Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Somethin' Fishy

Tex here, and you gotta love a 14 year old who asks, "Can we have salmon for dinner?" Of course, the fact that he's red-haired and oh-so-cute helps, despite his age. Like Virginia mentioned yesterday, surly teenagers. Oy!

Lucky for him (or it was his inspiration), I had a nice salmon fillet in the freezer. Mom was smart and scooped up the prettiest slab when it was on sale (from a reputable store, of course).

There was a time when the only fish I cooked did not have skin, and it was generally white fish, but Bobby Flay convinced me otherwise.

**WARNING: While no animals were harmed in the cooking of this fish, arteries may have been damaged due to a mom who got a little heavy-handed with the olive oil--Oh, wait...it's olive oil. That means we're in the clear. Nonetheless, it does pay to adhere to proper measurements as opposed to guesstimating.

Just look at this cut of fish. Isn't it pretty? Now all we need is some lemon pepper, a little bit of lemon juice, olive oil and a little bit of butter. Yep, it's that easy.

  
 Heat your oil (1-2 tablespoons) over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
 
In the meantime, cut up and season your salmon--a tiny sprinkle of salt, followed by a generous sprinkle of lemon pepper on both sides (not to mention the counter always needs a little too).
 
Once your oil is hot, I mean almost smoking, add your fillets, skin side down.
Now let the pan do the work. No flipping back and forth.
 
Oops, I almost forgot. Once your fillets are in the pan, add a tablespoon of butter. This is going to crisp that skin up nicely. You can see the edges are getting cooked already. You'll want to press down on them with your spatula/turner to make sure every bit of that skin comes in contact with the heat. Let them go for 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets.
 
Mine sizzled for 4 minutes, then I flipped them and pressed down again to get every inch in contact with the heat.
 
3-4 minutes later.... Aren't they pretty. Moist and flaky on the inside. And as you cut it with your fork, the meat falls away from the skin.
 
Add a little brown rice, some broccoli, and you've got one healthy meal.
Yes, even with a little bit of butter.
 
Love it!
Now, if you will join me in a toast.... Go ahead, raise your cuppa in the air....
To Bobby Flay. Thank you for changing my mind about salmon. And for being such a great teacher. (And he ain't so bad to look at either. I'm just sayin')
 
Happy Tuesday, y'all!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Baked Spaghetti, Mid-Western Style

FINALLY!!!! We have spring in the mid-west!!!

Daffodils are blooming, along with Forsythia! The grass is greening up, and I'm ready to set up my garden bed this week (no planting until after Mother's Day, though - it isn't THAT warm yet!).


On Thursday our church hosted a meeting of area pastors and church leaders from our denomination...and since we live in the Black Hills, and most of them live in eastern South Dakota and Minnesota (think prairies), many brought their families for a mini-vacation.

After lunch, our pastor's wife and I took any non-meeting-attendees who desired up to see the boys on the Hill. 

And this guy was gracious enough to pose for a picture: 

Even with all of our fun tourist activities, we got back to the church kitchen in time to stick our pre-assembled casseroles in the oven. They were delicious, and I thought you'd love the recipe as much as I did.

Baked Spaghetti


Ingredients:

2 - 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 - 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons Seasoning Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 small bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage

8 oz uncooked angel hair spaghetti

2 cups grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend

In a stockpot, cook the Italian sausage until done. Drain the meat. Return the meat to the pot and add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasonings, sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so the sauce simmers. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the bay leaves after cooking.

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.

Cover the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan with sauce. Add the spaghetti, and then cover it with about 1/2 of the cheese. Top with the remaining sauce.

(At this point you can refrigerate or freeze the casserole. Just be sure to add about 10 minutes to the cooking time if you're starting with a cold dish.)

Bake the casserole for 30 minutes, then sprinkle on the remaining cheese and return it to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


This was a great casserole for a crowd (we actually had six pans like this for all the people we fed!). It was full of flavor and had a nice spicy kick.

We needed a break after that busy, busy Thursday, so on Saturday, we went to the Badlands.

(If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you can see the ladder on the left.)


