July 27nd, 2003

"Houston, We Have a Candidate."


" The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

Hi Folks,

From this issue on, I will just give excerpts from some of the longer articles and a link, either to the original source website, as I have been doing in the past, or to my own Archive Site, where I will have the article in full, if there is no source website available. This should keep the newsletters from being too unwieldy.

There is one visionary Democratic candidate running in the 2004 US election and I recommend that if you aren't familiar with his platform, you take some time to look and listen. His name is Dennis Kucinich ( pronouced: koo-SIN-itch) and he really is too good to be true. But don't you think it's about time we got a little too good to be true in our lives? I've included some shortcuts for you and if you have the patience to download his 25 Mb mp3 speech, 'Imagine America' you will be glad you did as you will hear someone quite unique and long overdue, in my opinion. Here is the link to the Speech

"Each time a man (or a woman) stands up for an ideal, acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he (or she) sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples can create a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
Senator Robert Kennedy, addressing students in South Africa who suffered under the yoke of apartheid, understood the potency of the human heart as surmounting all obstacles.

I also highly recommend the text to two other Kucinich speeches which can easily be printed out:

1- A Prayer For America

2- A New Horizon for the Democratic Party


'You may say I'm a dreamer . . . but I'm not the only one.'
John Lennon



I haven't seen anything like this campaign since Robert Kennedy

"Not only can Dennis Kucinich win the presidency, he just may be the only Democrat who can," say his supporters They've got to be kidding, right?

But Kucinich supporters aren't kidding. And Democrats best listen to their reasons, and their candidate. Activists, Washington insiders and political reporters ignore them at their peril. (more)

Can Kucinich Beat Bush?
No other candidate can attract disaffected voters, 3rd party voters and Ralph Nader supporters to the Democratic column like Kucinich. (more)

One of the most beloved figures in popular music and culture has endorsed the populist presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich.

Statement from Willie Nelson: "I am endorsing Dennis Kucinich for President because he stands up for heartland Americans who are too often overlooked and unheard. He has done that his whole political career. Big corporations are well-represented in Washington, but Dennis Kucinich is a rare Congressman of conscience and bravery who fights for the unrepresented, much like the late Senator Paul Wellstone. Dennis champions individual privacy, safe food laws and family farmers. A Kucinich Administration will put the interests of America's family farmers, consumers and environment above the greed of industrial agribusiness.

I normally do not get too heavily involved in politics, but this is more about getting involved with America than with politics. I encourage people to learn more about Dennis Kucinich at his website and I will be doing all I can to raise his profile with voters. I plan to do concerts to benefit the campaign."
Dennis Kucinich Official Website


Although the statement has just started to circulate, it has already attracted signatures from such prominent feminists as Blanche Weisen Cook, biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt; Marilyn French, author of "The Women's Room"; actor and singer Ronnie Gilbert; Jewish activist and poet Irena Klepfisz; and political scientist Zillah Eisenstein.
" We are feminists who consider the Bush administration a danger to our country and the world, and see a regime change in 2004 as the highest political priority. Rather than waiting to hear what all the Democratic candidates have to say, then jumping on the bandwagon of the least offensive, we decided to make our own list of priorities and see who agrees with us. Here's our list - Full Statement

- Vermont's Poet Laureate Backs Kucinich
Grace Paley is one of the original signatories on the Internet petition of a group called "Feminists for Kucinich," which is endorsing the Ohio congressman.

The 80-year-old author and peace activist, who lives in Thetford, joined a number of other feminists including author Barbara Ehrenreich and scholar Angela Gilliam in signing the petition, which also asks for volunteers for Kucinich and had more than 1,300 signatures Thursday. (more)

Kucinich supports marriage for same-sex couples
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Wednesday, July 16, 2003

The Cleveland Democrat said "there should be a federal law that would allow gay couples to be married," rather than leaving the matter to the states.

