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March 29th, 2015

Historic Churches, Chapels, Architectural Wonders, It’s Sunday, A Day for Worship, 13 Churches on My Travels

Always look forward to visiting churches on my travels.  Not necessarily on a time when religious services are taking place.  I like them when they are totally quiet.  For me is a time for reflection; to pray for my family and friends.  I usually stop at churches of all denominations, even though I am Catholic.  I thank for our religious freedom.  Historic churches and chapels…I am in awe of their beauty and of their strength.

Here are some of my favorite churches and the list is getting longer.

NEW YORK

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St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a New York Landmark.  In 1785 there were only 200 Catholics and one priest in New York City.  The doors opened in 1879.  The newspapers hailed the New Cathedral as “the noblest temple ever raised in any land to the memory of Saint Patrick, and as the glory to Catholic America”.  When I have visited New York with my friend, Shelley, who is Jewish…she always makes a point to stop at St. Patrick’s.  So beautiful.

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St. Paul’s Chapel was built in 1766.  It is the oldest public building in continuous use in Manhattan.  It survived the Great Fire of 1776 and the attacks on 9/11.  George Washington prayed here after his inauguration in 1789.  It is located at 209 Broadway, between Fulton St. and Vesey St.  Still standing against all odds, this church has been a place not only for spiritual healing but for physical refuge, as well.

PUERTO RICO

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I grew up in the Island of Puerto Rico.  When you see my posts from there is because that’s where my formative years took place.  Old San Juan is the Capital and it is over 500 years old.  La Catedral de San Juan is formally known as the San Juan Bautista Cathedral, named after the Puerto Rican Patron Saint, San Juan Bautista or Saint John the Baptist.  It is located on Cristo St. between Luna St. and San Francisco St.  It was built in 1540 and it is the second oldest cathedral in the Western Hemisphere.  The Cathedral contains the tomb of Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon.  And, the mummified remains of Roman Christian Martyr, Saint Pio.

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Capilla del Cristo or Christ’s Chapel is located at the end of Calle del Cristo, which is also where the Cathedral is located.  The Chapel was built to commemorate a miracle.  Local lore has it that as a young man lost control of his horse and galloped down Calle del Cristo over the cliff at the end of the road, he prayed to a Catholic saint and his prayers were answered.

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Parroquia San Francisco de Asis is located at San Francisco Street #301 in Old San Juan.  The Crypt – As in old colonial churches, the remains of Christians were buried in catacombs.  This can also be seen at the entrance of the Parish.  They are called catacombs similar to the Roman catacombs but they are crypts.  In the crypt are the remains of personalities of Puerto Rico.  They are considered of important historical heritage.

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Iglesia Dulce Nombre de Jesus is located in the town plaza of Humacao.  This is where I grew up.  It is on the eastern side of the island.  I went to primary school at Academia San Jose which was across the street.  My family went to church here, my parents were married in this church, and I also made my First Communion there.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Originally, it was a single structure built in 1769.  A second church was built from 1825-1826.  The present church was built in 1868-1877.  It was designed by Don Evaristo de Churruca in the Gothic Revival style.  Further renovations have taken place since then.

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Parroquia Nuestra Senora del Carmen is located at 33 Marina, in Punta Santiago near my hometown, Humacao.  Punta Santiago is a fishing village.  Nuestra Senora del Carmen is the patron saint of Fishermen.  The official Feast Day is July 16th.  I have fond memories of this church.  It is always kept in pristine condition.  My late husband, John, and I got married here.  We chose this church because it was on the beach and it really is pretty, small and cozy.  It was the second wedding….first one in Orlean, Virginia and then this one in 2 complete different years.  One was not enough!!

SHOWELL, MARYLAND, EASTERN SHORE

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Saint Martin’s Historic Church and the importance of historic preservation.  For so many years it stood neglected, just waiting for those who would take over the mission of its restoration.  It is considered by many historians “to be the finest preserved, most significant piece of American history on the Lower Eastern Shore”.  It is an Architectural gem, built in 1756, and a museum located at 11413 Worcester Highway in Showell, Maryland.  For more info., please visit http://www.historicstmartinschurg.org.

