November 2010


“The Other Side” is designed to stimulate your sense of adventure and creativity by spawning the exchange of thoughts. If we are not careful we might just learn something…I know I did when I wrote this. Go ahead. Trying something new and see what is on “The Other Side…”




November 2nd – Election Day
November 7th – Daylight Savings Time Ends
November 11th – Veterans Day
November 25th – Thanksgiving
November 26th – Black Friday

November is a time to look ahead and back all at the same time. Election Day looks ahead to the future of our country, our states, and our local communities. At the same time the tradition of Election Day dates back to 1789 and has been the basis by which we elect our officials to office ever since. We also look back in remembrance of our Veterans on the 11th in a tradition that has only been in place since 1954. Veterans Day grew out of the holiday known as Armistice Day which started in 1919 and commemorated the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. The armistice took effect at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 and marked the end of the fighting on the Western Front in World War I. The month ends with the observance of Thanksgiving which was historically a religious observation to give thanks to God. So when the fourth Thursday of November arrives, look around your dinner table and take the time to give thanks for all that you have….

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.  They are consumed in twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not coincidence.“  ~Erma Bombeck – Humorist




A film is a petrified fountain of thought. ~ Jean Cocteau


Aside from Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, November is not usually synonymous with movie or television tradition. One tradition that remains alive and well today is the radio broadcast of Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” at 12:00 pm each Thanksgiving. The song “Alice’s Restaurant” lasts 18 minutes and 34 seconds and takes up the entire first side of Arlo Guthrie’s (song of Woody Guthrie) 1967 debut album, also titled “Alice’s Restaurant.” The song served as the inspiration for the movie which shared the same name. The song was originally written as a protest song and carried the name “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”…not Massacre.

The movie “Alice’s Restaurant” was originally released at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and stars Arlo Guthrie as himself. The movie is a 60’s counterculture movie that tells the true story that begins on Thanksgiving, November 25, 1965, when the 18-year-old Guthrie and his 19-year-old friend Richard Robbins, were arrested by Stockbridge, Massachusetts police officer William “Obie” Obanhein for illegally dumping some of restaurant owner Alice Brock’s garbage after discovering that the town dump was closed for the holiday. Two days later, they pled guilty in court before a blind judge, James E. Hannon. Guthrie and Robbins were fined $50 and told to pick up their garbage.

The song goes on to describe Guthrie’s experience of being called up for the draft, and the bureaucracy at the New York City induction center. As a result of Guthrie’s criminal record for littering, he is sent to the Group W Bench, where draftees wait when they cannot be inducted except under a “moral waiver.” The punch line of the story is that, in the words of Guthrie, “I’m sittin’ here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.”
The song ends with Arlo telling the listener that should they find themselves facing the draft they should walk into the military psychiatrist’s office and sing, “Shrink, you can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant,” and walk out.

Both the movie and the song have been cult classics and due to the story originally occurring on Thanksgiving Day became a part of Thanksgiving tradition and lore for those individuals who grew up in the 1960s. So this Thanksgiving, take a ride up to Stockbridge and check out Alice’s Restaurant (formerly known as “Back Room Rest” and now known as “Theresa’s Stockbridge Café” – 40 Main St., Stockbridge MA), or better yet tune in at noon (WFUV 90.7 or WAXQ 104.3 or Sirius Radio Channel 31) and take a listen to the original recording or simply keep an eye out for the movie this Thanksgiving season.




Upcoming New Movie Releases:


November 5

Due Date – Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galiafanakis, Jamie Foxx

Megamind – Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell


November 10

Morning Glory – Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum


November 12

Unstoppable – Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson,


November 19

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part I – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

The Next Three Days – Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson


November 24

Burlesque – Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Alan Cumming

Faster – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton

Love and Other Drugs – Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt




If music be the food of love; play on.  ~William Shakespeare



Alejandro Escovedo – Street Songs of Love

 Name a Chicano rock star – who has been in the business for approximately 35 years – who has recorded 13 albums – who survived a bout with Hepatitis C – who is among Bruce Springsteen’s favorite artists and recorded two songs with him – and who has his roots in punk rock but is just as comfortable performing traditional Mexican music. The first and only name that comes to mind that fits that profile is Alejandro Escovedo. While many people may have never heard of Alejandro Escovedo he is continuing his assent on Music Mountain…one record at a time. In recent years Alejandro Escovedo’s most notable performance involved him performing “Always a Friend” with Bruce Springsteen in Houston TX in April 2008 (See link below).
Alejandro Escovedo’s new album Street Songs of Love includes “Faith”, a new recording including Bruce Springsteen. Other standouts on the album include the rock anthem “Anchor” as well “Down in the Bowery “ Alejandro’s message to his son to be his own man; and “Street Songs” which describes the scene around the Continental Club in Austin, TX. These songs represent a cross-section of the quality that this album delivers and demonstrate the continued refinement of Escovedo’s work.



Upcoming New Music Releases:


November 2

Jason Aldean – My Kinda Party
Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas II You
Ciara – Basic Instinct
Elvis Costello – National Ransom
Neil Diamond – Dreams
Brian Eno – Small Craft on a Milk Sea
Good Charlotte – Cardiology
Jamiroquai – Rock Dust Light Star
Huey Lewis and the News – Soulsville
Soulja Boy – The DeAndre Way
Weezer – Death to False Metal


November 9

Anita Baker – 21st Century Love
David Banner & 9th Wonder – Death of a Pop Star
Susan Boyle – The Gift
Bush – Everything Always Now
Cee-Lo Green – The Lady Killer
Bing Crosby – The Crosby Christmas Sessions
Bon Jovi – Greatest Hits Collection
Billy Ray Cyrus – I’m American
Reba McEntire – All the Women I Am
Ronnie Spector – The Best Christmas Ever
November 15

Josh Groban – Illuminations


November 16

El DeBarge – Second Chance
Rascal Flatts – Nothing Like This
Black Eyed Peas – The Beginning
Nelly – 5.0
Pink – Greatest Hits…So Far
Rihanna – Loud
Kid Rock – Born Free
Stereolab – Not Music
Keith Urban – Get Closer 

November 22

My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


November 22

Bryan Adams – Bare Bones, Live
Akon – [Title TBD]
Llyod Banks – The Hunger for More 2
Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy
Annie Lennox – A Christmas Cornucopia
Ne-Yo – Libra Scale
Smashing Pumpkins – Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol. II ‘The Solstice Bare’
Social Distortion – Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes
Sting – Live in Berlin
Robin Zander – Countryside Blvd.





No one ever questions what the main course should be on Thanksgiving. However, there is constant debate over the side dishes – especially the vegetables. What vegetable dishes go best with turkey? Do we have to make the same old vegetable side dishes – the ones we have had for years. Or can we branch out and deny Uncle Charlie his green bean casserole or give Aunt Marie’s tomato aspic a year off? The following are a few vegetable side dish suggestions for the holiday. So why not try something different this Thanksgiving? After all, if it stinks, next Thanksgiving will be here before you know it and you get to try try again…


Corn Bake
Serves 8

Best described as a cross between corn pudding and a corn soufflé. This recipe provides a nice alternative to simply serving vegetables. While it is not low fat it is high in flavor and is always met with rave reviews. You can also add 1-2 T of chopped chives for extra flavor and color.


1/2 cup butter, melted 

2 eggs, beaten

1 (8.5 oz) package dry corn bread mix

1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (14.75 oz) can creamed corn

1 cup sour cream



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.
3. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown.



Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Molasses Glaze
Serves 8

An elegant side dish that combines a vegetable with a sausage based stuffing. This can also be made as a vegetarian option by replacing the sausage with portabella mushroom and beef broth with vegetable broth.



4 small acorn squash

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

2 large green onions, thinly sliced

1 pound bulk breakfast sausage

1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs

1/2 cup canned beef broth

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses



1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut two 3/4-inch-thick slices from center of each acorn squash for a total of 8 slices (reserve ends of squash for another use). Scoop out seeds and fibers from center slices and discard. Arrange squash rings in single layer in 15x10x2-inch baking dish.
2. Melt butter in heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and green onions; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; cool. Mix in sausage, breadcrumbs, broth, pepper and salt. Mound sausage mixture in the center of squash rings, using about 1/3 cup for each. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
3. Brush sausage and squash with half of molasses. Bake 15 minutes. Brush with remaining molasses and bake until squash are tender and sausage is cooked through, about 25 minutes.



Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin
Serves 8

When some are asked, the only vegetable they enjoy less than broccoli is cauliflower. This recipe is so good; you will love both vegetables when combined in this easy preparation. After all, the recipe does have cheese…and what isn’t made better with cheese?



4 T unsalted butter

4 slices white sandwich bread torn in pieces

Salt & Pepper

1 head of broccoli

1 head of cauliflower

1 shallot minced

1 garlic clove minced

1 T all-purpose flour

1 ½ C heavy cream

¾ C Parmesan cheese grated

1 tsp minced fresh thyme

Pinch nutmeg

Pinch cayenne pepper



1. Melt 2 T butter. Pulse (6 times) the melted butter, bread, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper together in a food processor or blender until coarsely ground and set aside.
2. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the over to 450 degrees.
3. Bring large pot of salted water (4 quarts) to a boil. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into 1 inch florets. Boil florets for 5 minutes. Remove from water and rinse florets in cool water to stop the cooking process and drain well.
4. Melt 2 T butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until soft (2 minutes). Stir in garlic until fragrant (30 sec). Stir in flour to coat the vegetables. Whisk in the cream and bring to a boil. Stir in ½ C Parmesan, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.
5. Off the heat, gently stir the cooked broccoli and cauliflower in the cream sauce. Transfer the mixture to a medium sized casserole or baking dish and sprinkle with remaining ¼ C Parmesan cheese and breadcrumb mixture.
6. Bake until golden brown and sauce is bubbling around the edges (about 12 minutes).

An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.  ~Irv Kupcinet – Newspaper Columnist



Bottoms Up

If you are hosting a Thanksgiving party a signature cocktail can provide party goers with a nice pre-dinner option. Signature cocktails should reflect the occasion without overpowering the taste buds or appetite of the guest. Don’t forget the children either. They too can have signature cocktail. Replace the champagne in the recipe below with Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider.



