Category Archives: Food and Family

Glass Of Wine

On a lighter note, I have been looking for a good red wine for a moderate price. I do prefer California wine because it is local and I am in love with our wine countries. There has been an explosion of wineries in California and this makes it hard impossible to keep up with all the labels. So just doing some quick research (Google) and happy to see there are some wines that are affordable to me. ( $20 and under). I really like the richer flavored red wines, like Cabernet, and found out that some of the best are from Napa Valley. Here’s another list of red and white wines and some from other countries. And another list of California Cabernet, from different regions, under $4o. One more list of 100 wines from California and other countries for $15 and under. Hmm, lots to explore and my research may take some time…..

Glass of Napa Valley Red Wine by Ash Berlin

Glass of Napa Valley Red Wine by Ash Berlin


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill and the prompt word for today is “glass.” Featured image is ‘Vineyard bathed in light [Sonoma]’ by torbakhopper on wikimedia.


Children’s Hospitals

When babies are in the NICU it is a long vigil for the parents and family. Many say it is a roller coaster ride because there can be many bumps and twists in the road, large and small, as the baby fights for survival. You wish for time to pass quickly so the baby will reach the point of being strong enough to go home.

Via Children’s Hospital LA on You Tube:



This post is part of JustJotItJanuary. The word prompt for today is “hospital” suggested by Charlene Bullard at




The Best Holiday Gifts

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Hannukah and Christmas are coinciding this year. No matter which one we celebrate, or maybe we have a secular approach, this time of year is a time of family and friends gathering. There can be all kinds of anxiety about gifts and holiday menus. But the most important thing is sharing time with people we love. That is the best holiday gift.

I am hoping for a special gift this year. That my baby grandson will keep growing bigger and stronger and will get to go home with his parents in the New Year.

One Liner Wednesday  is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image via Pixabay.

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Loving Wishes

“Goodnight nobody

Goodnight mush

And goodnight to the old lady whispering “hush”

Goodnight stars

Goodnight air

Good night noises everywhere” (from Goodnight Moon)

Little babies can hear even in the womb. And I am learning it is good to read to premature babies. It is good for language development. My little grandson needs a lot of quiet right now but it is also good for him to hear his parents and grandparents voices. So I am thinking about purchasing some children’s books to take to the NICU. I want him to get to know our voices and loving wishes.

Do you have a favorite childhood book?

This post is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. Prompt for today “sh” words. Goodnight Moon book is by Margaret Wise Brown. Featured image from Goodnight Moon via wikipedia.

Pretty Bird


Thanksgiving Turkey 2013


Thanksgiving Turkey 2016

Is that the same turkey?  Same kitchen, different turkey. I have taken so many photos of “The Turkey” over the years that I have often joked I should have a Turkey Album. This year’s version turned out well. I have had years of practice to get the best tasting turkey and stuffing. We were a bit worn out this year because besides all the usual cleaning, which involves my last minute mad dash to dust, vacuum, swiffer, sort through piles, rearrange assorted belongings, move stuff to our overstuffed garage…we had a new grandchild born. He was born early and has to stay in NICU. He is very beautiful and a fighter. So we wanted to spend time with him and his parents. My husband said that next Thanksgiving he, baby Gavin, will be celebrating with us. We will be very, very Thankful for that.


Toby oversees the turkey carving with great interest


Ready for our glass of wine after all the running around


Always love to have my daughter Kate visit and she makes some mean mashed potatoes.

This post is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. Turkey photos by yours truly and other photos by Kate. Prompt for today was “pretty.”

