Last days of recess

I take a break on the wooden bench, reflecting during outdoor kindergarten recess, the last week of school. My…… how they have grown physically. The difference from the start of the year is uncanny. They have learned how to use their words and handle issues between them….less tears. Though sometimes the girls emotions are triggered out of nowhere, at a Grandma or Grandpa passing away over a year ago or losing their favorite pet. Some days are still just too long for those in kindergarten. However, they have learned about hands to self and not walking up the slide. Sometimes they fall with minor injury and dirty clothes, but they get back up, brush the dirt off and move on. Overall, they have come a long way.

One spring day at the school playground for me in the early sixties during second grade was not fun. A bully from our school was trapping some of the girls, including me, on a school step in front of our door outside that lead to the playground. I took a run for it and he began pulling on my skirt to stop me and it fell to my knees. A teacher at Buckingham school did see the event and he was taken to the Principal. His parents were called and I didn’t go to school for several days out of embarrassment. Finally, someone convinced me that the girls on the step wanted to be my best friend forever. I saved them, thus, becoming popular overnight.

My opinion of boys did improve for me on the sixth grade playground at Warren Junior High School when I was asked to go steady and wear his gold id bracelet. The bracelet was beautiful with his name elegantly engraved. This was a first and I was more interested in wearing the bracelet than the boy himself. I was popular, once again, among the girls and the boyfriend lasted two weeks.

For my children growing up in the 1990s, I don’t recall any significant events happening to them on the playground. Then again who knows? What I still don’t know may not hurt me or them. Maybe, I will ask them when I am in a silly mood.

I watch the girls on the swings now…five or six in a row…some trying to pump as high as the one next to them, surpassing others. Then I see her. I have written about the little one before. She was very tiny and younger than most with less experience in kindergarten when she began the school year. I pushed her most days on the swing or a friend in class helped. We tried to teach to her to push,many, many times, but no luck for months.

I looked at her face and I caught glimpses of what she would look like when she grew up…confident and breathtaking. This young woman smiled at me and her legs were pumping on the swing. Slowly, at first and then she began to swing. A look of surprise completed her features as she swung higher and higher; knowing her best was yet to come.

And so it ends…….. a wonderful year for me. Consequently, trusting in the true magic beginnings of growth, possibility and fulfillment for all of them. Will they remember? Probably not, but I will, right here in the written word especially if age-related problems take over. That is all that matters!

 

 

Burning with elegance: Tiki

Memorial Day weekend is a wonderful time to celebrate our military who have passed away but also enjoy friends and family entertaining outside on an exquisite spring/ summer evening. My own holiday weekend began on Friday, relaxing on my backyard deck surrounded by a new garden filled with geraniums, impatiens and a colorful of array of potted plants. But besides special conversation with guests, snacks and cool drinks, it was the new Tiki product that created an outdoor paradise.

The long lasting adjustable flame torch truly added to the party creating the perfect flame while repelling against mosquitoes. The easy-to-use knob control lets guests create the perfect flame height for every occasion and adjustable flame torches are available in five multi-use torch styles and four table torch styles.The citronella and cedar formula in this fuel provides proven mosquito repellent; working with all TIKI® Brand torches and table torches. It also comes in an easy pour bottle for fewer spills and less mess. One friend commented on how my Tiki torch really added to the atmosphere and worked to keep insects away. Burn time can last several hours.

For over 60 years, Tiki has provided outdoor torches to illuminate yards along with candles and molded glass table torches made in a variety of colors. Tiki continues to help create a beautiful, versatile design of style and decor in their products to suit any lawn, patio, garden or even a front porch.

Tiki can be purchased in packages such as a four pack of 57 inch Luan Bamboo torches or a three pack of 6 inch glass table torch packs of red, green and blue. You can purchase a Tiki Brand 3 pack pineapple paradise glass table torches.

But I think it was the next day of the weekend, I enjoyed my Tiki torch the most after everyone had gone. As the sunlight was diminishing, I lit the torch while finishing my final coffee, reading the last chapter in my book, and noticing some beginning to descend. It was then that I knew I would spend more summer evenings on my deck with a new flame by my side; keeping away uninvited guests. Tiki is the best!

Tiki products can be found at most major retailers, online on Amazon and at tikibrand.com.

Memorial Day

By Caryl Clem:

Signs announce parade date, time information

Reminders of a deeper message

Our military personnel’s sacrifice and dedication

Battles remains, bloody carnage

Countless names and bodies

Final testament to fighting  bravely.

For those lost, not found, a painful memory.

 

Celebrate that their values did not perish

Invest in love, faith, hope and charity

Live these values with appreciation

So our freedoms and choices flourish.

 

Pay tribute to fallen soldiers in our military forces.

They insured Democracy is our past and future tense.

