The New Year... Need Help for Haiti

>> Saturday 9 January 2010

Updated: Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010

Haiti needs our help. Please give whatever you can.

Donate to Haiti earthquake victims:

Save the Children. Donate online or make checks out to “Save the Children” and mail to: Save the Children Income Processing Department, 54 Wilton Road, Westport, Conn. 06880

- UNICEF. Go online to or call (800) 4UNICEF.

- Direct Relief International. Donate online.

- Mercy Corps. Go online or mail checks to Haiti Earthquake Fund, Dept. NR, PO Box 2669, Portland, Ore. 97208 or call (888) 256-1900


Hi Everyone,

All the best for the New Year! I hope that 2010 is off to a good start for you and I wish you much success, good health and happines, not just for this year but always.

So, how have you been? And how was your holiday? Mine was really quiet, just the way I like it. I don't know but I find that the older I get, the less fussy I feel about the "bells and whistles" of things. I just want to enjoy them for their significance and to make the time meaningful.

I thoroughly enjoyed my break and though I got around to many blogs, I am sure that there are some I missed... sorry about that. Thank you all for stopping by and for your Christmas and New Year's wishes! Much appreciated.

The past week marked the beginning of the 4th year of my blog and newspaper column... seems like just yesterday I started them... to start the year off, I reflected on the traditional drinks that are made around the holidays to warm the hearts and the bodies. Take your pick - Ponche de Creme, Mulled Wine, Egg Nog, Ginger Beer, Buttered Rum, Sherry, Sorrel. Let me tell you about the Sherry tradition in my home and what a treat coffee was on Christmas morning. Click here to read the column.

Speaking of Sorrel, I saw a new variety for the first time in this year's offerings of sorrel at the market. At first I thought that the vendor had picked the unripened sorrel but when I enquired, she told me that this is white-green sorrel is of a different variety. Find out in this week's column how it measures up to the traditional red sorrel.

I wanted something different this year instead of the traditional macaroni pie and so I made my friend Felix's Corn Pie - love, love, love it! I made the recipe precisely as directed and the only thing I did differntly was to stir in some grated cheese just before adding it to the dish to bake and sprinkling some cheese on top before baking. You've got to try it. Here is his recipe.

Still in the baking mode, I made Gourmet's Walnut Date Bread and it was excellent with tea or you may prefer coffee. As you eat the bread you bite in to chuncks of sweet dates and big nuggets of walnuts! Everyone liked the cake as is, but personally, given that I don't have a big sweet tooth, I'd reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup as the dates provide an adequate amount of sweet for me. The suggested accompaniment was cream cheese. I just served mine as is.

I couldn't find the recipe online, if you have the last edition of the magazine it is on pg.14 the Contents page. For all others, here it is:



1 cup boiling-hot water
10 oz pitted dried daes, coarsely chopped (2+1/4 cups)
1/2 (2oz) stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1+1/4 cup walnuts (4+1/2 oz)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar (I used Demerara sugar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Pour boiling-hot water over dates and butter in a bowl and let stand until cool, about 30 mins
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F with rack in middle
  3. Lightly butter 9 x 5-inch loaf pan
  4. While date mixture cools, toast walnuts in oven until a shade darker, about 10 minutes. Leave one on. Coarsely chop nuts
  5. Stir egg and vanilla into date mixture until combined
  6. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  7. Stir in date mixture and nuts until just combined
  8. Spread evenly in loaf pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1+1/2 hours
  9. Cool bread in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely

That's it from me for this week! Hope your weekend is a good one and I'll see you around as I blog hop to see what you're up to.

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