I grew up in New York City during a very magical time for the arts. They were appreciated and integrated into every school. We had the option of attending Leonard Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts" on Saturdays for an inexpensive subscription. Sitting in the audience listening to him explain the music, you couldn't help but get swept up by his passion & energy. Hearing the New York Philharmonic perform for a room just filled with kids was very powerful.
During high school we got discount tickets for Broadway shows and many English classes went into the City via subway to see them. We also had an annual musical competition called "SING" in high school between sophomore, junior & senior classes. The scripts were shrouded in secrecy, filled with new lyrics to familiar Broadway tunes and parodying life at school. It ran to sold out audiences for several nights. The Commissioner of SING the year I was a junior was David Geffen. Yes, the same person who owns Geffen Records and has just pledged $100 million to renovate & rename Avery Fisher Hall to David Geffen Hall. Not bad for a skinny kid from Brooklyn.
New Yorkers are bred to love musical theater and as a result they wind up supporting it for a lifetime.
I fell in love with Rex Harrison during My Fair Lady and marveled at Julie Andrews' transformation before my eyes.
Hard to believe that it has been 50 years since Man of La Mancha opened on Broadway. I can still remember Richard Kiley's strong voice bouncing off the back wall of the theater.
Of course Ethel Merman's un-miked voice in Gypsy shook the entire building. A few years later I was working at a hotel in the Catskills where she was a guest. I answered the Room Service phone one morning and heard a booming female voice order "a glass of hot water with prune juice on the side". That voice identified her more accurately than the picture on her drivers license.
But I think my favorite musical was "Fiddler on the Roof" because you just couldn't take your eyes off of Zero Mostel whenever he was on stage. The range of expressions on his face didn't require words. We all walked out humming and that's my measure of a good musical.
Things are humming in the kitchen this week, take a look.
THIS WEEK'S MENU Pick-up Fri March 13 1-5 pm
PUMPKIN DATE WALNUT MUFFIN $2A rich muffin with the background flavors of pumpkin & warm spices studded with plump dates, raisins and roasted walnuts. I love to cut one into thick slices then schmear cream cheese on each slab. I'm just saying...
THE BIG COOKIE $1.50
Each cookie has its own personality & unique flavor profile. Some are seductive, using the allure of Belgium chocolate to get your attention. Others invoke memories of childhood or a less complicated time. Find your match amongst Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Orange Walnut Belgium Bittersweet Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Pecan Coconut Belgium Milk Chocolate.
CHOCOLATE ORGASM COOKIES $5/pkg
My legendary chocolate delivery system made with melted Belgium bittersweet chocolate throughout, toasted fresh almonds, chocolate chips & very little flour. Sold in packages of 4 because you must have more than one.
CINNAMON APPLE TWIST $3.50
A small buttery Danish loaf filled with crisp apples bathed in Sri Lanka cinnamon & raisins plumped in Jamaican Appleton Estate dark rum. Generous enough to share, but why should you?
** VEGAN ALERT...DON'T READ THIS ITEM **
CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE GALETTE $4.5o
Personally, I love corned beef on rye or a good Reuben. I never warmed up to the St. Pat's classic boiled meal. But this is something else! My handmade tender pastry (with a tad of rye & caraway) is filled with Jewish Deli style home cooked corned beef, surrounded by sauteed cabbage & onions, on a bed of roasted red potatoes. Kosher pickle optional.
SEEDED FLATBREAD CRISPS (vegan) $4/pkg
When you want something very light, crisp and full of flavor, try a bag of these. Each one is rolled out by hand, seeded and cut into unique shards. Perfect with soup, salad, dips or in a bread basket.
No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives EVER!!
ORDER BY 5pm WEDNESDAY
all items in limited supply... first come, first served
PICK UP FRIDAY 1-5 pm at Bonni's Treehouse
932 12th Street West
TO PLACE AN ORDER
or call me at (941) 746-6647
PAY BY CASH OR LOCAL CHECK TO BONNI BROWN
Hugs from my kitchen,