LEWES, DELAWARE

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St. Peter’s Church is located at 2nd & Market Streets in Historic Lewes, Delaware.  Lewes is the First Town in the First State.  Since 1680 this church has served this community.  The early settlers who were members of the Church of England formed its first congregation.  The graveyard which surrounds the Church has stones dating back to 1707.  Stop by while strolling Lewes.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND

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The Baltimore Basilica’s is America’s First Cathedral.  I have a deep connection to Baltimore.  My late husband was from Baltimore and many years ago, I lived and worked in Baltimore.  Love the City.  The Basilica’s construction started in 1806.  George Weigel, the biographer for Pope John Paul II said “No other Catholic edifice in America can claim to have seen so much history inside its walls”.  At least 15 saints or potential saints have prayed in this Basilica.  The Crypt inside the Basilica holds the tombs of Archbishop John Carroll, the first Bishop of the United States of America, Archbishop Martin John Spalding, and James Cardinal Gibbons.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

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Philadelphia has 4 Catholic shrines:  St John Neumann, St. Katherine Drexel, Miraculous Medal and St. Rita of Cascia.  Philadelphia is considered a city where the foundations for our right to freedom and religion were laid.  The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia is located at 1166 S. Broad St. and it was built in 1907.  I came to know it during my stay in Philadelphia the summer of 2013.

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

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St. Michael’s Catholic Church is located at 71 Broad St. in Historic Charleston.  A National Historic Landmark.  Pewes are made of native cedar and remain the same as they have always been.  The altar is Victorian.  The chancel rail is made of wrought iron.  It dates to 1772.  George Washington worshipped at Governor’s Pew #43.  This church is gorgeous and the docent was so amazingly inspiring.

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St. Philip’s Protestan Episcopal Church is located at 142 Church St. in Historic Charleston.  The original building was completed in 1724, destroyed by fire in 1835 and finished the rebuilding in 1838.  Porticos and columns remind visitors of Roman porticos.  This church is also a National Historic Landmark and has the tallest steeple in Historic Charleston.  The docent was so nice and proud of her church.

I am looking forward to this list getting longer.  These churches welcome us all.  Many of them are so simple.  Some are architectural wonders.  You don’t really have to look for them, some times they find you.

Another magical Sunday….but waiting for summer is what I am doing.

March 28th, 2015

Rehoboth Beach Eats! Saketumi, Restaurant, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Asian Cuisine with a Modern Twist, Lunch & Dinner, Sushi, Sashimi, Open 7 Days a Week, Bento Box, Sunday Brunch, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware

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Are the boys coming?  Approaching the Chef’s Table, (Sushi Bar)….Master Sushi Chef Shigeki Tanaka asked.  Not tonight but two good friends from Ocean City, Maryland, are coming.  Yes, Cindi and Ryan, were joining me for a little sushi and sashimi at Saketumi, located at 18814 Coastal Highway.  Tel. 302-645-2818  Website?  http://www.mysaketumi.com.

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I have known Chef Tanaka for about 6 years since Saketumi arrived on the scene in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  I have always taken the same seat at his Chef’s table.  He is an artist and his presentation is incredible.  To watch him work is mesmerizing.  You can still talk to him the whole time, but his concentration will be on his preparation of your food.

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For the Saki aficionado there is plenty to choose.

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You will first be served a bit of marinated fish…cucumbers, rice vinegar and Mirin.  Just to wet your appetite.

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We ordered Seared White Tuna Tataki with Yuzo Citrus Vinaigrette and fried shallots, mango salsa and cilantro.  On the right photo an order of Torched Tuna with jalapeno, red tobiko, chive, masago cracker, and spicy ponzu sauce.

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My Sunset Roll had spicy tuna, eel, cucumber topped with salmon, yellow tail and sliced avocado with sweet goma and mild “chilie” oil.  Scallop sashimi…I truly love.  So delicate!!

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Another Sunset Roll was ordered just like mine and an additional roll….Dynamite which is a baked Cali Roll, with spicy mayo, scallop, fresh crabmeat and masago on top.