"We cannot have states making separate rules with respect to basic human rights," Kucinich said at the Human Rights Campaign forum. (more)


Speaking to more than 1200 progressive leaders and activists in civil rights, labor, feminism, peace and the environment at the "Take Back America" conference in D.C., Kucinich "electrified" the crowd with a "spell-binding speech." Here's a description from Salon, whose sub-headline reported, "Kucinich's Bush roasting gets the biggest cheers":

"The most impassioned applause of the day was reserved for Kucinich. Introduced by Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers of America, as 'the only vegan in Congress,' Kucinich took the stage to John Lennon's 'Imagine' and proceeded to conjure the heyday of American progressivism by promising a new version of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Project Administration. 'We're gonna rebuild America's cities and we're gonna do it with America's steel'... Medicare for all, money pulled out of the Pentagon budget to pay for schools and other domestic programs, and 'total nuclear disarmament.' He spoke to the crowd's fury over the war in Iraq, getting a screaming standing ovation when he cried: 'This war was wrong! This war was fraudulent! We must expose this administration.'

"When he was finished it was clear there was no point in having anyone else follow him. "

And, in the Polka-Dot Shorts . . .

Bush, at Home Among The Well-Heeled in Texas
By Ann Gerhart
Washington Post

Sunday 20 July 2003

DALLAS -- There are hours to go before President Bush slips into a hotel ballroom here and thanks Texas for pouring $7 million into his reelection fund. Places, everyone:

An army of valet parkers gets final instructions. The merry band of protesters claim their corner out by the access highway, far from the entrance to the sprawling Wyndham Anatole Hotel. They wave American flags and hoist "Peace Is Patriotic" signs.

The Dallas police face them in a line, their motorcycles parked with precision at the hotel entrance: 24 identical Kawasakis at the same angle, each white helmet hung on each right handlebar.

In the cavernous kitchens, thousands of pre-grilled shrimp are threaded onto skewers. They will be tough and dry by serving time. Secret Service agents fan out through the hotel.

And fluttering like butterflies amid all this practiced efficiency on Friday afternoon are hundreds of Mary Kay Cosmetics conventioneers, who, it turns out, have taken over the hotel for most of the month. The ladies are everywhere, peppy, pretty and very pink -- pink being the signature Mary Kay color -- and they are delighted that their president is visiting. "We wanna know something," demands Nancy Brock of Alabama. "Is there ever a bad-looking Secret Service agent?" She giggles, and so do her mother, Caroline Sagunsky of Oregon, and her sister, Emily Sims of Florida. The trio have just stepped through the hotel doors after posing for a picture in front of the backup presidential limo, a popular photo op throughout the afternoon, with its Presidential Seal on the door and its gold-fringed flags on the hood.

The three would prefer to see the man and not just his car. They love him. Voted for him last time, can't wait to do it again, and "have you ever had a facial?"

Yes, once, it was wonderful, but here's a question: Are they concerned the administration might have emphasized false intelligence to build a case for the war against Iraq?

"I don't care about it at all," says Sims, while her mother and sister nod in agreement, "because we don't know anything about this [classified] intelligence. We can't know, as ordinary citizens, and we don't want to know -- it's scary -- and that's why we have leaders, and they worry about that for us. I trust him to lead. I trust that he's doing good things in the Oval Office and not bad things, if you know what I mean.

"And I love that he's a Christian man."

This is the bedrock of the Bush presidency, trust and leadership, and the president enjoys no bigger devotion anywhere than in Texas. The first big fundraiser of Bush's first governor's race was held in this very ballroom a decade ago, recalls Israel Hernandez, the president's longtime aide. He looks around the room and marvels for a moment about back then -- Dallas resident and Texas Rangers owner Bush was considered by many to be on a fool's errand trying to unseat Democrat Ann Richards -- and now.

