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Here and Now

Weekdays 12 Noon - 2 p.m.
  • Hosted by Robin Young, Peter O'Dowd and Tonya Mosley

Paddling in the middle of a fast moving stream of news and information, Here & Now is public radio’s daily digest of news and culture. Produced by WBUR in Boston.

More from the archives

When my daughters were young they would spend hours in the kitchen preparing Mother’s Day breakfast for me. My “job” was to luxuriate in bed while they cooked for me under the supervision of their father. I would hear them squabble over each step of the meal, and then witness the pride they took in preparing a Mother’s Day breakfast for me.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young listens back to her conversation with former New York City Ballet star Jacques d’Amboise, who died Sunday at 86 after a stroke.

Watch on YouTube.

Watch on YouTube.

Watch on YouTube.

Jazz composer Terence Blanchard's work on Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods" is nominated for Best Original Score at the Oscars.

The film follows four Black Vietnam War veterans returning to the country to chase old ghosts and a stashed cache of gold. Otis, Melvin, Paul, Eddy and Paul’s son, David, are all named after the five members of The Temptations.

Blanchard's score accompanies the vets into the jungle with snare drums, trumpets and the dignity of a "Masterpiece Theater" special on war. The Grammy-winning composer has either played on or scored Lee's films for decades.

During the start of the pandemic last year, my family celebrated Passover via Zoom. It was unsafe for us to gather around the table for the traditional Seder meal that marks the Jewish holiday. Passover is a celebration of spring and freedom for Jews and people of all faiths. This year, despite vaccines and declining COVID-19 cases, we are still playing it safe and sadly we will again hold a virtual Seder.

The Day The NBA Shut Down

Mar 11, 2021

A year ago on March 11, NBA player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. The news came just as his Utah Jazz team was scheduled to tip-off against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

That game was never played, and the entire NBA season was quickly suspended. A new ESPN podcast documents that day’s developments.

It’s been about a full year of pandemic life, shifting nearly everything in ways we never imagined. A year of not commuting to an office for some of us, but rather staying home and cooking meals once, twice, three times a day.

So many of us are tired of trying to find ways to make dinners that are fast, delicious, healthy or, at the very least, comforting.

When Dr. Jane Martin’s workplace posted a photo of her receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, she didn’t expect what would come next.

In the picture, Martin’s nine-month pregnant belly was in full view, which got a lot of people fired up online. Self-proclaimed vaccination experts scolded the doctor over her choice to get the vaccine while pregnant.

Since getting both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the mother of three and a second-year maternal-fetal medicine fellow at Ochsner Health has given birth to a healthy baby girl named Rosemary.

Based on what I’ve heard from listeners during the pandemic, there seem to be two common threads when it comes to our changing relationship to cooking and being home in our kitchens so much more than “normal.”

The first common cry is the search for inspiration for quick, simple, healthy meals. And the second most common complaint is all those dishes. It seems that for so many what keeps them from cooking more are the dishes that need to be washed not once but three times a day!

Last week, Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd spoke with author Gabrielle Glaser about her new book, “American Baby,” which details one woman’s lifelong search for her son.

In the 1960s, as a young, unmarried mother, Margaret Erle was forced to place her infant up for adoption — and then the records were sealed. In the U.S., unethical adoptions were a common occurrence for decades in the mid-20th century, Glaser reports in her book.

Spice Things Up With A Touch Of Turmeric

Jan 28, 2021

Turmeric — with its brilliant golden-yellow color and floral, warming, slightly musky taste — is one of the primary flavors in Indian and Southeast Asian cooking. It is what gives curry powder its bright yellow color and has been used as both a spice and a medicinal herb in India for thousands of years.

Recently turmeric has become one of the darlings of the food world. Turmeric tea, turmeric milk, turmeric lattes, smoothies and turmeric-spiced foods of all kinds are featured on menus and in packaged foods.

Celery is like a middle child: It’s dependable, frequently ignored and most often seriously undervalued. It's the one vegetable that you can almost always find in the grocery store.

Celery is crisp, green, crunchy and flavorful. It's inexpensive and gets relegated to the lowly status of "diet food." Try to recall the last time you heard someone say, "I just ate the best stalk of celery!”

I often feel sentimental at year's end, thinking back on great times with family and friends, outstanding meals, travel and discoveries. But I won't shed a tear to see 2020 fade out. Bring in 2021.

How do you say goodbye to one of the worst years in memory? Is celebrating even an appropriate response?

I say we need to celebrate now more than ever. As we wrap up a year that has brought such hardship for so many around the world, we need to find light and look to the future. And creating a memorable meal is one of the best ways I know to celebrate.

Making food gifts from your own kitchen is one of the most meaningful presents you can give. And this year, as it becomes increasingly difficult to go out and shop due to the pandemic, staying home and cooking makes even more sense.

It doesn’t need to be complex or elaborate. A batch of cookies, homemade candy, a sweet sauce tied up with string with a card and the recipe attached are wonderful presents. Here is a collection of some new — and a few favorite — gifts from my kitchen. I’ve also put together a short list of food gifts you can order online.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has long asked Americans to wear masks in public spaces, but last Friday they advised to wear a mask everywhere outside of your home.

How To Maximize Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Nov 30, 2020

Our refrigerators will probably look a bit different the day after Thanksgiving this year. With so many staying home and having smaller celebrations, the amount and variety of leftovers will be limited. But there are still dozens of interesting ways to use leftovers to create great meals for days to come.

There's soup to make, and sandwiches to build. The classic midnight sandwich: turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and/or stuffing, and hot gravy piled onto any type of sandwich bread.

If you need help baking pie this Thanksgiving, take a course at food writer Ken Haedrich‘s “Pie Academy.”

How do you celebrate a holiday during a pandemic? How do you maintain rituals and traditions when you can't safely be at the same table with the friends and family you traditionally celebrate with?

2020 is the year of thinking outside the box. We need to reinvent the holidays, focusing on safety and health. But how do we safely find the pleasures that so many of us look forward to each holiday season?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends very strict guidelines.

If you’re looking for some comic relief, look no further than David Sedaris.

The humorist has picked his best essays from nearly 30 years of work and published them in a new collection called “The Best of Me.”

There were a lot of pieces to choose from, but Sedaris says he narrowed it down easily.

With schools across the country back in session, some have been forced to temporarily shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

At Lincoln High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, 9th grade English teacher Sydney Jensen says she’s facing “the hardest year of teaching” she’s experienced in her eight years on the job. In previous years she loved going to work every morning, she says, but now she’s feeling burned out.

“I ask myself a lot of days how much longer I can do this,” says Jensen, a 2019 Teacher of the Year in Nebraska. “And that is not something that I’m used to.”

 

By the time he left the presidency, Theodore Roosevelt had saved an unprecedented 230 million acres of American land.

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