hotTEA of the week: Paul McCartney

The cute Beatle is 73 years old today!


“Nothing pleases me more than to go into a room and come out with a piece of music.”
"So, if I'm cooking, I'll be steaming vegetables, making some nice salad, that kind of stuff."
“So, if I’m cooking, I’ll be steaming vegetables, making some nice salad, that kind of stuff.”
"But you know, as a kid I would have thought of a vegetarian as a wimp."
“But you know, as a kid I would have thought of a vegetarian as a wimp.”


Will you play us out?
(What a voice, what a face, what a song!)


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hotTEA of the week: george harrison

“All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.”

George would have turned 72 on the 25th of this month. Enjoy this acoustic demo version of “Something” from the Beatles Anthology with some nice stills of “the quiet Beatle.”

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you say it’s your birthday?

“One of my biggest thrills for me still is sitting down with a guitar or a piano and just out of nowhere trying to make a song happen.” ~ Paul McCartney

Ribbet collage paulSir James Paul McCartney (my other secret husband) is 71 years old today!

He’s still one of the most well preserved classic rockers out there. Can’t get enough of his boyish good looks and irresistible charm. Plus, he makes good mashed potatoes. 🙂

Despite having been a member of the greatest rock band ever, and now described by the Guinness Book of World Records as “the most successful composer and recording artist of all time,” (wow) he seems remarkably down to earth. Paul just keeps on doing what he loves and we love him all the more for it.

Macca is the wealthiest musician in the UK (and probably the world); as of this year, his net worth is estimated in excess of £680 million. Not bad for a lad from Liverpool with a modest working class background. In this interesting BBC Radio 4 interview with Sheila Dillon, he talks about being raised on traditional meat and potatoes meals. His mother served Yorkshire Pudding as a dessert (with Golden Syrup), and the Sunday roast was the highlight of the week.

He enjoyed the usual chops and liver but drew the line at tongue, a cheap alternative to meat in those days of rationing. Can’t blame him in the least. As he says, “It’s a tongue!” Ewwww.

Ribbet collage lpaul 2

While touring with the Beatles, food was basically fuel. He remembers huge steaks drooping over the edge of the plate and thinking how Americans always like to do things “big.”

Though he was introduced to vegetarianism in the 60’s while studying meditation in India, it wasn’t until he met Linda that he adopted it as a lifestyle, initially because of his compassion for animals. Over the years, his commitment to a meat-free diet intensified as he learned more about its health benefits and the detrimental effects of livestock production on the environment. These days he passionately campaigns for animal rights, using his fame to help spread the word about how greenhouse gas emissions impact climate change.

paul's kitchen
The McCartney kitchen at 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool, is now maintained by the National Trust.

I like looking at the humble kitchen at 20 Forthlin Road, imagining 15-year-old Paul eating beans on toast or sausages for tea and writing songs with the Quarrymen, never dreaming where his life’s journey would take him.

Other things I love about Paul:

  • Sometimes, just for fun, he uses the pseudonym “Apollo C. Vermouth”
  • He wrote “Yesterday,” the most covered song in history (3000+ recorded versions)
  • He had a rare and genuine-for-real, 29-year enduring marriage to Linda, the love of his life
  • He’s a firm believer in family life and never spoiled his children, wanting them above all to be people with good hearts
  • He’s also a painter and a poet
  • He can’t read music and is largely self-taught, a natural-born instinctual artist
  • He’s considered one of the most generous musicians in the world, having contributed millions of pounds to various charities
  • He wrote beautifully lyrical love songs inspired by his real-life muses: “And I Love Her,” “You Won’t See Me,” “I’m Looking Through You, “Here, There and Everywhere,” “For No One” (Jane Asher), “Two of Us,” “I Will,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “My Love” (Linda McCartney)

Lookin’ good in Melbourne, Australia, 1975:

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To celebrate his birthday, I made the Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe included in The Meat Free Monday Cookbook (Kyle Books, 2012), which Paul launched with his daughters Stella and Mary. It was nice to get a quick chocolate fix made with ingredients I already had on hand. It turned out to be more like a cakey brownie with a moist fudgy layer on the bottom. Yum!


