Thursday, March 30, 2017

Baker's Hours

I should've been a baker because I keep baker's hours. I woke up at three and after morning chores I baked three cast iron trays of Marion Cunningham's Bran Muffins (recipe from The Breakfast Book).

I had some dried black cherries from Sylvia and I added them in with the raisins. I also added some old fashioned rolled oats. They are excellent because they are not cloyingly sweet like commercial bran muffins, which are basically cake.

E.B. White, Haruki Murakami, Ernest Hemmingway, + Henry Miller

E.B. White: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

In an interview with The Paris Review, E.B. White, the famous author of Charlotte's Web, talked about his daily writing routine…

I never listen to music when I’m working. I haven’t that kind of attentiveness, and I wouldn’t like it at all. On the other hand, I’m able to work fairly well among ordinary distractions. My house has a living room that is at the core of everything that goes on: it is a passageway to the cellar, to the kitchen, to the closet where the phone lives. There’s a lot of traffic. But it’s a bright, cheerful room, and I often use it as a room to write in, despite the carnival that is going on all around me.

In consequence, the members of my household never pay the slightest attention to my being a writing man — they make all the noise and fuss they want to. If I get sick of it, I have places I can go. A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
Haruki Murakami: “The repetition itself becomes the important thing.”

In a 2004 interview, Murakami discussed his physical and mental habits…

When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m.

I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.

But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.
Ernest Hemingway: “I write every morning.”

In an interview with George Plimpton, Hemingway revealed his daily routine…

When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there.

You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that.

When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.
Henry Miller: “When you can’t create you can work.”

In 1932, the famous writer and painter, Henry Miller, created a work schedule that listed his “Commandments” for him to follow as part of his daily routine. This list was published in the book, Henry Miller on Writing (Kindle).

Work on one thing at a time until finished.
Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
When you can’t create you can work.
Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ram Dass


by Ram Dass

The desire to become enlightened is still you desiring something. What happens is you start to touch places way beyond what you ever thought you were. Or you start to awaken, and it’s like the bliss is much more incredible, the understanding is more incredible, and so on, and the craving for it. It’s like a supercrave and that desire is what is used to finish all the other desires. Then, near the end of that sequence, you’re left with only that desire; and you see that the desire for it is what’s keeping you from it. Then there’s the having to let go of the desire in order to become it, which is the final process of dying, really. It’s the psychological dying because desiring that last desire is your final statement of who you are. But the predicament is that who you are can’t go through the doorway. You can get right up to the door and you can knock, but you can’t go in. They say “it” can come in, but “you” can’t. That which desires to get through the door gets right up to the door, and then they say, “The desire’s gotta stay right out here. Sorry, leave your shoes outside, but you can come in.” At that point the desire falls away.

What has happened to me now – really interesting – although I still have plenty of other desires that are getting more and more subtle all the time – that desire is really much less than it ever used to be. It’s like – to be as honest as I can – I don’t know what birth I’m in, I don’t know when it’s over. There’s nothing much I can do about it – I’m just living as consciously, and openly and trustingly as I am living and it’s much more like “Here it is, and now what?” I can’t even try to be conscious, because even trying to be conscious is unconscious. So there is no more trying, there is just being. Like, I’ve meditated because I’ve tried to meditate, but I could see that it was just another ego trip. Then finally I’d give it up, and then sometimes I’d be drawn into meditation. Meditation would happen to me. So much more now, my life is happening to me – rather than I’m trying to make it happen.

– Ram Dass, excerpt from The Only Dance There Is

Working Through our Attachment to Money

by Ram Dass

I have met people who seem to be happy with very little, and I’ve met people who seem very unhappy with an awful lot.

I was teaching a fellow to fly once whose uncle was a very wealthy man. He had billions. We landed at LaGuardia airport and we pulled in and he looked up at this huge jet and he says, “Oh damnit. That’s my Uncle’s plane.” This guy who himself had twenty million, suddenly felt very poor compared to his Uncle’s billions.

I’ve watched what happens to people as they make more money; they shift the context of the people they live with, and it seduces them into more and more. The whole concept that more is better is a very deep sickness in this culture.

Some people come through life with a lot of anxiety about starvation and hunger, passed on from their grandfathers two generations back. And so they need a certain security before they’re free enough of their neurosis, or that panic or that fear to be able to be free to do inner work and be productive. Other people can go right along the edge with no savings whatsoever and seem to ride along with it, there’s no general rule.

When people see money as energy and they see that there are karmic effects to holding onto energy and they also see that those karmic effects backfire, then they start to see that part of the responsibility of having energy is learning how to pass it through, learning how to trust, and to keep giving it away. People, especially in the business world, take money too seriously.

There’s a story about my guru, it’s always kind of stuck in my mind, of the sadhu that came to visit him. The sadhu was an old fellow who had known Maharaj-ji for many years. The sadhu came in and he was quite arrogant and he sat down right on the tucket with Maharaj-ji and all the devotees were very upset that he’d sat there. The sadhu said to Maharaj-ji, “You’ve got this big temple. You’re collecting stuff. You’re really attached. You want so much.” Maharaj-ji said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” I mean, Maharaj-ji couldn’t care less, he’d had a water pot and a doti that kept falling off and people would build temples to try to capture him.

The sadhu was sitting there playing with a little shaligram, which is a stone you do Shiva puja with, and Maharaj-ji said, “Oh, look at that shaligram! Could I see it?” So the sadhu showed him the shaligram and Maharaj-ji said, “Oh, that’s beautiful! Can I have it?” And the fellow said, “See? I knew it! You’re just greedy. You want everything. You want my shaligram and that’s part of my spiritual practices. I can’t give that to you!” Maharaj-ji said, “I’ll give you 40 rupees.” This thing is only worth 5 rupees and after a moment the sadhu says, “Well if you need it Maharaj-ji, I’ll sell it to you.” So Maharaj-ji got forty rupees from a devotee and gave it to the sadhu.

Then Maharaj-ji said to the sadhu, “Give me all of your money.” So the sadhu said, “I knew you weren’t gonna let me keep the 40 rupees.” He gave him the 40 rupees and Maharaj-ji said, “No, I want all of your money, the stuff you’ve got pinned inside your jacket.” The sadhu took out another 200 rupees and said, “Maharaj-ji, that’s all the money I’ve got.” Maharaj-ji took the 240 rupees and he threw them into the coal fire and they flared up. The sadhu freaked, “Maharaj-ji! My God! That’s all the money I had!” Maharaj-ji said, “Oh! I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t realize how attached you are!” And he took a pair of tongs, reached into the fire, pulled out all new dollar bills and handed them to the sadhu. Then the sadhu got off of the tucket.

Now if you’ve lived in the world where this is even possible, how does money look to you after that? Maharaj-ji said to me once, “All the money in the world is mine.” Now, is that total psychosis? Sounds like it, doesn’t it. Or is it? Is there some other way of understanding money in which you see it as just this kind of play energy, like Monopoly money. You just play with it.

I have the sense that as your faith gets stronger, you keep needing less and less, and when your faith is flickering, you keep wanting more security. You want to keep hedging your bets against life. But as your faith gets stronger, you just keep letting it go and letting it go.

-Ram Dass

The Sun Came Out!

I've become a person who is grumpy when it's rainy or overcast although I love FOG and I love SNOW. I get so excited when the clouds retreat.


A friend of mine turned me onto Nutella. I have to hide it. She's a runner with three tall athletic sons. She keeps a bucket of Nutella out on her counter for quick dips. I've noticed the Nutella eaters and the beer drinkers are marathon triathalete types. Maybe that's the secret to regularly eating these foods.

