a world gone mad: bombs at boston marathon

boston april 15 2013Once again, the world has gone mad.  When I saw the news break yesterday about bombs at the Boston Marathon, I thought there must be some mistake.  Who would do such a thing?

Why does violence happen in April in this country?  NBC news is reporting that a lot of this craziness happens in April  – Virginia Tech (2007), Columbine (1999), Waco siege (1993) , Oklahoma City (1995)

Yesterday was also Patriot’s Day in Boston.

And yesterday the world went mad and someone blew up Boston during the Boston Marathon.

Among the victims an 8 year boy.  Thanks to something reporter Karen Hepp from Fox 29 said, I found the Daily Beast and two additional articles in both the Boston Globe:

A perfect Marathon day, then the unimaginable

 

By Kevin Cullen|  Globe Columnist    April 16, 2013

It was as good a ­Patriots Day, as good a Marathon day, as any, dry and seasonably warm but not hot like last year. The buzz was great. While the runners climbed Heartbreak Hill, the Red Sox were locked in another white-knuckle duel with the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. The only thing missing was Lou Reed crooning “Perfect Day” in the background….In an instant, a perfect day had morphed into something viscerally evil.

The location and timing of the bombs was sinister beyond belief, done purposely to maximize death and destruction. Among those who watched in horror as a fireball belched out across the sidewalk on Boylston were the parents of the schoolkids murdered in Newtown, Conn…This is how bad this is. I went out Monday night and bumped into some firefighters I know. They said one of the dead was an 8-year-old boy from Dorchester who had gone out to hug his dad after he crossed the finish line. The dad walked on; the boy went back to the sidewalk to join his mom and his little sister. And then the bomb went off. The boy was killed. His sister’s leg was blown off. His mother was badly injured. That’s just one ­family, one story.

That little boy’s name was Martin Richard. He had his whole life ahead of him.  What the hell did that innocent child do to deserve to die?  Also among the injured were two brothers who each had a leg blown off as per the Boston Globe. Can you imagine being the mother who got this call?

There were hundreds of Pennsylvania residents in Boston running the marathon, including those from Chester County (all of whom The Daily Local is reporting to be o.k. and safe).  One such person was Kathie Iacabone Redmond who many know simply as Kathie who works for Yellow Springs Inn. Kathie had safely crossed the finish line twenty minutes before the explosions began as per the Inn and her family.

ESPN has this list of PA runners posted and here are some runners from Chester County as per that list (not sure if this is all of them or not they quantify this list as PA runners who finished the marathon):

4188, Kathie Redmond, Coatesville, 3:45:23.

8653, Robert C. Mauch, Phoenixville, 3:46:46.

4406, Barbara J Lombardo, Chester Springs, 3:46:58.

4793, Kelly A. Fisher, West Chester, 3:49:52

5051, Mary E Suplee, Phoenixville, 3:51:52.

5547, Jennie D. Brown, West Chester, 3:55:28.

5781, Page C Greenberg, Malvern, 3:57:26.

5884, Sarah E. Weddle, West Chester, 3:58:18

10195, Bill Conway, Downingtown, 4:03:37

6733, Johanna Hantel, Malvern, 4:08:34

Kathie Redmond was mentioned in conjunction with 2011 coverage of the Boston Marathon too:

Scenes from the Boston Marathon route

By Staff reports
Posted Apr  18, 2011 @ 08:41 PM
Hopkinton —

A friend in spirit in Hopkinton

When 2011 Boston Marathon registration shattered previous records and closed  in just over eight hours last October, one of those shut out was veteran  qualifier Kathie Redmond of Coatesville, Pa.

But Redmond’s running partners got in, and they made sure she didn’t miss  this year’s race – sort of.

Out on a training run one day, Nancy Stoltzfus of Parkesburg, Pa., struck  upon an idea: bringing a blow-up doll to represent their friend. After some  Internet searching, she found a source: a website for bachelor party  supplies.