Cranberry Bog






4 ounces champagne
1 ounce cranberry juice
Whole cranberries, for garnish
Mint leaves, for garnish


Combine well chilled champagne and cranberry juice in a champagne flute. Drop a few whole cranberries in the glass and garnish with mint leaves.



• November 10th marks the 41st Anniversary of the debut of Sesame Street. Big Bird still looks great.

• The first NFL style Thanksgiving Day football game was played in 1934 between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions but the traditions of playing games on Thanksgiving dates back to 1920.

• New Year’s Eve is just around the corner…start making your party plans. But before that, wish Dick Clark a Happy 80th Birthday on November 30th.

Free Thinking Is Encouraged. Feel free to post your opinions on this month’s topics….


October 2010


“The Other Side” is designed to stimulate your sense of adventure and creativity by spawning the exchange of thoughts. If we are not careful we might just learn something…I know I did when I wrote this. Go ahead. Trying something new and see what is on “The Other Side…”  



October 7th – NHL Opening Night
October 11th – Columbus Day
October 26th – NBA Opening Night
October 27th – World Series Begins
October 31st – Halloween  

Fall is our last breath before winter sets in and arouses our senses with nostalgic sights and smells. The smell of fallen leaves and the way they crunch under our feet as we walk brings us back to earlier days. The excitement of the “Fall Classic” can make for an October to remember for many baseball fans. Apple picking, football games, and playing in piles of leaves can only be synonymous with one season and that is fall.  

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.
~Elizabeth Lawrence – Author & Gardner  



A film is a petrified fountain of thought. Jean Cocteau  

October offers television viewers the ultimate in drama, nostalgia, and history making events. Up to seven possible games of baseball that determine who is major league baseball’s champion. Whether it was the ’55 Dodgers, the ’69 Mets, the ’78 Yankees, or the ’07 Red Sox these teams hold a special place in our hearts for the days and nights of fun and memories that they gave us as fans. The players that made up these teams, and the moments that they created live on forever in the hearts and minds of fans. While the Super Bowl has become the biggest one day sporting event in the world, the World Series gives fans up to seven days of drama. The Lords of Baseball have adulterated the World Series through the elimination of daytime games thereby denying many children from seeing an entire game. The World Series still, in its purest form, has fans engaged by the drama on the field that will always be viewed in the context of the memories that the game has given us in years gone by.  

World Series  


The first official World Series game was played in 1903. Since that time, the World Series has been played 106 times. The only time the World Series was not played was in 1904 when the New York Giants politely declined to play the Boston Americans (due to the “inferiority” of the opponent as stated by Giants owner John T. Brush) and in 1994 when the Series was cancelled due to the Major League Baseball strike. Since the inception of the World Series, the New York Yankees have made 40 appearances followed by the Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers who have played in the Fall Classic 18 times. The Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals are the only teams in Major League Baseball to have never played in the World Series. Only the Texas Rangers have a chance to end that streak this season. Currently, the Chicago Cubs have the longest streak without a World Series win (1908). The winner of the World Series receives the Commissioner’s Trophy and the New York Yankees have won the most trophies (27).  

The World Series was first broadcast on radio in 1921 however the announcers were not actually at the game. Instead, they gave reports about the game received from a telegraph wire. The first World Series game ever televised was in 1947. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver have been the broadcasters for the World Series for the past 10 years and Buck has broadcast 12 Series in all – the most by any announcer. Curt Gowdy is second with 11 Series and Mel Allen is third with 9. Jon Miller has broadcast the most World Series on the radio (12).  

While baseball games started being played at night in 1935, a World Series did not finish under the lights until 1949 and it was not until 1971 that a World Series game was played at night. The last daytime World Series game was played in 1987.  

The World Series has only been played outside of the United States twice. In 1992 and 1993 the Toronto Blue Jays represented the American League in the game. The Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays played in the only game ever suspended due to weather in 2008. The game started on Monday, October 27th and concluded two days later on October 29th. The only World Series game ever cancelled was Game 3 in 1989 after an earthquake hit San Francisco and postponed the game for 10 days; finally being played on October 27th.  

They say that you see something new every time you watch a baseball game. Hopefully this year’s World Series will live up to that billing. Either way, it will create memories that last a lifetime for fan of the teams involved and for fans of the game.  



Upcoming New Movie Releases:


October 1  

Case 39 – Renee Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland  

The Social Network (2010) – Justin Timberlake, Jesse Eisenberg  


October 8  

Secretariat – Diane Lane, John Malcovich  

Stone (2010) – Robert Di Nero, Edward Norton  

Life As We Know It – Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel  

Down For Life – Danny Glover, Jessica Romero  


October 15  

Red (2010) – Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis  

Conviction – Hillary Swank, Minnie Driver  


October 22  

Hereafter (2010) – Matt Dillon, Cecile De France  

Knucklehead – Paul “The Big Show” Wight  


October 29  

Saw 3D – Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes  

Welcome To The Rileys – James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo  




If music be the food of love; play on. William Shakespeare  

The fall has not only produced good foliage but also a number of good albums. Last month’s edition spoke about upcoming releases from Jamey Johnson and Ryan Bingham. Both artists are coming off the biggest successes of their careers and aspire to surpass their previous efforts. After a summer that was a dry season for music, the fall has been kind enough to drop a few good leaves of music on our listening lawn.  


Ryan Bingham – Junky Star  

This album represents Ryan Bingham’s follow-up to his Grammy Award winning contributions to the “Crazy Heart” Soundtrack. While it is always difficult to match the efforts that first brought you fame and fortune, Bingham presents us with the next album in his evolution as a singer-songwriter as he continues to refine his sound. While his first release “Mescalito” represented Bingham’s rawest sound and his follow-up “Roadhouse Sun” delivered several more tracks that featured his trademark raspy voice, “Junky Star” has been blessed by the gifted production hand of T-Bone Burnett. The result is an album that is more subtle than Bingham’s previous efforts. In true Burnett form, the listener gets more than what is on the surface of the songs. Tracks such as “The Wandering”, “Hallelujah” and “Depression” stand out on “Junky Star” and demonstrate the increasing versatility of Bingham as a songwriter. Bingham remains a songwriter who you want to listen to his every word in an attempt to absorb his songs. He continues to talk about his humble beginnings and the struggle he faced in reaching the level of recognition he now enjoys. Much like Jamey Johnson, he is hard not to root for when you know his story…  


Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song
It takes a tough man to write a tender song. Jamey Johnson continues to defy perceptions by offering his fans a diverse mix of material and in this case, he did so on a double album. In this day and age, double albums are a rarity due to what many view as a lost revenue opportunity. Johnson’s willingness to defy perceptions as well as trends is one of the reasons his fans find him so appealing. In addition to writing some of the most tender country ballads you will ever want to hear, he has shown a propensity for reinventing the work of country legends. His latest effort features “Set ‘Em Up Joe” by Vern Gosdin, “Mental Revenge” by Mel Tillis, and “For the Good Times” by Kris Kristofferson. But Johnson is by no means someone who gets by on the work of others as displayed on the tracks “Macon”, “Playing the Part”, and “Lonely at the Top.” These songs represent Johnson’s strong ties to his roots as well as his skeptical view of the music business. Having been previously relegated to songwriter in the music business Johnson has emerged from under the boot of those who did not view him as a singer. Johnson’s transition can be best described by the fact that he stopped caring what others thought and started caring about what Jamey Johnson thought. From his look to his sound to his material, Johnson has become more of an individual with each effort.  


Upcoming New Music Releases:   

October 5  

Toby Keith – Bullets in the Gun
Tricky – Mixed Race
KT Tunstall – Tiger Suit  


October 12  

Less Than Jake – TV/EP
Meat Beat Manifesto – Answers Come In Dreams
Darius Rucker – Charleston, SC 1966  


October 19  

Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series – The Whitmark Demos: 1962-1964
Elton John & Leon Russell – The Union
Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown
Shakira – Sale el Sol (The Sun Comes Out)
Rod Stewart – Fly Me to the Moon
Sugarland – The Incredible Machine  


October 26  

Good Charlotte – Cardiology
Bryan Ferry – Olympia
Taylor Swift – Speak Now  





An essential part of good eating is good ingredients. Where and when you get your ingredients can make as much of a difference in your cooking as your ability to execute a recipe. Eating foods that are in season is the first rule of good cooking. While we are now able to get most any produce item throughout the year, the question is, where did that item come from and how long did it take to get here? All of the time that it takes to deliver that item to your market contributes to the deterioration of the product. Logically, the inverse then must be true. Buying locally produced items will help to make sure that you are getting fresher ingredients. As a result, what better product does October give us than apples? Whether you pick them yourself or stop by your local farm stand, this is the time of year to allow this food product to take center stage in your menu.  

Ask anyone who has ever been to a cider mill or a farm stand in the fall and the single solitary best item that they will walk away with is a warm apple cider donut. If you have not tasted one, make it your mission this fall to try one. They are the essence of comfort and fall. Here is a simple recipe that will allow you to make and enjoy these doughnuts at home with minimal effort.  



Mini Cider Doughnuts
Makes 36 mini-doughnuts   


1 C unfiltered apple cider
3 ½ C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
½ C buttermilk (well-shaken)
¾ stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 C sugar, divided
3 Qts vegetable oil
Equipment: a 2-inch round cookie cutter; a deep-fat thermometer  



1. Boil cider in a small heavy saucepan until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes, cool completely.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 tsp cinnamon.
3. Whisk together reduced cider, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and 1 C sugar in a small bowl. Stir into flour mixture until a dough forms (it will be sticky).
4. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and pat out with lightly floured hands into a 13-inch round (about 1/3 inch thick).Cut out rounds with floured cutter and transfer to a floured baking sheet. Repeat with scraps (re-roll only once).
5. Heat oil to 370°F in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium heat. Slide 10 doughnuts into oil. When each doughnut floats to surface, turn over and fry, turning once more, until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Make more doughnuts, returning oil to 370°F between batches. Cool slightly; dredge in cinnamon sugar made from remaining cup sugar and remaining teaspoon cinnamon.  

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.
~ William Cullen Bryant  



Bottoms Up  

While we enjoy eating apples during the fall, we should not ignore the option of drinking them as well. With or without alcohol, apples offer a number of seasonal drinks that can enrich your fall season. Whether it is after apple picking, raking leaves, tailgating or at a Halloween party, the possibilities are endless. Below are a few apple suggestions that you might enjoy this fall season.  


