Another Former Newsday Columnist Joins



We would like to welcome Fern Kupfer to the team at  We look forward to her posts and we know you will enjoy them too.

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Hi. I’m Fern. Fern, like the plant. That’s what I usually say when I meet people for the first time. Otherwise people call me Fran. Or Fawn. Sometimes Verne.

Let me introduce myself to you in my very first blog for I’ll be alternating this space with blogger Barbara Kerbel, another former Newsday columnist who is also my best friend. We met in junior high school in Plainview, Long Island some decades ago. Barbara remains on Long Island. I live in Ames, Iowa. We talk on the phone many hours – as if we were still in junior high.

Iowa is the home of great sweet corn, wild weather and some of the nicest people you could ever meet. When I moved from New York to the Midwest in the1970’s, people told me that I would love it here. And I do. I have maintained my New York (Bronx, really) accent. I’ve even cultivated it a bit. My grown daughter, despite having been born in Iowa, sounds a lot like me. Now she lives in Chicago with her family, so perhaps her children will sound like authentic Midwesterners.

A few years ago, my husband took early retirement from his teaching job. This has worked out great for us. Maybe he feels a tad guilty that I am still teaching. Joe does all the shopping, all the cooking, all the tedious errands of everyday life. I come home from work and there is a glass of wine waiting and a delicious dinner. It is like having a very good wife.

My husband is an excellent cook. He always has been, but now has the leisure to practice. His specialty is Middle Eastern cuisine. This is a mixed marriage of sorts. My husband is Lebanese and came to this country when he was a little boy. I am Jewish. For our wedding invitations we welcomed family and friends to “Another Traditional Arab/ Jewish Iowa Potluck.”

A while ago Joe and I realized that the only way we would live long enough to celebrate a golden anniversary would be if we added up our married lives. My first marriage. His. And ours together of over twenty years.

Our combined family of daughters have lived in New York, London, Rome, Chicago, Wichita and Austin. One recently returned to Iowa. The girls call often to share the details of their day, to ask for recipes. We send each other gifts. We say “I love you” at the end of every phone call. So I’m happy to be writing a blog which celebrates food and family and a generous spirit of giving. Cheers!

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