If We Could Turn Back Time

So the year is 1967 (we just got our driver’s license) we head out in our white Volkswagen Beetle-roof top opened wide. The radio is set to wabc am 770 and we sang out (very) loud “we took a ride on a shoot the chute, when we fell in love down at Palisades Park.” Oh Cousin Brucie how’d you know us so well? You really got us. We packed our nap sack with a striped towel, our baby oil and iodine mix and prominently carried our new sun reflector under our arm. We stopped on Main Avenue and one of us ran out to the drugstore to buy a pack of Newport Menthols and Wrigleys spearmint gum. We took a pack of matches from home. Bradley Beach look out Passaic Girls sighting on the Garden State heading South. We all wore cut off “dungarees,” a washed out short sleeve madras blouse and underneath our version of an “itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini.” We’re having a Heat Wave only at that point in time nothing to do with a hot flash, which segues me beautifully into yesterday’s ride to the Jersey Shore. The Julia’s acronym (Just us ladies into aging) met at the Tic Tock at 10:00. We got into Susan’s new bells and whistles car (great car Sue). We magically fell into our 1960’s time machine. Although it’s 50 plus years later and we’ve carried our age with us, our voices sound the same and our imaginations run wilder than we could have ever imagined. In surround sound style memories quickly rolled by in the very well air conditioned car (I wore a sweater.) Although nothing was yellow nor polka dot, two obvious differences were we buckled “seat belts” and didn’t stop for cigarettes. Gail offered us gum, I declined as I just had a new crown put in and not on my head. Crowns are the new fillings. I think the dentists read that AARP pamphlet too closely. Ok, so we were heading to Debbie Lark’s in Monmouth Beach for a day of old times, forgiving smiles and delicious homemade blueberry pound cake. Another Sara Lee memory moment, only this time baked by Debbie and so yummy. I kept hoping somewhere sequestered in her beautiful home would be a couple of Bass weejuns, with shiny pennies dated 1968. She would give us a pair as a glorious reminder of how great our feet felt sans high heels. We had lunch with a beach breeze and dessert on the terrace as we caught up on children, grandchildren, thyroid meds and the latest keto diet. All the while we had a song in our hearts as we quietly rubbed the rabbits foot we kept in our pockets. Lucky and then some, poo poo. Oh and by the way Sue nothing about yesterday was a “Fugazy.”

Dear Divine Order G-d!

And I quote: in my own little corner, In my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be. On the the wing of my fancy, I can fly anywhere. and the world will open its arms to me. Lyrics by  Richard Rodgers written for Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The focal message in this childhood favorite was that Cinderella taught that kindness was a form of beauty. A few posts back I penned about my childhood friend Daren Scott who passed away thirteen years ago. Fast forward to last eve. The cast consisted of Jen Harris (Daren’s daughter) Linda Dietz Bursik, our dearest high school friend her daughter Syd and me.

On a beautiful Thursday eve at a local restaurant we raised a glass and toasted to Jen’s engagement to her love, Ricky. As the evening unfolded in the bustling, crowded restaurant, our table for (4) had an insulated feeling as if we were in our own “little corner and we could be whatever we wanted to be.”  Daren served as the beautiful centerpiece at our table, her memory ever-present. This time we were all taking the centerpiece home. The energy at our table was charged, as we shared stories and revealing facts all cased with lasting memories of our dear Daren. With a sense of purpose and commonality we talked over one another as one tucked away story begot another.  Our sentiments and feelings were strong and loud and cherished. With our euphoric recall hats in place, we exhumed an image that detailed Jen’s mom and our friend. 

My prayer for Jen and Ricky is that you go forward together in life sharing love, laughter and backed by good health.  May your dreams pop up in technicolor and know that through it all and the in most predictable way your mom will serve as the shining light director of your story. Listen up Daren, did I get that right? 

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!


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!