 

Chicago Cookies

Every time I think of the butter cookie in the blue box, I hear the Salerno Butter Cookie song in my head constantly. It was famous in the 1960’s and continued on through the years though butter cookies were not my favorite. Though I did like putting them on my fingers like a ring.I have always been a chocolate fan especially a rich, chocolate chip cookie. But Salerno has been a favorite since 1933. The original factory was located at 4500 West Division in Chicago and Alyce Salerno was the last of the original Salerno cookie owner who died in 1985. Her father originally began the company. Since, the company and recipe has been repeatedly  sold  you can still get the cookies online and in many grocery stores.

Maurice Lenell: My Mom always served the pinwheel swirl cookie and jelly star cookies with coffee and for guests. Not sure why they were the rage since, again, it was always a chocolate chip cookie…even today. Maurice Lenell grew up working at a small Swedish bakery on the northwest side of Chicago. In 1937, when he struck out on his own, Maurice used his hands-on baking knowledge and many of the family recipes to produce his own cookie jar favorites. Maurice Lenell signature cookies soon became a Chicago institution.  In 2008. Maurice Lenell cookies finally closed its doors. The Cookie Store and ore opened in 2010 to serve as the unofficial outlet for the brand but it has been closed since 2015.

Lorna Doone is a golden, square-shaped shortbread cookie produced by Nabisco. It was possibly named after the main character in R. D. Blackmore’s 1869 novel, Lorna Doone. The original cookie recipe came from the Malloys. The couple came from County Cork, Ireland. Emily and John Malloy ran a bakery in Chicago. The couple came from County Cork, Ireland. Emily had created the recipe, but when they closed down the bakery, John sold the recipe to Nabisco.

Mousetrap and Monopoly

One kindergarten group I monitor can’t wait to play this game at indoor recess. I would occasionally glance at the four boys, across the room,who loved the game the most and set it up quickly. I could not do that decades ago.

The Mousetrap game sat, half built, on a table in the finished basement where I grew up in 1963. I don’t remember my Mother or Father having much to do with setting up parts, but for some reason, it was difficult for me. The game was one of the first mass-produced, three-dimensional board games from Ideal. Over the course of the game, players cooperate to build a complicated working Rube Goldberg–like mouse trap. Once the mouse trap has been built, players turn against each other, attempting to trap opponents’ mouse-shaped game pieces. The game was re-designed in 1975.

Each player travels along a non-continuous, roughly square-shaped path around the game board from the start to a loop at the end. The trap begins with a crank which turns a set of gears. This begins a series of stages which ends in a cage being lowered over the “cheese wheel” space on the board.

So one day, I sat down with the four boys in the class and explained my problem growing up with the original version of the game. They took me, step by step, on how to set it up and it wasn’t that bad after all. Obviously, this version has been constantly improved or I am more patient/confident than I was when I was a child. But it was equally exciting when that nasty mouse was caught.

A week ago it was actually Game Day in the school and students were to bring in a special game to play at a designated time.  A kindergarten student brought in Monopoly……..Monopoly for a five year old?????

I think that I was probably at least ten years old when I played the original Monopoly established in 1935. In the game, players roll two six-sided dice to move around the game board, buying and trading properties, and developing them with houses and hotels. Players collect rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy. A player is sent to jail for doing any of the following: Landing directly on “Go to Jail” or drawing a “Go to Jail” card from Chance or Community Chest. Playing time could run from one hour to four depending on the players and level of skill. I never tired of Monopoly but in the early 1990’s my own children did not have the patience and I don’t remember them setting up Mousetrap though my son did set up a real one.

Today, there are many children’s (junior) Monopoly editions that include a princess game, Disney Theme park landscape, The Lion King, Pokemon and several others. Generally, the games are recommended for ages 8 and older. One of the Disney edition games was brought in by a kindergarten student. The children where more interested in the game pieces and go to jail board section. Buying property and setting up hotels in the land of Aladdin just did not make sense to them. It was a new game that the student’s family had not even opened at home, until we did in class. We just did not have enough time to explain and understand the complexity. The student was disappointed as we packed up the pieces carefully.

“What about Mousetrap?” I suggested, to cheer her up. But then I saw a group playing every kindergarten girls favorite, classic, board game of all time ( even some of the boys like it); CANDY LAND! Oh, my….. how me and my children loved Lollipop Woods, Gum Drop Mountain………………Quickly forgetting about Monopoly, she hurried over to join her classmates at that game.  Can I play too?

