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Friday, November 30, 2012

Anne Lamott at Symphony Space

I had the wonderful opportunity (thanks, Lydia!) to see Anne Lamott at Symphony Space last night in New York. I had never been to an event at Symphony Space and it is a beautiful venue.

When I got there, there were already many eager Anne Lamott fans in line. Lamott fans are a special breed; they are kind and friendly and many people started conversations with people in line next to them. No one was cranky about waiting out in the cold.

Lamott began the program by reading from her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers.  It is a slim book, all about the three prayers we say to God or our higher power: help the people we love who need it and help us to be better people; thanks for the many blessings we have and wow, expressing amazement at the many wonders, and sometimes awful things, we are surrounded by.

She spoke of her belief in science, which doesn't always coincide with her fellow Christians. She bemoaned the fact that Christians today are not identified as Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, people who cared for the sick and the poor, who were great thinkers, but rather politicians like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee.

Lamott was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Twitter and Facebook by her publisher, but once she was on them, she became a social media maven (even if she doesn't always know the lingo). The recent election was a treasure trove for Lamott, and she spoke eloquently about the debt that today's women owe the women before who had to fight for equal rights. It is our responsibility to not let their struggle fall by the wayside. (You can follow Lamott on Facebook here, and on Twitter here)
Gretchen Rubin & Anne Lamott at Symphony Space

Author Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project) interviewed Lamott, and I (along with many others in the crowd) wished their conversation had gone on for many more hours. Lamott puts many of her family and friends in her books, and Rubin asked her if that was a problem for her, if she worried about what they thought, or if she "just let the chips fall where they may." The crowd roared with laughter when Lamott said "there is not an area of my life where I let the chips fall where they may. I worry about every chip."

She joked about her "raging OCD issues", her highly structured writing schedule, how much harder it is to write fiction than non-fiction, and how if you change a person's hair color and height, they will never recognize themselves as a character in your book.

Rubin asked one of my favorite questions, "What do you read?" and Lamott gave us quite an extensive list.

  • Every morning, she reads the New York Times
  • The New Yorker magazine (although sometimes she claims to be reading this when she is actually reading the National Enquirer)
  • Barbara Kingsolver books- she loved The Lacuna (so did I!), even though critics were not as kind. Lamott says she loves a new Kingsolver book because she knows she will "get lost for ten hours in it."
  • Katherine Boo's National Book Award winner, Behind the Beautiful Forevers
  • Laurie E. Colwin's Happy All the Time, which she says she has given to many people over the years
  • Althea Black's I Knew You'd be Lovely, which she called "just wonderful, smart, and sweet."
  • Mikey Walsh's memoir, Gypsy Boy
  • Douglas Foster's After Mandela
  • Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost
She has been working on her next book, As In Life, for a few years. Her editor Jake Morrissey interrupted her progress on that book to encourage her to write Help, Thanks, Wow, so we have another book to look forward to very soon.

I loved how Lamott closed by stating that for humans, there is "no owner's manual, we just care for each other." If you haven't read Lamott (her book Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith is on my favorites bookshelf), give her a try. She writes fiction and non-fiction and her book Bird by Bird is a staple for anyone who wants to be a writer.

Confessions of Joan the Tall by Joan Cusack Handler

Confessions of Joan the Tall by Joan Cusack Handler
Published by CavanKerry Press ISBN 978-1-933880-33-4
Trade paperback, $21, 241 pages

You don't have to be Catholic to enjoy Joan Cusack Handler's memoir, Confessions of Joan the Tall, but you do get a deeper level of understanding if you are.

Handler, a poet, chooses to write her memoir in the voice of Joan as an almost twelve-year-old girl, and it took me awhile to get used to that. I don't normally enjoy books written in the voice of children, but that conceit works very well for the book.

Joan has an older sister Catherine, an older brother Sonny, and a younger brother Jerry. Sonny physically and emotionally torments his siblings, with Joan getting the worst treatment. This is not just sibling rivalry, Sonny is a serious, scary bully. (Handler has said in this interview on her blog that the only sibling who has read her book is her sister.)

