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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

February 23, 2017
Feed the Good

Solutions for "polarizing tension"

A New England Clam Chowder

Relationship Articles from

Places to Go!
One More ClamChowder Recipe
Click to view our Business Directory
  Feed the Good

(0 Feb 2017) HumanNature_WolfYouFeed.jpgJust imagine --with our years of experience about universal qualities of human nature, if the name calling and gossip, is upsetting to us adults--  how this acrimony harms our children if they are exposed to even a whiff of it.

We can provide our very young children with uplifting stories about good character, kind deeds, making difficult and right choices, games that develop thinking skills and more. We can expose them to art, music and dance, take them to museums, zoos, parks.  Early on we can explore the differing facets of ideas, choices and consequences. Then, as they become developmentally ready for exposure to "the larger world," we have armed them with tools to determine facts, examine varied opinions and sort the wheat from the chaff when viewing "news."

In case you can't make the two day Clam Chowder Cook-off this weekend, I'm sharing two favorite clam chowder recipes.  What a great rainy day dinner.

It's still February.(0 Feb 2017) ValentineHearts1.jpg  We bring you a medley of thought provoking articles on fine tuning relationships! 

(2 Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease share our newsletter with new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events!

Have a relaxing weekend,  Parmalee


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  Solutions for "polarizing tension"

(0 Feb 2017) Book_LoveandWas.jpgAre you living with polarizing tension? Are you in a relationship like Matalin and Carville or friends with someone whose political perspectives perplex and confound you? Have you fallen out with friends or relatives because they don't respect your beliefs or you don't respect theirs? Or have you been able to find areas where you can agree and to set aside those areas where you disagree?

I came across an article written by the Jennifer Dukes Lee, (0 Feb 2017) Book_HappinessDare.jpgwho is in a marriage with daily "polarizing tension." Yet Lee, author of "The Happiness Dare" has found the positive in this situation: "In a weird way, the tension in my home is a gift. It’s a hard and painful gift, but I choose to call it a gift anyway. Because it is teaching us something very important about what it means to find unity in the midst of a sharp divide." 

I was immediately intrigued because perhaps this author has found a solution for all of us, and not just how to live with disagreements over politics but fundamental disagreements over any issue.


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  A New England Clam Chowder

(0 Feb 2017) ClamChowderandBread.jpgThis simple, tasty recipe comes from generations of New England relatives. The more contemporary ingredients have the approval of all four of my "home-chef" brothers.  Notice that precise amounts are not given.  YOU get to be the architect of your very own chowder.  

Old school chowder started with sauteing salt pork and onion then adding your fish or seafood stock before adding the vegetables.  Instead of salt pork today we use a little bacon to start out the flavor base and drain most of the fat after it's rendered.  You may saute the onion now, or add it to the stock later.

If you are fortunate enough to have fresh, live clams, place them in a cooler with water and corn meal long enough (4-6 hours) to clean the sand out of the clams. Second choice is fresh clams.  Third choice is canned clams.  If using canned, go for the high quality. Cook the clams separately in very little water and then cut them up. 

Save the fluid from cooking the clams for the soup pot, being careful to pour off just the stock and not the sand.  Better than Bouillion sells a clam stock  if you want to up the clam flavor.

Prepare peeled, small-cubed Yukon Gold potatoes, minced onion and celery chopped small.

Cook everything in the seafood stock with enough fluid to cover your solids until it's nearly done and then separate the stock to thicken it in another pot with a roux.  You can do a traditional roux with flour although potato flour (typically available in health food stores) as a thickener works fairly well and does not leave a flour taste.  

To get the chowder white add Half and Half until it gets to the desired color and thickness.

(0 Feb 2017) ClamChowder7.jpgSeason to taste with fresh ground pepper and top with some fresh herbs (chopped dill or fennel fronds go particularly well with chowders).

Serve with a nice toasted crusty piece of baguette bread and you have a hearty meal.


1. A Mendocino twist on New England chowder includes chopped carrots in the dish which adds nice color.  Add the carrots at the same time as the other vegetables.

2. A twist on traditional chowder is adding chopped, roasted red peppers to the chowder as you are about to eat.  The colors look festive.  If you put the roasted red peppers in the soup while simmering it turns pink.

3. Another interesting variation is to simmer saffron in the seafood stock before you add it to your pot with the vegetables.  This ends up tinting your chowder a light yellow color which is very appealing.

4. If you're making fish chowder with a whitefish like Cod, Pollock or Haddock simply put that in after the stock has been thickened, 10 to 15 minutes before it's time to eat.  Be sure to get your fish from a reliable source, no skimping on quality.


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  Relationship Articles from

Relationships require work.  This website,, offers some intriguing explanations in areas of relationship challenges.  Take your pick if the title appeals to you!

