Pastina & Sciapito

GirasoleAzzurra/The LadyHawk
23 April 2016 @ 06:49 pm
My mother died last week, peacefully and surrounded by much of her family, at the age of 93. We lost her rather earlier than that. She had dementia for the past seven years or so, and for the last few months had often not even known my sister, who worked across the street and visited her every day.
I spent 2014 with endometrial cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation. My mother never knew, of course, that I was sick. But she was with me in one particular way. What she always made for us when we were sick was pastina, tiny little star-shaped pasta, with lots of butter and salt. I made that a lot during cancer treatment. I could always eat it, and it didn’t take much effort. It always made me feel taken care of.
My mother made the most excellent salad dressing ever. She used olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, and salt. I have tried for forty years to reproduce it, but it was never as good, or as right, as hers. Several of us were talking about that online after her funeral. What was it that made her salad so good? She would mix it, and taste it, and then murmur “sciapito” and add a little more salt. My mother was born in this country, and her Italian was the Abruzzese/Neapolitan dialect of her parents. The word sounded like “sha – beet” with the emphasis on the second syllable and a hint of a vowel at the end.
Food and family, family and food. It’s what we know, and what we are.
Rest in peace, Mom.

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Matcha Latte

20 October 2013

I learned this at a Japanese tea bar in NYC that was only open for about six months.

I watched the beautiful young Japanese man who looked like an anime character make this several times, and I adapted it for home. He had bleached blond hair that fell just so across his face, graceful hands, and a sultry look. Alas, I could not adapt that for home.

Whisk about a half teaspoon of matcha (green Japanese tea, ground very fine into a silky powder) in water way below boiling. I heat the water in a glass pot and use it when it just begins to steam and has a few tiny bubbles in the bottom. The mixing is traditionally done with a bamboo whisk, but I use a battery operated frother. In a separate cup, put milk, warmed or not, (this works well even with lowfat milk) and sweetener if you want some and froth it until it is very foamy. Pour the foamed milk into the matcha. It’s wonderful.

At Tafu, the Japanese tea bar, they used whole milk and put a dab of whipped cream on the top, which I do now and then. Instead of sugar, they used the smallest drizzle of brown sugar syrup. The contrast of the creamy milk and astringent matcha, the bitter tea and the shock of a bit of sweet, just delighted me. The brown sugar syrup was made like simple syrup and I have done that occasionally, too. written 2009

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Girasole/Ladyhawk’s Chai

GirasoleAzzurra/The LadyHawk07 September 2013
Girasole/Ladyhawk’s Chai

For each serving:

2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup cold water
1 rounded teaspoon demerara or golden sugar
1 rounded teaspoon black tea
1 green cardamom pod, crushed
1 whole clove, crushed
2 berries allspice, crushed
dash of powdered ginger or grated fresh ginger
tiny drop of vanilla

Put everything in a small pot, bring to a boil, stirring, and let it steep four minutes or so. Strain and serve. Delicious. Good iced, too.

I make this in a ceramic canister, in about these proportions. I used about half an inch of vanilla bean, a piece of dried ginger, and the noted spices, and leave it for about three weeks, shaking it regularly, and then use it through the year. Enjoy.

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The words are moving

I will be moving much of the commentary and musings I wrote in Live Journal to this site. Thank you for following along.

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GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido

GraceAnne A. DeCandido is a writer, reviewer, and editor, now mostly retired. She taught children’s and young adult literature classes for Rutgers SC&I online for over a decade, as well as two specialized classes Female Voices in Historical Narratives and Writing a Life: Biographies and Personal Narratives, in Rutgers SC&I Professional Development Studies certificate in Youth Literature and Technology (2000-2001, 2003-2004, 2006-2007, 2009-2011, 2012). In early 2009, she worked as editorial consultant for The Librarian’s Guide to Gaming: an online toolkit.

