Dog Days…

We know what we feel. If your choice of appetizers doesn’t agree with your palate don’t sit there and unpack. Go to column B for your main course. Turn the page and and start a new chapter. When you learn you can swipe left to view another photo- Swipe Left. Stop collecting injustices, wrongdoings. Maybe they’ll sell on a back table at the flea market, they won’t lure people in to shop. The adage when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, roll up your sleeves and hit the ground running – away. Yes it’s hot out and  G-d willing there won’t be a blackout as the inclement weather sucks up our Con Ed supply. Take the opportunity just for today, to count blessings, rollover. Just don’t play dead. Yes, Conrad Birdie – “we got a lot of living to do.”

Peace Train – Cat Stevens 1971

Now I’ve been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it’s going to come – lyrics by Cat Stevens 1971- he wrote this song, that was so dear to him at a time in his life when he was headed toward peace. 
So I hopped on my Peace Train which left Penn Station at 10:46. Paula T, for those in the know, would be waiting on time to pick me up when I reached my ETA.
So in Cat Stevens fashion I listened as he crooned, “ Get your bags together, go bring your good friends too, cause it’s getting nearer, it soon will be with you.” 
I met Paula through our mutual, dearest friend Linda and I was immediately taken with the twinkle in not one, but both of her eyes. Yes, a rare breed, a one of a kind and the ultimate “girls girl.” Some people are just born with glitter running through their veins and Paula T is one of them. With a Rolodex that extends from Maine to Spain, in the absence of a wand, she works her magic with all of us. Yesterday we were invited to share a day of lunch and cards. We were a table of four friends who had never sat together at the same table. Oh yeah and did we have fun. The synergy was flowing as it met up with fate and happenstance. In other words we walked in to Paula’s secret garden, the table was set with her simply unusual flair and style and the “who knews”unfolded. We talked, we laughed and didn’t want to leave as the end of day came near. Marilyn, Paula and I share a combined history through our friend Linda who sadly could not be there. “We Love you Linda oh yes we do.” I got to know Vivian, who added so much to my day. Boy do you know the rules of canasta and “So” much beyond. You are a keeper. Not quite sure what was sweeter you or those Sweet Duchess cookies. After so many cookies, through so many years these could be a new favorite and how appropriate to find them on a day I could say the same about. Same time next…

Holeptses by Bubby Chicken with Love #repost

Ah, we remember it well. Missing your wisdom!

האָלעפּצעס

Let’s do it Stuffed Cabbage:

Ingredients and more than a pinch of sugar

1 large head of Savoy or green cabbage- including outer leaves

2 lbs chopped sirloin- 2lbs. Ground chuck chopped

3 eggs lightly beaten

3/4 Cup unseasoned bread crumbs

2 cups of raisins

Box of Uncle Benny’s (for those in the know) rice- aka- Uncle Ben’s Rice- none of that minute rice.

Kosher salt to taste- and a pinch for good luck

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar- slightly below the insulin line- Brown sugar

2 cans tomato sauce

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

1 large yellow onion chopped- chop, chop, chop

3 tablespoons Wesson’s oil- what’s with this olive oil?

1 stick breakstones unsalted, sweet butter- you know the one in the red box.

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 Cup red wine vinegar

Boil large pot of water to dunk the head of cabbage for a few minutes

Peel off leaves with tongs as soon as they are flexible- dry on side on paper towel

Heat the oil and butter in saucepan, add onions and cook for 8 minutes- not 10 minutes – (8)- look to see onions are done-(translucent) my word not Bubbys.

Add the tomatoes, paste and sauce sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and bring to boil.

Then cook on low flame, uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir a little and then stir again.

Now the filling- mix in Large bowl all the meat, oh wait cook the rice and add that to cooked meat- eggs, onion, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and add 1 cup of the sauce you are cooking in the other pot to the meat mixture. Stir lightly with fork.

