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Margaret Mendel

by Margaret Mendel


When I lived in the Bronx, every once in a while in the hour before the morning light leaked across the horizon of the midnight blue sky, I’d be awoken by a train whistle. I used to think it was a dream or perhaps simply my sleepy mind confusing the raggedy sound of a car horn for a Pullman. But there were no trains in that area. There hadn’t been any trains in more than a hundred years. You see I lived on the edge of Van Cortlandt Park, a haunted section of 1,000 acres that spreads out across the most northerly section of New York City in the Borough of the Bronx.

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Cinnamon: The Sweet Wood

IN THE September 10 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMargaret Mendel
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel


Today cinnamon is considered a common spice. But in antiquity it was a valued commodity deemed to be as precious as gold. Cinnamon was so important that the demand for it drove world exploration and countries went to war over this aromatic seasoning.

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Cranberries

IN THE November 21 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMargaret Mendel
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel



Cranberries are native to the mid-Atlantic region of the North American continent. These small tart berries thrive in the acidic peat soil of that region. For eons the indigenous people living in that area have used these berries for everything from cooking, to dyes for textiles, to medicines.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


In Idyll Threats, Thomas Lynch finds himself the new chief of police in the small town of Idyll, Connecticut when he leaves the NYPD after the death of his long time partner.

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by Margaret Mendel



Amy gripped the steering wheel. Her palms were sweaty. The driving wasn’t difficult. The destination was only a couple hours drive north of San Francisco, a pretty straight run up Highway 101. It was the excitement and anticipation of what was yet to come that made her palms sweaty.

{ 13 comments }

A Short History Of The Hotdog

IN THE July 4 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMargaret Mendel
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel


Sausage, the precursor of the hotdog, has been around for a dog’s age. Finely chopped and highly seasoned meat stored in clean animal intestines became a clever way to preserve and store meat. This food has been around so long that it was even mentioned in Homers Odyssey written in the 9th Century BC. Italy, Portugal, Greece, France, and Germany all have long-standing recipes for sausages.

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The Tale of the Macaroons

IN THE April 4 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMargaret Mendel
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel


The macaroon is a tale of three cookies and dates back to Italy circa 800 B.C. with all three sweets originating from a simple mixture of eggs and almonds that had been pounded to a paste. The earliest version of this cookie was baked in the same manner as bread, in brick ovens, perhaps smothered in hot embers or cooked on a cast iron pan over an open fire. This early version of a macaroon was the perfect food for travelers and even marched off to war with the Ancient Roman Legions. These morsels were packed with protein (though back then travelers and soldiers were not aware of its nutritional value), they were easy to carry, and had, what we call in contemporary terms, a long shelf life.

{ 13 comments }

by Margaret Mendel


Georgia stood at the kitchen window; her hands wrapped around a coffee mug, watching Bill back his motorcycle out of the garage. He had no idea she knew. Dumb as a nail, her husband had only three talents: fixing cars, drinking beer, and trying to get his hands on any female that walked by. But this time he’d gone too far and it would take more than apologies to right this situation.

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Crepes-Perfect For Your Valentine’s Day!

IN THE February 7 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMargaret Mendel
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel



Crepes are not that difficult to make and are a real crowd pleaser. For the first time crepe maker the rules are simple and once you get into a rhythm everything runs smoothly. Just remember that the pan needs to be at a consistently medium high temperature, the perfect dolloped of dough should be dropped into the pan, and these thin, delicious goodies will take only a couple of minutes to slide off the pan and into the waiting dish.

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Baseball And Cracker Jacks

IN THE April 5 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMargaret Mendel,
andSports
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel


It’s that time of year again. When the smell of spring is in the air I get all excited waiting to hear those first cracks of the major league baseball bats. The weather might still be a bit unpredictable but rain or shine the baseball season starts the first week in April. There are maybe a dozen major league players that I like to watch, and I cheer the demise of a few teams I consider rivals to my hometown boys, but there’s only one yummy treat I think about when it comes to baseball. Cracker Jacks.

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by Margaret Mendel


On my trip to Ireland several years ago we landed at the Dublin airport in weather that the Irish refer to as a soft day. By this they mean a rainy day. It was an early morning arrival and the dining hall in the hotel was closed. So, we fell onto our bed in the small but efficient room and took a nap.

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by Margaret Mendel


Arlene won’t be spending Christmas in our apartment building, as of this morning. And you wouldn’t exactly say she moved out. Our nemesis of so many years went feet first and in a body bag.

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by Lee Juslin
& Margaret Mendel



We thought for the holidays we’d pull out a couple of past favorites for you to make for your holiday baking–the Terrier Cake and Christmas Cookies! Recipes included.

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by Margaret Mendel



Once a year during the summer I go camping in upstate New York, on property my daughter and her husband purchased with a friend. The area is known as Dunbar Hollow. It is a quiet place surrounded by rolling hills, wildflower meadows, acres of rambling blackberry bushes and it’s hard to imagine that a horrific crime once took place here.

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Viva el chocolate!

IN THE February 9 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMargaret Mendel
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel



My dad was crazy about chocolate covered cherries and every Valentines Day my sisters and I would go to the local drugstore and buy him a box of these sweet treats. Mom, a frail, delicate woman, favored milk chocolate with nuts or dark chocolate with coconut and we gave her Hershey or Mounds bars, all of which she ate sparingly, nibbling the bar as though she were a bird pecking at a treasured crust of bread. Nothing says “I Love You” like something made of chocolate.

{ 5 comments }

Thanksgiving Day Parade

IN THE November 17 ISSUE

FROM THE 2012 Articles,
andArts & Entertainment,
andMargaret Mendel
SECTIONS

by Margaret Mendel



This year will be the 87th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and it is the biggest annual event NYC has to offer. Millions of people line the streets to see this amazing display, while even more people view the parade on TV. It is a spectacular event that officially brings Santa Claus to town, and when the merchants begin to cry out to the public, “Let the shopping begin!”

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by Margaret Mendel



My husband, Tony, and I took an early Sunday morning drive upstate. The fall foliage, usually vibrant in New York this time of the year—with uncountable shades of yellow, amber, gold, red and peach—was dull against the gun metal gray sky, the stark branches bared by an early frost and heavy winds the week before.

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by Margaret Mendel



I don’t know of any fruit or vegetable that announces a changing season as does the pumpkin. When pumpkins show up in the market I know that Halloween is only weeks away and that soon there’ll be a range of festivities: family gatherings, friends coming together for food and drink, a time for gift giving, and then the year ends with champagne and an explosion of fireworks.

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