Brisket goes by different names but all called delicious

Monday Munch, May 8
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or until the food is gone

Come for Monday Munch at the Charlotte Senior Center and enjoy a New England update on a food that in southern Texas dates back to indigenous Native Americans. These days, plenty of Texans consider smoked brisket the national dish of Texas.

Eaten around the world, brisket is the basis of a spicy soup in Korea, a dish with green vegetables in Australia and braised in dark beer in Germany. It’s called bollito misto in Northern Italy, nihari in Pakistan, suea rang hai in Thailand. At the Charlotte Senior Center, beef brisket cabbage soup is cooked with tomatoes, carrots and onions, and it is called delicious.

Let’s give a special nod to the cabbage in this soup. Sometimes called the friendless vegetable, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture explaining that it stopped collecting data on it in 1982 because they found “no special interest.” But please note: Cabbage may lack the influential punch provided by a special interest lobby, but the American Cancer Society applauds the fact that cabbage is loaded with fiber and is high in vitamin C. This is plenty of evidence for you to come to Monday Munch and eat up.”

Carrots in this soup offer another benefit. Nutritionists say that eating a carrot a day, with its calcium and vitamin A, is like signing a health insurance policy. And, for scientific reasons we won’t go into here, the cooked carrots in Monday’s soup are actually better for you than raw ones. Another reason to come eat up.

As for singing, “Boiled Beef and Carrots” is a comedic music hall song published in 1909, extolling the virtues of a typical English food favorite.

Boiled beef and carrots,
Boiled beef and carrots,
That’s the stuff for your “Derby Kell,”
Makes you fit and keeps you well.
Don’t live like vegetarians
On food they give to parrots,
Blow out your kite, from morn ‘til night,
On boiled beef and carrots.
Here’s the Eastenders’ version of the same song on BBC.

Thursday, May 11
Men’s breakfast, 7-9 a.m.
To register, contact Tim McCullough. Register by the Tuesday before the breakfast. Suggested donation is $6.

Grab-&-Go Meal pickup 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lasagna roll-up with tomato marinara meat sauce, vegetable blend, wheat bread, strawberry cake and milk. Registration required by the prior Monday.

Monday Munch, May 15
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Menu to be announced. Visit the website.

May 15, 1856: L. Frank Baum was born. He had trouble finding a publisher for “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” because it was judged “too radical” a change from traditional books published for children. Finally, the book was published in 1900 on Frank’s 44th birthday, after he and the illustrator paid all the expenses. The list of writers expressing affection for Oz is long, including Ray Bradbury, Angela Carter, Arthur C. Clarke, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shirley Jackson, Salman Rushdie, James Thurber, William Styron, John Updike, Gore Vidal and Eudora Welty.

There were several roads nearby, but it did not take Dorothy long to find the one paved with yellow bricks. Within a short time, she was walking briskly toward the Emerald City; her shoes inherited witch shoes (that were not red as in the movie but silver in the book) tinkling merrily on the hard, yellow roadbed.

You don’t need any special shoes to sing along with Judy Garland in the 1939 film.

Here, you can listen to a variety of interpretations of “Over the Rainbow,” from Judy Garland to Ella Fitzgerald.

Not making back production costs after its first release, the film was rereleased in 1949. In 1956, it premiered on television. According to the U.S. Library of Congress, it is now the most viewed film in movie history. I would only add that when I was 8, as a very special treat, a family friend took me to see the film. Thereafter, I have remembered that as the scariest time I ever experienced in a movie theater.

Though a voracious reader, I never went near Baum’s book until I did research of a Chicago public school second grade. There, I saw children’s great enthusiasm for the book.

Thursday, May 18
Age Well meal pickup 10-11 a.m.
Chicken breast with vegetable sweet-n-sour sauce, brown rice pilaf with veggies and cannellini beans, Brussels sprouts, wheat roll with butter, ricotta cookie and milk.

Suggested Age Well donation is $5, but it’s not required. Pay what you can, when you can.