From left, potato, Cole slaw and macaroni salad. METRO photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Call me crazy,  but this year on the Fourth of July I’m going to pull out all the throttles with traditional American dishes. I want hot dogs with the works, and that means, mustard, relish and sauerkraut. I want  hamburgers oozing cheese and ketchup and crunchy with slices of raw onion. And I want the three traditional salads, tart and creamy with mayonnaise.

Not that it wouldn’t be okay to have a few appetizers like deviled eggs, chips with salsa and guacamole, maybe some scallion pancakes or shrimp rolls to munch on while things get going, but after the past year filled with all its denials and restrictions I want to renew the pleasure of scarfing down good old-fashioned potato salad and cole slaw and macaroni salad. 

And while I’m loading up my plate I want to keep in mind and remind my fellow indulgers that the day is not just a day for gorging ourselves with the things we love to eat, but primarily an anniversary of the day 245 years ago that we declared ourselves free from tyranny and launched a nation dedicated to equality and unalienable rights, a day to savor not just what comes out of the kitchen and off the grill but all those other unassailable rights and privileges that we enjoy.

Potato Salad

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings


3 pounds small red-skinned potatoes


1 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons prepared mustard

1/3 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup chopped fresh dill leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 celery rib, minced

1/2 medium red onion, peeled and minced


Place the whole potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil; lower heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes until potatoes are al dente; drain, remove from heat, then set in a colander over cooking water (with heat turned off), cover and let heat from hot water finish cooking them, about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, wine, dill, salt, pepper, celery and onion. After the potatoes have cooled off a bit, but are still warm, halve or quarter them, depending on size, place them in a large bowl and toss them with the dressing. Let sit until completely cool, toss again and refrigerate. Toss one more time before serving. Serve with hot dogs, hamburgers or just about anything you’re grilling.

Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw

YIELD: Makes 12 servings


3 cups shredded green cabbage

3 cups shredded red cabbage

2 to 3 carrots, peeled and shredded

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup unflavored Greek yogurt

Scant 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 cup sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In large bowl combine cabbage and carrots. In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, celery seed, sugar, and salt and pepper. Add to cabbage and carrot mixture and toss to thoroughly coat. Cover and chill unless serving immediately. Serve with grilled or fried meat, poultry or fish.

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

1 celery rib, diced

1/2 small red onion, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 cup diced fresh tomato

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Generous 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Coarse salt and black pepper to taste


Cook macaroni according to package instructions, drain and rinse in cold water; drain again. In large bowl combine the macaroni, celery, onion, parsley and tomato. In small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Pour dressing over macaroni mixture and toss to thoroughly coat. Cover and store in fridge. Serve with grilled chicken, beef or fish.

Photo from Pixabay

The Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center at Stony Brook University Hospital — the only designated burn care facility in Suffolk County, has 10 safety tips this July 4th Weekend.

Many will spend the holiday in their backyards for barbecues, cookouts or build fire pits where there’s a greater risk to sustain a burn injury. To avoid injury, Steven Sandoval, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery and Medical Director of the Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center at Stony Brook University Hospital, says “The best way to do this is to prevent the burn in the first place with safety tips and precautions to eliminate potential dangers.”

✳ Fireworks are safe for viewing only when being used by professionals.

✳ Sparklers are one of the most common ways children become burned this holiday, even with a parent’s supervision.

✳ Do not have children around any fireworks, firepits, barbecues or hot coals. Teach them not to grab objects or play with items that can be hot. Go through a lesson where they learn to ask permission.

✳ Limit the use of flammable liquids to start your fire pits and barbecues. Use only approved lighter fluids that are meant for cooking purposes. No gasoline or kerosene.

✳ Don’t leave hot coals from fire pits and barbecues laying on the ground for people to step in.

✳ When cleaning grills, the use of wire bristle brushes can result in ingestion of sharp bristle pieces requiring surgery.

✳ If you are overly tired, and consumed alcohol, do not use the stovetop, fire pit or a fireplace.

✳ Stay protected from the sun. Use hats and sunblock, and realize that sunblock needs to be reapplied after swimming or after sweating.

✳ Use the back burners of the stove to prevent children from reaching up and touching hot pots and pans.

✳ Always use oven mitts or potholders to remove hot items from the stove or microwave. Assume pots, pans and dishware are hot. 

“If burned do not go anywhere but a facility that specializes in burn treatment,” says Dr. Sandoval.

To reach the Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center at Stony Brook University Hospital, call 631-444-4545. For immediate help, call the burn unit directly at 631-444-BURN.

Photo from Town of Smithtown

Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for Animal Shelters and animal hospitals across the country. Fireworks cause severe stress and fear in animals, which can result in domestic animals running loose from the home. Given the increase in fireworks expected over the Independence Day holiday weekend, the Town of Smithtown has compiled a list of tips and information that can help you protect your pets during this time of year.

