Friday, March 23, 2012

Programs for the Week of 3/26

Former Here on Earth guest Bill Strickland will be in Wisconsin on April 16 and 17 as the keynote speaker at this year’s Fox Cities Book Festival in Menasha.  Bill is the author of Make the Impossible Possible, and president-CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, helping the disadvantaged achieve a better future. Jean will also be at the festival, reading from the new edition of her award-winning memoir, I Hear Voices.

Tune into Here on Earth all this week for a reprieve from fundraising. Think of us as your oasis!

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Poetry Circle of the Air:

Monday: L is for Lion: Annie Lanzillotto has been a frequent guest on Here On Earth, delighting us with her songs, stories and poems. Annie’s memoir, L is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir, won’t be available until next fall, but I couldn’t leave WPR without a sneak preview.

Tuesday: The Saints Come Marching In: When I first contemplated producing a series on female leadership in the early church back in the eighties, scarcely anybody had ever heard of Hildegard of Bingen. But the news that Pope Benedict XVI will name her a Doctor of the Church this year– making her only the fourth woman to be so honored – gave me a reason to bring my award-winning series to Here on Earth during this last week of broadcasts. Women of Spirit had a huge impact on me, and when Barbara Newman, a world-class scholar who served as faculty advisor for the series agreed to revisit the series, I knew we were in for a treat. Plus, three of the original five programs in the series have been re-mastered as CD’s and will be made available as a pledge premium.

Wednesday: How a Global Nomad Becomes a Blake Scholar: Here on Earth has been following the hopscotch progress of Susanne Sklar, a pilgrim soul who spent twenty years travelling the world, working for peace and justice, before finally landing at Oxford where, against the odds, she earned a Ph.D. and became one of the foremost authorities on William Blake.

Thursday: Ten Years (Almost) of Here on Earth: Host Jean Feraca and technical wizard Joe Hardtke team up in a retrospective of the best of Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders, the pioneering global affairs program they created together.

Friday: Tips on How to Retire From a Classy Hobo: Luther the Jet, King of the Hoboes, hosts a final farewell party for Here on Earth with original song lyrics and tips on how to get the most out of the retirement years.

Well, as my old Bronx buddy Bugs Bunny used to say, “That’s all, Folks!”

A big hug to all of you,


Friday, March 16, 2012

Programs for the Week of 3/19

This week begins the countdown to my retirement and a Last Hurrah for Here on Earth. To mark the occasion, we’ve been given special permission to deviate slightly from the usual order of things. Instead of brand new shows, I will be bringing back some of my very favorite guests all through the rest of the month – people who have been my personal movers and shakers over the years. The Hit Parade begins this Wednesday with Parker Palmer, followed by Molly Peacock on Thursday with a special Poetry Circle of the Air. Be sure to check next week’s bulletin when the excitement will be building right up to the very last show.

Jean’s Pick of the Week: 'Crazy Daisy': What’s not to love in the story of “Crazy Daisy,” aka Juliette Gordon-Low, the intrepid early pioneer and feminist who founded the Girls Scouts and managed to transform it into an international movement before she died, cancer be damned. Fittingly, Juliette was buried in her scout uniform. Judging from so many callers who gave such ardent testimonials, her legacy lives on. What a joy. And shame on Bob Morris for attempting to tarnish the image of the Girl Scouts by falsely linking them with Planned Parenthood and abortion.

Monday: United World Colleges: An Experiment in International Secondary Education:: At United World Colleges in countries as diverse as Norway, Swaziland, India and the United States, high school students from all over the world learn together in unique classes that encourage global citizenship and international understanding. It’s a fifty year old educational experiment that is building a sustainable world culture, one student at a time.

Tuesday: Kids Solving World Problems: Global Youth Service Day is one month from today. Organized by YSU, Youth Service America, it recognizes young people, ages 5-25, in all four corners of the planet who are working to solve serious social and environmental problems 365 days of the year. I first learned about this organization and met Steve Culbertson, its dynamite leader, at last year’s Summit on Global Citizen Diplomacy, and got really enthused when I learned about some of the incredible things these kids are up to. Lots of inspiration here.

Wednesday: Parker Palmer: Here on Earth Guru: Throughout most of my many years on WPR, Parker has been my friend and mentor. I’ve learned so much from him, and his ideas have been crucial both to my own development and to my ideas about talk radio.

Thursday: The 2012 Spring Equinox Poetry Circle of the Air: For this very special last round-up poetry circle, Molly Peacock has chosen two poems by Emily Dickinson, the famous one that includes her inimitable advice on writing poetry, “tell the truth, but tell it slant,” and another one that Molly chose for its wisdom about what it takes to enter a new stage in life. Look for the poems on our website and be sure to bring your own choice of favorite poem of the season (not your own, please), to the circle.