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The Chunky Monkey Roll is a popular one and also ordered by us.  Fried banana, asparagus, eel inside.  Topped with crunchy tempura flakes, eel sauce and masago.

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There is a difference between fresh wasabi and what it is served as wasabi.  On this photo, the fresh wasabi on the left, is delicate, somewhat sweet and and the same time spicy….so good.  The usual wasabi (right) served at most restaurants is a combination of horseradish, mustard, starch and green food coloring.  As you probably know, it is strong.  Fresh wasabi is difficult to cultivate, and therefore, a bit more expensive.  You have to request it and it will cost you about $2 extra but definitely worth it.

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Saketumi has a menu that can accommodate everyone in your party.  Love the Lettuce Wrap & Roll with sauteed ground chicken and peanuts.

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On Sundays they offfer a Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Bento Box Special on Wednesday, check the website above mentioned.

If you have a gluten allergy….they do have gluten free soy sauce.

And if you do not wish to cook….order take out….it is great.  No need to worry about parking any time of the year….they have a huge parking lot.  Have a great week-end!!

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March 27th, 2015

Rehoboth Beach Eats, Mexican Meatball Soup, Easy, Crowd Pleaser, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware

A rainy day is the perfect time for Mexican Meatball Soup.  It is simple, savory, soothing and satisfying….eat it in front of a fire wishing Summer would please hurry up!!

Remember that recipes are made to be adjusted to your needs.  For this recipe I did not use cans of beef broth.  I used an unsalted broth.  If you so desire….add some salt later on.  The recipe calls for diced tomatoes in juice.  I used stewed tomatoes…like them better.  Just chop them up.

MEXICAN MEATBALL SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3/4 cups chopped onion (divided use)

4 garlic cloves, minced (divided use)

2 small bay leaves

7 1/4 cups of beef broth (I used unsalted beef broth.)

1 (28 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (I used 2 cans of stewed tomatoes.)

1/2 cup chunky salsa (medium or hot) I used hot.

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (divided use)  Some people do not like cilantro…it is so good though.  You know what to do.

1 pound of lean ground beef

1/4 bulk pork sausage (Your choice.)

6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup whole milk (I used cashew milk.)

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup long-grain while rice

A couple of ripe avocados for garnish.

It is easier to prepare ahead of time the ingredients.  Then, you don’t have to be running around the kitchen.

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Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add 1 3/4 cups onions, 2 garlic cloves and bay leaves; saute 5 minutes.

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Add broth, tomatoes with juice, salsa and 1/4 cup cilantro.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, combine ground beef, sausage, cornmeal, milk, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, remaining onions, 2 garlic cloves and 1/4 cup cilantro in a bowl.  Mix well.

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Shape meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Measure a well rounded tablespoon.

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Add rice and meatballs to soup and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice and meatballs are tender, which is about 20 minutes.

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Stir occasionally…Season with salt and pepper if you want to.

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Ladle into bowls, garnish with avocado, serve and enjoy!!

Note:  This recipe can easily be doubled.

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March 25th, 2015

Destination? Charleston, South Carolina, Edmondston-Alston House, 21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast, Middleton Place Plantation, Exploring America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens

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The Edmondston-Alston House was the first house museum we visited in rainy Historic Charleston the last week of February.  It is called Edmondston-Alston because Edmondston was the first owner who built this beautiful home in East Battery.  He was a successful merchant.  Financial depressions got the best of him and he had to sell….the new buyer was Alston, who was a member of one of the wealthiest rice-planting families in South Carolina.  The house is very open and, definitely worth seeing.  This house museum is administered by the Middleton Place Foundation who also owns and operates the Gardens, House and Plantation Stableyards at Middleton Place.

In the back of the Edmondston-Alston House there is a privately-owned luxury bed and breakfast.  These were the servants’ quarters.  Guests of 21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast enjoy a complimentary tour of the Edmondston-Alston House museum.  For more information, please visit http://www.21eastbattery.com.  Tel. 843-556-0500

Historic Charleston is full of antique wrought iron.  There are accents pieces and intriguing openings.