We love it there, but it really challenges your definition of beauty. Most visitors take the driving tour through the park, stopping at scenic turn offs to enjoy the view, but we like to get off the beaten path and away from the road.

This trail is labeled "strenuous."


We hiked about five miles on Saturday, using these trail markers to guide us:  (Can you see marker #2
off in the distance? You may need to click on the picture to enlarge it.)

And where else can you build a snow man in 90° weather?

It wasn't the quietest way to rest up from our Thursday activities, but oh, it was great.

Like Our GAL Julie says, I live in the coolest place on earth :)


And just for Kav, here are some four week old puppy pictures! We get second choice of one of these boys - it will be a hard decision!
Blue-collar Boy

Orange-collar Boy

Green-collar Boy






Saturday, April 27, 2013

Eating "Out of the Box"



Eating "Out of the Box"

As “The GAL,” I am thrilled to join Yankee-Belle and share what I know about living a Gluten-free, Allergy-challenged Life.  Everyone has been so welcoming, even Virginia’s mixer, “Edna,” though she knows I won’t be baking much, a harsh reality for this biscuit-loving Southern girl. For those who must vigilantly protect their allergy-challenged children or face severe health challenges if they don’t give up gluten containing meals, the world is a scary place. I hope my posts will make it a little less scary and more enjoyable. I look forward to sharing recipes, short-cuts and resources for those who must or just want to live “clean.”  Oh, and I will be sharing how you can adapt many of the other Yankee-Belle recipes!

Over ten years ago, I was extremely fatigued after eating chocolate kisses and spaghetti.  Diabetes runs in my family so I ran to my doctor. She did fasting glucose and allergy testing. I had allergic reactions to wheat, corn and beef! Why beef? It’s corn fed. Plus, I am gluten-sensitive but tests for celiac disease are negative, as they often are for the one in every 132 people who have celiac disease. 

Sniff, I miss convenience food.

No problem. I could give up bread even if it meant not baking my beloved wheat rolls. I could give up popcorn. But, wait! Corn-based products are in everything. No soda, regular or diet. No cereal. No casseroles with canned soup, Hamburger Helper, frozen anything and not many gluten-free products because many use corn as a substitute.  I had teens and a husband to feed.  Stores weren’t as sensitive to their gluten-free and allergic clients. Don’t get me started on early versions of rice pasta. Ick!

Gradually, I discovered I felt better when I stuck to my diet. I went to the farmer’s market to reacquaint myself with fresh fruits and veggies. I devoted time to pre-staging meals for the week.  I cut my budget in other areas to put money into good food.  I even discovered confectioner’s sugar made with tapioca, rather than corn, starch! If I could make frosting, I can survive anything and so could my family.  My kids made the excuse of going to college to get away from our new food lifestyle and things got easier with just Man O around. But I remember those days.  

 Gluten-free is a bonanza for the food industry, highway robbery for the consumer. 
GF Bisquick is double the price!  

Today's quick tips on thriving in a restricted food environment:
1) No expectations. If you expect that recipe to perfectly recreate a gluten/allergy free version of your favorite food, you will be disappointed. If you just want a yummy substitute, you will be fine.

Instead:

Evoke the essence of your favorites. Yes, pizza crust is great but it is the toppings and sauce that make it pizza. I will be sharing a gluten-free english muffin that makes a good base for pepperoni. And it has fewer carbs!

2) Don’t break the bank. Living without preservatives and ready-made ingredients on a budget is a challenge.  Don’t let the grocery stores, health-food or neighborhood, hold you hostage. 

Instead:

Seek out new resources. I discovered one of my local Target stores is the gluten and allergy-free hub for our area. The prices are more than $2 cheaper for bags of almond flour or pancake mix. Find other folks who are willing to divide bulk ingredients and order on-line. Talk to your grocery store manager about carrying items.

Finally, the hardest thing of all:

3) Look at your relationship with food. For me, the hardest part was giving up comfort foods I had depended on for ages: M&Ms, pizza, warm yeast rolls straight from the oven.  I learned foods we are allergic to often produce a “high” before the bloating, sneezing and throat closing set in!  It is perfectly okay to mourn the loss of your grandmother’s chocolate pie made with corn syrup. But remember, it is not the only memory you have of your grandmother.