“We don’t want her to feel left out,” Stoltzfus said at the starting line  before the race. “She was heartbroken she didn’t get in.”

After Redmond finished a Pennsylvania marathon last weekend, Redmond and  fellow Marathoner Amy Barcus of Atglen, Pa., took her neon green jersey and  shorts and turquoise bandana and put them on the doll, before pasting on a  printout of their friend’s face. The doll made the weekend rounds up north,  including the runners’ expo in Boston, but was going back on a shuttle  bus.

I have friends from high school who now live in Boston.  I spoke with one last night.  She had some anxious moments because the exchange students living with her were down in Copley Square.  But thankfully they had left about twenty minutes before the bombs exploded.

My personal opinion is this was an act of domestic terrorism.  And I hope they capture whomever quickly.  And I could do without the Obama side debates on guns for the time being.  These weren’t guns, these were bombs.

Do we have to wonder now every time we go to a street fair or a local festival if we will all come home?  Is this the objective of these people? That everyday Americans living their lives must live in fear?

Screw that. As someone who walked out of the World Trade Center in February 1993 just seconds before the truck bomb went off in that garage and as a less than two-year survivor of breast cancer I will live my life.  As best as I can.

My heart goes out to anyone waiting to hear from loved ones after the Boston Marathon and to the people of Boston.  How someone could defile yet another of America’s finest cities escapes me.  But Boston is made of tougher stuff than the cowards who tried to blow her up.

You can follow developments in the story  via their NPR station in Boston WBUR, along with major media outlets – who of course have descended on Boston like a hoard of locusts already. I am following the Boston Globe and the NBC affiliate up there WHDH Channel 7 and the New York Times:

WHDH: Feds search apartment, seek clues in Boston attack

BOSTON (AP) — FBI agents searched a suburban Boston apartment overnight and  appealed to the public for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to  who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, while a doctor treating the wounded  said one of the victims was maimed by what looked like ball bearings or BBs.

Two bombs blew up seconds apart Monday at the finish line of one of the  world’s most storied races, tearing off limbs and leaving the streets spattered  with blood and strewn with broken glass. Three people were killed, including an  8-year-old boy, and more than 140 were wounded.

Federal investigators said no one had claimed responsibility for the  bombings on one of the city’s biggest civic holidays, Patriots Day. But the  blasts raised the specter of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Investigation of Boston Marathon bombings continues

Some areas of downtown Boston reopen Tuesday

By John R. Ellement|  Globe Staff    April 16, 2013

let’s talk turkey about thanksgiving

Today Rachael Ray announced it was (as per Butterball which may or may not have a trademark on the day) National Thaw Day.  She said:

“No matter what size bird you are dealing with, if you are cooking a frozen turkey it needs to get out of the freezer and get into the fridge today,” Rachael suggests. “Store it in the lowest part of the refrigerator, and take it out [of the freezer] today and it will be perfect by Thanksgiving day!”

Ok so it is funny, as I was staring at my frozen turkey this morning, I was wondering the same thing.  Some years I have gotten a fresh turkey, but this year economizing is the name of the game so I took advantage of my free turkey from the grocery store. I actually have the points for two free turkeys, but have only picked up one at this point.  Maybe I will donate the second one.

Anyway, apparently every four pounds of turkey is equal to one day of refrigerator thaw.  And once defrosted a turkey can hang out in the fridge another four days. My turkey is in a plastic shopping bag and resting in a shallow pan.  I don’t want anything to leak if possible.  After all, who wants to scrub the refrigerator on Thanksgiving Day?

A week ahead of time is also when I start to think about how the table will look.  I collect vintage linens so I can change my table out from year to year.  And no, I never pay a lot for old and vintage linens.  Garage sales, church sales, flea markets, thrift shops.  I look for lots of things in numbers I can deal with, tablecloths that can be tea stained or dyed if need be.  I only look for natural fibers, so polyester will not be found on my table – I don’t like the sheen, feel, and texture.  I generally hand wash my linens, so a week ahead gives me time to do that and get them ironed up if need be.