Apple Jack  


2 oz. Jack Daniels Whiskey
6 oz. apple cider
1 cinnamon stick  


1. Heat cider to a simmer over medium heat in a small pot.
2. While cider is heating add whiskey to heatproof mug.
3. Add hot cider to whiskey.
4. Add cinnamon stick, stir, and serve.  


Doc’s Draft Hard Apple Cider  

A crisp and dry semi-dry cider brewed by Warwick Valley Winery in Warwick, NY that has only 5% alcohol and offers plenty of apple taste. If you don’t like the often sweet, cloying nature of some ciders, try a Doc’s. I am not an advocate for fulltime hard cider drinking but once and a while during the fall it offers a clean, fresh alternative to beer.  





Mulled Cider  


8 C apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
1 navel orange sliced in half
2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices  


1. Slice orange in half and stud the rind of each half with 5 cloves
2. In a large saucepan combine the cider, the cinnamon stick, the cloves, the orange and the ginger and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes.
3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heat-proof pitcher and serve the mulled cider warm.  





• October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, Children’s Health Month, Class Reunion Month, Frugal Fun Month, National Crime Prevention Month, Family Health Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Positive Attitude Month, National Cookie Month, National Seafood Month – National Dessert & Cookie Month – National Popcorn & Popcorn Poppin’ Month – National Pretzel Month – National Pork Month – National Stamp Collecting Month and National Chili Month  

• Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.  

• The Miami Heat will not win the NBA Championship this season.  

• Mickey Mantle would have been 78 years old on October 20th – Happy Birthday to a baseball legend lost too soon.  

Free Thinking Is Encouraged. Feel free to post your opinions on this month’s topics….


September 2010


“The Other Side” is designed to stimulate your sense of adventure and creativity by spawning the exchange of thoughts. If we are not careful we might just learn something…I know I did when I wrote this. Go ahead. Trying something new and see what is on “The Other Side…”



September 6th – Labor Day
September 8th – Rosh Hashanah Begins
September 9th – NFL Season Begins
September 16th – Yom Kippur Begins
September 22nd – Autumn Begins

With the death of summer comes the birth of another season….football season. Football season brings signs of fall. The air becomes crisper. Temperatures become cooler. The food moves into a form of comfort food rivaled by no other season. As the leaves start to change color and fall from the trees, baseball playoff races begin to heat up and children return to school. September is a month of transition.


Baseball is what we were. Football is what we have become.
~ Mary McGrory – Washington Post Columnist




A film is a petrified fountain of thought.  

~Jean Cocteau

For years, film has captured the triumph of the human spirit in the form of football perhaps better than in any other sport. Whether it was the story of the underdog in “Rudy” or “Invincible” or the unifying nature of sports in overcoming social injustice as portrayed in “Remember the Titans” and “The Express”; football movies have made us laugh with “North Dallas Forty” and made us cry with “Brian’s Song.” Football continues to move closer to becoming America’s Pastime. Over the years, the following ten movies have contributed to creating the legacy and lore of football.


Top 10 Football Movies of All Time

10) We Are Marshall (2006) – Based on the tragic story of a plane crash that took the life of nearly the entire Marshall University football team, this movie explains how an exceptional group of individuals rebuilt a team, a university and a community through their spirit and determination. Ignore Matthew McConaughey’s over-acting and the movie is a story that deserved to be told.


9) Friday Night Lights (2004) – They say money can’t buy happiness but a winning football team can. “Friday Night Lights” looked at the culture of Friday night football in Texas and how even in an economically depressed town, a winning team can change everything for the residents of the town.





8) The Program (1993) – What “Any Given Sunday” did for pro football, “The Program” did for college football. While fiction, this movie takes a hard look at the world of college football. “The Program” profiled the personalities that make up a college football team and examined the culture that those personalities exist within. Some would refer to this as the good, the bad, and the ugly of college football. These are the components that make the movie worth watching.


7) All the Right Moves (1983) – Tom Cruise used to make movies that had real grit. This is one of those movies. Before the weirdness set in, Tom Cruise made movies like “Risky Business” and “The Color of Money.” A blue collar young man sees football as his ticket out of a Pennsylvania steel town. While the odds are against him, he wouldn’t expect that his coach might be too.





6) Brian’s Song (1971) – Former Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Rosey Grier once sang, “It’s Alright to Cry” for a children’s album. He undoubtedly was watching this movie when he sang that song. “Brian’s Song” takes a completely different look at football and addresses the bonds that develop between teammates. This movie depicts the relationship between Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo (James Caan) is stricken with a life threatening disease. The movie is a great story about not only teammates but friends and what is truly important in life.


5) North Dallas Forty (1979) – Possibly the funniest football movie ever. Starring Nick Nolte and somewhat based on the Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s this film is filled with the uproarious humor that you would expect from a football team of the era. Somewhat overshadowed by more recent football movies, it set the standard for every football comedy that came after. Find it and watch it. It is some of Nick Nolte’s funniest work.





4) The Longest Yard (1974) – The original, not the remake. This film took football inside prison walls to show what a ragtag group of prisoners could do when given the chance to play a game against the guards. The storylines mirrors that of “Victory” and “The Dirty Dozen.” Once again, the underdog is the focus of this movie and Burt Reynolds leads this group of misfits into a challenge that might just restore a sense of self-worth.


3) Any Given Sunday (1999) – Oliver Stone sought to take us inside the locker-room and show us what Sunday was all about in pro football. A hard hitting drama that profiles the many personalities that make up a football team. From the brash rookie, star player, to the veteran trying to hang on, Any Given Sunday brings us as close to the life and times of a real team as any other movie has done in the past.





2) Rudy (1993) – Rudy Ruettiger was the classic underdog. For anyone who was ever told that they weren’t big enough, or fast enough, or strong enough this movie is an easy watch. Rudy is a movie that matches the mystique of one of the most legendary football programs of all time with a character that is virtually impossible not to root for. A classic theme set in a class setting.


1) Remember the Titans (2000) – A common theme in great films is that of inspiration. This film starring Denzel Washington leaves the viewer inspired at its close. The film does so, through football and reminds us of the unifying spirit of sports. For years sports has overcome social injustices and prejudices simply because in the end; winning was more important than prejudice. Based on a true story, this film tells the story of a Virginia high school in the early 1970s that hires a black coach to replace a legendary white coach. Washington’s character faces the challenge of unifying not only a team, but also a community.





Upcoming New Movie Releases:


September 1

The American – George Clooney, Thekla Reuten


September 3

Going The Distance – Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Christina Applegate, Ron Livingston

Machete – Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba


September 10

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D – Milla Jovovich, Johnny Messner, Boris Kodjoe

September 17

Easy A – Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Lisa Kudrow, Thomas Haden Church, Stanley Tucci

The Town – Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Chris Cooper


September 24

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon

You Again – Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristin Chenoweth, Betty White





If music be the food of love; play on.

~William Shakespeare

As football has become synonymous with America, so has John Mellencamp. This past month marked the release of John Mellencamp’s nineteenth studio album, “No Better Than This.” After starting his career in 1976 as Johnny Cougar, he later became John Cougar, then John Cougar Mellencamp, and eventually returned to his birth name. Just as Mellencamp has returned to his true identity, his music has continued to dive deeper into the sounds of his roots and of the heartland of America. In traditional Mellencamp style, added a twist to his latest album by having recorded the entire album live and in mono. This way of recording combined with a 1950s tape recording system and single microphone only served to enhance the all ready rough edge that Mellencamp’s voice carries. Producer T-Bone Burnett successfully harnessed these elements and produced an album that is filled with passion and soul.

“No Better Than This” is unmistakably Mellencamp but it also shows his diversity as the sound of his songs are as varied as the locations in which he chose to record them. There is an easily identifiable Sun Records sound on “No One Cares About Me”; the song recorded at the Sun Records. Other tracks on the album were recorded not in the studio but rather in the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, GA (the first black Christian church in North America) and in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, TX, where legendary Robert Johnson previously recorded in 1936. The album opens with “Save Some Time to Dream” a road map for life and a powerful reminder of life’s priorities. The title track “No Better Than This” is an appealing combo of rock and rockabilly while “Love at First Sight” is a sweet lyric love song reminds us that Mellencamp can still be sentimental.

As has been the case with a number of Mellencamp’s latest recordings, this album was not released with a large amount of commercial fanfare; nor will it be the biggest selling album of his career. But what it is, is John Mellencamp true to himself, true to his music, and true to his name.




Upcoming New Music Releases:


September 7

Bachman & Turner – Bachman & Turner
Sara Bareilles – Kaleidoscope Heart
Interpol – Interpol
Jerry Lee Lewis – Mean Old Man


September 14

The Charlatans – Who We Touch
James – The Morning After the Night Before
Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song
Linkin Park – A Thousand Suns
Robert Plant and the Band of Joy – Band of Joy
Mavis Staples – You Are Not Alone
Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
Weezer – Hurley


September 21

Zac Brown Band – You Get What You Give
Paula Cole – Ithaca
Michael Franti & Spearhead – Sound of Sunshine
Randy Houser – They Call Me Cadillac
Maroon 5 – Hands All Over
John Legend and the Roots – Wake Up!
Santana – Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time


September 27

Lil Wayne – I’m Not a Human Being (EP)
Kenny Chesney – Hemingway’s Whiskey
Eric Clapton – Clapton
Phil Collins – Going Back
Doobie Brothers – World Gone Crazy
Gin Blossoms – No Chocolate Cake
Ice Cube – I Am the West
Jeezy – TM 103
Jimmy Eat World – Invented
Liza Minnelli – Confessions
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – History of Modern
Seal – 6: Commitment
Soundgarden – Telephantasm (Double-Disc Version)
T.I. – King Uncaged
Neil Young – Le Noise




Football is synonymous with tailgating. There is virtually nothing that can not be adapted to a tailgating setting and with the dawn of a new season such food options should be on our minds. Whether you go to the game or watch at home, the same sort of approach to food should be taken for each game. Finger foods or foods that break down easily into individual portions are ideal for football games. While it is always fun to fashion your food after the food of the city that your team’s opponent originates from – that can not always be done. In that case you will want some options that go beyond simple chips and dip. The following is a simple recipe that is packed with flavor and can be made in any size portion depending on the size of your crowd.


