BLAINESWORLD #946 (Please send any comments to:

Section 1A

Basic Clafoutis

Epicurious  | November 2013

John Besh

Cooking from the Heart  

Serves 4–6

Approach the clafoutis batter as if you’re making waffles! It’s no more complicated than that. This recipe resonates with me because it is so simple and versatile and, at the same time, elegant. Most often I make a clafoutis in a black cast iron skillet or heavy pie pan because they retain the heat well. You can certainly use individual ramekins, a tart mold, or even a crêpe pan.

When you bake a clafoutis, it will puff up like a little soufflé, browned on the edges, but creamy within. I try to serve it immediately, because it will inevitably fall and deflate—but not to worry: This will happen and it’s just as delicious anyway. If you understand this basic batter, the sky’s the limit: it’s a perfect blank canvas for almost any fruit you can think of: from choppable fruits like mango and banana, to cherries preserved in brandy. It’s a recipe to draw upon all the year long. Variations follow, but here’s the basic batter.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • (per the script, it was made with pears and apples)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and butter until the sugar is dissolved. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into a cast iron skillet or pie pan.
  2. Now add your favorite fruit or flavoring (see below). Bake until the clafoutis is beautifully puffed and golden, 35–40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Clafoutis Variations:
Concord Grape Clafoutis: Once the batter is in the skillet, scatter 2 cups slightly crushed Concord or other black or red grapes on top.
Cherry Clafoutis: Scatter 2 cups pitted cherries onto the batter once it’s poured into pie plates.
Pear Clafoutis with Pear Eau de Vie: Core 1 ripe pear and cut into pieces. Pour the batter into the skillet and top with the pear pieces. Bake. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons eau de vie and serve immediately.
Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Clafoutis: Melt 1 cup chopped milk chocolate in a large mixing bowl set above a simmering pot of water. Fold in the clafoutis batter until smooth and fully incorporated. Pour into a skillet or pie plate, sprinkle with 1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, and bake.

Reprinted with permission from Cooking From the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way by John Besh. Copyright © 2013 John Besh. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing.


Section 2, part 2

(1) Eric C. in NC: Thanks for sharing.   I don’t always read BlainesWorld, but when I do, I’m always glad that I did.   You do a really nice job providing fun and insightful content!    This afternoon I received an email from an account executive suggesting LinkedIn best practices.    After reading, I thought of you.    Wishing you all the Best!

Why Are You Using LinkedIn?
By David Ackert,

Being on LinkedIn is all well and good, but unless you know why, you can easily get stuck in an unproductive web of meaningless connections.

For your consideration, here are four LinkedIn goals, along with recommendations on how to achieve them:

1. Target: LinkedIn is a great way to target potential prospects and allies. Given that targeting relies on introductions from your existing connections, make sure you only accept invitations from people who know you well enough to broker an introduction for you. Targeting someone who’s not in your network? Consider upgrading to a Business Premium or Sales Navigator account.

2. Attract: If you have a unique practice or specialty that is likely to be sought out, you don’t have to limit your connections in the way a “targeter” would. Accept invitations from anyone who could have access to relevant business opportunities. Join groups that align with your areas of interest and expertise. Statistically, participation in groups is at least three times more likely to drive relevant traffic to your profile.

3. Broadcast: Trying to make a name for yourself? Connect with anyone whose opinion matters to you. Post content such as articles, blogs and announcements to your feed on a regular basis so that the people in your network become more aware of you. When you post to a discussion group, ask a provocative question that will engage your audience.

4. Service: If your goal is to use your LinkedIn connections to add value to your clients, make sure you are connected to your clients. Ask them regularly about their problems so you can marry content and connections to their needs. This is a good way to let them know that you are focused on their problems.

Chances are you want to get something out of LinkedIn (besides spam), so decide on your intended outcome and start linking accordingly.

Please feel free to pass these tips along to your team, clients and colleagues.

