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March 20, 2015

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POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 2O, 2015 Page 11 Ray Barron's Oggi! "I shall return." Douglas MacArthur, promise to the Filipinos on March 20, 1942. Ready for this? Hearty breakfasts, after an Australian man discovered a nearly 7-foot python curled up inside a cereal box. "I peeked in the box, saw its head pop out," said Jarred Smith. "That's when I dropped my food on the counter and bolted for the door." A millionaire motorist in Finland, where traffic Fines are scaled to income, had to pay- a nearly $60,000 fine for driving 64 mph in a 50 mph zone. "Finland is impossible to live in," the driver said, "for certain kinds of people." Irony, after Alaska's annual Iditarod dog sled race had to be moved northward due to lack of snow. *If one more person says to move the Iditarod to Boston," said race director Mark Nordman, *I'm going to shake my head." Morons? A student group at the University of California at Irvine voted to remove the American flag from a campus building to avoid "triggering" students who see the flag as a symbol of American *colonialism and imperialism." Since the flag may upset these students, the group said, displaying it is a form of "hate speech." Boring news! The U.S. Supreme Court renewed the fight against Obamacare's con- traception mandate, throwing out a lower- court decision that ruled against Notre Dame University's objection to providing birth con- trol to its employees. The Roman Catholic college opposes the mandate on religious grounds. In 2013, the Obama administra- tion issued an exemption for such religiously affiliated organizations, allowing them to fill out a form that punted the task of providing contraception to insurance companies. But the college says this certification process still forces the university to approve contracep- tion coverage, even if it doesn't provide it. The 7 Circuit Court of Appeals will now have to reconsider Notre Dame's case. Choo! Choo! Looking up, after a 27-year- old Florida woman had a miraculous escape after walking into the path of an oncoming freight train while texting. Sheena Keynna broke an arm, but survived. Gossip stuff. Susan Sarandon has dumped her boy-toy lover, 37-year-old entrepreneur Jonathan Bricklin, The pair first got together in 2010, after meeting on a road-trip in Chile. But their May-December romance was strained by Bricklin's recent decision to accept a role in an upcoming AOL reality- TV show Connected, says the New York Post. A source said that Sarandon, 68, hated hav- ing cameras follow her everywhere and broke with Bricklin by announcing, "You're a cast member -- I'm not." Can fat really be good for us? Yes, but not all fats are created equal. Foods like beans nuts, and fish, which are rich in mono- unsatured and polyunsaturated fats, are strongly linked to good cardiovascular health. But several recent studies found that even the saturated fats in red meat, butter, and cheese can be consumed in moderation, and that foods high in cholesterol do not raise cholesterol levels in most people. Those find- ings run couter to decades-old dietary guide- lines from the American Heart Association and the U.S. government, which stated that people should avoid saturated fats because they clog our arteries, causing heart attacks and strokes. To think, Americans have more food to eat than any other people on earth, and more diets to keep them from eating it. The great Paul Waters of Swampscott, says, "Don't argue at the dinner table. The one who is not hungry always wins the argument," Paul's son, Kyle, a brilliant student at Bos- ton College, says, "The noblest of all animals is the dog, and the noblest of all dogs is the hotdog. It feeds the hand that bites it," And Kyle's great mom, Robin, says. "Scientists tell us we are what we eat. Nuts must be more common in diets than we thought." Comes Tuesday, March 24 Kyle's mom will be celebrating her birthday. As for gifts, she will appreciate more hugs and kisses. What a dope/ A Nebraska man was fined $100 for mari- O 0 0 juana pos- session after police searched his car and found his stash hidden in a container labeled "not