She is also dealing with the fact that at the age of 11 1/2, she is close to six feet tall, and that makes her the subject of ridicule in school. Her mother tries to make up for this torment by buying Joan beautiful clothes to wear, and the descriptions of her clothes are so vivid, I could picture them clearly in my mind. Her mother tells Joan that the others are jealous that Joan can wear clothes like a model.

Joan's mother tended to be cold and withholding, and sometimes beat the children with a belt, which was probably not uncommon in households in the 1950s when Joan was growing up. She idolized her father, a devout Catholic, and Joan tried desperately to live up to his high expectations.

The conflict between who she was and who she aspired to be led to physical ailments. Joan had bladder problems and developed colitis. A particularly bad case of boils is graphically described and sounded so   painful, it nearly made me cry.

Anyone raised in a Catholic household and who attended Catholic school in the 1950s will be able to relate to Joan's upbringing. The nuns who taught were tough, strict and sometimes cruel. The nuns who showed Joan kindness made quite an impression on her, like the one who helped her after Joan wet her pants in the classroom.

Handler perfectly captures the angst of being twelve; the uncertainty, the need to please your parents, the desire to fit in with other students and have friends, to be just like everybody else. The funny thing is, no one ever was like everybody else. Reading it brought all those feelings right back to me.

The language here is so beautiful, it is quite apparent that Handler is a poet. It is written as if it were journal entries, most entries being just a page. You feel as is you are reading Joan's actual journal, although Handler said she did not keep a journal as a child.

As I said, if you grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school, you will get so much more out this emotional book. Joan's struggle to be a good Catholic will resonate with many, as will her desire to be a good daughter.

This book is one that will appeal to people who came of age in the 1950s (Catholics in particular), but teenagers today will also relate to Joan's story. Some of the feelings of adolescence will never change, and a teen who feels outside of the norm (and that would be most) will empathize with Handler's story.

The cover of the book is visually stunning, and the title, Confessions of Joan the Tall, evokes the stories we read about saints in Catholic elementary school. This book would make a terrific gift for someone who grew up Catholic in the 1950s.

rating 4 of 5

TLC Tours and Cavan Kerry Press are providing a copy of Confession of Joan the Tall to readers of this blog. You can enter in the comments section; be sure to leave your email address. The winner will be chosen on December 10th.

Thanks to TLC Tours for providing an opportunity to review this book. For other reviews of this book, visit the TLC website here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New in Paperback: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 978-0345521316
Paperback, $15, 352 pages

Who would have thought that of two people in a marriage, with one of them being Ernest Hemingway, it would be his wife Hadley who is the more interesting character? Paula McLain does a marvelous job bringing this real-life woman to life in her novel, The Paris Wife. She totally captures how the very masculine, younger Hemingway enchanted the shy, almost-spinster (age 28!) woman and persuaded her to marry him.

The Paris Wife in hardcover has been critically acclaimed and a best seller for many months, and now it is finally available in paperback.

This novel succeeds on so many different levels. It is the story of a marriage: the good times, the difficult times, and the eventual dissolution. Anyone who is or has been married can identify with the many facets and challenges of marriage, as seen through Hadley's eyes. She knew that life with an artist such as Ernest would not be easy, and this passage describing her loneliness while Ernest was off on a story exemplifies that.

"Ernest was gone for three weeks, and by the end of that time I was sleeping so badly in our bed I'd often move in the middle of the night to an upright wingback chair and try to rest there, huddled in blankets. I couldn't enjoy much of anything except walking to the Ile St. Louis to the park I'd come to love and rely on. ...I also liked to look around at the houses surrounding the park and wonder about the people who filled them, what kinds of marriages they had and how they loved or hurt each other on any given day, and if they were happy, and whether they thought happiness was a sustainable thing."

