meithei - Krismas Hlomum & Kumthar Lawmum

Mingrelian - k'irses mugoxuamant & axal ts'anas mugoxuamant

Mongolian - Zul saryn bolon shine ony mend devshuulye

Monégasque - Festusu Natale e Bona ana noeva

Moro - Nidli pred naborete nano

Moru - Medu amiri ovuru Yesu opi amaro

Muyu - Lip Ki amun aa Natal Kowe

Naasioi - Tampara Kirisimaasi

Naskapi - miywaaitaakun mikusaanor & kiyaa maamiyupiyaakw minuwaach pipuun

Ndjem - Mbeya mbeya Ebiel & Mbeya mbeya mbu

Ndogo - Esimano olyaKalunga gwokombandambanda! & Nombili kombanda yevi maantu e ya hokwa!

Ndonga - Okrismesa iwa & Omude Mupe wa Punikwa

Nepali - krist Yesu Ko Shuva Janma Utsav Ko Upalaxhma Hardik Shuva & Naya Barsa Ko harkik Shuvakamana

Newari - Nhu Da Ya Vintuna

Nii - Nim Ono

Niuean - Monuina a Aho Kilisimasi mo e Tau Foou

Norweigan/Nynorsk - Eg ynskjer hermed Dykk alle ein God Jul og Godt Nyttår

Norweigan/Bokmål - God Jul og Godt Nyttår

Notu/Ewage - Keremisi dave be

Nyanja - Kristu akhale ndi inu munyengo ino ya Christmas

Nyankore Mukhulukhe Omwaka

Occitan - Polit nadal e bona annada

Ojibwe (Chippewa) - Niibaa' anami'egiizhigad & Aabita Biboon

Oneida - Wanto'wan amp; Hoyan

Oriya - Sukhamaya christmass ebang khusibhara naba barsa

Orokaiva - Keremisi javotoho

Oromo - baga wagaa hara isinin gaye

Palauan - Ungil Kurismas

Pompangan - Malugud Pascu at saca Masayang Bayung Banua!

Pangasinan - Maabig ya pasko & Maliket ya balon taon

Papiamento - Bon Pasco i Feliz Aña Nobo

Pashto - De Christmas akhtar de bakhtawar au newai kal de mubarak sha.

Pennsylvania German - En frehlicher Grischtdaag unen hallich Nei Yaahr!

Pohnpeian - Peren en Krismas & Peren en Parakapw

Polish - Wesolych Swiat i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku.

Portuguese - Boas Festas e um feliz Ano Novo

Punjabi - Nave sal di mubaraka

Pashto - Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha

Q'anjob'al - chi woche swatx'ilal hak'ul yet yalji Komami'

Quechua - Sumaj kausay kachun Navidad ch'sisipi & Mosoi Watapi sumaj kausay kachun

Quiche' - Dioa kkje' awuk'

Rapa-Nui - Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi & Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua

Rarotongan - Kia akakakaia te Atua i runga i te rangi Teitei,
e ei au to to teianei ao, e kia aroaia mai te tangata nei.

Rengma - Anu keghi Christmas nu amapi kethighi wa salam pi nthu chupenle

Rheto-Romance - Bella Festas daz Nadal ed in Ventiravel Onn Nov

Romani - Bachtalo krecunu Thaj Bachtalo Nevo Bers

Romanian - Craciun fericit si un An Nou fericit!

Rongmei - Mei kathui nata neila mei Khrisrmas akhatni gai mei tingkum kathan tu-na arew we

Roviana - Mami tataru Kirisimasi koa gamu doduru meke qetu qetu vuaheni vaqura ia

Russian - Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom

Salar - YangI yilingiz gotlI bulsIn!

Sambal - Maligayang Pasko at Masayang Ba-yon Taon!

Sámi - Buorit Juovllat ja Buorre Oddajahki

Saamia - Muwule Omwaka Enjaya

Samoan - Ia manuia le Kilisimasi ma le tausaga fou

Sango -Gloire na Nzapa na ndouzou aho kouè, Na siriri na ndo sessé na popo ti ajo so amou nguia na Lo.

Santali - Raska nawa Serma

Saramaccan - Nuan wan suti jai o!

Sardinian - Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou

Scots Gaelic - Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ur!

Secoya -Sihuanu'u Ejaerepa aide'ose'ere & Sihuana'u huaje ametecahue

Semandang - Selemat gawai Natal

Seneca - a:o'-e:sad yos-ha:-se:'

Serbian - Sretan Bozic. Vesela Nova Godine

Sicilian - Bon Natali e Prosperu Annu Novu !

Sinhala - Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa

Slavey - Teyatie Gonezu

Soga - Mwisuka Sekukulu

Songe - Kutandika kua Yesu kuibuwa! & Kipua kipia kibuwa!

Sorani - Newroz le to Piroz be

Sorbian - Wjesole hody a strowe Nowe leto.

Somali - ciid wanaagsan iyo sanad cusub oo fiican.