If your pet tends to be scared or hides during thunderstorms, it is likely fireworks also terrify them. Dogs with hypersensitive hearing or muscle injuries/inflammation can also feel pain due to fireworks. When animals are scared or in pain, they seek safe shelter away from the source. There are a number of things you can do to alleviate the stress of fireworks.

  • Plan to keep your pets indoors away from windows when fireworks are going off.  Do not bring your dog out to watch the colorful display in the sky. Do not leave dogs tethered to leashes outdoors.

  • Create hiding spaces for cats and dogs a few days prior to festivities.

  • Check your dog’s harness or collar, which should be tightly fastened and equipped with identification tags. In the event your dog gets out of the home, identification tags will make it easier to reach you, if the dog is found.

  • If your pet needs anti-anxiety medications to cope, be sure to work with your Vet to ensure you have an ample supply for the duration of the long weekend. Contact your veterinarian well ahead of the holiday.

  • If your pets have been microchipped, take time before the holiday weekend to check that the chip is active and all information is current. Contact your vet if you cannot find your pet’s microchip information.

  • Check for holes underneath yard fencing which a dog or cat can use to escape from the noise. Secure your windows and doors. Additionally, you can close window curtains and use household items like fans, air-conditioning units, televisions, and radios to assist in drowning out the sounds.

  • Always contact your Vet for advice or recommendations prior to trying calming aids or products.

  • Prior to the evening hours, if the weather permits, try to get your dog out for some rigorous exercise which will tire them out and lower stress levels.

New York State Law:

  • Fireworks, with the exception of “sparkling devices” are illegal in the State of New York.

  • New York State Law allows for the sale and use of a specific category of consumer fireworks known as Sparkling Devices. (Ground based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke.)

  • The sale of illegal fireworks (roman candles, bottle rockets, mines, pyrotechnics, etc.) is a Class “B” misdemeanor. Possession of these illegal fireworks is a violation.

For more information regarding Fireworks and NYS law visit:

On June 19, the Town of Brookhaven Black History Commission (BHC) held its annual “Juneteenth” celebration in recognition of the 156th anniversary of the end of slavery in 1865. The event was held at the historic Longwood Estate in Ridge and included a BBQ picnic, games, music, dancing and activities for children. Pictured from left, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn; BHC member Leah Jefferson; BHC member Dr. Georgette Grier-Key; Supervisor Ed Romaine; BHC Chairwoman Dr. Corrinne Graham; Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich; BHC member Myles Green; BHC member Charlotte Pressley; Councilman Michael Loguercio; and BHC member Clayton Hudson.

About the Town of Brookhaven Black History Commission: In 1991, a Black History Month Committee was formed in observance of Black History Month. Two years later, the Town Board established a permanent Black History Commission to provide continuity in planning and organizing a Black History Night celebration every February. The purpose of these celebrations is to acknowledge and honor the contributions of national and local African Americans, nationally and locally, while fostering an appreciation for their culture and heritage. In 2014, the Town board recognized that celebrating African American culture should not be limited to one specific month, so they unanimously passed a resolution expanding and broadening the scope of the Black History Commission. The commission now works on year-round programming to promote black history and culture in the Town of Brookhaven through events and community outreach.

METRO photo

Father’s Day presents an opportunity for people to honor the special men in their lives. These include not only dads, but father figures and other influential men who offer care and guidance to the people they love. Many celebrations continue to look different than they were prior to the pandemic, and Father’s Day festivities may still require some modifications this year, even if celebrations are not governed by the same restrictions as in 2020. The following are some ways to show dads they are appreciated.

Backyard bash

Restrictions on outdoor gatherings have eased up considerably in many areas. Outdoor parties are some of the safer ways to bring people together, particularly if attendees maintain their distance. Weather permitting, families can host barbecues and enlist someone other than Dad to man the grill. Serve foods buffet-style and space out tables so people can safely celebrate.

Plan a sports outing

Professional sports teams are once again welcoming fans to stadiums and other venues, albeit with reduced capacities to maintain safety. It may be possible to purchase tickets to an upcoming game and surprise Dad or Grandpa with tickets on Father’s Day. Make Father’s Day festivities sports-centric, with coordinated decorations and themed foods to set the scene.

Plan a game day

Whether your father likes board games, video games or crossword puzzles, gear Father’s Day around fun and games. Let Dad lead the way and choose the activity, and then everyone can step away from their screens and come together at the table over jigsaw puzzles or trivia questions.

Host a beer tasting

If Dad is a beer lover, organize a trip to a local craft brewery to sample their offerings. If establishments are closed or still restricting indoor seating, pick up beers from a few different breweries and create a flight at home.

Set up an outdoor movie night

Perfect for a father who is a movie buff, borrow or purchase a projector and show a movie on an outdoor screen or against a blank outdoor wall. Select one of Dad’s favorite movies to watch and invite friends and family to join in on the fun. Make sure there are refreshments at the ready and plenty of hot popcorn. Celebrating Father’s Day this year may require some ingenuity, but there is still fun to be had.

