NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Posts from the “Holidays” Category

History of Valentine’s Day Romantic & Courageous

Posted on February 14, 2016

Write-Up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett   Who would have thought the history of Valentine’s Day is rooted in both romance and courage?   Sweethearts will enjoy candlelight dinners this evening, while friends and loved ones exchange candy, flowers and cards throughout the day. In fact, the Greeting Card Association estimates that in America alone some 145 million Valentine’s Day cards, not figuring in classroom Valentines, are sent annually. Although there is more than one explanation as to how it all began, an especially heartwarming tale points to a priest named Valentine who centuries ago, on behalf of young lovers, stood up to what he considered an unjust decree from 3RD Century Roman Emperor Claudius II.   This legend, notes HISTORY.COM, goes that…

A Memorable Thanksgiving Hosted by Mike & Melane

Posted on November 28, 2015

  Reflection & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett (Featured photo by April)  It is hard to believe another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. My nephew Mike & his wife Melane put on a lovely dinner at their home. As with many Thanksgiving dinners across our land it was reflective of much time and tender loving care put in by our hostess and host – but Mike is the first to say the credit goes to Melane.     From Tom Turkey himself to a succulent baked ham, mashed potatoes, winter squash, turnip, sausage dressing, fried brussel sprouts with sliced red peppers and scallions, and whole kernel corn all topped with piping hot gravy prepared by our hostess and served in hand-made Comte ceramics, to…

Mom’s Recipe Box: Crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage – Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Posted on March 17, 2015

                  Crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage   In honor of St. Patrick’s Day 2015, a first time attempt at preparing a traditional, homemade corned beef & cabbage dinner. After searching through on-line recipes that offer oven or slow cooker approaches, the (slow cooker) crockpot has been selected. All the ingredients were purchased at Big Y World Class Supermarket yesterday – small red potatoes, a head of cabbage, baby carrots, turnip, a small onion and a few thin slices of corned beef from the deli rather than a brisket.   This is a nutrient-packed meal. Potatoes are known to be loaded with vitamin B6 and potassium. Notoriously good for the eyes, carrots have vitamin K that is said to facilitate…

Singing Valentines a Hallmark of Silk City Chorus

Posted on February 11, 2015

  Write-up by Jacqueline Bennett   “Let me call you sweetheart, I’m in love with you ….” Who wouldn’t want to receive a romantic serenade of such timeless lyrics for Valentine’s Day?   For those in the Greater Hartford, Connecticut area, the Silk City Chorus continues its longstanding tradition this coming Friday and Saturday, February 13 and February 14, of offering a “Singing  Valentine” personally delivered by a “tuxedo-clad Barbershop Quartet” – sung in “magnificent 4-part harmony”. For $50., in addition to performing two love songs, they deliver a card, a fresh rose and a photo of the quartet singing to the recipient.   Singing valentines have become a hallmark of the award-winning, Manchester-based chorus that is a member of the 75-year-old non-profit Barbershop Harmony Society.   “We perform valentines at offices,…

Mom’s Recipe Box: Nathan’s Cranberry Bacon Reduction; Plus, “Great for a New Year’s Eve Gathering” Sweet & Sour Meatballs from Wayne

Posted on December 26, 2014

                      Nathan’s Cranberry Bacon Reduction   My fond memories of visiting my Nana and family in New England were usually around the holidays. Here is a simple recipe for my favorite cranberry sauce that teleports me to that time and place with a tasty twist. This recipe always goes over well. It tastes sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and savory. Serve it warm or cool. My favorite application is for the day after a great holiday meal. I slather the cool cranberry reduction on either a ciabatta or a telera roll along with cream cheese, turkey, stuffing, green leaf lettuce, and more crispy bacon (see picture). It will be one of the best lunches you’ve…

A Joyous Holiday Season

Posted on December 23, 2014

By: Jacqueline Bennett   With the arrival of Ole’ St. Nick mere hours away, I have been reflecting on what a joyous holiday season this has been. It began with the Manchester Road Race where I bumped into a good friend followed later that afternoon with Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Mike & Melane (held at their daughter Maryann’s house – my niece.)   Maryann and Melane had put together four tables in the dining room to seat all of us. Melane and the two girls, Maryann and Michelle, then spent days preparing for the holiday company, some of whom drove down from New Hampshire. It was a lovely day.           Soon enough it was time for the Gingerbread House Exhibit at Wood…

Mom’s Recipe Box: Hamburg Dressing – the Crowning Glory of My Mother’s Holiday Recipes, Plus New England Pumpkin Pie & Cinnamon Sugar Treats

Posted on December 19, 2014

            Hamburg Dressing – the Crowning Glory of My Mother’s Holiday Recipes   For me, and I would dare say all of us who grew up enjoying it, the aroma and taste of my mother’s hamburg dressing is quite simply the aroma and taste of Christmas and the holiday season. Assuming it was safely in Mom’s recipe box, the first Christmas after her passing in 2010 I went in search of her hamburg dressing recipe. It was nowhere to be found – leaving those of us who loved it so, to try and recreate the formula. Each of us could vividly recall Mom/Nana standing vigilant by the stove with her black, iron skillet – which had belonged to her mother…