Barbecue Potato Chip Nachos
Serves 3-4


1 bag (8 ½ oz.) kettle cooked barbecue potato chips
1 package (6 oz.) crumbled blue cheese
2 plum or Roman tomatoes diced small
1 bottle (8 oz.) blue cheese dressing
2 scallions sliced thin on the bias
6 slices of bacon cooked crispy and crumbled



1. Preheat broiler.
2. Spread potato chips evenly over a baking sheet.
3. Sprinkle chips with crumbled blue cheese and crumbled bacon.
4. Place tray under the broiler on the top rack to heat until cheese begins to melt. (Do not leave tray unattended or chips may burn).
5. Remove tray from oven and sprinkle with sliced scallions and diced tomatoes.
6. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing and serve.


“We’re not here for the game. The game is nothing. The game is crap. The game makes me sick. The real reason we Americans put up with sports is for this: Behold, the tailgate party. The pinnacle of human achievement. Since the dawn of parking lots, man has sought to fill his gut with food and alcohol in anticipation of watching others exercise.”

~ Homer Simpson


Bottoms Up

Whether tailgating or watching the game at home cold beer is an essential element of the football experience. Keeping in mind that the leaves are starting to change color, so should our beer. Moving towards fall makes the thought of darker and more flavorful beers more appealing. While we are not yet at the Oktoberfest stage of drinking there are a number of beers that should begin to enter our beer lexicon. So it is out with the summer ale and in with ambers and the browns. The following are a few suggested beers to try this coming month.


Blue Point Toasted Lager Brewed on Long Island, Toasted Lager is an easy drinking mix of malt and hops that is well balanced and will not over power you with either component. As a result, it pairs well with most foods and can be enjoyed on its own. This beer is a local favorite whose distribution range increases with each day. This is the flagship beer of Blue Point Brewery and it Patchogue, NY proud.




Brooklyn Brown Ale Sometimes rediscovering the classics can be the most satisfying taste of all when it comes to beer. Brooklyn Brown was brown before brown was cool in a lot of circles. Brooklyn Brewery has marketed this mahogany brown ale for years and it still provides drinkers with just the right mix of hops and malt. By adding more hops, the brewer offers a taste that stands up to the chocolate and coffee background that the beer has to offer.




Victory Hop Devil AleFor those of you who want something that packs a punch, try this bold and spicy ale that delivers an extra full dose of hops. With a great India Pale Ale color it wakes up the tastebuds and offers a crisp finish that is packed with more flavor than this month’s two other offerings.





24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?
-Steven Wright – Comedian




• The Baltimore Ravens and the Green Bay Packers will play in Super Bowl XLV with the Green Bay Packers winning. Eat your heart out Brett Farve…

• Labor Day was first celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City as a means of reconciliation after a number of workers were killed by the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike.

• NFL Opening Night – Thursday, September 9th at 8:30 pm – Minnesota Vikings v. New Orleans Saints.

• Happy 84th Birthday to B.B. King one of the greatest bluesmen of all time.

Free Thinking Is Encouraged. Feel free to post your opinions on this month’s topics….


August 2010


“The Other Side” is designed to stimulate your sense of adventure and creativity by spawning the exchange of thoughts.  If we are not careful we might just learn something…I know I did when I wrote this.  Go ahead.  Trying something new and see what is on “The Other Side…” 


August 1st – National Friendship Day

August 11th – Start of Ramadan

August 15th – Feast of the Assumption

August 26th – New York State Fair (Syracuse)

A recent trip to the South has reminded me that there is an entire country out there and that the world extends beyond the metropolitan area of New York City.  This is a country whose cultures, traditions, and societal norms often vary from region to region.  The most shocking revelation was how NICE people can be.  Imagine, store clerks and hospitality staff who go out of their way to help you; waiters and waitresses who smile when they take your order; and simply being surrounded by complete strangers who say hello to you because you may be the only two people in a particular place.  It is in these moments that we are reminded of how nice people can actually be when they don’t feel that they have to have their guard up at every moment.  Plus, they have fantastic barbecue, sweet tea, and of course; Waffle House.  Sure things move a bit slower in the South, but in the end, is that really a bad thing?

Yes, sir. I’m a real Southern boy.  I got a red neck, white socks, and Blue Ribbon beer.

”~Billy Carter





A film is a petrified fountain of thought. Jean Cocteau

Over the years, many movies have been made about the South.   Looking back, the most popular movies about the South have focused on one of three themes: love, bigotry, and the Civil War.  These films have been set against beautiful Southern backdrops and often presented the good and the bad of life in the South.  Many of these films have brought light to important periods in our history as well as to important figures that fought to combat societal and personal injustices.


 Gone With the Wind (1939) – Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Hattie McDaniel

Having won Best Picture in 1940, this timeless classic is a love story set at the beginning of the Civil War on an Atlanta plantation.  Gone With the Wind combines the stubbornness of love with one of the country’s most tumultuous times in history and sets this story in the backdrop of a Southern plantation.  While its story is clearly set in a period of history, its appeal lives on forever and is frankly my dear; the reason people still give a damn… 



o Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – Gregory Peck

A gripping story about a small town lawyer who defends a black man for a crime he did not commit.  Gregory Peck plays the part of the lawyer who is the father of two motherless children in the movie.  Peck sees how his decisions affect his family during a time of racism and bigotry.  The movie also includes Robert Duvall’s screen debut.  John Grisham would later make a career about writing stories just like this Harper Lee novel.


Glory (1989) – Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman

A true story that looks at the Civil War from a very different perspective.  Glory is based on the letters of Colonel Robert G. Shaw who was an officer in the Federal Army during the Civil War and volunteered to lead the first company of black soldiers.  As can be imagined Shaw was often fighting against the enemy as well as an enemy within who did not want black soldiers fighting on their side.





Driving Miss Daisy (1989) – Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Akroyd 

This movie won the award for Best Picture in 1990 while Jessica Tandy (age 81) also won an Oscar for Best Actress.  She represented the oldest actor or actress to win a Best Actor/Actress award having unseated George Burns.  The movie is set in Atlanta in the 1950s and deals with issues of racism as Morgan Freeman is hired by Dan Akroyd to serve as his mother’s driver.  Tandy immediately rejects any and all of Freeman’s niceties but is eventually worn down as she begins to see him as a person as opposed to what she believes he represents.  The movie is a heartwarming story about relationships and reminds us to always judge people on the basis of who they are and not what we think they are.    


Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) – Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker 

Jessica Tandy continued her recent success in this movie as she paired with Kathy Bates in a story of friendship and female empowerment.  Bates plays a housewife who is dissatisfied with her life and befriends an elderly woman in a nursing home (Tandy).  Tandy’s stories help Bates develop self-confidence and improve all aspects of her life as they too develop a lasting friendship.  





Upcoming New Movie Releases:


August 6

Middle Men – Luke Wilson, James Caan, Giovanni Ribisi, Rachael Taylor

The Other Guys – Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Samuel L. Jackson

Step Up 3-D – Sharni Vinson, Adam G. Sevani, Harry Shum Jr.

August 13

Eat, Pray, Love – Julia Roberts, James Franco, Javier Bardem

The Expendables – Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin


August 20

The Lottery Ticket – Bow Wow, Ice Cube, Brandon T. Jackson, Natari Naughton, Keith David,

Piranha 3-D – Richard Dreyfuss, Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott


August 27

Going the Distance – Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Christina Applegate






If music be the food of love; play on.  William Shakespeare

Quietly released on July 22nd was yet another tribute album.  However, this album has something to offer and pays tribute to Southern Rock stalwart, Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Southern Rock is something that many of us in the North do not currently, nor will we ever truly understand.  It represents a pride in a culture, a geographic area, and the themes that the music represents.  While some may proclaim that hip hop and its roots are inextricably linked to New York City it simply isn’t synonymous with the area.  In fact, an argument can be made that the “West Coast” sound was more connected to a geographic region than the sound that emerged from New York City itself.  Southern Rock represents a series of anthems for Southern people.  Recently the sound has had a resurgence with the emergence of a number of new bands such as Drive By-Truckers, Blackberry Smoke, and the North Mississippi All Stars, but the godfathers of Southern Rock still remain Lynyrd Skynyrd.  No matter how tired you may be of hearing Sweet Home Alabama or Free Bird, some time, some place, you too sang that chorus at the top of your lungs.  So if you are anti-Southern Rock, go out and give it a listen.  It might not become your regular listening choice but you may just rediscover its importance in music history.


Sweet Home Alabama: The Country Music Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd

This album feature a eight covers of Lynyrd Skynyrd songs by artists like Shooter Jennings, Jamey Johnson, and Randy Houser.  Jennings version of “Call Me The Breeze” as well as Johnson’s haunting version of “Four Walls of Raiford” stand out on the album and revive the work of Lynyrd Skynyrd.  In true Southern Rock album fashion, this album is only available at Walmart.    




At the Fillmore East – Allman Brothers (1971)

The band kicked down the door with this album and announced their presence on the music scene.  This album represents their hardest rock and blues sounds partially because it is a live album but also because of the songs chosen for the performance. The album also exhibits a bit of a jazz sound at times and shows the versatility of the band.  The album was recorded at the legendary Fillmore East in New York City in 1971 and released the same year.  The album features “Statesboro Blues”, “Midnight Rider” and “Whipping Post.”  Songs like these showcase the guitar genius of both Duane Allman and Dickey Betts.  


Fire On The Mountain – Charlie Daniels Band (1975)

The man was more than a fiddle song about a devil’s trip to Georgia.  This album demonstrates Charlie Daniels’ song writing ability as well as his singing.  Songs such as “Long Haired Country Boy”, “Trudy” and “The South is Gonna do it Again” make this album the best representation of his work and speak to the pride of the South. 




Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)

Selecting the right Skynyrd album to add to this list is like picking trying to decide which car to drive on a beautiful sunny day, the Porche or the Ferrari.  Either way, you can’t go wrong.  In this case, the original gets the nod over “Second Helping” and “Street Survivors.”  All three albums are packed with great material and while many of us like to joke about Skynyrd and their music, their contributions to Southern rock are unparalleled.  This album alone gave us Free Bird, Gimme Three Steps, Tuesday’s Gone, and Simple Man. 


