My Problem With Balls

Baseball Glove

I have a problem with balls. I can’t catch them, I can’t hold on to them, and I certainly can’t throw them. But apparently, balls don’t have a problem with me. They seem drawn to me. I could be walking by a playing field, a tennis court, even a neighbor’s yard, and balls of all sorts would inevitably seek me out.

This unusual Law of Attraction started the summer when I was 11 years old and played right field in the Swansea Little League. (Or was it left field? I can never get it straight. You know, that spot beyond first base?) I was on the politically indecently named team known as the Indians. I never wanted to be on a baseball team. In fact, I loathed the very idea. But it was my parents’ way of trying to assimilate me with other boys and get me out of the house.

Not long before, I had walked up to my father while he was reading the newspaper on a Sunday afternoon and said, “Daddy, I think I’m a drug addict.”

He slowly lowered his paper and his La-Z-Boy. He looked over my head to my mother. Then he looked at me. “Why do you say that, son?” He was gentle, a hand on my arm.

I explained that we had been given a handout in school that listed the possible signs of preteen and teen drug addiction. One of them was spending excessive time alone, especially in a bedroom behind closed doors. Because of squalls of anxiety that were storming through my body, I had often locked myself in my room alone. Read more »

Avocado Sorbet

Avocado Sorbet Recipe

Dear vegans, I owe you a long-overdue apology.

Back in my youth, as I hunched over meat-filled plates grunting away with my brutish friends, who were likewise hunched over their own meat-filled plates, I would clear my throat as if I were going to make a proclamation and say, “You know, if you put two fire-and-brimstone vegans on a deserted island with no kind of life, only one avowed carnivore would be rescued.” Everyone knew the joke was coming, and they still sniggered and snorted. It was a ritual and no meatfest was complete without it.

I’d like to think I’ve become enlightened. We have vegetarian and vegan sections on the site. I even have friends who are vegans! But for a long time, in my privacy of my own heart, I felt they don’t necessarily have to eat at our house, do they? I was already dealing with a group of friends who are gluten-intolerant, pescatarian, ova-lacto vegetarian, white-meat-only. Welcoming vegans into the fray would just about break me. No, I was happy to go to their houses and choke down a bowl of twigs and sticks in the name of friendship. Read more »

World Elephant Day

Luca and World Elephant Day

WATERTOWN, CT–This Wednesday, August 12th, is World Elephant Day, a global effort to raise awareness of the plight of African and Asian elephants. In Africa alone, 96 elephants are needlessly killed each day. Master Luca, the youngest member of the Leite’s Culinaria family (he’s the son of executive assistant Annie Musso), decided to help these gentle giants in his own very LCish way—via food and drink.

Master Luca—who is 3 3/4 and fond of mac and cheese, swings, and creatures from both land and sea—approached his mother two weeks ago saying, “I want to help animals.” Subsequently, Ms. Musso started researching ways young children can become involved with animal welfare. She discovered that most hands-on volunteer experiences are geared for older children. Undeterred, Master Luca insisted he and his mother find a way that he can contribute. That’s when they devised a plan to participate in the classic childhood summer ritual of selling lemonade. Because the Mussos live on a quiet street, Ms. Musso was concerned proceeds would be low. Gramma Eastman, Master Luca’s grandmother, suggested they set up their stand at the Watertown Farmers’ Market. This past Saturday, the group was more than happy to accommodate the wee entrepreneur, one of the youngest in the market’s history. Read more »

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