George Harrison Memorial Tree Killed by Actual Beetles

George Harrison Tree Plaque
George Harrison Memorial Tree Plaque (Image Source)

From Spin Dot Com:

A tree planted to honor of the memory of the Beatles songwriter George Harrison has been killed by actual beetles. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the living local monument fell victim to an infestation of insects that couldn’t be bested. According to Councilman Tom LaBonge, the 10-foot-tall pine planted in 2004 bit the dust only recently, and a new one will be planted in its stead shortly.

Harrison’s last years were spent living in L.A. — he died there at 58 in late 2001, and was cremated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The so-called George Harrison Tree was accompanied by a plaque reading: “In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener.” It includes a quote from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: “For the forest to be green, each tree must be green”

The plaque (and the forthcoming tree) is located near the city’s famous Griffith Observatory. The memorial has one very glowing review on Yelp (with photos), which now reads more as a eulogy to the tree that was:

On the day I was there, many tourists and visitors, in fact, walked right by it without noticing it at all. There is no signage that leads people to the tree, and the memorial plaque is near the ground and out-of-sight. Furthermore, I didn’t see any buskers or fans with guitars either playing “Here Comes the Sun,” “Something,” or “My Sweet Lord” (or any of Harrison’s many other well known songs). Instead, with my own private thoughts and reflections, I enjoyed that pine tree in peace just as George, I’m sure, would have wanted it.

Pepperidge Farm and Swanson Present Holidays in July!

Product Display
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

The idea of Christmas in July has always been exciting to me, because I love the Holiday season, but I also love Summer. So it was extremely fun to be invited to a lovely Holiday-Themed Dinner Party thrown by Swanson and Pepperidge Farm that not only featured delicious foods but also easy cooking tips and beautiful home decorating ideas. Win win win!

Holidays in July Signage

Of course, the point of the Holidays in July Campaign is not rush the coming of the season but to point out that it is never too early to start planning!

Holiday Tree

Swanson and Pepperidge Farm (which are both owned by Campbell Soup Company, a fact I did not previously know) had the event space decorated beautifully complete with seasonally appropriate touches including a Tree, Wreaths and Wrapped Presents — very festive!

Cheese Table

Before dinner was served, we all enjoyed a spread of delicious snacks, including this insane Brie En Croute made with Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.

Brie En Croute

Look at this gorgeous thing. Just look at it.

Bar

Pre-dinner cocktails included a signature drink, the Gingerbread Martini, topped with a Pepperidge Farm Gingerman Cookie! You would not believe how delicious and refreshing this cocktail was.

Gingerbread Man Cocktail

Plus, cute.

Table Setting

Nothing gets your guests excited for a delicious holiday meal quite like a beautifully set table. Mixing Christmas ornaments in with fresh flower arrangements really brings the seasonal atmosphere into your home.

Gingerbread House

And look, somebody made a Gingerbread Cookie House from a variety of Pepperidge Farm Cookies!

Floral Centerpiece

Here’s what was on the evening’s menu:

Roast Whole Turkey

Sliced Turkey on Platter

Herb Roasted Turkey and Pan Gravy with Swanson Chicken Stock.

Shortribs

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Swanson Beef Stock.

Two Kinds of Potatoes

Here’s a fun presentation suggestion: serve two different kinds of potatoes side by side in the same dish! Above, you’ll see a Sweet Potato and Parsnip Puree nestled alongside ultra creamy traditional Mashed Potatoes. All vegetables were cooked in Swanson Chicken Broth instead of water, which simply enhances the flavor of the food without imparting a chicken taste to the finished dish. This is a tip I am definitely going to put into practice, because the results are outstanding.

Macaroni and Cheese with Crushed Goldfish

Check out this rich Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese topped with crushed Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers. Kids (and Adults) will flip over this!

Three Kinds of Stuffing

Three varieties of stuffing included (Left to Right):

Caramelized Onion with Pancetta and Rosemary Stuffing made with Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing and Swanson Chicken Broth.

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing made with Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing.

Baked Apple Cranberry Stuffing made with Pepperidge Farm Unseasoned Stuffing and Swanson Chicken Broth. (My Favorite).

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing made with Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing.

There was also an assortment of Pepperidge Farm Bake at Home Breads and Stone Baked Artisan Breads.

Puff Pastry Sheets

After a huge feast like the one I’ve just talked about, everyone needed a bit of a rest before dessert. Everyone was invited into the kitchen to watch one of Pepperidge Farm’s in-house chefs demonstrate how easy it is to make desserts with the brand’s best-selling Puff Pastry!

