Friday, April 19, 2013

A Thought

Politics is the art of getting votes from the poor and funding from the wealthy while promising them protection from one to other…
                                              EMM, 1955

Eve of Long Beach - March, 2011

As I wrote in the opening statement, this is the first piece of clay figure I ever made. I recall facing the lump of clay and thinking of what should I do with it. I know well human anatomy and I decided to make a woman torso. In one afternoon I made it in sandstone clay, which is brown in its fresh state (the so-called ‘green’ stage). My colleagues liked it very much. The teacher asked me how long did I work on it and I said that it took me about 4 hours. She looked at me incredulously (?) and said that this should take a beginner at least two days of work… Well, I felt encouraged and so it all started.

A Recipe

Brussels Sprouts in Tarragon Vinegar


1 lb. small Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cleaned
¼ cup water
½ cup tarragon vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Dash of hot pepper sauce
3 green onions thinly sliced crosswise
1 small bunch of radishes, thinly sliced (optional)


 Place Brussels sprouts and water in 1- 1/2 qt. microwave-safe casserole. Microwave at high 6-8 minutes, covered. Large sprouts should be barely tender when pierced with fork
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir vinegar, oil, garlic, sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, and green onions.
When Brussels sprouts are tender, drain the water. Add the vinegar mixture and toss to combine. Cover and chil several hours or overnight, stirring frequently. Just before serving, drain and toss with radishes.

Makes about 8 servings

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb. beef (fat <15%)
2 slices of bread, crust removed
1 large potato, peeled and grated, large
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
½ crushed hot red pepper
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 cup all purpose four
1 tbsp. cooking oil
2 cups tomato sauce
4 bay leaves
10 grains whole allspice

Grate the potato and let it drain the water;
Sauté the onion and garlic until soft then let it cool; keep the skillet;
Soak bread in water, then squeeze the water;
Squeeze the grated potato.
Mix well meat, potato, bread, onion and garlic, beaten egg, parsley, dill, salt, pepper, and hot red pepper;
Place some flour on a plate. Roll small portions of the meat between your palms to make 1”-2” balls and roll each ball on the flour (so that they would not stick to each other);
Brown the meat balls in batches in the skillet in which you’ve sautéed the onion and garlic. You’ll have to add some oil. Don’t cook them fully;
Add the tomato sauce to the meat balls, add the bay leaves and the allspice grains. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for another 10 minutes. 
You may remove the bay leaves and the allspice grains, but this is not absolutely necessary.


Life is a sheet of paper, white,
Whereon each one of us must write
His word or two, and then comes night.

                             J.R. Lowell
This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst then be false to any man.

                             W. Shakespeare

Beauty is truth, truth, beauty, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

                             J. Keats