late to the party … Marcella’s Butter Tomato Sauce

Simple and easy, what more could one ask for with homemade?


Marcella Hazan, often described as the Julia Child of Italian food, has written some remarkable cookbooks. I own several and they have never steered me wrong. When I needed a lasagne recipe, not being a lasagne fan, it was to Marcella that I turned. It was a remarkable lasagne. Sadly, she passed away in 2013, crushing my dreams of taking one of her cooking classes but she left behind quite the legacy. I’ve been reading about her butter tomato sauce for years yet have never made it. Like many things that receive endless glowing reviews – Harry Potter books, Mad Men, LaLa Land, Chik-Fil-A – I tend to run the other way. If everyone is enthusiastically waxing on and on about something I become suspicious. Misguided? Probably. Cynical? Certainly. This tomato sauce was definitely one of those things. Just four ingredients? How good could it be? How many tomato sauce recipes does…

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Sometimes we need to get up close to realize just how small we are and that there are bigger issues in-front of us.


(My photo taken 15 October, ‎2014)

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My pen

I’ve lost the desire and or ability to write.  Every time my pen touches paper the ink dries up.  The thoughts that I want to take from the air to something concrete evaporate, leaving not even a dusty trail.  I have vicariously tried to write through your words but that brief moment from reading to writing disappears as soon as I digest your epistle.

Physically I am here, my creativity is not.

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Mother Nature

It is hard to believe that we are in the middle of winter when looking out my window and seeing our redbud tree in bloom.


Mother Nature is a cruel mistress.  While not as cold as other parts of our country we will have at least one straight week of freezing (32° F/0° C) or below temperatures.  The redbud will lose these blooms as will the maple tree.

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Christmas 2016

The end of 2016 approaches and I am in a cloud with no idea of where time disappeared this year.  As I reflect over the past year I’ve come to the realization that as a teenager I’ve reached an age that I thought I would never be – am I really THAT OLD?

I look back at the experiences my friends have brought me and I am thankful that they let me into their and shared lives.


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  May this time be filled with family, friends, warmth and much happiness.

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A tumultuous week has passed and what happens in the future is unknown.  Many fear the USA will regress to the 1950s/1960s.  Advancements that don’t suit the majority will be repealed and or outlawed.

As all of this transpires a gentler time provides a moment of solitude and relief.  Hope eternal, the Monarch still feeding on 12 November.  Soon it will wing its way south to Mexico where it will migrate and hibernate in oyamel fir trees.

Monarch on milkweed.JPG

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A Letter To My Future Husband

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Questo posto, dove ho normalmente trovare la pace e tranquillità, ora porta solo dolore e frustrazione.


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Too early

It started on a NATO military installation with you wanting to learn English and me Italian.  An unlikely pair – you serving your 10-month obligation in the Italian military while I was the career soldier.  Did anyone know that brief encounter would last nearly 40 years or we would refer to the other as “my brother”.

Home for both of us was here or there for we are one family.  I have always enjoyed returning to this vineyard in Italy.  Not for the food or the wine, it is a place of peace, tranquility and friendship for the past 40 years.

La Maddalena

You are the younger, inexperienced man, with no exposure to the ravages of war or its cancers yet it is you, my younger brother,  who’s health is failing.  I am the one who had cancer, not you.  You are too young to have lost your eyesight, no longer able to lovingly tend your vineyards, olive trees and orchards.  I have no such responsibilities yet I can see and without hesitation would give you my eyes.
This trip comes too soon.  I am not ready and I don’t want to go.  Even though they didn’t ask the phone call said it all.
There will not be another “a piu tardi grande amico mio”.
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for I am not a princess

Close your eyes and listen . . .

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