Chef Making Pastry

Puff Pastry with Fruit

Puff Pastries topped with Fresh Fruit.

Puff Pastries with Nutella and Hazelnuts

Puff Pastries filled with Nutella and topped with Hazelnuts.

Bananas Foster Pudding with Chessmen

And last but not least, Bananas Foster Pudding topped with a layer of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies! Delish!

Get recipes mentioned in this post and more by downloading Pepperidge Farm’s Holiday Recipe Booklet at This Link! Happy Holidays!

Dinner Menu

Jonty Jacobs Debut South African-Style Biltong Shop in Greenwich Village

Jonty Jacobs Store Front
All Photos By Gail

At last month’s Summer Food Fete, we discovered a few favorite new specialty foods, one being a South African cured, dried meat snack called Biltong – which is very tasty – from an indie company called Jonty Jacobs.

Store Interior with Antelope Head
Jonty Jacobs Store Interior

Jonty Jacobs is so crazy about Biltong (the owners are from South Africa) and so convinced that New Yorkers will love it as well, that they have just opened a small Biltong and gourmet packaged food shop on Christopher Street, in the heart of the West Village.

Biltong Samples
Fresh, Hand Cut Biltong!

The Jonty Jacobs brick and mortar shop will allow patrons to custom-order their biltong by choosing the type of biltong (traditional, grass-fed or aged), lean or traditional, with or without spice and cut-style (chunks, shreaded or – for the aged biltong – prosciutto-style thin-cut).

We attended the shop’s soft opening in early July and had the chance to further sample not only their Biltong and other dried meat products, but to also enjoy wine pairings from the Mandela family vineyard and delicious South African style braai (BBQ)!

Mandela Wines
Mandela Family Wines Flowed Freely

Chef Hugo Uys at Work

South African chef and entrepreneur Hugo Uys (whom Jonty Jacobs has retained to consult on menu development) was on hand to grill up some delicious sausage and kebabs.

Grilled Sausage Sandwich
Grilled Sausage Sandwich

Grilled Kebab Meat
Mmm…Kebabs

Stocked Shelves

The store will also offer prepackaged droewors (dried beef sausage) available with or without spice, boerewors (south-african style sausage) available in regular beef, grass fed, lamb or pork, sosaties (marinated and skewered meat) available in all beef, beef, lamb and pork or lamb and beef. Additionally, they will carry a select range of truffle products, caviar, cheese, smoked fish, dips and South African snacks such as cookies, chocolate, dried fruits and teas.

Stocked Shelves

Stocked Shelves

Surely Jonty Jacobs can be to South African expats what Meyers of Keswick is to NYC’s transplanted British!

Jonty Jacobs is located in the heart of the West Village at 114 Christopher Street (between Bleeker & Hudson), NYC. Visit them on the web at Jonty Jacobs Dot Com for Store Hours and More Information.

Packaged Biltong

Bacon Thing of the Day: Bacon Peanut Butter Cannoli

Bacon Canoli
Image Courtesy of The Littlest Winslow

These miniature Bacon Cannoli actually contain a filling comprised of both Banana and Peanut Butter. So, shouldn’t it maybe be called the Elvis Cannoli? Find out how to make them at This Link!

Porca Miseria! Chandelier at MOMA

Porca Miseria! Chandelier Distance
All Photos By Gail

The Porca Miseria! Chandelier is a revolt against the “slickness” of contemporary design and designer  Ingo Maurer’s celebration of slow–motion cinematic explosions. Only 10 of these lamps are produced annually, as four builders and must work on each one for almost 5 days, carefully breaking plates with a hammer or dropping them on the floor to determine the arrangement of the final design. The title, a common Italian interjection similar to “damn,” expressing irritation, surprise, annoyance, or incredulity, evokes both the frustration of breaking a dish and the release that comes from breaking many of them.

Porca Miseria! Chandelier

Porca Miseria! Chandelier

Porca Miseria! is on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in the Design Gallery.

Sweet Ride of The Day: Yellow Mustang

Yellow Mustang Front View
Photos By Gail

I was so smitten by this Yellow Mustang of indeterminate model year that I stopped to take photos of it in the rain. The car was parked on a street in Long Island City and even though it has a bit of tree detritus on the hood (from the rain) it still looks like a sweet ride.

I once had a boyfriend who drove a car that somewhat resembled this one, but that is a story that takes too long to talk about.

Yellow Mustang Rear View