Now seems easy. Another tenet of Bush strategy is underestimation, and campaign officials take great care to not appear overconfident of victory, with the election so far away. But the truth is the money started gushing like an oil well as soon as Texas finance chairman Fred Meyer and vice chairman Jeanne Johnson Phillips started drilling. In eight weeks, Texans contributed $7 million, Meyer said Friday night, through appeals tied to fundraisers here and last night in Houston.

The campaign's fundraising operation is not unlike that of Mary Kay's. The cosmetics firm promotes directors who recruit new salesladies and earn credits for those recruits' sales -- prizes such as tiaras and pink Cadillacs. The reelection campaign has Pioneers, charged with recruiting donors to tote up $100,000, and Rangers, responsible for bringing in $200,000. Past prizes have included ambassadorships.

Phillips has been proving herself as a Bush money-shaker since the first gubernatorial race. She ran the president's inauguration, and then he sent her to Paris as representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a role that conferred on her the title the Hon. Jeanne Johnson Phillips. Having moved home just a few weeks ago, she finds her husband teasing her by calling her "the formerly honorable."

There are 1,598 Texans who have maxed out at the $2,000 individual contribution permitted by law, according to federal election records. Campaign spokesman Dan Ronayne says 900 of them are here at the Wyndam. They glide up to the valet parkers in very clean luxury cars.

A fair number of trophy blondes hang on the arms of older men, which is so last-decade Dallas, but there it is. They have well-toned legs that end in Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos. Their heels are higher than the Mary Kay ladies', and their eye makeup not as colorful. There are the old Texas oil money Republicans, the young professional Dallasite Republicans and the evangelical Republicans.

Here is Bill Lee getting out of the back seat of a black Mercedes sedan -- the chauffeur is driving -- and chucking his cigar into the ground cover before entering the hotel. He's an independent oilman, the former head of Triton Energy. His wife, Antonia, originally from Turkey, says they have been Bush supporters "since the father," meaning the first President Bush.

Here is interior designer John Turner, a former Ann Richards supporter who thought George W. was just "the doodah son." Then he and his wife attended a charity event in the early 1990s where the amusement was a problem-solving scavenger hunt.

"Everyone else was drinking and partying, and George was fixed on unraveling this spool of thread, part of the puzzle, and he unrolled and unrolled, and when the spool was empty, there was the answer," says Turner. "I'll never forget it, his focus was such. And that is the focus I know he brings to this giant task of his."

Here is Angela Punzi Levi, a native of Argentina, whose business card pronounces her "Official Texas State Adviser to the Nation," a title that she seems to have bestowed upon herself. She has a prophecy for the president: "I told him before, and I want him to hear it again: He is gonna lose this election if he doesn't do something about the interest rate." She wants it higher, because senior citizens are seeing their savings slip away. She suggests that Alan Greenspan "should go jump in the lake."

Here are Brit Smith and Karen Wilson. He's in technology and she's in real estate, and this is their first Bush fundraiser. They have been following carefully the aftermath of the war, and they say it's important that people be patient. "We don't live in a perfect world. Hard choices have to be made," says Smith, "and he's willing to do that." And here, in a fabulous black hat and burgundy dress, is Connie Ware, who remembers vividly the first time Bush walked into a room to stump for governor "and I thought he was just magic. He's a good and honest and decent man." She volunteered then, and drove him "all over East Texas at 80 miles an hour," and he sat in her front seat and blew giant gum bubbles. When Ware raised an eyebrow at him, Bush said with a grin, "I know a thousand ways to embarrass my mother."

Every time she sees him, he plants a kiss right on her lips, "which my husband puts up with." And tonight is no different. After speaking, Bush leans across the rope line and does it again.

Outside, about 75 protesters mill about. They want Bush's motorcade to notice them when it passes.

There are signs saying "Regime Change Begins at Home" and "500 Billion Deficit IS a WMD." Some protesters lift oversize cards like the ones distributed to soldiers fighting in Iraq to help them identify wanted members of Saddam Hussein's regime. The president is the four of clubs, because, says Crawford resident John Wolf, "we don't think he really ranks that high in this administration."