Ok now heat the oven to 350 degrees

In another pot add sauce to cover bottom of pot. Take the cabbage leaves and put in each one about a 1/2 cup of meat filling. Roll cabbage leaves up make sure they are tightly tucked and put in pot. Then add sauce, then add another layer of stuffed leaves and then add sauce. Add over and over till all cabbage leaves are used up. Cover the pot with the lid and make sure it is tightly covered nothing should boil over. Cook for an hour mamala and when you hear your husband coming in take off the lid. He should smell the stuffed cabbage before he says hello -and kisses you on the cheek.

Get some good rye bread( no seeds- they cause diverticulitis)- and put on table so he can dunk the sauce. Enjoy! Give him a tums before he falls asleep on the chair and you wake him up to go to the bed.

*Ok, mamala watch me and watch me good. You Will make this for your husband one day.

With a Song in My Heart

L’dor v’dor- from one generation to the next. Dots, cracks, bams, sushi, pastrami and the night unfolds. The table is set in a one from column one, one from column two way.  A wealth of familiarity, long standing history and emotions that run deep. Our hearts are full as we pour another drink tell another story.  It’s all so subtle as we share each other’s blood through our life lines. This was a real who knew come together and it feels oh, so good. Our mother’s/ ourselves/ our children. 
  There’s  a built in warm sense of knowing that we are adding one more stroll down the path of life we have shared together.  Louis Armstrongyou got it right when you crooned – “ we heard babies cry, we watched them grow, they’ll learn much more than we’ll ever know and we say to ourselves, “What a Wonderful World.” Last eve we welcomed dear friends who we will welcome back to grab a drink, engage in a catch up conversation and cheer each other on as we’ve been doing since the  Bubby Chicken candy dish days. Winner takes all-  and we did!

Hail Julia’s!

Definition of Recidivism-a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially relapse into criminal behavior. Is there a fine line between addiction and recidivism? Let’s consider how popular prison romances are and seem in no danger of dying out. One theory is that prisoners create a literal wall against closeness. Conjugal visits preclude hanging out Sunday morning with Russ and Daughters and The New York Times. They certainly eliminate variegated activities i.e. strolling through The Whitney and eating french toast at Bubby’s in TriBeCa.

Delving into a veritable pantheon of theories that depict the profile of personalities enraptured by the incarcerated is a thesis unto itself. Far from the cover for every pot concept.

 I recently viewed Jacob Ephron’s documentary on his mom Nora Ephron. I watched it for the second time, can’t wait to see it again. Oh, Nora you hated your neck and we loved you. We so related when Harry met Sally and they were Sleepless in Seattle. We followed as Julie and Julia Got Mail. Your self-deprecatory humor was comforting. And I quote “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Amen! The converse rings ever so true. When you understand that burnt pot roast doesn’t necessarily taste so good, negating what we grew up eating it, you throw it out and start again. Sensibility does not kick in by chance.  Don’t  wait for the next ship to come in to carpe diem.” Seizing opportunities and disregarding discouragements are our modus operandi.How many rapprochement’s succeed? When we get sick and tired of being sick and tired, we move to another table in search of our eight card fit. I know cliche counters, I know. Last eve a couple of The Julia’s – acronym for (Just Us Ladies Into Aging) had dinner. Our portfolio sports 57 years of round tables together. From our early days of sharing french fries at Wassers and Awful Awfuls at Bonds, we got another chance to embrace our history “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess.” Nora Ephron you get us! 

Summer In a Song!