Shake Your Money Maker – The Black Crowes (1989)

While this album initially crawled out of the starting gates, it eventually caught momentum and sold over three million copies.  The album produced a number of hits such as a remake of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle”, “Jealous Again” and “She Talks to Angels.”  With a keen mix of blues and rock this album brought a fresh new sound to an era that badly needed an edge added to its music.




Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera (2001)

In the vision of The Who’s “Quadrophenia” and “Tommy”, this two disc rock opera tells tales of Southern culture.  With a stellar three guitar attack similar to that of Lynyrd Skynyrd and personal lyrics the album grows on listeners with each listen and puts them more in touch with the Southern experience.  The subject matter of the album ranges from music to politics to growing up in a small Southern town.  Many Southern listeners personally indentified with the album’s stories and themes as they were their experiences as well.  Definitely worth a few listens especially such tracks as “Let There Be Rock”, “Women Without Whiskey” and “Zip City.”  In the end, the album is a tribute to the good and bad of growing up in the South.




Upcoming New Music Releases:


August 3

The Black Crowes – Croweology

Dr. John – Tribal

Los Lobos – Tin Can Trust

Squeeze – Spot the Difference


August 10

 Black Label Society – Order of the Black

Cam’ron – Presents the U.N. – Gunz and Butta


August 17

Trace Adkins – Cowboy’s Back In Town

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs –

John Mellencamp – No Better Than This

Toadies – Feeler


August 24

Fantasia – Back to Me

Helmet – Seeing Eye Dog

Little Big Town – The Reason Why

Katy Perry – The Teenage Dream

Marty Stuart – Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)

Brian Wilson – The Gershwin Soundtrack

Usher – Versus


August 31

Disturbed – Asylum

Goo Goo Dolls – Something for the Rest of Us

Heart – Red Velvet Car

Richard Thompson – Dream Attic

Sum 41 – Screaming Bloody Murder





With summer being the perfect time for a picnic, the South has given us one of the most perfect picnic foods of all-time and that is fried chicken.  It can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature and is darn tasty each way.   Perhaps it is a regional thing or maybe it is the health conscious push in this country but it does not seem like this Southern staple is as popular as it once was.  Even if this should not be a weekly menu item it sure should be included in one’s cooking repertoire and brought out at least once a year.   Serve it with traditional sides of cole slaw and/or potato salad for an All-American picnic and a taste of days gone by.



Fried Chicken

Serves 3-4



1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces

2 cups low fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Flour, for dredging

Vegetable shortening, for frying




  1. Place chicken pieces into a container and cover with buttermilk.  Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan.  Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F.  Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
  3. Drain chicken in a colander.  Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.   Season chicken liberally with this mixture.   Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.   Allow coated chicken to rest for 5 minutes before proceeding.
  4. Place chicken skin side down into the pan.  Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan.  The oil should come half way up the pan.  Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. The internal temperature should be around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)
  5. Drain chicken on a cooling rack over a sheet pan.


Notes:       The following will help preserve a crunch crust.

*Don’t drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or paper bags.

**Do not place chicken in a warm oven, especially a gas oven, since it will make the crust soggy.  Cover loosely with foil if you must keep it warm.

(Adapted from Alton Brown – Good Eats recipe)

It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.

~ Frank Perdue





Bottoms Up  


In keeping with our thirst for things Southern, a perfect match to fried chicken is lemonade or sweet tea.  For those who want the something traditional and non-alcoholic below is a recipe for sweet tea and for those who want something that packs a bit more punch and isn’t beer, try the Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade.  Both drinks are traditionally served in a mason jar and are a perfect complement to fried chicken.


Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade 

1 part Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey
1 part sweet and sour mix
1 part triple sec
4 parts lemon-lime soda

Mix all ingredients and garnish with lemon slices and a cherry. 




Sweet Tea

Serves 8-10

1-ounce loose black tea

1 quart hot water

1 quart room temperature water

Simple Syrup:

5 cups sugar

3 cups cold water

  1. Infuse loose tea into hot water for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Strain tea into room temperature water.
  3. Sweeten with simple syrup if desired.
  4. For simple syrup, in a small non-reactive pot combine 5 cups of sugar and 3 cups of cold water.
  5. Slowly bring to a boil and add 6 sliced lemons and a few sprigs of fresh mint.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Allow to cool 10 minutes and strain.

Serve with a garnish of a slice of lemon.


We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.

~ Alfred Newman (Composer)





  • Saratoga is the August place to be.  Head on up to Saratoga, NY and catch the horse races and spend some time in a beautiful town.
  • Julia Child would have been 97 years old on August 15th.  Buy a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking…it’s a masterpiece. 
  • NFL Opening Night – Thursday, September 9th at 8:30 pm – Minnesota Vikings v. New Orleans Saints.


Free Thinking Is Encouraged.  Feel free to post your opinions on this month’s topics….


July 2010


“The Other Side” is designed to stimulate your sense of adventure and creativity by spawning the exchange of thoughts. If we are not careful we might just learn something…I know I did when I wrote this. Go ahead. Trying something new and see what is on “The Other Side…”


July 4th – Independence Day
July 11th – World Cup Final Game
July 13th – Major League Baseball All Star Game

Summer has started and barbecue season is in full swing. That means it’s all about the grill this month. The time honored tradition of applying fire to food is alive and kicking. It is as old as the cavemen and the concept has not changed in thousands of years. Meat + Fire = Goodness. The trick is of course, not too much fire, but always too much food. Sure there are things other than meat that can and should be grilled however the grill was designed for meat and that will always be priority number one when it comes to summer cookouts. So head out to the store, pick up a red and white checkered tablecloth, some hamburgers, some hot dogs, your favorite condiments, potato salad and coleslaw, and of course your favorite liquid refreshment and have yourself an old fashioned barbecue. Celebrate the Fourth of July with the ones you love and take time to remember all of the things that make this country great.

Freedom is never given, it is won.   ~A. Philip Randolph


A film is a petrified fountain of thought. Jean Cocteau

Summer is a time to dream, play, and relax. As kids, summer meant time off from school, time spent with friends – swimming, riding bicycles, and being a part of never-ending baseball games. As we got older it meant summer jobs, spending money, and summer romances. As adults, it is a time to escape from the daily drudgery of work and to step away from everything and focus on who and what is important in our lives. We are supposed to recharge and escape during this time of the year. Over the years, Hollywood has captured summers on film and made us laugh and long for days gone by. This month we will look at some of the best films made about summertime. And remember…it’s summer, we aren’t talking Citizen Kane here…

 Almost Famous (2000) – Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson – Imagine being in high school and having the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about a rock band as you accompany them on their summer tour. Quite a way to spend your summer vacation and a dream come true for any music fan. This is a story about growing up overnight and seeing the world for what it is. Sometimes these lessons are not so easy to learn.




Deliverance (1972) – Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty – We’ve all heard the famous notes from the unmistakable banjo but how many of us have actually seen the film. A great film about friends who decide to get out of the office and take a river-rafting vacation to see the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into a lake. None of these guys have seen country or people like this before. Quite frankly; neither have I.



Dirty Dancing (1987) – Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach – This movie intertwines the romance of summer love with the constraints of class structures. Capitalizing on the classic theme of good girl meets bad boy it strikes at the heart of every hopeless romantic. The movie is filled with the music of the early 1960s and dance moves that take viewers back to a simpler time. The movie successfully overcomes Swayze’s often awkward delivery of lines and leaves viewers remembering that; “Nobody puts baby in a corner….”



 Jaws (1975) – Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss – Those ominous notes put fear into the hearts of every swimmer for years to come. This movie made a star out of the great white shark and made it the most feared creature of the late 1970s. Adapted from a book by Peter Benchley it took the idea of a horror film in a completely new direction and made it real. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water….




 Meatballs (1979) – Bill Murray – One of Bill Murray’s funniest and lesser known roles. This film was made before Caddyshack and features Murray in a starring role as a camp counselor who readies a bunch of misfits for the Camp Olympics and teaches the kids something about growing up in the process. Hilariously funny it supplies a number of quotable lines and will bring back great memories for anyone who ever went to summer camp.




Stand By Me (1986) – Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell – Said to be the last taste of innocence and the first taste of life. The story tells the tale of four friends’ journey to go see a dead body. Rob Reiner’s film captures the essence of summertime. When all that mattered was friends, friendships, and the adventures we shared. The film reminds us of the summer when we grew up; shed our childhood and were touched by the temptations and stresses of real life.


 Vacation (1983) – Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, John Candy – The gold standard for summer vacation movies. We all remember the road trips with our families and the many memories that they provided. From asking “How much longer?” to complaining that our sibling wasn’t staying on “their side” of the backseat we all have memories of these trips. Vacation reminds us of the many journeys our parents took us on each summer. Everyone had a “family truckster” and their own “Wally World.”





Upcoming New Movie Releases:

Thursday, July 1

The Last Airbender – Noah Ringer / Nicola Peltz

Friday, July 9

Predators (2010) – Adrien Brody / Alice Braga
Despicable Me – Steve Carell / Jason Segel
The Kids Are All Right – Annette Bening / Mark Ruffalo

Wednesday, July 14

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) – Nicolas Cage / Jay Baruchel

Friday, July 16

Inception – Leonardo DiCaprio / Ken Watanabe

Friday, July 23

Salt (2010) – Angelina Jolie / Liev Schreiber

Friday, July 30

Dinner for Schmucks – Steve Carell / Paul Rudd
Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore – Chris O’Donnell / Jack McBrayer
Charlie St. Cloud – Zac Efron / Kim Basinger
Get Low – Robert Duvall / Sissy Spacek



If music be the food of love; play on. William Shakespeare

While the 4th of July should be filled with the sounds of fireworks exploding overhead, it could also use a soundtrack to go along with that barbecue. While some artists have crafted their entire image and career around writing songs about America, others have only chosen to dip their toe in that creative pool once or twice in their career. Either way, these songs represent some of the most “American” songs around. Try putting a playlist of these songs together for your 4th of July barbecue.


4th of July Playlist

4th of July – Shooter Jennings – Waylon’s kid’s tribute to summer days and road trips with the one you love. Perfect travelling music for anyone driving to a barbecue on the 4th.

