Saturday, December 31, 2011



Bruce's Paintings of Old Auto's Lost To The World Of Rust

What is retirement? To some, it is time for relaxation and travel. For others, and I’m speaking about my friend Bruce Hauser, it is time for exploring the world of art. Of course travel will be a part of that journey. After all, what better place is there to gain inspiration than old worlds such as Italy and France?

Dr. Bruce Hauser and Sister (on the right)

Last night at Bruce’s retirement party, I gained a new respect for this doctor who spent decades giving his time and experience to our community. I realized after talking to his family and friends and seeing the art that generously covered the walls of he and his wife, Gwen’s, home, that this certainly will not be a boring retirement. I really should not have been surprised since Bruce had taken a stained glass class from me many years ago, before I started sculpting, and I did see an artistic side of him at that time.

Much to my surprise, I also found out that Gwen is quite an artist as well. Bruce enjoys painting decrepit autos that have been abandoned from days of yore while Gwen prefers painting, in direct contrast to Bruce, spirited women who appear to be in motion and having a good time right on the canvas in front of you.

Chanticleer Catering

One of the many highlights of the evening was the food. Of course the food would impress me since I love to cook. I don’t think I could have produced the tasty morsels that the Chanticleer Catering service provided. The word Chanticleer translates to le coq or rooster. I’m not sure why they named their establishment that but it certainly is a name I will remember for my next large gathering.

I think it is important for those who are about to embark on the journey to retirement, that there are many avenues to explore and a new world certainly awaits you. As for me, well, I don’t think an artist ever really retires. Our lives are dedicated to the world of art and we have no choice but to produce.

Daughter, Juliana and Husband

Daughter, Gail

Juliana's Renewed Burning Bowl That I Created For Her Many Years Ago


Gwen On The Left

Joan Petrus on the Right

More Partygoers

Happy New Year to everyone and may your journey in 2012 be an artful one!

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Monday, December 19, 2011



Old World Kolache

I grew up in an ethnic neighborhood where there were primarily Italians, Greeks and Eastern European residents. It seemed that all the women had their own recipe for Kolache. Everyone made it at Christmastime. Back then, it did not seem unusual to me that there was only one nut grinder in the entire neighborhood. Everyone took turns using it to grind the l pound of nuts required to make the recipe. How much easier we have it today with our very own food processors. Almost everyone has one. We would have never believed that to be possible back in the 50’s. Sharing was a part of our way of life.

Always a Basket Next to the Door Brimming Full of Kolache Loaves

Kolache seems to have originated with the Czech culture and dates back to the 1700’s. The Polish families in our neighborhood prided themselves on making this old world bread. I remember every Christmas or Thanksgiving seeing a basket sitting next to the door of almost every home just filled with aluminum foil wrapped kolache. I would not be exaggerating to say that some families had several dozen waiting for relatives and friends to take home. “Be sure to grab a kolache on your way out” was something I always heard mentioned. A lot of the recipes included fruit but the one used in our neighborhood always had nuts. I have heard it called “Nut Rolls” later but back then it was Kolache.

Loaf of Kolache Just Out of the Oven

Years ago, my mother had a baking session in the Woodloft (my home) kitchen. She taught my daughters how to make her famous kolache. Naturally, everyone assumed that I already knew how to make this delicacy but the truth was that I had always been quite happy to let my mother make it each year. I had never actually made it from scratch on my own. I was hoping that by osmosis or some other scientific miracle I absorbed the method because this Christmas, for the first time ever, I made my own batch of kolache.

I must tell you, there were many tears shed as remembered how my mother would say, “be sure to add just a thin amount of the evaporated milk,” or “you have to make sure you add just the right amount of honey.” The kitchen looked and smelled exactly like it did in those precious days when my mother was at the helm. The lacking ingredient, of course, was my dear mother’s laugh as she kneaded the dough and carefully wrapped each treasure in aluminum foil.

Here is my mother’s recipe. I think she made the best kolache in town, but then again, everyone thought they made the best.

Jane Galloway’s Kolache

5 cups regular white flour 1 t. vanilla
1 cup of whole wheat flour 3 small cakes of yeast or 2 envelopes
2 T. sugar 3 eggs, beaten
1t. salt 1 C. milk
1 lb margarine canned milk-evaporated milk
Honey –

1 lb. shelled ground walnuts
1 lb brown sugar

Mix flour, sugar, margarine and salt as for pie crust. Dissolve yeast into ¼ C. water and add to milk, vanilla and eggs. Add liquid mixture a little at a time to flour mixture. (knead with hands) Place in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. Divide into 9 pieces or 7, depending on desired size. Roll out, spread the top with canned milk (thin) and spread with nut mixture filling and add honey on top.

Roll up the dough and let rise for about 30 minutes on a cookie sheet. Brush with canned milk and an egg and add a dash of white sugar to the top of each roll. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes watching carefully to make sure the top does not burn.

This bread is absolutely delicious. It is filled with walnuts. The yeast dough combined with the subtle taste of honey just melts in your mouth. Served warm out of the oven, it is the embodiment of pure pleasure.

Merry Christmas!

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