I also love vintage dishes, so you might find those on my table as well. I have some cool goblets also gathered courtesy of garage and church tag sales.  I don’t do paper plates, plastic cups, and aluminum foil containers as serving dishes.

In my former life with my former in-laws (for lack of a better description of what to call these people), one of the ex factor’s sisters not only had the darkest living room I had ever been in (dark green walls and all her own art work – some was decent, some of it looked like paint-by-numbers), but she wouldn’t know how to set a buffet without aluminum foil containers and cheap paper napkins.

I wouldn’t comment except she made such fuss about how fabulous a table she set, and all I ever saw every Thanksgiving were those aluminum foil containers on the sideboard and table (and the bottles of salad dressing on the table, paper napkins and really bad  as well as warm white wine choices.)  She was also one of those people who would ask you to bring something and then make something in the category of what she requested like it was a competition instead of a holiday meal. And if you arrived five minutes past her decreed holiday start time, chances were she was eating without you which I always found rude to guests who traveled a distance to be with her.  I think one of my favorite Thanksgivings with this woman was when her dog stole the leftover turkey right off the counter.

Anyway, when you have had a few painful Thanksgivings like that, you learn how to craft one you can be proud of, but a holiday that won’t drive you bonkers either.  The key is simplicity.  The KISS theory, or keep it simple stupid. I believe even if you aren’t doing a more formal dinner, you should take the time to set the table well to complement your meal preparation.  It is a holiday, not pizza night.

If you are doing all the cooking, realize it doesn’t have to be the proverbial last supper.  The world will not end if you don’t have multiple kinds of potatoes, every Thanksgiving veggie known to man including that disgusting green bean casserole made with those deep-fried dried onion things. If you are doing a communal Thanksgiving and you are the host or hostess, lay out your menu and be clear about your assignments to other people.

Don’t forget the salad.  It can be simple or seasonal, but take the time to make your own vinaigrette.  So much better than the bottle.

Let’s talk stuffing.  Know what I discovered yesterday when I was thinking of buying a Thanksgiving stuffing mix to cut out a step?  High fructose corn syrup is an ingredient. I saw it on the ingredients list in Peppridge Farm and Arnold’s pre-bagged dried stuffing cubes. Bleck.

I won’t be taking that stuffing short cut.  I am going traditional and have plenty of fabulous herbs left alive, so my turkey and stuffing will definitely include fresh sage and rosemary. And a combination of garlic,  shallots and onion. Baby Bella mushrooms are a must.  Maybe minced apples and raisins, not sure.  I won’t know until Thanksgiving morning.  (Nothing better than the smell of stuffing ingredients sautéing away in the pan!)

And yes, I make my own cranberry sauce.  It is so easy a caveman can do it.  My base recipe is 2 bags fresh cranberries, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup water, cinnamon, a little fresh ginger. Sometimes I add diced apricots or a persimmon or two.  Sometimes I turn it chutney and add funky ingredients like diced green tomatoes.

As for other sides? Well this year it will be yams done somehow (I like them better than sweet potatoes) – I am thinking of roasting them with a couple of carrots and then mashing them somehow – a puree then warmed up in the oven with maybe little marshmallows on top to appeal to the kid factor. Maybe a yam-pumpkin puree. And a simple salad.  Gravy.

Dessert?  Undecided.  Looking like an apple pie.  Haven’t decided.  Saw a double crust apple apricot pie on page 126 of the November 2012 Food & Wine that looks promising.  Or I might do my own apple with streusal topping. I haven’t finished checking out my favorite magazines yet.

As for the big bird itself, it is helpful to remember a couple of simple tricks to keep turkey-lurky from drying out. I pre-heat my oven to 450 degrees for twenty minutes before putting turkey in the oven.  When I put the bird in the oven, I leave it at 450 degrees for the first half hour, and then I reduce the temperature to 350 degrees for the duration.

