Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 12, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, January 12, 2019 

KATIE Tse..........This and That



I’m trying hard to stick to 
my New Year’s resolution of 
not recycling old articles, but 
it’s rough. Just when I finish 
a story I wake up to my next 
deadline. Special thanks to 
Susan Henderson, my editor, for tolerating my 
guilty habit of sending her stuff at the last minute!

 This week I thought I’d write about an interesting 
piece I read some time ago about identify theft. 
However, this isn’t identify theft as we know it today. 
This is identify theft, seventeenth century style.

 Back in those days, identity theft was a big thing 
because, quite frankly, one didn’t always know what 
rich or powerful people looked like. For example, 
let’s say you were a wealthy nobleman and you went 
on an extended vacation. Who’s to stop someone 
from knocking on your villagers’ doors, claiming 
to be you? I mean, hey, the villagers have never 
seen you, you hang out in 
your walled estate all the time. 
None of the commoners have 
ever met you. They don’t know 
what you look like. This was 
before technology and social 
media. No Instagram accounts 
to reference. The only way 
to capture their likeness in 
pictures was for the rich to sit 
for portraits, but even those 
might not be very accurate.

 Bram Stoker, author of 
Dracula, wrote about just that 
in his book, Famous Imposters. 
Though he’s an excellent writer, 
I could not get through the 
whole thing simply because it 
was hard to keep track of the 
names of all the players, but 
one chapter was particularly 
intriguing. It had to do with 
Queen Elizabeth I.

 Elizabeth was an interesting 
person. Never married, shrewd negotiator, inspiring 
militarily leader, and a patron of the arts. There’s a 
theory that she was, in fact, a man. Not that women 
can’t possess all those qualities, but other details of 
her life warrant closer inspection.

 The story Stoker tells is that King Henry had sent 
his daughter, Elizabeth, away to the countryside in 
hopes that the change of climate would invigorate 
her, she was a sickly child. He entrusted her to 
the care of a couple who served the royal family. 
During this time away from the palace, Elizabeth 
fell sick and died. Horror stricken, the couple 
decided to take a local farm boy whom the princess 
had befriended, dress him as a girl, and pass him off 
as the dead princess. I’m not sure what their long 
term plan was, but we know from history that King 
Henry VIII wasn’t the sort of person you’d want to 
tick off.

 The body of the princess was placed in a stone 
coffin and buried in a garden near the home where 
she died. Apparently the plan had been to return 
later and properly dispose of the remains, because 
the bones of a young girl were discovered at the 
site years later. At the time of Stoker’s writing there 
was still the appearance of an oblong coffin-shaped 
patch of land to be seen in the garden. 

 In our story, so far, who would have had the most 
reason to be scared? I’d say the boy who was playing 
Elizabeth and the couple who had thrust him into 
this awful situation in the first place. Sounds like 
just the recipe for a strong new 
alliance born out of necessity.

 Stoker suggests just 
that. Throughout her life, 
Elizabeth never parted from 
the couple, even promoting 
the man to a high position in 
her royal court. She also never 
saw doctors, preferring to put 
any bodily troubles solely in 
the hands of God. She always 
traveled with a multitude of 
wigs (possibly to hide male 
pattern baldness?). And that 
stiff ruffled collar --was it 
simply fashionable or was it 
covering a prominent Adam’s 

 Someone who was 
spying on her for another 
country reported that, 
according to his informants, 
Elizabeth would never bear 
children. This was said of 
her when she was only 26. Shortly before she 
died, Elizabeth was quoted as saying something to 
the effect of, “When I’m gone, I don’t want some 
charlatan taking over for me.” An odd request to 
make on the way out, wouldn’t you say?

 Well, my little treatment of Stoker’s work hardly 
does it justice. For the full story, check out his book 
for yourself. I, for one, found it fascinating, and I’ve 
never been able to look at a portrait of the Queen 
who reigned during England’s Golden Age the same 
way since.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day 
in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be 
there for one another as 

fellow members of humanity in the finest sense of the 
word.” Goran Persson

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve 
to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an 
invincible host against difficulties.” Helen Keller