Eye on the Prize

When you are working in the nonprofit sector, or you're an artist, musician, writer, teacher, doctor, nurse, detective, police officer, fireman, chances are you have your eye on the prize otherwise you would have burnout. I told this to a friend of mine who just sold her business to downsize her lifestyle. As long as you have your eye on the prize you won't feel deprived. Each person must find their way to what is meaningful and fulfilling to them. We can't do it all but when you find what you love the rewards are thousandfold. As I say to my husband, "It doesn't take much but it does take some."

Lazy Biscotti

I am always hungry and yet I am also lazy. So I find ways to make delicious food in huge quantities and then I can put my feet up for the rest of the week. This does get boring so I rotate my stock. I made 6 loaves of bread two different varieties and froze them. I made one boule today from leftover batter and decided to have it as toast with nutella on top. I realized it was lazy biscotti! Biscotti means twice baked. So all toast is biscotti.

Ken Keysey: Get Up and Move Around

When Shakespeare was writing, he wasn't writing for stuff to lie on the page; it was supposed to get up and move around.
- Ken Kesey

To Hell with Facts

To hell with facts! We need stories!
- Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
-Ken Kesey

You can't really be strong until you see a funny side to things.
-Ken Kesey

People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense.
-Ken Kesey

Kenneth Elton "Ken" Kesey (/ˈkiːziː/; September 17, 1935 – November 10, 2001) was an American novelist, essayist, and counter-cultural figure. He considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s.

Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado and grew up in Springfield, Oregon, graduating from the University of Oregon in 1957. He began writing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1960 following the completion of a graduate fellowship in creative writing at Stanford University; the novel was an immediate commercial and critical success when published two years later. Subsequently, he moved to nearby La Honda, California and began hosting happenings with former colleagues from Stanford, miscellaneous bohemian and literary figures (most notably Neal Cassady), and other friends under the imprimateur of the Merry Pranksters; these parties, known as Acid Tests, integrated the consumption of LSD with multimedia performances. He mentored the Grateful Dead (the de facto "house band" of the Acid Tests) throughout their incipience and continued to exert a profound influence upon the group throughout their long career. Sometimes a Great Notion—an epic account of the vicissitudes of an Oregon logging family that aspired to the modernist grandeur of William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha saga—was a commercial success that polarized critics and readers upon its release in 1964, although Kesey regarded the novel as his magnum opus.[3]

In 1965, following an arrest for marijuana possession and subsequent faked suicide, Kesey was imprisoned for five months. Shortly thereafter, he returned home to the Willamette Valley and settled in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, where he maintained a secluded, family-oriented lifestyle for the rest of his life. In addition to teaching at the University of Oregon—an experience that culminated in Caverns (1989), a collaborative novel written by Kesey and his graduate workshop students under the pseudonym of "O.U. Levon"—he continued to regularly contribute fiction and reportage to such publications as Esquire, Rolling Stone, Oui, Running, and The Whole Earth Catalog; various iterations of these pieces were collected in Kesey's Garage Sale (1973) and Demon Box (1986).

Between 1974 and 1980, Kesey published six issues of Spit in the Ocean, a little magazine that featured excerpts from an unfinished novel (Seven Prayers by Grandma Whittier, an account of Kesey's grandmother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease) and contributions from such luminaries as Margo St. James, Kate Millett, Stewart Brand, Saul-Paul Sirag, Jack Sarfatti, Paul Krassner, and William S. Burroughs.[4][5] After a third novel (Sailor Song) was released to lukewarm reviews in 1992, he reunited with the Merry Pranksters and began publishing works on the Internet until ill health (including a stroke) curtailed his activities.

Timothy Leary

Think for yourself and question authority.
- Timothy Leary
Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
- Timothy Leary
You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
- Timothy Leary

Thich Nhat Hanh

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
Thich Nhat Hanh

We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Sharon Salzberg

Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope - a slight change, and all patterns alter.
- Sharon Salzberg

If we fall, we don't need self-recrimination or blame or anger - we need a reawakening of our intention and a willingness to recommit, to be whole-hearted once again.
- Sharon Salzberg

We learn and grow and are transformed not so much by what we do but by why and how we do it.
- Sharon Salzberg

Alan Watts

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
-Alan Watts

Linda Schierse Leonard

Books by Linda Schierse Leonard

The Wounded Woman: Healing the Father-Daughter Relationship by Linda Schierse Leonard

Witness to the Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction
by Linda Schierse Leonard

Meeting the Madwoman: Empowering the Feminine Spirit
by Linda Schierse Leonard

Creation's Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit
by Linda Schierse Leonard

Following the Reindeer Woman
by Linda Schierse Leonard

Call to Create : Celebrating Acts of Imagination
by Linda Schierse Leonard

On The Way to The Wedding
by Linda Schierse Leonard

Alice Miller Changed My Life

After college I discovered Alice Miller. I remember not getting off my couch until I had read all of her books! I didn't believe I was a reader until I found her books. That was about the same time that I discovered Linda Leonard's books.

“Genuine feelings cannot be produced, nor can they be eradicated. We can only repress them, delude ourselves, and deceive our bodies. The body sticks to the facts.”
― Alice Miller

“If it is very painful for you to criticize your friends, you are safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that is the time to hold your tongue”
― Alice Miller

“Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the individual and unique history of our childhood.”
― Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self

Alice Miller
Born in Lwow, Poland January 12, 1923 Died April 14, 2010



Influences: Lloyd Demause, Jean Liedloff

Psychologist and world renowned author, who is noted for her books on child abuse, translated in several languages. In her books she departed from psychoanalysis charging it with being similar to the poisonous pedagogies, which she described in For Your Own Good.

Miller was born in Poland and as young woman lived in Warshaw where she survived World War II. In 1953 she gained her doctorate in philosophy, psychology and sociology at University of Basel in Switzerland. For the next 20 years Miller studied and practiced psychoanalysis.

Her first three books originated from research she took upon herself as a response to what she felt were major blind spots in her field.

However, by the time her fourth book was published, she no longer believed that psychoanalysis was viable in any respect. Miller extended trauma model to include all forms of child abuse, including those that were commonly accepted (such as spanking), which she called poisonous pedagogy, a non-literal translation of Katharina Rutschky's Schwarze Pädagogik (black or dark pedagogy)

Drawing upon the work of psychohistory, Miller analyzed writers Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka and others to find links between their childhood traumas and the course and outcome of their lives.

In 1979, she stopped practicing as a psychoanalyst after having studied and practiced psychoanalysis for 20 years and became critical of both Freud and Carl Jung.

She has continued to write and lecture on psychological issues.

Her most recent book, Pictures of My Life, was published in 2006; an informal autobiography in which the writer explores her emotional process from painful childhood, through the development of her theories and later insights, told via the display and discussion of 66 of her original paintings, painted in the years 1973 to 2005.

