Archive for June, 2010

Happy National Pickleball Week!

June 17, 2010

I can’t recall where or when I first heard of the game. I have never seen it played nor have I ever participated in this crazy sport; but bring on PICKLE BALL now!  No, it’s not green nor played with a pickle.

Pickleball was “discovered” more than 45 years ago in a remote, exclusive location near Seattle, Washington called Bainbridge Island. Named after the “family” cocker spaniel who chased down errant balls, pickleball is all the rage from Arizona to North Carolina and Washington state.

The USAPA (http://www.usapa.org/)  hosts clinics, tournaments and senior games. Pickleball has recently enjoyed popularity on high school campuses as part of physical education.

Typically played on a badminton court, the net is lowered to 34 inches from the ground and the only equipment required is the official pickleball racket (which resembles a ping pong racket) and a whiffle ball.

Pickleball can be a great “pick up” game. You can play it in your backyard, on a hard surface, the driveway and it’s perfect in the neighborhood cul de sac.

I am looking for a few ambitious friends who are interested in trying this “elite” sport on for size and bringing it to the ‘hood!

Advertisements

Temptation on a Plate

June 15, 2010

By all appearances, this yellow cake with white frosting seems mundane. But she is a temptress in disguise. How I missed running into her for nearly sixty years is unfathomable. And yet, in the course of this one week, she and I would meet up not once, not twice but tres times. Yes, Tres Leche cake is a most extraordinary dessert. Many have tried to lay their claim to her. Morelia, Mexico, Nicaragua and even Nestle Company have taken credit for her success. It matters not. What is important is that this simple cake is simply an amazing slice of heaven on earth.

She is sponge cake; and yet so so much more. Many have wanted to compare Tres Leche to a rum cake or tiramisu. Others have tried to label it an ice cream cake.  Even Haagen-Dasz ice cream  is said to have gotten into the act with a variation of the cake in the ice cream form.

At first bite, this is very much a springy, dense sponge cake. But once the cake is removed from the oven magic goes into the dessert. I understand you use a fork to poke holes all over the cooled cake. Then, after mixing together sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and then heavy cream you pour this mixture over the cake. You can just imagine that thick, sweet juice seeping into all the cracks and holes of the cake.

The dessert in transformed once again after it is refrigerated. Fork, mouth, cold, sweet, ahhh-mazing.

As I have mentioned my Tres Leche discovery, people have shared many variations on this theme: the pastel borracho or the drunken cake soaked with rum or brandy; coconut milk for a Carribean flair, and not to be outdone the Americans (actually credit is given toTexans and Floridians) who have created cuarto leches adding cajeta to this masterpiece.

Calling all cooks and Cubans: If you have your own recipe or more importantly a Tres Leche story, wont you please share?

His Last Supper

June 13, 2010

His life might be described as one that included everything from soup to nuts. Seemingly tormented by demons throughout his sixty years, Andy Warhol would find great solace in his church. As a child,  St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church  provided safety to a young Warhola. As an adult, privately, quietly Warhol would return to the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer nearly every day.

Surrounded by a smorgasbord of sex and a  banquet of pornography, the cradle catholic remained at arm’s length from a forgiving Lord.

Was his life complex or did Warhol complicate living? Filled with frailties, hypochondria, lovers, loneliness, assassination attempts on his life, Warhol returned to his faith during the 1980’s with the completion of his “Last Supper” series.