(2) Mark B. in FL (commenting on Letterman’s quote from Section 11): The only problem is that middle America is broke, small business is broke….too much government…too many unnecessary rules and regs….  The past 8 years the middle class mostly 90% have gone into lower class the other 10% went up to affluent.  Middle America are the ones that hire people and create jobs etc.  Just my thoughts.

Response: As for too much government, many have argued that for as long as I can remember. That said, I’m not so sure of the alternative; i.e., less government with respect to rules and regs. Many are needed. The problem: Deciding which ones.

With respect to middle America hiring people, if you listened to many politicians, they would tell you just the opposite. And that’s why we need even more tax breaks for corporation. (I don’t buy that, by the way.)

(3) Maria A. in PA: I never knew there was a pencil for lefties, but I have an anecdote.

Right before my college freshman year, I worked as a tour guide in my hometown, an Argentine seaside resort.
Once, an American tourist asked me if the local golf club had clubs for lefties. With tongue in cheek I said “Here, they just turn the club around.”
I enjoy your blog.
Response: There is a a pencil for lefties; for righties, too! If you don’t know the difference between the two kinds of pencils and would like to learn, send me a self-addressed, self-stamped envelope (large enough to include two pencils). You probably need about 70 cents of postage on the outside envelope and $1.82 on the inside one. Send your request to: Blaine Greenfield, 19 N. Kaufmann Stone Way, Biltmore Lake, NC 28715.

(4) Lee W. in PA: The race to nowhere in youth sports

(5) Cynthia G. in NC:  Thich Nhat Hanh is Dying, But He Will Never Leave Us
(6) Warren F. in PA: SEEKING NEW CAREER OPPORTUNITY.  A senior merchandising and pricing leader with expertise in merchandise and services pricing/margin management, price optimization, category management, process development, strategic planning, vendor negotiation, leadership, communication, talent acquisition & development, team building, and cross-functional coordination and cooperation.  Over 25 years of positions of increasing responsibility in successful support of a multi-billion dollar national retail company.  Available to support the growth and enhance the bottom line of another organization.  Contact Warren Friel at 609-254-7606 or  For more information see
(8) Janeen R. in PA: I noticed in a recent blainesworld that you and your lovely bride looked amazing as hippies, seriously i think you should both continue, especially Cynthia as a blonde, please tell her I thought she looked young enough to be your daughter.!!!(seriously!!)
Response: I also thought Cynthia looked good as a blonde, though that said, I love her as a redhead. As for her looking young enough to my daughter, mmm . . . do I really look that old? And here I thought I looked pretty good for 65; in fact, most folks don’t think I’m a day older than 64.
(9) A brief history of failure
What follows is — depending on how you want to think about it — either a gallery of technologies we lost or an invitation to consider alternate futures.
(10) Roger C. in PA: Please click the link below to read an article by a friend of mine,  Treacy Ziegler.
The artist’s intention


Section 12A, NC events



Upcoming Richard Shulman performances:
November 2014
Fri. Nov. 14th 8:00 pm playing piano with the Asheville Jazz Orchestra (AJO big band),  White Horse Black Mountain  105 Montreat Rd, Black Mountain, NC 28711 (828) 669-0816 tickets $15
Sun. Nov. 16th 11:00 am providing music for the Unity Church of Asheville, 130 Shelburne Rd., Asheville, NC 28806 828-252-5010
Sun. Nov. 16th 8:00 – 11:00 pm playing piano with the Russ Wilson Orchestra Birthday Concert at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall, 743 Haywood Rd. West Asheville, NC 28806
PLEASE NOTE: There was a mistake in Lex 18’s advertising saying I would be playing there on the 16th…. I will be at Isis with Russ that evening!
Thurs. Nov. 20th 7:30 – 10:30 pm Solo Piano at Lex 18 Moonshine Bar, Restaurant & Musical Diversion, 18 North Lexington Avenue, Asheville NC. 828-575-9494