She died in April 14th 2010 in Saint-Rémy de Provence, France. (less)

The Drama of the Gifted Chi... The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self
by Alice Miller, Ruth Ward (Translator)

For Your Own Good: Hidden C... For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence
by Alice Miller, Hunter Hannum (Translator), Hildegarde Hannum (Translator)

The Body Never Lies: The Li... The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting
by Alice Miller, Andrew Jenkins (Translator)

The Truth Will Set You Free... The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self
by Alice Miller, Andrew Jenkins (Translator)

Thou Shalt Not Be Aware : S... Thou Shalt Not Be Aware : Society's Betrayal of the Child
by Alice Miller, Hildegarde Hannum (Translator), Hunter Hannum (Translator)

The Untouched Key: Tracing ... The Untouched Key: Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness
by Alice Miller, Hunter Hannum (Translator), Hildegarde Hannum (Translator)

Banished Knowledge: Facing ... Banished Knowledge: Facing Childhood Injuries
by Alice Miller, Leila Vennewitz (Translator)

Breaking Down the Wall of S... Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth
by Alice Miller, Simon Worrall (Translator)

Paths of Life: Seven Scenarios Paths of Life: Seven Scenarios
by Alice Miller, Andrew Jenkins (Translator)

Free from Lies: Discovering... Free from Lies: Discovering Your True Needs
by Alice Miller, Andrew Jenkins (Translator)

Home is Where the Hearth Is

If you want to learn how to live learn from a cookbook or better yet, from an immigrant or a first generation family. Chances are they are proud to preserve their family heritage. They understand hospitality and the joys of baking and cooking for friends and family. I have been very lucky to meet people from many different parts of the world who have wanted to teach me how to cook like their parents and grandparents.


I set the semolina dough to rise and took a shower. When I came back I saw that the bread rose up and beyond the 4" skillet and heaped over the oven shelves like a cartoon. It was a perfect photo op but I don't know to do that. Anyway the inside of my 1960's black and white speckled enamel Thermador oven needed cleaning. This is what I tell myself when the cat throws up on the carpet or the dog has a pee leak on the kitchen floor. "It needs cleaning anyway!" Dough is so flexible and forgiving and I try to learn to be as well. Dough and dogs are my best teachers. I scooped up the inflated dough and rounded it into a ball. I greased a larger 8" skillet and started over.

Maple Elm Juniper

I am so jealous that my brother doesn't have allergies. I have so many! I have learned to carry the quick relief medicines (inhaler, antihistamine, generic Excedrin, decongestant) so I don't end up ruining a day from a sinus headache or histamine tummy.

Alphabet & Numero-Phobic Librarian

That's me! I love libraries, books and research but I can't for the life of me alphabetize and use numbers. Luckily my failures serve s purpose, they keep me painting and writing.

Eugene McCarthy

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.
Eugene McCarthy

An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.
Eugene McCarthy

This is, I say, the time for all good men not to go to the aid of their party, but to come to the aid of their country.
Eugene McCarthy

As long as the differences and diversities of mankind exist, democracy must allow for compromise, for accommodation, and for the recognition of differences.
Eugene McCarthy

Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts.
Eugene McCarthy

There is danger in the concentration of control in the television and radio networks, especially in the large television and radio stations; danger in the concentration of ownership in the press...and danger in the increasing concentration of selection by book publishers and reviewers and by the producers of radio and television programs.
Eugene McCarthy

We do not need presidents who are bigger than the country, but rather ones who speak for it and support it.
Eugene McCarthy

Anything said three times in Washington becomes a fact.
Eugene McCarthy

Vote against anything introduced with a "re" in it, especially reforms, reorganizations, and recodifications. This usually means going back to something that failed once and is likely to do so again.
Eugene McCarthy

There are two ways that you can gain territory from another group. One is by conquest. That's essentially the way we took California from Mexico and... Texas as well. But what's going on now may end up being a kind of recolonization of the Southwest, because the other way you can regain territory is by population infiltration and demographic dominance.... The United States will be faced with the problem that Canada has been faced with... and which our system is not prepared to accommodate.
Eugene McCarthy

The only thing that saves us from bureaucracy is its inefficiency.
Eugene McCarthy

We don't declare war any more; we declare national defense.
Eugene McCarthy

Let us pick up again these lost strands and weave them again into the fabric of America, sort out the music from the sounds and again respond to the trumpet and the steady drum.
Eugene McCarthy

The function of liberal Republicans is to shoot the wounded after battle.
Eugene McCarthy

Whatever is morally necessary must be made politically possible.
Eugene McCarthy

A newspaper may somewhat arrogantly assert that it prints "all the news that's fit to print." But no newspaper yet has been moved to declare at the end of each edition, "That's the way it is," as Walter Cronkite does.
Eugene McCarthy

You know when I first thought I might have a chance? When I realized that you could go into any bar in the country and insult Lyndon Johnson and nobody would punch you in the nose.
Eugene McCarthy

No man could be equipped for the presidency if he has never been tempted by one of the seven cardinal sins.
Eugene McCarthy

Broken things are powerful.Things about to break are stronger still. The last shot from the brittle bow is truest.
Eugene McCarthy

Remember that the worst accidents occur in the middle of the road.
Eugene McCarthy

It is dangerous for a national candidate to say things that people might remember.
Eugene McCarthy

War is indefensible on every grounds, military and economic and diplomatic and also on moral.
Eugene McCarthy

The Senate is the last primitive society in the world. We still worship the elders of the tribe and honor the territorial imperative.
Eugene McCarthy

In politics one may remain aloof and become irrelevant or get involved and get corrupted.
Eugene McCarthy

I'm kind of an accidental instrument, really, through which I hope that the judgment and the will of this nation can be expressed.
Eugene McCarthy

Nixon is the kind of guy who, if you were drowning twenty feet from shore, would throw you a fifteen-foot rope.
Eugene McCarthy

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cyberchondria, otherwise known as 'compucondria', the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomology based on review of search results and literature online.[1][2] Articles in popular media position cyberchondria anywhere from temporary neurotic excess to adjunct hypochondria. Cyberchondria is a growing concern among many healthcare practitioners as patients can now research any and all symptoms of a rare disease, illness or condition, and manifest a state of medical anxiety.

Regional Meeting

Blackstone Valley Prevention Coalition

Today was a fantastic day for the Blackstone Valley Prevention Coalition! Representatives from Central Falls, Burrillville, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Cumberland & Lincoln met today for our first Regional Coalition meeting in Lincoln. This amazing group is focused on Substance Abuse Prevention in the Blackstone Valley. We are so excited to see the amazing work that will come from joining forces! #blackstonevalleypreventioncoalition #substanceabusepreventionandtreatment #centralfallsri #woonsocket #burrillville #cumberlandri #lincolnri #pawtucketri #northsmithfieldri #workingtogetherasateam

A Real Dinner

Not every day comes together at dinner time. Last night did not and it was sad. Today I baked 6 loaves of bread. Four were multigrain and two were semolina Italian breads. I crammed them all in my oven and they came out great. Now that my mouth has healed I can eat crispy bread crust again. I stir-fried mushroom green beans sweetened with molasses and beer and olive oil and salt in a skillet with garlic and red chili flakes to go with the semolina toast and eggplant Parmesan. It was a real dinner for two exhausted people.

Democratic Senator Asks Drugmakers About Opioid Sales Plans

Democratic Senator Asks Drugmakers About Opioid Sales Plans

MARCH 28, 2017, 2:55 P.M. E.D.T.

WASHINGTON — A Democratic senator is seeking marketing information, sales records and studies from manufacturers of the top-selling opioid products in the United States to determine whether drugmakers have contributed to an overuse of the pain killers.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said that sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, taking a financial toll on the government and a deadly toll on thousands of consumers.

McCaskill said previous government and media reports show an industry not focused on preventing abuse but on fostering addiction. She is investigating whether such practices continue today.

Some of the records she is asking for from the five companies include the sales rep expenses for entertaining physicians, payments made to health care advocacy groups, as well as marketing and business plans.