That passage pretty much sums up Hadley's thoughts during the novel- is happiness sustainable? We know it wasn't with Hemingway who married four times and killed himself.

McLain totally immerses us not only in their marriage, but in the life that the so-called Lost Generation led in the Paris of 1920s. We see the evolving relationship between Ernest and Gertrude Stein, as well as his and Hadley's relationships with Ezra Pound and his wife, and even the fascinating F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald make a memorable appearance. The reader really feels dropped into the Paris cafes, and the scenes set in Barcelona during the bullfights are so well done, you can almost see the bulls charging down the streets.

This is a wonderful book for fans of Hemingway to read, but you don't have to be a fan of his to enjoy it.  I really felt empathy for Hadley, as she moved from young bride to mother to eventually being pushed aside by her husband for another woman. Anyone who wants to read a good novel about married life would do well to choose this one.

Rating 4 of 5 stars

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend Cooking- Pinterest Testing Thanksgiving Recipes

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at the home of my sister-in-law Brigette, who is an amazing cook. She made 15 different dishes, and all were winners. It was the tastiest Thanksgiving we have ever had.
Among the highlights were a Cooks Illustrated recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach and Bacon, Ina Garten's Roasted Turkey Roulade, Make Ahead Gravy, Homemade Cranberry Sauce and old family classics like Broccoli Casserole, Lemon Jello, Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake.

We also made a few recipes that we pulled off of Pinterest. Our cocktail was a pretty and refreshing Sparkling Cranberry Punch. We made some modifications on the second batch, adding less Sprite and more sparkling wine. You could also add some vodka for more of a kick.

Last week I made Autumn Chopped Salad from Pinterest, and it was so good we put it on the Thanksgiving menu. My sister-in-law Necole dressed up the presentation to make it as lovely as it was tasty. One of Necole's young sons had three helpings! Our one tweak was to mix the poppy seed dressing dressing and balsamic dressing together and serving it on the side so we could have the leftovers the next day. It has chopped romaine, chopped pears, bacon, feta, dried cranberries and chopped pecans, which we served on the side.

Last week I also made Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole off Pinterest, which is perfect for using leftover turkey. This was seriously one the best casseroles I have ever made (maybe it was the 2 1/2 cups of cheese?), and I ate the leftovers for lunch and dinner for the next three days.

I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving and I'd love for you to share your favorite recipe you had on your Thanksgiving table this year in the comments section below.

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole  from Picky Palate 's blog
Autumn Chopped Salad from Espresso & Cream's blog
Cranberry Surprise Punch from Elizabeth & Co.'s blog
Roasted Turkey Roulade from Ina Garten via Food Network

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Bookish Broadway Evening

Last night was the inaugural fundraising gala for ArchCare at the beautiful Gotham Hall near Macy's in NYC. My husband is the President and CEO of ArchCare, which is the long term healthcare arm of the Archdiocese of New York.

The venue was gorgeous, inside of an old bank building. It's similar to Cipriani's on 42nd St. It was rescheduled from October 30th due to Hurricane Sandy, and just about everyone who was originally scheduled to attend were able to join us, over 500 people.
Gotham Hall

The event was a huge success, raising over one million dollars to support the programs of ArchCare, who provide care for the frail and elderly of the diocese in nursing homes, hospitals, daycare centers and in-home.

This is a book and Broadway blog, so you may wonder how this ties in here. First, I was seated next to one of the most successful authors of all-time, Mary Higgins Clark and her wonderful husband John Conheeney.

Ms. Clark is a lively dinner companion. We chatted about the book she is just finishing up, featuring a Vietnam vet who returns home, can't adjust to life back home and leaves his wife and two young daughters, ending up living on the streets for twenty years. His daughters grow up and get involved in a mystery. It sounds very intriguing, I know I'll be looking for it next year.

She was very animated talking about her book, and she told me that she writes every day, seven days a week, because she does not write fast and she writes at least one book a year. Her formula must work, because every single one of her 42(!) suspense novels has made the best seller list.

