In these times of Covid -19, there is one bright spot in the day – Andrew Cuomo’s press conferences. This is according to my sister, who, apparently, has a crush on Cuomo. To be fair, and in her defense, what’s there not to like? The man is easy on the eyes – he is trim, well-dressed, with a nice head of hair. When he speaks, it is in grammatically correct English, with sentences that complete a thought. He is lucid and rational with his explanations, measured in tone, and well-informed. He knows history. His affection for his daughters – out there for all to see – is sweet. His visual aides are straightforward, comprehensive and comprehensible, based on scientific research. And the on-air riffs with his brother are hilarious. His eyes twinkle when he smiles. While he takes his position as governor seriously, he knows how to laugh at himself. No gaffes here, nothing like what we are routinely tormented with these days – unwittingly cringe-worthy statements consistently made by old men.

Given the current panoply of – well, frankly – morons out there who talk too much and yet have nothing valuable or helpful to say, who makes you want to tear your hear out – well, really – who can blame a mature, knowledgeable and discerning woman for crushin’ on Cuomo? You go, girl.

So my sister, who does not live in New York state, listens to Cuomo’s conferences every day in order to receive a clear, accurate picture of the current state of affairs. It allays, somewhat, the anxiety felt as we navigate through this pandemic. Sometimes, a little extra is thrown in – like a tour through the Governor’s mansion. It is human, and it is a connection between a true political leader and his constituents. Next step, the White House? A girl can only dream.

On Memorial Day, we honor true heroes – men and women who have laid down their lives to protect certain ideals: democracy, liberty and honesty. And to protect them for everyone, young, old, vulnerable, poor, black, white, sick, healthy. Loving others is not a weakness – it is the truest measure of a man.

So, here’s to Cuomo – you can check him out every day, around 11:30 EST – a little piece of clarity in the midst of all this chaos.

***

Sour Cherry Cake (for the picnic) (and to gain even more weight)

  • 3 T dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t kosher salt
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ t vanilla extract
  • ½ t grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups sour cherries, pitted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Add half the flour mixture and beat at low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until just incorporated. Beat in the milk, then the rest of the flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the cherries. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack to cool.

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