We like to end each year with an issue in which we look back at the stories, poems, articles, memoirs, and–well, whatever–that we’ve published during the past 51 weeks. And we have a staggering variety this time around.
We’ll share them with you in a moment. We want to stress that these are not necessarily “the best” articles in their category–just the ones that stood out for us personally, sometimes for very subjective reasons. We hope that you have a list of your own favorites.
The Operatunity SIG has provided a fitting and suitably dramatic finale to OLLI Connects’ month-long tribute to holiday foods and recipes. Originally published in 2020 just for SIG member contributors, Beryl Byles agreed to allow OLLI Connects to reformat the book and share a few recipes for our Act III installment of holiday delectable dishes submitted by our subscribers…..along with appropriate opera selections, of course. And, if you want to delve further into the compilation, the entire updated book is linked to this story. — Editor
I am in the checkout line at the Giant Eagle which is Pittsburgh’s version of Publix. While waiting, I skim an article on Christmas family gatherings: a recipe for a Holiday Ham, glazed with brown sugar and rings of pineapple (the way Mom used to make it), escalloped potatoes, lemony Brussels sprouts, and a Linzer Torte. The picture shows the food deftly plated and arranged on a Christmas tablecloth. There’s a vase with red roses, white lilies and pine.
You want the magazine? The cashier winks at me. Later that night, after my daughter, Sydney’s bath, and of course, her bedtime story, I read to my husband, Larry, in bed from the magazine, The Linzer Torte has two delicious layers of rich and buttery, nut flavored pastry sandwiched together with raspberry preserves. What makes this torte so beautiful is the lattice design of the top crust. Read more
Jane Applegate Belzer Photos by Shelly Belzer and author
The holidays are coming and it’s time for me to challenge my baking skills. I know that sounds dangerous because we all want our holiday treats to be just perfect. So why take on a new project instead of relying on tried and true recipes born from family traditions? I am fortunate to have a couple of friends who are very skilled bakers and they never make the same holiday treats twice. Cookies, pies, breads, cakes and candies that dazzle the eyes and the palates. Impressive. So this year I’m taking my cue from them and I’m baking Stollen or Christstollen as it is called in its German homeland. View more
For the holiday season OLLI Connects is featuring food blogs and recipes over the first three weeks of December followed by a discussion of our favorite issues on the final Monday of 2022. Deliciousness is on the menu beginning with Jane Applegate Belzer's beautiful Stollen. And don't forget to visit OLLI Connects on Thursday, December 8th to discover the identity of the To Tell The Truth competition winner.— Editors
OLLI Connects continues its annual celebration of National Poetry Month with a selection of poems by four different writers. Thematically linked through images of flight and trees, this edition is entitled “The Aviator, The Fledgling and The Crow.” Please click on the button below to enjoy the poems of Pindie Stephen, Linda Dunk, Morrey Grymes and M.A. Sinnhuber.
Do you ever start thinking about something and head to the Internet to find out more? That’s a silly question! Who doesn’t? As a child my mother would send me to the encyclopedia to “ look it up” when my curiosity would get the better of me. If I couldn’t find what I needed, a trip to the library would be in order. But today, a world of knowledge is at our fingertips, and sometimes I go down a deeper rabbit hole than I bargained for.
Take, for example, my recent quest for a recipe for an apple cake. When our Food! Glorious Food! SIG met last week, Janet Keeler, our speaker, mentioned that she had recently been baking an apple cake that she could not get enough of. Idea planted. Mmm. Apple cake (more…)
Late winter holidays provide the perfect excuse to gorge on sweets, treats and rich temptations for the palate in order to take the edge off a numbing progression of dark, icy days.
Wait! What? This is Florida, America’s Spring Break playground—sun, beaches, sand, Disneyworld, parks—amusement or nature—the ultimate getaway destination for the winter weary!
Sadly, not this year for the over 65 set….
The monotony of COVID-induced isolation forced us to remain holed up at home. We endured feverish hours refreshing vaccine sites or counting the days until the achievement of full immunity after getting our jabs. Late March ushered in the mass breakout of grateful grandparents sporting newly minted silver coiffures and COVID-padded waistlines. (More…)
Will the turkey catch on fire? This was the “burning” question that fascinated us kids at Thanksgiving. I suspect the adults were secretly wondering the same thing. (*Spoiler alert – if you are a fan of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 – you can probably figure out the answer.)
You may remember my story about the search for my grandmother’s potato salad recipe at the start of the pandemic’s “safer at home” order. As I was excavating my recipes – bits of paper here and there, forgotten recipes stuffed in cookbooks – I found more of her recipes, including this hand-written one. It is just called “Roast chicken in bag,” and on the other side – “Turkey done same way….” (More…)
The Saga of the Pandemic Potato Salad – Comfort Food Through the Generations
What does potato salad remind you of? To me potato salad is summer days, picnics, family, tailgating at the beach. Happiness.
I am calling this story the pandemic potato salad saga which reached out and brought comfort from the past.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 stay-at-home order, the call went out across the family network. S.O.S! My middle sister wanted to make potato salad. Not just any potato salad – the potato salad from our childhood. The way our Polish immigrant grandmother made it. So, I looked through my recipe files – something else I’ve been meaning to organize. And yes, I found it! Not only do I have it, it is handwritten, in my grandmother’s hand with notes lovingly explaining how to make it, addressed to her daughter-in-law, my mother.
Who was she, my grandmother, to remind us of comfort at this time? Katarzyna (Catherine) Walczak White was born in 1909. She emigrated from Andrychow, a small town in southern Poland, in 1913. She was four years old. (More…)
When reading George Hyde’s last post in OLLI Connects, I thought: Now I know I’m not alone in seeking ways to occupy myself during this period of quasi-hibernation. While this is a home of two readers, there are other activities that we of a certain age will be doing to exercise our spirits while at home for what now sounds like a couple of months. I’d like to know what you are doing to entertain yourself during these isolating times.
I just pulled five cookbooks off my shelf to entertain myself and share with you. The Black Sea, by a British journalist, Caroline Eden, is a travel guide and cookbook to the exotic world from Odessa to Trabzon. The recipes enrich the stories of her journey through this very ancient region. If things get back to normal, we hope to go there next year. (More…)