weed." Sheriff Teny Wagner said that his deputies stopped the 21-year-old man on suspicion of driving drunk and discovered a pot-filled sour cream tub under a passenger seat. The words "not weed" were written in marker on the plastic container's lid. "We call that a clue," said Wagner. Ireland, now a land of immigrants. The Irish people have done an incredible job integrating immigrants -- but the state has not, said Fintan O'Toole. A decade ago, a nation as white as Wonder Bread and *as Catholic as a convent" coped with a sudden influx of foreigners -- Poles, Brazilians, Nigerians, and others. It was a massive up- heaval and for a nation used to emigrants and not imigrants, it seemed "a breach in the natural order of things." Yet somehow we absorbed these newcomers with no nationalist backlash. Integration happened at the societal level, in the schools. Faced with kids who couldn't speak English, teach- ers and students *deployed the native graces -- humor, curiosity, rough decency -- and muddled through." But the success story is now at risk, because the government has refused to spend any money promoting integration since the 2008 financial crash. Segregation is growing, with Catholic students opting for Catholic education and minorities left concentrated in a few urban schools. The solution is clear: It's time to take the church out of education and make our schools "community-owned public insti- tutions in which all children are welcomed equally and all faithsare facilitated." "If we of different backgrotmds are to form one nation, *our children must get to know one another." How true! To think, in Boston we had school boy cadets who marched side-by-side with fel- low students who were African-Americans, Hispanics, Irish, Italian, Greek, etc. Bring back the cadetsl Well, yours truly helped to sponsor the last 10,000 Boston cadets on parade. We were invited to the reviewing stand. Enough said. Useless information: In 1966 shock treat- ment was used to stop a sneezing fit that had wracked 17-year-old June Clark of Miami, Florida, for a record of 155 days. The next time you purchase Planters Pea- nuts, bear in mind, Mr. Peanut and the Plant- ers Peanut Company were created by Amedeo Obici and Mario Peruzzi, two Italian immi- grants. Obici, who came to America from Oderzo in 1889, began selling five-cent bags of peanuts on the street. In 1897, he took Peruzzi as his partner. By 1930, the two had four huge factories, and raked in over $12 million annually. Today the Planters Pea- nut Company has over 5,000 employees. Time to do some reminiscing with the stately musicologist Albert Natale. When Frank Sinatra first went from the Harry James Band to that of Tommy Dorsey, Frank had to wait out the two weeks' notice being served by Tommy's existing singer, Allan DeWitt. Ruby Keeler had this to say about AI Jolson. "He was my first husband. He used to boast that he was spoiling me for any man who might come after him. I think AI sensed that it wasn't easy for me being married to an American institution ... Was he right about spoiling me? I'm sorry, I couldn't possibly say. I couldn't be that indiscreet." Elliott Gould had this to say about Barbra Streisand. "It didn't help our marriage when I became known as Barbra Streisand's husband. When we met, I was the leading man, she was the newcomer." And Madonna claims " wouldn't mind hav- ing an affair with Marlene Dietrich when she was young. Like, who wouldn't?" The Saint Patrick's Day parade was truly greatl AMERICA I$ A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME i ii: Pardi Mangi! Yo. E.,:) Benvenutif Let's "day trip" from Piemonte to Liguria to dis- cover the traditional Torta Pasqualina, a savory pie that is pre- pared once a year to celebrate Easter. This old recipe, dating back to the 1500's, is a mix of Christian and pagan symbol- ism. According to the legend, the authentic recipe for this pie was prepared with 33 layers of dough to symbolize the life of Christ. Among the other ingredients are eggs to symbolize fer- tility, renewal, and life. Leafy vegetables symbolize the return of spring and the awakening of after the long, cold win- ter. Another interesting symbolism comes from the cheese used to prepare this pie: as cheese was