Fourth of July–Breakfast and Afternoon Picnic


Start the day in happy and healthy 4th colors…

Skip the burgers and beer this weekend and put together a festive, but filling picnic-worthy meal of grilled pork tenderloin -one of my favorite summer meals- served with grilled sweet potatoes along with a choice of sauces. Bacon, too, if you want.  Throw together a spicy herb coleslaw and, if you’ve time, my most popular pasta salad–a tortellini and vegetable dish that’s easily made vegetarian (or even vegan) if necessary.  Make the beautiful Strawberry-Amaretto Ice Cream from my last post for the finishing taste and to leave everyone feeling sweet.  This meal lends itself to potluck if you’d like to pass out recipes and just wait for the food to roll in.  If there are any leftovers at all, you’re set for the next day, too, as everything in the post keeps beautifully and the pork makes perfect tacos.  Happy 4th!

Begin in the morning with coffee along with a bowl of sliced red and blue berries and chopped watermelon topped with Greek yogurt, a little granola, and a drizzle of local honey.


Start the day’s festivities playing some great 4th of July music. Try Pandora or play this selection off…  Raining?  Keep the troops happy watching a patriotic movie or two; snuggle up with the pups. Print off coloring pages for the little ones.



You’ll have plenty of room for the big picnic later on in the day. A pomosa (Pomegranate juice and sparkling wine) on the side would be a very happy accompaniment, I think.  Figure on a cup each of berries and watermelon for every person, along with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/8 cup granola, and a teaspoon or so of honey. Continue reading

Coleslaw Reinvented Or Packing the Kitchen is #*99%%$$

Still naked coleslaw


 I’m awfully stuck-up about this, but I have always liked my coleslaw better than any other.  Better than any deli in NYC and better than any of my friends’ or family’s.   I have made a lot of coleslaw in my day.  It was a go-to as a side for brisket, burgers, you-name-it for my kids.  I made it in the food processor (after I got one) and it contained grated cabbage, a bit of red onion, most of whatever apple was in the frig, mayo, white vinegar, ground cayenne pepper, table salt and freshly-ground pepper.  I love it and it’s mine.

But last week, before I started packing the kitchen for the move,  I just started making it differently and that just went on.  I hope I can document it because it was capital W Wonderful and I want it again.  Dave said it was the best coleslaw he’d ever eaten in his life (ah, gee), but the thing was, the stuff KEPT WELL.  It was crispy and piquant and sweet and hot a day later and then two days later.  It didn’t know it should have wilted.  And that’s worth alot.  I’m thinking it was the brining. To  have a veg salad, dressed, ready to go for three days.  I still liked it better the first day, but that’s me.  I’m picky.



Brined Coleslaw with Apples   serve 3-4

4 c shredded green cabbage
1 apple such as Gala or Honeycrisp, cored and sliced thinly (don’t peel)
1/4 c thinly sliced red onion
2T kosher salt (for brining)
2T white sugar  ”       “
1t freshly-ground black pepper ”     “
1T olive oil
3 t apple cider vinegar
3T olive oil mayo (or your favorite)
1/2 t sugar or more/less to taste
1/4 c raisins
1/2 t kosher salt and 1/4t freshly-ground pepper, or to taste
Pinch of Cayenne pepper

In a very large bowl, place cabbage, apple and onion.  Cover with water and a cup or so of ice cubes.  Add 2T kosher salt, 2T white sugar and 1t freshly-ground black pepper.  Set aside for 15-20 minutes at room temperature. 

Brining the cabbage, apples and onions

Drain cabbage mixture well and remove ice from the colander.  Shake colander repeatedly to remove as much water as possible.  Pat cabbage mixture with paper towels to further dry.  Return to large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and white vinegar.  Mix well.  Add mayonnaise and raisins and mix again.  Season with sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  You may need a bit more vinegar or sugar, etc to suit your taste.

Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood

I’m working on a lemon tart from Dorie Greenspan’s PARIS SWEETS. This is the first try.  It uses a whole lemon-all of it.

  Out to breakfast; out to lunch…

Very watchful as the kitchen gets packed…

 And then again ……………….

View of “new” kitchen

Meantime, if you’re keeping up with or reading more about what’s happening to the Presbyterian Church, USA, you might be interested in Wilson Gunn’s (The Presbyterian Outlook) response to “The Deathly Letter.”  John Huss (Clerk of Session, Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta) has also responded in The Presbyterian Outlook on behalf of that church. There are, in fact, a few back and forths by now; you might want to read them.  Adam Walker Cleaveland in Pomomusings includes a clip of Jim Singleton (Senior Pastor at First Pres in Co Springs) explaining the new vision…and responds here. I have prayed this church might find its way peacefully and intact through the current (and former) quagmire; other denominations have done it.  Witness the UCC church where Dave and I currently happily worship.  During the last year, another local UCC congregation became open and affirming.  The church we attend went through that process maybe 15 years ago.  Perhaps it isn’t necessary to be all together on everything all the time; some things require years of patient hope, education and loving prayer.  I’ve always found it one of the beauties of being Presbyterian that we do have the latitude for varying ideas, interpretations and beliefs.  I am grateful we aren’t cookie cutter Christians, but it seems to me the unhappy churches ought to acknowledge their unhappiness and……just leave. There is a process within the PCUSA for just that.   Thanks, God for giving so many of us the ability to agree and disagree; I know we all have this in common–You are God of our lives and the love that we so badly need in our world.

Sing a new song,