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meat head and rice

October 7, 2011


Broccoli crowns are available in all grocery stores all year long.  In my refrigerator you will always find at least one noggin of broccoli at any given time.  It’s usually the first vegetable to get tossed in the shopping cart.  Grill it, roast it with garlic and olive oil or eat it raw.  It is versatile and tasty.  Oh of course you can stir fry it with leftover filet and turn it Japanese with a little shoyu and sesame.  Now that’s using your head.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Geener permalink
    October 9, 2011 6:45 pm

    A dear friend once told me back in the “old” days you left your mother’s house in one of two ways; either in a coffin…or in a wedding dress. Most women chose the wedding dress, even if they chose the wrong mate. My mother chose the latter…and thanks to God, chose the right mate. Mom married Dad in 1964. My paternal grandfather Nazzarino (Ned) called theirs a mixed marriage, but by God, she would learn to cook like HIS wife, or he would be damned. My grandmother Mafalda or “May” as she became nicknamed when Americanized, taught my Neapolitan mother wonderful Marchigiana recipes from my father’s native home land in Italy, La Marche region. Growing up Italian I remember my mother always being a great cook when it came to regional specialties.

    On any given Sunday, I would open a covered pot to stewed rabbit (Coniglio in padella), pan-roated squab (piccioncini in tegame), and fried calf’s brains (cervella fritta). Marinara sauce was extra special when they added stuffed pigs skin. Bunnies, pigeons, baby cows, and piglets, simmering on the stovetop. A scene from Fatal Attraction staged in my very own kitchen 20 years too early for its wide screen release.

    My mother was the Marcella Hazan of Morris Cove. The Fathers and Nuns of St. Bernadette’s were frequent guests in our dining room, especially when polenta was being rolled out of a copper kettle onto a bare butcher block table, spread out with a rolling pin honed with my own father’s calloused hands. She would ladle the piping, golden grain with homemade meat sauce of sausage, braciola, and veal. No dishes on the table. Forks only. That was the way it was meant to be eaten…as if we were peasants. And we were peasants. Rosemary could feed a family of 5 on a shoestring budget. Evocative of Mark 6:30-44, my mother could turn 5 loaves and one fish into a feast.

    Broccoli crowns get an “A” in my book…Vitamin A that is. The crowns or florets as they are also commonly called are packed with more vitamin A than the stalk. Even so…
    I never did see a fresh crown of broccoli in my house. Mom turned into Betty Crocker when it came to this veggie. A petrified, frozen 5” x 4” box purchased for 17 cents from my local IGA was my exposure to this rich, vibrant vegetable. Usually it was served up overcooked and mealy.

    My first recollection of being served fresh broccoli came when I was about 12 years old. I was attending Catholic school and we had to do a project around Easter time. I chose to go to a Jewish Seder meal. My mother’s eldest sister Andrea, the rebel of the family, decided to covert from Catholicism to Judaism in her early 20s, so naturally I attended Seder at her apartment. After the Passover Seder readings out came the food. What was this? Fresh broccoli! “What is this smooth, tangy, golden sauce to pour over the broccoli? You say it’s… hollandaise? I have never heard of it!”

    Before bed that night I said 3 extra Hail Mary’s, an Act of Contrition, and recited The Apostles Creed at the mere thought of converting…

  2. April 14, 2012 10:09 am

    That side of rice would be gone in 2 seconds if I were there😝😜👍👀👃👂👄🐔

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