Recipe for Dignity – a tribute

I wrote this ‘recipe for dignity’ to honor my parents, who are both deceased.  They lived a simple and very dignified life, and it’s how I am trying to live mine.  I have passed on the wisdom as best as I can to my son.

I have been engaged in a full-time job search for my next adventure.  This experience has led to much self-introspection, humility, and humiliation.  I re-learned to appreciate many things, but above all, I am grateful for the life lessons and wisdom that my parents, especially my mother, imparted upon me and my siblings.  It has come in handy throughout my search.

Why would I write about dignity?  It is because we don’t practice enough of it, evidenced by several individuals I have come across recently who have behaved abominably. My experiences remind me that each and every person I meet deserves to be treated with dignity, and that I role model dignity.

Hence, my parent’s recipe follows; they truly had their ingredients mixed correctly.

The Recipe

Begin with a foundation of integrity and honesty.

Throw several cups of respect, kindness, generosity.

Now add empathy and compassion.

Add listen to hear and be heard, to understand.

Blend in gratefulness and acceptance others differing gifts.

Mix altogether.

Be sure to throw love in.

Mix some more.

Then add plenty courage. and mix it all again.

It is starting to somewhat come together!

But something is still missing…it doesn’t quite look right.

So, let’s add a layer of give-back to the community and to others.

Top with help to those who are down.

Finally, frost it with Live Life Passionately and Passionately Live Life.

There – I think we have it.  Mix again. Savor the outcome.

Now, role model it for all to see/enjoy/whatever you want to do with the recipe idea.


Impromptu Dinner

Impromptu – a very simple meal

Small group of us gathered at my house for an impromptu dinner.  We started with a 1988 Krug champagne and medjool dates stuffed with chorizo wrapped in bacon.  Dinner menu was dry rub baby back ribs, grilled asparagus with dry roasted sesame dressing and seared fresh scallops in butter with a smidgen of sea salt and lime juice.  Dinner paired with a 1989 Chateau La Fleur-Petrus Pomerol which went well with the ribs.  Finished the meal with fresh pineapple upside down cake and strawberries romanoff.  Yum…    Very simple dinner.


Dry Rub Baby Back Ribs

  • 2-3 racks baby back pork ribs, depends how much you want to cook
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin


  1. Prepare the ribs and rub.   Remove the thin, papery skin from the back of each rack of ribs.
  2. Combine the paprika, black pepper, brown sugar, salt, celery salt, cayenne, garlic powder, dry mustard, and cumin in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Rub  three quarters of this mixture over the ribs on both sides, then transfer the ribs to the roasting pan you will use for baking. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Next day, roast covered with foil at 300° for 2 hours.  After 2 – 2 1/2  hours, finish on the bbq grill till cooked through or continue roasting for another 30 minutes or longer till done. Use the remaining rub to sprinkle over the ribs, if desired.

Strawberries Romanoff

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  •  1 tablespoon  grand marnier or brandy
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries


1. Mix sour cream, brown sugar, vanilla or grand marnier  in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whip cream until starts to thickin, add sugar–whip until thick

3. Fold cream into sour cream mixture and blend well

4. Serve with fresh strawberries, whole or sliced.

Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Peel, quarter, core and slice the pineapple as evenly as you can 1/3 inch thick.

In a pan that can go from stovetop to oven or use an iron skillet, butter the sides and bottom of the pan with the ½ stick of butter.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over bottom of the pan.  Layer the pineapple on top, whatever pattern you feel like.  Add the vanilla bean pod and seeds.  Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or till pineapple is tender. Remove the bean pod.

The cake

  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

While the pineapple is cooking, preheat oven to 350°.

In a bowl, whisk ¼ of  the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla.  Set aside.  In another bowl, fitted with a paddle, beat on very slow speed  the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the stick of butter and remaining ¼ cup of  sour cream and beat at low speed until smooth, then beat at medium speed until fluffy.  Add the sour cream-egg mixture you had set aside earlier and beat again until fluffy.

Spoon the batter over the pineapple and spread it evenly.  Bake for about 40 miutes, until the cake is deep golden.  Let cool for 5 minutes on a rack.  Run a knife around the edge of the cake, invert it onto a plate and remove the pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.