Sotho/North - Mahlatsi a Matswalo a Morena le Ngwaga o Moswa

Sotho/South - Litakalerso Tse Monate Tsa Kere Semese Le Mahlohonolo a Selemo Se Secha

Slovakian - Vesele Vianoce a stastny novy rok

Slovene - Vesele bozicne praznike in srecno novo leto

Sorbian - Wjesole hody a strowe Nowe leto

Spanish - Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo

Sranan - Wan switi kresneti nanga wan bun nyun yari!

Subanen - Piak Pasko Pu Piag Bago Tawn

Sudanese - Wilujeng Natal Sareng Warsa Enggal

Suena - Kerisimasi kokopai

Surigaonon - Malipayon na pasko sanan bag-on tuig!

Swahili - ºKrismas Njema Na Heri Za Mwaka Mpyaº

Swedish - God Jul och Gott Nytt År

Tagalog - Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon

Tahitian - Ia ora i te Noere e ia ora na i te matahiti 'api

Tagakaulu - Madyaw Pagsalog sa Pagka-otaw ni Jesus & Aw mauntong na bago Umay!

Tala Andig - Maayad ha pasko daw bag-ong tuig

Tamazight - Asseggwas Ameggaz

Tarifit - Asuggas Asa'di

Tamil - Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal

Tanaina - Natukda Nuuphaa

Tayal - Pqaquasta ta. Pquasta hentang na Jesu

Telugu - Christmas Shubhakaankshalu & Nootana Samvatchara Subhakanshalu

Thai - Suksan Wan Christmas lae Sawadee Pee Mai

Tlingit - Xristos Khuwdziti kax sh kaxtoolxetl

Tok Pisin - Meri Krismas & Hepi Nu Yia

Tokelau - Ke whakamanuia te Kirihimahi & Tauhaga Fou fiafia

Tonga - Kristo abe anduwe muciindo ca Christmas

Tongan - Kilisimasi Fiefia & Ta'u fo'ou monu ia

Toraja - Salama' Natal & Selama' taun baru

Trukese - Neekirissimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!

Tshiluba - Diledibua dilenga dia Mfumu - Tshidimu tshipia - tshipia th silenga

Tswana - Keresemose o monate le masego a ngwaga o montsha

Tubetube - Yayaliyaya Yesu sikabi kaiwena

Tumbuka - Kristu wabe namwe munyengo ya Christmas

Turkish - Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun

Tutchone/Northern - Ut'ohudinch'i Hulin Dzenu & Eyum nan ek'an nenatth'at danji te yesohuthin ch'e hadaatle sh'o

Ukrainian - Veseloho Vam Rizdva i Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku!

Umbundu - Natale, Natale, Oyo O Natale & Eteke Lio Bowano, Illimo Ciwa

Urdu - Naya Saal Mubarak Ho

Uvean - Italo fa ide tau fou nei eseke

Uyghur - YanghI yiling ahlqIs bolgey!

Valencian - Bon Nadal i millor any nou

Vespi - Rastvoidenke i Udenke Vodenke

Vietnamese - Chuc Mung Giang Sinh - Chuc Mung Tan Nien

Votian - Yvaa rashtagoa! & Yvaa uutta vootta!

Waray-Waray - Maupay nga Pasko ngan Mainuswagon nga Bag-o nga Tuig!

Warlpiri - Miri Kirijimiji & Nyuntunpa Ngurrju nyayirni yapa

Welsh - Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Yup'ik/Central - Alussistuaqegcikici

Yupik/Siberian - Quyanalghii Kuusma & Quyangalleq Nutaghamun Aymiqulleq

Xhosa - Siniqwenelela Ikrisimesi EmnandI Nonyaka Omtsha Ozele Iintsikelelo Namathamsanqa

Yiddish - Gute Vaynakhtn un a Gut Nay Yor

Yoruba - E ku odun, e hu iye' dun!

Zarma - Barka da Issa hay-yan hann & Barka da djiri barey-yan

Zaza - Newroz'a tu Piroz be

Zia - Kerisimasi wosewa

Zime - El ma ka bar vra aso vei Lu & El ma ka kim na mireu

Zulu - Sinifesela Ukhisimusi Omuhle Nonyaka Omusha Onempumelelo

Merry Christmas


I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
If only in my dreams...

23 December 2006

Peace On Earth


























Starry Starry Night






On December 23, 1888 Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear. For years the debate has raged over whether he was insane or suffering from some perceptive disorder. Either way, the works of unbelievable genius that he produced were never sold in his lifetime. That gift to the world, would never have been possible if it weren't for an act of deep brotherly love by Theo Van Gogh. In this season when many concentrate on the star that led the wise men to the Prince of Peace, may we look at other stars and see the pain and need of the world and the changes that can be realized by acts of brotherly love.

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.

Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue.

Colors changing hue,
morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.

Perhaps they'll listen now.

