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December 2, 2011     Post-Gazette
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December 2, 2011

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I !1Ri~iiiliiMR iil~UilDgl| |]i~ 't:~ige-'12 POST-QA E-TE;' B BER 2, "2011 Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette 11 ay 15arron's So what's new? Congress shelved proposed changes to the nation's school lunch pro- gram that were designed to reduce child- hood obesity by adding fruits and vegetables while cutting French fries and pizza. Imag- ine cutting out pizza! With the proposal de- feated, the tomato paste on a slice of frozen pizza still counts as a serving of vegetables. So what's new in Italy? Researchers in Italy found that drinking one to two pints of beer per day has the same cardiovascular benefits as red wine, which can lower the risk of heart disease by 31 percent. Hey! Stick to drinking Italian red wine! Weirdt A South African man was savagely chewed to death by a 2,400-pound hippopota- mus he kept as a pe.t. "Humphrey's like a son to me, he's just like a human," Marius Els, 40, had insisted. Finder's keepers? Charles Preston of San Jose, California discovered 8500,000 worth of cocaine hidden in a used minivan he pur- chased for 814,000 last year. He quickly called police, who told him, "You're so lucky -- you'd be in jail for the rest of your life if you got searched in a traffic stop and they found this." Bugging people! A North Carolina couple is suing Air Tran Airways for $100,000, be- cause they claim they saw cockroaches on a flight. Harry Marsh and Kaitlin Rush say the sight of cockroaches crawling out of an air vent "caused great distress," and forced them to throw away clothing in their lug- gage for fear of roach contamination. Unbelievable! A Cincinnati woman driv- ing her choking 8-year-old daughter to the hospital hit a deep rut, dislodging the locket stuck in the girl's throat and saving her life. "Oh Morn, I feel better. I don't feel it any- more," said Laci Davis, after the locket dropped down to her stomach. Burton's angry widow! Don't mention the name Elizabeth Taylor to Sally Burton, said Christopher Wilson in the London Telegraph. In the 27 years since the death of her hus- band, actor Richard Burton, Sally has grown sick of hearing Taylor described as the love of his life. "I get ticked off with all the talk of a great love story," says Burton's fourth and final wife. "Yes they were in love, but they got divorced twice -- that means their mar- riage didn't work." Sally, 63, is especially angered by claims made in a recent book that Burton wrote a love letter to Taylor on his deathbed. "There was no letter," she says. And she should know: She was nurs- ing Burton when he died of a brain hemor- rhage in 1984. Sally believes the writers made up the letter -- which has never been seen in public -- to help sell their book. Sally finds these efforts to hype Burton's romance with Taylor all the more painful because while Taylor married twice more after Bur- ton, Sally stayed single. Burton was her one- and-only. For the record, Richard Burton is at the Protestant Churchyard Cemetery, Celigny, Switzerland. Speaking of cemeteries, here is where you'l! find some famous hunks: Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Preston Foster, John Gilbert, Ted Knight, Robert Taylor, Mervyn LeRoy, Vincente Minnelli, Joe Penner and other notable hunks, at the Forest Lawn Memo- rial P'ark, Glendale, CA. Also buried there, some of Hollywood's sexy women such as Rosemary Lane, Carole (Gable) Lombard, Jeanette MacDonald, Edna May Oliver, Lilli Palmer, Ruth Roland, Norma Shearer and a few other sweeties. Some interesting useless information: Daytime. dramas ark called soap operas be- cause they were originally used to adver- tise soap .powder. In America in the early days of television, advertisers would write stories around the use of soap powder. For many years, the globe on the NBC Nightly News spun in the wrong direction. On Janu- ary 2, 1984, NBC finally set the world spin- ning in the proper direction. Before Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat was the most pop- ular cartoon character. He was the first cartoon character to ever have been made into a balloon for a parade. After the Popeye comic started in 1.93-1, ,spinach. con- r sumption went up by 33% in the US. Walt Dis- O O O ney named ~, Mickey Mouse after Mickey Rooney, whose mother he dated for some time. Walt Disney originally supplied the voice for Mickey Mouse. And Donald Duck comics were banned in Fin- land because he doesn't wear pants. Italy is in the news because of Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's longest-serving postwar prime minister. Berlusconi in brief, real brief, Berlusconi started his career as a crooner on cruise ships, before getting a law degree and starting a local cable TV com- pany. He eventually grew that company into Italy's biggest media empire. Dozens of scandals have highlighted his career! As embarrassing as Berlusconi has been to Italy's elites, he retained the grudging ad- miration