Happy Father’s Day from Times Beacon Record News Media!


Stock photo

In observance of Memorial Day,  the office of TBR News Media will be closed today, Monday, May 31. Thank you to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it.

It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”

– Unknown

Irene Lechner

We asked our readers to share some memories of their mothers, just in time for Mother’s Day! Here are some of the responses:

The Recipe for the Perfect Mom

Robin Lemkin

Around the kitchen table is where we feel most at home. When we think of our mom Robin Lemkin, we think about all the love and time she pours into making a delicious home-cooked meal and making time for family. Our mom has always valued the importance of a family dinner and making sure we all sat together as one happy unit. Our mom always feels a sense of calm when she crafts a new recipe and is always eager to share it with us. So much so, that she has enabled that knack for love of the kitchen in the two of us. And for that, we say thank you and compliments to the chef! We love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day. 

      — Love, Hayley Lemkin-Azizi and Meredith Lemkin, East Setauket

Diane Werner

My mother Diane Werner was a warrior who loved unconditionally, taught her students with undeniable passion, and told it like she saw it. She was the best role model a girl could have, and her presence is felt in everything I teach my daughter. We miss her every day.

Stefanie Werner, East Setauket





Irene Lechner

My mother Irene Lechner is the most special person in my life. I greatly admire her strength, integrity and work ethic. She is my rock, my protector, my compass in life, my best friend, and my personal life coach and daily therapist. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She loves animals, especially cats and supports many no kill shelters. My mom also has a great love for adventure, specifically roller coasters; the scarier the better! I’m forever thankful she is my mother.

Kathleen Gobos, Holbrook




Me and my mom Geraldine and I were both hard working scholars. She rode horses with my dad and went out on sailing trips with the family. She supported my sports play for a more balanced education. She was from Brooklyn and met my dad in Miller Place. They were married for 52 years raising 4 kids in Stony Brook. When we talked about the issues we always looked for a positive outcome. She passed on in 2002 with my dad, but her legacy will live forever.

John Whitton

Photo from Town of Brookhaven

On April 30, the Town of Brookhaven celebrated Arbor Day by planting a Red Maple tree in front of Town Hall, following a longstanding tradition. Since 2016, the Town has been designated as a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

The annual planting at Town Hall is part of Supervisor Romaine’s Green Energy & Sustainability initiative for Town facilities announced in his 2015 State of the Town Address. The plan focuses on Town-owned Buildings and Facilities, Traffic Controls, Street Lights and Town Vehicles. Pictured left to right are the Town’s Environmental Analyst Alan Duckworth; Councilman Kevin LaValle; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Dan Panico; Councilwoman Jane Bonner; Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich and Councilman Neill Foley.

Arbor Day has been celebrated around the world since originating in Spain in 1805. The first American Arbor Day was on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt brought the event to national attention when he issued an “Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States.”

Stock photo

On Sunday, May 9, millions of people will celebrate the special women in their lives, particularly the mothers, grandmothers and stepmothers who often tirelessly care for those they love. 

Created by Anna Jarvis in the early 20th century and designated an official United States holiday in 1914, Mother’s Day is a special day in many families. Apart from birthdays, primary female caregivers may not always get the recognition they deserve, nor be entitled to a day to kick back and relax and let others take the helm. Mother’s Day entitles them to something special.

Even though the way people have been living has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mother’s Day may be the first holiday on the calendar when the world can finally regain some sense of normalcy. But caution should still prevail during Mother’s Day celebrations. Thankfully, there are plenty of creative ways to celebrate mothers and mother figures this year.

Get involved together. An especially meaningful way to honor a mother who is always giving her time and love is to become involved in a difference-making organization. Joint volunteerism is a great way to spend more time together working toward a worthy goal.

Dine truly “al fresco.” Outdoor dining has become commonplace, and even before it was a safety measure, enjoying a meal on a sun-soaked patio or overlooking a body of water was popular. If you’re worried about limited restaurant space or crowds, plan a picnic at a scenic location, such as a botanical garden or county park. Include Mom’s favorite foods and enjoy the fresh air and delicious foods together.

Create a photo slideshow. Digital photos have eclipsed prints in many people’s hearts. But too often digital photos never get seen after they’re initially taken. That can change when you compile a slideshow of favorite photos from childhood and even present-day photos that Mom is sure to appreciate. Use sentimental music or Mom’s favorite songs as the soundtrack, and include some inspirational quotations or personal voiceovers. This is one gift that can be shared in person or over group meeting apps.

Enjoy her hobbies and interests. Devote a day or more to trying Mom’s interests and hobbies, whether they include hitting the links, knitting, singing in the church choir, or digging in her garden. 

Send an edible gift. If you can’t be there to celebrate with Mom in person, have a special meal delivered to her door. Then enjoy the same foods with her via Google Meet, Facetime or Zoom. Don’t forget a tasty cocktail so you can toast the special woman in your life.

Mother’s Day celebrations can be unique, heartfelt and customized based on family needs.