So give me your ideas for posts, whether you suffer allergies, are celiac or just want to live “outside of the box.”  Hopefully, I can ease some unsettled minds and growling tummies in future posts.


         



 
   

Friday, April 26, 2013

Oranges with a Cute Little Name

Missy, here. The Belle. I had another post ready to go (if you're interested in risotto, be sure to come back next Friday!), but I decided this one can't wait. Because the little fruit I wanted to talk about is at the end of its season (the season typically ends in April).

And you don't want to miss out.

(By the way, I have no relation to the company and get no benefit from talking about it!) :)

I'm talking about Cuties.



California Mandarins.

I've always heard of these little fruits and thought of them as kids snacks--a gimmick that was probably over-priced. So I bought other types of clementines and tangerines and other small oranges, trying to find something sweet enough for my taste. I did find a fantastic tangerine this winter called Minneola, which was very sweet, and I really enjoyed them.

But on a recent trip to the store, I found large bags of Cuties on sale and decided to give them a try. They were advertised as little (perfect for kids), seedless, easy to peel and sweet. You've probably all seen the TV commercials, haven't you? I think they need to also market them to adults.

When I tried one, I was totally hooked! They're everything they say they are and more. I bought another case of them at the grocery last week and tend to eat them two or three at a time!



Here's a shot of me holding one from the later batch. The later ones were a bit larger but every bit as sweet and easy to peel. With the earlier batch, you could pop a whole one in your mouth. Very small and portable. My daughter loves to take a couple for lunch.

So I've found a new favorite snack--healthy snack! What's your favorite healthy snack?

Missy
www.missytippens.com

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kitchen Help Wanted!!!!

That's the kind of week it's been...

THERE'S THIS:

Isn't this just beautiful??? This book??? I love it, I love the story, I love the people it's dedicated to, and I hate the reason I was inspired to write it, that my young friend Lisa, a 36-year-old mother of four was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Cancer sucks.

But if you check out this book trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPnKdMXnfHI

You'll see that the real Lisa is doing well... and the fictional Lisa does pretty well for herself!  And Amazon has that beautiful 4-Star story for sale right HERE!!!!

So that was part of busyness, the joy of a book release... and another proposal approved for winter 2014!  Yay.  :)

And then there's this:


Not the cute guy... although there is another one:

I may be related to this one.... Although we keep that quiet, you know, people might find out and come STEAL him... Oh, wait, that's when it's a LITTLE KID...

Anyway, that's Bob-the-Builder in that first picture (yes, really!) and he's building us a nice big family room so that when my big family comes to visit, we have space to spread out. A family room.... I have waited over two decades for this room, and now when the 12 grandchildren come to celebrate at Grammy's house....

Some of the adults can sneak away to the quiet end of the house, LOL!

:)

And yesterday a huge dumpster came to live in my driveway. H-U-G-E. And a load of stuff to make my front roof of this old house look better... and keep rain and snow out better. So from end to end we have construction.... and little kids... and I'm pretty sure someone will end up at least hospitalized, right?????

Sigh.

And did I mention the dead mice? That I have to pull out all of the decades-old (our own fault, right????) stuff I have behind the walls and under the eaves of our finished attic.... So they can put new baffles (WHAT???? WHAT ARE THOSE, EXACTLY????) to help the air circulation.... Let me just say, if I don't die of Hantavirus in a few weeks, you can be assured that the antique bodies and droppings weren't from the deer mouse...

PHEW! Then I can celebrate that we have regular field mice, and the difference is in the ears. Deer mice have bigger ears but without a second specimen, I was stymied by how to identify the corpse.

And such is the life of the upstate Yankee author.

:)

We took stock in glue boards.... and D-con.... years ago. Welcome to country living, 101!

So that's my lameness for why there's been nothing in the kitchen, but there was THIS:

I'm teaching myself to make homemade bagels and these were amazing, but I need to tweak a tiny bit... maybe recipe for next week????  I gotta tell you, though, these babies had Dave SMILING.

