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Page12 . , , . . . - POST-GAZETTE, MAY 10, 2013 Ray Barron'e 11 O'CLOCK NEW5 Wow! President Obama took 131 vacation days in hisfirst term. In his two terms, Presi- dent George W. Bush took 1,060 vacation days. At this date, though she has not indicated whether she intends to run for president in 2016, Hilary Clinton has a six-person "transition office" in Washington, D.C. Polls suggest that if she does run, the Democratic nomination is hers to lose: In Iowa, Clinton currently is running 39 points ahead of every other potential Democratic contender, including Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo. In New Hampshire, the margin is 53 points. Bella Culo of Chestnut Hill, thinks the Democrats should back Hilary Clinton for President and Andrew Cuomo as Vice-presi- dent. What a winning ticket! Be aware, the government spent $74.6 bil- lion on food stamp benefits last year, up from $30.4 billion in 2007. With 15 percent of Americans now receiving food stamps, the program's budget is equiva.ent to the com- bined budgets of the Depaltment of Home- land Security, the Justice Department and the Department of the Interior. We noted with interest that one of the keys to cleaning teeth is by eating apples, carrots or celery. Strawberries temporarily make teeth appear whiter. Big bargain! A typo in a Macy's catalog resulted in a $1,500 necklace being priced at just $47. Dozens of customers snapped up the 14-karat gold and sterling silver neck- lace at stores before the department store took it off sale. Eggheads! Two moms had a fistfight at an Easter egg hunt in Seattle when one mom pushed the other's kid out of the way so her own kid could reach the egg first. One mom got a black eye. Weird! A U.S. Marine returned home from Iraq, only to be told that he can't fly an Ameri- can flag on his property. Hypoluxo, Florida, officials told Gregory Schaffer that the flag must come down until he gets a permit cost- ing about $1,000 for his flag pole. "I fought for the flag and now I'm paying for the flag," Schaffer said. Bravo! Caroline Kennedy is being vetted for the position of U.S. Ambassador to Japan and the president reportedly intends to appoint her in the next week or so. Kennedy, the last surviving member of President John F. Kennedy's immediate family, was an early Obama supporter and served as co-chair- woman of his re-election campaign. But crit- ics have attacked Kennedy's lack of govern- ment and business experience, pointing out that she was forced to abandon her last, brief venture into politics -- a bid for one of New York's Senate seats in 2008 -- after a series of awkward public appearances. The real poop! To avoid using diapers, friendly New York City parents are training babies to poop and pee while they hold them over bowls and toilets. "Elimination commu- nication" requires parents to study weeks- old babies' cues when they're about to go, and train them to go on command with a verbal sound such as "ssss." Not only are diapers saved, one parent said, Morn and Dad are "more in tune with what their kids' needs are." A sexy booking! Erotic novelist Chad Leslie Peters posted an ad seeking a "female par- ticipant" for a 30-day love affair, which he will turn into a nonfiction book. Peters is asking for a woman 20 or over who is "pref- erably an English or writing major." George W. Bush, whose presidential library opened with his popularity rebounding. In a new poll, 47 percent said they approved of Bush's job as president, while just 34 per- cent said they "strongly disapproved." Joe Berti, who crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon just 30 seconds before the first bomb went off, then returned home to Texas, where he witnessed a fertilizer plant explode. "Maybe he just needs to stand in an open field," said his wife, Amy. From Rome! Desperate for a government two months after an election that gave no party a clear majority, the Italian parliament took the unprecedented step of re-appointing Giorgio Napolitano, 87, to a second 7-year term as president. Law- makers said there was nobody else they could O O O trust to pick a  new prime minister. Napolitano grudgingly accepted and immediately smacked them with a blister- ing speech, blaming them for "a long series of mistakes" and "irresponsibility" and for fail- ing to enact the electoral and economic reforms the ailing country desperately needs. Napolitano chose Enrico Letta of the Demo- cratic Party to form a coalition to govern and all but ordered lawmakers to support him, saying, "There is no alternative." A royal pain in the --! Prince Harry wants to marry new girlfriend Cressida Bonas but has put on so much pressure that he's left the 24-year-old in "floods of tears," says The Dail Telegraph (U.K.). The 30-year-old play- boy prince is convinced Bonas would make a great royal wife, but her friends told the London newspaper that Harry has been com- ing on too strong. "She thinks she is far too young to get married and is scared by all his talk of marriage and settling down," said one friend. The couple met while at Leeds University, but separated after graduation. They reignited their romance last May. Did you hear about it? Two boys discovered a giant, decomposing foot in the woods near Quincy, Mass., leaving some local residents wondering if it came from the fabled Bigfoot. The boys say they found the foot while play- ing in the woods and police are now testing the appendage to determine its origin. Though the foot has five toes, the local medi- cal examiner has determined that it's not human. Hold that tiger! A tiger briefly escaped from a Kansas circus and gave a patron quite a scare when it wandered into the ladieS" room. Jenna Krehbiel had just finished watching the big cat show and went into the bathroom, not knowing one of the cats had gotten away from its handlers. "You don't expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you," Krehbiel said. She quickly turned and left, and the tiger was returned to its cage. Krehbiel said that when she told her 3-year-old daughter that she'd encountered a tiger in the bath- room, the girl asked if the tiger "had washed its hands." Some useless information! The Nether- lands and the United States both have anthems that do not mention their coun- tries' names. Ulysses S. Grant had the boy- hood nickname "Useless." Andrew Jackson was the only president to believe that the world is fiat. The most common name in Italy is Mario Rossi. And one more time! Coca-Cola was first served at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta in 1886 for only five cents a glass. The formula for Coca-Cola was created by pharmacist John Pemberton. Only two people in the world know the secret recipe for Coca- Cola. Some show biz reminiscing with the stately musicologist and philanthropist Albert Natale. Some of the most successful concerts based on box-office grosses are: Barbara Streisand, The Roiling Stones, Bette Midler, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen. Elvis Presley is the most successful solo record- ing artist of all time. With 170 hit singles and over 80 best-selling albums since 1954, his achievements are unparalleled in record- ing history. Some of the most popular juke- box singles of 1992 are Patsy Cline's "Crazy." Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife." Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock." And Frank Sinatra singing "New York, New York." And Domenico Modugno's 1958 Italian-language hit "Volare" is the most popular foreign-language single of all time in the U.S., with sales of over $2 million. And the Christmas season wouldn't be quite the same without the warm, nostalgic strains of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas." Recorded by Bing Crosby on May 29, 1942, this is the most popular single of all time. The song has even been sung in three different motion pictures and North American sales alone have exceeded 171 million copies! AMERICA IS l BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME Recipes from the Homeland by Vita Orlando Sinopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED NONNA MARY'S FISH CAKES 1 pound of cod or haddock fillet 3 large or 4 small potatoes 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 2 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 egg beaten 1 four-quart pan Medium-size Teflon skillet 1/4 cup cooking oil I/4 cup dried bread crumbs (optional) Peel, cut and wash potatoes. Cover potatoes with water in the four-quart pan and bring to a boil. Boil for fifteen minutes. Meanwhile remove all skin and bones from fish. Add cleaned fish to boiling potatoes. (If desired, fish may be boiled separately). Boil fish and potatoes slowly for about ten to twelve minutes. When potatoes and fish are cooked, drain contents in colander for a few minutes. While still warm, place potatoes and fish in a bowl with butter and salt to taste. Add grated Romano cheese, parsley, and beaten egg. Stir and mix well. If mixture is too soft, add some bread crumbs to absorb any extra liquid. Store covered in refrig- erator to cool. Mixture is easier to shape into fiat fish cakes when cool. SHAPING: Take a FULL tablespoon of mixture in hand and shape like a flattened meatball. Heat oil in skillet. Fry fish cakes until golden brown. Turn over with spatula to brown on other side. Then remove from skillet and place in paper plate to absorb excess oil. OPTIONAL: For those who prefer baked food, place the fish cake mixture in a lightly oil-sprayed baking dish. After covering the baking dish with aluminum foil, place it in a preheated 350F oven to bake for about twenty minutes. Remove cover to lightly brown top before serving. Serve with vegetable of choice or salad. NOTE: This is a recipe taught to me by my mother-in-law, Mary Sinopoli. It has been a long-time favorite of the family. I often receive requests today from our children and grand- children for the fried fish cakes. It takes a little patience to fry them. but my pleasure is in seeing everyone enjoying them. Some prefer the baked mixture so I usually make some of each. Vita can be reached at voswriting@comcast.net , Spring Festival (Continued Graney; as well as work- shops on fruit trees, mush- rooms and collecting rain- water . This event also offers the opportunity to take a self- guided tour of the Learning Garden and network with other gardeners. "The Spring Festival and Perennial Divide is the place to get ready and excited about the new gardening season," said Valerie Burns, BNAN President. "The Fes- tival offers plants, informa- tion, bees and a great envi- ronment to network with fellow gardeners." For more information about the Spring Festival and Perennial Divide, con- tact BNAN at 617-542-7696 r 'rom MyBakerreY h \\;qr. ORLA'i)O IOPOLI from Page 5) or www.bostonnatural.org. City Natives is accessible by public transportation to Mattapan Square. Remem- ber only service dogs are al- lowed onto the property. Boston Natural Areas Net- work is a non-profit organi- zation dedicated to bringing together local residents, partner organizations, pub- lic officials and foundations to preserve, expand and enhance urban open space, including community gar- dens, greenways and urban wilds. For further informa- tion about the organization, becoming a member or the calendar of events, visit www.bostonnaturaLorg or call 617-542-7696. I st Generation Italian-American Vita Orlando Sinopoli Shares with us a delightful recollection of her memories as a child growing up in Boston's "Little Italy" and a collection of Italian family recipes from the homeland. Great as Gifts FROM MY BAKERY PERCH available on AMAZON.COM and in local bookstores -- ask for Hard cover #1-4010-9805-3 ISBN Soft Cover #1-4010-9804-5 ISBN