Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thank you for being a friend

Sophia: Let me tell you girls the three most important things I learned about life: number one, hold fast to your friends; number two, there's no such thing as security; and number three, don't go see "Ishtar." Woof.

In case you hadn't heard, Estelle Getty, aka Sophia "Ma" Petrillo from The Golden Girls passed away today. I can't help but feel a little bit like I lost a friend or family member. Like The Cosby Show and Family Ties, The Golden Girls was one program I tuned into religiously, season after season. There was just something so comforting and endearing about watching such a close-knit group of women live, love, cry and laugh together while sharing a house in Miami.
While I certainly had a soft spot for the scatter-brained Rose and man-hungry Blanche, I particularly adored Sophia, the feisty, acid-tongued mother of Dorothy - the show's main protagonist. She always reminded me a bit of my own grandmother, who was quite the queen of sarcasm herself. (And folks wonder where my snarky side comes from.) Also, despite the fact that The Golden Girls was a comedy, I think the show sensitively tackled controversial topics - including homosexuality, interracial marriage, menopause, suicide and HIV - that really weren't discussed much in that era. Perhaps that's why it continues to have such a devoted fan base.
Anyhow, I wanted to dedicate some sweet recipes to my favorite golden girls. For those that forgot, each episode typically featured a scene where the gals gathered in the kitchen to discuss a particular issue, often over a plate of cheesecake. So here are two low-calorie, sucralose-sweetened dessert recipes - one even featuring an Italian-theme to honor Sophia's proud Sicilian roots.

Italian Cream Pie with Strawberry Sauce

Marvelous Mocha Cheesecake

I'm also including a video clip that shows just why Estelle Getty was so amazing. We'll miss ya, Sophe!

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