• Wed
    Dec 04
    8:00 pm -
    9:00 pm
  • Fri
    Dec 06
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

Tea LeavesOne of our greatest pleasures in life is starting off several days each week with a cup of black tea from India, Ceylon or Africa.  Rachel adds a touch of milk and a little sugar to our cups.  We stir, smell, taste, sigh, and sip.  It’s a magical experience. 

A great espresso is just that, but it’s not tea.  The only other liquid that brings me a simillar type of pleasurable experience is when I am lucky enough to enjoy a special glass of wine.  Fascinating.  A realization just clicked inside that I connect both tea and wine with romance, which means they are  intimately intertwined with peak experiences Rachel and I have enjoyed together-quiet, leisurely breakfasts at home, a tea shop in Paris, afternoon tea at the Four Seasons, a dinner in a corner booth at Vetri, dinner with friends in Rome, and many other entrancing moments.

Corey Morrow, proprietor of Earth and Water, has his own ongoing love affair with tea.  He’s planning to share some of his own intimate moments with this fascinating leaf in the Club Room at 7:00 pm. 

Other voyeurs participating in this experience are our health coach, Emily Rose Shaw. She’ll clue us in on the best foods, both cooked and raw, to help us stay warm and healthy this winter.  Beverly Merson’s "Cinebites" segment takes a look at food in film, plus Tom Allen and his guitar will offer a bit of musical respite from all the talk.

No doubt there will be more on the live show menu.  Come on by Hy-Vee to listen and taste with us.


Potato LatkesIt’s a Chanukah celebration replete with music and lots of food.  We had latkes (recipe below), chicken soup, and fresh applesauce.  Sheila Ross brought us her family version of the beloved potato pancake (a big thank you to Carolyn Waksman for bringing extras), and a simple and delicious chicken soup.  Members of our audience peeled, cooked, and ran the apples through a Mouli grater for a perfect pureed complement to the steaming, crisp on the surface, but soft on the inside, latkes. 

Tom Allen sang one of his own compositions, and provided guitar accompaniment for a ladies choral group from Beth Shalom Synagogue.  The group’s extemperaneous performance of Peter Yarrow’s “Light One Candle” was stirring.  Marc Berkowitz presented an historical look at the Chanukah celebration, and Beverly Merson reviewed the food film, Haute Cuisine.

Also, during this gift-giving time of the year I’m going to present some suggestions for those people on your list who are food lovers.  On the show I made some book recommendations, and here they are:

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith
Hello, Wine by Melanie Wagner
An American Family Cooks
by Judith Choate
flour, too by Joanne Chang
Treme by Lolis Eric Elie

Here is my daughter, Rebecca’s, recipe for potato latkes with homemade applesauce:

Every year I look forward to Chanukah so I have an excuse to make latkes. They are simple and delicious, and for me, completely evocative of the holiday season.

Potato latkes

1 onion

6 medium russet potatoes

5 Tbsp. flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt + more to taste

Pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil or other oil for frying

Grate the onion and the potatoes, drain all of the liquid from them, and add them to a bowl. The drier the better! You can use your hands to wring and press out the liquid, but a clean, non-fuzzy kitchen towel works the best. Add the flour, salt, and pepper to taste.
Heat a deep cast-iron pan with about 1/4 inch of olive oil over medium heat. Test the heat of the oil by dropping in a small piece of potato. The oil is ready once the potato cooks quickly to a golden brown with out burning. Adjust the heat as necessary.
Grab a small handful of the grated potato mixture and squeeze tightly forming a disc-like patty similar to a thin burger. You will have to squeeze the liquid out or it won’t stick together. Add patties a few at a time to the hot oil. They should become golden brown fairly quickly, but still have time for the inside portion to cook.
Pull them out with a spatula and set them on a plate with a paper towel on it to drain. Adjust the heat to achieve the desired outer crispiness and inner softness.
Serve with homemade applesauce and/or sour cream.
Serves 4.

Homemade applesauce

4 cups of apples (peel if you are not going to use a Mouli) – pink ladies, gala, granny smith, other local apples
1/2 cup sugar or to taste
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 whole cloves
Cook in a pot with a little water, the cinnamon stick, and cloves. Cook covered for 20 minutes until the apples begin to fall apart.
Serve in their chunky state or run through a Mouli grater