The one thing she loves more than writing is her family. She spoke so lovingly about her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews; her face lit up as she told me about them and their plans for Thanksgiving.

She is a very lovely woman, dressed elegantly, a perfect lady. Her jewelry was classic and complemented her so well. I so enjoyed our conversation, and she is a big supporter of ArchCare and the Catholic Church.
Mary Higgins Clark

The only time we stopped talking was to enjoy a performance by Broadway star Norm Lewis. Lewis, who was nominated for a Tony this year for his astonishing performance as Porgy in Porgy and Bess wowed the crowd with his rendition of God Bless America. His powerful and smooth voice gave me goosebumps. (TV viewers may recognize him as Olivia Pope's ex-boyfriend in Scandal)

He returned to  stage to sing three songs. He began with the classic, You Can't Take That Away From Me, one of my favorites. His next song was a tribute to one of his favorite crooners, Andy Williams, as he sang Moon River so beautifully. His last song was a Sondheim classic that perfectly fit the theme of the evening, You Are Not Alone, from Into the Woods. I think I like his version as much as Bernadette Peters, and that is saying something.

I got to meet Mr. Lewis, and he was so gracious. I told him that I'm looking forward to seeing him perform the Coalhouse Walker Jr. role in the concert version of Ragtime at Lincoln Center next February. He even invited me backstage! You know I'm taking him up on that.
Norm Lewis signing at the ArchCare gala

It was a lovely, successful evening and we are very grateful for the support of all involved.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Cooking- An NYC Chocolate Tour

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

My sister-in-law Brigette is a big chocoholic and invited me to go on a Chocolate Tour in NYC; who in their right mind would say no?

We started the day with lunch at Todd English's Food Hall in the Plaza Hotel. We shared a light lunch of risotto tater tots with white truffle aioli and a fig, prosciutto and blue cheese pizza. Both were delicious.

They've added onto the Food Hall since I was there last, and now on the other side are some new places: Luke's Lobster, (which makes the best lobster roll) William Greenberg Desserts (the best black and white cookies), Billy's Cupcakes (Brigette loves them) and Lady M.'s (Brigette brought home a mille crepe cake), along with many others. If you visit NYC, plan on a stop here, and make sure you have an empty stomach.

Prosciutto & Fig Pizza

Risotto Tater Tots- love the serving basket

Our chocolate tour started at Marie Belle. The owner of the store, Maribel Leiberman, is Honduran. She was in the fashion business, but wanted something more. Her shop is decorated in the Belle Epoch fashion, so very French and beautiful. She is well known for her famous hot chocolate, and we tasted that as well as a passionfruit ganache. Her chocolates have lovely decorations on them, and I saw something that caught my eye- Pinup Chocolate Bars. They would be very cute for your guy's Christmas stocking!
The wall decor of the store is lovely
The cafe reminds me of a French cafe

The Pin-up Chocolate Bars- ooh lala!
Our next stop was Vosages, founded by Katrina Markoff, a young Eastern European woman, trained at the Cordon Bleu and based in Chicago. The shop was small and very purple. Her specialty is using herbs and spices in her chocolates, the most popular being the bacon chocolate bar. We tasted a Nougatruffle with curry powder on top. I'm not a curry fan, but it was an intriguing taste.
The back wall of Vosages
The third stop was Kee's Chocolates. Not as well known, Kee Ling Tong is Malaysian, and she insists upon being in the factory when each batch of chocolate is made. The store is very unassuming, no decoration, but the chocolate is fantastic. Brigette said this was by far the best chocolate she has ever had. I tasted a Creme Brulee ganache and a white chocolate pistachio and both were amazing. They have a Zagat rating of 29 (30 is perfect) and they earned it.
This is the extent of decor in Kee's
Our last stop was Jacques Torres. He is a very famous French chocolatier, and we were lucky enough to find him in the shop. Brigette got to tell him that she makes his chocolate chip cookie recipe and his chocolate souffle recipe and he said "Thank you, Madame". It made her day! We tasted his famous hot chocolate, a piece of chocolate chip cookie (which is very, very good) and then they gave us two pieces of chocolate to take with us.