(adapted from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons melted butter
2 organic eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons organic milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 1-quart baking dish.

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the baking powder, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup sugar. Make a well in the center, pour in the melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and organic milk, and beat until well combined.

Stir in the chopped pecans, and pour into the prepared pan. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and hot water. Stir well and pour over the cake batter.

Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. During baking, the cake will rise to the top and underneath there will be a delicious chocolate sauce. Serve hot with cream.

Serves 4.

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Here’s Paul to sing us out with “Birthday,” performed live in Quebec. The song was written mostly by Paul in the Apple Studios 6 days before Linda’s 26th birthday.


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Paul with daughters Mary and Stella



Copyright ©2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

♥ all you need is love ♥

"And, in the end, the love you take/Is equal to the love you make." ~ Lennon and McCartney

    photo by Bakerella.

Recently, Len cleaned out his desk at work and brought home this:


It’s a Valentine’s Day gift I had given him about twenty years
ago — a small tin full of cut-out hearts. On each, I had written something I especially loved or appreciated about him.

I had almost forgotten all about it, and was tickled he had kept it all these years (he’s not exactly the sentimental type). When I read the hearts, all of them were still true: "You are kind and honest." "You like sportscars." "You know how to sew and cook." Through the years, we’ve given each other all kinds of gifts — dinners out, jewelry, books, clothing, tickets to concerts, chocolates, flowers. But these hearts, which cost me nothing, seem to have outlasted everything else. Len’s sharing them with me was the best gift I could have gotten this year.

Recently, while watching the Beatles’, "All You Need is Love," I thought about the truth of the song’s simple message, how most of us agree it’s important and will always be relevant, but somehow we keep forgetting to honor it in our daily lives. Love begins with each one of us, in whatever small way we can think of to share and express it. Pass it on. It matters.

Here’s another version performed by young South Korean guitar virtuoso, Sungha Jung. Turn up the volume to fully appreciate the crisp notes and beautiful tone of his instrument. I love that this Beatles song has been embraced by a younger generation.

In case you’re having trouble expressing your feelings, here’s how to say "I Love You" in 31 different languages:

Chit pa de (Burmese)
Gv ge yu hi (Cherokee)
Moi oiy neya (Cantonese)
Wo ai ni (Mandarin)
Jeg elsker dig (Danish)
Ik hou van jou (Dutch)
Ana bahebek (Egyptian)
Tora dust midaram (Farsi)
Je t’aime (French)
Ta gra agam ort (Gaelic)
Ich liebe Dich (German)
S’agapo (Greek)
Aloha Wau Ia’Oe (Hawaiian)
Ani ohev otach (Hebrew, male to female)
Ani ohevet otcha (Hebrew, female to male)
Kuv hlub koj (Hmong)
Ti voglio bene (Italian)
Aishiteru (Japanese)
Saranghaeyo (Korean)
Lela washtae che la ke (Lakota)
Eg elskar deg (Norwegian)
Gi zah gin (Ojibwe)
Iniibig kita (Tagalog)
Ja cie kocham (Polish)
Eu te amo (Portuguese/Brazilian)
Amo-te (Portuguese)
Te iubesc (Romanian)
Ya vas liubliu (Russian)
Te amo (Spanish)
Jag alskar dig (Swedish)
Seni Seviyurum (Turkish)
‘Rwy’n dy garu di (Welsh)

Do you know of any others? (I’ll add it to the list!)

Happy Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and Lunar New Year! This definitely calls for some cute little cherry pies:

 photo by Bakerella.

Spread the word, Sweetie Pies. Celebrate LOVE!

More Pajama Party posts

Copyright 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

just for fun: the beatles do shakespeare

Here’s a little something to get you in the mood for Shakespeare’s birthday tomorrow: a skit based on Midsummer Night’s Dream. How cute is Ringo’s roar?!