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My cousin, Maru, her husband, and I were standing at the Concierge Desk talking to our favorite concierge, Carrie.  She loved us because we did what she told us to do.  So, now we were telling her we wanted to visit Middleton Place.  This plantation has the oldest landscaped gardens in America…plus there was the connection to the Edmondston-Alston House, which we had earlier in the week visited.  How could you visit Charleston and not go to a plantation?

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We told Carrie that we did not want to go in a bus full of people.  We were tourists but we would only go so far.  We wanted a private guide.  No hesitation, Ian Sanchez, would be the one.  Carrie went on and on about how good of a guide he was and how good looking….OMG she said “You are going to love him”.  During this conversation, Maru’s husband was like….”I don’t care if he is good looking.”  Maru and I were like…We do!  He was quickly outnumbered.  We even had to wait an extra day to go with Good Looking Guide Ian.  We hoped he was worth the wait…and not like the coconut cake; they told us so much how good the coconut cake was that once we tried it, was not a big deal…it was okay, though.

We finally met with Ian Sanchez….he was good looking but not drop dead gorgeous as we were expecting.  He spoke Spanish.  I believe one of the parents was from the Dominican Republic and the other from one of the islands.  Needless to say…Latin looks and southern charm work every time; we liked that!  And so we took off with him.  He was a really good guide.  He took his time in explaining Charleston and its history, knowledgeable, very friendly and easy to understand.

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To escape the summer’s heat, the wealthy left their stately homes in Charleston and retreated to their plantation houses.  These plantations had formal gardens backed by rivers and woodlands.

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Middleton Place is located at 4300 Ashley River Rd., Charleston, SC 29414.  Tel. 843-556-6020  Website?  http://www.middletonplace.org.  Please visit the website for events happening at Middleton Place.  We arrived late in the afternoon, so one of our first stops was to tour the only building that is still in operation as a museum.  There were 3 residences at one time.  The original residence was circa 1705 and the north flanker was circa 1755…these were burned by Union troops in 1865, and then leveled by the 1886 earthquake.  The house museum was a gentlemen’s guest wing in 1755.  It contains family furniture, silver, paintings, china, books and documents.

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I think you should give yourselves more than a few hours to tour the plantation….there is much to see and much to learn.

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Eliza’s House dates to 1870 and its 2 family vernacular dwelling provides information regarding the conditions of the African American community at Middleton Place before and after the Civil War.

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We stopped at the Blacksmith Shop, where iron was being heated, forged and shaped.  Middleton Place had both, free and enslaved workers performing different tasks.

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Carpentry and Coopering …building and repairing, the coopers made barrels for storage and shipment of rice.

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Free range…animals were mingling with the guests.

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The Spring House and Plantation Chapel were beautiful.  On the lower level, the spring waters provided the perfect place to store dairy and other foods.  The upper floor was, apparently, added in 1851 and was used as a chapel for the Middletons’ slaves until the Civil War.

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The Mill…It was before the Civil War that the mill was built. Built both as a garden folly and for practical use.

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The gardens have rational order, geometry, symmetry, balance, vistas, focal points and surprises.

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After the Civil War and the Earthquake of 1886 these gardens were overgrown and neglected.  Early in the 20th century restoration began and in 1941 the Garden Club of America gave its highest award by recognizing them as “the most interesting and important gardens in America”.

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It is a little unkempt, and a little wild, when looking at the rest of the formal gardens…family tomb and burial sites.  The last resting place of generations of the Middleton family…the garden called Bosquet and Tomb.

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Notes:  Ian Sanchez can be contacted by calling 843-276-4601.  You may also email him at iansanchez4@gmail.com.  Do you prefer your tour in English, or Spanish?  You pick because he can do both.  His pledge:  “Guaranteed phenomenal tour every time or you don’t pay!!

Information for this post was taken from Middleton Place tour guide info.

Have a good one!!  Talk to you later…

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March 24th, 2015

Destination? Delaware Beaches, What’s Going On?, Events, Activities, Southern Delaware, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island…Waiting for Summer!!