National Pizza Day: May 17th

By Caryl Clem

An eating experience can be life changing; food delicious beyond description develops into a craving that will shape your future restaurant choices. My first time going to Pizzeria Uno on Wabash and Ohio streets convinced me that the very finest pizza in all of Chicago was served there. From the moment I entered the dining room, all my senses were on fire smelling, tasting, touching, swallowing, hearing fragments of chatter while observing the oozing cheese and array of toppings to devour. I broke every proper eating mannerism, eating with your fingers, taking as many servings as possible, practically gulping down every morsel.  Instantly, I became a deep dish pizza fan.

Discovering the inventions and trends that came from Chicago is an actual job. The city of Chicago’s cultural historian, Tim Samuelson, researched the origins of deep dish pizza. A transit from Texas University, former lineman Ike Sewell teamed with Italian-American Ric Riccardo, a food business operator working with Chef Adolpho Malnati Sr. to create a round dish pie pizza baked upside down in 1943. The popular new version of pizza led to a second location named Pizzeria Due opening in 1955.  Alice May Redmond and her sister Ruth Hadley were chefs in the early days. Chicago style deep dish pizza becomes loved from coast to coast. Today all the chefs families have opened their own versions of restaurants serving pizza.  Opening in 1966, another thick crust Chicago favorite formed by two brothers Rosario and Francesca Salerno opened their family business, Salerno’s on 16th Street.  Chicagoans have loyally supported them over fifty years enjoying a tantalizing array Italian food based on family recipes.

While exploring pizza information, I was surprised to discover thin crust has won the majority of business for decades, currently at 61 %.   There are over 8 crust thicknesses and varied name styles from California, St. Louis, New York City, Sicilian and Napoleon. You can become a pizza connoisseur traveling around Chicago by reading this article in TimeOut Chicago.

For the calorie counter pizza consumer, the same amount of flour goes into each crust; the leavening agent determines the thickness. The crust can be dominantly corn, gluten free, or grains. Leaving off the meat reduces artery plugging animal fats. Deep dish pizza has less meat fat per serving. Pizza cheese is low in fat compared to burger cheese flavors. Pizza is better for you than a Big Mac or bucket of crispy fried chicken.  Celebrate ending another week at work and go out for a pizza on National Pizza Party Day.

Savor the flavor of salad: Some Chicago suggestions

By Caryl Clem

May is National Salad Month.  Salad today is nothing like my past memories. Dining expectations of the 1950’s and 1960’s glorified home cooking producing mouthwatering spreads.  We read Woman’s Day and Family Circle to preview the featured recipes.  I can still picture the mounds of salad vegetables and fruit surrounded by various Jell-O combinations. Nothing like sugar encased salad ingredients for health and nutrition. Cookbook salad instruction included mayonnaise and cream based dressings.  In a rush to fix a filling lunch salad, just take anything out of the refrigerator such as eggs, potatoes or leftover chicken, add mayonnaise and a few extras such as mustard or pickle relish.  Salads slid down your throat.

By the 1970’s, Food and Nutrition experts are trying to warn Americans about the dangers of poor eating habits.  The wrong foods increase heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, arthritis, and obesity to name a few. Carbs that taste so good in French fries, garlic bread and pasta are to be avoided.  Sugar dulls mental activity. What is left to satisfy an appetite in the good food group? Meals with half a plate filled with most vegetables and fruits according to Harvard studies.

Chicago restaurant entrepreneurs, Rich Melman with his partner Jerry Orzoff, opened the first salad bar Lettuce Entertain You, at RJ Grunts, in 1971 in Lincoln Park. Forty years later, his successful company operates many restaurants.

Salads can be satisfying, healthy, and scrumptious. A great salad has various textures and colors. Dowse you salads oil and vinegar dressings that actually aid in releasing the nutrients. I love ranch dressing so I do a light version thinned with skim milk.  Ingredient choices to balance food groups is the key to success and flavor. Dump the myth a salad is 75% lettuce, endive, or kale.  Try different bases, string beans, or grate a carrot bed topped with healthy foods you enjoy.  Better Nutrition magazine was founded by Jack Schwartz educating readers about food choices. Several articles boost about salads as a premier experience. Spoon University offers suggestions concerning the restaurants in Chicago that offer the best salad.

Feel like biting into a meal that improves your lifestyle or maintains wellness; bring out the cutting board and salad bowl. In a study conducted in by 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, these benefits were documented:

  • Eating a salad a day is directly correlated with higher nutrient levels.
  • Adding salad dressing to a salad increases the absorption of certain nutrients being consumed.
  • The fat in salad dressing helps absorb key nutrients such as lycopene and alpha- and beta-carotene.
  • People who eat salads, salad dressing, and raw vegetables are more likely to meet recommended intakes for vitamins C, E and folic acid.
  • High fruit and vegetable consumption has also been associated with lower rates of pre-menopausal bone loss in women.
  • Consumption of as little as one serving of salad or raw vegetables per day is significantly associated with the likelihood of meeting the recommended nutrient intakes of each of vitamins A, E, B6, and folic acid.