Every time a limousine approaches, the protesters jump up and down and run up and down the sidewalk. Every time, it's just more Mary Kay ladies inside the limo, enjoying another high-sales reward. The protesters don't know it, but the presidential motorcade arrived around the back of the hotel hours ago. Bush has been in a private suite ever since, posing with first lady Laura Bush for pictures with special donors.

After the donors drink their whiskey and white wine and have their fill of shrimp and chicken tenders, the president and his wife hit the stage. Bush says: "It is great to be home. It's really fun for us to see a lot of our old buddies."

There is applause.

And: "I came to this office to solve problems, not to pass them on to future presidents and future generations."

More applause.

And: "Terrorists declared war on the United States of America, and war is what they got."

Big applause.

And: "To get the economy going again, we have twice led the United States Congress to pass historic tax relief for the people of this country."

Bigger applause.

And: "For the sake of our health-care system, we need to cut down on the frivolous lawsuits which increase the cost of medicine."

Biggest applause of all.

The president finishes at 6:40 p.m. with a resounding "Thank you!" A scratchy recording of "Stars and Stripes Forever" comes over the speakers, and, taking their cue, people literally run for the exits, the women in the highest heels taking the shortest steps, fast, on their tippy-toes. See, it's a democracy: No matter who you are, you get one vote, and you get your car back in the order you arrived in the valet line.

If It's So Funny (Why Aren't We Laughing?)

Bedtime Story

Q: Daddy, why did we have to attack Iraq?
A: Because they had weapons of mass destruction, honey.

Q: But the inspectors didn't find any weapons of mass destruction.
A: That's because the Iraqis were hiding them.

Q: And that's why we invaded Iraq?
A: Yep. Invasions always work better than inspections.

Q: But after we invaded them, we STILL didn't find any weapons of
mass destruction, did we?
A: That's because the weapons are so well hidden. Don't worry,
we'll find something, probably right before the 2004 election.

Q: Why did Iraq want all those weapons of mass destruction?
A: To use them in a war, silly.

Q: I'm confused. If they had all those weapons that they planned to
use in a war, then why didn't they use any of those weapons when we
went to war with them?
A: Well, obviously they didn't want anyone to know they had those
weapons, so they chose to die by the thousands rather than defend

Q: That doesn't make sense Daddy. Why would they choose to die if
they had all those big weapons to fight us back with?
A: It's a different culture. It's not supposed to make sense.

Q: I don't know about you, but I don't think they had any of those
weapons our government said they did.

A: Well, you know, it doesn't matter whether or not they had those
weapons. We had another good reason to invade them anyway.

Q: And what was that?

A: Even if Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Saddam
Hussein was a cruel dictator, which is another good reason to
invade another country.

Q: Why? What does a cruel dictator do that makes it OK to invade his

A: Well, for one thing, he tortured his own people.

Q: Kind of like what they do in China?

A: Don't go comparing China to Iraq. China is a good economic
competitor, where millions of people work for slave wages in
sweatshops to make U.S. corporations richer.

Q: So if a country lets its people be exploited for American
corporate gain, it's a good country, even if that country tortures

A: Right.

Q: Why were people in Iraq being tortured?

A: For political crimes, mostly, like criticising the government.
People who criticised the government in Iraq were sent to prison and

Q: Isn't that exactly what happens in China?

A: I told you, China is different.

Q: What's the difference between China and Iraq?

A: Well, for one thing, Iraq was ruled by the Ba'ath party, while
China is Communist.

Q: Didn't you once tell me Communists were bad?

A: No, just Cuban Communists are bad.

Q: How are the Cuban Communists bad?

A: Well, for one thing, people who criticise the government in Cuba
are sent to prison and tortured.

Q: Like in Iraq?

A: Exactly.

Q: And like in China, too?

A: I told you, China's a good economic competitor. Cuba, on the other
hand, is not.

Q: How come Cuba isn't a good economic competitor?

