The voice of my mom's humor

It’s Columbus Day!

Originally posted on from the Bartolini kitchens:

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus , Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519. ( Source: Wikipedia )

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Here in the States, today is a holiday set aside to commemorate the “discovery” of America by that navigator from Genoa, Christopher Columbus, or as we call him, Cristoforo Colombo.

Two years ago, to celebrate, I shared a musical number with you, while last year we cooked octopus. Today I’ve chosen to highlight how the Italian language is passed from generation to generation … kinda-sorta. Watch how Great Grandma teaches her Little One the intricacies of the Italian language. The only problem is that the video is far too short. I could watch these two “talk” for hours.

Have a great Columbus Day and to our good friends and neighbors to the North, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Originally posted on Every Little Thought--Random or Not:

Lucille Ball is one of my favorite comedic actresses. 60+ years later she & her show still elicit laughs. There’s a timeless humor about it. Even when she was being outlandish & getting herself into all sorts of predicaments, there were still aspects that we found relatable. One of my favorites is with her & Ethel (Vivian Vance) at the candy factory. The assembly line was going faster than they could keep up with & they had to eat & pocket some of it. I can identify with this. It’s not always possible, but, I prefer to do things at my own pace & on my own terms. I could do several posts just about her & her & Desi Arnaz’ show. There were several sources for the following. I read this one on, Huffington Post. All of these resonated with me.


1. Never give up on your dreams

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Originally posted on Wow! Colorful Mart:

Mom! Look At Me Mom! Look! Look!. Funny Story!

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Aging Is Unconditional

Originally posted on Garfieldhug's Blog:

Aging comes to different people in different forms.

A baby ages as the baby begins to crawl and then pick self up to walk those first steps and enters toddler hood.

I like making up new terms to suit the occasion :-) but darn it, parents get all gooey eyed and grand parents gleam as if they are seeing a miraculous feat! Gawd, it is just a darn four feet starting to walk two feet ha ha! Parenthood, I can never understand other than, it is a burden for life or an investment, take your pick ;-)

As a toddler grows up to be a kid, their lungs become even bigger capacities for air to make a lot of noise or I want this or I want that…parents had better have deep pockets as kids compare bags, shoes, IT gadgetry and communication devices! Unending field trips overseas, not across a…

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Originally posted on Light and Spirit:

“When God Created Mothers”

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”

It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.

One pair that sees through closed doors when she…

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Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday mom.

I miss you more than words can express.  I know heaven has provided you all of your favorite coconut cake you wanted.





NOTE: This is about an actual event in my family and

NOT a story from an I Love Lucy episode,

although it could have been.


The setup: my mom’s mom, Nanny, was a master at many things and proof of this is she won every category she entered at the county fair, but that is a story for another time.  However, she liked to enter her creations in contest and to have more entries she would enter items under her daughters names.  One day my mom was going through the mail and found a letter telling her that her recipe was a finalist in a cooking contest.  It was not but seconds later she had called her mother about what she had done.  Yes, Nanny had entered her flambé recipe in a contest and indeed had but mom’s name on this recipe.

This was  not a recipe that mom was familiar with nor had ever made.  However, she was up for the challenge and for several weeks we had Orange Flambé for dinner.  While this may sound like an extravagant dinner I can assure you that after a few night in a row it becomes very ordinary.

One of the things that Nanny kept telling mom was that she must make sure that it really flamed.  This meant learning the right amount of alcohol to pour on it and light it before all the alcohol burned off.  Not as easy as it sounds, for a couple of times we almost had to call the fire department to come douse the kitchen.

mom cooking

A rare photo of mom cooking and no she is not making the Orange Flambé

Never the less, the big day arrived and with the competition being held in Ocala, as small town about 40 miles south of us, and once again Nanny stressed to mom the importance that it flame.  Mom was already nervous enough so this was not really all that helpful at the time.  So it starts and all the finalist had just so long to prepare their dish.  As it gets to the end and mom is finishing up she adds the alcohol but there is still time on the clock and as she wants to light it at just the right moment, so she waits.  As she is very nervous and time feels like it is slower than molasses she pours more alcohol on the dish fearing that the previous amount had already burned off.  Unfortunately, not as much as she had thought had burned off and when the last moment came and she added more and lit it, well let’s just say that it flamed alright, all the way to the ceiling.

The place did not burn down, thank goodness, but mom did not win the competition.

I have tried to find mom’s recipe for this but have not found it in her file.  I suspect she threw it out as she never made it again.  Below is a recipe for Steak Diane I found online at, it was probably like this but used orange juice and/or Cointreau instead of brandy, enjoy it if your dare.


Rib eye steaks - 16 Ounce  (2 X 8 Ounce Steaks)
Sliced mushrooms - 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) 
Chopped green onions - 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) 
Butter - 2 Tablespoon , melted
Brandy - 2 Tablespoon 
Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tablespoon 
Dry mustard - 1⁄2 Teaspoon 
Salt - 1⁄8 Teaspoon 
Pepper - 1⁄8 Teaspoon 


Pound steaks with a meat mallet to flatten slightly, if desired.
Saute mushrooms and green onions in butter in a large skillet until tender.
Push mushroom mixture to one side of skillet.
Add steaks, and brown on both sides.
Remove from heat.
Heat brandy in a long-handled saucepan just long enough to produce fumes 
Remove brandy from heat, ignite, and pour over steaks.
When flames die down, remove steaks from skillet.
Add last 4 ingredients to mushroom mixture in skillet; blend well.
Cook 1 minute.
Place steaks on serving platter, and spoon mushroom mixture over top.

But whatever you do remember to keep it fabulous!


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