Elton John’s “Your Song” – Who Would Mind?

This morning I was driving and heard Elton John singing

I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words…How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.

English: Elton John, English singer-songwriter...

English: Elton John, English singer-songwriter and pianist, performing on stage at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia

And I thought, who would mind?

Doesn’t everyone want to hear they are valued, treasured even?

Today is often a day of reflection and this girl is no different.

Looking back on 2012 it was an anything but typical year. There were great beginnings and sad endings.

Our son graduated from college, passed the CPA exam and began a job in NYC at a Big 4 accounting firm. Heck, I think they still call it that…it was the Big 8 when I was in college…who knows?

My mother-in-law passed away just days before our son moved away.

I wrote my Jude The Foodie column for BelowTheFalls.com until it faded quietly into cyberspace in the early summer…endings…

I brought all of my original content over to JudeTheFoodie.com…beginnings…

And, that’s where my connection to the Elton John comes in. In the six months I have been writing my own site I have been overwhelmed by the support and interest you have in my writing.

It is clear to me that you all “get” the connection between food and life. I posted a picture on my Jude The Foodie Facebook page  of a container of onion dip and pita chips and got hundreds of hits and 34 comments. Imagine that?

Please click here and “Like” it so you can also get in on the fun.

2013 is going to bring some exciting beginnings for Jude The Foodie. I’ve cleaned up the categories on the right to make it easier to navigate. We will soon welcome advertisers into our family.

In a few short weeks my weekly column will be published on a local news online site every Monday. I will have more information soon. The fun continues because we will have exclusive monthly give-away’s for those online readers.

The column will be archived here the following week so you will still be able to find recipes or suggestions of where to dine. I will continue to post “Quick Bites” and “Quick Sips” as I go and we will try to make the content as interactive as possible. I love when you “Like” a post or, even better, post a comment. It is great to know what you are thinking.

I’m thinking big. By the end of the year I would like to have 20 local online news organizations from across the country get in on the fun. Heck, why not one in each state?

We may not have grown up in the same neighborhood or graduated from the same high school but we all have memories of food and life. Many of you are children of the ’60′s and ’70′s and have similar memories of the sights and smells of your house growing up. My goal is to keep the nostalgic conversation going, whip up some yummy food and get to know you.

If you are a WordPress blogger you know following is simple. If not, simply follow my blog via e-mail over there on the right.

If you would like your local online news organization to post lively and original food and life columns weekly please feel free to contact me and I will happily make it happen.

Meanwhile, thank you again for making Jude The Foodie the success it is.

Have a yummy New Year!20121123-135709.jpg

 

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Giving up on Perfect…Is

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The table is totally trashed…linen, glasses, cookie crumbs…the post holiday table at it’s finest. The only difference for me is that this picture was taken on December 26th, not Christmas night. image

Now, my mother has given me much sage advice over the years and she has proven to be 98.76% correct. That other 1.24% includes never go to bed with a messy kitchen.

First off, if I took that advice I’d die of sleep deprivation.

Second, who exactly is harmed when I don’t clean up? If the little fairies don’t come in during the night, who else will see it?

And if the little fairies do come and they don’t clean up then what good are they, anyway?

I have discovered that what would take me 2 hours at night will only take 30 minutes in the light of the next day.

I was not struck by lightening last night. All that happened was a good night’s sleep.

Have a yummy day!

Desk Dining: Osso Buco from Sinatra’s

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20121220-130718.jpgEnjoyed a wonderful dinner with friends last night at Sinatra’s Restaurant on Kenmore Avenue in Buffalo.

I had a particular favorite, Osso Buco Cremolata. The peas in the risotto made it taste like home. The dish was presented with a marrow fork…so I could mine that deliciousness!

Have a yummy day!

In The End…We Cry Alone

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English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When was the last time you experienced deep emotional trauma and you instantly perked up based on what someone said to you at that moment? Likely never.

Our own emotional filters are built for survival. If they were not, we would be crushed under the weight of our experience.

Wakes serve several purposes, as I see it. They are to allow people to express their sympathy and to help the grieving experience support from those who care.

I remember talking to my husband on the way back from Children’s Hospital after our son died. Absolutely no wake. No way. Not happening.

Then we had a wake.

My uncle convinced me to do it and I will be forever grateful. He said that if we did not do it then we would be denying those who care about us the opportunity to express their sadness over what happened. Every time we went to the grocery store we would have to “receive” someone who is seeing us for the first time. That could last years.

He was right, however there are only a few moments of those days I still remember with clarity. I remember when his team of cardiologists came in. They were crying more than us. The impact of their emotions is something I will never forget.

I remember when the three wonderful priests who married us eight short years before offered to concelebrate Mass. It was a huge honor.

Last, and this is the part I share that still stirs my heart even after all these years, I remember the absolute peace I felt walking out of the church singing How Great Thou Art at the top of my lungs. I don’t remember a single soul in that packed to the rafters church. It was just me and my God. Who knew it would be seven long years before I felt bouncy joy again?

I pity those who don’t have faith in a greater power…although they may pity me…who knows?

We go to wakes and funerals to express kindness and love to those who are grieving but I truly believe the people we call on are actually secondary to our purpose. Yes, we hug them, buy flowers and express condolences in cards and gifts but our tears are way more personal.

We most often cry remembering our own loss…when a friends child passes its like my heart getting ripped out of my chest. I feel that cold sweat sickness and am zoomed back in time.

Sometimes we move on as quickly as it takes to stop for coffee on the way home from a wake. But there is someone in that room that won’t feel that same bouncy joy for sometime to come.

I also know the way someone passes only matters at the beginning of the journey. The shock and horror at what happened in Connecticut is indescribable. They made their child a sandwich and sent them off to school. Gone in a flash.

But, after the shock passes, the end is the same.

My son’s death was like watching a horror film in slow motion. I am here to say, however, you are never prepared for it. You may see it coming but you are never prepared.

In the end, you are alone with your emotions and the inevitable reality that somehow, sometime you must move on.

I am not pompous enough to predict how another person will feel as they go on their journey of grief. I know it took me seven long years to have the bounce of joy back. Others may come from a healthier place and progress more quickly.

The holidays are upon us. We can turn the TV off and move on. Those folks touched by the tragedy have years of sadness ahead of them. The cameras will move on to another trauma. Set a reminder to yourself in six months to pray for them. Pray that someday they get their bouncy joy back.

Joy does come back. Believe it will.

Meanwhile, we all cry alone.

Mexican Wedding Cakes

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20121219-072221.jpg

Mexican Wedding Cakes

Servings: 8-9 Dozen little cookies
Categories: Christmas
Source: JudeTheFoodie.com

Ingredients

• 2 c Butter, room temperature
• 1½ c Confectioners Sugar, sifted
• 2 tsp Vanilla
• 4 c Flour, sifted
• 2 c Walnuts, finely chopped

• Additional Confectioners Sugar

Directions

Cream butter and confectioners sugar on 4 using a stand mixer. Add vanilla until blended.

With mixer on low (stir setting) add 1 cup of flour until blended. Add 2 cups nuts until mixed through.

Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 300°

Using a small (1.25″) cookie scoop, roll into balls placing onto an ungreased cookie sheet, ½ inch apart. I like using parchment paper for easy clean up. Bake 25-30 minutes until cookies are a creamy color.

Place foil under cooling racks. Cool cookies for about 10 minutes on the rack then roll in confectioners sugar and place on cooling rack. Cool completely. Roll cookies one more time and place in storage. You’ll thank me for the foil tip!

Makes 7- 8 dozen little cookies.