Friday: The Country Cooking of Italy: For my last Food Friday, I have been utterly self-indulgent in choosing to talk about the kind of cooking that is nearest and dearest to my heart. Fortunately, most of the rest of the world seems to agree. Drawing on more than 40 years of experience traveling and eating in Italy, lucky guy, Colman Andrews explores every region, from Piedmont to Puglia, and discovers that even the most sophisticated dishes derive from simple, rustic fare.

This final note: The Spring Pledge Drive begins this week, but Here on Earth has been given a special dispensation. Our programs will continue as usual without interruption, so be sure to stay tuned! And thanks!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Programs for the Week of 3/12

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Afghan Women’s Writing Project: Being a writer myself, I was very moved by the stories that Afghan women tell about their lives, and the risks they take in doing so. Were it not for the efforts of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, these women would not only be hidden, they would be silenced.

Monday: Ancestral Roots; Ancestral Wisdom: Encountering the Indigenous Traditions of the Americas: This year’s annual interfaith retreat hosted by The Christine Center, a very special place deep in Wisconsin’s Amish country, features two seekers whose Christian faith has been enriched and deepened by their immersion in Native American spirituality.

Tuesday: U.S. State Partnerships and Citizen Diplomacy: Did you know that Wisconsin has a state partnership with Nicaragua that was started by a Wisconsin housewife over fifty years ago? Oklahoma is partnered with Azerbaijan; Hawaii with Indonesia; and Alaska with Mongolia. Wisconsin’s former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton has been a long-time champion of our state partnerships. She joins us to talk about their role in advancing global cooperation and citizen diplomacy.

Wednesday: 'Crazy Daisy' and the Girl Scouts of the USA: One hundred years ago, Juliette Gordon Low, popularly known as "Crazy Daisy," founded the Girl Scouts, an organization she hoped would build strong, independent young women. To celebrate the organization's centennial, we speak with Stacy Cordery about her new biography of the Girl Scouts' intrepid founder.

Thursday: Islam and Democracy: The Arab Spring surprised many in the West who believed Islam is inherently incompatible with democracy. But the citizens of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya proved them wrong. Reza Aslan joins us once again for this last program in our Inside Islam series.

Friday: Cooking for Nelson Mandela: At 93, Nelson Mandela may be the most famous man in the world, but his tastes are simple. He is happiest with traditional isiXhosa food, which could be the key to his longevity, He loves his umngqusho (samp and beans), umleqwa (farm chicken), ulusu (tripe), amasi (sour milk)--dishes lovingly prepared for him by his chef of 20 years, Xoliswa Ndoyiya. Her new cookbook is a collection of the recipes Madiba (as Mandela is affectionately known across Africa) loves most. She joins us to share her love of cooking, recipes and anecdotes from Madiba’s daily life.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Programs for the Week of 3/5

We’re dedicating our programming all this week in honor of International Women’s Day, March 8th, this Thursday. Upcoming Event: I also have to say that I thought Green Islam with Cal De Wit and Anna Gade was one of the best programs to date in our three-year running series on Inside Islam, and a great prelude to our upcoming live event to be held this Tuesday, March 6, at the Pyle Center from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Anna M. Gade will keynote, and I’ll be moderating an interfaith panel representing four different faith traditions.

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Green Faith: I’m a bit torn this week because I’m strongly drawn to Panther Baby, our show last Tuesday featuring former Black Panther leader Jamal Joseph, which was such a classic Here on Earth story of redemption. But I simply have to give 5 stars to our interfaith conversation on Green Faith, Wednesday’s show exploring the connection between faith and eco-consciousness with Evangelical environmental activist Cal DeWitt and the amazing Islamic scholar Anna M. Gade, surely one of our best Inside Islam shows ever. Very dense, very illuminating, and a great prelude to our culminating Inside Islam live event coming up next Tuesday evening at the Pyle Center when I’ll be moderating a panel of faith-based environment activists. It’s free and open to the public and I hope to see many of you there!

Monday: Can something as simple as ringing the doorbell stop domestic violence?: Bell Bajao, which means Ring the Bell in Hindi, one of the projects of Breakthrough, a human rights group that operates in both India and the US, is an award winning media campaign promoting public awareness of domestic violence in India. Its simple message: you can stop violence by just ringing the doorbell. Bell Bajao is now in Vietnam, China and Canada.

Tuesday: The Afghan Women Writers Project: In a country where women have been told their stories do not matter, and have been threatened for telling them, women still muster the courage to write about themselves, even at the risk of severe punishment. The Afghan Women Writers Project is a US based organization dedicated to bringing their stories to light.