Sun. Nov. 23rd, 9:45 & 11:15 am playing piano for the Jubilee! Choir Jubilee! Community Church, 46 Wall St. Asheville, NC 28801 828-252-5335
Sun. Nov. 23rd 7:30 – 10:30 pm Solo Piano at Lex 18 Moonshine Bar, Restaurant & Musical Diversion, 18 North Lexington Avenue, Asheville NC. 828-575-9494
Sun. Nov. 30th, 10:30 am guest musician/speaker at The Creative Thought Center 449 Pigeon St, Waynesville, NC 28786
(828) 456-9697
December 2014

(3) Holiday Concert and School Supply Drive

The music programs and United Methodist Women chapter of Abernethy United Methodist Church and The Performing Arts Laboratory are proud to announce their upcoming benefit concerts ‘Silver and Gold’ on Sundays December 14th and 21st , 2014 at 7:00pm. The Performing Arts Laboratory is celebrating FIVE YEARS as a working voice studio that has morphed into a full performing arts production and education center. These concerts require no tickets for admission, however donations of cash and goods will be accepted at the door. For a list of needed goods please visit the event page at

These benefits are for Children First/Communities In Schools (CIS). This is a local non-profit committed to advocating and empowering children and families living in poverty. This is achieved through education and direct services such as the Family Resource Center at Emma, after-school Learning Centers, Latino Outreach, Project POWER/AmeriCorps and Success Coordinators in Emma & Johnston Elementary Schools. For more information please visit

Silver and Gold will be a mix of sacred and secular holiday favorites by different community groups. The LAB Singers is an all-volunteer chamber choir brought to us by the Performing Arts Laboratory. (

The Celebration Singers who are a wonderful group of local children. (

The Asheville Dance Theater which is a local dance studio based in East-Asheville. (

The United Methodist Women which is comprised of a dedicated group of ladies. We are lucky to have them all involved!
‘Silver and Gold’, both Sundays December 14th and 21st, 2014 at 7:00pm. For more information about the Performing Arts Laboratory please 
or reach out by phone/email

(4) You are invited to an intimate afternoon of Empowering Guidance with Charley Castex.

At this holiday event, Charley will offer spiritual guidance and field personal questions.

Sat Dec 6th **4-6 PM**

Private Residence, $20. Call or email for details. (Kenilworth Ave., Asheville)

Seat Reservation at 828-251-5043 or

(5)  Vic A. in NC: We saw the Feral Chihuahuas 10th Anniversary show at ACT tonight.  It was very funny sketch comedy and a full house.   Also, for you, free beer.  It is a tradition that there is free beer at everyone of their shows.  They have 1 more show next Saturday.  It is also a fund raiser for Brother Wolf.

I think you would enjoy this and it is definitely for mature audiences.

Two Saturdays! November 15 & 22, 2014 * 8:00 pm

Laugh the night away as The Feral Chihuahuas sketch comedy group returns to the Mainstage celebrating 10 years of creating original, live comedy sketches and short comedy films.
ACT last saw them bringing big laughs to the Mainstage at Carolina Sketchfest in March. Now, get ready for the last big comedy show of 2014 as they perform their fan-favorite, best-of material from the last 10 years!

The Feral Chihuahuas have performed over 300 shows in WNC and at comedy festivals around the country.
One reviewer at a comedy festival in Ohio described The Feral Chihuahuas show as “like watching an episode of Saturday Night Live except The Feral Chihuahuas are actually funny. Really, really funny.”FUN FERAL FACT:
Three of the Chihuahuas are regular performers on the Lazoom Comedy Bus. You may have seen them as nuns on the tall bike!COMPLIMENTARY LOCAL BEER:
Ticket includes complimentary Asheville Brewing Co. beer during the pre-show and intermission. Ages 21+ only. Wine and water is also available for sale.BROTHER WOLF ANIMAL RESCUE FUNDRAISER:
The Feral Chihuahuas will donate proceeds to local non-profit heroes, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.TICKET PRICE:
$18/ticket with reserved seating, not general admission.AUDIENCE GUIDELINES:
This is an ages 18+, adults only show. It contains adult content, situations and some mild language.SHOW LENGTH:
90 minutes with an intermission.
Buy Tickets Now!


