March has International Women’s Day

March is a very busy month with March 8 set aside for the celebration of “International Women’s Day.” Well, ladies we are getting up in the world I guess…?? Can you believe that we now actually have a day named for all of us women in the world, which I think is fascinating. I am not sure about you all, but I feel we deserve and have earned that special day of recognition.

Growing up in Greece, I remember as a young girl the wives stayed at home with their children and took care of the cooking and housework. I can never remember coming home from school and my mother not being at the house and not finding a home-cooked meal on the table for dinner. We all ate at the table as a family and not sitting on a couch or chair with a fork in one hand and a cell phone in the other hand. We did not know what a sandwich was, nor did we ever open a can of food to eat. I recall my friend who was babysitting for three little American children whose parent was stationed at the U.S. airfare base in Athens and I went to visit her one day and she opened a can of Campbell’s Alphabet Soup that they had purchased at the American PX store. I was so fascinated that when I went home the first thing I did was tell my mother that they opened a can of soup with little letters for the children to eat. She was nice enough to let me try the soup and I really liked it and still like it today. It was one of the first things I recognized in the grocery stores here in America.

I have never smoked, but I remember the cigarette package with the lady on the front of the package holding a slim cigarette with the logo “You Came A Long Way Baby” which is a great saying for us ladies for we have come a long way. Women nowadays have great positions like men and are filling all the various positions such as construction workers, in the Army, truck drivers, policewomen, executive positions and all other aspects of work.

Many women like earning their own money and being independent, which I did for years but I personally prefer my man to pay my bills and take care of me. My husband keeps telling me that I think we have a money tree in the backyard of the house and I can just go out and pick all the money I need. LOL.

Most women like to shop, and my husband thinks I am the only one that can not enter a store without purchasing something.

I did work many years in our businesses, but we never neglected our children thanks to the help of my mother-in-law and my mother and they always had a home-cooked meal and plenty of attention and care.

So all you ladies that are working and keeping a busy schedule and still taking good care of your children be sure to pat yourself on the back. Good job!

Last Wednesday was the first day of spring and my favorite time of the year with everything blooming and coming to life.

Another reminder to get your entries in for the Easter Parade on April 13 — application online at: info@moveasterparade.com or call304-863-6516 Remember NO ENTRY FEE THIS YEAR.

On Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m. in front of Parkersburg High School the Annual Spring Celebration and Easter Egg Hunt will take place. There will be 4000 filled eggs and 2 new children’s bikes will be given away by the Parkersburg Elks 198. The Easter Bunny will also be there along with the Chick Fil A Cow!

Until next week!

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Focaccia

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 package active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup bottled roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips

1/4 cup pitted black olives

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add 3 1/2 cups flour, 3 tablespoons oil and salt, stirring until soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic, gradually adding remaining flour to prevent sticking, if necessary. Shape dough into ball; place in large, lightly greased bowl. Turn dough over so toop is greased. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Brush 15×10-inch jelly-roll pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Punch down dough. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Flatten into rectangle, roll out almost to size of pan. Place dough in pan; gently press dough to edges of pan. Poke surface of dough with end of wooden spoon handle, making indentations every 1 or 2 inches. Brush with remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Gently press peppers and olives into dough, forming decorative pattern. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 450. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares or rectangles. Serve hot.

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Falafel with Garlic Tahini Sauce

3/4 cup uncooked dried chickpeas, rinsed and sorted

1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat

Garlic Tahini Sauce

1 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled whole wheat bread

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes

vegetable oil

To quick soak chickpeas, place in medium saucepan; cover with 4 inches water. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain chickpeas and discard water. To cook chickpeas, place in large saucepan and cover with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender. Rinse; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare bulgur according to package directions; set aside. Prepare Garlic Tahini Sauce; set aside. Place bread in small baking pan. Pour 1/2 cup water over bread and let stand 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Squeeze water from bread. Place chickpeas, lemon juice, cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt and red pepper in food processor; process until smooth. Add bread and bulgur to food processor; process until combined. Shape falafel mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place on baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Dry at room temperature 1 hour. Heat 2-3 inches oil in large heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Carefully add falafel to skillet; cook 3-3 1/2 minutes until golden brown. Remove falafel with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Serve with Garlic Tahini Sauce.

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Garlic Tahini Sauce

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup tahini

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Stir with wire whisk until well blended. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour.

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Zesty Bruschetta

1 envelope savory herb and garlic soup mix

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced lengthwise

2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Blend soup mix with oil. Brush onto bread, then sprinkle with cheese. Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Slice and then serve.

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Kiki Angelos is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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