A: Well, you see, back in the early 1960s, our government passed some
laws that made it illegal for Americans to trade or do any business
with Cuba until they stopped being Communists and started being
capitalists like us.

Q: But if we got rid of those laws, opened up trade with Cuba, and
started doing business with them, wouldn't that help the Cubans
become capitalists?

A: Don't be a smart-ass.

Q: Didn't think I was being one.

A: Well, anyway, they also don't have freedom of religion in Cuba.

Q: Kind of like China?

A: I told you, stop saying bad things about China. Anyway, Saddam
Hussein came to power through a military coup, so he's not really a
legitimate leader anyway.

Q: What's a military coup?

A: That's when a military general takes over the government of a
country by force, instead of holding free elections like we do in
the United States.

Q: Didn't the ruler of Pakistan come to power by a military coup?

A: You mean General Pervez Musharraf? Uh, yeah, he did, but
Pakistan is our friend.

Q: Why is Pakistan our friend if their leader is illegitimate?

A: I never said Pervez Musharraf was illegitimate.

Q: Didn't you just say a military general who comes to power by
forcibly overthrowing the legitimate government of a nation is an
illegitimate leader?

A: Only Saddam Hussein. Pervez Musharraf is our friend, because he
helped us invade Afghanistan.

Q: Why did we invade Afghanistan?

A: Because of what they did to us on September 11th.

Q: What did Afghanistan do to us on September 11th?

A: Well, on September 11th, nineteen men, fifteen of them Saudi
Arabians, hijacked four airplanes and flew three of them into
buildings, killing over 3,000 Americans.

Q: So how did Afghanistan figure into all that?

A: Afghanistan was where those bad men trained, under the
oppressive rule of the Taliban.

Q: Aren't the Taliban those bad radical Islamics who chopped off
people's heads and hands?

A: Yes, that's exactly who they were. Not only did they chop off
people's heads and hands, but they oppressed women, too.

Q: Didn't the Bush administration give the Taliban 43 million
dollars back in May of 2001?

A: Yes, but that money was a reward because they did such a good job
fighting drugs.

Q: Fighting drugs?

A: Yes, the Taliban were very helpful in stopping people from
growing opium poppies.

Q: How did they do such a good job?

A: Simple. If people were caught growing opium poppies, the Taliban
would have their hands and heads cut off.

Q: So, when the Taliban cut off people's heads and hands for
growing flowers, that was OK, but not if they cut people's heads and
hands off for other reasons?

A: Yes. It's OK with us if radical Islamic fundamentalists cut off
people's hands for growing flowers, but it's cruel if they cut off
people's hands for stealing bread.

Q: Don't they also cut off people's hands and heads in Saudi

A: That's different. Afghanistan was ruled by a tyrannical
patriarchy that oppressed women and forced them to wear burqas
whenever they were in public, with death by stoning as the penalty for women who did not comply.

Q: Don't Saudi women have to wear burqas in public, too?

A: No, Saudi women merely wear a traditional Islamic body covering.

Q: What's the difference?

A: The traditional Islamic covering worn by Saudi women is a modest
yet fashionable garment that covers all of a woman's body except for
her eyes and fingers. The burqa, on the other hand, is an evil tool
of patriarchal oppression that covers all of a woman's body except for
her eyes and fingers.

Q: It sounds like the same thing with a different name.

A: Now, don't go comparing Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis
are our friends.

Q: But I thought you said 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th
were from Saudi Arabia.

A: Yes, but they trained in Afghanistan.

Q: Who trained them?

A: A very bad man named Osama bin Laden.

Q: Was he from Afghanistan?

A: Uh, no, he was from Saudi Arabia too. But he was a bad man, a very
bad man.

Q: I seem to recall he was our friend once.

A: Only when we helped him and the mujahadeen repel the Soviet
invasion of Afghanistan back in the 1980s.

Q: Who are the Soviets? Was that the Evil Communist Empire Ronald
Reagan talked about?