And for Traffic Jam Weekend Linky Party #72  hosted by

The Best Ballabusta

My mother in law told me I was a ballabusta, a good homemaker. When my kids were growing up I made an effort to make them aware of part of their heritage by creating holiday dinners for my husband’s family. I learned to make chicken soup and matzo balls from my mother in law. I wanted to go beyond chicken and brisket and dicovered Judy Zeidler’s Gourmet Jewish Cookbook and Persian chicken. I made holiday dinners and Thanksgivings to die for but I was not an enthusiastic every day cook. I was not a great housekeeper either. I rebelled against the title of housewife with all its connotations. I was not Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, or Mr.(s) Clean. I told my husband I did not go to college to be a housewife. Afterall, I am a child of the 60s and Women’s Liberation. I did want to be there for my kids instead of working full time. I did work part-time after my kids were in school. I don’t know if I was the best ballabusta but I make a mean matzo ball with help of Manischewitz (Matzo Ball Mix).

This post is for Stream of Concsiousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is “bus.”  Featured image “mom”  via



Happy Hanukkah

600px-Latkes Image by Jonathunder in Wikimedia

Happy Hanukkah which begins tonight. The image of latkes is by Jonathunder on Wikimedia. Latkes are really delicious and there are many recipes for them. I like ones like the ones in this image. Grated potato with a little flour, eggs and some onion and fried in oil. You can find many recipes on the internet. I like them with a little sour cream on top. You can cook them ahead of time and freeze them for future use.

Classic Latke Recipe

This image is from the recipe page on Food

Hope you have a good week and a happy start to the Holiday Season.

The Stuffing Recipe

Thanksgiving Day is past and many of us are resting on our laurels for another delicious Thanksgiving dinner. My family prefers the traditional roast turkey with stuffing inside the bird, and the extra that does not fit in the bird in a casserole. I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner almost every year of my marriage and I even made it a few times before I was married. I remember, when I was in Nursing school, I made Thanksgiving for my family at the house I shared with fellow students in San Francisco. I stayed up practically all night trying to make the pie crust for the Pumpkin pie from scratch like my mother did. I threw out so much flour and shortening because I couldn’t get it to the right consistency. If you handle it too much the dough becomes stiff and will not be flakey when baked. My mother came over that day and I told her I was having problems with the pie crust. She whipped it together in a flash. She said you have to get a feel for it. My mother’s pie crust was wonderful. I have never been a pie maker and usually buy the pies from a good bakery.

The stuffing was another skill my mother had mastered and my recipe comes from my memory of how she made it. I have made it so many times and sometimes the ingredients have changed very slightly over the years. Thankfully I get the turkey and stuffing right according to my family. In earlier years, I prepared the entire meal by myself. Anyone who has made a big family dinner like this knows how much work it is.

In recent years, it has become a group effort with my daughter and husband pitching in with some of the preparation and cooking. My daughter is a very good cook and will come up with delicious dishes to add to the feast. She is usually in charge of the fresh mashed potatoes. This year she made roasted garlic mashed potatoes and a delicious mixed green salad with persimmons, pomegranate, and toasted walnuts. My husband makes the cranberry sauce and does some of the prep work by chopping vegetables for the stuffing.

We were away from home this time, at the in-laws house in Palm Desert, with one of our brother in laws. It is always a bit strange working in someone else’s kitchen but we managed to pull it off just fine. And according to my family the stuffing was great.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by LindaGHill

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Turkey Lurkey Time

It’s Turkey Lurkey Time.  Time to kick off the holiday season with Thanksgiving, that is Thanksgiving in America. Wishing you Happy Thanksgiving. I want to wish everyone PEACE and JOY in the upcoming season.

Here’s something a bit silly from the play Promises, Promises. I hope it gives you a little smile.

Via frankieghl on You Tube:

Top Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Sonoma County

Farm-to-table Sonoma County

“Sonoma County chefs love their local ingredients and supporting independent farmers. Menus sing with produce grown in Wine Country gardens, meats from Wine Country ranches, dairy from Wine Country creameries, and seafood from Wine Country rivers and oceans.”

Source: Top Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Sonoma County

I get this newsletter from Sonoma. Are you a foodie like me? You will love reading about all this wonderful food. One of these guys makes his own salami. I felt like sharing. Must be because I have read too many books about anti-dieting lately. In California we go kind of nuts about local grown, farm to table cuisine. (OK we go very nuts.)