Driving around southwest England earlier this month, I saw lots of road-side signs advertising fresh strawberries. It reminded me that Wimbledon time was approaching, and of the tradition of eating strawberries and cream during the tournament.
When my oldest son was about one month old, he would wake up very early in the morning -- what infant doesn't? -- and I would get up with him to let my wife sleep. About the only thing on TV at 4:00am in those pre-satellite days was the live coverage of Wimbeldon, so we would sit and watch tennis. I don't really think he understood the finer points of the game, but it was enjoyable none the less.
He's twelve now, and this year we have revived our early morning rendezvous. His understanding of tennis is better. And he's able to enjoy the strawberries and cream with me. I've livened up the traditional recipe, with a splash of balsamic vinegar that adds a nice, complex flavor to the cream.Recipe for strawberries and cream with balsamic
Wash and dry the strawberries, then slice off the stems. You can leave the berries whole, or cut them up for easier eating with a spoon.
Combine the cream, sugar and balsamic in a bowl. Whip until it just begins to thicken and peak. Top a bowl of strawberries with a dollop of cream.
This afternoon I'm boarding a plane for London, getting ready for my next round of tours. Looking at the date on my tickets, I realized that today is another famous date in history: today is June 6, the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. This video is a beautifully done look at the course of the invasion, with images that mix historic footage with modern looks at many of the memorials, museums and other sights of Normandy today. Once you click on the English version and are taken to the "movie theater," it takes a few minutes for the video to load and start playing, so if you just get a little black screen -- be patient, it'll start up eventually.
As a follow up to yesterday's post here's a link to BBC animated map that walks you through the crumbling of Communism in Europe, starting with Poland and ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
As someone who grew up in the Cold War era, the specter of the Soviet Union and the Communist East Bloc is still tangibly near. It takes an effort of will for me to comprehend that it has really been 20 years since Communism came crashing down in Europe.
On June 4, 1989, elections in Poland propelled Solidarity into power in Poland. Their landslide victory, which gave them all but one seat in the new government, led to a quick and bloodless end to Communism in Poland. It was the first rip in a movement that would bring the Iron Curtain crashing down in less than six months.
Take a look at this video, a report from Poland filed by the BBC on the eve of the 1989 elections. You can also see the Full BBC story on the celebrations taking place in Poland to mark the 20th anniversary.
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