Wednesday: Update on the Worldwide Status of Women: Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress and formulate policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide. The 56th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women is taking place all this week. We talk with three participants in this year’s conference.

Thursday: From the Frontlines of Hunger: The World Food Program: Every year, the United Nations’ World Food Program feeds over 90 million people worldwide. From Darfur to Haiti, Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, when disaster strikes, they are the first ones in, and the last ones out. Bettina Luescher, WFP’s chief spokesperson, joins us to talk about the global fight against hunger. This program is part of Ms. Luescher’s two-day visit to UW-Madison

Friday: The Food of Morocco: Standing at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, Moroccan food is a mouthwatering blend of spice and color, flavor and texture. From Berber skillet bread and spiced harira to lamb stuffed with couscous and dates, James Beard Award-winning author, Paula Wolfert, takes us on a culinary journey across the Moroccan foodscape.

March 1 is the first day of the last month of Here on Earth. We have some very special programming planned throughout the month. Keep checking the bulletin for updates. Almost time to start blowing kisses!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Programs for the Week of 2/27

I’d like to call your attention to next Wednesday’s Inside Islam show on Green Faith which is intended to whet your interest in an upcoming conference Interfaith Conference on the same theme, hosted by yours truly. It which will take place on Tuesday, March 6, starting at 6:00pm in the Pyle Center on the UW campus. For more information, you can view the PDF flyer

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): South Africa's MenCare Project: I was very impressed with Wednesday’s show featuring the courageous work that MenCare is doing in South Africa to end the horrific sexual violence against women. Nothing like having a former anti-apartheid freedom fighter on your side, modeling a new way to be a real man.

Monday: How to be Black: Comedian Baratunde Thurston boasts having "over thirty years’ experience being black." Now, the digital director of The Onion shares his witty wisdom in a new book called, How to Be Black. Thurston provides answers to a range of pressing questions, including: "When did you first realize you were black?"; "How’s that post-racial thing working out for you?"; and, perhaps most urgent, "Can you swim?"

Tuesday: Panther Baby: As a member of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, Jamal Joseph urged Columbia University students to burn their school to the ground. Today the former fugitive, who once topped the FBI's "most wanted" list, chairs Columbia's graduate film program. Joseph's new book, Panther Baby, explores his journey from urban guerrilla to Oscar nominee and Ivy League professor.

Wednesday: Green Faith: How does faith affect eco-consciousness? Is religion more focused on the after-life than on stewardship of the earth? Experts on Islam and Christianity join us for an interfaith conversation about faith and environmental activism. This show will preview an Inside Islam conference on Green Faith that will be held on March 6th at the Pyle Center at UW-Madison.

Thursday: Why Bother with Foreign Language Study?: In a recent New York Times op-ed, former Harvard University president Larry Summers speculated that, given the advances in translation software technology, foreign language study may soon be obsolete. The article provoked such an uproar that the Times created a forum to discuss it. To continue the debate, we’ve invited University of Minnesota history professor and linguist Giancarlo Casale (my son) to join us together with David Bellos, who directs the Program in Translation at Princeton.

Friday: La Boca: My husband and I were in Santa Fe a few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon when I had a craving for a classic Italian family-style feast. We walked from place to place only to discover that, on Sunday, almost everything in SF is closed between brunch and dinner. We finally settled on a little place called La Boca, which turned out to be a Spanish tapas restaurant and, as each tantalizingly delicious little dish began to arrive, it didn’t take us long to realize we had stumbled into a little piece of heaven. The chef is famous; he has a new cookbook, and, best of all, he has agreed to be on the show, recipes and all!

It’s almost March – my farewell month.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Programs for the Week of 2/20

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Love, InshAllah: I didn’t realize how deeply implanted were my stereotypes about the love lives of Muslim women until I started reading Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi’s delightful anthology Love, InshAllah, which we featured last Tuesday as our Valentine’s Day Inside Islam special. The book is focused on American women, but it nevertheless has an international flavor, Nura herself being from Sri Lanka. I think those stereotypes I’ve been harboring got reinforced during my trip to Syria last April, just when the demonstrations there were beginning to surface. We stayed in Aleppo where things stayed pretty quiet, but I was undone by my perceptions of the women who were so heavily veiled as they walked through the streets that, in some extreme cases, they didn’t even have eye slits and had to keep pushing the veil away from their face in order just to see the ground under their feet. It upset me. I had an impression of severe repression. So imagine how liberating it was for me to read about lesbian encounters, stolen kisses, mad crushes, playful flirtations, and punk-drunk love!

