Concord News

You're never too old to learn

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/08/2012 - 00:00

Joan Davis is the new chairperson of the Curriculum Committee for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute chapter in Concord. There are 12 volunteers on her committee whose job it is to recruit volunteer presenters for the OLLI program.

OLLI is a nationwide continuing education program for seniors founded by Bernard Osher, who made his fortunes in California. Osher believes that one is never too old to learn, and that learning should be fun. To these ends he gives start-up money ($100,000) to colleges to establish continuing education programs. After five years, if a program is successful, it's chapter becomes eligible to apply for a $1,000,000 grant to help keep the program going. The money is used to support a facility, staff and office expenses. Osher's goal is to see OLLI in all 50 states.

Categories: Concord News

Being Woody

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/08/2012 - 00:00
New York On 'To Rome With Love,' playing himself, Oscars

It's a torrid summer day in New York, but the lobby of a well-appointed Park Avenue building has an immediate cooling effect, its well-appointed marble corridors keeping the heat at bay.

Down a side hall, a sign on a nondescript door reads "Manhattan Film Center" and behind that door lies a room crowded with FedEx boxes, bursting file cabinets and the detritus of creativity's business end. The only clues pointing to the identity of the occupant are a Mighty Aphrodite poster, a book about Fellini and a khaki bucket hat that sits poised on a bookshelf, waiting to be joined with a pair of equally iconic black eyeglasses.

Categories: Concord News

Group touts straps over strollers

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/08/2012 - 00:00

Rebecca Morse, a mother of three and independent baby supply store owner, has found a surprising culprit in her years of advocacy for more traditional parenting techniques: the stroller.

Concerned that too many parents blindly "bucket their babies" in strollers or infant car seats that they lug around, the 29-year-old lactation consultant and certified "babywearing instructor" started a counter-campaign in her home town of Ann Arbor, Mich. She set up a station at a shopping mall there to offer parents an alternative to the rolling buckets.

With a suitcase stocked with a rainbow of woven wraps and other baby-carrying gear, Morse showed the moms and dads how they could keep their hands free and their babies close. This practice is a given in many parts of the world where strollers are rare.

Categories: Concord News

Olympics-themed knitting event unravels

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 07/08/2012 - 00:00
Ravelry fiber artists ordered to stop their 'Ravelympics'

The sweater triathlon will go ahead. The mitten medley will proceed as scheduled. The spinning wheels will hum for the handspun heptathlon, and looms will clack in the weaving vault.

But let's be clear: There is no link, none at all, between these activities and the Olympic Games.

The U.S. Olympic Committee recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to a bunch of knitters who had found a creative way to get together and watch the Olympics. While copyright infringement notices happen all the time, this one seemed a particularly far-fetched target for the USOC's wrath.

The knitters - and crocheters, spinners and other fiber enthusiasts - are members of a social-networking site called Ravelry, which has been a haven for fiber artists since 2007: It's a bulletin board, marketplace and discussion forum rolled into one.

Categories: Concord News

Still rolling after all these years

Concord Monitor Living - Sat, 07/07/2012 - 00:00
Stones's drummer reflects on longevity

Even though he's played in the same rock 'n' roll band for nearly 50 years, Charlie Watts still prefers playing jazz.

The Rolling Stones drummer learned how to play it by imitating his favorite jazz players as a teenager.

So during his breaks with the Stones, Watts has played jazz, not rock, and that legacy continues with his latest venture, The A, B, C, and D of Boogie Woogie. The quartet recently released Live in Paris from one of their shows during a recent 10-show run at the club Duc des Lombards.

Watts recently spoke to the Associated Press about the project, as well as what's being planned for the Rolling Stones's 50th anniversary next year.

AP: Tell me about the comfort level of this band.

Categories: Concord News

Open-air art

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 07/05/2012 - 00:00
Concord Outdoor sculpture exhibits notch 15th year at Mill Brook Gallery

It doesn't happen everywhere. But in at least one unusual place ancient behemoths still dot the landscape. Dogs wear their bones on their sleeves and boulders make good cargo for teeny, tiny boats.

This topsy-turvy world is all part of the 15th Annual Outdoor Invitational Sculpture Exhibit, which runs at the Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden through Oct. 18. The work of 36 sculptors from across New England and New York will be on display on the gallery's sprawling grounds.

"I think people who say they don't like contemporary art, when they walk around the sculptures and they see how it's made and the shadows and often the images, they get a different point of view of contemporary art," said Pamela Tarbell, owner and curator of the gallery. "And people do, they really enjoy it."

Categories: Concord News

Reality-TV war escalates

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 07/05/2012 - 00:00
ABC, CBS battle over shows, dates

The escalating war between ABC and CBS over their respective fame-seeking-narcissists-live-in-totally-wired-house series now threatens to consume both networks' date-to-mate reality series.

In the latest development, CBS has been compelled to move the unveiling of its new reality dating series, 3, to July 29 - after learning of ABC's plan to attack 3's originally scheduled July 22 launch by moving its season finale of The Bachelorette to that same Sunday night.