of many working-class Italians, who identified with his love of soccer, en- vied his sex life and saw him as an authen- tic man of the people. "The average Italian saw himself as Berlusconi, only poorer," newspaper columnist Massimo Gramellini told The New York Times. Berlusconi -- whose nickname, "I1 Cavaliere," means "The Knight" -- further secured his power by buying the loyalty of other politicians and powerbrokers. Well, now out of office, he faces three trials he no longer has the means to evade. The 75-year-old needn't worry. In his previous term, he passed a law allowing most criminals older than 70 to avoid jail time. Arrivederci! I Redpe from I Homeland I COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Roast Leg of Lamb 1 leg of lamb(5 to 6 pounds) 1/2 cup chopped mint (optional) 4 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup lemo.njuice 1 tablespoon thyme or oregano Salt and pepper Rub the l~g of lamb with half of a garlic clove. Then make several gashes with point of knife into the lamb leg and insert small cut portions of garlic clove into the narrow openings. Rub meat with mint, thyme, or. oregano, which- ever you plan .to use, or some of each. Rub leg of lamb with salt and pepper. Add a little water to the lemon juice and pour gently over lamb. Place lamb fat side up in roast- ing pan. Place in preheated~325F oven uncovered. After 30 minutes, baste lamb with juices from the roasting pan and repeat frequently. Lamb should be baked until meat thermometer reads 175 to 180F. If you are baking without a meat thermometer, allow lamb to bake approximately 30 minutes per pound of lamb. Add more water mixed with a little lemon juice if more liquid is needed for basting. OPTIONAL: Small white potatoes, carrots and some mush- rooms can be added around the leg of lamb after the lamb has baked about an hour. Continue basting vegetables as well as the lamb. - NOTE: I awoke Easter morning to a combination of aromas filling the kitchen. I watched as Mama put the lamb roast into the overL I saw the chicken soup simmering slowly on the stove next to the tomato sauce Mama had prepared earlier. I always asked to have one of the meatballs as she completed frying them. When did Mama start all this, I wondered. On the kitchen table, a bowl of hard-boiled eggs greeted my eyes along with a Cannattone (Easter Bread) for Peter and me. As Peter, Papa and I departed for church after breakfast, Nonna and Mama's sister Lena arrived to help make the .ravioli. I knew then that the Easter meal would keep us at the table for a long time.~ "What are we going to do without Silvio Berlusconi?" asked Massimo. "I have spent : : my entire career as a journalist covering the mogul turned prime minister, who dominated Italian politics for 17 years." When he was the owner of the soccer team AC Milan, he seemed "the classic Milanese fig- ure we call a cumenda, a brash and success- ful man surrounded by servile aides." He used to whip off his expensive coat and toss it behind him, sure that "there was always someone ready to catch it." Later we learned that there were two Berlusconi's: the laugh- ing, joking one and the shadowy figure who somehow finagled multimillion-dollar loans while still in his 20s. We laughed when he insisted on a soft-focus lens to hide his wrinkles on camera, but even as we were appalled by him, many of us secretly wanted to be him. Berlusconi mesmerized us. "Think about how many times, my fellow Italians, you have thought about him in the last few years. Surely more than you have thought about youi- mother-in-law." Arguing about him was the national sport: "No one else has divided Italy and Italians the way he has." Politics will be deadly dull without him. Interesting to note, Americans last year filled 254 million prescriptions for pain-kill- ing opioid drugs such as OxyContin and Percocet -- enough to medicate every Ameri- can adult around the clock for a month. Time for some reminiscing with the stately musicologist Albert Natale. Teresa Brewer began her professional singing ca- reer at age two. She had her first million record seller before she was sixteen; The song was "Music, Music, Music." While tour- ing battle areas during World War II, singer Jo Stafford was often voted "G.I. Jo" by a com- pany or squadron. One more time! Boston's Don Costa arranged for some of the top re- cording artists around. They include Vic Damone, Sarah Vaughn, Eydie Gorme, Vaughn Monroe, Steve Lawrence, Paul Anka and Frank Sinatra. Perry Como,s first hit was in 1944: "Long Ago" (and far away). His last hit was "It's Impossible" (1972). John Travolta made his film debut in the horror movie "The Devil's Rain" (1975). He wore a mask and uttered the lines, "Blasphemer! Get him, he is a blasphemer!" Singer Connie Francis first big hit was "Who's Sorry Now." Connie Francis, an Italian American, true name is Concetta Maria Rosa Franconero. AMERICA IS A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME From MYBakerH Perch 1st 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 Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs COMPETITIVE PRICES --