Pink Houses – John Mellencamp – an American troubadour who has written countless songs about America. Whether it’s “Our Country” or “Small Town” or “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” Mellencamp has been able to capture the essence of Middle America. He romanticizes the people and towns that make the country great. In doing so, he makes us yearn for a better America while still recognizing its shortcomings.



City of New Orleans – Willie Nelson – Arlo Guthrie’s song pays tribute to America’s great railroad and tells the tale of a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans. Willie’s version makes you think of what the railroad has brought to America while also reminding you about how much of the country that people get to see when traveling by car or train.

Fightin’ Side of Me – Merle Haggard – A true “Love it or Leave it” song that describes right of every American to dissent but never to degrade the country. Haggard warns others that freedom comes at a price and reminds people that he is willing to stand up for the right. Since writing the song, Haggard has become more vocal about the changes in this country’s business model and often longs for the day when mom and pop stores would be what drove local economies.


America – Neil Diamond – The story of immigration in the United States in the early 1900s it reminds us of the experiences of our forefathers. The songs talks about why our families came here and what they had to face when they arrived. This song is timeless and its themes still represent the reasons why so many people still come to this country.

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) – Bruce Springsteen – Painting a picture of the Jersey Shore in the 1970s. It is remarkable that so many of the lyrics still describe the culture that exists there today. There is a reason that “Jersey Shore” has been such a success for MTV and it is only a matter of time until someone remakes this song and calls it “Snookie.”




Living In America – James Brown – “The Godfather of Soul” proclaimed his patriotism in this American anthem which praises hard work, prosperity, and travel. Brown speaks of all that America offers and the many cities that these things can be found in. Originally used for the Rocky IV soundtrack as Apollo Creed’s entrance music, the song is saturated with the county’s mood in the 1980s. James Brown delivers the song with the passion and performance he became best known for over the years.


My Town – Montgomery Gentry – A lyrical ode to hometowns. The song reminds us of the pride that so many have in their hometowns even in spite of the changes that have occurred all across America. Whether overrun by big business or decimated by the economy, the song describes a hometown as a place, “Where I was born, where I was raised, where I keep all of my yesterdays….” Those are memories that so many of us will always be able to relate to.




America – Waylon Jennings – A song about America’s obligation to its people as well as our obligation to each other. Waylon reminds us to embrace our differences and diversity as well as support those who fought for us; even if we did not believe in what they were fighting for. He talks about an America where everyone is equal and respected, no matter where they may travel.

America the Beautiful – Ray Charles – Simply one of the most beautiful versions of this song ever recorded. Ray Charles delivers each note and lyric with care and allows the listener to absorb what the song is actually about. The spacing between lyrics allows the imagery to develop and leaves the listener with pride in the beauty of the country.






Upcoming New Music Releases:

July 6th

Enrique Iglesias – Euphoria
Kelis – Flesh Tone
Bret Michaels – Custom Built

July 13th

Crowded House – Intriguer
Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul
Fat Joe – The Darkside Vol. 1
Ice Cube – I Am the West
Korn III – Remember Who You Are
Sting – Symphonicity

July 20th

Sheryl Crow – 100 Miles From Memphis
Rick Ross – Teflon Don



The 4th of July demands a cookout. Whether you hold one yourself or go to someone else’s, a grill must be a part of your day. Nothing satisfies the American appetite more than the hamburger. Seems simple enough right? Some would ask, why post a recipe for a burger? Because it is simple enough and inevitably we complicate it or do things that frustrate our ability to produce a well cooked and flavorful burger. Some of the most common complaints are: my burger is dry; it looks like a hockey puck, it lacks flavor; it fell apart on the grill; or it stuck to the grill. The following recipe and list of “DOs and DON’Ts” will assist in remedying these issues and allow you to consistently produce flavorful burgers.


Do buy 80/20 beef (no less than – 85/15). This means your meat should be 80% beef and 20% fat. Fat = flavor and keeps your burger from drying out.

Do clean your grill thoroughly. This will prevent sticking and no one wants last night’s chicken stuck to tonight’s burger.

Do lubricate your grill. This also prevents sticking and will assist the food in “releasing” from the grill grate.

Do heat your grill properly. This is the final step in preventing sticking. This will sear the meat properly and bring about a natural separation between the meat and the grill grate.

Do season your beef well. Salt and pepper are all you need…but you do need them. They are designed to promote flavor. Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper are highly recommended.

Do remove the burger just before it reaches it desired doneness. Remember meat continues to cook even after it is removed from the heat. The carryover temperature will rise several degrees and bring the burger up to the desired doneness.

Do allow your burgers to rest before serving – this allows the beef to relax and the juices to redistribute. Failure to do this will result in a plate or roll full of juice and a dryer burger.

Do use condiments. Add flavor by using different cheeses, mustards, ketchups, barbecue sauces, flavored mayonnaises, vegetables and toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, salsa, bacon, etc.).


Don’t press on your burger while cooking – this releases essential juices and makes it dry. Have you ever heard someone say “boy that burger was too juicy” – of course not.

Don’t flip your burger more than once. You just got great grill marks and prevented the burger from sticking the first time. Believe me it’s done cooking on that side…the heat will sufficiently pass through the other side.

Don’t forget to place a ¼ inch “thumbprint” in the middle of your burger. This will reduce “shrinkage” and keep your burgers from “doming” and looking like footballs.

Don’t pry the burger off of the grate. If you properly prepped the grill, the burger will release itself when it is ready to be turned.


Serves 4


• 1 ½ pounds of beef (80 percent lean)
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• Vegetable oil


1. Preheat the grill. Turn all burners to high and allow grill to heat for 15 minutes.
2. Thoroughly scrape the grill grates and wipe them with vegetable oil using tongs and a cloth.
3. Place the meat on a large plate and season with salt and pepper.
4. Gently toss the meat to incorporate the seasoning.
5. Divide the meat into four equal portions.
6. Form 1 inch thick patties and place a ¼ inch indentation in the middle of each patty with your thumb.
7. Rub each burger with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
8. Grill the burgers with the indentation side up for 3 minutes on a closed grill.
9. Flip the burger and continue to grill on a closed grill until the desired doneness. (Test doneness by pressing your thumb on the burger).
10. Remove burgers from grill and place on a plate and cover loosely with foil. Allow burgers to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Recommended Variations

Mexican Burger – Pepper Jack Cheese, Lettuce, Salsa, Chipotle Mayo
Barbecue Burger – Cheddar, Sautéed Onions, Barbecue Sauce
Bacon Blue Burger – Bacon, Blue Cheese Dressing, Red Onions
Smokey Burger – Bacon, Smoked Gouda Cheese, Caramelized Onions
Italian Burger – Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Pancetta


Bottoms Up

Just like the weather, our taste in beers should change with the seasons. Summer is a time for lighter beers. These beers are lighter in taste and color and should provide a more refreshing finish than we might be searching for in the fall or winter. The following are three recommended summer beers.


Miller High Life – Settle down. There is a time and a place for everything and once and a while the need for quantity outweighs quality. When that softball game on a hot summer day comes or you are working in the yard and looking to have a few easy drinking beers throughout the day – reach for “The Champagne of Beers.” As mass produced beers go, there is something romantic about the clean crisp taste of Miller High Life. From the traditional sloping long neck bottle to the old-style label the High Life makes you feel like you are drinking your father’s beer…and that is okay once and a while.


Samuel Adams Coastal Wheat – This is also an American Pale Wheat Ale that is slightly cloudy yellow in color and has a hint of lemon added to it. This is similar to the Samuel Adams Summer Ale but since it is an American style Hefeweizen so its color is slightly different. If you want a crisp finish go with Summer Ale but if you want something a bit smoother, chose the Coastal Wheat. Overall, a good effort at a good price from Samuel Adams.


Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA – consider this Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on steroids. While this is an American IPA it seeks to capitalize on IPA drinkers’ thirst for more and more hops. This beer is orangey-brown in color with significant carbonation. To describe this beer as assertive is an understatement. Sierra Nevada has taken a bold step in producing this highly hop-filled beer.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.  ~ Benjamin Franklin



• Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis would have been 80 years old on July 28th.
• Why do hot dogs come 10 to a pack and the buns have 8 or 12 in a package?
• Bastille Day is July 14th and commemorates the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison in France.
• Uncle Sam was first popularized during the War of 1812 when provisions purchased for the army in Troy, N.Y. were inspected by Ebenezer and “Uncle” Samuel Wilson. The packages were sent to soldiers marked “E.A.-U.S.” and became affectionately known as having been sent by the U.S. Government courtesy of “Uncle Sam.”

Free Thinking Is Encouraged. Feel free to post your opinions on this month’s topics….


June 2010


“The Other Side” is designed to stimulate your sense of adventure and creativity by spawning the exchange of thoughts.  If we are not careful we might just learn something…I know I did when I wrote this.  Go ahead.  Trying something new and see what is on “The Other Side…” 


June 6th – D-Day

June 11th – World Cup Begins

June 14th – Flag Day

June 20th – Father’s Day

June 21st – First Day of Summer

June features days that recognize national pride, a commemoration of our nation’s history, as well as and bridges the gap between Memorial Day and our celebration of our nation’s independence.  Fortunately this June also gives us a chance to pronounce our national pride when the world will come together starting on June 11 for the 19th World Cup.  Nations from all over the world have fought to qualify for the greatest sporting event on the planet.  There was a time where the United States just hoped to qualify for the World Cup and now they have elevated their level of play to make themselves a mainstay in the tournament.  So tune in on June 12th to see the United States take on England.  What better way to send a message to the world that US soccer has arrived than to beat our rivals from across the pond?

[Soccer] is all very well as a game for rough girls, but is hardly suitable for delicate boys. 

~Oscar Wilde



A film is a petrified fountain of thought. Jean Cocteau

In comparison to other sports, soccer has rarely been immortalized in film.  However there are a number of quality soccer films.  While “Bend it Like Beckham” (Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley) is probably the most recognizable soccer film of recent years, “Gracie” (Elizabeth Shue, Delmot Mulroney, Andrew Shue) and “A Shot at Glory” (Robert Duvall, Brian Cox, Michael Keaton) are also worthwhile efforts as well.  Both have strong casts and use soccer as a vehicle to convey a larger message.  However when it comes to soccer films no movie has shown the unifying spirit of the game better than the cult film “Victory.” 


