The Flywheel

Program for March 30, 2007

Paul Levitan

The founder of Galaxy Deserts, Paul Levitan, talks about premium food processing and building a new business in Richmond.

We're all hoping Paul will bring samples.

MEETING OF March 23, 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Richmond Rotary President George Egan rang the bell, called the meeting to order, and asked for a moment of silence for world peace. Ralph Hill led the pledge of allegiance. Prez-in-waiting Pam Jones had a thought for the day from Thomas Jefferson: “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more luck I have.”

Rotarians with Guests

  • Henry Kelman invited his son, Benjamin.
  • Rhonda Harris invited Art Hatchett of Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP).

Sunshine Report

David K reported that

  • Werner Schwarz has had pneumonia but is recovering. David said that Werner asked him to remind the Club that there’s something which is the opposite of Microsoft and that he doesn’t need to be replaced (yet).
  • Elof Granberg is doing better in his recovery from infection after knee surgery.
  • Lisa McIntosh’s mother passed away. Services will be held at Easter Hill Community Church on Wednesday, March 28, at 11:00am.


  • Joe Bagley passed around a sign-up list for volunteers to help serve dinners at GRIP from April 9-13 (Monday – Friday), from 5:45pm – 6:45pm. He needs a minimum of 4 people per shift so please try to lend a hand. You can email Joe with your availability, or call him at 234-4554.
  • David Brown reported that Liliane Koziol is WAY out front when it comes to returning blue piggy banks full of coinage and paper bills.
  • Don Hardison passed around another list for people to contribute to the purchase of needed computers for the Richmond Art Center. Fifteen generous givers responded in January when a first list was passed around by Jon Lawlis and Don wanted others to have a second chance. Make checks payable to Richmond Rotary and indicate RAC at the bottom.
  • Erle Brown made an announcement that recognized President George Egan for having donated over $6000 to the Rotary Foundation.


Joe Baggs handled recognitions.

  • In what might be called a meandering manner, Joe started talking about what happened in 1916 (yeah, 91 years ago!). Something about a Monet painting on January 1st of that year. Then there was the first ever US air combat mission, against Pancho Villa, no less?! Then there were comments about President Woodrow Wilson as well as mention of various celebrities born in that year (recall, 1916), like Jackie Gleason, Dinah Shore, Glenn Ford, Walter Cronkite, Kirk Douglass and Bette Grable. And, finally, (drum roll!), on March 23 of 1916, our very own Don Hardison was born. Happy B-Day, Don!! [Scribe side note: Don joined Richmond Rotary in the same year I came into this crazy world, 1945.]
  • Rich Alexander and his wife, Kathryn, celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary on St. Patrick’s day, a matrimonial milestone that always ensures they’ll never party alone
  • Henry Kelman and his wife of 22 years, Kathleen, enjoyed a “relaxing” anniversary together
  • David Brown’s celebrating his lucky 13th year in the Club.
  • As of March 11, George Egan has been in the Club a total of 19 years, not including break time.
  • Dan Sanders has celebrated 32 years in Rotary. He noted that, back in 1975 when he was looking into service clubs, he chose Rotary because it’s “involved in things I care about.”

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • David Brown had happy dollars because his youngest child is newly engaged to be married.
  • Jim Young had proud, happy dollars for his oldest son in Georgetown speaking on matters of importance (with expertise) and for his youngest son who’s involved in test flights of his senior aeronautics project.
  • Herb Cole had happy dollars for having spent last Friday (Grandparents Day) in Bakersfield, where his 14-year old granddaughter performed as the lead singer in a Rock group, much to granddad’s amazement about just how wide that generation gap can be!
  • Jan Brown had some happy dollars, not only for pride in her dad and his 91st birthday, but also for the pride (and relief?!) that the now concluded 3-week visit by Russian architects was so successful, thanks to the above-and-beyond hospitality and professionalism exhibited by so many members of Richmond Rotary. Not least among the many people who contributed mightily was Margaret Morkowski, who received a warm round of applause in absentia.

Raffle Results

Sailor extraordinaire Rich Brandes had his ticket drawn but then had to settle for the little white ball.

The Program

The Ultimate Inner Cook

Jim Young introduced Marsha Tomassi, whose home cooking has long been a favorite bidding item in Richmond Rotary’s Annual Auction. After many, many years in banking (can’t be that many since she’s such a young person), Marsha decided to do what books say to do: live your passion! So she developed her own cooking and catering business around some basic principles like good food is what’s good for you and less can be more. In a couple of words, she promotes “healthy cooking” (which means more than keeping your hands off the burner).

Marsha reminded the culinarily challenged among us of the alphabetical underpinnings of cooking, as found in “FASS” (which stands for Fat, Acid, Salt, and Sweet).

  • The best source of Fat for cooking is olive oils (butter’s ok for mushrooms). Make note that not all olive oils are the same (extra virgin being from the first crush only). And freshness matters.
  • Lemons provide the best source of Acid for cooking. Vinegar’s ok but lemons (and limes) are best. Since tartness varies, start with lemons first in making salad dressing.
  • Sea Salt is best, not the processed variety that’s bleached and artificially fortified with Iodine. Marsha likes the fine-grain sea salts.
  • For the Sweet in cooking, use organic Grade “B” maple syrup. It’s got a musty, earthy quality.

Marsha enjoys being invited into a kitchen for a thorough “re-hab and re-org”, which usually starts with throwing away a lot of things and then restocking with mostly good-for-you organic foods. And don’t keep spices on the shelf too long because, after 6-12 months, beneficial characteristics dissipate.

Much to the chagrin of all us grab-a-snack-and-eat-on-the-run folk, Marsha laid some verbal abuse on everything from Lunchables to peanut butter and various other goodies which contain added chemicals and BAD partially hydrogenated anything (like High Fructose Corn Syrup, HFCS, which should be avoided at all costs).

So what to eat? In the vegetable category, green leafy’s are best, including broccoli and asparagus. Yams (actually a tuber) are great as are vine-ripened tomatoes (especially if cooked), egg plant (challenging to cook!), kale, and Swiss chard.

Marsha told us she’ll probably be opening a kitchen in the old Perelli Cannery building, where Club member Barbara M.’s wine business will soon be located, complete with contract wine making and tasting rooms.

- Rotating Editor, Scribe, etc: Tom Waller