Her review of the new edition of Free to Be … You and Me appeared in Horn Book, January/February 2009. Her article about teaching online, “A Particular Intensity: Teaching Children’s Literature Online” appeared in the May/June 2002 Horn Book. Her American Libraries On My Mind column, “Online Teaching Is Real Teaching” was published October 2006. DeCandido has also directed graduate student independent study in children’s literature. In 2005, she was the recipient of the part-time lecturer of the year award from Rutgers PDS. She was one of a dozen consultants who worked on the development of an online class for academic library paraprofessionals in 2003.
In 2007, she was one of the writers and researchers for the American Dream Starts @ Your Library toolkit, a literacy initiative from ALA.

She has worked as an editorial and web content consultant in her own company, Blue Roses. Her clients have included the American Library Association and several of its offices and divisions, the Association of Research Libraries, The Pierpont Morgan Library, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation Tall Tree Initiative for Library Services project in Westchester County, New York. From June 2004 to June 2006, she wrote “Bookmark It! Picture Books” columns for TeacherLibrarian magazine.

Her Ten Graces for New Librarians, the commencement address at the School of Information Science and Policy at SUNY/Albany (May 1996), was published in the December 1996 American Libraries. It has been used in library workshops, newsletters, and library school bibliographies around the country. Ten Graces is also included in The Whole Library Handbook IV, published by ALA in 2006.

She’s the editor of Literacy and Libraries: Learning from Case Studies, published in 2001 for ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, and she has written “New Jobs for Old: Librarians Now” a document for the Association of Research Libraries’ Leading Ideas publication series; one of the guides to the Coretta Scott King Award books for young people for ALA, also published in print form in Book Links, Dec/Jan 2001 p9-14; author interviews formerly called “Word Is Out,” spotlighting key writers for ALA Editions; and the first series (now mostly superseded) of Tech Notes for the Public Library Association on topics ranging from Intranets and DOI to GIS and e-reference. She’s also the author of the scenarios used for discussion for the Stanford – California State Library Institute on 21st Century Librarianship, August 2001.

She has interviewed The New Yorker‘s Roger Angell, “Writers and Readers: Baseball” (Booklist, 9/1/01, p36) and mystery writer Janet Evanovich, “Stephanie Plum as Indiana Jones” (Booklist, 5/1/01, p1628-1629). Her profile of Giles, TV’s hero librarian, “Bibliographic Good vs. Evil in Buffy the Vampire Slayer” appeared in the September 1999 American Libraries (p44-47), and her chronicle of life as a library consultant, “Hanging Out My Shingle” appeared in AL in March 2000.

She’s the editor of the second edition of The Internet Searcher’s Handbook, Neal Schuman Publishers, and the author of the Association of Research Libraries Transforming Libraries SPEC Kit 243, Service to Users with Disabilities (April 1999) and SPEC Kit 226, After the User Survey, What Then? (September 1997). The Tall Tree school/public library initiative’s newsletter and web site, both of which she worked on, won Silver citations in the Wilmer Shields Rich Awards Program for Excellence in Communications sponsored by the Council on Foundations. In her role as consultant, she worked on the very first incarnation of The Librarian’s Guide to Cyberspace for Parents and Kids and the predecessor to the current Great Web Sites for Kids for ALA.

She was a professional book review from 1973 until 2015, reviewing children’s books for Kirkus Reviews and adult and children’s titles for Booklist. She cheerfully recommends favorite titles on Goodreads.

She’s published three mystery roundups in Booklist: “Cozy New York” (p1454-55, 5/1/2002); “Hooked on Cozies; or, You Gotta Have a Gimmick” (p1598-99, 5/1/2000) and “Women Like Us: Midlife Mystery” (p1460-1461, 4/15/1999). The October 1999 American Libraries includes her On My Mind column called “This Is Not Entirely about Sex.” She has interviewed science fiction writer Orson Scott Card for Publishers Weekly (with her son Keith DeCandido), written the entry for Sarah Caudwell in The St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, and selected and written entries for science fiction, fantasy, and women’s history (with John Edward Peters) for BookWhiz software. DeCandido contributed to Ann Symons’ Speaking Out! In Celebration of Intellectual Freedom (ALA, 1999), and wrote the Foreword to Benita Epstein’s Interlibrary Loan Sharks and Seedy ROMs: Cartoons from Libraryland, (McFarland, 1997).