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On March 19, 1891 it was first called Cape Henlopen City.  In 1893, the name was formally changed to Rehoboth.  Since then, Rehoboth Beach has been welcoming thousands of visitors not just in the summer, but year round.  It is a destination for many, and for a lot of us, it is also home.  Living at the beach is great, and, believe me, I do not take it for granted.

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The beaches are stirring, businesses are sprucing up.  So, What’s Going On?

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Wednesday, March 25th – BENEVOLENCE DAY-Beer & Benevolence at Dogfish Head located at 320 Rehoboth Ave. in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  Noon until 9 p.m. with Live Music at 6 p.m.  This is a benefit for Habitat for Humanity.  More info.?  Please visit http://www.dogfish.com/benevolence.

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Friday, March 27th – ART AND CRAFT – The Rehoboth Beach Film Society is presenting a fascinating glimpse, with this film, into the life of one of the most prolific art forgers in U.S. history.  Location?  Movies at Midway located on Coastal Highway at the Upstairs Screening Room.  $4.00 for RBFS members and $6.00 for future members.  More info.?  Please visit http://www.rehobothfilm.com.

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Theater in Downtown Rehoboth Beach!! – CLEARSPACE THEATRE CO. presents:  Comedy, a musical comedy until April 5th.  The Little Mermaid from April 17th until April 19th.  Little Women from May 1st until May 17th.  Clearspace Theatre Co. is located at 20 Baltimore Ave. in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  For tickets and info., please visit http://www.clearspacetheatre.org.  You may also call 302-227-2270.

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Friday, April 3rd – 47th ANNUAL GREAT DELAWARE KITE FESTIVAL – Location?  Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.  Registration opens at 10 a.m.  EASTER EGG HUNT at 11 a.m.  Kite flying events  start at 11:30 a.m. and the Egg Toss Contest starts at 1:15 p.m.

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Friday, April 3rd – LOCAL BUZZ HAPPY HOUR – 5 to 7 p.m. at Gallery Espresso located at 12001 Old Vine Blvd. in Lewes.  Doggies at The Beach will be there displaying their stuff.  http://www.doggiesatthebeach.com

Saturday, April 4th – REHOBOTH TOY & KITE’S 21st ANNUAL  EASTER PLAY DAY to be taking place at Virginia Ave. and the Boardwalk in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  Games and kite making, Egg Hunt at Noon.  Pictures with the Easter Bunny.  Free continental breakfast and snacks at 10 a.m.  More info?  Please call 302-227-6996

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Wednesday, April 8th – READ A MOVIE – The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and the Rehoboth Beach Public Library invite film and/or literary enthusiasts to Read a Movie screening of “The Duellists” at 4 p.m. in the upstairs community room of the library.  Based on the short story, “The Duel” by Polish-born writer Joseph Conrad, this film depicts a historically accurate account of early 1800s France.  This screening is part of the monthly Read a Movie series in which members read a little-known short story in advance of the screening, then gather to watch the film and share their thoughts about how well or not so well the story was expanded to the big screen.  To sign up and receive the stories in advance, email Denise Hoban at outreach@rehobothfilm.com.

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Friday, April 10th – 5TH ANNUAL “GET DOWN IN TOWN” – Shop & Eat…all for a good cause!!  5 p.m. until 8 p.m. everyone is invited to downtown Rehoboth Beach for this event.  Shoppers will enjoy special discounts in participating stores while noshing on local restaurants’ desserts, treats and drinks dispersed throughout stores.  Food served from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.  Shopping until 8 p.m.  There is a $10 admission fee to participate in this one night event, which also includes a chance to win a Grand Prize Drawing valued over $l,000.  The Drawing will take place at 8 p.m. at First Street Station Courtyard and the recipient must be present to win.  Tickets can be purchased the night of the event.  Or, ahead of time at Azura Clothing, Heidi Lowe Gallery, Rehoboth Beach Main Street Office, Something Comfortable, South Moon Under and online at http://www.downtownrb.com.  There is no better place where you can wine, dine, walk and shop than Downtown Rehoboth Beach!!

