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December 6, 2013

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Page12 POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 6, 2013 Ray Barron's 11 O'CLOCK NEW5 Are you ready for this? Washington, D.C., has become the gayest place in America. Some 10 percent of people in the nation's capital identify as gay, according to Gallup. That's double the percentage in Hawaii, the country's former gayest state, and almost triple the national average of 3.5 percent. Wow! A record 67.5 million women in the U.S. are currently employed, which means women have recovered all the jobs they lost during the 2008 recession, the U.S. Labor Department reported. About 69 million men hold jobs, which is still down 2 million from 2007. The difference: Male-dominated professions like construc- tion and manufacturing have not fully recovered. What? Between 2003 and 2011, the U.S. Army lost track of $5.8 billion worth of sup- plies. The Pentagon is the only federal agency that still does not produce complete audits of its spending and assets. Ah, Veterans DayI According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, the United States loses 642 World War II veterans every day. Massachusetts has 36,835 living veterans from the war, and Honor Flight New England is determined to thank them all for their service while there's still time. Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 61 percent of Americans still believe the killing was the work of a conspiracy. Are you lonely? Well, 27 percent of Ameri- cans lived alone last year. In 1970, in con- trast, only 17 percent lived in single-person households. Have another cup of coffee! Coffee, like blue- berries and broccoli, contains potent anti- oxidants; it appears to reduce the risk of colon cancer, gallstones, and liver cancer, among other illnesses. In 2005, Harvard researchers found that drinking six cups of coffee or more daily cuts the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by half in men and 30 per- cent in women. One study of 80,000 women showed that those who drank more than two or three cups of coffee daily reduced their risk of suicide over 10 years by a third. Numerous studies have found no link between caffeine and cardiovascular dis- ease. But it can cause anxiety, jitters, and heart palpitations, particularly in people who are sensitive to it. It also can cause stomach pain and gastrointestinal reflux, may make it harder for a woman to get pregnant, and may increase the risk of miscarriage or a low-birth-weight baby. Doctors advise pregnant women to give up caffeine, or keep consumption down to a cup or two of coffee daily. Sleeplessness, not surprisingly, is a notorious side effect of caffeine. Poorly speaking. Almost 40 percent of adults between the ages of 25 and 60 will spend at least one year earning less than 150 percent of the poverty line. But most Americans will eventually recover. Just 11.6 percent will spend five years or more impoverished and only 6.1 percent of Americans spend five or more consecutive years in poverty. Bella Culo of Chestnut Hill, says, "It would be extremely helpful if the poor were to get half the money that is spent studying them." A reminder: Children who are reared in homes of poverty have only two mealtime choices -- take it or leave it. For many the idea of poverty is a black- and-white television. We experienced poverty when my beloved father passed away. There we were at 49 Everett Street, East Boston, four small children and a young mother forced to go on welfare. Enough said. Fortunately, a few years later my attractive mother became the wife of a man who was loaded with money. Ah, from rags to riches7 No more cold-water flat, wearing used clothing, etc. Here we are facing the last days of the year. Ah, New Year's Eve! Many Ameri- cans no longer celebrate the arrival of the New Year -- they celebrate the survival of the old year. Well, start thinking of purchasing a Christmas o o o tree. To think, the idea of Christmas tree ornaments originated back to the time of the Romans, During the Saturnalias, which coincides roughly with our Christmas holi- day, the Romans hung little masks of Bacchus on pine trees. Virgil refers to these dangling ornaments as oscilla and describes how during the December season ever- greens were laden with them. The mentioning of Rome reminded us that in ancient Rome it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a hooked nose. Until the time of Caesars, all Romans were vegetarians. Ancient Romans always entered the home of a friend on their right foot -- the left side of the body was thought to indicate evil. The brainy Kyle Waters of Swampscott reminds us Pilgrims ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving dinner. We have been asked if Howie Carr is a native of Massachusetts. NoI The brilliant Howie Carr was born in Portland, Maine. He's no dummyY He is a graduate of Deerfield Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, School of Journalism, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1973. He is a happily married man and dad of two children. Yes! Washington is justifiably proud of its quiet, modern subway system, but few of the thousands of commuters who ride daily know that more than 60 percent of Metro's 764 subway cars are made in Italy. The DC Transit