A: There are no more Soviets. The Soviet Union broke up in 1990 or
thereabouts, and now they have elections and capitalism like us. We
call them Russians now.

Q: So the Soviets, I mean, the Russians, are now our friends?

A: Well, not really. You see, they were our friends for many years
after they stopped being Soviets, but then they decided not to
support our invasion of Iraq, so we're mad at them now. We're also
mad at the French and the Germans because they didn't help us
invade Iraq either.

Q: So the French and Germans are evil, too?

A: Not exactly evil, but just bad enough that we had to rename
French fries and French toast to Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast.

Q: Do we always rename foods whenever another country doesn't do what
we want them to do?

A: No, we just do that to our friends. Our enemies, we invade.

Q: But wasn't Iraq one of our friends back in the 1980s?

A: Well, yeah. For a while.

Q: Was Saddam Hussein ruler of Iraq back then?

A: Yes, but at the time he was fighting against Iran, which made him
our friend, temporarily.

Q: Why did that make him our friend?

A: Because at that time, Iran was our enemy.

Q: Isn't that when he gassed the Kurds?

A: Yeah, but since he was fighting against Iran at the time, we
looked the other way, to show him we were his friend.

Q: So anyone who fights against one of our enemies automatically
becomes our friend?

A: Most of the time, yes.

Q: And anyone who fights against one of our friends is
automatically an enemy?

A: Sometimes that's true, too. However, if American corporations can
profit by selling weapons to both sides at the same time, all the

Q: Why?

A: Because war is good for the economy, which means war is good for
America. Also, since God is on America's side, anyone who opposes
war is a godless un-American Communist. Do you understand now why we
attacked Iraq?

Q: I think so. We attacked them because God wanted us to, right?

A: Yes.

Q: But how did we know God wanted us to attack Iraq?

A: Well, you see, God personally speaks to George W. Bush and tells
him what to do.

Q: So basically, what you're saying is that we attacked Iraq
because George W. Bush hears voices in his head?

A. Yes! You finally understand how the world works. Now close your
eyes, make yourself comfortable, and go to sleep. Good night.

Q: Good night, Daddy.
(thanks to Enid Ginn)



The meat (lard) from the cheek of a pig, Guanciale (pronounced 'Gwahn-TCHAH-leh' - from Guancia) is rubbed lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper or chilli pepper, and covered for a period that, according to its weight, lasts from 4 to 15 days. It is then pressed. The trimming, done during the first phase of preparation, gives the guanciale its distinctive triangular form. The meat is placed on a sloping surface, and cured, or hung to dry in the air for three months, or it can be smoked. It is very common in the cooking of central Italy, particularly Latiumn. Guanciale, due to its particular scents, is suitable to season a wide range of dishes, such as thrush on a spit and boiled broad beans. In Sardinia, it is produced from free ranging pigs from the Gennargentu mountains, without additives or preservatives, where it flavours numerous pasta sauces.
Guanciale has been used since ancient times as an inexpensive flavourer and it is ideal to savour all roasted dishes and indispensable for spaghetti with a sauce of tomatoes, cheese, onion and bacon (amatriciana) and carbonara.
It can be found at any good Italian butcher (ask for it) - it has its own unique flavour, but pancetta, a cured meat similar to bacon but not smoked, can be used instead. and even ordinary bacon will do in a pinch.

Broad Beans and Guanciale
2-3 cups freshly shelled broadbeans
1 cup chicken stock
1 onion, finely chopped
clove of garlic, chopped
olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced guanciale
salt, pepper

heat the oil, sauté the onions, add the broad beans, guanciale, garlic, salt and pepper, and the stock. Bring to just before the boil. Cover and cook over low heat until broad beans are cooked (10-15 minutes).