VICTORY (Escape to Victory)

Starring:  Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Max Van Sydow, Pele

Directed by:  John Huston

Released in 1981, the film’s message still rings true today.  The film is set against the background of World War II and tells the story of a soccer game pitting allied prisoners of war against the German National Team.  The game is to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris and provides the French Resistance and British officers an opportunity to plan for the team’s escape.  However these plans are complicated when the POWs realize that their motivation to avenge the humiliation suffered at the hands of the Germans as well as their will to win may be greater than their desire to escape.

Recently is has been announced that Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) is planning a big-budget remake of “Victory.”  Jones was a professional soccer player in Britain before he built an acting career.  During his playing career Jones played internationally for Wales as well as Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Chelsea, and Queens Park Rangers on the club level.  Jones, always known as a physical player may be best known for a photograph that showed him “covering” a Newcastle United player by grabbing his “bits and pieces.”  Jones hopes to use his contacts within the game to lure star players including David Beckham, Thierry Henry, and Cristiano Ronaldo to join his next project.  Only time will tell, but it wouldn’t be Jones’ first soccer film after he previously made “Mean Machine” a soccer version of the Burt Reynolds classic “The Longest Yard.”





Upcoming New Movie Releases:


June 4th    

Get Him to the Greek – Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Aziz Ansari

Killers – Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck

Marmaduke – Ron Pelman, Christopher Mintz, Owen Wilson


June 11th  

The A-Team – Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson, Quinton Jackson, Jessica Biel

The Karate Kid – Jaden Smith, Jessica Biel


June 18th  

Jonah Hex – Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Will Arnett, Megan Fox

Toy Story 3 – Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles


June 25th

Grown Ups – Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Kevin James

Knight and Day – Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz


June 30th

The Twilight Sage:  Eclipse – Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner






If music be the food of love; play on.  William Shakespeare

Music comes in all shapes and sizes and this month I cannot help but review the following album.  This may be like putting a square peg in a round hole this month however I am fascinated by the fact that the album continues to grow on me with each listen. 


Elizabeth Cook – Welder

I have gone from finding a few songs on this album to be appealing to loving it in its entirety.  For some her twang is tough to get past but for those who are willing to embrace her voice, you will also end up embracing her.  In a strange way she is an enigma.  She comes off as simple but always seems to hit the right issues.  She is corny but incredibly funny.  She is also insightful and thoughtful.  As the host of Sirius Radio’s Outlaw Country (Channel 63) morning show “Apron Strings” listeners have gotten a peek into the life of Elizabeth Cook.  While some may dismiss her simply on the basis of her voice and stunning good looks, others who take the time to not judge a book by a cover will see a steady progression in her work since her first album and her previously release which featured “Balls” in which she affirmatively stated “…it takes balls to be a woman.”  That statement alone sums up her struggle in the music business.

Elizabeth Cook’s most recent album is helped out by being produced by Don Was.  His work on the album is what makes it a complete album.  From the changing sounds on each track to the arrangements that were used in recording and arranging the tracks.  The album features an incredibly funny track called “El Camino” (El Camino – Live Version) which recalls a romantic interlude with someone who you would expect would drive a 1972 “refurb.”  The sound of the track reminds me greatly of a mix between “Low Rider” by War and “Rapture” by Blondie.  This whimsical track is joined by the playful “Snake in the Bed” but is counterbalanced by the heartfelt “Mama’s Funeral” which pays respect to her recently departed mother.  The album also contains a version of Frankie Miller’s “Blackland Farmer” as well as an eerie “Heroin Addict Sister” which seems all too real to be something she simply made-up.  These songs are what demonstrate Cook’s depth and take her beyond what she may appear to be on the surface.  Listen to the album and listen to the words and you will once again be reminded that you cannot judge a book by its cover.     


Check out also Elizabeth Cook’s Version of John Cale’s “Sunday Morning”




Upcoming New Music Releases:


June 1st

Jack Johnson – To the Sea

Tift Merritt – See You on the Moon

Rush – Clockwork Angels


June 8th

Christina Aguilera – Bionic

Blitzen Trapper – Destroyer of the Void

Iggy Pop – California Hitchhike [Live]

Jewel – Sweet and Wild

Nada Surf – If I Had A Hi-Fi

The Roots – How I Got Over

Teenage Fanclub – Shadows


June 15th

Cowboy Junkies – Renmin Park

Devo – Something for Everybody

Sarah McLachlan – The Laws of Illusion

The Steve Miller Band – Bingo!

Papa Roach – To Be Loved

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Mojo

Ozzy Osbourne – Scream


June 22nd

Chemical Brothers – Further

Danzig – Deth Red Sabaoth

Eminem – Recovery

Derek Trucks Band – Roadsongs

Macy Gray – The Sellout

Herbie Hancock – The Imagine Project

Cyndi Lauper – Memphis Blues

Uncle Kracker – Happy Hour – The South Rier


June 29th  

Judy Collins – Streets of Gold

Alejandro Escovedo – Street Songs of Love



With World Cup and Father’s Day coinciding with each other why not make a dad a dinner that comes from a country that has won two World Cups and produced one of the greatest players of all-time Diego Maradona.  This year for Father’s Day prepare dad a traditional Argentinian Barbecue.   Combine dad’s grill and his love for steak to make this Argentinean barbecue specialty. 


Argentinian Beef with Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 4



For Beef:

  • 4 rib eye or strip steaks
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pepper



  1. Stir together all ingredients for beef with 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Marinate, covered and chilled, 4 hours.
  2. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  3. Remove steaks from marinade and shake off any extra marinade.
  4. Grill steaks to desired doneness.
  5. Serve with sauce on the side.


For Chimichurri Sauce:


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red-wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


 Combine all ingredients in a blender.

  1. Blend until smooth.
  2. Let stand for at least 1 hour before using.


Note:         Sauce may be made without blending by stirring all ingredients together and letting stand for at least 2 hours.

* Sauce may be made a day ahead of time.

Recommended Side Dishes –    

Grilled Potato Wedges with Chopped Parsley and Garlic

Grilled Corn with Roasted Garlic Butter and Parmesan Cheese


Bottoms Up  


If serving the meal above there is really only one appropriate drink pairing.  Go to your local liquor store and ask your merchant for a bottle of Malbec.  This is the best known Argentinian wine and pairs perfectly with the recipe above.  The full body and flavor of the wine stands up to the chimichurri sauce and beef will help bring the Argentinian Steakhouse home.  The Malbec grape (sometimes spelled Malbeck in Argentina) is a traditional Bordeaux varietal meaning that it comes from France and has characteristics that fall somewhere between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 


However, if you do not drink red wine and want to stay true to the authenticity of the meal Cerveza Quilmes is the most popular Argentine beer.  However as we know, most popular does not make something good (see Bud Light).  Quilmes is a traditional lager with about 5% alcohol content and a pale yellow color.  It lacks flavor and offers more water than taste.   So in this instance…authenticity is waiting for you at the end of Cocktail Street in the form of a Poterno.  This is a wonderful brown liquor cocktail (bourbon) that is sure to please dad’s palate.  Don’t be intimidated by the inclusion of Fernet Branca – it is an Italian spirit that can be added to coffee or mixed with Coca Cola if you need other things to do with it after dinner is done.



¾ ounce bourbon

½ ounce Fernet Branca

½ ounce cherry brandy

½ ounce fresh lime juice

½ ounce simple syrup


Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice and add the all of the ingredients. Shake for approximately 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Serves 1

Wine improves with age.  The older I get, the better I like it.

~ Anonymous




  • Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.
  • Marilyn Monroe would have been 83 years old on June 1st.
  • The World Cup championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not contested because of World War II.
  • The 142nd running of the Belmont Stakes will be held on June 5th.
  • Happy Father’s Day to those men who are fathers to their own sons and as well as others. 


Free Thinking Is Encouraged.  Feel free to post your opinions on this month’s topics….


May 2010


“The Other Side” is designed to stimulate your sense of adventure and creativity by spawning the exchange of thoughts. If we are not careful we might just learn something…I know I did when I wrote this. Go ahead. Trying something new and see what is on “The Other Side…”



May 1st – 136th Kentucky Derby
May 5th – Cinco de Mayo
May 9th – Mother’s Day
May 15th – 135th Preakness Stakes
May 30th – Indianapolis 500
May 31st – Memorial Day

If April was good…May is better. Trust me. May is a venerable cavalcade of holidays for respected honorees, sporting events, and reasons to eat and drink. The month kicks off with the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. Pomp, circumstance, and tradition start the month off right. We then head south for Cinco de Mayo (a less marketable St. Patrick’s Day). Yet another reason for people to eat, drink, and celebrate a culture that they know relatively little about. Either way, the holiday promotes Mexican tourism, restaurants, and manufacturers of beer and tequila. We then get to honor someone special in our lives; our mothers. It’s back to the racetrack the following weekend for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes. This is the “middle child” of the Triple Crown and always fighting for respect. No one has ever won the Triple Crown by winning the Preakness but they sure have lost it by not winning this race. From dirt to asphalt we head to the Indy 500 for a race that is struggling to regain the prominence it once held in American culture. What better way to cap off the month but with a day off? While Memorial Day is a day off and represents what many view as the traditional start of summer, it serves to commemorate those United States servicemen and women who have died while in military service. Take some time this year to remember those who have given their lives so that you may enjoy all of the things that come before and after this special holiday. Patriotism never goes out of style…

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
-Elmer Davis



“A film is a petrified fountain of thought.”

-Jean Cocteau

Television has long provided us with a look into families that were either very much like or very different from our own. Since the start of television we have laughed and cried with our television families. While television has changed greatly in the past 20 years the 1950s through the 1980s gave us some of the most memorable television moms of all time. Here is a list of some of the best of each era. Vote for your own favorite below.


All Time Great TV Moms


The 1950s

Lucy Ricardo – I Love Lucy – Lucille Ball – she made us laugh like no other of her time.

June Cleaver – Leave it to Beaver – Barbara Billingsley – they were the “All-American Family”

Harriet Nelson – The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet – Harriet Hilliard – a semi-reality show since the plot was largely based on the lives of the actual actors.

Donna Stone – The Donna Reed Show – Donna Reed – the life and times of a family whose problems mirrored those of American society.