:)

Smiling is good!

So while the kitchen has stayed somewhat quiet food-wise... life's been a little crazy and fun in every other corner of the house!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The particular sadness of lemon cake.

Hi, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back!

Sorry I missed out on some fun posts this past week. I can't wait for Julie to join us for REALZ on Saturday and Jan's great-grandpa's barn is gorgeous and Mindy better share her new writing knowledge! I forgot to check in because I got swept up in... nothing, really.
 
It rained.
My kids had a book club meeting and we hosted this time. Here is about half the group, wandering in the rain for the nature hunt. The book we chose for the group was 'Trumpet of the Swan'. They decorated chalkboards, made book marks, and looked for two pages of nature items in our outbuildings and garden area.
                                             
I managed to forget two major birthdays this month.  I don't know where my brain is. Is it spring fever? Is it juggling six kids and two major writing projects? Is it... OLD AGE? Probably that last one.
 With everything that happened in Boston last week, it seemed that the spring rain wasn't making me think of daffodils and tulips. It was making me want to pull the covers over my head and only emerge at Christmas. (Who doesn't love Christmas?? Christmas should be several times a year, in my opinion.)
  Anyway, I found a favorite book tucked behind a row of school books for the kids. It was like finding a wonderful, old friend. This is one of those books you either LOVE...or you leave a scathing one star review on Amazon. (Which I just checked and it has a whopping 59 one stars and 67 two stars.) But for me, it's a beautiful book full of some of the best writing I've ever found.
 
 
 It inspired me to shake off the doldrums and make some lemon cake. It had to be a vintage recipe, because Edna was involved. I know Ruthy already did a lemon cake, but this one is different. Plus you can never have TOO MUCH LEMON CAKE.

  Preheat oven to 300F. You read that right. This cake bakes low and long. Think... lingering sadness. Enduring patience. Tartness of life. Nothing quick and easy here.
Edna has been a little quiet lately. Maybe the rain is getting to her. The counter where she resides is about five feet from the television where the evening news blares the tragedies of the world. I shoo the kids to the back room while my husband watches the news, but I never thought about dear Edna. I give her some extra love while she works blending:2TBS lemon zest
1 cup butter
3 cup sugar
1/4 oil
Five farm fresh eggs. Free range, vegetarian and all that jazz. Pretty! Blended in a small bowl.
Edna seems a bit happier now, mixing in the eggs. She enjoys the tartness of the lemons and says it reminds her of her time in Southern California, where the citrus grows in the backyard. Lucky ducks!

Fold in:
3 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 tbs lemon peel, longer strips

Butter a flute pan and gently layer in the batter. Smooth the top as best you can.
Put it in the oven and set the timer for 90 minutes. (One hour and a half!!)
Yup, this is a long process, but for some reason, I was feeling more relaxed. Not as stressed. Not as anxious.
 While the cake was baking, I decided we should start stripping an old door I salvaged way back in.... October? I had all sorts of plans, ideas, dreams. But I got busy. Well, there was nothing to do now except wait for our lemon cake, so might as well see what was under all those layers.
I see something! Is it cedar? Oak? It's heavy, that's what we know.
The kids really get into it. Stripping, scraping, using their kid energy to make something better from something that looks like trash.
 
 I'm hoping it will be something beautiful like this one, but time will tell. It occurs to me that I can't actually put it up AS A DOOR because it's about seven feet tall. We have a small house. Think hobbits. Think the Shire.
 
Maybe this? Hm. I can see how cluttered that would get.
 
I liked this. And we even have a little mudroom entry way that would fit a project like this.
 
This one made me think of Julie, our GAL. This lovely porch swing would go really well on her covered porch!
 
Oooooooo! I do love words. How beautiful. And I have a white knob just like that.
 
