My Sous Chef Sue Serves Brunch

From baking to soap-making there is very little my Sous Chef Sue, my wife, cannot do.

Teacher. Reader. Giver. Lover. Designer. Gardener.

I am usually the cook in our home, busy in the kitchen making breakfast, lunch and dinner–or outside grilling salmon or steak or hamburgers, and she is the baker. (This thought reminds me of the song “Baking” by Aztec Two-Step (Their Homepage here.), who I saw perform at The Main Point (Other acts seen there listed below.) in Bryn Mawr, PA when I was a freshman at Villanova University. I was studying to be a teacher. I would have been a great teacher, or so I have been told, but I fell in love with Art History. My degree is in Art History and English from Manhattanville College. I have also been told I would have been a good minister, this after speaking frequently in church, but that story is for another time.)

My Sous Chef Sue made Chive Buttermilk Biscuits

Tarragon Chicken Salad

and Berry Cobbler

The first two from this great cookbook (Look for it and buy it; you won’t regret it.):

And the Cobbler from another great gardening and cookbook:

Here are the original recipes:

Bon Appetit!

Other artists seen at The Main Point include: Cat Stevens, Jerry Jeff Walker, David Bromberg, Livingston Taylor, and others. And larger acts at The Electric Factory–Dr. John, John Mayall, Savoy Brown, Johnny Winter and Procol Harum. I think I saw Black Sabbath–but it’s long ago and now a cloudy memory. And an even bigger venue–The Spectrum: Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Chicago.

The Photographer Stood Up The Bride

When I worked as a wedding photographer, I would often get personal notes from the brides:

“Thanks you so much for being a part of the wedding. You were a great addition to the night! You were a big hit.  We had a few people comment on how sweet and Professional you were. “

“I want to have another wedding just so I can have you take the pictures. There is triple magic in your photos because they reflect all that is best and beautiful in people and the earth. Your vision/gift is priceless.”

“I am still viewing your photos every day with all of the awe and appreciation I’ve ever had.  Thank you so much for bringing so much beauty into my life.”

My wife and my delivery person, we’ll call her Sarah, cannot write such a note.


The photographer stood her up.

She repeatedly asked for a contract but was never given one. And all-of-a-sudden her wedding day came. And the photographer stood her up.

Buyer Bride Beware. We get contracts for home renovations, automobiles and so many other things. Always get a contract–or another photographer.

Here’s a sample contract I used:

Bruce Barone, Fine Art Wedding Photography
Contract for April and Matthew

Your August 18th wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and enjoying yourself should be a big part of that day. My philosophy is simple: I follow my heart and if I enjoy what I do, then you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself as well! Having fun brings out the best in people, and I work each minute to capture those "once in a lifetime" moments that will make your wedding special and memorable! 

In order to provide the best documentation of your day, I will spend time beforehand learning about you and your wedding plans. When photographing your wedding, my goal is to create a beautiful record of your wedding day, telling your story from beginning to end, including preparations, getting ready, portraits, the ceremony and reception, rehearsal and day-after events.

After the wedding, I will work with you to create an original Photo Essay Book/Album that tells the story of your wedding from start to finish. 

Your Wedding Package includes: 

~Two photographers for the entire wedding day
~A proof portfolio of your images 
~A private web site of your images available for friends and family to view and order prints
~A high resolution DVD of images 
~Free wallet photos
~Free Membership in my Lifetime Portrait Club (no sitting fee—ever!)
Cost: $4,500 (50% payable within one week of contract date) now, 50% payable on/or before August 18.

Please sign below. I will sign and return a copy to you upon receipt of your deposit.

_________________________    ______________________

Thank You.
Bruce Barone

My mission is to connect with people, inspire people and build community. See and share beauty.

Here are a few of my photos, including the one above.

Spicy Pork Stir Fry with Bok Choy

On a recent Sunday, I made a Pork Roast Smothered with Sauerkraut.

A few days later, I made Spicy Pork Fry with the leftover pork. So delicious.


-1 pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), thinly sliced across the grain into 2-inch-long strips (I used the leftovers from a 3 pound pork roast; photo below.)
-1½ teaspoons cornstarch
-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-Kosher salt
-3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
-2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
-2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry (I used Mirin.)
-2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
-6 scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
-1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced crosswise
-8 small or 4 large heads baby bok choy, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, or 1 head larger bok choy, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
-1 cup sliced mushrooms (My addition.)
-Steamed white rice, chopped toasted cashews or peanuts, sesame seeds, and/or thinly sliced fresh chiles (for serving; optional)


Step 1

Toss pork, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce in a medium bowl. Stir vinegar, wine, and remaining 2 Tbsp. soy sauce in a small bowl. Have all your other ingredients prepped and ready to go (once you start cooking, there isn’t a stopping point and you’ll need them handy).

Step 2

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet (not nonstick) over high. When oil is shimmering and slides quickly across surface of pan, add scallions and ginger and cook, tossing, until scallions are browned and softened, about 2 minutes. Add bok choy and a pinch of salt and cook, tossing often, until leaves are bright green and wilted and white parts are crisp-tender, 4–6 minutes. Transfer bok choy mixture to another medium bowl.

Step 3

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over high. When oil is shimmering again, add pork mixture and arrange pieces in a single layer in skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until pork is browned and caramelized on first side, about 1 minute. Toss and continue to cook until pork is no longer pink and is cooked through, about a minute or two longer. Pour in wine mixture and bok choy mixture and cook, tossing briskly, until sauce is thickened and all ingredients are coated, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and taste, then season with more salt, if desired. (Note: Because I used the leftover pork I quickly stir-fried it wok till crisp and then added bok choy and the other ingredients to wok.)

Step 4

Divide stir-fry among plates. Serve with rice alongside, if using. Sprinkle with desired toppings.

~ Based on a recipe from Bon Appetit.

I’m So Glad

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

~L.M. Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author, best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908.

Montgomery was born at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 30, 1874. She came to live at Leaskdale, north of Uxbridge Ontario, after her wedding with Rev. Ewen Macdonald on July 11, 1911. She had three children and wrote close to a dozen books while she was living in the Leaskdale Manse before the family moved to Norval, Ontario in 1926. She died in Toronto April 24, 1942 and was buried at Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

I’m so glad. I’m glad I’m glad I’m glad.