Authority purchased 466 cars from Breda Costruzioni Ferroviarie in Pistoia at a cost of about $1.3 million each. Once again we collaborated with the great stately musicologist and philanthropist Albert Natale to create a greater awareness about Italian American musicians. First, be aware the famous music arranger and composer Jerry Gray, born Jerry Graziano, is native of East Boston. Jerry created such geat songs as "String of Pearls," "Pen- nsylvania 6-5000," "Sun Valley Jump," and "Here We Go Again." Jerry created the arrangement of "Begin the Beguine," for Artie Shaw. And Jerry created many of Glenn Miller arrangements such as, "In the Mood." Another great contributor to America's songbook is Harry Warren, born Salvatore Guaragna in Brooklyn. One of Hollywood's most successful composers during the '30s, '40s, and '50s. He wrote such hit songs as "I Only Have Eyes For You," "That's Amore," "A Love Affair To Remem- ber," "You'll Never Know," "Lullaby of Broad- way," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," and many others. Harry Warren wrote more hit songs than Cole Porter, George Gershwin or Irving Berlin. Three of his songs earned him three Academy Awards. Wee bit of Italian-American history. Giovanni Caboto known in American history as John Cabot discovered the mainland of North America. John Basilone of New Jersey was the first enlisted man to win the Medal of Honor in World War II. Giacomo Beltrami, discovered the source of the Mississippi River in 1823. And Alessandro Malaspina mapped the Pacific from Mexico to Alaska and to the Philippines. For you dummies! Ten body parts are only three letters long: eye, ear, leg, arm, jaw, gum, toe, lip, hip, and rib. The most used letter in the English alphabet is E: Q is the least used. The oldest word in the English language is town. One more time[ There are about five thousand different languages spoken on Earth. Pumpkins contain vita- min A and potassium. Less you forget, the most widely eaten fruit in America is the banana. Once again! Approximately seven- teen thousand bananas are eaten each week in the Boston University dining room. AMERICA IS l BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME Recipes from the Homeland by Vita Orlando Sinopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED CASSATTEDI "la-sa-ted-dee" A Sicilian Christmas Ricotta Cheese Turnover I pound container ricotta cheese 2 cups flour 1 tablespoon orange rind 3/4 cups water 1 tablespoons red wine 1/4 cup shortening or margarine 1/2 teaspoon sugar Pinch of salt Pinch of cinnamon (optional) 2 cups cooking oil Additional granulated sugar 10-inch Teflon skillet Place ricotta cheese in a colander to drain. Put flour in ten-inch bowl. Cut in shortening with knife and fork. Add sugar and salt. Mix while adding water slowly. Before using all water, work red wine into mixture. (Wine causes dough to bubble when fried). Continue mixing dough until it holds together and all flour is used. Knead dough to a smooth consistency. Separate into three portions. Roll each into a long piece. Cut roll into smaller portions approximately one-inch thick. Place in bowl and cover. Transfer drained ricotta into bowl. Add orange rind, cinnamon and mix thoroughly by hand. With rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into paper-thin rounds. Place a tablespoon of ricotta in center of dough. Fold over (like turnovers). Press lightly around filling to allow inside air to escape. Then seal edges with crinkled pastry cutter or press edge with fork. Set aside on pastry cloth or a flour-dusted tablecloth. Makes about twenty-four Cassattedi. Pour enough oil in a ten-inch Teflon skillet to cover bottom. Prick top of 6 Cassattedi at a time (with a pin) before placing in hot oil top down. When frying, turn each one with spatula until golden brown on both sides. When any ricotta or fluid escapes into the hot oil, the liquid will splatter and burn. Remove Cassattedi from oil. Clean skillet. Add and heat new oil and continue frying remaining Cassattedi. Place fried Cassattedi in a serving platter layered with granulated sugar. Sprinkle additional sugar on each one. Serve hot or cooled. Leftover Cassattedi must be refrigerated. NOTE: While I fry my Cassattedi each year with my daughters, my mind wanders back to the many times I stood with my cousins at Zia Marianna's black Glenwood stove on Charter Street. We waited patiently to sprinkle granulated sugar over our favorite Christmas treats. Then we served them to the relatives who gathered at the round kitchen table where we later enjoyed our Christmas Eve supper. Vita can be reached at voswriting @ comcast, net * Thinking Out Loud (Continued from Page 4) America and we are a free people. Back in 1950, Father Keller the founder of the Christopher's movement wrote, "Government is our business. Either we run it or it runs us." We the People need to get back to electing representa- tives to government that rep- resent us and the Constitu- tion of the United States again. We cannot become that Nation of Sheep who would put up with anything. As Ben Franklin said over 200 years ago, "We are a Republic if we can keep it." It is time to elect presidents and legislators in Washing- ton who work for us again. From MyBakery Perch i|TA ORLANDO SINOPOLI 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 WWW.BOSTONPOSTGAZETTE.COM