Current Member News
Margaret Mills just received the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award. This news appeared in the Business News of The Wall Street Journal.
Jean P. Moore continues to be busy with the promotion of her novel, Tilda’s Promise. She has personally appeared at book clubs since the new year and in addition has learned of other groups reading and discussing the book, all of which has been very gratifying. She has five or six events planned through the spring and is looking forward to participating in the Brooklyn Book Festival in September. Jean’s book is now in its second printing. In addition to the national media exposure her book has garnered, she attributes success to two things, having been reviewed in the Library Journal in September of last year, which led to many libraries ordering her book, and to having a good publicist.
Margaret Esmé Simon had two pastel paintings in a show at the Art Students League gallery from February 9 to February 16.
Connie Newton Stancell recently completed her series of 27 Canyon Rhythms paintings. They are borderline abstract and express the remembered experience of her visit to the Grand Canyon in 2008. Connie's website has now been redone and updated and she would love for you to visit it at: www.connienewtonstancell.com. At the website, if you hold the cursor over “Paintings” and click on “Canyon Rhythms”, you will be able to scroll through all 27 paintings.
Annette Voreyer has eight of her paintings on display at the Geary Gallery in Darien, 576 Post Road. Please stop in.
Doris Mady’s painting, It Will Pass, will be on display at the Ossining Arts Council’s Art2See exhibit. Works in all media, were done by members of the OAC. They are at the Steamer Firehouse Gallery,117 Main St, 2nd floor, until Sunday, March 24. Run by volunteers, hours are uncertain, please call 914-502-4157 before attending.
Sarah Darer Littman will be appearing with journalist Jim Herbert, editor of Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits, an anthology of columns by Connecticut opinion columnists - March 27th at the Perrot Library at 7:30 pm. Who would have thought that Sarah would be included in a book about opinionated women?
Barbara O’Shea has two photographs accepted into 2 different shows:
The Ridgefield Guild of Artists Camera Works Photo Exhibit with Juror Joe McNally. Title: Gays Against Guns March 2-24. Opening reception: Saturday, March 2nd, 2 - 4 pm 34 Halpin Lane, Ridgefield and Rowayton Arts Center’s Photography and Sculpture Show with Juror Michael Shapiro Title: Enough. March 10-April 6 Opening reception: Sunday, March 10th 4 - 6 pm, 145 Rowayton Ave, Rowayton.
Margaret Esmé Simon has a piece in the “Abstraction” show at the Rowayton Arts Center. It is a needlepoint work called “Jazz”. The reception for the show was on Sunday, February 10, at the gallery at 145 Rowayton Avenue, Norwalk, CT. The show will be up until Saturday, March 2. Gallery hours are Tuesday -Friday 11 am - 5: pm and Saturday 11am - 1 pm.
Connie Newton Stancell’s painting, Canyon Rhythms IV, was chosen for the Personal Best exhibition at The College of New Rochelle, 29 Castle Place, New Rochelle, NY. Everyone is invited to the exhibition's closing reception on Saturday, March 2 from 12 noon to 2 pm.
A Bit of Whimsy for March:
Gram’s Irish Soda Bread
From GPW, Catherine T. Horn
“I didn’t give you that recipe.” Grandma Murray stated incredulously, on more than one occasion.
“I don’t bake”.
While I was quite certain that she did bake and had given me the recipe, arguing with Gram was futile. Once she made up her mind about something, that was that. Having emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in her early teens, she was characteristically independent, determined and stoic, by necessity more so than by choice. Early hardships including separation from her family, the death of at least one sibling at a very young age, poverty and a lack of education took a toll and left their mark on her. Strength and resolve were two of the residual effects of these life circumstances and they served her well as she raised 4 children, including my dad, in a small apartment on her husband’s policeman salary in the village of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. In her late 70’s (Gram’s age was always an estimate since her original birth certificate was lost in transition through Ellis Island), my grandmother was hit by a car while attempting to walk across a busy intersection aptly named, “Five corners”. Among the many bumps, bruises and cuts was the worst of the damage: two broken knees. Murray family Irish folklore says that when the young Emergency Room doctor told her that she would probably never walk again, she had a few choice expletives for him, delivered with her thick Irish brogue. Following surgery and months of physical therapy, she was back on the public bus continuing to do all of her own errands just as she always had before the accident. She remained strong and independent into her 90’s before her heart gave out.
The recipe in question was for Irish Soda bread. Unlike most others that were dry and tasteless, Grandma’s soda bread was unique in that it was sweet, moist and delicious. Golden raisins, and the addition of sweet, creamy buttermilk, gently blended by hand (never with an electric mixer that could toughen the bread) created a unique combination of a cake-like soda bread unlike any other.
Recently, while sorting through a myriad of recipes collected from food magazines, cookbooks, internet websites and elsewhere, I came across a photocopy of a recipe handwritten in child-like print. In an instant I recognized that handwriting as my Grandmother’s. As my Irish luck would have it, it was none other than Grandma Murray’s Irish Soda Bread recipe. Proof that she did in fact bake and she had given this recipe to me.
Once a year, on St. Patrick’s Day, I carry out this treasured Murray family tradition. I measure the ingredients, blend them together gently, mix in the buttermilk, fold in the Golden Raisins, and bake, just as Gram did. The fact that she did not recall it, and is no longer here to enjoy it, makes it all the more meaningful. Grandma Murray’s Irish Soda Bread is special and perfect each and every time.