Monday: Obama, Explained: President Obama is nearing the end of his first term but for many the charismatic figure who galvanized the electorate in 2008 remains an enigma. Who is Barack Obama? A savvy tactician with a long view of the hot issues, or an awkward politician adrift in Washington’s treacherous waters? We ask veteran journalist James Fallows to demystify the man and place his presidency in historical context.

Tuesday: Sailing with Micronesia’s Star Navigators: Traversing the Pacific in a handmade craft without instruments or even a map is not for the faint of heart. Yet for centuries, Micronesian navigators have guided themselves across vast stretches of ocean using nothing but nature’s clues and the knowledge handed down by their ancestors. Wisconsin-born James Campbell set out to find and sail with Micronesia’s last master navigators, and he lived to tell the tale.

Wednesday: South Africa's MenCare Project: Women are often the victims of male aggression in post-conflict situations. This is especially true in post-apartheid South Africa, where legacies of chauvinism and poverty fuel rising brutality, leading the country to be dubbed the "rape capital of the world." Former anti-apartheid activist Mbuyiselo Botha believes South Africa cannot be truly free until its women are safe. Botha works with the Sonke Gender Justice Network to combat sexual violence, helping men become active fathers and responsible members of their communities.

Thursday: Ridding Cambodia of its Land Mines: An International Model: Pol Pot, whose regime was responsible for the deaths of some 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979, purportedly called land mines his "perfect soldiers." They never sleep. They wait, with limitless patience. And, even when war ends, they continue to kill and maim boys gathering firewood, mothers sowing rice, girls herding goats. Despite its horrific history, Cambodia has now become a model for how a nation can recover from the scourge of land mines. National Geographic photographer, Lynn Johnson, went to investigate.

Friday: Hot & Cheesy: Cheese lover Clifford Wright did some fancy globe-trotting to come up with the recipes in his latest book which features cheeses from all over the world with recipes to match, from gooey macaroni to spicy quesadilla.

Happy very early spring! I saw snowdrops about to bloom on my walk to work this morning. Huzzah!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Programs for the Week of 2/13

Monday: Pigs for Profit: The Village Enterprise Fund's mission is to equip East Africans living in extreme poverty with resources to create sustainable businesses. Through small business grants, the fund helps entrepreneurs raise livestock to sell in local markets as a means of livelihood.

Tuesday: Love, InshAllah: What’s your image of Muslim women—repressed, oppressed, submissive? Not according to a new collection of stories about love, relationships and dating, written by Muslim-American women. Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, co-editors of Love, InshAllah, join us to talk about the secret love lives of Muslim-American women.

Wednesday: 5 Broken Cameras: "If you are wounded you will always remember your wound, even after it’s healed. But what if you are injured again and again... you forget your scars. But the camera remembers and so I film to heal." - Emad Burnat

When Palestinian farmer, Emad Burnat, got his first video camera, he never dreamed of making a film--or history. He merely wanted to record memories of his new-born son. But when Israeli bulldozers move into his West Bank village, Emad turns into an overnight documentary filmmaker. Five smashed cameras later, and with the help of an Israeli filmmaker, he completes a remarkable film about West Bank life, called 5 Broken Cameras.

Thursday: Volunteering on Vacation: Can’t decide where to go on your next vacation? How about volunteering your time at a women’s NGO in India, or working with elephants in the jungles of Thailand? Richard Webb, founder and President of ProWorld, joins us to talk about how development and tourism can go hand in hand.

Friday: Sweet Tooth: The Bitter-Sweet History of Candy: How did candy evolve from medicine to luxury item to today’s ubiquitous M&M’s and Kitkat bars? A multi-million dollar industry has sprung up around confection, but candy has a dark and bitter history that has been hidden or mostly forgotten.

And on that sweet note: Happy Valentines' Day!

Jean and the team at Here on Earth

Friday, February 3, 2012

Programs for the Week of 2/6

Monday: The Poetry of Tomas Transtromer: Sweden’s Nobel Laureate: Robin Robertson talks about Nobel Laureate, Tomas Transtromer's poems. Transtromer’s friend and a gifted poet in his own right, Robertson compares the original Swedish poems with his own, luminous English translations.

Tuesday: American Dervish: Milwaukee-born writer Ayad Akhtar’s debut novel, American Dervish, is a coming-of-age tale with a twist. As he tells the story of Pakistani-American teenager, Hayat Shah, Akhtar presents a complex and deeply personal portrayal of what it means to grow up Muslim in America.

Wednesday: Winning the War on War: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria — the list of wars seems to go on and on. But in his new book, Winning the War on War, Joshua Goldstein argues that the tide of war is, in fact, receding. He claims that fewer wars are starting, and more are ending.