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Sunday, April 12th – BROADWALK ON THE BOARDWALK! A fun event for a serious cause.  Part of CAMP Rehoboth’s Women’s FEST 2015! All are welcome, including dogs.  Put on your Pink or Lavender.  They will be honoring survivors of ALL cancers.  Lavender is the color for All Cancers.  Meet at CAMP Rehoboth on 37 Baltimore Ave. at 9 a.m.  Free registration.  Check in, coffee, sweet treats and music.  Walk begins at 10 a.m.  All donations will benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.  Cash or checks accepted.  Matching donations up to $2,500 generously donated by Nancy Froome.

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Sunday, April 19th – DOGGIES AT THE BEACH CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY COOK-OUT.  Noon until 2 p.m. at Doggies at The Beach, located at 18806 John J. Williams Hwy. (Rt. 26) in Rehoboth Beach.  This is a cage free dog boarding facility, where I leave my pooch, Miss Addy.  24 hour human supervision!!  More info?  http://www.doggiesatthebeach.com.  Tel. 302-644-8200.

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Friday, April 24th – REHOBOTH BEACH FILM SOCIETY APRIL’S MONTHLY SCREENING – RBFS presents this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Animated Short Film.  The screening will be held at the upstairs screening room at Movies at Midway on Coastal Highway.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  A rare opportunity to enjoy one of the most entertaining categories at the Academy Awards-Best Animated Short Film. Me and My Moulton, Feast, The Bigger Picture, A Single Life and The Dam Keeper.  Admission is $4 for members and $6 for future members.  Tickets will be sold at the door to each screening on a first come, first serve basis.

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Sunday, April 26th – 7TH ANNUAL WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – PERFECT PAIRINGS – A benefit for Children & Families First, Rehoboth Art League, and Children’s Beach House.  Tickets are $45/person or $78/couple.  4 to 7 p.m.  Taste dozens of fine handpicked wines from around the world, artfully paired with their chef-driven unique food and pastry specialties.

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Sunday, April 26th – BIG FISH GRILL 5K TO BENEFIT LOCAL COMMUNITY – 3rd Annual event.  Race start for runners and walkers is 8:30 a.m. in front of Big Fish Grill on Rt. 1.  Big Fish Grill will be donating portion of the proceeds from this event to local nonprofits CHEF (Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation) and RBMS (Rehoboth Beach Main Street).  In addition, all students (K-12) who participate are eligible to win a $1,000 savings bond. You must be present to win and have student ID.  Pre-registration is $25, until 4/23 at noon.  Registration from then through Race Day is $30.  Student (18 and under) Pre-Registration is $20, until 4/23 at noon.  Registration from then through Race Day is $25.  Register online at http://www.races2run.com.  For more info., please contact Barb@races2run.com.

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Saturday, Sunday, May 2nd, May 3rd – COASTAL DELAWARE RUNNING FESTIVAL – Marathon, Half Marathon…Delaware’s Coolest Marathon – Dewey, Rehoboth, Lewes.  It is a Boston Qualifier.  Scenic, flat and fast course will encompass Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Cape Henlopen State Park, and the Town of Lewes, finishing at the Lighthouse Cove Waterfront Complex in Dewey Beach.  Full post race buffet provided by The Lighthouse Cove Dewey Beach. Complimentary post race beer for those 21 years of age and older.  To register visit http://www.codelrun.com.

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Saturday, May 9th – TREASURE YOUR CHEST BREAST CANCER 5K RUN/3K WALK IN BETHANY BEACH…Rain or shine!! Fundraising for Little Pink Houses of Hope and Vance Kane Memorial Fund/Beebe Medical Foundation.  Pre-registration $25, Kids $15 (under 10 years of age).  Online registration closes April 10th.  Prizes for Most Spirited Outfits…Dress in Your Best Pirate Gear.  Team, Individual, Strollers, Wheelchairs, Dogs….T-Shirts Guaranteed only to those pre-registering.  For registration and more info., please visit http://www.bethanybeachbreastcancer.com.

