Tag Archives: Liz Rueven

Roundup: Drew & Leo, Police & Fire Dispatch, Honey Cakes & Latkes …

Yesterday marked the first snow day of the year.

For many youngsters, that was a chance to play. For older folks, it meant the chore of shoveling.

But all kids did not play, and all adults did not shovel. Let alert “06880” reader Bill Hall tell this tale:

“Imagine my septuagenarian joy yesterday morning when I heard a knock on my front door. Two young neighbor lads, ages 8 and 11, were there with shovels in hand.

“They said they would help shovel the heavy, wet snow — a frequent widow maker. I welcomed their offer. They went to it right away. clearing a walk ramp, paths to cars, accumulated snow from limbs of bushes and more. Their industry is to be admired.

“I remember thinking years ago, ‘where are the young folks who used to come to mow lawns and shovel snow?’ That breed seemed to have vanished.

“But not completely. Apparently there are still some ambitious young folks who offer their youthful strength (and charm).

“I asked before they started what their charge would be. They shyly said, ‘I don’t know, 5 or 10 dollars.’ I said, “you’re on!”

It was a joy to see them work so hard and fast. It was an equal joy first to meet these young lads, and see their joy upon completing my requests and receiving their cash. No Venmo here.

“Many years ago when I was a student at the University of Michigan, I sang a song in a musical with the lyric, ‘Where Is America, what has become of her? What strange place do I see?’

“I saw a glimpse of some good ol’ American and altruistic values today embodied in 2 boys, Drew and Leo. Thank you. guys!”

Drew and Leo, hard at work. (Photo/Bill Hall)


Beginning today, Westport Emergency Services dispatch moves from Westport Police and Fire headquarters to Fairfield County Regional Dispatch. 

This joint venture between Westport and Fairfield has been in the works for several years. Fairfield moved its dispatch to the combined center at Sacred Heart University a year ago.

Westport residents will not see any change in service. All calls will be routed to FCRD, to be handled by civilian call takers and dispatchers.

Westport’s knowledgeable, expert civilian dispatchers possess have moved to the new center.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas says, “We expect to provide better service to Fairfield and Westport, with better access to public safety in one combined dispatch center. Our officers, firefighters and emergency telecommunicators working in conjunction with each other, in one center, will enhance the level of service provided to our communities.” 

 Fire Chief Michael Kronick adds, “At the FCRD, there will be a call taker and a dispatcher to help expedite dispatch efforts to handle emergency situations more effectively. The FCRD includes built-in redundancy and an extra level of back-up to keep emergency communications operational should the need arise.”   


The Police Department’s non-emergency phone number remains the same: (203) 341-6000. 911 is still the emergency number. And every firehouse has an outside phone to report emergencies.


“Honey Cake & Latkes: How Food Memories Nourish the Soul” is the heart-warming title of an important upcoming event (March 16, 7 p.m., Chabad of Westport).

Westport food writer Liz Rueven and Dr. Maria Zalewska — executive director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation — join Holocaust survivors Tova Friedman and Eugene Ginter.

They’ll provide a deep look into a collection of heirloom recipes from concentration camp survivors.

Noshes will be served and the (more than a) cookbook, “Honey Cake and Latkes,” will be available for purchase.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required (click here).


Author and historian Richard DeLuca brings his illustrated lecture “Motion: Transportation, Climate Change and Big History” to the Weston History & Culture Center on March 26 (4:30 p.m.; free for members, $5 for non-members).

DeLuca will discuss 4 centuries of transportation history in Connecticut — from stagecoaches to interstates — and how that story has led to our current environmental crisis.

This event is part of the closing reception for the exhibition “The Curious Case of Eleven O’clock Road: How Weston Got Its Place Names.” It’s open every Thursday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., through March 26,


MoCA Westport’s next exhibit — “Rainbow in the Dark” — features German contemporary artist Anselm Reyle.

He is known for foil and strip paintings, and sculptures. Remnants of consumer society, discarded materials, and symbols of urbanity and industrial change play a central role in his works.

This exhibition includes neon installations, foil works, 2 vases in Reyle’s signature Fat Lava style, straw bale sculptures, a new collection of abstract photography, and a video.

The show is on view from March 19 through May 28. An opening reception is set for Saturday, March 18 (6 to 8 p.m.).

Untitled — Anselm Reyle (Photo/Matthias Kolb)


Gold Coast Connect’s popular networking event returns to Westport.

Nômade restaurant’s back patio is the site (March 28, 6 to 9 p.m.) for food, a cash bar, and music by DJ Mo. All businesses are welcome.

Click here for tickets ($40) and more information.