Thursday: The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage: Joseph Marshall III is a teacher, historian, writer and Lakota craftsman and archer, who has won awards for his screenplays, fiction and historical books. Recipient of the Wyoming Humanities Award, his most recent book is The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage: Lessons in Resilience from the Bow and Arrow.

Friday: Foodistan!: A new front in the decades-old standoff between India and Pakistan, Foodistan, an Indian reality TV show, pits the best chefs of the dueling nations against each other in a cross-border cook-off. In this showdown, tactical deployment of spices is what "curries" the day. A food fight or a recipe for peace?

Yadda-dada-dada... That's all, Folks!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Programs for the Week of 1/30

I’ll be on vacation all next week and we put our heads together to come up with a line-up from the Here on Earth archives we think might be

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines: It’s not often that you come across a Holocaust story that has not yet been told. But, thanks to Here on Earth producer Marika Suval who discovered Filipino filmmaker Noel “Sonny” Izon, last Monday’s show broke the story of 1,200 Jews who were rescued by the people of the Philippines at a time when most other nations, including the United States, turned them down. What’s more, the story was corroborated by several listeners who called in to testify that they had first-hand knowledge of some of the very Jews who were rescued. It was inspiring and exciting.

Monday: Tree of Life (Encore): Terrence Malick's ambitious and controversial film is up for an Academy Award this year. It was both booed and cheered before it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes. The film raises deep existential questions about the meaning of life, death, and pain, and we managed to find the perfect guests to talk about it. My hunch is that a lot of the people who walked out on The Tree of Life might stick around to hear what Barbara Newman and David Sterritt had to say about it.

Tuesday: Healing the Heart of Democracy (Encore): Parker Palmer is always good for what ails us, but never more so than right now as we hit the shoals of this year’s presidential election. In his new book, designed to re-invigorate American democracy in its most localized settings, and to connect it to those larger global movements that both inspire and disappoint us, he spells out what we can do to form habits of the heart conducive to embracing democracy's endless conflicts.

Wednesday: The Runaway Little Free Libraries Project (Encore): Rick Brooks and Todd Bol caught a tiger by the tail when they decided to promote worldwide literacy and build communities one Little Free Library at a time. This was far and away one of our most popular programs of the season.

Thursday: American Born Chinese (Encore): I had great fun with Gene Luen Yang, the creator of this graphic novel which Publisher’s Weekly describes as "more than just the story of a Chinese-American childhood: it's a fable for every kid born into…a life they wish they could escape."

Friday: Twain's Feast (Encore): I loved this slightly far out Food Friday show about the attack of culinary homesickness Mark Twain suffered while traveling through Europe during the winter of 1879, eating bad hotel food. His fantasy menu, which included more than 80 mouth watering items, tells us so much about the astonishing variety of local specialties Americans regularly feasted on when the country was still wild.

I’ll be back on Monday, February 6, with a program about Swedish Nobel laureate Tomas Transtromer I’ve been longing to do for a long time. You come too!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Programs for the Week of 1/23

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Bill Strickland: Bill Strickland is one hell of a guy. A man who grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in Pittsburgh in the ruins of the steel industry, he built a world class jobs training and community arts center right in the middle of that same neighborhood where the lives of at-risk teenagers, welfare mothers, and ex-steel workers are radically transformed. He has somehow managed to combine the soul of an artist with the entrepreneurial instincts of a robber baron. No wonder Harvard Business School is studying him.

Monday: An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines: Most of us have heard of Schindler’s List, but how many of us know about the shiploads of German and Austrian Jews who were rescued in the Philippines beginning in 1935, when most other nations turned them away. Filipino filmmaker Noel Izon, who owes his life to a German Jewish refugee, sets out to document the story of Jewish rescue in the Philipines in his new film, An Open Door.“It is my hope, & indeed my expectation, that the people of the Philippines will have in the future every reason to be glad that when the time of need came, their country was glad to extend to a persecuted people, a hand of welcome.” - Manuel Quezon, President of the Philippine Commonwealth, April 23, 1940

Tuesday: Abraham’s Family: Three principal members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s LUBAR Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions join me for a candid conversation about their own personal religious beliefs, how faith illuminates their lives, and what they have learned from one another.

Wednesday: The Muslim Brotherhood: In the wake of the pro-democracy protests in Tahrir Square, many Western observers are dismayed by the electoral success of the Muslim’s Brotherhood’s in Egypt. Dr. Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, joins us to talk about what the Brotherhood’s leadership means for the future of Egyptian democracy.

Thursday: A Peace Maker in Syria: In her memoir, The Bread of Angels, Stephanie Saldana wrote about an Italian Jesuit who restored a tenth century monastery near Damascus, and then dedicated it to Muslim/Christian dialogue. Father Paulo was recently forced into exile by the Assad regime, but he’s back. Stephanie joins us with an update.