19 December 2006

The Night Before Christmas



This time of year always brings a time of special traditions. Many stories, songs, movies, and individual family customs are entwined with your basic childhood memories that then get perpetuated for your children and grandchildren. However dysfunctional your family might be, December usually keeps the whole thing from blowing apart. So gather round the fireplace children and snuggle in close to read your favorite story and sing your favorite songs.




Yes Virginia There Is A Santa Claus

A Christmas Carol

Christmas Carol Lyrics and Player







Eighth Night




Friday night at sundown begins the eighth day of Chanukah

18 December 2006

Advent


The origins of the Advent wreath are found in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples who, during the cold December darkness of Eastern Europe, gathered wreaths of evergreen and lighted fires as signs of hope in a coming spring and renewed light.

Christians kept these popular traditions alive, and by the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used these symbols to celebrate their Advent hope in Christ, the everlasting Light. From Germany the use of the Advent wreath spread to other parts of the Christian world.

Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens. Three candles are violet and the fourth is rose, but four white candles or four violet candles can also be used. Each day at home, the candles are lighted, perhaps before the evening meal-- one candle the first week, and then another each succeeding week until December 25th. A short prayer may accompany the lighting.

Each day at home, the candles are lighted, perhaps before the evening meal -- one candle the first week, and then another each succeeding week until December 25th. The rose candle is usually lighted on the third Sunday of Advent. As the candles are lighted, a prayer may be said.


15 December 2006

Don't Let The Light Go Out


The Chanukah menorah is called a HANUKIYAH.

It has nine candle holders. There are eight candles, one for each night of Chanukah. The ninth is called the SHAMASH. The Shamash is used to light the other eight candles. The Shamash is lit first and then is used to light the other candles.

The candles are placed in the HANUKIYAH from right to left. But when the candles are lit, you light from left to right.

The Blessing while lighting the candles

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us by his commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukah.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.

Following the blessing this paragraph is said each night, after the first light has been kindled:

We kindle these lights
For the miracles and the wonders
For the redemption and the battles
Which You performed for our forefathers
In those days at this season
Through Your holy priests.

During all eight days of Chanukah
These lights are sacred
And we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them
But only to look at them
In order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name
For Your miracles, Your wonders, and Your salvations.

14 December 2006

Solstice




The shortest day of the year marks at the Winter Soltice, known to Wiccans as Yule (from the Norse lul, meaning "wheel"). It is one of the Lesser Sabbaths of the year and falls at or about December 21.

Part of the Pagan celebration is the gathering and displaying of evergreen boughs, showing the promise of new life in the coming spring. A Yule tree is erected in many areas to represent the phallus, or spirit of fertility. From this came the Christian Christmas tree.

Yule was established as the birth date of Mithras - with veneration for the sun-and was then adopted by the New Religion (within a few days) to mark the birth of the "Son" Jesus.



13 December 2006

Who Says History Is Boring? (Episode 1)


1776 : General Charles Lee leaves his troops for Widow White’s tavern

On this day in 1776, American General Charles Lee leaves his army, riding in search of female sociability at Widow White’s Tavern in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Known to be a welcoming woman, the Widow White entertained the general but the assignation ended when he was captured by British troops.

Lee enjoyed his captivity, even drafting a battle plan for his captors from plush accommodations in which his personal servant maintained his three rooms and no doubt served his food and wine in a most civilized fashion. The British did not act upon his plan, and Lee reported to Valley Forge upon his release in May 1778. After a series of arguments with Washington, Lee was suspended from the army in December 1778 and dismissed in 1780.
--------------------------------------
In 1863 General Meade replaced General Hooker three days before the Battle of Gettysburg. Meade will only have a fort named after him, while Hooker lends his name to a whole synonym.
"With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the sleepy town of Washington was dramatically transformed as its population swelled with newcomers. Along with the soldiers came government bureaucrats, freed and escaped slaves, businessmen, salesmen, and con men, as well as the camp followers and prostitutes who sought to profit from the increased demand for their services. The Army's provost marshal, who kept a list of the city's bawdy houses during the war ostensibly to keep them under surveillance, concluded that there were 450 registered houses in Washington in 1862. By 1863, the Evening Star newspaper estimated that Washington had about 5,000 prostitutes . The area was widely referred to as Hooker's Division, a wry double entendre. Indeed many of its occupants were "hookers," a term for prostitutes used since the early nineteenth century.

12 December 2006

Life Imitating Fiction



Unemployed Iraqis lured to their deaths by job offer. A suicide bomber targeting laborers killed 60 people today in Baghdad.
Bombs found near Shrine in Samarra


"The Appointment in Samarra"
W. Somerset Maugham 1933

The speaker is Death

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

11 December 2006

Carrying The Weight




There was a short stretch of time between the end of child labor and our age of farming children out to multiple foster homes before dumping them on the street at 18 when an orphanage was a good solution. It may still be the best solution. What it lacks in family feeling, it makes up for in safety and education.


A few places such as that still exist. One of those places has been an inspiration for motion pictures, music and similar institutions in other states.