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Saturday, May 9th – DEWEY BEACH ARTS FESTIVAL – Rain Date? Sunday, May 10th.  9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Location?  Dagsworthy Ave in Dewey Beach.  For an application, please visit http://www.deweybusinesspartnership.com, or call 302- 228-3701.

Hey…I stand corrected, the Delaware Beaches are not stirring…..they just woke up!! Time to play!  Have a good one.

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March 22nd, 2015

Party with a PURPOSE, Little Pink Houses of Hope, Fundraising Event, Thursday, March 26th, 6-8 p.m., NorthEast Seafood Kitchen, Ocean View, Delaware, Let’s Fill Those Seats!!

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Everything looked so normal.  Just like any other get together at the beach.  Going fishing!!  Summertime, a time to relax and not to care about a thing…..If it only were that easy.  Just for one week it was for the families that came to Bethany Beach, Delaware, for this retreat last year.  The women had breast cancer and the journey to the beach was to get away and have fun.

The organization is called Little Pink Houses of Hope founded by Jeanine Patten-Coble.  Website?  http://www.littlepink.org.  The organizers in Bethany Beach were Annie Raskauskas and Stacy Shepps.  Annie and Stacy were backed up by the communities of the Delaware Beaches.  Big hearts in Southern Delaware.

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When these families arrived at the beach their accommodations were all donated by area residents.  Besides their accommodations, they had barbecues, crab feasts, dinners, deep sea fishing…the community went all out.  Everything for them was free of charge.  Breast cancer like many chronic diaseases not only afflicts the person but the whole family.

When they arrived the families did not know one another.  When they left they were a united front and a very powerful and emotional thing to see.  The following photos are of the last day together having fun….fishing, a picnic, a pig roast, a birthday celebration, games on the beach…meet The Little Pinks and their families.

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In the evening…pig roast, birthday celebration and games on the beach.

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Then, it was time to say so long.

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Party with a PURPOSE will take place on Thursday, March 26th from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at NorthEast Seafood Kitchen located at 29 Atlantic Avenue (Rt. 26) in Ocean View, Delaware.  Just a few miles west of Bethany Beach.  Tickets ar $40 and will include light fare, cash bar, silent auction and 50/50.  The purpose is to raise funds and awareness for Little Pink Houses of Hope.  For tickets and info., please call 302-245-2154 or 302-537-9700.  Living in Hope…Let’s Fill those Seats!!

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March 22nd, 2015

Sweetgrass Baskets, Historic Charleston, South Carolina, City Market, Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival, Saturday, June 6, 2015

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I have been in Rehoboth Beach….waiting for Spring.  Finally, the sky is blue, but that chill in the air is most definitely still there.  I don’t know what happened but my week in Historic Charleston, South Carolina, was grey, a bit rainy, and cool.

My friends asked me if I had bought one of the sweetgrass baskets.  Not yet…another trip, perhaps.  Could not make up my mind.

The baskets are made of sweetgrass, long leaf pine needles, bulrush and Palmetto tree leaves.  This type of basket weaving is one of the oldest crafts of African origin in America.  Each is an original piece, revealing the skill of the individual designer.  With  proper care sweetgrass baskets will last a lifetime.

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If you follow my blog, you are well aware that I do take lots of photos.  I think people are more visual, plus I like doing it.  When taking pictures you have to be sensitive to others whether you are in a restaurant or other public place or taking the photos of the weavers, like I did.  I asked for permission, and they did give it to me.  On the next photo, he was only taking care of the booth at the City Market for his mother, Celestine Wilson.

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This next sweetgrass basket weaver was right at the main entrance of the City Market.  It takes her hours to finish a basket.  They are labor intensive. It is getting harder to get the grasses.  Some travel to Jacksonville to get them.  Most basket weavers sign their work on the bottom.  The ones I had the opportunity to speak to said that with them it started when they were very young.  That they would take a seat in their home’s living room and one of them would start weaving, then pass it on to the next member of the family for inspection and so on and so on until the mother or grandmother would inspect it one last time.  While weaving, all would talk about the day’s ongoings.  One of them said that even to this day…when her children come to visit for the holidays or what not…this is a “pastime” that they all do together.

