Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Another boring Continuing Education luncheon

I'm attending another continuing education luncheon to maintain my real estate license today. This one is being held at The Wequassett In in Harwich, where a little over nine years ago Mr. B and I were married. I was hoping to see some old friends from this end of the Cape and sure enough I ran into 3 women with whom I worked at JMW Real Estate. We are having a very good time at this event and even saw another woman who used to work with us who some of you may remember was my Nemesis. That "hexe" now works at Kinlin Grover and is no longer working with these girls. 

The "Look"

It's hard to imagine that these folks could even stand up, let alone walk wearing such heavy clothing and "hardware".

Louis XIV's mother Anne of Austria
King Charles X of France
Elizabeth of England
Liberace, Queen of Las Vegas

Angelina Jolie is "Maleficent"!

A teaser trailer has been released for Disney's new take on the Sleeping Beauty story focusing in on the evil witch Maleficent, and it looks like it's going to be a corker! Take a look...

Same Sex Marriage passes Legislature in Hawai'i

Now it's off to the Governor's desk for a signature. Click on the audio player below for a little musical accompaniment. Let the aloha begin...

Testing 1, 2, 3...

Just testing a linking program to post updates from FHP to Facebook. Please forgive this interruption to your day. We now return you to your regularly scheduled life...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Snow Fall Of The Season

Here's the view from our office window. I think I'd better go home now. Uh-oh! Black ice! Closing the bridge! Very dangerous! (That's for you Betty)

Turkey Talk

It's almost Thanksgiving so I thought I'd bump this story up from an earlier post about buying a turkey on sale at Stop & Shop. Read and learn...

Buying a turkey at Stop & Shop... The Nightmare

I usually like to wait a couple of days before writing about problems I have with a business so I can cool off and get a better perspective on things. But not tonight!

This week Stop & Shop has a sale on frozen turkeys ($0.58/pound). If you buy one of these turkeys and present a coupon from the paper last week you also get 200 points for savings on gasoline (200points = $0.20/gallon saving). I am almost out of gas so I was going to use the points to fill up and bring the cost of my turkey from $8.32 to $5.52. I thought that I would like to take advantage of this but because we have a smaller refrigerator with an even smaller freezer I didn't think it would work. The Contessa di Pomodori suggested asking the butcher at Stop & Shop to saw the turkey in half and freeze the halves. This was a great solution as I didn't want to take up a whole shelf of my freezer for weeks until I was going to use an entire bird. 

I headed down to the local Stop & Shop and selected a nice small (14lb) turkey figuring that was about the largest I could accommodate with my freezer and took it to the butcher shop at the market. A kind of slack-jawed youth came out of the butcher shop and told me he could not cut the turkey in half because all of the equipment had been cleaned. He said the butcher shop was only open until 5pm. Thinking he was just being obdurate I went to the "Courtesy" booth and asked the manager what was up with the butcher shop closing at 5 when so many people shop on the way home from work. She said simply ask the youth to "put the turkey aside and do it tomorrow" and pick it later today. I said to the youth that I would like the turkey sawed in half, wrapped individually and kept frozen until I picked it up tonight. 

I arrived at the Stop & Shop tonight to find that the turkey had indeed been cut in half but it was put on a foam meat tray and loosely wrapped in plastic. The turkey was also completely defrosted (meaning it had been left out somewhere for some time) and as it was not tightly wrapped it was leaking turkey juice all over my hands. The guy in the butcher shop tonight said that this was the only turkey that was cut in half and it must be mine. Needless to say I was completely bullshit about this and took the turkey right to the "Courtesy" booth dropped it on the desk and demanded to see the manager. He asked me if I wanted to go through another stop at the market tomorrow and I said to just forget it. Fortunately they had some hand sanitizer at the counter but that turkey was leaking something shocking and it was all over their desk.

I doubt that I will pursue this purchase again but it is a good object lesson. If you need something done at Stop & Shop you need to write everything down, take names, call several times during the day to make sure your instructions are followed. 

All this for an $5.52 turkey!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Eggplant "Parm"

Here is a recipe that I use to make Eggplant Parmigiana. What's nice about this one is that the eggplant is not fried but baked in the oven. It is Lidia's recipe altered just a little. Makes a nice big batch and is perfetto for freezing. 

Melanzane alla Parmigiana alla Lidia (pressoché)


2½ pounds medium-size, firm eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups dry bread crumbs
4 cups grated
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large eggs
½ cup milk
1½ cups all-purpose flour, for dredging
5 cups marinara sauce (in a pinch I use Rinaldi's)
1 pound low-moisture mozzarella, shredded

Salt eggplants all over with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Layer in a large colander set in the sink. Lay a plate over the eggplant and weight the top with cans to help press out excess liquid. Let drain about ½ hour, then rinse and pat dry. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large shallow bowl, toss together the breadcrumbs, 2 cups of the grated cheese and 3/4 cup of the olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs and milk with a pinch of salt. Spread the flour on a plate. 

Dredge the eggplant slices in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs, pressing in the crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the eggplant slices on parchment lined sheet pans (or use that no-stick foil for easy cleanup), without touching. Bake eggplant, rotating the sheet pans halfway through baking, until cooked through and crumbs are crisp and golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly. 

To assemble the eggplant, spread ¾ cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 10-by-15-inch baking dish. Add half of the baked eggplant, in an even layer. Spread with 1 cup marinara. Sprinkle with ½ cup grated parmigiano. Sprinkle with half the shredded mozzarella. Spread with 2 more cups marinara. Sprinkle with the remaining grated mozzarella and ½ cup grated parmigiano. Top with an even layer of the remaining eggplant. Spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining grated parmigiano. Tent the baking dish with foil, so it is not touching the cheese and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is browned and crusty and sauce is bubbling all over, another 15 minutes. Let cool and set 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.