Most people say 15 minutes per pound is a good rule of thumb. So my turkey is 15 pounds.  So that is 15 x 15 = 225 minutes or 3.75 hours. Sometimes my gass oven is a little pokey on the roasting, so it could be longer.  But I have a thermometer :<}

I cook my turkey covered for almost half of its cooking time. I do put a couple of cups of water or broth in the bottom of my pan along with bay leaves and onion.  I baste around every 45 minutes.  When you baste, haul big bird out of the oven and shut the oven door so you don’t lose the heat.

And yes, I do indeed rub my turkey down with butter before I herb and salt and garlic the skin and put it in the oven.  I do not brine my turkey.  I have thought about it, but never done it.  I have no desire to deep fry my turkey so I can’t comment on that.

Check out this blog link for a KISS method of turkey cooking. Whole Foods also covers the basics, Southern Food does too, and when all else fails there is Butterball and they have a turkey hotline too. While Martha Stewart has a LOT of recipes, I find her recipes may be confusing and overly complicated for the beginner home chef. There are a LOT of turkey recipes out there.  I like to consult web sites that I know test the recipes Food TV and Epicurious are the websites I haunt the most.

I like to entertain for friends and family.  I like to cook, so you may find cheeses and whatnots mixed in from DiBruno Brothers and Carlinos, but for the most part you find what I serve I actually prepared.  Maybe I am old-fashioned, but it is something I just like to do.  I also believe in adopting Thanksgiving orphans.  I have been one a couple of times over the years when family and friends were scattered to the four winds for the holiday. I actually have an article on easy entertaining featuring Chef Angela Carlino in the fall issue of Main Line Parent Magazine (which I haven’t seen yet in print because I keep spacing on picking up a copy).

Do you have a Thanksgiving tip or recipe or tradition you would like to share? Feel free to post a comment!

Now for the last word: if you don’t feel like cooking, might I suggest Thanksgiving at The Yellow Springs Inn?  Check this out  from Exton Dish! (Yes, click HERE)

A place to SKIP is Farmhouse Bistro at People’s Light. We did that last year because family and friends were all scattered and it is something we would not do again, or recommend.  We’ll leave it at that.

This post must now come to an end.  I have recipes to read.

need to know HOW you can use gilmore’s gift certificates up?

Yellow Springs Inn

So many were *shocked* when Gilmore’s in West Chester closed.  I will note, however, that some of their real people reviews had been slipping.    And I never got how Peter Gilmore was quoted on his website as saying “I didn’t intend Gilmore’s to be a destination restaurant, I wanted it to be a comfortable family restaurant.”

I had positive dining experiences at Gilmore’s, but I will admit I did not dig how restrictive it was as far as the seatings and the plate sharing fee was obnoxious.  It was not, however, not family casual. Ever.

It is sad that they are closed, but many were left with unused gift certificates. (And I know a place to use those gift certificates and gift cards not yet posted anywhere else!)  West Chester Dish has a post about this and the fabulous Michael Klein of the Philadelphia Inquirer had this to say in his Insider column:

Have a Gilmore’s gift certificate?

……And now it seems as if anyone holding a gift certificate to Gilmore’s  restaurant is out of luck.

The restaurant closed after dinner July 14.

On July 16, owner Peter Gilmore told me that he decided to close the  restaurant only days before because he had grown tired and wanted to “go out on  top.”

On July 18, he notified customers of the closing in an email that concluded:  “If you have any inquiries, please send them in writing to: Gilmore’s  Restaurant, 133 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA  19380.”

On July 20, I spoke to him about gift certificates and he told me that John  Brandt-Lee, who owns Avalon in the borough, would honor them at 50 percent of  face value. But, I replied, if you’re going to give refunds, why would anyone  take up Brandt-Lee’s generous offer?

Gilmore said he would proceed on his attorney’s suggestions.

In the last 10 days, Gilmore has not returned subsequent calls and emails.  People have posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page to inquire about gift  certificates; there’s been no response.

Those with gift certificates are indeed owed money, but if history is any  guide, they’re better off using their card as an ice scraper this winter.