"We have an obligation to everyone devastated by this epidemic to find answers," McCaskill said in a prepared statement issued Tuesday. "All of this didn't happen overnight. It happened one prescription and marketing program at a time."

More than 52,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2015, and roughly two-thirds of them had used prescription opioids like OxyContin or Vicodin or illegal drugs like heroin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those overdoses have jumped 33 percent in the past five years alone, with some states reporting the death toll had doubled or more.

Last September, The Associated Press and Center for Public Integrity published an investigation outlining how makers of prescription painkillers have adopted a 50-state strategy that includes hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions to help kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids.

The industry and its allies spent more than $880 million nationwide on lobbying and campaign contributions from 2006 through 2015 — more than 200 times what those advocating for stricter policies spent and eight times more than the influential gun lobby recorded for similar activities during that same period, the investigation found.

McCaskill is the ranking Democratic lawmaker on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The Republican chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson, did not sign the letter seeking the information from the drug manufacturers, and an aide said Republicans weren't given time to join the investigation.

Brittni Palke, spokeswoman for the committee, said McCaskill waited until the last minute to notify Johnson of the probe. She said Johnson was disappointed by McCaskill's decision to "get headlines instead of results."

"Contrary to the committee's longstanding bipartisan traditions, Senator McCaskill chose to make her requests unilaterally despite widespread interest in coming together to address the root causes of America's opioid addiction," Palke said.

Bertrand Russell To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. - Bertrand Russell

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
Bertrand Russell

Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.
Bertrand Russell

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Bertrand Russell

It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
Bertrand Russell

A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation.
Bertrand Russell

Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.
Bertrand Russell

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation. - Bertrand Russell

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.
Bertrand Russell

Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.
Bertrand Russell

I believe in using words, not fists. I believe in my outrage knowing people are living in boxes on the street. I believe in honesty. I believe in a good time. I believe in good food. I believe in sex.
Bertrand Russell

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell

Love is something far more than desire for sexual intercourse; it is the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives.
Bertrand Russell

War does not determine who is right - only who is left. - Bertrand Russell

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. - Bertrand Russell

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead. - Bertrand Russell

Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education. - Bertrand Russell

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
Bertrand Russell

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. - Bertrand Russell

The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as poetry.
Bertrand Russell

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
Bertrand Russell

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Bertrand Russell

Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.
Bertrand Russell

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
Bertrand Russell

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
Bertrand Russell

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. - Bertrand Russell

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell

The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts.
Bertrand Russell

Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.
Bertrand Russell

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.
Bertrand Russell

Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.
Bertrand Russell

A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short.
Bertrand Russell

The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible. - Bertrand Russell

The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice.
Bertrand Russell

The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.
Bertrand Russell

Admiration of the proletariat, like that of dams, power stations, and aeroplanes, is part of the ideology of the machine age.
Bertrand Russell

I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its Churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.
Bertrand Russell

Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.
Bertrand Russell

Religions, which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.
Bertrand Russell

The pleasure of work is open to anyone who can develop some specialised skill, provided that he can get satisfaction from the exercise of his skill without demanding universal applause.
Bertrand Russell

Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know.
Bertrand Russell

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. - Bertrand Russell

The most savage controversies are about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
Bertrand Russell

The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death, because they are greater than anything he finds in himself, and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.
Bertrand Russell

Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.
Bertrand Russell

The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.
Bertrand Russell

Order, unity, and continuity are human inventions, just as truly as catalogues and encyclopedias.
Bertrand Russell

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.
Bertrand Russell

Religions that teach brotherly love have been used as an excuse for persecution, and our profoundest scientific insight is made into a means of mass destruction.
Bertrand Russell

Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relative to other matter; second, telling other people to do so.
Bertrand Russell

Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?
Bertrand Russell

Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give.
Bertrand Russell

Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.
Bertrand Russell

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
Bertrand Russell

Reason is a harmonising, controlling force rather than a creative one.
Bertrand Russell

The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilised men.
Bertrand Russell

It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.
Bertrand Russell

Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.
Bertrand Russell

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.
Bertrand Russell

Mathematics takes us into the region of absolute necessity, to which not only the actual word, but every possible word, must conform.
Bertrand Russell

I've made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite.
Bertrand Russell

None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.
Bertrand Russell

Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.
Bertrand Russell

In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.
Bertrand Russell

We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
Bertrand Russell

Drunkenness is temporary suicide.
Bertrand Russell

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.
Bertrand Russell

Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.
Bertrand Russell

Boredom is... a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
Bertrand Russell

The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.
Bertrand Russell

Contempt for happiness is usually contempt for other people's happiness, and is an elegant disguise for hatred of the human race.
Bertrand Russell

There is no need to worry about mere size. We do not necessarily respect a fat man more than a thin man. Sir Isaac Newton was very much smaller than a hippopotamus, but we do not on that account value him less.
Bertrand Russell

A process which led from the amoeba to man appeared to the philosophers to be obviously a progress though whether the amoeba would agree with this opinion is not known.
Bertrand Russell

To teach how to live without certainty and yet without being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it.
Bertrand Russell

Sin is geographical.
Bertrand Russell

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
Bertrand Russell

Against my will, in the course of my travels, the belief that everything worth knowing was known at Cambridge gradually wore off. In this respect my travels were very useful to me.
Bertrand Russell

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.
Bertrand Russell

Many people when they fall in love look for a little haven of refuge from the world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable, and praised when they are not praiseworthy.
Bertrand Russell

I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe - because, like Spinoza's God, it won't love us in return.
Bertrand Russell

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
Bertrand Russell

The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.
Bertrand Russell

Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.
Bertrand Russell

The coward wretch whose hand and heart Can bear to torture aught below, Is ever first to quail and start From the slightest pain or equal foe.
Bertrand Russell

Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.
Bertrand Russell

Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.
Bertrand Russell

No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful?
Bertrand Russell

The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.
Bertrand Russell

Right discipline consists, not in external compulsion, but in the habits of mind which lead spontaneously to desirable rather than undesirable activities.
Bertrand Russell

It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals.
Bertrand Russell

All movements go too far.
Bertrand Russell

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.
Bertrand Russell

Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who'll get the blame.
Bertrand Russell

Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power.
Bertrand Russell

Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attributable to science, which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century.
Bertrand Russell
The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf.
Bertrand Russell

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
Bertrand Russell

No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
Bertrand Russell

Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.
Bertrand Russell

Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell

Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.
Bertrand Russell

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.
Bertrand Russell

A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
Bertrand Russell

Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.
Bertrand Russell

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
Bertrand Russell

There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths.
Bertrand Russell

Liberty is the right to do what I like; license, the right to do what you like.
Bertrand Russell

Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.
Bertrand Russell

Awareness of universals is called conceiving, and a universal of which we are aware is called a concept.
Bertrand Russell

Indignation is a submission of our thoughts, but not of our desires.
Bertrand Russell

I remain convinced that obstinate addiction to ordinary language in our private thoughts is one of the main obstacles to progress in philosophy.
Bertrand Russell

Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one.
Bertrand Russell

In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.
Bertrand Russell

To understand a name you must be acquainted with the particular of which it is a name.
Bertrand Russell

It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion.
Bertrand Russell

If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give.
Bertrand Russell

Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery.
Bertrand Russell

Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
Bertrand Russell

Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of time.
Bertrand Russell

The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.
Bertrand Russell

When the intensity of emotional conviction subsides, a man who is in the habit of reasoning will search for logical grounds in favour of the belief which he finds in himself.
Bertrand Russell

To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy.
Bertrand Russell

I do not pretend to start with precise questions. I do not think you can start with anything precise. You have to achieve such precision as you can, as you go along.
Bertrand Russell

Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.
Bertrand Russell

If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity, he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole, but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.
Bertrand Russell

The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved. To this type belong many lunatics and most of the great men of history.
Bertrand Russell

With the introduction of agriculture mankind entered upon a long period of meanness, misery, and madness, from which they are only now being freed by the beneficent operation of the machine.
Bertrand Russell

A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside, than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is.
Bertrand Russell

Every philosophical problem, when it is subjected to the necessary analysis and justification, is found either to be not really philosophical at all, or else to be, in the sense in which we are using the word, logical.
Bertrand Russell

The man who can centre his thoughts and hopes upon something transcending self can find a certain peace in the ordinary troubles of life, which is impossible to the pure egoist.
Bertrand Russell

Military Needs Art Therapy

Can Programs That Help the Military Save the Federal Arts Agencies?

