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Will Work for Food

September 6, 2011

Rovender Kitt in The Search for WondLa: “Sure, I eat because I have to. But I also eat because I want to. It is one of life’s few pleasures.”

Has anyone ever had a popover? If you have, you know the mouthwatering awesomeness that comes with ripping open this puffnormous egg-battered muffin and dipping it into sweet apple butter. Fattening: Um, what do you think? Taste: The only thing better would be an ice cream flavor called “Apple Butter Popover”.

There is a restaurant in the center of our town, called Judie’s, that serves a pretty amazing popover. Bear in mind, I was introduced to this beloved pastry in New York City by a popover expert named Michael Kaluta at his favorite haunt, Popover Café, so my standards are high. And I daresay that Judie’s restaurant exceeds that standard. (I’m simply stating this so Kaluta will come for a visit to challenge my statement…then fall in love with the area, move here, and we can hang out again like we used to.)

We’ve been enjoying Judie’s cooking since we moved to Amherst in 2002. Sophia loves the soups (like her mom), the sun fries, and of course a popover. Soph will happily rip and dip her pop with one hand while scribbling away with another on Judie’s coloring page as she waits for her entrée to arrive. Imagine our delight one evening while dining, when Judie herself sat down to catch up with us about all things DiTerlizzi.

Judie: “Hey guys. Howya doin?”

Us: “Good!”

Judie: “Wow. Sophia is getting big. And she likes to color, just like her dad.”

Sophia: “I love to color things pink!”

Ang: “You know, Judie, you should think about a new coloring page…”

Judie: “Yeah. We’ve had this one for awhile. It may be time to retire it. But who would draw the new one?”

Ang: “Hmmm…I wonder…Let me think…I know!”

Judie: “Tony?”

Ang: “Tony.”

Sophia: “Dad!”

…above is my sketch done that night with Sophia. She thought a dragon would be cool to color for both boys and girls. I like that. I hope my fellow Amherstians do too.

And, yes – I asked Judie to pay me in food. Specifically popovers. I may be a few extra pounds when you see me next, but I’ll be smiling.


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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.