Not only does ABC intend to move The Bachelorette finale to that Sunday night from its usual Monday berth; it also plans to follow that broadcast with its first-ever live After the Final Rose post-finale special at 10.

In February, CBS announced that it had ordered 3, which is kind of like The Bachelorette. Except that on 3, three chicks will simultaneously kick the tires on the same three eligible guys.

Categories: Concord News

A quick, stove-top quiche

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/04/2012 - 00:00

In a version of eggs/breakfast for dinner, this so-called quiche might remind you more of a frittata with a bottom crust, depending on the pan you use. Don't be confused: The length of time in the recipe title refers to how long it takes to cook this stove-top version of the classic baked French egg dish.

Bread crumbs moistened with a little olive oil are pressed into the pan and toasted to form the makeshift crust. You can process your own using day-old French bread, as we've done here, or you can use store-bought garlic croutons.

You could add or substitute fillings, such as cheese, olives, scallions and/or mint.

Ten-Minute Pan Quiche

half a medium tomato

1 ounce spinach leaves

2 ounces day-old French or other crusty bread (about one quarter of a regular-size baguette; may substitute garlic croutons; see headnote)

½ to 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 large eggs

Categories: Concord News

Ricotta cream adds a deliciously light summery twist to pasta

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/04/2012 - 00:00

I've grown away from cream sauces that seem to drown vegetables and pasta rather than enhance them. Instead, I use ricotta cheese, which adds a lighter dairy element. Ricotta tends to be a little dry, so I mix in milk. After that, it's just a matter of flavoring the ricotta and combining it with well-cooked vegetables and pasta.

Here, the ricotta is treated to lemon and basil. Zucchini and onion are sauteed until tender, then everything is combined with corkscrew pasta. It's easy, delicious and summery.

Pasta and Zucchini With Lemon-Basil Ricotta Cream


8 ounces dried corkscrew-shaped pasta, such as rotini or fusilli

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 pound zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons low-fat milk

finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

⅓ cup coarsely chopped basil leaves

freshly ground black pepper

Categories: Concord News

The food scene's rising star

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/04/2012 - 00:00
Children's book author turned chef is determined to make her voice heard

Which side of Angela Shelf Medearis do you know?

The feathers-and-sequins-wearing cookbook author who has strutted her culinary prowess on Dr. Oz and the Today show, not to mention her own public television cooking program? Or the prolific children's book author (as in roughly 100 of them)?

Two distinct sides of the same self-proclaimed "Kitchen Diva." Two success stories she credits mostly to divine inspiration and a serious pinch of sass.

"I'm famous for my inability to cook," so says the 55-year-old Austin writer. "Going to my house was not a treat."

It helps that she clearly doesn't know how to take "no" for an answer.

Categories: Concord News

A French favorite

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/04/2012 - 00:00
Crepes made with buckwheat flour offer a healthier, gluten-free taste of Montreal Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  Gluten-free buckwheat crepes

Eggs. Milk. Buckwheat. In a mix of French and English, the man in the paper hat listed the ingredients in the thin brown batter that spread across his hissing griddle. My husband and I had found him inside a bright yellow lunch truck at the far end of Montreal's Atwater Market, where we'd come to eat after a long morning walk through the city on a vacation last summer.

Between marveling at the architecture, the public gardens and the region's industrial history, I lamented that so many of Montreal's French-inspired goodies were made with wheat flour and off limits to someone like me with a gluten intolerance.

Categories: Concord News

Living well without gluten

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/04/2012 - 00:00

Welcome to Gluten-Free Living, a new monthly column focused on eating well without the gluten.

It's been about six years since I stopped eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some other grains. My dietary situation is far from unique.

For the estimated 2.1 million Americans living with Celiac Disease, gluten can cause serious, even life-threatening, gastrointestinal problems. Millions of other people have a less-serious, but still significant, form of gluten intolerance that causes skin rashes, headaches, joint pain and other symptoms.

Living gluten-free means reading labels, asking all sorts of questions at restaurants and rethinking the way food comes together to form a meal. For me, giving up gluten has been an excuse to experiment in the kitchen. The results haven't always been perfect, but I've learned some tricks along the way. I'll be sharing those lessons and some of my favorite recipes here.

Categories: Concord News

New 'Spider-Man' is sweet

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 07/04/2012 - 00:00
Movie Review Comic book remake is a crowd pleaser

Maybe a Spider-Man reboot wasn't exactly screaming to be made, coming just a half-decade after Tobey Maguire ditched the bodysuit for good.

But The Amazing Spider-Man is a sweeter, quirkier spin than Sam Raimi's blockbuster action franchise trilogy. The dazzling newcomer swings decidedly on its own terms.

Director Marc Webb (was Spider-Man his destiny?) laces the skyscraper-scaling crime-busting with a fetching, awkward romanticism that made his (500) Days of Summer such a low- key charmer.

Not that Spider-Man skimps on battle time and CGI heroics (though the 3-D seems rote). And to cut to the chase: Andrew Garfield is terrific in the lead role as a younger, more self-effacing superhero than the Maguire version.

Categories: Concord News
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