Friday: The French Slow Cooker: Who knew that cooking Provençal vegetable soup, red-wine braised beef with mushrooms, chicken with forty cloves of garlic, and even bouillabaisse could be as easy as setting a timer and walking away? Lori Skelton talks with Michele Scicolone about recipes from her new cookbook, The French Slow Cooker.

Batten down the hatches, here comes Ol' Man Winter! Stay safe and warm!


French Slow Cooking on Friday 1/27

The French Slow Cooker – recipes for WPR's "Here On Earth," January 27

For all these recipes, you will need a slow cooker with at least a 5-quart capacity (“large slow cooker”). If you have a smaller slow cooker, you may need to cut the recipe in half and reduce cooking time.

Thanks to author Michele Scicolone, for giving us permission to post these recipes before her interview. I hope you enjoy cooking and sharing comfort food with a bit of French sure to call in with your comments next week!

The French Slow Cooker – recipes for January 27

Recipes by Michele Scicolone. You can find these and more in her new cookbook “The French Slow Cooker.

For all these recipes, you will need a slow cooker with at least a 5-quart capacity (“large slow cooker”). If you have a smaller slow cooker, you may need to cut the recipe in half and reduce cooking time.

Spinach and Egg Bouillabaisse (serves 6)

6 russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3C. chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

3C. water

salt and fresh-ground pepper

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

6 large eggs

1 baguette, cut into ½ thick slices and toasted

grated Parmesan cheese, aioli or rouille (recipe follows)

In large slow cooker, combine potatoes, onion, broth and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours, or until potatoes are very tender. Stir in spinach and cook for 15 minutes, or until spinach is hot.

When ready to serve, break 1 egg into a small cup. Remove cover from slow cooker and, holding cup close to surface, pour in the egg. Repeat with the remaining 5 eggs, placing them about an inch apart on the surface of the soup. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until eggs are done to taste.

Place a slice or two of toast in each bowl. Carefully spoon an egg and some soup over the toast. Sprinkle with cheese, and pass aioli or rouille. Serve hot.

Aioli (Garlic Mayonnaise)

2 large garlic cloves (or to taste), peeled

½ t. salt

2 large egg yolks

1t. Dijon mustard

1C. extra-virgin olive oil (for a milder flavor, use blend of olive and vegetable oil)

1-2t. fresh lemon juice

In a food processor, combine garlic and salt and process until finely chopped. With machine running, add egg yolks and mustard and process until smooth. Very slowly drizzle in the oil. It’s important to go slowly so that the sauce does not break. Once you have added ½ cup of the oil, you can add the remainder a little more rapidly. Add lemon juice to taste.

If aioli curdles, place a tablespoon of mustard in a bowl, then with a whisk gradually beat in the aioli a spoonful at a time. Serve immediately or store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


½ C. roasted red bell peppers (jarred or homemade)

1 large garlic clove, peeled

1C. mayonnaise

2T. extra-virgin olive oil

1t. fresh lemon juice

pinch of piment d’Espelette or cayenne pepper

In a blender or food processor, finely chop peppers and garlic together. Add the mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice and piment d’Espelette (or cayenne) and process until smooth. Serve immediately or store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic (serves 6)

2-3 garlic heads

12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed

1T. chopped fresh rosemary

salt and freshly ground pepper

½ C. dry white wine

2T. fresh lemon juice

Separate garlic into cloves. There should be about 40. Discard any loose skin from the cloves, but do not peel them. Scatter the garlic in a large slow cooker.

Sprinkle the chicken with the rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken pieces in the slow cooker. Pour in wine and lemon juice. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

To serve, transfer chicken and most of garlic to a large platter. Cover and keep warm. Remove and smash the remaining garlic cloves and stir them back into the liquid. Discard the garlic skins.

Pour the liquid into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cook until reduced and slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve hot.

Bargemen’s Beef Stew (serves 8)

olive oil

4lbs. boneless beef chuck, well trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

3T. all-purpose flour

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 large onions, thinly sliced

6 anchovy fillets

6 garlic cloves, peeled

¼ C. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2T. Dijon mustard

2T. red wine vinegar

Oil the insert of a large slow cooker. In a large bowl, toss meat with flour and salt and pepper to taste. Scatter half the onions in the slow cooker. Add half the meat. Add remaining onions and top with remaining meat. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat is very tender.

In a food processor or blender, chop anchovies, garlic and parsley very fine. Add mustard and vinegar and pulse until just blended.