once considered an expen- sive ingredient, used only on the occasion of special events like religious festivities. There are many regional varieties of Torta Pasqualina throughout Italy. This savory pie can be eaten warm or cold or even enjoyed the day after its preparation, that's why it is typical to pack some of it in the traditional picnic basket prepared in occasion of Pasquetta (Easter Mon- day) when Italians traditionally take a day trip to the country to enjoy the outdoors and the fresh breeze of spring, playing, relaxing and taking an afternoon nap under the shade of a tree. Easter eggs in Italy are made out of chocolate for the joy of all children and are called uova di Pasqua. They are handcrafted or store made, wrapped in shiny colorful paper, come in a range of sizes and decorations, and are hollow to be filled with a toy or other gift. It is typical to receive several uova di Pasqua from both family members and friends each year. Buona Pasqua a tutti! (Happy Easter to alI!) Torta Pasqualina (Serves 6) 1 package of puff pastry sheets (2 sheets) 14 oz Swiss chard 14 oz fresh spinach 1 bunch arugula 1 medium onion chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole 3 Tbsp breadcrumbs One 12 oz package of regular whole ricotta cheese or goat ricotta cheese V2 cup cheese grated Extra virgin olive oil 6 eggs Salt and pepper to taste 1 tbsp flesh madorarn, chopped Preparation: wash and chop the Swiss chard, spinach and arugula. In a pan, heat the olive oil, add the garlic, the chopped onion; add a little water then cover to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the garlic and add the Swiss chard, spinach and arugula to the pan, stir well and allow to break up (15-20 min). Remove the vegetables from the pan, drain, squeeze out moisture, place in a bowl and mix with breadcrumbs, ricotta, grated cheese and two eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the marjoram. Line a 10 inch pie dish with parchment paper, roll out enough (1/8 inch) pie crust dough to cover the base and the sides of the dish. The dough should extend a little over the top edge. Fill the lined dish with 3A of the vegetable mixture. Level. With a spoon, make 4 deep equidistant hollows and care- fully brake I egg into each whole. Carefully, without brak- ing the eggs, cover with the rest of the filling, leveling it out. Roll out the remaining dough and cover the filling with it. Press the dough that was left at the edges down firmly over the lid to seal. Pierce the dough and brush with egg wash. Bake in a 350 F preheated oven for 40 minutes. Allow to cool down before serving. Buon appetito! Torta Pasqualina (Serve 6) 1 confezione di pasta sfoglia (2 sfoglie) 400 g di bieta 400 g di spinaci freschi 1 mazzetto di rucola 1 cipolla media tritata 2 spicchi d'aglio pelati e interi 3 cucchiai di pane grattugiato Una confezione da 300 g di ricotta di capra o mucca 50 g di formaggio grattugiato Olio extra vergine di oliva 6 uova Sale e pepe q.b. 1 cucchiato di maggiorana fresca, tritatcc Preparazione: lava e taglia grossolanamente la bieta, gli spinaci e la rucola. In una padella riscalda l'olio e aggiungi l'aglio, la cipolla tritata e poca acqua quindi copri e cuoci per circa 5 minuti a fiamma bassa. Togli raglio e aggiungi la bieta, gli spinaci e la rucola, mescola bene e fai appassire il tutto (15-20 minuti). Rimuovi dalla padella, scola, strizza bene, trasferisci in una terrina e incorpora pane grattugiato, ricotta, formaggio grattugiato e due uova. Regola di sale e pepe e incorpora la maggiorana. Rivesti una tortiera da 25 cm di diametro con della carta forno e rivesti la base con uno strato di pasta spesso 2-3 mm. La pasta deve eccedere i bordi della teglia. Versa 3A del composto di verdure nella teglia, livellando bene. Con un chucchiaio, pratica 4 conche equidistanti profonde nelle quali romperai le quattro uova rimaste facendo attenzione a non romperle. Delicatamente ricopri con il composto di verdure rimasto, livellando. Ricopri con un disco di pasta sfoglia e chiudi bene i margini. Con una forchetta, pratica dei buchini sulla superficie della torta e spennella con dell'uovo sbattuto. Infoma in forno pre-riscaldato a 180 C per 40 minuti. Fai raffreddare prima di servire. Buon appetito! AD