MARCH 27, 2017

Masks designed by veterans in a program run partly by the National Endowment for the Arts at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

BETHESDA, Md. — First they paint. Later, they write stories or express their emotions by playing the drums or piano.

Finally, the military service members who participate in arts therapy at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center here create a “culminating project,” a montage of shapes and words.

“This gives them a visual voice,” said Melissa Walker, one of the therapists for the Creative Forces program run by the National Endowment for the Arts in conjunction with the military.

On Tuesday, the endowment will announce that the program, in place at seven locations around the country, will expand to four more.

Endowment officials describe the expansion, which has been planned for nearly two years, as a valuable enhancement to a program that has shown good results with service members and veterans. They say there is no connection between the timing of the announcement and the need to rally support for the federal agency as President Trump threatens to eliminate it completely.

But the growth of its programs that benefit members of the military and veterans has also helped the agency build support among some Republicans and rebut criticism that it is an elitist, left-leaning repository of woolly-headed indulgence.

“People understand we owe a deep obligation to our veterans,” said Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who advised John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. “It is political poison to take anything away from them. I can’t speak as to why they have done the program, but there is no question, because politicians and the public are so reluctant to take anything away from vets, it would be wise to talk about the art therapy for veterans.”
Capt. Walter M. Greenhalgh, director of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, and Melissa S. Walker, a creative arts therapist, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

All one has to do is review the extent to which President Trump spoke of veterans issues while on the stump to understand the potency of an issue like whether the nation provides adequate care for its servicemen and women. Now, with the fate of the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities in the hands of the Republican lawmakers controlling Congress, supporters of the endowments say mentioning the work they do with the military and veterans is important when lobbying lawmakers.

“It definitely resonates with Congress, as it should,” said Robert L. Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, an advocacy group.

At the medical center here, though, the focus is on getting better, not getting votes. Arts therapy patients have all suffered a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. Organizers say the monthlong program helps them cope with haunting memories, disabilities and the future.

“A lot of this population has trouble verbalizing what they have been through,” Ms. Walker said.

The focus at first is on painting masks, each treated as a blank slate that helps a patient explore wounds and identity. Masks line walls and a paint-spattered table in the bright therapy room. Some are fractured, others macabre, a few peaceful.

“I was kind of lost,” Chris Stowe, a retired Marine who studied oil painting and learned how to play the ukulele in the program, said in a telephone interview.

After deployments including Iraq and Afghanistan, he suffered night terrors and insomnia, he said. “I found this wonderful thing that is art.”

Rusty Noesner, a former member of the Navy SEALs, was injured in Afghanistan. “You are going 100 miles per hour, and after serving you are slamming on the brakes,” he said by telephone. “The artistic process gives you a pause to start thinking about how you should be living your life now.”

Walter M. Greenhalgh, a Navy captain who is director of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, which hosts the program at Walter Reed, said the patients are often surprised by how much it helps them in “externalizing those inner demons.”

The extent of N.E.A. programs with some military affiliation has grown since the Vietnam era, when the endowment provided a $1,980 grant to support an exhibition at West Point. Last year it gave out 25 direct military-related grants worth $499,000, and funded Creative Forces at an additional cost of $2.3 million.

The endowment stresses that its expansion in this area since the 1990s, when conservative critics assailed it as elitist and irrelevant, is not some political strategy, but rather part of an effort to “increase access to the arts for all Americans.” The agency says the same broad mission underlies its decision to fund a range of projects in every congressional district.

The efforts have not persuaded some conservatives, though, who suggest the same kind of art therapy programs for the military can be provided by private nonprofit organizations and that some already are. “N.E.A.’s involvement in programs for members of the military, by themselves, do not justify the agency’s existence,” said Romina Boccia, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Creative Forces will expand to Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee border; the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Fla; Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, Colo.; and the Naval Special Warfare Command in Virginia Beach, Va.

The N.E.H. programs for veterans or service personnel include the Warrior Chorus, in which veterans perform classical texts and their own writing. The program has received $650,000 from the agency since 2014, including another $300,000 being announced this week.
James Becton, center left, in “Our Trojan War,” at the McCullough Theater at the University of Texas in Austin. It was staged as part of the Warrior Chorus program for veterans, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Credit Richard Termine

One of its productions, “Our Trojan War,” was staged last week in Austin, Tex., in a run that is due at BAM Fisher in Brooklyn in April.

Marco Reininger, who served in Afghanistan, took part in an earlier production, of Sophocles’ play “Philoctetes.” “Seeing, through the play, how little had changed about the reality of armed conflict and the experience of the humans tasked with executing it pulled me in very deeply,” he said. “The warriors and citizens of ancient Greece had the same questions and carried the same trauma as soldiers do today.”

The fate of projects like the Warrior Chorus is likely to be determined in key congressional appropriations committees as they consider whether the two endowments should be funded, and at what level. In the past, lawmakers have cited the military and veterans’ programs when justifying budget increases for the endowments, which now each receive roughly $148 million.

Many committee members have not said whether they will support the agencies. But at least one, Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican who is chairwoman of the appropriations panel that oversees the endowments, has backed them.

In explaining her support, she spoke of the N.E.A.’s work in her district, including the arts therapy work, which she fought to extend and is being carried out at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in her own state.

“I have consistently supported funding for the arts and humanities and have seen the direct benefits of these programs in communities across Alaska,” Senator Murkowski said in a statement. She cited the program at the Alaskan base, which “treats our wounded warriors.”

Jack Begg contributed reporting from New York.

Maine Voices

Posted November 28, 2016

Maine Voices: The problem isn’t Obamacare; it’s the insurance companies

Patients and primary care physicians are getting the raw end of the deal for the sake of corporate profits.
By Cathleen London
Special to the Press Herald

MILBRIDGE — With the recent news about increases in premiums for health plans sold through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, everyone wants to vilify the ACA. The ACA is but a symptom of the issue. Where are our policy dollars going?

As a primary care physician, I am on the front lines. Milbridge is remote. In good weather, we are 30 to 40 minutes from the nearest emergency room, so my office operates as an urgent care facility as well as a family medical practice.

Cathleen London, M.D., is a primary care physician practicing in Milbridge.

It can take 20 minutes for an ambulance to get here (as it did one time when I had a patient in ventricular tachycardia — a fatal rhythm). I have to be stocked to stabilize and treat.

We are also about two hours from specialist care. Fortunately, I am trained to handle about 90 percent of medical problems, as my patients often do not want or do not have the resources to travel. I have to be prepared for much more than I did in Boston or New York City, where I had colleagues and other materials down the hall or nearby. No longer do I have a hospital blocks away.