Skim the fat off the stew. Stir in anchovy mixture. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Saffron Vegetable Stew (serves 6-8)

2T. olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2C. chopped canned tomatoes, with their juice

2t. salt

¼ t. saffron threads, crumbled

freshly ground pepper

4 medium boiling potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 medium cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets

1-2t. chopped fresh thyme or basil

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and juices, salt, saffron, and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until thickened.

Put potatoes in large slow cooker. Place cauliflower over potatoes. Pour tomato sauce over all.

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife. Sprinkle with thyme or basil. Can be served hot, warm or room temperature.

Lemon Pots de Crème (serves 4)

1/3 C. fresh lemon juice

½ t. grated lemon zest

½ C. sugar

4 large egg yolks

1C. heavy cream

Stir together lemon juice, zest and sugar until sugar is dissolved.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and cream until blended. Stir in lemon juice mixture. Pour mixture into four ½ cup custard cups or ramekins.

Place a rack in the insert of a large slow cooker, or crush a sheet of aluminum foil into a ring shape and place that on the bottom of the insert. Carefully place cups on the rack (if using foil, you may need to make two rings, one slightly smaller inside the other). Pour about 1 inch of hot water into the cooker, being careful not to splash water into the cups. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until the creams are softly set and slightly jiggly in the center. Uncover and let stand for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the cups from the cooker, wearing sturdy rubber gloves so as not to burn your fingers.

Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours, or up to 3 days, before serving.

Creamy Cherry Clafoutis (serves 6)

unsalted butter

1 12-ounce bag frozen pitted cherries (about 2 ½ cups), thawed, or substitute fresh or drained canned cherries (not cherry pie filling)

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs

½ C. sugar

¼ C. all-purpose flour

¼ C. whole milk

½ t. grated lemon zest

Generously butter the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the insert of a large slow cooker. Scatter the cherries in the cooker.

In a food processor or blender, combine the cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, milk and lemon zest. Process or blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture over the cherries.

Cover and cook on high for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the center is just set. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm, scooping clafoutis out of the insert.

Chocolate Pain Perdu (serves 8)

Unsalted butter

1 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)

2 C. whole milk

10 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 large eggs

½ C. sugar

1 C. heavy cream

1 t. vanilla extract

Ice cream, whipped cream or Crème Anglaise (recipe follows)

Butter the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the insert of a large slow cooker. Scatter the bread cubes in the cooker.

Heat the milk in a small pan over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat. Set aside ¼ cup of chopped chocolate. Add the remaining chocolate to the hot milk and stir until smooth and melted.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until foamy. Beat in the chocolate milk, cream and vanilla.

Pour the milk mixture over the bread in the cooker. Scatter the reserved ¼ cup of chocolate pieces on top. Cover and cook on high for three hours, or until softly set in the center.

Let cool slightly. Scoop from the insert and serve with ice cream, whipped cream or Crème Anglais.

Crème Anglais

1 C. heavy cream

1 C. whole milk

1 vanilla bean or 1 ½ t. vanilla extract

3 large egg yolks

1/3 C. sugar

pinch of salt

Combine cream and milk in small saucepan. Split vanilla bean lengthwise with a small, sharp knife. Scrape the seeds out of the bean and into the cream mixture. Add vanilla pod. If using vanilla extract, add it while sauce is cooling.

Cook the cream mixture over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Remove vanilla pod and discard.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt. Gradually whisk in the warm cream mixture. Transfer sauce to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until small wisps of steam appear and the sauce coats the back of a spoon (test by dipping a spoon in the sauce and carefully – it is hot – run your finger down the back of the spoon…if it leaves a distinct track, the sauce is done). Do not allow the sauce to boil, or it may curdle.

Immediately pour the sauce into a clean bowl, set into a larger bowl of ice water. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until serving time or for up to 2 days.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Programs for the Week of 1/16

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Through the Door of Life: I never expected to identify so closely with a transgender woman, but Joy Ladin’s life story, told so beautifully in her memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders, is really about the search for the authentic self. It’s a deeply spiritual journey at is heart, and Ladin is completely candid about her life-long struggle with suicide and the angel’s voice who finally rescues her from it.

Monday: Bill Strickland: Meet a man who transformed his own life from inner-city desperation to successful social entrepreneur. Today, he rescues at-risk school kids by using the arts to teach them life skills. He also created a model for turning displaced adults into productive workers. His work has helped re-invent America’s approach to social entrepreneurship.

Tuesday: A Semester At Sea: Established in 1963, Semester at Sea is the only study-abroad program of its kind in the world. On a ship that becomes a traveling campus, a community of faculty and students live and learn together, exploring a different world region every semester.