Ok, wait. Here we go. A bookshelf! Because I need more bookshelves. And this looks lovely. I could even have a knob on it. *sigh*
The oven beeped and even though I didn't feel particularly sad any more, I was ready for lemon cake.
Edna said to shave off the top so it's level. I had no idea what to do with the scraps. They were slightly crunchy, chewy, almost like candy. I put them down on the counter and they disappeared. The children also left the kitchen. Strange coincidence.
Meanwhile, boil 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, 1 cup powdered sugar. After ten minutes of boiling, let it COOL FOR FIVE MINUTES before adding one beaten egg. That last part is very important.
See, I've made egg drop lemon drizzle. Mmmmmm, tasty!
NOT.
 So, I strained out the biggest egg parts and pretended that never happened.
Edna said to flip the cake on the platter, brush on the drizzle. Then pour the rest in the center, lifting the cake slightly so the lemon drizzle runs under the cake. Let the cake back down, sitting on a large pool of drizzle. Leave it for 30 minutes so the lemon drizzle can sink in. (Like Ruthy's!)
 
In the end, I was feeling almost perky. I even wondered about a nice bright color like this. An old friend came to visit us from Montana and she apparently has forgiven me for that whole (totally accidental) secret recipe that was leaked all over the internet issue. Nothing like an old friend to make life unfold from its cramped, awkward post-winter position.
 
My sister came down for a quick visit and we cut into the lemon cake. Her husband said nice things (like men should, when given large slices of cake) and the kids thought it wasn't too tart or sweet at all. My brother in law had a great post-operative check up and was all-clear to get back to living his normal life, so we were celebrating extra.
   Standing in my kitchen on a bright Spring day, with toddlers shrieking through the conversation and tweens trying to snag extra slices while the adults attempted to be heard over the noise, made me question whether there was any sadness in this lemon cake at all.
 
                          I decided, it just might be cheerful cake after all.




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Susan May Warren

What do all of these things have in common? I got up close and personal with each of them this weekend. Yes, Thursday my dear friend, Becky Yauger, and I set out from Texas (Can you say road-trip?!!) and journeyed to Mississippi for a long weekend with Susie May Warren at her Kiss and Tell Retreat. An entire weekend devoted entirely to writing romance. LOVE it! Susie is such a great teacher, not to mention an amazing writer, and my poor blond brain learned almost more than it could hold.
 
But, alas, all good things must come to an end, so that meant we had to make the 8+ hour journey back home again. And, of course, my family was so thrilled to see me. The first words uttered were, "What's for dinner?"
 
Ugh!
 
Seriously? I drive 8 hours and you expect me to fix dinner?
 
So after a sufficient amount of whining and complaining (mine, of course), I did just that. Nothing fancy, just hamburgers. Great tasting, juicy hamburgers, just the way they like 'em, that they never could have made themselves:-)
 
And while hamburgers are easy, there is an art. Here are some of my secrets.
 
You'll want to start with some 85/15 ground beef. Trust me here. I've made them from leaner beef, but they aren't as tender. And since I usually cook them on the grill, either outdoors or my George Foreman, most of the fat drains off anyway.
 
So here I have 3 pounds of ground beef. To that I add about a teaspoon of kosher salt and 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. You can also add a bit of ground pepper, if you like.
 
Work that all together with your hands. (I actually use two hands, but one was taking the pic :-)
 
Now make your patties. Some folks prefer their patties thick, others like them thin. Around my house, I have people that like both varieties, so I do them every which way.
 
The patties are formed, so now comes my secret weapon--McCormick's Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning. My guys love that stuff. Sprinkle both sides of the raw patties.
 
Now it's time to cook them. Like I said, I generally use our gas grill or my George Foreman. Once in a while I'll cook them in a skillet, but that's rare. Whatever your preference, be sure the surface is good and hot when you put your burgers on to cook. This creates those nice, crispy edges. If you're using the grill, don't let the flames scorch the meat. Off set the patties away from the flame, if necessary, and only flip them once. Oh, and don't press them with your turning spatula. That just squishes out all the juices.
 
I recommend 4-7 minutes on the first side, flip, then another 4-7 minutes. Add a toasted bun and voila! Dinner is served. Tender and juicy. With no complaints from my men.
 
And I always make more than we need for one meal. That way, they can grab, heat, and eat whenever they want. Which means I have more time to write. And that's always a good thing.
 
 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Joes for a Crowd

My trip east last week was supposed to be a picture taking trip.