One evening I was almost home after a full day’s work. Around 7:30, I got a call on the emergency line regarding an 82-year-old man who had fallen and split his head open. His wife wanted to know if I could see him, even though he was not a patient of mine.

Instead of sending them to the ER, I went back to the office. I spent 90 minutes evaluating him, suturing his wound and making sure that nothing more sinister had occurred than a loss of footing by a man who has mild dementia. When I was sure that the man would be safe, I let them go.

I billed a total of $789 for the visit, repair, after-hours and emergency care costs. Stating that the after-hours and emergency services had been billed incorrectly, Martin’s Point Health Care threw out the claims and reimbursed me $105, which does not even cover the suture and other materials I used.

I called them about their decision, said that it was not right and let them know they’d lose me if they reimbursed this as a routine patient visit. They replied, “Go ahead and send your termination letter” – which I did.

The same day, Anthem Blue Cross kept me on the phone for 45 minutes regarding a breast MRI recommended by radiologists on a woman whose mother and sister had died of breast cancer. She’d had five months of breast discharge that wasn’t traceable to anything benign (and it turns out the MRI is highly suspicious for cancer).

Anthem did not want to approve the MRI unless it was to localize a lesion for biopsy, even though the mammogram had been inconclusive! This should have been a slam-dunk fast track to approval; instead, dealing with Anthem wasted a good part of my day.

Then Aetna told me there is no way to negotiate fees in Maine. I was somewhat flabbergasted. I do more here than I did in either Brookline, Massachusetts, or New York. The rates should be higher given the level of care I am providing. I have chosen not to participate with them. This only hurts patients; however, I cannot keep losing money on visits.

I do lose money on MaineCare – their reimbursement is below what it costs me to see a patient. For now, that is a decision that I am living with.

I had thought those losses would be offset by private insurance companies, but their cost shifting to patients is obscene. I pay half of my employees’ health insurance, though I’m not required to by law – I just think it is the right thing to do.

My personal policy costs close to $900 a month for me and my sons (all healthy), and each of us has a $6,000 deductible. This means I am paying rack rate for a policy that provides only bare-bones coverage.

Something is wrong with the system. In one day, I encountered everything wrong with insurance. I am not trying to scam the system. I am literally trying to survive. I am trying to give care in an underserved area.

This is not the fault of Obamacare, which stopped the most egregious problems with insurance companies. Remember lifetime caps? Remember denials for pre-existing conditions? Remember the retroactive cancellation of insurance policies? Returning to that is not an option.

One answer is direct primary care: contracting straight with patients to provide their care, instead of going through insurance companies to get paid. I offer it (though I still accept Medicare, MaineCare and some private insurers). Many of my colleagues have also opted for direct primary care – they’ve experienced the same frustrations I have.

Something has to change if we are to attract up-and-coming medical students to primary care and retain practicing physicians. When both patients and physicians are frustrated, we know that only greed is winning, and the blame for that lies with corporations.

Greed, Defined

noun \ˈgrēd\

Definition of greed

: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed motivated by naked ambition and greed

See greed defined for English-language learners

See greed defined for kids
Examples of greed in a sentence

He was a ruthless businessman, motivated by naked ambition and greed.

don't let greed for riches control you

Origin and Etymology of greed

back-formation from greedy

First Known Use: 1609
greed Synonyms
acquisitiveness, avarice, avariciousness, avidity, avidness, covetousness, cupidity, graspingness, greediness, mercenariness, rapaciousness, rapacity
Related Words
commercialism, materialism, possessiveness; gluttonousness, gluttony, piggishness; appetite, craving, desire, drive, hankering, hunger, itch, longing, lust, passion, pining, ravenousness, thirst, voracity, yearning, yen; egoism, egotism, self-centeredness, self-interest, selfishness, self-regard
Near Antonyms
contentment, fulfillment (or fulfilment), gratification, satisfaction; bounteousness, bountifulness, bounty, charity, generosity, generousness, largesse (also largess), liberality, magnanimity, openhandedness, openheartedness, unselfishness; altruism, selflessness

Nelson on Nonconformity

“Any writer who knows what he's doing isn't doing very much.”
― Nelson Algren

“You don't write a novel out of sheer pity any more than you blow a safe out of a vague longing to be rich. A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery.”
― Nelson Algren, Nonconformity “If Jesus Christ treated me like you do, I’d drive in the nails myself.”

“To literary critics a book is assumed to be guilty until it proves itself innocent.”
― Nelson Algren

“The hard necessity of bringing the judge on the bench down into the dock has been the peculiar responsibility of the writer in all ages of man.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“He was falling between glacial walls, he didn't know how anyone could fall so far away from everyone else in the world. So far to fall, so cold all the way, so steep and dark between those morphine-coloured walls...”
― Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm

“There is no way of being a creative writer in America without being a loser.”
― Nelson Algren

“It's the place built out of Man's ceaseless failure to overcome himself. Out of Man's endless war against himself we build our successes as well as our failures. Making it the city of all cities most like Man himself— loneliest creation of all this very old poor earth.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“There's people in hell who want ice water.”
― Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm

“The great trains howling from track to track all night. The taut and telegraphic murmur of ten thousand city wires, drawn most cruelly against a city sky. The rush of city waters, beneath the city streets. The passionate passing of the night's last El.”
― Nelson Algren, Never Come Morning

“A book, a true book, is the writer's confessional. For, whether he would have it so or not, he is betrayed, directly or indirectly, by his characters, into presenting publicly his innermost feelings.”
― Nelson Algren, Entrapment and Other Writings

“And money can't buy everything. For example: poverty.”
― Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

“...he said, with sort of a little derisive smile, "How can you walk down the street with all this stuff going on inside you?" I said, "I don't know how you can walk down the street with nothing going on inside you.”
― Nelson Algren

A Walk on the Wild Side

“And money can't buy everything. For example: poverty.”
― Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

Never Come Morning

“The Irish 'n Polacks always get along- didn't ya ever notice? Irish 'n Polacks live on p'tatoes 'n got it in for Hitler, that's why they get along so good; all over the world. Never heard of no war between Poland 'n Ireland, did you? No sir, that's cause we're all Cath'lics.”
― Nelson Algren, Never Come Morning

The Devil

“The devil lives in a double-shot", Roman explains himself obscurely. "I got a great worm inside. Gnaws and gnaws. Every day I drown him and every day he gnaws. Help me drown the worm, fellas.”
― Nelson Algren, The Neon Wilderness


“The farther away you get from the literary traffic, the closer you are to sources.”
― Nelson Algren

“The less he sees of other writers the more of a writer he will ultimately become. When he sees scarcely anyone except other writers, he is ready for New York.”
― Nelson Algren

“If you feel you belong to things as they are, you won’t hold up anyone in the alley no matter how hungry you may get. And you won’t write anything that anyone will read a second time either.”
― Nelson Algren

Old-World Hands with New-World Tools

“Big-shot town, small-shot town, jet-propelled old-fashioned town, by old-world hands with new-world tools built into a place whose heartbeat carries farther than its shout, whose whispering in the night sounds less hollow than its roistering noontime laugh: they have builded a heavy-shouldered laughter here who went to work too young.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

Behind the Billboards

“Our myths are so many, our vision so dim, our self-deception so deep and our smugness so gross that scarcely any way now remains of reporting the American Century except from behind the billboards ...”
― Nelson Algren

French Kiss Radio

The man on the radio blew me a kiss.
from Quebec.
A French kiss!

