hard times for newspapers

For those of you who are old enough, perhaps you remember the Judy Collins song from the 1970s, “Hard Times for Lovers,” and the album of the same title with that enticing nude photo of Judy on the album cover.

These days it’s hard times for newspapers.

When I was a youngster I had a paper route. I delivered The Daily Enterprise which was a morning newspaper out of Riverside. The Press was the afternoon newspaper that focused on the city of Riverside. The Daily Enterprise covered the rest of Riverside County. The combined Sunday paper was The Press-Enterprise. The paper did a good job of covering local news and treated its delivery boys (and in those days it was just boys) well. I made decent money and learned how to be responsible: I had to collect from my subscribers and then pay my bill at the end of the month.

Press Enterprise mastheadToday it’s all motor routes and the same guy that delivers The Press-Enterprise (just one paper now) also delivers the Los Angeles Times. The Press-Enterprise is owned by the Southern California News group which also owns newspapers in Pomona, Ontario, and San Bernardino along with the Orange County Register. The coverage area is greatly expanded and local news is correspondingly diminished.

When the Dodgers headed to the World Series the local news on TV showed the front page of the Orange County Register. It was the exact same front page we had in The Press Enterprise.

But that’s the reality of today’s newspaper biz.


Sacred Music Friday: Like Him We Rise

Like Him We Rise by Tom Trenney. The Viking Chorus of St. Olaf College conducted by Mark Stover.


clam chowder

This time of year I enjoy making clam chowder. It’s pretty simple and straightforward. I don’t follow a specific recipe but generally make it pretty much the same way each time.

clam chowder and garlic breadHere’s what I did most recently. I peeled and diced two russet potatoes and put them in the saucepan with water, bringing it to a boil and then turning down the heat for 30 minutes. I drained off the water, added two drained cans of clams and chopped celery, since I had it on hand, and four strips of bacon which I microwaved and crumbled. I added milk to cover and brought up the heat. I threw in basil, oregano, granulated onion and granulated garlic, a bit of medium hot chili powder, and white pepper.

I cooked for another half hour and served with garlic bread. A great dinner for a chilly evening.


Modern Lovers

Modern Lovers coverModern Lovers
Emma Straub
Riverhead Books (May 31, 2016), 366 pages
Kindle edition $7.99, Amazon paperback $11.31

I find “college friends” novels hard to resist so I bought this one. It was actually quite engaging.

Elizabeth, Andrew, Zoe, and Lydia had a band in college, for which Elizabeth wrote many of the songs. Lydia was the face of the band, but met with an untimely death.

When the novel takes place Elizabeth and Andrew are married and living in Brooklyn. Elizabeth is a real estate agent. Andrew is living off of his family’s money. Harry is a high school senior trying to figure out college.

Zoe lives a couple of blocks away and is married to her lover Jane. The two women own a restaurant and have a daughter named Ruby who is a year older than Harry and did not get in to any of the colleges to which she applied. The novel is about the interactions among these people and the crises that they encounter. Lydia is very much present in the book, even though she is long departed.

I think I’ll leave it there. If you enjoy the college buddy ensemble genre this one is well worth reading.


look at the %$#@! ingredient list!

I know better. I really do. Sometimes I just have a brain lapse.

Tropicana LabelI was recently looking for something different for my morning juice. I wanted a change from my standard orange/peach/mango, as much as I enjoy it. I looked at a couple of products and settled on Tropicana Pineapple Mango with Lime. Sounded good. And after all no artificial sweeteners and no artificial flavors is a Good Thing, right?

Why I didn’t look at the ingredients until I got home I have no idea. My only excuse was that the store was really busy and I wanted to get my groceries and get home. I did look at the label when I got home. Are you freaking kidding me? Sugar is the number two ingredient after water? Well, sugar is not an artificial sweetener.

Lesson learned. Next time I’ll look at the %$#@! ingredient list while I’m in the store.

Tropicana Ingredients


chicken piccata

This is a recipe that is very tasty and not a whole lot of work. Ina Garten, however, has a chicken piccata recipe that takes the dish to the next level.

Chicken PiccataYou know me. Salt and pepper are never, ever sufficient seasoning. One time I added Italian seasoning mix to the breadcrumbs Ina specifies. Most recently I added lemon garlic seasoning. It works well both ways. I also added capers to Ina’s sauce. You have to have capers with chicken piccata!

On my most recent venture with this recipe I served it with my own roasted red potatoes. It’s very simple. I clean and dice the potatoes. I line a baking pan with parchment paper and layer the potatoes on it. I spray them with olive oil, and sprinkle with dry parmesan cheese and Greek seasoning. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

The combination of the two makes for an enjoyable Saturday dinner.


Sacred Music Friday: O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright

This work is not in the Episcopal hymnal, but the old Lutheran Book of Worship places it in the Epiphany section. Happy Epiphany tomorrow, as we come to the end of the Christmas season!