 Be the Change You Want To See
We spend a lot of time trying to change other people. There is, after all, so...
 If You Loved Me, You Wouldn't Want to Change Me
There are - when you start adding incidents up - rather a lot of things...
 Why We Go Cold on Our Partners
The story of the path to coldness in love is well known. We start off full of...
 On the Dangers of Being Too Defensive
It's not easy, trying to have a relationship if you're both so defended and...
 Love and Sulking
One of the most exciting aspects of the early days of a relationship can be the...
The Problems of Closeness
In order to survive in the world, we have little option but to spend our lives...
 An Instruction Manual to Oneself
Most machines of any degree of complexity are offered to us with an instruction...
 On How to Defuse an Argument
The simplest way to defuse your partner's fury is not to tell them to calm...
 Why You're (Probably) Not a Great Communicator
One of the ideals of modern relationships is that both parties will be "good...
 Beyond Feminism
Before there was Feminism in the wealthy developed nations, there reigned a...
  Getting over a Row
It was horrendous while it was going on. You said some awful things - though...
 Why Affectionate Teasing is Kind and Necessary
It may not seem like it, but teasing done with affection and skill is a...
 Why You Are So Annoyed By What You Once Admired
One of the things that makes us fall in love with people is realising they can...
 How 'Transference' Makes You Hard to Live With
You're flicking through a fashion magazine and playfully suggest that your...


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  Places to Go!

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Santa Cruz Forest School, Meet-N-Greet 2/23


CANCELLED (WEATHER)      Mount Madonna PreK-12, Open House 2/25


Chartwell School 1-12, Open House 3/7


Gateway School K-8, School Day Tour 3/9


Mount Madonna PreK-12, Campus Tour 3/15


Tara Redwood School, Elementary, Campus Tour 3/22

Pajaro Valley Quilters

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PVQA members have busy hands and big hearts! Three groups within PVQA provide cozy quilts to children and adults in need in our community. They make quilts from donated fabrics. Drop by for an hour or join them regularly -it's rewarding and serves those most in need.

Donations of clean cotton fabrics, battings, and backing-size pieces are always appreciated. Stop by, meet new friends, get involved!

Looking for something you saw in a previous newsletter?

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T - Is it True?

H - Is it Helpful?

I - Is it Inspiring?

N - Is it Necessary?

K - Is it Kind?

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Community Restoration
click to view website
  Community Restoration
Watsonville Wetlands
Date: 01/27/2018 from 9:30am to 12:00pm
Details: Join us to help restore wetlands...
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-345-1226 view all details >>
Wildcat Weekend
click to view website
  Wildcat Weekend
San Francisco Zoo
Date: Every day (Aug 5-Aug 6) from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Experience amazing felines from bobcats to tigers and...
City: San Francisco view all details >>
Beyond Conflict
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  Beyond Conflict
view all details >>
Clam Chowder Cook-Off
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  Clam Chowder Cook-Off
City of Santa Cruz
Date: Every day (Feb 24-Feb 25)
Details: Join the fun and excitement as talented Chefs from throughout the West Coast compete for the glory of the BEST CLAM CHOWDER!
Special Instructions: Each Tasting Kit Includes 6 taste tickets, spoon, cup, and a People's Choice ballot.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Veterans Dinner
click to view website
  Veterans Dinner
SLV Museum
Date: 11/11/2017 at 6:00pm
Details: Date: November 11, 2017, 6pm Click Here To  Buy Tickets   Join
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8382 view all details >>
Beyond Conflict
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  Beyond Conflict
view all details >>
Beyond Conflict
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  Beyond Conflict
view all details >>
Screenagers: Life in the Digital Age
click to view website
  Screenagers: Life in the Digital Age
Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz City Schools
Date: 02/23/2017 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Ages: ALL
Details: Screenagers: Life in the Digital Age, about the challenges of the digital age for teens
Special Instructions: Must RSVP with a ticket:
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-429-3410 view all details >>
Beyond Conflict
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  Beyond Conflict
view all details >>
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
click to view website
  Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
UCSC Recreation
Date: Every day (Feb 22-Feb 25) at 7:00pm
Details: Ignite your passion for adventure, action & travel!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Crab Feed is Back
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  Crab Feed is Back
Boulder Creek Fire Station
Date: 04/13/2018 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Ages: All
Details: Proceeds go towards the purchase of Rescue and Medical equipment.
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-7222 view all details >>
Ragtime Festival
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  Ragtime Festival
Santa Cruz Ragtime
Date: Every day (Feb 24-Feb 26) at 7:30pm
Details: If you love the sound of ragtime, you can catch sidewalk ragtime acts throughout the weekend...corner of Pacific and Cooper
Special Instructions: Friday, February 24th, with performances continuing until Sunday at 4:00PM.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Trivia Challenge
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  Trivia Challenge
Santa Cruz Volunteer Center
Date: 02/24/2017 from 6:00pm to 9:30pm
Details: Enjoy an evening of hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine, music, raffle prizes, and a trivia contest. Teams compete and spectators play
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
  One More ClamChowder Recipe

Here's a worthy clam chowder from New England.

(0 Feb 2017) ClamChowder5.jpgIngredients

  • 1 slice hickory-smoked bacon, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Blend (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 can clams (6-1/2 ounces)
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1-1/2 cups Half and Half
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced very small


Spice Blend: 4 t oregano, 4 t dried parsley, 2 t marjoram, 2 t dill, 4 t thyme, 4 t basil, 1 t sage, 4 t rosemary, 2 t tarragon, 1 T all-purpose flour, crushing in a mortar if possible. Store in a resealable plastic bag to refrigerate.

In a heavy-bottomed, 4-pint soup kettle, sauté bacon, butter, onion, garlic and the Spice Blend over low heat.

Do not allow to brown. Drain clams and set aside, reserving the juice. Slowly stir the flour and clam juices in the sauté mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Add Half and Half and simmer 20 minutes. Add white pepper, potatoes and clams. Heat to serving temperature. Do not allow to boil, as this toughens the clams. Serve at once with warm baguette.

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