April...springtime in Amish Country.... I had one day all planned to take pictures of key places I've included in my book, The Prodigal Son Returns (available everywhere NEXT WEEK! or you can pre-order it here from Christianbook.com or here from Amazon!)

But what happened?

Rain.

Cold rain.

Unrelenting rain.

Flooding rain, as you can see in this picture from my dear husband's hometown in Michigan.

So no pictures of spring flowers, pastel dresses hanging on the clothesline in the spring breeze, buggies with the windows open to let the fresh air in as the horse trots down the road....


But I did get this picture:



This is one of the few surviving barns built by my great-grandfather, George Sherck. I used his father's name and George's barn building skills in my story, and it's a pleasure to see this barn in person. It's located along US 131, just south of Schoolcraft, Michigan. George lived from 1879 to 1959, so I'm guessing the barn was built sometime around the 1930's. (Grandpa changed the way he did the roof in the 1940's). I'm so glad to see the current owners have preserved this barn with a new roof!

You know I love history, but we don't live in the past. While my imagination lives in pre-Civil War Pennsylvania (for my current work-in-progress), my children live in VERY present-day South Dakota!

And what do college age and 20-something adults do? They make friends :)

Saturday night my husband and I went out on a date while our children opened the house to ten of their friends (plus one VERY cute five-month-old). It was game night. Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, Cranium, Balderdash, Cribbage...and I'm not sure what else.

With that many people, my daughter's first choice for food was my famous Joes for a Crowd.

Of course! How else are you going to feed this many hungry people? (unless you're Ruthy and pull out the deep fryer - but that's a different post!)

Super easy, makes a ton of deliciousness, and everyone can help themselves.

Joes for a Crowd

Ingredients:

5 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 bottle Chili Sauce (or 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
3 Tablespoons prepared mustard
24 oz. tomato sauce

hamburger buns



Brown the ground beef with the onions and drain well. Combine all of the ingredients in a crock pot and heat thoroughly - about one hour on high - and then reduce heat to low until you're ready to serve.

And that's it! Serve with chips and some veggies. Ask your buddies to bring snacks/dessert, and have fun.

(By the way, if you have a smaller crowd, like four or five people, you can reduce the ground beef to about two pounds and divide all the other ingredients by three.)


And if you're like me, just add a bit of shredded cheese to make them super-yummy :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

And Introducing.... The Newest Co-Manager of the Yankee Belle Cafe...

I first met Julie Hilton Steele in Seekerville and fell in love with her warmth, her wit, her total honesty in a state of grace.

(She paid me to say that and I took the money GLADLY.)

So as she's worked her writing magic, re-joining the world of aspiring authors, we realized that not only is she hard-working, funny, poignant and intelligent, Julie has a different take on the world of food, fun and home....

And she'd be the perfect complement to our fun, down-home, "Let's Get it Done" cooking/home-making/livin' with kids and men group!

Julie will take over the Saturday shift at the cafe, bringing all sorts of East Coast notions along with her personal panache and a decided air of almost Southern civility.

(Which flies in the face of this Yank's lack of sensitivity, but hey, no one ever said Yanks are sensitive. I mean:  WHATEVER.)

So for today, I'm going to ask you to welcome Julie next week , our new GAL on board! And I want to ask you to join me/us in prayer for the people of Boston and it's quaint suburbs... a place that's been rocked by ongoing violence this week, a place where the toughest rivalry is usually the Red Sox vs. The New York Yankees.

At sports arenas around the country this week, they honored the people of Boston, one of America's historic cities, the place of John and Sam Adams.... with signs like these:

This was at the Brooklyn Academy of Music...


And at baseball stadiums around the country, teams made it a point to play Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline (a Boston tradition!) while fans stood and cheered, wept and prayed for our sister city in Massachusetts. Here's a clip from the CBS news coverage of Sweet Caroline in Yankee Stadium:

I love baseball... I love the New York Yankees.... But I love God and America even more and when someone attacks one of us...

He gets us all.

So united we stand:


Together as Americans:


Regardless of race, color or creed... or baseball affiliation.

God bless you... May God bless us.... And may God bless the United States of America...