OK, we’re a couple of weeks into the new year, but we 
don’t need to stop celebrating it yet, do we? It may be 
a little late for this, but on the other hand, maybe not. 
Many people like to start their New Year’s with a dish 
of black-eyed peas, a Southern tradition for good 
luck and prosperity. My grandmother, Louise Pitzer 
Sessions, a genuine Southern lady, was from Virginia 
and spent many of her formative years in Texas, 
which meant a childhood of black-eyed peas. My 
family, however, likes to kick off the New Year with 
Split Pea Soup. Easy to make, do it ahead of time, and 
if you’ve planned ahead, you can make enough to 
keep hungry teen-agers and/or football fans happy 
all day long. You can double and triple this recipe 
with great success, if your pot is big enough. Now 
with bigger, better crockpots, you can keep it warm 
all day. Super Bowl Sunday is coming and this would 
be the perfect thing for a crowd. The picture is of a 
barrel of split peas that lives at Sprouts. They’re $1.19/
lb. and this looks so inviting!

Split Pea Soup

1 package split peas (these are found in the market 
aisle where rice, noodles, beans, etc. are located)

4 ham hocks (usually packaged 2 to a package in the 
meat section) or a ham shank, or the ham bone left 
over from Christmas.

3-4 medium-size onions – actually there’s no such 
thing as too much onion!

6-7 good size carrots (or a package of baby carrots)

1 good size bunch of celery

Salt, Pepper

Split pea soup is an opportunity to creatively express 
yourself. There are few rules, just a few suggestions:

 Get out your really large pot and put the ham 
hocks or the ham bone in the bottom. Throw the 
peas on top of that, followed by the onions, carrots 
and celery which you’ve washed and cut into big 
chunks. Cover all this with water, or a combination 
of water and chicken broth. Say about 8-12 cups of 
water. Season with salt and pepper and whatever else 
you like. If you’re partial to thyme, put some in there. 
Or Mrs. Dash.

 Cover your pot and put in the oven at about 300 
degrees. Leave it in there for about four to six hours, 
or till the peas have become very tender. Take it out 
and let the mixture cool to where you can handle it 
without burning yourself. Remove the ham hocks or 
ham bone and set them (it) aside.

 Assemble your blender and blend your lukewarm 
soup/veggie mixture into a smooth puree. Put this 
into a large container with a cover, like that crock 
pot we were talking about earlier. When all your 
soup is pureed, remove whatever meat is on your 
ham hocks or ham bone, tossing out all fat and other 
non-meaty parts and put the meat back into your 
soup. Refrigerate. Let it sit for a day or so to develop 
flavor, reheat it and stand back so the hungry guests 
don’t run over you as they rush to grab a bowl of the 
best split pea soup anywhere. You could make some 
cornbread or corn muffins to go with your soup and 
everyone who has some will love you forever, getting 
your New Year off to a great start!

 Christmas is over.... sort of. My neighbors’ 
wonderful light displays are still up brightening the 
night and I haven’t taken in my adorable lighted deer, 
so I figure I can tell you right below here, that you 
can still listen to Christmas music or give yourself a 
delightful Christmas story to let that glow linger on a 
little longer.


My book page: Deanne Davis

 “Star of Wonder – A Christmas Story”

Is available there. This is a wonderful Christmas Love me!

Star of Wonder the CD is now on TuneCore! Take 
a look!


Follow me on Twitter, too!

Do you have to many books at home? Wondering 
what to do with them? Come to The Book Rack and 
trade them in for a book you have not read.
We have 1000's used and New books for 
your reading pleasure.
204 S. First AveArcadiawebsite: bookrackarcadia.comPhone 626-446-2525

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will consider a motion by 
Supervisor Kathryn Barger directing county agencies to develop a regulatory framework for the safe 
commercial operation of e-scooters in the communities of unincorporated Los Angeles County. 

 In November 2018, the arrival of e-scooters in unincorporated Altadena and East Pasadena created 
a serious concern about the potential public safety and nuisance issues that e-scooters have caused 
in other jurisdictions. 

 Supervisor Barger’s motion directs the CEO, in collaboration with county departments and 
agencies, to develop a pilot program in 45 days with regulations allowing for the safe operation and 
storage of shared e-scooters and bikes on County roadways. 

 “We want a collaborative plan that allows operators to provide a viable transit option for our 
residents while minimizing the potential for public nuisances, safety issues, and lawsuits ultimately 
paid by taxpayers,” Barger said. 

 The program will also include a consumer-focused website regarding safety and other information 
to set the stage for a safe, sustainable, and innovative approach to incorporating e-scooters and 
bicycles as a service to residents looking to bridge gaps in transit access. 

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