Wednesday: The Museum of Underwater Art: Can a sculpture garden save the world's coral reefs?: Amazingly enough, we discovered a story reported in National Geographic about an underwater sculpture garden situated in the Caribbean somewhere between Cancun and Isla Mujeres that is attracting a new kind of coral reef. Here’s a description:They stand in a submerged world of watery silence: hundreds of life-size sculptures, depicting scenes from everyday life. A portly man watching TV, a woman staring into the deep-sea abyss; someone slumped over the hood of a VW Beetle. Yet, each statue is a constantly changing, highly coveted habitat for choral, fish and other marine life—just like the sculptor intended. The Museum of Underwater Modern Art shows what a sustainable, symbiotic relationship with nature may look like.

Thursday: Talking with the Taliban: The Taliban announced this week that ten years after 9/11, it is finally willing to talk with the United States. There’s only one catch: in return, the Obama Administration has to release at least five senior Taliban officials held at Guantánamo. President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner joins us to talk about prospects for peace, and the future of Guantánamo.

Friday: Feeding the Dragon: In 2005, Mary Kate and Nate Tate set out on a 9,700 mile trip across China, collecting recipes from the country’s myriad culinary traditions. From the snow-capped mountains of Tibet to the scorching deserts of Xinjiang, the brother-sister duo create a mouth-watering blend of food, culture and travel.

Enjoy the snow!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Programs for the Week of 1/9

Monday: The Jewish Annotated New Testament: What would a New Testament edited by Jewish scholars tell us about the Judeo-Christian heritage? Growing up as a secular Jew, Hebrew scholar Amy-Jill Levine remembers being accused of killing Christ even though she knew and loved many of the stories from the New Testament. In an attempt to reconcile the two traditions, she’s now the co-editor of The Jewish Annotated New Testament which places the Christian scriptures in their original Jewish context.

Tuesday: Mindfulness for Beginners: Is meditation at the top of your New Year’s resolutions? Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has done so much to secularize the practice of meditation and to integrate it into the mainstream medical establishment in the U.S., has come out with a new book which stresses its health benefits and is especially designed for the beginning meditator.

Wednesday: The Tiger’s Wife: Author Téa Obreht is only 26, but her debut novel has been hailed as “the runaway book of the year.” Set in the war-torn Balkans, The Tiger's Wife explores the relationship between a wise elder and his granddaughter who, much like Obreht herself, is undergoing a rite of passage. Straddling the line between myth and realism, the novel shines a light on the delicate work of putting a society fractured by conflict back together.

Thursday: Through the Door of Life: Professor Jay Ladin made headlines around the world when, after years of teaching literature at Yeshiva University, he returned to the Orthodox Jewish campus as a woman—Joy Ladin. In her book, Through the Door of Life, Joy allows us inside her transition as she changes genders and, in the process, creates a new self.

Friday: TBA:


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Programs for the Week of 1/2

Happy New Year to all our devoted Here on Earthians! Due to our reduced staff during the holidays, this week’s bulletin might be a little late, and a bit on the light side:

Monday: UPRISING: According to Time magazine, the word protest appeared in newspapers and online more this past year than at any other time in history. Political analyst John Nichols is working on a new book about the uprisings of 2011. He says that for once the United States is in solidarity with the rest of the world. He joins us with a look back at the global protest movements of 2011. Which ones are most likely to succeed?

Tuesday: The Exile of a Peace Maker in Syria: Father Paolo is an Italian Jesuit priest who has worked to foster and maintain a real interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians for the past 30 years in Syria. Recently, he was exiled by the regime for expressing his concerns about living under a totalitarian dictatorship, stating that "Fear has oppressed us too long." Stephanie Saldana wrote about him in her memoir, The Bread of Angels. She joins us with an update.

Wednesday: Mindfulness for Beginners: Is meditation at the top of your New Year’s resolutions? Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has done so much to secularize the practice of meditation and to integrate it into the mainstream medical establishment in the U.S. has come out with a new book which stresses its health benefits and is especially designed for the beginning meditator.

Thursday: The Ancient Navigators of Micronesia: Imagine being in a hand-made canoe in the middle of a vast ocean, guided only by the sun, stars and wind. For centuries, ancient navigators in the Pacific did just that: guided themselves by nature's clues and the knowledge handed down by their ancestors. Wisconsin-born James Campbell set out to find and sail with some of the last master navigators of Micronesia.

Friday: Dining on the Trans Siberian Railroad: At over 5,000 miles long, the Trans Siberian Railroad is the longest railway on Earth. To ride it from end to end would take over six days. Some say those could be the loneliest six days of your life. Unless of course, you participate in the most famous past time aboard: making friends and sharing food.

From all of us Here on Earth, have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve! We look forward to more enlightening radio hours in 2012.

With all best wishes,