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RDJ-- Honey Curry Chicken, 02-05-00  Recipe du Jour
 Feb 05, 2000 07:38 PST 

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Volume 3      Number 31
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HONEY CURRY CHICKEN

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp curry powder
3 lbs chicken pieces, skinned

Combine butter, honey, mustard, salt, and curry powder; stir well. Dip
chicken into honey sauce, coating all sides. Place chicken in a greased 13-
x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Reserve remaining sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 375
degrees F. for 1 hour, basting occasionally with remaining sauce. Yield: 4
servings.

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AT THE MIDDLE PASSAGE

By Walter Mills


    Living in Books


Last night about a quarter to nine Charles Dickens died. My older daughter
looked over from the couch where she was in her nightgown reading, and
watched tears roll down my face and into my bristly gray beard.

Dickens had been living with me, or I with him, for almost three weeks in
the nearly 600 pages of the Edgar Johnson biography. His death hit me hard,
the way Little Nell's death in "The Old Curiosity Shop" brought most of
England and America to tears. People wrote Dickens begging him not to let
her die when they saw her death approaching in the weekly serials.

But Edgar Johnson let Dickens die, as I knew he must, on a day in June in
1870. He was 58 years old, a man of vast, almost inhuman energy, that
slowly leaked away until only his unbending will remained.

But even over the vast distances in time and space I carry on a dialogue
with his ghost. I recognize now that the columns I have written in the last
few weeks have been shaped by his concerns almost as much as my own. I find
myself writing, quite out of nowhere, my memories of the homeless I have
seen in the cities, or of the loneliness in American society.

In Dickens times there was a widely held belief that wealth was a sign of
virtue and poverty was an indication of immorality. The factory owners
believed it was their obligation to offer the lowest possible wages for the
greatest possible effort, and it was the workers lot to be used up and
discarded. Parliament conspired with the owners and did little to insure
the safety, health or education of the large working class, most of whom did
not have the right to vote. Radical as he was, Dickens never advocated
taking anyone's wealth, but he did call for a livable wage, health reform,
education for the poor. He begged that dangerous machinery be fenced off in
the new factories to halt the maiming of workers, often children. He asked
that the workers of England have a chance to determine their own fate.

We live in another time of vast new wealth and a new revolution in the
means of production. But for many it is still a Dickensian world, where the
working poor survive if they can on a minimum wage without health insurance
or decent housing, without the education to rise above their poverty. It is
a world where Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute recently advised cutting
the capital gains tax on investment income as a means of closing the gap
between rich and poor, a feat of illogic worthy of Boodle and Coodle, or of
Scrooge himself.

In a little while, as my days with Dickens fade, I will lose my outrage at
the social injustice that, after all, takes place mostly out of my sight.
But while his ghost lingers I am constrained, almost against my lifelong
desire to avoid an argument, to present the case that we are living in
ignominious times. The growing inequalities between rich and poor; the lack
of health care for an increasing minority; the decline of the middle class;
the stagnant minimum wage; the rise of the corporate economy; the increase
in low-paying service jobs - all mean that for large numbers of working
people and our children, times are getting harder despite a rocketing
economy.

   But what a hard example he is to follow. Even to read of his 20 mile
walks through the night time streets of London, through the dreariest and
most wretched parts of the city, leaves me exhausted. The output of his
imagination was tremendous, but many of the characters that populate his
novels were drawn from the people he had seen and known on the streets, in
the rough and brutal districts of the poor, in the wretched schools and
workhouses he remembered.

Most of us would just as soon put the poor and the suffering out of mind.
Most politicians come to believe that the people with whom they associate
are one and the same as the people they represent. No wonder Charles
Dickens will never go out of fashion.



(The above column originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times and is
copyright 2000 by Walter Mills. All rights reserved worldwide. To contact
Walt, address your emails to wmi-@vicon.net)

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Do you remember?


In the Ghetto
Elvis Presley
(words & music by Scott Davis)

As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto
And his mama cries
'cause if there's one thing that she don't need
it's another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto
People, don't you understand
the child needs a helping hand
or he'll grow to be an angry young man some day
Take a look at you and me,
are we too blind to see,
do we simply turn our heads
and look the other way
Well the world turns
and a hungry little boy with a runny nose
plays in the street as the cold wind blows
In the ghetto
And his hunger burns
so he starts to roam the streets at night
and he learns how to steal
and he learns how to fight
In the ghetto
Then one night in desperation
a young man breaks away
He buys a gun, steals a car,
tries to run, but he don't get far
And his mama cries
As a crowd gathers 'round an angry young man
face down on the street with a gun in his hand
In the ghetto
As her young man dies,
on a cold and gray Chicago mornin',
another little baby child is born
In the ghetto

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