Margaret Anderson – Father Knows Best – Jane Wyatt – the common sense wife who would turn to her wise husband for answers – very 1950’s.


The 1960s

Morticia Addams – The Addams Family – Carolyn Jones – an eclectic type who enjoyed cultivating poisonous plants and candlelit dinners in a graveyard.

Wilma Flintstone – The Flintstones – Jean Vender Pyl – stone houses and pre-historic pets; that is some tough living.

Jane Jetson – The Jetsons – Peggy Singleton – she and Wilma lived worlds apart but starred in the same era.

Laura Meeker – The Dick Van Dyke Show – Mary Tyler Moore – the wife of a television writer in an upscale New York suburb, She wore slacks and her and her husband slept in different beds – people took note of these things.

Lily Munster – The Munsters – Yvonne DeCarlo – a vampire with a werewolf son. She was Morticia’s contemporary.
Samantha Stevens – Bewitched – Elizabeth Montgomery ¬¬– when all else failed, she would wiggle her nose and employ a bit of magic.


The 1970s


Carol Brady – The Brady Bunch – Florence Henderson – two widowed families come together to make one family who face the comedic challenges of raising teens with the help of a housekeeper. These people had cash.

Edith Bunker – All In The Family – Jean Stapleton – Archie’s “dingbat” wife whose charm was often rooted in her naivety but watch out when she would stand up to Archie…those moments made for some of the best episodes they made.

Marion Cunningham – Happy Days – Marion Ross – the title said it all. Life in the 1950s and a neighbor in a leather jacket who could fix almost anything in their lives.

Florida Evans – Good Times – Esther Rolle – the relative opposite of George Jefferson, humble, struggling, and honorable at every turn. Teaching their children the right things while growing up in a poor Chicago housing project.

Caroline Ingalls – Little House on the Prairie – Karen Grassle – she kept a good home out there on that prairie and learned and taught her children the lessons of the time.

Louise “Weezie” Jefferson –The Jeffersons – Isabel Jefferson – a financially upwardly mobile answer to Archie Bunker. Weezie had to contend with her stubborn and opinionated husband George.

Shirley Partridge – The Partridge Family – Shirley Jones – the mother of a family of fun loving musicians. They had a great bus and of course Reuben Kincaid.



Angela Bower – Who’s the Boss? – Judith Light – a career woman with a male housekeeper. Times had changed by then.

Roseanne Connor – Roseanne – Rosanne Barr – a working class family with a mom whose class isn’t always working.

Clair Huxtable – The Cosby Show – Phylicia Rashad – Clair was pure class and grace as a happily married mother and professional with a witty husband who also sold Jell-O Pudding Pops.

Elyse Keaton – Family Ties – Meredith Baxter – where left met right. Left wing parents raising right wing kids.

Maggie Seaver – Growing Pains – Joanna Kerns – another pair of professionals she was every bit the match for Alan Thicke as they raised Kirk Cameron through his teen years. This era was the start of professional moms on television.


Upcoming New Movie Releases:

May 7th
Iron Man 2 – Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow

May 14th
Robin Hood – Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett
Just Wright – Queen Latifah, Common
Letters to Juliet – Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave

May 21st
Shrek forever After – Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy
MacGruber – Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Val Kilmer

May 27th
Sex in the City 2 – Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Chris Noth

May 28th
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley



“If music be the food of love; play on.”

William Shakespeare

Whether she is mom, mother, mommy, mama, or ma she holds a special place in our hearts and musicians have written countless songs about mothers. These songs seem to fall into a number of categories, those that give a mother advice; those that take a mother’s advice, and those that pay tribute to a mother. These songs cross every genre of music and show that no matter our age, gender, race, or religion we all hold these women in high esteem and that mom always knows best…

The following are some of the most notable songs about mom ever written:


Dear Mama – 2Pac – An ode to mama, an apology for what he put her through, and the recognition while she was far from perfect – in the end, she was perfect to him.






Julia – John Lennon – a song to his mother who died when he was 17 years old. John went on to name his son after her years later.

Mother – Pink Floyd – A look at a mother’s attempt to always protect her baby…by building “The Wall” around him.

Mama Said – The Shirelles – Mama said they’ll be days like this…she was right.

Mama Said Knock You Out – L.L. Cool J – Always listen to your mama…and this case grandma’s advice to her grandson James Todd Smith to ignore his critics and do what he does best.

Mama Told Me Not To Come – Randy Newman – A mother’s warning about the perils of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.

Mama Tried – Merle Haggard – Mighty Merle’s plea for others not to blame his mama for the fact that he end up in San Quentin in the late 1950’s.






Mamas Don’t Let Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys – Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson – Willie and Waylon’s warning to mamas about why they should want their babies to “grow up to be doctors and lawyers and such.” Otherwise they turn out like these two members of The Highwaymen.






Mother – Danzig – Inspired by Tipper Gore’s movement to place Parental Advisory Labels on music, Glen Danzig asked mother’s if they could keep their children in the dark for life…and away from bad boys like him.

Mother’s Little Helper – Rolling Stones – Suggesting that mom might have an alternative way of getting through the day to day challenges of motherhood.


Upcoming New Music Releases:

May 4th
Asia – Omega
Bones Thugs-N-Harmony – Uni5: The World’s Enemy
Toni Braxton – Pulse
Court House Hounds (Dixie Chicks) – Court House Hounds
Godsmack – The Oracle
Papa Roach – To Be Loved
Tonic – Tonic

May 11th
Jackson Browne & David Lindley – Love Is Strange
Elizabeth Cook – Welder
Crash Test Dummies – Oooh La La!
Hoodoo Gurus – Purity of Essence

May 18th
Mary Gauthier – The Foundling
Macy Gray – The Sellout
The Sadies – Darker Circles

May 25th
Danzig – Deth Red Sabaoth
Hank III – Rebel Within
Damian Marley and Nas – Distant Relatives
Smashing Pumpkins – Teargarden by Kaleidyscope – Vol. 1: Songs For a Sailor
Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots
Widespread Panic – Dirty Side Down
Robin Zander – Countryside Blvd




The month of May means one thing in Memphis, Tennessee – the Memphis in May Festival. Widely recognized as one of the best barbecue festivals in the country. Memphis in May brings together some of the best barbecue cooks in the county for a three day festival where teams of contestants compete in categories such as rib, whole hog, shoulder, and sauce. These are just some of the categories featured at the festival and the result is a whole lotta’ barbecue to be eaten. That is where you come in. Visitors get to sample some of the best barbecue they will ever taste. Festival Link (http://www.memphisinmay.org/).

In honor of the festival why not pull out your smoker, your grill, some hardwood charcoal, a few handfuls of hickory wood chips and try your hand at real slow cooked barbecue. Or you could just try the rib recipe below. This recipe can be prepared in your oven with a few simple ingredients, three pieces of equipment, and some patience.



Oven “Barbecued” Ribs


2 Racks of baby back pork ribs
1 C Water
Barbecue Sauce (recipe below or use your favorite commercial brand)
Rib Rub (recipe below or good quality commercial brand)

Equipment Needed

1 Large Metal Baking Sheet with sides
Cooling Rack (1-2 depending on size)
Aluminum Foil


1. Remove ribs from package and remove membrane from backside of the ribs.
2. Rinse ribs with water and dry completely.
3. Season ribs heavily with rib rub.
4. Place cooling racks on baking sheet and ribs on cooling rack.
5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (may be done 1 day ahead).
6. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
7. Remove ribs from refrigerator and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
8. Open a corner of the foil and add 1 C water to the bottom of the baking sheet and reseal tightly.
9. Bake for 2 ½ -3 hours or until meat begins to pull back away from the end of the bone.
10. Remove from oven, remove foil and brush on barbecue sauce.
11. Return ribs to oven uncovered and allow to cook for 20 more minutes.
12. Remove from oven and allow ribs to rest 10 minutes before cutting or serving.

Rib Rub


½ C brown sugar                                      ¼ C paprika
1 T black pepper                                       1 T kosher salt
1 T chili powder                                        1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder                                     1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano                                           1 tsp cumin


1. Combine all ingredients
2. Mix well.
3. May be stored in an air tight container for up to 6 months.

Barbecue Sauce


2 tsp vegetable oil                                     1 C root beer or Dr. Pepper
1 onion                                                       1 C cider vinegar
1 garlic clove                                              1 C dark corn syrup
4 C chicken broth                                       ½ C molasses
½ C tomato paste                                      ½ C ketchup
2 T brown mustard                                    1 T hot sauce
¼ tsp liquid smoke (optional)


1. Heat oil in a large saucepan (more than 8 C) over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. (5 minutes)
3. Whisk in remaining ingredients except liquid smoke.
4. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium until sauce is at a simmer.
6. Reduce sauce by ½ until it thickens and about four cups remain (about 1 hour).
7. Stir in liquid smoke.


Bottoms Up

The first Saturday in May is filled with history and tradition. It comes complete with the sight of the twin spires that soar into the Kentucky sky, women in decorative hats, and the playing of Steven Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home” at post time. The Kentucky Derby is said to be the most exciting two minutes in sports. Perhaps it is the anticipation of greatness or the fact that the Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the elusive Triple Crown. But fans alike can be found on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs with a racing program in one hand and a mint julep in the other. The mint julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby and has been since 1938.


Mint Julep Recipe

• 2 cups sugar
• 2 cups water
• Sprigs of fresh mint
• Crushed ice
• Bourbon (such as Makers Mark or Jim Beam)
• Silver Julep Cups (traditional but glass will do)

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup (works best with a silver cup – so you can stop stirring). Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

“Then comes the zenith of man’s pleasure.
Then comes the julep – the mint julep.
Who has not tasted one has lived in vain.”
– J. Soule Smith, a Kentucky newspaperman – 1890s




• Memorial Day was formerly known as Decoration Day.
• The highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. 67 of them survived infancy. Quite a mother.
• The NBA playoffs feel longer than the regular season.
• Eleven horses have won the Triple Crown. The last was Affirmed in 1978.
• Don’t forget to tell your mother you love her…and why not buy an American flag if you don’t already have one.

Free Thinking Is Encouraged. Feel free to post your opinions on this month’s topics….

Past Blogs

Blog Stats

  • 9,900 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other followers