When a restaurateur truly cares about his customers, he announces a closing  well in advance  – much as Gilmore’s former longtime boss, Georges Perrier,  did. Give those with gift cards a chance to use them. Bask in the glow a  little.

 

Sadly it seems that perhaps Gilmore’s is yet another victim of the current economy, doesn’t it?  Even more sad is the playing dodge ball about gift certificates or gift cards. And Chef Gilmore remarked in his final interview with West Chester Dish :

“We’ve loved working in West Chester, it’s a great town, it’s been a great run. It’s time to make a change in lifestyle. For now, I’ll be sitting by the pool drinking a scotch and soda deciding what move I want. Who knows what will happen in the future,”

Considering the apparent gift card/gift certificate debacle, that comment is a definite ouchie now. Yikes.

However, fear not.  I know where you can use the Gilmore’s gift cards that will give you an awesome meal and memorable experience.

Give up?

YELLOW SPRINGS INN!!!

Yellow Springs Inn located at 1657 Art School Road, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania 19425  ( phone (610) 827-7477 )  is accepting the gift cards and gift certificates which are unused at 50% of their original face value.

A little birdie told me about this, so I did phone Chef – Owner Charlie Orlando to verify this personally.   Charlie verified that YES Yellow Springs Inn would like the former patrons of Gilmore’s in West Chester to know that if you have any gift certificates from Gilmore’s you would like to use and not waste, Yellow Springs Inn is happy to accept those gift certificates at 50% of their original value.

Yellow Springs Inn is open Wednesday through Saturday 5 pm to 9:30 p.m.  They have a Facebook page now too.  They also offer catering services.

Yellow Springs can do what Gilmore’s never could: they can be BOTH a destination and a comfortable family restaurant.  I would not suggest insulting Chef or staff by showing up in a ripped t-shirt and jean shorts, but you can come comfortably attired and enjoy a wonderful evening on the porch or in one of their dining rooms.  Yellow Springs Inn is BYOB.

If you enjoyed dining at Gilmore’s, you will love Yellow Springs Inn.  And truthfully, I think Charlie Orlando is a better chef.  And the historic village in which the Yellow Springs Inn sits is also amazing!

No disrespect to other restaurants offering to use Gilmore’s gift cards, but if I were you I would use those gift cards or gift certificates up at Yellow Springs Inn.

Tell Yellow Springs Inn you read about this on Chester County Ramblings.

 

chester county ramblings: eat like a local/favorite restaurants

Ok, so where will you send me to eat in Chester County?  Feel Free to leave a comment.  I love BYOBs and country inns, but am happy with an amazing cheeseburger (yes I am a carnivore, so I don’t need or desire vegan offerings, sorry.)

I am not a complete Luddite, I have some places I love.

Gilmore’s in West Chester for one – it was one of the high points of a now thankfully defunct relationship.

Another place?  Kimberton Inn.

I think Peppermill in East Goshen is rocking for breakfast, and I am told that while a bit pricey their pizza is worth it.

Another of my favorites used to be the Yellow Springs Inn.  I have not been to visit them yet since they went BYOB and moved locations on Art School Road.  If anyone has eaten there, let me know how it was!

Another fantastic dining experience would be Birchrunville Store Cafe.

And if you are in the mood for basic comfort/deli food, try Just Mom’s in Glenmoore.  Located on Route 82 (N. Manor Rd.) and Fairview Rds (610-942-34183), they honestly have a cheesesteak that could give Pat’s and Geno’s a run for their money and it is served without atty-tude.

So let me know where you find fun dining experiences, awesome breakfasts or memorable meals – from high-end to diner, this could be a fun post – kind of like Zagat’s for real people!

Please note this is MY blog.  I reserve the right to add, delete, publish posts and comments.  The photos, unless otherwise indicated are mine.  I have fun with digital photography and occasionally take on a new client or project here and there, time permitting.  I have had photo bylines in local, regional and national publications and my writing has also travelled a bit in byline-ville.

Thanks for playing!