Note: I have already seen this production. It is excellent! More details in next week’s issue.


Get Tickets for The 38th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular!

Asheville’s favorite, raunchy, screwball holiday comedy from The Magnetic Theatre returns this December! The 38th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular will have a limited run at the Bebe Theatre in Downtown Asheville.The bawdy, bodacious, and boisterous Bernsteins have some special surprises in store for old fans and new friends! Judy Bernstein (Tracey Johnston-Crum, voted best actress in WNC in the Mountain Xpress poll three years in a row) is ready to get up close and personal with audiences at the Bernsteins’ most intimate venue yet. “I just can’t wait to get cozy—very cozy—with all of Asheville,” Judy said with a wink in a recent interview.The Bernsteins will bring their signature mix of skits, songs, dance numbers, and excessive drinking to the BeBe for a limited run (which will, as with all Bernstein Spectaculars, be intended for mature audiences only). “It always takes us quite awhile to clean up all of the vodka bottles and tinsel from the Bernstein spectacular,” said producer Chall Gray, “but it’s worth it to warm the cockles of the hearts of their many Asheville fans.”Get your tickets early for this year’s Spectacular, which Tony Kiss of Asheville Scene called “the Christmas show to see in Asheville.” The show is expected to sell out as usual, so advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.
The 38th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular will be performed at the Bebe Theatre on Commerce St. in downtown Asheville December 4-6, 11-13 and 18-20. Showtimes 7:30 p.m. nightly, 10:00 p.m. late shows Fridays and Saturdays. Advance tickets are strongly recommended. To purchase tickets click this link-  Eventbrite

(8) At NC Stage:

Don’t Dress for Dinner

Nelson S. in NC had this to say about the above production: By the way, you MUST get to NCStage to see “Don’t Dress for Dinner.”  Absolutely outstanding, Charlie and Scott were joined by some really talented women in one of the best and funniest productions I’ve ever seen.

Note: Strother Stingley, one of the funniest guys in town, also appears in the play.


Section 12B, PA/NJ events


RHYTHM OF THE EARTHCyndy Snake Dancer Paigewww.RhythmOfTheEarth.com610-563-3918 (Call/Text)Please Like Us on Facebook and Join Our Meetup Group!

Consciouness Shifting Drum CircleLANDENBERG, PA2nd Friday of every month from 7 – 9:30 pm  Come and experience a shift in consciousness and an integrated healing opportunity as we sit in the sweet sound of simple, sacred, and ancient drum rhythms. All are welcome.  Absolutely no experience is needed. Drums are available.Energy Exchange – $20Click here for detailsTo register – simply email me at or call 610-563-3918.
Sacred Crafting – Bits and Pieces Day



Sunday, November 30th from 10 am – 4 pm


Many of you have asked for another day to bring your unfinished drums, rattles, feather drops, feather fans (bring you own fully dried wing) leather bags, and whatever else is laying around into finished form.  Join us for a day of creating as a community.  I will guide you every step of the way.  I have plenty of leather, tools, lacing, beads and feathers to add those finishing touches that you have envisioned, but have not had time to finish.  Honor your sacred tools, honor your vision.

  • Finish up your rattles
  • Cover the handhold of your drums with soft leather or fur
  • Decorate your beaters or create a new one
  • Create feather drops for your drums or rattles
  • Create a smudge fan out of your dried wing

Energy Exchange – $75.00 | Click here for details


To register – simply email me at or call 610-563-3918.