Bon Appetite!!

For Moms

By Caryl Clem

Babies, a magical blend of heaven and earth

Bring joy, laughter and mirth

As we re-discover life again

In your baby’s eyes, smiles or grin.

 

A world of adventure is waiting for both of you

Filled with love that spans every rainbows hue

Efforts spent are worth the reward

Life is all about moving forward.

 

Serta offers a First for new parents: Your baby is your coupon

The mattress company is helping new parents get the comfortable sleep they crave with the ‘Your Baby Is Your Coupon’ Sale

It’s no secret new parents don’t get much sleep. In fact, about 350 hours of sleep are lost in the first year … let that sink in. So, Serta decided to offer a ‘first’ for new parents, giving them a fun, easy, and more affordable way to get a comfortable night’s sleep. Just in time for Mother’s Day, Serta is kicking off a one-of-a-kind promotion called ‘Your Baby Is Your Coupon.’ And it’s just what it sounds like: bring in your baby to a participating retailer and receive a discount on a new Serta mattress or a free gift with purchase. The promotion will run from May 6th to May 20th, 2019.

For one lucky new mom, Serta is delivering additional comfort: the first mother to deliver a new baby and post about it on Mother’s Day 2019 will receive new Serta mattresses for mom and baby and a $3,000 babysitting fund to help catch up on comfortable Zzzz’s. All parents need to do is upload a photo along with date and time of birth on Instagram/Twitter tagging @Serta and using the hashtags #SertaBabyCoupon and #contest to be included for consideration.

For more information on the sale and giveaway (including participating retailers, terms and conditions and giveaway rules), check out www.serta.com/promotions and follow:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/serta/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sertamattresses

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sertamattress/

Back to life: But not Wanzer

Before school, I would eat my breakfast, generally, Frosted flakes cereal, soaked in the best milk ever at the dinette table . Even the butter on my toast was rich and creamy. The orange juice just ok. Sometimes he would come before I went to school entering the small entry way by the back door. Sometimes my Mom thought he was cute. But he was always pleasant, the same guy for every delivery that she could depend and always Wanzer, for us anyway.

Sidney Wanzer was the son of Nicholas and Betsey (Hill) Wanzer. Sidney and his parents followed his oldest brother Moses to western Dundee Township, Kane, Illinois about 1840. He married Jane Bradley, the daughter of William S. Bradley, another Fairfield, Franklin, Vermont, immigrant, on 22 October 1857 in Elgin, Kane, Illinois.

The family lived in Chicago and had ten children: Luna, Bertha E., William Bradley, Bessie, Howard Hill, Sidney, Jennie L., Breddie, Arthur Grant and Charles.

Sidney Wanzer began hauling his ‘country-fresh’ milk from the farms in the Elgin and Dundee areas to Chicago in 1857. He later partnered with his brother to form the Wanzer Dairy in Chicago.They pioneered the use of the glass milk bottle, scientific testing to determine the butterfat content of milk, mechanical refrigeration for milk storage and applied the pasteurization process invented by Louis Pasteur to kill bacteria in milk.

The main dairy in Chicago was at Garfield Blvd. (55th Street) and the Dan Ryan Expressway along with two other south side plants. A distribution center was located on Lawrence Avenue between Wolcott and Ravenswood.

Wanzer was sold in the 1970’s to Borden. Home milk delivery from local dairies and creameries was a mainstay for many families in the 1950s and ‘60s. But as it became easier and cheaper to buy milk at the grocery store, and as processes were developed to extend milk’s shelf life, the milkman began to fade into the past.

However, now all over the country, trucks are delivering fresh milk in glass bottles and organic vegetables.  Ecoli scares and processed food with few health benefits have changed the food market and many people ordered online and delivered once a week, or month or anytime that fits your schedule. Glass bottles have returned because they can

Some of the best milk delivery in Chicago today are Mori Milk and  1871 Dairy. Mori Milk is located in Franklin Park and has been providing milk, ice cream, cheeses, juices and yogurt delivery for the last fifteen years. Mori Milk is a distributor for Deans foods, Breyers, Ben & Jerry’s and Good Humor.

However, 1871 Dairy is a wholesome dairy infrastructure in Chicago that can claim 100% grass fed products. With a subscription, you will receive free home delivery for those in the Chicago and Western Suburbs tasting the best in cultured buttermilk and drinkable yogurt.

Currently, my son works for Hinkley Schmidt and delivers water to scheduled businesses and communities. It’s those that are retired that want to know who he is, his name and will he always be delivering. They like the idea that it is that same man every time ….just like my Mom’s milkman.

You can actually purchase old glass bottles of vintage Illinois dairies on Etsy and a wonderful children’s book called Milkman Bill.