Red Lentils and Guanciale
Two cups red lentils
2 litres chicken stock
1 carrot, cut in large pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
clove of garlic, chopped
olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced guanciale
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

heat the oil, sauté the onions, add the carrots and garlic, stir, add the lentils, stir, add the chicken stock and guanciale, salt, pepper and chili to taste. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils are cooked. Check periodically to make sure stock is sufficient - otherwise add a little more. Adjust seasoning. Turn off heat and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Sauce Amatriciana with Guanciale
7 oz. guanciale
1 onion
stock (if needed)
1 lb ripe tomatoes

Slice the guanciale in thin slices and put in a pan. Let brown slowly, then add the chopped onion and cook until transparent. Discard all the liquid fat, add the peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes and a piece of peperoncino. Salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 40 minutes over medium heat, adding a cup of stock (if needed) occasionally and stirring often. Serve on bucatini or perciatelli.



This dish is named for the tiny town of Amatrice, located 100 miles east of Lazio from Abruzzo and can be made both with or without tomatoes. Ever since Abbruzzese shepherds begin the tradition of eating this spicy pasta after a day in the chilly mountain air, the cooking process has always begun with the rich smell of a fatty piece of guanciale bubbling in the pan.

1 pound guanciale, (or pancetta,) thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves
1 red onion, halved and sliced -inch thick
1 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup any basic tomato sauce (see Recipe Index)
1 pound bucatini pasta
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Place the guanciale slices in a 12- to 14-inch pan in a single layer and cook over medium-low heat until most of the fat has been rendered from the meat, turning occasionally. Remove the meat to a plate lined with paper towels and discard half the fat, leaving enough to coat the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Return the guanciale to the pan with the vegetables, and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions, garlic and guanciale are light golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, add the tomato sauce, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cook the bucatini in the boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the simmering sauce. Add the parsley leaves, increase the heat to high and toss to coat. Top with freshly grated Pecorino cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4

I haven't put a whole lot for the vegetarians in this issue so here's an easy and elegant dessert.

Cherries, whole with pips (or Plums, halved, with pips removed)
Any nice red wine: cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, pinot or Merlot
zest of one half lemon, and the juice
zest of one half orange, and the juice
cinnamon stick, or powder
1/2 cup sugar

Place cherries and just enough wine to cover, in a saucepan. Add sugar, cinnamon and lemon and orange zests, and the juices. Bring to a simmer. Cover, and turn heat to low. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until cherries are soft and wine has reduced to a light syrup. Correct taste with more sugar if needed. Remove from heat and let rest for about 5 minutes covered. Serve warm, or chilled, with yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.


The Night Before Christmas - Italian Style

'Twas the night before Christmas,
Da whole house was mella,
Not a creature was stirrin',
Cuz I had a gun unda da pilla.

When up on da roof
I heard somethin' pound,
I sprung to da window,
To scream, "YO! Keep it down!"

When what to my
Wanderin' eyes should appear,
But da Don of all elfs,
And eight skittish reindeer!

Wit' slicked back black hair,
And a silk red suit,
Don Christopher wuz here,
And he brought-a da loot!

Wit' a slap to dare snouts,
And a yank on dare manes,
He cursed and he shouted,
And he called dem by name.

"Yo Tony, Yo Frankie,
Yo Vinny, Yo Vito,
Ay Joey, Ay Paulie,
Ay Pepe, Ay Guido!"

As I drew out my gun
And hid by da bed,
He flew troo da winda
And slapped me 'side da head.

"What da hell you doin'
Pullin' a gun on da Don?
Now all you're gettin' is coal,
You brainless moron!"

Den pointin' a fat finga
Right unda my nose,
He twisted his pinky ring,
And up da chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh,
Obscenities screamin',
Away dey all flew,
Before he troo dem a beatin'.

Den I heard him yell out,
What I did least expect,
"Merry Christmas to all,
And next time: show some respect!
(Thanks to Paul 'little paulie' Baker)



" Nemo adeo ferus est ut non mitescere possit."
(No one is so wild that he cannot become gentle.)