He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother
Rufus Wainwright

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where

But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he, to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It's a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we're on our way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy, he's my brother
He ain't heavy, he's my brother.

December 12, 1917 : Father Flanagan establishes Boys Town

In Omaha, Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan, a 31-year-old Irish priest, opens the doors to a home for troubled and neglected children, and six boys enter to seek a better life. Flanagan, who previously ran the Workingmen's Hotel, a haven for down-and-out workers in Omaha, understood that mistreated or orphaned children were at high risk of turning to delinquency and crime in later years.

In the spring of 1918, no space was left in the drafty Victorian mansion at 106 North 25th Street, so Father Flanagan, assisted by sympathetic citizens, moved Boys Town to a building 10 times the size on the other side of town. Within months, enrollment at Boys Town had soared to more than 100 boys, and a school was established that later grew into an institution with a grade school, a high school, and a career vocational center. Before the new building was four years old, more than 1,300 neglected boys from 17 states had passed through Boys Town.

In 1921, Boys Town expanded again with the financial assistance of the people of Omaha, this time to a farm 10 miles west of Omaha. The institution remains at this site today and has changed its name to Girls and Boys Town to reflect its co-ed enrollment.



The 1938 Film "Boys Town" was a sentimental version of the history, but brought Spencer Tracy one of his three Oscars. Boys Town.

09 December 2006

Rub A Dub Dub

I'm still studiously trying to avoid current politics until after the new year as I simply don't want to be depressed by the President, Congress, mealy mouthed news media and everyone else who thinks it's perfectly okay to slaughter men women and children rather than admit they made a mistake and getting help to get out of the mess.

In the meantime, a flashback to the women who made my right to speak out loudly and with force.

Esther Slack Morris


On December 10, 1869, John Campbell, Governor of the Wyoming Territory, approved the first law in U.S. history explicitly granting women the right to vote. Commemorated in later years as Wyoming Day, the event was one of many firsts for women achieved in the Equality State. Wyoming voters again made history in 1924 when they elected Nellie Taylor Ross as the first woman governor in the United States.

The events leading up to the passage of the 1869 suffrage law were put into motion by Esther Slack Morris. When she arrived in South Pass, Wyoming in 1869. Morris embraced the women's rights movement when she was prevented, on account of the discriminatory property laws in the state of Illinois, from claiming title to a tract of land left to her by her deceased husband. By the time she moved west, she was familiar with the ideas of activists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott.

>
Anthony, Stanton, and Mott sculpture in Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. (Often referred to as the three ladies in a tub)

When Morris joined her second husband and family in South Pass, preparations were being made for the first election in the newly-recognized territory. At this point, twenty of the most influential men in the community, including all the candidates of both parties, were invited to dinner to her guests she now presented the woman's case with such clarity and persuasion that each candidate gave her his solemn pledge that if elected he would introduce and support a woman suffrage bill. Democrat William Bright, who had been present at Morris's home, kept his promise and introduced a bill granting women the right to vote.

Although the legislators treated the legislation as a joke, they approved it nonetheless. To their surprise, Governor Campbell signed it into law. The summoning, three months later, of the first women jurors to duty in Laramie, the capital of the territory, attracted international attention.

When Wyoming applied for statehood in 1890, it seemed doubtful the territory would be accepted as long as women had the vote. There are two versions of the message that Wyoming gave Washington: " We may stay out of the Union for 100 years, but we will come in with our women" or "we will remain out of the Union a hundred years rather than come in without the women." Either way, they didn't have to stay out--Wyoming became a state with women's suffrage intact.

08 December 2006

Paradise Lost




John Milton


Milton was born in London on December 9, 1609 as the son of a wealthy notary. He was educated at St. Paul's School. Milton received a Masters degree from Cambridge University in 1632.

In 1638, he undertook a European tour where he met many of the major thinkers of the day, especially in Italy. On his return to England, Milton became a Puritan, and an opponent of the Catholics and of the Stuarts. He was also an ardent polemicist, a follower of Cromwell, and the latter's foreign language secretary.

After the restoration of the Stuarts he suffered considerable persecution. He withdrew from active participation in politics and concentrated on his poetry.

Satan Arrousing the Rebellious Angels
Illustration for Paradise Lost


The most unusual aspect of Paradise Lost is the gentle treatment and breadth of understanding given to Satan in his revolt against the tyranny of heaven.

Milton was from an intensely religious age with great splits between Catholic and Protestant thought. People paid for their religious beliefs with their lives. The process of healing these rifts led to the Enlightenment and the idea of the individual being able to worship as they choose and that government would not be involved with religious practice which came to its full flowering in the U.S. Constitution.

Today with the rise of the religious right we are on our way back to that age of religion ruling public policy. The founding fathers would not be pleased, but the devil might.

07 December 2006

A Really Bad Day



Yesterday poor President Bush had a day similar to Judith Viorst's character, Alexander, who was cursed with the Terrible, Horrible, Not Good Very Bad Day.