The BackCountry Jazz BeBoppers headline the next Voices Café concert. The energetic student ensemble comes to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport on Saturday, March 11 (8 p.m.).

As always at Voices, there is café-style seating at tables, or individual seating. Concert-goers bring their own snacks and beverages and food, or buy snacks there.

General admission is $25 per person; livestream is also available. Students can use Coupon Code “jazzstudent” for discounts. Click here for tickets and more information.


Thomas “Bo” Hickey — the legendary athlete and coach who died Tuesday at 77 — is best remembered as a football, basketball, baseball and track star at Stamford Catholic High School, Denver Broncos running back, and a state champion football and boys ice hockey coach at New Canaan High.

But his coaching career began at Staples High School, as an assistant under Paul Lane. Rams coach Lou Marinelli hired him away in 1980, and the pair went on to win 8 state and 4 FCIAC titles. Hickey was an assistant for 31 years, but his value to NCHS was immeasurable.

His 20-year hockey head coaching record includes 10 FCIAC and 1 state crown.

Bo Hickey, during his induction into the FCIAC Hall of Fame. (Photo/John Nash)


“Westport … Naturally” frequently features deer photos.

It’s been a while though since we saw one in the snow.

Claudia Sherwood Servidio snapped this shot yesterday, at (appropriately) Earthplace.

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)


And finally … in honor of MoCA’s upcoming exhibition of Anselm Reyle’s work (story above):

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4 Jewish Women Walk Into A Google Hangout…

…and 8 weeks later, come out with a cookbook.

But bubbe, not just any cookbook. This one is 4 Bloggers Dish Passover: Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors. The recipes cover the whole megillah — traditional, vegetarian, gluten-free; appetizers, soups and salads, main courses, sides, desserts. From beet latke with cucumber jalapeño relish, through “nuts for you” chicken schnitzel, to creamy vanilla cheesecake with matzah nut crust, these are not your grandmother’s recipes.

Though she would be very, very proud.

And– we have to kvell — one of the 4 authors is longtime Westporter Liz Rueven.

Liz Rueven (Photo/Emily Hamilton Laux)

Liz Rueven (Photo/Emily Hamilton Laux)

She got her 1st taste of writing at the Westport Writers’ Workshop. She contributed to CTBites. Then nearly 3 years ago she began Kosher Like Me. Like many who keep kosher at home and honor its rules in restaurants by eating vegetarian, she craved “exhilarating, varied” choices — not always the same ol’ salmon.

Her recipes, restaurant and product reviews, personal profiles and calendar listings drew a devoted audience. Not all keep kosher — or are even Jewish. Many readers just love Rueven’s great vegetarian style.

(It sounds meshugenah, but Relish.com named her 1 of the top 5 Jewish bloggers, thanks to her post-Thanksgivukkah recipe for beer-braised turkey tacos. It was to die for.)

Kosher Like Me also catapulted Rueven into the wide world of food bloggers (and the smaller niche of kosher and vegetarian writers). There she met Sarah Lasry of the Patchke Princess (“my crazy kosher life!”), Whitney Fisch of Jewhungry (“recipes and stories from my shvitzin’ kitchen”), and Amy Kritzer of What Jew Wanna Eat (Henny Youngman they ain’t.).

Through a series of circumstances, the women decided to collaborate on a Passover cookbook. But they only had 8 weeks, from the moment they agreed to the deadline.

Oy veys mir!

Liz Rueven - coverWorking through Google Hangouts — they’ve never all been in the same space together — they wrote and edited feverishly. They were brutally honest with each other. If any woman couldn’t stand the heat, she would have left the kitchen.

But none did. The result — an e-book, fitting today’s fast-moving world — hit #1 in 2 Kindle categories. (Jewish Foods and Kosher Cooking. You had to ask.)

Some of Rueven’s favorite contributions are a slow-roasted salmon with easy beet relish appetizer; a French onion soup with cheesy matzah crackers, and a cheesy spinach matzah lasagna. (The lasagna uses local greens, and is topped with a traditional French sauce to stay moist. “Matzah can get pretty dry,” Rueven notes.)

Every recipe, from all 4 women, offers a twist. Even the cover shows mini-potato kugels — not the usual heavier-than-a-bowling-ball variety.

So which of Rueven’s recipes will she make for her own Seder?


“I’m going to Israel,” she says. “My in-laws are there. They do it all. I can rest and relax. It will be great!”

(Click here for sample recipes. But then click here to buy 4 Bloggers Dish Passover from Amazon. Hey, big spender: It’s $3.99!)

Cheesy matzah lasagna -- mmmmm! (Photo/Liz Rueven)

Cheesy matzah lasagna — mmmmm! (Photo/Liz Rueven)