Winter Solstice Retreat

Saturday, December 20 at 10 am – Sunday, December 21 at 3 pm
Register by December 10th!
Come and steep yourself in a weekend of experiences, celebrations and powerful integrative healing opportunities that will inspire and guide you to connect deeply with the energies of the winter and the medicine of the White Buffalo.  The winter-time teaches us how to go inside of ourselves, to take inventory of what is working in our lives, and what is ready to be released into the consciousness of love.  Buffalo is thought to be the great teacher of giveaway and ceremony in Native American tradition. Some have found this weekend to be deeply transformational.
Energy Exchange – $280Click here for details
To register – simply email me at or call 610-563-3918.
To register please contact Cyndy by phone at 610-563-3918
For more information please visit:


Bucks County Community College presents…
Please join us in continuing Bucks’ Golden Anniversary Celebration by enjoying a performance by the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats. The Golden Dragons are recognized worldwide as the premier Chinese acrobatic touring company.

Saturday, November 15, 2015
Two Shows: 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm
Gateway Auditorium, Newtown Campus

Perfect for all ages! 

(3) Theatre Students Present ‘Normal Heart’ at MCCC’s Studio Theatre Dec. 5-7

West Windsor, N.J. – It’s the early 1980s and an unidentified disease is killing off an oddly specific group of people: gay men, mainly in New York City.  Students in the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Theatre Program present the Larry Kramer drama “The Normal Heart” at MCCC’s Studio Theatre Friday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6 at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.  The Studio Theatre is located adjacent to Kelsey Theatre on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Recently adapted into an HBO film, “The Normal Heart” is a searing journey back to the dawning days of the AIDS epidemic.  It focuses on Ned Weeks, a writer and gay activist based on Kramer himself.  Recognizing that a deadly illness is overtaking his community of friends, Weeks struggles to pull together an organization to raise awareness and promote action.  His cause is furthered by Dr. Emma Brookner, a physician whose patients are increasingly falling victim to the mysterious outbreak.  Weeks’ relationships with friends and family are tested as he and other activists look within their community and then to politicians and the press to provide support and funding for research.  Premiering off-Broadway in 1985, “The Normal Heart” enjoyed a Broadway revival in 2011 that was nominated for five Tony Awards.

MCCC Associate Professor Jody Person, Coordinator of Theatre Program and the play’s producer, observes that the play presents a very real treatment of a dark time, an era that demanded leaders and answers. “The students are fully engaged in telling this dramatic story, which is based on those at the center of the AIDS storm. Some of those people lived – but many of them died. Most of our cast members were not born when the AIDS epidemic first surfaced, so the play serves as a history lesson as well,” Person said.

According to director Bob Terrano, the cast is a joy to work with.  “This is an emotionally demanding show that requires the actors to portray their characters clearly while conveying multiple layers and feelings. Rehearsals are draining but the cast springs back each time with energy and dedication. The actors are committed to accurately depicting the sense of urgency, fear and anger that so many gay men experienced at that time,” Terrano said, adding that he is dedicating the show to his cousin, Nelson, who lost his life at 31 in the early ’80s to HIV/AIDS.

The cast for features Charles Acuna of Plainsboro as Hiram Keebler/David; Nicholas Andrejco of Ewing as Ben Weeks/Ned Weeks (alternate performances); Jonathan Cintron of Trenton as Mickey Marcus; Jovan Griffin of Ewing as Craig Donner/Orderly; Michaelyn Haley of East Windsor as Emma/Examining Doctor (alternate performances); Dan Johnson of Ewing as Bruce Niles; Mariah King of Jersey City as Emma/Examining Doctor (alternate performances); Madison Kotnarowski of Trenton as Grady/Orderly; Jorge Martinez of Jersey City as Tommy Boatwright; Jonathan Polanco of Hamilton as Ben Weeks/Ned Weeks (alternate performances); and Tristan Takacs of Hamilton as Felix Turner.

The production team includes director Robert Terrano, producer Jody Person, costume/set designer Kate Pinner, lighting designer Star McCloud, light board operator Chris Nielson, sound designers Evan Paine and Eric Collins, stage manager Amanda Suchil, assistant stage manager Megan Haltmeier, and make-up artist Koren Zander.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students.  (Tickets for MCCC students with current IDs are $8.)   Tickets are available online at or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333.

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