Both feel as if nobody understands them and that retreating to Australia seems to be a good idea. There is one major difference. Alexander really is understood and has a happy ending. Bush really is understood, but the only way the American public will have an even moderately less dismal result from Iraq will be if he actually does move to Australia.

All the real grown ups told Bush he was a complete and total failure and needed to sit down, shut up and let them run things. The chances that he will do so rank somewhere between slim and none.

Perhaps we could call in Donald Trump in to say sternly: You're Fired! Oops that is the job of the Congress. Maybe they could give us all a wonderful, marvelous, good, very happy day.

06 December 2006

Conjunctions



December 8 is the anniversary of the death of John Lennon who in addition to being a BEATLE was talented as a writer and cartoonist. It is also the anniversary of the birth of James Thurber, another talented writer and cartoonist. Both of them told us that the world can be a frustrating, sad, confusing, and very very funny place to live.

From "In His Own Write"

About the Awful

I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madalf Heatlump (Who had only one). Anyway, they didn't get me. I attended to varicous schools in Liddypol. And still didn't pass-much to my Aunties supplies. As a memebr of the most publified Beatles me and (P, G, and R's) records might seem funnier to some of you than this book, but as far as I'm conceived this correction of short writty is the most wonderfoul larf I've ever ready.

God help and breed you all.

John Lennon
---------------------------

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."

"Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness."

"You can fool too many of the people too much of the time."

"The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his"

James Thurber

05 December 2006

The More Things Change

As with most events memorialized from the past, there is a modern connection. You cannot escape history. Today a great lady moved from her old neighborhood. Ladies of her advanced years often need a nip here and a tuck there to resemble their younger selves, so she is heading to the surgeons for a lift or ten.

She was born 65 years ago. It won't be the first time she moved, and there were often difficulties when she had to do so. She was a part of some of the major events of the last three generations. She has seen disease, death, heroism, and great events. Unlike most of the men and women she has known, she is still healthy and serving a useful purpose. So for the Thursday anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I give you

THE INTREPID


  • December 1, 1941: Intrepid's keel laid at Newport News, Virginia.
  • December 7, 1941: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.
  • April 26, 1943: Launched.
  • August 16, 1943: Commissioned CV-11.
  • December 3, 1943: Sailed for Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal and San Francisco.
  • January-February, 1944: Participated in the Marshall Islands invasion.
  • February 1944: Participated in raid on Truk.
  • February 17, 1944: Damaged by Japanese aerial torpedo.
  • September-October 1944: Participated in attacks on invasion of the Palaus.
  • Strikes against the Philippines, Formosa, and Okinawa.
  • Operated out of Utilic fleet anchorage in the Carolinas as unit of Task Force 38.
  • October 24, 25, 26, 1944: Participated in Battle of Leyte Gulf. Helped sink the super- battleship Musashi.
  • October 30, 1944: Hit by kamikaze--slight damage.
  • November 25, 1944: Hit by two kamikazes--heavily damaged.
  • March 1945: Strikes against Tokyo and Okinawa. Near miss by a Japanese heavy bomber kamikaze.
  • April 6, 1945: Helped sink the Japanese super-battleship Yamato.
  • April 16, 1945: Damaged during invasion by kamikaze attack off Okinawa.
  • August 1945: Reported back to the Fast Carrier Force. War ended.
  • August-December 1945: Policed the coasts of China and Korea, aiding in repatriation of Allied POW.
  • December 1945: Arrived back in the United States after Japan occupation duty.
  • 1946: Put in reserve at San Francisco.
  • October 1954: Completed modernization at the same yard at which she was built.
  • 1955-1962: Operated in the Mediterranean with the Sixth Fleet.
  • 1956: Refitted at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Angled deck added.
  • May 24, 1962: Served as Recovery Ship for Mercury VII space capsule (astronaut Scott Carpenter) .
  • March 23, 1965: Acts as Recovery Ship for Gemini III space capsule (astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young).
  • May 1966-1968: Served with the Pacific Fleet off Vietnam in three combat cruises.
  • 1974: Decommissioned at Quonset Point R.I. Towed to Philadelphia for bicentennial celebration.
  • July 1982: Opens as the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City.
  • December 5, 2006 The Intrepid moves to the shipyard at Bayonne, NJ for renovations.

04 December 2006

Eat Drink and Be Merry


December 5, 1933

Prohibition ended on this date thanks to a state where almost no one but the tourists drink. Be sure to thank Mitt Romney if you bump into him on the campaign trail. He may be running on empty against McCain and Giuliani, but at least the attempt can be toasted with high octane egg nogs for the holidays.

The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. At 5:32 p.m. EST, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the requisite three-fourths majority of states' approval. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day.

On January 29, 1919, the 18th Amendment achieved the necessary three-fourths majority of state ratification. Prohibition essentially began in June of that year, but the amendment did not officially take effect until January 29, 1920.