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The care for the sweetgrass baskets is pretty simple and easy.  Since the grasses used are found in swamp and marsh areas, the water will not hurt them.  Use a soft brush or cloth, carefully washing them in soapy water.  Rinse, then, air dry them completely.  That’s all!

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Charleston City Market is recognized as one of the oldest in the country.  The land must remain in use as a market for perpetuity.  It is located at 188 Meeting St.  Many of the local vendors are displaying and selling their goods at the City Market.  The Market opens every day.  They only close on December 25th.  Please visit http://www.thecharlestoncitymarket.com.

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And when the sun came up on Monday, March 2nd and the temperatures climbed to 70 degrees….I had to take this photo!!

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EVENT:  The Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival will take place at the Memorial Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant, SC on Saturday, June 6, 2015.  More info?  http://www.sweetgrassfestival.org.  Tel. 843-856-9732

Have an awesome day!!

March 20th, 2015

Shopping, The Spice & Tea Exchange, Downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Salts, Spices, Sugars, Accessories, Happy 2nd Anniversary!!, Taste & Learn Chef Series, Shop Downtown Rehoboth, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware

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Happy 2nd Year Anniversary!!  When The Spice & Tea Exchange opened in Downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, at 10 Rehoboth Avenue, this was going to be the first franchise opened in our small state.  Great location, ocean block!!  Since then, I have seen visitors and locals, like myself, stop and shop in a store that for those that like to cook is a must stop shop.  Tel. 302-227-3327.  Website?  http://www.spiceandtea.com/rehoboth.  They open every day, but at this time of the year, they close on Wednesdays.

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This winter they started the Taste & Learn Series with demonstrations by local chefs.  Only two more of those series are left.  Taking place on Mondays….March 30th with Chef Betty Burleigh of Dinner is Served, and April 20th with Chef Hari Cameron of a(MUSE).  Starter, entree, and dessert!!  $35/person or $60/couple  6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.  Call them up and make a reservation!

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Cooking should be from the heart; it should not be rushed.  The right amount of spice adding flavor to the recipes should be such that it will not overpower your creation.  Your meal should not be ordinary, or boring….it should be extraordinary.  And, when my brother gets his birthday present next week he will be getting tons of spices, salts, sugars and rubs… he will be spicing things up in Florida!! He loves to cook!!

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Love their rice too.  Different and eye catching.

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I am not a hot tea drinker but they do have an excellent variety of loose teas for those that love a hot cup of tea….like my friend, Debbie.

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I first stepped into The Spice & Tea Exchange on Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Florida.  I was impressed then.  Happy to have it in Rehoboth Beach….just visited one in Charleston, South Carolina.  Even though it is a franchise, each has their own individuality.  The staff is friendly and very helpful.  They blend spices and herbs to customize. They are very knowledgeable of the products they sell.  The Black Lava salt is so different.  They told me that is a good finisher salt.  Great on steaks.  It contains sea salt and activated charcoal.  The salt is dried in lava beds.  On the second photo you can see it on the top shelf.

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In ancient times salt was valuable.  Roman soldiers were paid in salt.  The payments were called “salarium”.  Salt was and still is a preservative.

The Himalayan Salt Stones intrigue me.  I have never cooked with them, but always look at them when shopping at their store.  They can be heated, or chilled to any extreme temperature.  Wash it after each use; not need for detergent.  Awesome conversation piece for a party.

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My “Pilon” is what is known as a mortar.  I come from Puerto Rico and the pilon used for almost everything is made out of wood.   But, apparently there is a difference…if you use a marble one, that’s very good for crushing whole spices.  The one made out of wood, like I use, is mainly for crushing sauces…garlic too, well, that’s what I do.  The ceramic one is mostly used in Europe.  Perfect for crushing fresh spices.  The Mexican favorite is the molcajete….avocados!!

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I found out the website has recipes that look pretty good.  Please visit http://www.spiceandtea.com/recipes-c-54.html.

So, as you stroll, and enjoy your time in Downtown Rehoboth Beach…..stop by and say hello.

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