His shop was covered with his famous Thanksgiving turkeys, and below is a photo of the big one.
Jacque Torres' turkey
We ate so much chocolate yesterday, I'm not sure I'll be able to eat on Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a great turkey day and that you get to spend it with people you love.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Can't Wait for Downton Abbey to Return? Join This Read Along!

If you became a fan of PBS' Downton Abbey and like me can't wait until January 6th when season three will be shown in the US, then Book Club Girl has just the thing for you.

The Passing Bells trilogy by Phillip Rock, first published in the 1970s and 80s, is being republished just in time for the return of our beloved Downton Abbey. Set during and after WWI in Britain, these books were frequently mentioned in articles as good books for Downton Abbey fans to read.

I'm joining Book Club Girl's read along of The Passing Bells, Circles of Time and A Future Arrived and I hope that you will join us too.

Readers of my blog know that I am a big fan of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs novels, also set following WWI, and this seems like a good companion to those books as well.

Click on the link below to sign up for the Read Along, and if you are among the first ten people to sign up, you'll get a free copy of The Passing Bells.

BookClubGirl The Passing Bells Read Along

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

Heads in Beds- A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky
Published by Doubleday, ISBN 978-0-385-53563-2
Hardcover, $25.95
Publishes on November 20, 2012
If you've ever checked into a hotel and wondered how to get an upgrade or a complimentary bottle of wine, this is a book you will want to read. Born into a military family and used to moving around a lot, Jacob Tomsky wanted to see the world and put his philosophy degree to good use. He started as a valet in a brand new New Orleans luxury hotel and worked his way up to managing housekeeping. Having visited New Orleans, I particularly enjoyed his story of living there and of the hard-working people with whom he worked.

He eventually makes his way to New York, and works at a hotel that is a bit on the run-down end of things, yet still manages to attract famous clientele like Brian Wilson, although it was during the days of his unfortunate mental breakdown stage. Tomsky really sets the scene there, as we meet the valets, the doormen and bellmen, all of whom are wonderfully sketched. We learn how important it is to tip your bellman, as they depend on tips to raise their family, and the jockeying by the bellmen to get the big tipper. And a well-placed $20 to your front desk person can get you a long way. I love the New York slang we learn, such as a 'brick' is a $100 bill. Someone could create a TV show set in this hotel.

Tomsky writes of his loneliness living in New York, knowing no one. He rented a room in an apartment with three women, and each morning he would return from the night shift, drink beer in his bedroom and try to fall asleep. Other than work, he really had no friends. I think anyone who has moved to a big city on his/her own might recognize his feelings.

A co-worker successfully tries to unionize the hotel workers, which Tomsky is not interested in, but he signs to be one of the guys. Good thing, because when a conglomerate buys out the hotel, things change. First up: all non-unionized employees are fired.   However you feel about unions, this section of the book is fascinating. The hotel becomes very corporate, and loses most of its charm. They also lose much of their old clientele, as the rates skyrocket with the new owners' renovations. The new management does their best to get rid of the union workers, and Tomsky's job is frequently on the line.

The appendices contain such helpful information as 'Things a Guest Should Never Say', 'Things a Guest Should Never Do' and 'Things Every Guest Must Know'. I know I plan on using those tips on my next trip.

Tomsky is a good writer, he draws you a vivid picture of the hotels he has worked in, and the people he worked with, and I enjoyed spending time in his world. If you like memoirs set in the workplace, this is one to pick up.

rating 4 of 5

Weekend Cooking- How You Can Help

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

Living in NYC,  the news has covered the devastation of Hurricane Sandy non-stop for two weeks. Watching all of the coverage of people who have lost everything, and the thousands of people still without power twelve days later, can be overwhelming. You can get a sense of powerlessness.