In the meantime, Congress passed the Volstead Act on October 28, 1919, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of Prohibition, including the creation of a special Prohibition unit of the Treasury Department. Prohibition, failing fully to enforce sobriety and costing billions, rapidly lost popular support in the early 1930s.

In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, ending national Prohibition. After the repeal of the 18th Amendment, some states continued Prohibition by maintaining statewide temperance laws. Mississippi, the last dry state in the Union, ended Prohibition in 1966.

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee

The political season is upon us before we can at least celebrate the winter holiday of your choice. The retailers couldn't resist pushing Christmas up against Halloween, and the politicians can't resist snuggling the caucuses up to Christmas. You want to scream, "For goodness sakes go home! We know your families don't like you or you wouldn't be running for public aclaim, but go home anyway!!!"

The only way to get away from them is to retreat to the past, so what do you find on this day in history? Another blankety blank crooked politician. Fortunately, when you look a little deeper, you get to ignore them all and start singing.


On December 4, 1875, William Marcy "Boss" Tweed, notorious leader of New York City's Democratic political machine, escaped from prison.

Between 1865 and 1871, Boss Tweed and his cronies stole millions of dollars from the city treasury. Convicted of forgery and larceny in 1873, Tweed was released in 1875.

Immediately rearrested on civil charges, he was allowed daily visits to his family in the company of his jailor. On one of these trips, Tweed made his escape.

Fleeing to Spain, he worked as a common seaman on a Spanish ship until recognized by his likeness to a Nast cartoon and captured. Extradited to New York, William Marcy Tweed died in debtor's prison on April 12, 1878.

The political machine that created Boss Tweed and that Tweed strengthened remained a powerful force in New York City politics. Through a system of patronage and charity, Tammany Hall, the executive committee of the New York City Democratic Party, commanded the allegiance of many voters. Lacking a government safety net, poor citizens relied on the party for access to employment, or for help with funeral expenses.

Public works projects like Central Park provided politicians with patronage opportunities ranging from lucrative contracts to day work digging ditches. A weakened Tammany was finally brought down by the opposition of Franklin Roosevelt and his influence in putting Republican, Fiorello La Guardia, in as mayor of New York.

"The Little Flower" is shown here in 1945 reading to the radio audience during a newspaper strike, because he didn't want the children to miss their daily comics.

His life later became the basis for the Tony Award winning musical Fiorello, proving that the only defense against politics is by decking the halls and singing LA LA LA as loudly as possible.

01 December 2006

December 2 In History


Those who watch Keith Olbermann take on President Bush have heard him say, "Have you no decency, sir? Below is the context for that remark and why today following yesterday is a very odd conjunction of historical dates.

Yesterday, December 1, was AIDs Day around the world to encourage support, awareness and understanding for all those with this disease.

If you have not seen it yet, get a copy of Angels in America. One of the major themes is the death of Roy Cohn from AIDs. So what does that have to do with today?

December 2, 1954: McCarthy condemned by Senate

The U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Senator Joseph R. McCarthy for conduct unbecoming of a senator. The condemnation, which was equivalent to a censure, related to McCarthy's controversial investigation of suspected communists in the U.S. government, military, and civilian society.

What is known as "McCarthyism" began on February 9, 1950, when McCarthy, a relatively obscure Republican senator from Wisconsin, announced during a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, that he had in his possession a list of 205 communists who had infiltrated the U.S. State Department.

Towards the end of the hearings wherein McCarthy was unable to produce names from the lists he so famously waved there was a memorable exchange as follows:

On June 9, 1954, the 30th day of the hearings, McCarthy accused Fred Fisher, one of the junior attorneys at Welch's firm, of association (while in college) with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a group which the U.S. Attorney General at the time was seeking to designate as a Communist front organization (see Army-McCarthy hearings). Welch wrote off Fisher's association with the NLG as a youthful indiscretion and famously rebuked: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch cut him off and demanded the chairman "call the next witness." At that point the gallery erupted in applause.

-----------------------------------

In 1952 Joseph McCarthy appointed Roy Cohn as the chief counsel to the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate. Cohn had been recommended by Edgar Hoover, who had been impressed by his involvement in the prosecution of the Rosenburgs. Soon after Cohn was appointed, he recruited his best friend, David Schine, to become his chief consultant.

For some time opponents of McCarthy had been accumulating evidence concerning his homosexual relationships. Rumours began to circulate that Cohn and David Schine were having a sexual relationship. Although well-known by political journalists, it did not become public until Hank Greenspun published an article in the Las Vagas Sun in 25th October, 1952.

Joseph McCarthy considered a libel suit against Greenspun but decided against it when he was told by his lawyers that if the case went ahead he would have to take the witness stand and answer questions about his sexuality. In an attempt to stop the rumours circulating, McCarthy married his secretary, Jeannie Kerr. Later the couple adopted a five-week old girl from the New York Foundling Home.