Nelson Algren's Chicago

“...a city that was to live by night after the wilderness had passed. A city that was to forge out of steel and blood-red neon its own peculiar wilderness.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“... Chicago divided your heart. Leaving you loving the joint for keeps. Yet knowing it never can love you.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.

Loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose.

“Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.”
― Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

“Yet once you've come to be part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

Tuesdays: Two Hours in Blackstone

Tuesday's Saint Teresa's Thrift Store and Food Pantry is open 9-11 AM. The even accept prayers. Come over from Woonsocket or wherever you live. Spread the word. Wonderful people.

It's the birthday of St. Teresa of Ávila (books by this author), born in Gotarrendura, Spain (1515). She grew up in a wealthy household in a walled city. She was fascinated by the spiritual life even as a young girl, particularly the martyred saints. At the age of seven, she ran away from home with her younger brother, hoping to find wherever it was that the Moors lived and be martyred. Their uncle found them just outside the city and dragged them home.

Teresa was also a beautiful and social girl. She loved perfume, jewelry, and elegant clothes. Her mother died when Teresa was 14, and she was heartbroken. Her father felt that it was inappropriate for his beautiful daughter to be without a female companion, so he sent her off to a convent school, which would teach her the necessary skills to become a good wife and mother. Instead, she decided to become a nun. A couple of years later, she suffered from malaria and almost died. She survived, but her legs were paralyzed for three years. During her illness, she had mystical visions, falling into trances or levitating during times of intense rapture.

Although she stayed at the convent for 20 years, it was not the sacred place she wanted it to be. Each nun had a set of private rooms, and sometimes a personal maid. They were allowed to wear jewelry, leave the convent, and entertain daily visitors, both women and men. Teresa eventually broke away and founded the Discalced Carmelite Order (the word "discalced" means "shoeless"). In this new reform order, the nuns lived in poverty and simplicity, devoting their time to prayer, according to ancient traditions. After establishing her own monastery, Teresa traveled around Spain on a donkey, setting up 16 new monasteries for women. She also wrote several books, including The Way of Perfection (1566) and The Interior Castle (1580).

Nelson Algren

"When we get more houses than we can live in, more cars than we can ride in, more food than we can eat ourselves, the only way of getting richer is by cutting off those who don't have enough."

"A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery."

Nelson Algren

Monday, March 27, 2017

Stuffed Pizza Recipe

Inspired by Ollie's pizza at the Woonsocket Prevention Coalition Meetings.
Stuffed Pizza

Stuffed Pizza Recipe Stuffed Pizza Recipe

This recipe is a project, no doubt about it. Homemade crust, slowly simmered sauce, even homemade sausage — all contribute to the pizza's wonderful marriage of flavors and textures. When time is a challenge, substitute store-bought bulk sausage, and 2 cups of your favorite pizza or spaghetti sauce from a jar. But please don't substitute a ready-made crust for this delightfully different homemade crust, featuring many of the same elements as Chicago deep-dish crust — with the addition of golden semolina.

Our thanks to Jess, a frequent visitor to our blog, for passing this recipe along.
View step-by-step
directions on our blog
Possibly authentic (though maybe not) Chicago-style stuffed pizza

30 mins. to 45 mins.

25 mins. to 30 mins.

2 hrs 40 mins. to 1 days 3 hrs 35 mins.

two 9" deep-dish double-crust pizzas

Nutrition information

Volume Ounces Grams


6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup semolina
1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water*
*Use enough to make a smooth dough. You'll use less in the summer, or if you substitute all-purpose flour for the semolina; and more in the winter, or if you're in a dry climate.


1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (more for spicier sausage)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, coarsely grated; about 1/2 cup
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
28-ounce can or 26-ounce aseptic box crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano; or 1 teaspoon Pizza Seasoning
4 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste*
*The amount will depend on the saltiness of the canned tomatoes. Under-salt a bit, as the sauce will cook down and the flavor intensify


1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, optional


1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, aged Asiago, or your favorite hard cheese
sliced pepperoni or anchovies, optional


To make the crust: Combine the dry ingredients and the oils and butter, mixing till crumbs form. Then add the water, and mix and knead — by hand, stand mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make an elastic, fairly stiff dough.
Place in a large, greased bowl; cover, and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour. For best flavor, after its initial 1-hour rise, refrigerate the dough for several hours, or for up to 24 hours. You can use the crust after its first 1-hour rise, but its flavor will improve with the longer, slower rise offered by refrigeration.
To make the sausage, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate overnight, for best flavor.
To make the sauce: sauté the coarsely grated onion in the butter till it's beginning to color.
Add the crushed garlic, and sauté for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, sugar, and salt, and simmer gently for up to 1 hour, to concentrate the flavors.
To assemble the pizza: Divide the dough into two pieces. One should be about three-quarters of the dough; the other, one-quarter. If you have a scale, one piece should weigh about 36 ounces; the other, about 13 ounces.
Divide each piece of dough in half again. Butter the bottom and sides of two 9" x 2"-deep round cake pans, then drizzle olive oil in the bottom of each.
Stretch, then roll one of the larger pieces of dough into a round large enough (about 15" to 16") to line the bottom and sides of one pan, with some overhang. Do the same with one of the smaller pieces of dough, rolling it to about 9" to 10". Cover the pieces of dough, and go away for 15 minutes. This will relax the dough's gluten, allowing you to handle it without it shrinking.
Once the first two pieces of dough are rolled and resting, repeat with the other two pieces, covering them till you're ready to use them.
After 15 minutes, place one of the larger pieces of dough in the pan, pressing it gently into the corners; you'll have some overhang.
Spread half the uncooked sausage over the crust, gently patting it flat.
Top with half the sliced mozzarella. Spread with half the spinach, or any additional filling of your choice.
Place the smaller piece of dough atop the filling. Fold over the overhanging edges of dough, and squeeze/crimp to seal. Poke holes all over the top crust, to allow steam to escape.
Repeat with the remaining dough and ingredients, making another 9" round pizza.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (with your pizza stone on a lower shelf, if you're using a stone). While the oven preheats, allow the pizza(s) to rest/rise, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Just before baking, top the pizzas with the sauce, and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake the pizzas till the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the pizzas from the oven, and allow them to set for about 15 minutes. Loosen their edges, and gently turn them out of the pan onto a rack to cool. To do this, place a round cooling rack atop one pan, and turn the whole thing over. Lift off the pan, place a rack on the bottom of the pizza, and turn the whole thing over again, so the pizza is now right side up.
Serve warm, with a fork. Use a pair of scissors or baker's bench knife to cut wedges.
Yield: two 9" deep-dish pizzas, about 16 servings.

Overnight Pannetone


Felafel is the Middle Eastern Meatball

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Yield: About 20 balls


1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for garnish
Diced onion for garnish
Diced green bell pepper for garnish
Tahina sauce
Pita bread


Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.
Heat 3 inches of oil to 375ºF in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.
NOTE: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.
Joan Nathan Shares Her Tips With Epicurious
Tahina (also called tahini) is an oily paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is available in Middle Eastern markets and at
To garnish your falafel in true Israeli style, try adding one or several of the following condiments: harissa hot sauce, pickled turnip (both also available at, mango amba (pickle), or sauerkraut.

Reprinted with permission from The Foods of Israel Today by Joan Nathan, copyright © 2001. Published by Knopf.