DeCandido has given presentations all over the US and in England about library publishing, writing and publishing online, and coping with change, most recently in October 2008 for the Southeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association, “Technology is the Campfire around which We Tell our Stories.” In November 2001, she was keynote speaker at ACRL New England in Boston, “A Light on the Darkling Plain: Core Values.” In June 2001, she was a plenary speaker at the American Theological Library Association conference in Durham, NC, Words Are All We Have: A Very Brief Disquisition on Librarians, Access, Technology, Feminism, and the Truths of Things. She was the keynote speaker for PALINET, October 2000 in Philadelphia and in Pittsburgh, offering a presentation called “The Architecture of Fire: Librarianship Transformed.” The Westchester Library Association invited her to be its keynote speaker at WLA’s annual meeting in May 1999. She has spoken at Oxford University England, and at the California Library Association in Pasadena, both in November 1997. She was part of a presentation about independent librarians and marketing at the American Library Association conference in San Francisco in June 2001 and about building a web site for your library at ALA in San Francisco June 1997.

With Robert DeCandido, she wrote the American Library Association’s TIP sheet, “Preservation: A Common Ground.” For about a dozen years (1986-1998), Bob and GraceAnne DeCandido co-taught a course in library preservation at St. John’s University Division of Library and Information Science, and she and Patricia Glass Schuman have co-taught a summer institute in publishing at Long Island University’s Palmer School of Library and Information Science (1996). She has also taught Contemporary Issues in Librarianship at the Palmer School (1997).

She was previously Editor and Director of the H. W. Wilson Company world wide web site. She was the founder and principal architect of the site in its first web incarnation, 1995-96. She was the last Editor in Chief of Wilson Library Bulletin, until the magazine ceased publication in June 1995. During her tenure at WLB, she increased the magazine’s coverage of online and cyberspace issues in librarianship, and provided a forum for a multitude of library issues, especially those concerning gender. Her “Brazen Overtures” editorial for June 1994, “Children in Our Houses,” won second place, Northeast, in the 1995 competition sponsored by the American Society of Business Press Editors.

DeCandido has been a reference librarian and a cataloger at the New York Public Library, director of the Parsons School of Design Library, and administrator of a retrospective conversion/preservation program at New York University Libraries. After ten years in libraries, she worked as a freelance writer for The New York Times Book Review and other periodicals before becoming an editor for the Special Libraries Association. When SLA moved to Washington, DC, she joined the editorial staff at Cahners Publishing (now ReedBusiness), and spent seven years there, as assistant editor of School Library Journal, senior editor of Library Journal, and as executive editor of SLJ.

She holds an MLS from Columbia University and a BA in English Literature and Art History from Fordham University.

GraceAnne DeCandido reads voraciously and omnivorously, collects Navajo jewelry and almost anything with a flower motif, thinks of online as home turf, adores her little blue iPod, its big sister iTouch, her iPhone, and Rose, the iPad3 she got for her 65th birthday. In her spare time likes to cook, haunt museums, and shop, but not necessarily in that order. She was born and raised in the Bronx, where she and her family live in a house built in 1911, or possibly 1927. The research is inconclusive.

GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido
New York City

LadyHawk AT well DOT com

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What I thought and what I wrote

I have brought together speeches and essays and musings, to this place on the web, so I could keep it together, and so it is.
Personal stuff is mostly on Facebook, and on LiveJournal, where I write as Girasole.
Blessings and good words to all.

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Just an April note

I am still here. The words remain. Did not want you to think I wasn’t. There is some personal stuff at if you want to read that.

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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from a poem by …

from a poem by Visar Zhiti:

Bolts of lightning from the sky
And plant them in fields of life.

They will grow like tender sprouts of fire.
Charge somber thoughts
With unexpected flash,
You, my lightning in the soil!

My dear friend @hapaxnym shared this poem with me.

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Lightning and stars

It’s not a battle. It’s a journey lit and fueled by lightning, then illuminated by stars.

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