In October, 1953, McCarthy began investigating communist infiltration into the military. Attempts were made by McCarthy to discredit Robert Stevens, the Secretary of the Army. The president, Dwight Eisenhower, was furious and now realised that it was time to bring an end to McCarthy's activities.

The United States Army retaliated by passing information about Joseph McCarthy to journalists known to be opposed to him. This included the news that Cohn had abused congressional privilege by trying to prevent David Schine from being drafted. When that failed, it was claimed that Cohn tried to pressure the Army to grant Schine special privileges. The well-known newspaper columnist, Drew Pearson, published the story on 15th December, 1953.

The televised hearings of the Senate hearings exposed the tactics of Cohn and Joseph McCarthy. Leading politicians in both parties, had been embarrassed by McCarthy's performance and on 2nd December, 1954, a censure motion condemned his conduct by 67 votes to 22. Cohn was forced to resign but he managed to join a New York law firm and over the years represented an impressive list of high-profile clients.

In the 1980s Cohn's luck ran out. Disbarred from practicing law in New York State on grounds of unethical and unprofessional conduct, he contracted AIDs. Roy Cohn died on 2nd August, 1986.

29 November 2006

Well Just One More

HAGGIS
Crest of the Gordon Highlanders


So as to not let my love of all things Scottish slide, I will simply refer you to a website of many things wonderful with a location in the U.S. This is important because you cannot import Haggis by law and Hogmanay is just around the corner. The Caledonian Kitchen has all sorts of cakes in addition to the haggis that can be shipped nationwide as well. Just click on the link at the bottom of the page if you want to take a look around.

28 November 2006

Grandma's Apple Pie


One more recipe, and then back to the real world
Grandma's Apple Pie

This pie is delicious hot with vanilla ice cream or, an old Yankee touch, a slice of cheddar cheese.

6 cups peeled, sliced apples (Idared, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Granny Smith)
1-tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2-cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2-teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
Pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine apples and lemon juice in mixing bowl. Combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well. Pour sugar mixture over apples, and stir to coat. Spoon filling into pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan. Dot with butter.

Transfer top pastry to top of pie, trimming off excess. Fold edges under to seal, and flute rim. Cut slits, decorative or not, into top pastry for steam to escape.

Bake in preheated 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, and bake for 45 minutes.

27 November 2006

Greek Honey Curls (Diples)


Greek Honey Curls (Diples)






12 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp cognac or bourbon (optional)
1 orange rind, grated
1/2 cup butter
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp sugar
6 cups flour (approximately)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Honey
Cinnamon
Pecans, finely chopped

Beat eggs until fluffy; add next 6 ingredients and mix.
Add flour, working with hands to make a smooth dough that does not stick to your hands.
Cut off a piece of dough, keeping remaining dough covered.
Roll piece out flat on floured board as thinly as possible.
Cut rolled-out dough into 4 x 6-inch strips.
Cover cut dough with cloth.
Using 2 forks, drop the strips of dough one at a time into pan of hot oil.
Working quickly, form the strips into rolls or curls with the forks.
Drain on paper towels; place side by side on platter.
Repeat previous steps until all dough is rolled, cut and fried.

Drizzle warmed honey over diples; sprinkle with cinnamon and finely chopped pecans.
Makes about two dozen.

26 November 2006

Vegetarian Lasagna


1 ½ lbs eggplant cut into thin slices
1 tblsp olive oil
½ c chopped onions
1 lb mushrooms sliced
9 lasagna noodles
1 15.5 oz jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tblsp grated parmesan cheese

Cook lasagna noodles while that's boiling, brown eggplant slices; set aside.

Saute onions and mushrooms in same skillet.

In a 11 x 7 inch baking dish, spoon 1/4 cup of sauce.

Arrange three alternate layers of noodles, ricotta, mushroom mixture, Mozzarella cheese, eggplant slices, sauce, and Parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake about 30 to 40 minutes at 350 until heated through.

Coeur á la Crème


Coeur á la Crème with Fresh Strawberries

(Makes 8 servings)

2 Cups plain nonfat yogurt
2 Cups nonfat ricotta cheese
Grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
8 Giant fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced


1. Using a food processor or electric mixer, combine the yogurt and ricotta cheese. Process until smooth. Line a colander or basket with a double layer of cheesecloth, letting the cloth drape over the edges. Spoon cheese mixture into center and fold cheesecloth over the top. Place over a bowl or baking dish to catch the whey. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

2. Scrape the cheese away from the cheesecloth and combine with zest and vanilla extract.

3. Line a 3-cup shaped mold or the draining basket with new cheesecloth, letting the excess cloth hang over the edge. Spoon cheese mixture into the mold or basket, smoothing the top. Fold the cheesecloth over the top and refrigerate for 3 hours.

