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LET'S COOK: 'Take a purple bus'

April 20, 2018
Chuck Repnow , Pierce County Tribune

Lydia and I had been strolling through the Baltimore Walters Art Museum for about an hour when she noticed the sign Level 2 Ancient World, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Etruscan Art. She said "Dad, let's look at this amazing display!" and she was off to explore. Her happiness was on display for me to enjoy. For the past several months, she had been telling me how she loved her studies of the Ancient World. It was a moment of perfect harmony for me because what she had been talking about and what she currently was seeing were now coming together.

Her eyes were alive with curiosity; she was trying to take in all in and as she stood before a mummy classified as Deir el-Bahari, Third intermediate Period, 22nd-23rd dynasty, 945-712 B.C. She exclaimed, "Dad take my picture!" I not only took the photo but made sure I marked down the description! She was observing remains of ancient Egypt. This mummy mask and an intact mummy was still in its elaborate wrappings, sarcophagi and jewelry. She continued to explore and then expressed, "It is history like this that makes me think about becoming a history teacher; this is exciting." She insisted that we have our picture taken in front of an amazing mosaic showing Constantinople, Troy, Athens and more. She was on the avenue and realized that we were enjoying a panorama of art from the third millennium B.C. to the early 20th century.

As we exited this display, the two of us turned to each other and beamed, absorbing the adventure and this amazing art with me knowing that we had made a great connection. Adorned in her bright pink and purple spring raincoat with matching scarf she turns to me and says. "Dad let's check an exhibit that you would be interested in something dealing with Monet or Degas." It was off to the Level 4 where we viewed "Windmill Near Zaadam" 1871 by French artist, Claude Monet. This time it was me saying "take my picture look at this brush work and how the roughly applied paint draws us in!" This was the first time I had seen this work by Claude Monet, and true to his impressionist style, the sky was dotted with blue grey clouds, windmills arose in the background, and the foreground beautifully expressing the depth of green grass and flowing canal waters. Before leaving, I called Lydia back to make note of the Dutch girl crossing the bridge carrying twin pails. After several hours, we exited the museum with a better understanding of how life unfolds.

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Our journey to Baltimore came because Jan had a conference here. As a family, we feel blessed when these opportunities come along. I have one request when we visit a city and that is to "visit the art museums." When we were planning this trip, I knew that Lydia and I would have plenty of time to ourselves, so I planned that we would spend a couple of days zigzagging our way around The Walters Art Museum, The Baltimore Museum of Art, and the American Visionary Art Museum. We had hours alone as we viewed many forms of art. Lydia knew that my parents had instilled this love of art and exploring in me. Even though they have left this world, they were with me on this tour, stilling encouraging to move forward and Lydia expressed that. Precious.

Our travels in Baltimore involved taking public transportation on the purple bus line. This is a free service and one that connects to all the art museums. As we stood in line with many ethnic blends, we marveled at how easy it was for the residents to get from place to place with public transportation. We did not know any of these fellow travelers, but through conversation we learned that they were interested in North Dakota and gave us helpful travel advice for the city of Baltimore. Later, Lydia, feeling like a seasoned purple-bus-line traveler, showed Jan the ins and outs of that form of transportation as we all made our way to the Baltimore Museum of Art which brought all of us within inches of French artist, Henri Matisse's "Purple Robe and Anemones" from 1937 which featured one of his favorite models named Lydia!

We enjoyed several fine meals while in Baltimore, but one dessert that captured our hearts was Key Lime Torte. This delicious dessert was served at the Rusty Scupper, which is a restaurant on the Baltimore waterfront that offers wonderful views as well. Executive Chef Mark Miranda offered this recipe to the public! Lucky us!

Fact Box

Key Lime Torte

- 1 tablespoon gelatin

- 2 cans of condensed milk

- 1 cup key lime juice

- 2 cups of chilled water

- 1 pound of cream cheese

- 1 teaspoon vanilla

- 1 bag of graham cracker crumbs

- pound of butter very soft or slightly melted

- 1 cup of granulated sugar

Dissolve gelatin in a small amount of water. Place one can of condensed milk in a kettle to warm. Add the gelatin to the milk to dissolve it and add another can of condensed milk. Add one cup of key lime juice. Soften cream cheese and beat it for two minutes in mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients plus two cups of chilled water and one teaspoon vanilla and whip for 15 minutes.

To make crust, mix graham crackers crumbs, butter and granulated sugar and press into bottom of a 10 x 15 pan or into individual serving dishes. Pour the key lime mix into the pan and refrigerate overnight. Serve it with whipped cream and fresh mint. We featured a swirl of homemade chokecherry sauce and blueberries, and of course, a chip of chocolate!



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