I can’t speak to the specifics of this story — but the Brooklyn Bagel Co. on 8th Ave and about 22nd St. in Manhattan is the best bagel shop I have ever eaten at.
Dear Readers and Clients,
As baseball season is about to start, I have the perfect triple play for you: a warm thought, a joke, and a mini-review
1) Last Thursday was a rough day for me. I didn’t end up going to sleep until the wee hours of the morning. On top of that, I also had to put a pillow case on two new pillows. For no good reason, I decided to read the tag on the first pillow. Made in the USA!! That really helped me sleep a lot easier.
2) Last night I had a craving for some real American food because an Asian soup that didn’t quite hit my palate right was still stuck on my taste buds from dinner. I proceeded to our local 24 hour dinner, The Goldroc, for some old-fashioned French toast and bacon. Two college age women and a man in his 30’s were sitting across from me. Wow! Their mannerisms and language were appalling. I just sat and smiled. The number of F’s and MF’s I heard in a period of 30 minutes was probably more than 3 dozen. I’m so thankful that I can be so funny and charming without any alcohol, drugs, or foul language.
The joke: I guess those people sitting across from me didn’t come from the midnight Bible study at the Pentecostal church!!
3) Mini Review: Jo Jo’s Roasting Company – downtown Hartford. Corner of Pratt and Main. Finally! Finally! Hartford has an independent tea and coffee house again. I remember back in the late 90’s when Zu Zu’s occupied the spot at the corner of Pratt and Trumbull. I used to bring all of my friends there at the end of my high school days and even after I left NYU. It eventually became Xando and then faded off into the sunset when management tried to boost sagging revenues after 9/11 by not screening underage drinkers. Enough of the backround info….. Jo Jo’s brews its teas using loose leaves. They have about 20 varietes to chose from. If you choose to sit down, they serve it to you in a small teatpot with a mug on a lovely wooden tray. Most teas are $2 for a personal pot, but a few of the special varieties are $3.50+ Jo Jo’s roasts their own coffee and offers special varieties each day. They offer a handful of light breakfast and lunch specials. Jo Jo’s menu features a broad selection of additional items like cookies, scones, bagels, fresh fruit, cheesecake, and fruit parfaits. An Asian man and his wife own this urban gem. It seems as if it was really a dream come true of theirs to start this place. Friends, this is the kind of business that you want to support. Small businesses like Jo Jo’s are the cornerstone of the American economy.
Dear Acronym Readers,
Yesterday was one of the most wonderful Easters that I can remember. My daughter and I were thrilled to see such a large number of people at church. Many were from out of town visiting their families or simply attending or the first time. I think that a gathering of 177 is an impressive number for a congregation that is still in its infancy. At the end of our service, our youth group’s Drama Team performed an interpretative dance skit to the song “Stand in the Rain” by Superchick. These teens really brought the song’s lyrics to life.
After arriving home, I began to prepare dinner. Always willing to try new things, I bought a goose at Hall’s Market late last week. Some impressions I have on “Bruce: Our Easter Goose” are,
1) It has a slightly different smell than a turkey as it cooks
2) Virtually all of the meat is dark
3) Adult geese have really large wings….so, in essence, you get 4 very large drumsticks from one bird
4) Geese are rare bird on supermarket shelves, a delicacy, similar to capon. You’ll typically only find them at a meat market or by special order. Expect to pay $6 to $7 a pound. Fortunately, Hall’s was selling this feathered friend at half price. I was forced to decide between Bruce or a rack of lamb. The sale price and the mystique of never having eaten goose meat closed the deal for me. For the record, I’ve eaten bear, elk, ostrich and rabbit during my lifetime.
5) A lot of fat comes off this bird as it cooks, so use a deep oven pan or an electric roaster. If you got talked into buying one of those rotisseries sold by “America’s Inventor” Ron Popeil — that would work also. Use meat ties and make sure your goose is less than 14 pounds, so that it can fit in the rotisserie.
6) I prepared Bruce in an electric roaster made by Rival. Purchased at Sam’s Club for 22.99 prior to Thanksgiving 2006, it was one of the best investments I’ve made in recent memory.
7) I prepared the goose in a marinade of red wine, extra virgin olive oil, honey, and lemon juice. The neck and giblets were discarded. Half of an onion (sliced) was placed in the cavity.
Here is the recipe for a very rich, very unique apple pie that my daughter prepared for Thanksgiving this year.
To give credit where credit is due I must tell you that this premium dessert creation is based on Paula Deen’s Savannah High Apple Pie, but some significant modifications were made to her original recipe.
Diah’s Merapi High Apple Pie
For the Deep Dish Pie Crust:
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups butter-flavored solid shortening (recommended: Crisco)
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup cold water
For the Filling:
21 apples, preferably Golden Delicious or Granny Smith, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced*
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 cups sugar (preferably organic cane sugar)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the streusel:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 stick of melted butter
*Recipe for Marshmallow Pecan Topping, recipe follows*
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the Deep Dish Pie Crust:
Cut flour into butter-flavored shortening. Add salt and stir in enough water to make stiff dough. Knead slightly together. Chill dough before using.
Use 1/3 of pie dough for bottom crust. Roll bottom crust. Lay in pie pan.
For the filling:
Combine apples, flour, sugar, and cinnamon and mix lightly with spatula.
For the streusel:
In a small bowl combine together butter, brown sugar, flour, pecans and cinnamon. Layer this mix every so often between apples.
Begin layering apples slice by slice, slightly overlapping starting at the outside circle of the pie plate and working towards the center. Push firmly as the layers build. Add slices of apples to top of pie to round off.
Pour 1/4 to 1/2 stick of melted butter on top of the pie.
Roll out top crust using remaining pie dough. Gently place top crust over the mound of apples. Smooth the sides of pie crust towards bottom of pie pulling out on extra crust. Pinch down to seal 2 layers together. Crimp pie for first time. Cut extra crust with the back of a sharp knife. Re-crimp the edges and push towards the pie.
Put 5 steam vents with a small knife towards the upper part of the pie. Do not vent at the top as it will cause the pie to split open as it bakes.
Bake between 350 to 375 degrees F for 1 hour, 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Let cool for at least 1 hour.
Marshmallow Pecan Topping:
16 oz Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1 1/2 cup chopped pecan pieces
In a sauce pan, heat Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup at medium-high. Add in marshmallows and chopped pecans. Stir for two minutes. Using a spoon or ladle, drizzle the topping liberally over the pie starting from the top.