There have been many, many stories of people helping their neighbors and strangers. Since this is a book blog, I wanted to relate one interesting story. The New York Public Library was scheduled to hold its annual black tie fundraiser on November 5th. They had power problems and decided instead of just canceling, to donate the food which would feed 600 people, to provide a hot meal to Staten Islanders affected by the storm. Library employees volunteered to help with the meal.

If you are a bookish person and would like to help, First Book is an organization that is providing children affected by Hurricane Sandy with books. They did the same after Hurricane Katrina, and for every $2.50 donated will provide a child with one book. That money is matched by the American Federation of Teachers and The Albert Shanker Institute, so your donation of $2.50 actually provides for three books. This might be a good way for those with young children who get an allowance to help other children, or for your book club to get together and donate.

To tie in with our Weekend Cooking posts, there are some charities already on the ground feeding people. For my central New York friends, the Carmelo Anthony Foundation has teamed up with Feed the Children to bring two trucks of food to Brooklyn this week. Feed the Children has 31 trucks overall scheduled to help people in New York and New Jersey.

Feeding America has already provided local area food banks with 150 trucks filled with food and grocery supplies. They work with many corporations, including Major League Baseball and the Players Association, to provide people in need with food. So if you have a baseball fan in your family, maybe this is your charity of choice.

City Harvest here in New York rescues food from restaurants and grocery stores to provide food for those in need. I love the idea that they take what would be thrown out at the end of the night and bring it to people; if recycling is important to you, City Harvest is your charity.

All of the above mentioned charities have high rankings from Charity Navigator, which a has a page of organizations who are helping with relief efforts.

Many of you have probably already donated to your charity of choice, but if you are looking, I hope you found this helpful. There are still thousands of people without food, heat, and homes, and every little bit helps.

Charity Navigator
First Book
Feed The Children 
Feeding America
City Harvest

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weekend Cooking: Pinterest Testing Food For A Hurricane

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

As many of you know, I live in New York City. We had been hearing all last week about Hurricane Sandy heading this way, and although we dodged a bullet with Hurricane Irene, we decided it's better to be safe than sorry.

My husband runs a group of nursing homes, so I knew that if the hurricane was bad, he'd be working many hours and so I geared up to prepare some hearty meals. We shopped at Costco and Target for supplies, and Agata & Valentina, a neighborhood Italian store, for produce and meats.

I also thought it would be a good opportunity to use my Pinterest boards to try out some new recipes. Below are some of the highlights. (Click on the photo to take you to the recipes.)

I baked Cream Cheese Cookies, which was a big hit on our annual August vacation back home in Auburn. They are easy and very tasty. This came from the website justapinch.

I made more than a few casseroles, and these were some of the winners. This Pizza Casserole does taste like pizza, but I would leave the ham out next time, and make sure to load up on the pepperoni on top. I did not follow the directions and cover the top entirely with pepperoni, and when the cheese melted and spread, there was not enough pepperoni. I found this on cullyskitchen.

The best casserole was Loaded Baked Potato Buffalo Chicken Casserole, which I pinned and my sister-in-law tried first for her family of guys. They loved it, and we did too. It was a little too spicy, so next time I would cut down on the paprika, black pepper and hot sauce, but it was so good I was still picking at it two days later. My other two sisters-in-law are making this dish too. This came from cooklisacook.

The favorite recipe of all was for Crack Potatoes, which was a simple dish mixing shredded potatoes (I used a bag of Simply Potatoes, found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store) shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon bits (I cook bacon and dice it) and ranch dip mix and baking. We had it with a spiral ham and it was amazing, a real comfort food.

We were lucky where we live, although it was scary when the hurricane was racing through the city, we kept our power and had no flooding in our area. My husband's nursing homes had no issues thanks to the dedicated staff, many of whom stayed over for several days to care for the residents and cover for those who couldn't make it in. (They did end up taking in residents from other nursing homes who lost power.)

I hope you all made it safely through the hurricane and that those affected by Sandy get the help they need to rebuild their homes and lives.