Hooky … and Meal Memories!

October 24, 2014

I’m playing hooky from a piece on Ebola in the United States. I tried for three nights, and it’s just not in me. Too many moving parts and too much evidence that we’re not all on the same time, wanting the best possible outcomes!

So for a while I’ve been thinking about a post or series of posts about my favorite things. The Sound of Music—“My Favorite Things”—is a mild impetus, but it’s a very mild one. Candy bars have come to mind—in my dreams I own a candy store in a really cool small town like Trinidad or Leadville, CO, or Missoula, MT, with a great catalogue and Internet/mail order business—and favorite foods. Instead, I’m going to describe

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Breaking the Fast!

October 4, 2014

Break Fast. Not break•fast aka brek•fǝst. No, we’re talking breaking the fast, the one where you don’t eat for roughly 24 hours, and where you’re conscious for the last roughly 18 hours or so.

For Jews fasting involves an “expression of piety for purification, atonement, or commemoration,” according to My Jewish Learning. The same site labels fasting, generally, “an ancient rite that was often used to express devoutness, induce visions, express sorrow, mourning or asceticism or as an aid in preparation for revelation of for a sacred meal.” (For more citations to source documents, take a look at Jewish Holidays:  Fasting & Fast Days at Jewish Virtual Library.)

There is definitely a universality to fasting and its lesser

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Sweet Things, and a Happy New Year

September 19, 2014

Business took me to Florence earlier in the week. No, not that Florence! I’m referring to Florence, Pinal County, Arizona. Yes, as faithful readers know, my business involved the prison. And no, there’s nothing to share about that.

What I am writing about is the apple fritter. Here’s the one I bought at Eugene & Kim’s Place.

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Look for Eugene & Kim’s Place at 199 E. Butte Ave. in Florence, across the street from the county complex and the old courthouse. (I’ve included a shot of Eugene & Kim’s Place, along with a downtown Florence pic. For Murphy’s Romance fans, the streetscape may look familiar.)

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I’ve eaten several donuts from Eugene & Kim’s, as I tried three

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Fifty-Seven

September 13, 2014

Fifty-seven arrives for me at 10:35 p.m. on September 14. I don’t recall much anything, truth be told. But I’ve studied up.

I was born in 1957, the bulge year during the baby boom, with 4,308,000 live births. More interesting, maybe? Through 2009 the United States of America has never had more live births than it had in 1957. There’s also evidence that mid-September has the most births in a typical year, so I may have been among the biggest 24-hour cohort ever. As it happens, I don’t think I know any 9/14/1957 people. (I do share my birthday with six FB Friends, but don’t think any of them are 1957 babies. Happy Birthday to y’all!)

When I was born

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Just Bagels and Pizza

August 23, 2014

You and I both expected some thoughts on aging. For me, the prompt was the fact that I’ve started working out at the UA Student Rec Center again, and I’m sure I’m in the 95th percentile by age, among all users. After three boring starts, I realized I don’t have anything original or meaningful to say about getting old. So, in the immortal words of the amazing—and sorely missed—Emily Litella (Gilda Radner) “never mind!” (Here’s Ms. Litella on busting school children.)

On to bagels and pizza. I’m three weeks into Bagel Making 101, a self-taught course. Pretty satisfied, as they’re pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good! Also pretty authentic, I think. I ate one and was stuffed. Chewy

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If You Like Food … !

August 20, 2014

I was having a drink Wednesday evening with my friend Stephen Caine. The chatter wandered, aided by a decent dose of very fine, very cold gin. At a point in time, probably about two-thirds of the way into the conversation, we hit our marks. (Ever notice how most any discussion has its really important dialogue during the last 30% of the time, plus or minus. Almost like a law of nature!)

And what were our marks? Well, Stephen shared being at Woodstock for one night. Cold, smelly, wet, but an experience never to be forgotten. Or encountered/replicated again! And it’s that last part that mattered, as we wandered into the realm of “you can’t trap light in a jar,” experience

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Pizza

August 16, 2014

DSCN1238blas·phe·my (blasphǝmē) the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about … sacred things

So it is with pizza for me and some of my good friends. A sacred thing! Alas, definitions differ … and so it is with apologies to S.C. and others that I share pizza aka The Four Tastes. A New York-style crust, courtesy of Kenji Lopez-Alt. A light shredded mozzarella base. Over-priced dried cherries from Whole Foods. Dry, salt cured black olives. Red and golden pickled peppadews. Carrots. Capers. Red onion. Radicchio. And a light dusting of Asiago cheese.

No, it’s not pizza like anyone who hails from New York knows pizza. But it’s really, really good! Vegetarian, too, and it can be vegan without the

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Pizza … and Nothing Else … Almost!

August 14, 2014

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Nothing to say today! Here, though, is the pizza I made and ate on Sunday. (Leftovers still in the freezer.) NY-style dough, mushrooms and green onions, along with a very light mozzarella base and a dusting of aged gouda. As tasty as any I’ve made.

And as for almost:  Here I am at the spelling bee for the Educational Enrichment Foundation. Have I yet mentioned my third place finish?

Spelling Bee

Finally, my sister Pam Gleichman makes a part of her living in the social media world. She sent me a link which suggested that success in the blog-o-sphere may involve “less is more.” This writer says three posts a week is best. So, readers, having given you a

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Bagels

August 9, 2014

I’ve been a bread baker and pizza maker for almost 40 years. Bialys and I became acquainted—in the “I make them” sense—about five years ago. And bagels? Never, really, until this weekend. (”Never” means we’re not including two or three efforts, which basically amounted to forming bagel shapes out of some bread dough, boiling and baking.)

When my daughter and I were in New York, we tried several bagels. I liked, best the Montreal-style bagel from Black Seed. Not too big, not too puffy, with a strong crust and a chewy interior.

So, I tried a Montreal-style recipe today. Not good, so I won’t share the recipe. Lots of sugar, all-purpose flour, and a short rise. They have a

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Pizza

July 26, 2014

For pizza, Tucson has found its place on the map. Without taking anything away from Scordato’s Pizzeria (our favorite) and the many other fine pizza sources in my home town, Pizzeria Bianco opened on Thursday, July 24 on Congress St., downtown. As it happens, I was enjoying a fine, fine meal at Brix in Flagstaff on Thursday—no pics, as I remembered to take them as the table was being cleared—and I don’t do lines, anyway! And lines there were at PB. So I missed the opening.

Chris Bianco’s pizzas are pretty amazing and definitely worth a try. Nancy Silverton, founder of La Brea Bakery, 2014 James Beard Outstanding Chef, and co-owner of the Pizzeria Mozza chain—a great pizzeria, too—writes, in

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