Gratitude Banquet

I still want to have the gratitude banquet for City Hall. We must thank the people who make our lives better.

Monday Mug Cake and Reincarnation

I made a chocolate mug cake using two mashed over ripe bananas, semi sweet choc chips, 2-3 tablespoons of whole wheat flour, a pinch of baking soda, and kosher salt. Zap for one minute in microwave. YUM! Top with vanilla yogurt or lemon yogurt or even whipped cream!
Yes, I am crazy about having my mouth back. A big fat gray mourning dove is at my picture window on the wire, in the pouring rain. He's been watching me for past half hour, I think it's my step-father Tony, reincarnated. Now Sammy is here at the window speaking to him.

Clothes Ringer

My washing machine hates towels. The machine gets off balance and jumps walking across the basement floor. Rebalancing is an art in itself so instead of trying I wring out the towels by hand and resume my day. I would LOVE to find an old fashioned wooden ringer that my sister and I used at Saxon Woods when we were kids. Those were the days.

I am listening to Quebec Radio and it's amazing how much American Jazz they play. I "travel" reading recipes and playing music. I am more of a homebody than anyone I know except for M I'd rather walk around the block and do all of my baking and cooking myself. If I could travel by dog and bicycle only I'd be content. There used to be a guy in Woonsocket's market square who made a cart that he would sit in pulled by his two sheep dogs, but the city shut him down.

There's a mourning dove at my window on the line perched in the pouring rain. He's huge fat and gray. He is either my father or my grandfather checking up on me.

Braided Czech Delight

Makes: 32 servings
Yield: 2 braids; 32 slices total
Prep 25 mins
Rise 3 hrs
Bake 30 mins


7 3/4-8 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1 tablespoon salt
6 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup raisins
1 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
1 cup chopped blanched almonds
1 beaten egg (optional)
Coarse sugar (optional)
Slivered almonds (optional)


In a large mixing bowl, combine 3-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast.
In a saucepan, heat and stir milk, granulated sugar, butter and salt till just warm (120 degrees to 130 degrees F) and butter almost melts. Add to flour mixture.
Add 6 eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the raisins, orange peel, 1 cup almonds and as much remaining flour as you can.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that's smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes).
Shape dough into a ball. Place in a very large greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place till doubled in size (1-1/2 to 2 hours).
Punch the dough down. Divide dough in half; divide each half into 4 equal pieces. For each braided loaf, roll 3 portions into 18-inch ropes. Line up the 3 ropes 1 inch apart on a greased insulated or regular baking sheet. Starting in the middle, loosely braid by bringing left rope underneath the center rope. Bring right rope under the new center rope. Repeat to the end. On other end, braid to center by bringing outside ropes alternately over the center rope. Press ends together to seal.
Cut the fourth piece of dough in half and roll each half into a 16-inch rope. Loosely twist the ropes together; press ends to seal. Place on top of the braid, lengthwise. Tuck all ends under, forming a braid that's about 12 inches long. Repeat shaping and decorating directions with other half of the dough.
Cover loosely and let rise till nearly doubled (1 to 1-1/2 hours). If you like, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar and slivered almonds.
Bake braids in a 350 degree F oven about 30 minutes or till loaves are golden and sound hollow when lightly tapped. Cover loosely with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cool.

Nutrition Facts

(Braided Czech Delight)
Servings Per Recipe 32, sodium (mg) 275, chol. (mg) 56, carb. (g) 37, cal. (kcal) 252, Fat, total (g) 9

Czech Kolaches

Czech Kolaches

Makes: 56 servings
Hands On 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr plus chilling

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Kolaches (koh-LAH-chees) are a staple in the bakeries and farm kitchens of the Midwest's old Czech communities. Warm from the oven, our version is petite, pillowy and just begging for coffee.

2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup butter, cut up
3/4 cup shortening, cut up
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast envelopes
Desired filling (see below)
Powdered Sugar Icing (see below)


In a large saucepan, heat and stir milk, butter, shortening, sugar and salt just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F) and butter and shortening almost melt. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour and the yeast. Add milk mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining flour, switching to a wooden spoon if necessary to stir in last amount of flour. (Dough will be very soft.) Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Shape chilled dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover; let rise in a warm place 30 minutes. Use your thumb or the back of a round measuring teaspoon to make a deep indentation in center of a few balls at a time. Spoon about 1 teaspoon filling into each indentation. Repeat with remaining balls and filling.
Bake one or two pans of kolaches at a time at 325 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottoms. Immediately remove to racks; cool slightly. If you like, drizzle with icing before serving.
Poppy Seed Filling: In a coffee grinder or small food processor blend 3/4 cup (4 ounces) poppy seeds until fine. Set aside. In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon honey and a dash of salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 egg yolks. Gradually stir about half of the warm milk mixture into beaten yolks. Return the yolk mixture to milk mixture in saucepan and stir to combine. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in poppy seeds and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Raspberry Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups frozen raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Apricot Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots and 1 1/2 cups apricot nectar. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cool slightly. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. (Mixture should be thicker than applesauce.) Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for several hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cup.
Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small bowl, combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency. Makes 2/3 cup.


Store unglazed kolaches in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

(Czech Kolaches)

Czech Mushroom Potato Casserole

Midwest Living / Food
Czech Mushroom-Potato Casserole

Makes: 6 servings
Prep 50 mins
Bake 30 mins

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3 medium or 2 large potatoes, peeled (about 1 pound)
1 pound fresh morel mushrooms* or other fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs (1 slice)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted


Cook potatoes in boiling salted water for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain and slice.
Meanwhile, clean morel mushrooms according to directions in note that follows. Drain thoroughly; pat dry with paper towels. Slice mushrooms.
In a large skillet, cook and stir mushrooms, onion, and garlic in the 2 tablespoons butter for 10 minutes or until liquid is almost evaporated.
In buttered 8x8x2-inch baking dish, layer half of the potatoes and half of the mushroom mixture. Repeat layers. Using a fork or wire whisk, combine egg, milk, flour, salt, and pepper; pour over vegetables in the baking dish.
Combine bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until set. Makes 6 side-dish servings.


* To clean morel mushrooms, place mushrooms in a pan or bowl. Cover with water; add a dash of salt. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and repeat two more times.

Midwestern Apple Maple Breakfast Meatballs

Maple-Apple-Glazed Breakfast Meatballs

Makes: 8 servings
Prep 40 mins
Bake 8 mins to 10 mins

Perfect for holiday brunches, mini pork meatballs are a sweet and salty alternative to sides of bacon or sausage.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 egg
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 small red-skinned cooking apple, cored and finely choppped (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons snipped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground pork
Maple-Apple Glaze
1/4 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Fresh sage (optional)


Meatballs Line a15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; coat with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat egg lightly with a fork. Stir in oats, apple, sage, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Add pork; mix until combined.
Meatballs Shape mixture into 40, 1-inch meatballs. Place meatballs 1/2 inch apart in prepared baking pan.
Meatballs Bake meatballs in a 400 degrees F oven on the middle rack of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees F).
Maple-Apple Glaze Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat jelly and maple syrup over medium-low heat, whisking until jelly is melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the jelly mixture over the baked meatballs, lightly toss to coat and bake meatballs 2 minutes more.
Maple-Apple Glaze Transfer meatballs to a serving platter. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup of jelly mixture. If you like, garnish with fresh sage.

Make Ahead Tip

Prepare meatballs as directed through step 2. Cover and chill meatballs up to 4 hours. To serve, uncover meatballs and bake as directed.