4. Unmold on serving plate and smooth with the back of a spoon if necessary. Surround with sliced berries.

This may also be used as a filling for Cannolis when mixed with fresh fruit rather than candied or as a cheese spread on toast points or crackers

Christmas Fruit Squares



Christmas Fruit Squares (Makes 25)

Butter-flavored cooking spray
¾ Cup sifted cake flour
½ Teaspoon baking power
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1 - Teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 Cup spoonable brown sugar substitute
¼ Cup chopped walnuts
½ Cup Chopped peeled apple
½ Cup dried no sugar added dried cherries
½ Cup chopped dried apricots
¼ Cup golden raisins
1 Large egg + 1 large egg white
2 - Tablespoons Fresh orange juice
1 - Tablespoon canola oil


1. Position the rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch (22.5 cm) square baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly coat the paper with cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar substitute, and walnuts.

3. In a small bowl, combine apple, dried cherries, apricots, and raisins. Add to flour mixture and using your hands, toss the fruits with the flour, separating the fruits and coating them evenly with flour mixture.

4. In a large measuring cup, beat together egg, egg white, orange juice, and oil. Mix well. Add to flour-fruit mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is thoroughly mixed and evenly moistened.

5. Spoon into prepared pan and press down evenly. Bake for 25 minutes, until top is golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut into 25 squares. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

25 November 2006

Beautiful Bread


Challah

You will need:
7 cups flour
1 T salt
1/2 cup sugar (or honey)
2 packages yeast + 1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water


This recipe makes the equivalent of 3 braided loaves.

Beat eggs in a small bowl.
In a large bowl mix oil, sugar and salt.
Add boiling water to large bowl and stir until all is dissolved.
Sprinkle yeast into a measuring cup with 1/3-cup warm water. Wait a few minutes, then stir.

Add cold water to mixture in large bowl. (The mixture in the bowl should now be the right temperature to add yeast. If too hot, wait a few minutes; if too cold, put the bowl in the microwave to heat it.)

Add yeast to large bowl.
Add eggs to large bowl, reserving about 1 tablespoon.
Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Turn out dough onto floured board and knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed (but not too much). Dough is ready if it springs back after being poked with a finger.

Put back into bowl, cover with dishtowel, and put in warm oven (heated to 170-200, and then turned off beforehand) until doubled - about 1 hour.

Turn out onto floured board and knead for 1-2 minutes.

Divide dough into thirds. Take one of the thirds, and knead for another minute. Form into 3 large snakes for braid. For braids, pinch ends of 3 large snakes together and begin braiding. Pinch ends together when done. Place on greased baking sheet. Repeat for 2 other thirds. Turn oven to 350. Brush tops gently with reserved egg. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired.

Bake for about 30 minutes Times will vary.
Watch for moderate browning on top, but be careful not to allow scorching on bottom.

Remove from pans, and put on dish towels to cool.

24 November 2006

It's Greek To Me


SPANIKOPITA

Though often served as a side dish, larger portions of Spanikopita could easily be the main course in a vegetarian meal.

3 pounds spinach (see note)
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1-tablespoon olive oil
1-tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 large eggs
1/2-pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 sheets phyllo dough
1/4-cup olive oil

Rinse spinach leaves vigorously in several changes of cold water; remove the tough stems. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with coarse salt. Rub salt into the leaves, tearing up the spinach by rubbing it between your hands. Spinach volume will decrease drastically. Rinse off salt. Squeeze excess water from spinach and blot dry with paper towels.


Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Heat first addition of olive oil and butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté until onion is fragrant and translucent and mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach and onion/mushroom mixture. Stir in parsley, oregano, rosemary and nutmeg. Place one phyllo sheet in 13x9x2-inch baking pan, letting edges hang over; brush with olive oil. Repeat with four more sheets. Add spinach filling, smoothing to edges with a spatula or wooden spoon. Top with remaining five
phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil, including the top layer. Trim the edges with a small, sharp knife or with scissors.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until thoroughly heated and golden brown on top.

Makes 12 servings.
Note: To substitute frozen spinach, use 2 (10-ounce) packages, thawed and squeezed dry.

Bread Pudding



About 8 servings.
3 cups of half and half
6 egg yolks and 2 eggs beaten.
4 cups brioche or any good egg bread day old or slightly dry, cut to about half inch cubes.
Sugar to taste.
Pinch of salt
½ cup of raisons soaked in Rum for at least and hour and drained.
Cinnamon to taste.

Beat the egg mixture with the half and half and sugar until the sugar dissolves completely.
Then poor the mixture into the bread and let soak for about 1 hour or until nice and soppy J
Mix in the raisons and poor into about 1 and a half quart dish.
Bake at 350 in double boiler like situation.

In other words place the dish in a 13x9x2 or a deep cookie sheet that will hold at least and inch of water.
Baked until the mixture springs back firm but not too brown.

Easy Rum Sauce.

1 stick of butter melted
1 cup of sugar
1 egg beaten well
¼ cup rum

In a double boiler cook butter and sugar until it’s very hot, sugar is totally dissolved and thickening.
Remove from heat and beat in the egg until the ribbon stage begins. Add the rum.