Summertime and the living is easy, fish are jumping and the cotton is high. After A Hard Day’s Night – I want Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a Splendor in the Grass chaser. As I approach the Autumn of my Youth- I ask “What kind of fool am I?” “I want to come home to you and find the things that you do will make me feel alright”ah! Paul . So as we roll out the hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer, the days of soda and pretzels and beer, (well maybe Tito’s), I’d like to go to the”drive- in on Friday nights.” As we see the pyramids along the Nile, standing near “Moon River” we feel grateful to be out of the “heat wave.” Could this be magic, as the lion sleeps tonight in the jungle, the mighty jungle? Who knows, could be it’s only just out of reach down the block, on a beach, under a tree. Tonight? We call on wishful thinking as we put on our yellow polka dot bikini and set our sights on the beach boys. We find ourselves dancing in the streets, eating icicles, popsicles and simply remember our favorite things. Are there lilac trees in the heart of town. Can your hear a lark in any other part of town? Does enchantment pour out of every door no it’s just on the street where you live. Wouldn’t you like to ride in my beautiful balloon? We can sing a song and sail along the silver sky we can fly, we can fly. Girl, I heard you’re getting married, heard you’re getting married this time you’re really sure. So, we’re going to the chapel of love. Love summer weddings. We are the lucky ones, some people never get to do all we got to do, now and forever I will always think of you. It only takes a moment for your eyes to meet and then it only takes a moment to be loved a whole life long. So let’s get those good vibrations, cause G- d only knows at any point, in the still of the night – tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun.

Daren Scott- Hey Girl

I always dreamed the boy I loved would come along

And he’d be tall and handsome rich and strong

But now that boy I love has come to me

But he sure ain’t the way I thought he’d be

(He’s sure the boy I love)

He doesn’t look like a movie star

He doesn’t drive a Cadillac car

He sure ain’t the boy I’ve been dreamin’ of

But he’s sure the boy I love “-excerpt from the song by The Crystals “He’s sure the boy I love.” One of our favorite songs to croon to as teenage girls dreaming of our future. 

In the 60’s the term “play date” was called “hanging out”- time at a friend’s house after school. I always had favorite friends to spend time with until right before dusk set in and I had to go home to start my homework and have dinner. Our after school times never seemed long enough as that’s when some of our best learning occurred. 

Daren Scott was one of my first and as long as our time together lasted closest friends. We walked to and from school together, hung out after school, started college together and sat at our Senior Prom table together the year she was voted Best Looking in our 1969 graduating  class. Daren and I lost touch when we both married and went our separate ways. I knew Daren had a son and a daughter and was an amazing and proud mom. As we sit on the precipice of our 50th high

school class reunion coming up this October, Daren won’t be at my table, by my side. No,not this time.

A decade ago I got a call from another close and life long friend, Shoshanna Smith( a.k.a. Susan Kalb.) I think I heard her say Daren Scott died. I gasped and shockingly asked if I heard her correctly. Life on life’s terms, destiny? I asked so many questions and they stopped when I asked Shoshanna if, when we were walking to school, hanging out after school, eating Blanche’s chocolate cake, listening to our favorite songs,  was it preordained that Daren would not  live her life out. Shoshanna, in her sage like, wisdom way said. “Judy, she lived her life out.” So the story goes. Daren had a certain panache, a quiet flair. There was a strong side to her and being on that side was an easier way for our friendship to flourish. I learned so much about fashion during our after school “play dates.” Daren had an Aunt Alma who was a clothing buyer and Daren and her sisters would get Amazon like delivery’s of the most extraordinary clothing. I learned about mini – skirts designed by Mary Quant, ensemble dress and skirt suits by Charles Evans (Evan Picone) and capes by Bill Blass. I knew early on that Balmain shoes would live forever. I never dreamed Daren wouldn’t.

I heard some great news  yesterday from Barbara Scott, she married Daren’s cousin Kevin) that Daren’s daughter Jen got engaged. When 

my goosebumps subsided, a potpourri of emotions set in and I wept.

Undoubtedly, I was thrilled to hear the news and see glorious pics of the proposal. Then in an airy way I exhumed the look on Daren’s face, as if it were yesterday, when we were young girls sharing first time moments of sheer bliss. This time my dear, old friend I’ll imagine that look, honor your children for you with extreme joy and pride. I pray you know that while you’ve been long time out of sight, you’re always in my heart. Yitgadal v’ yitkadash.