Artist of the Month: Mary K. White

Artist Mary White

Mary K. White is shown with her painting Fox vs Hawk, which evolved from a simple picture of a fox into something more complex.

By Mary K. White

You never know when something will touch you and inspire you to put it on canvas.  The Fox vs Hawk started out very differently. It was going to be a simple picture of a fox, but I found myself thinking of a family member who was fighting a severe illness and had a ferocious determination to never give up, to get well, and recover completely.  

As I thought more and more about this person, a simple painting of a fox turned into a battle between a fox and a hawk.

I started coming to the Activity Hub about 10 years ago to take an oil painting class.  It was a wonderful class taught by Jill Swersie.   

Jill started everyone with the basics.  She suggested brushes that are best for oils, but inexpensive. She recommended several oil colors I would need for a basic oil pallet and she told me to start with a canvas no smaller than 16 x 20 inches. 

Everyone in her class is working on their own painting, so Jill during a class sits with each student helping them and recommending ways the painting can be improved.

The  Dunmore Activity Hub offers more than art classes.  Alison Boga, the director, has scheduled classes that members have requested and enjoy.  I have taken  knitting classes (taught by Bonnie Strohl), meditation classes, and Tai Chi, among others.  While the center is closed during this pandemic, Alison has scheduled many online classes through Zoom, which I have also participated in. At the Dunmore Hub, there is a little something for everyone.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: August 2020

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

COVID or not, it’s time for the Farmer’s Market.  Yes, I socially distance and always wear a mask. It’s such a treat walking through the market looking at all the freshly grown produce, homemade baked goods, preserved fruits and vegetables, and fresh meats.

My thoughts are always racing as to what new dishes I can make with the fresh items.   This month I’m focusing on broccoli. My family has always loved broccoli and all other members of the cabbage family.  So here are some new, fresh ideas:

Green Goddess Broccoli Salad:

1 large bunch broccoli (use only the florets)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions, chopped 
1/2 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled

Dressing:
1 bottle Green Goddess Dressing
Juice of half a lemon
Garlic powder to taste.

Mix all salad ingredients together.  Combine dressing with lemon and garlic powder. Pour over salad and toss.  Serves 4-6.

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Beach Salad:

3 broccoli crowns
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 strips crisp bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Soak broccoli crowns in cold water 5 minutes.  Drain well.  Chop broccoli crowns and some of the stems.  Set aside.  In large bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.  Add broccoli, onion, bacon and raisins.  Toss gently to mix.  Place in serving dish and sprinkle with pecans.  Serves 6.

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Picante Broccoli Chicken Salad:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Picante sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2-1 tsp. chili powder
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I use leftover rotisserie chicken breast)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup sweet red pepper
Flour tortillas, warmed

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, Picante, garlic and chili powder.  Add chicken, broccoli, tomato, cheese, onion and peppers;  toss to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with tortillas. Makes 6-8 servings.

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Broccoli Pie:

1 large onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli, cooked ( I steam mine)
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 carton (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash nutmeg
1 unbaked pie pastry (9″)  I use refrigerated crust

In skillet, saute’ onion in oil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to bowl.  Add eggs, broccoli, cheeses, salt and nutmeg.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Let stand a few minutes before serving.  Serves 6-8.

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These next two recipes are great served with grilled meats, especially steaks!

Broccoli Puff:

1-10 oz. pkg. broccoli cuts or fresh broccoli, cooked
1-10 1/2 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
4 Tbsp. melted butter

Cook broccoli and drain well.  Put in baking dish.  Mix together soup, cheese, milk, mayonnaise and egg; pour over broccoli.  Brown bread crumbs in butter.  Sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 4-6.

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Broccoli and Bleu Cheese Casserole:

2-10 oz. pkgs. frozen broccoli, chopped,  or fresh broccoli, steamed
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1-3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2-3 Tbsp. bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup milk
1/2 cup rich, round crackers, crushed (I use Town House)
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Cook broccoli and drain well.  In saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter; stir in flour, cream cheese and bleu cheese.  Add milk; cook and stir until bubbly.  Stir in broccoli and pour into 1-quart casserole.  Crush crackers and toss with 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Place on top of broccoli.  Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more.  Serves 6.

Artist of the Month: Beverly Petrini

2020 5 Bev Petrini Pix

Beverly Petrini shows three of her still life paintings, as well as two portraits.

By Beverly Petrini

I have been a member of Jill Swerzie’s painting class at the Dunmore Community Center for the past five years. Jill is a skilled artist who brings not only her talents to our group, but positive reinforcement, friendship, and endless patience. 

The paintings I am showcasing here reflect a few pieces of work I’ve completed in the past two years.  I have been attempting to paint subjects that I’ve been drawn to and that stretch my skills. 

Sometimes I’m drawn to a painting for the challenge, the perspective, or simply a color palette that peaks my interest. I am very proud of the three still life paintings showcased today. The two female paintings reflect my love of the arts and spirituality. I’ve also painted works for two of my seven grandchildren, as well as, for my four great grandchildren.

Being a member of this class has been a wonderful experience and I have gained so many new friends along the way. Everyone is working at different levels of experience, with different media such as: oil, acrylic, and watercolor. My fellow artists are quick to offer help if someone asks for assistance or simply needs a missing color of media. Only positive reinforcement exists within our group. Everyone appreciates the fellowship we share on our individual artistic journeys. 

Once again, I have to thank my fellow artist and dear friend Dolly Michalczyk for asking me, “Bev, why don’t you come to art class with me, it will be fun?” I’m so happy I accepted the challenge.