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The Bagel Company 

As recounted here a number of times, before I became a credit card fraud investigator (for almost 22 years) I worked in a number of jobs.

FORTY, to be more precise!

One of those many jobs was a commercial bagel bakery.  I needed work; they were there.

Not to far from my house.

Who knew they had bagels in Arizona?!

So, I was hired.  Again, second shift.

Most of the rank and file were Latino, with a few American Indians mixed in. We all got along, although I’m pretty certain before they were employed, most of the ethnic types had no idea what a bagel was.   😛

I worked there a few months. The bad news was I came home after midnight, often smelling of yeast and onion.

The good news was whenever there were overruns, the workers could take home free bagels.

Dozens of them! 

Our freezer was often overloaded.

It was hot,  busy work. And I thought I had a future there.

But, it was not to be.

The (then) wife took a job which required some overnight travel. This meant someone had to be available during the day for Molly.   For day care and school.

And I had to change jobs for something with a day shift.

John’s Uniforms it was!

OK, So Which Is It? 

As my Dad used to say, “I used to be young and foolish; I’m not young, anymore!”

I remember going to a local pizza parlor chain with ‘Gramp’, my beloved maternal grandfather.

We’d split a sausage pizza; he’d get a draught beer (Schlitz?) – me, a soda. (I was a kid).

But he’d always say,” We’re going to have an apizz.” 

And, I thought he was weird and corrected him.

Well, I was wrong. 

Gramp was from Hamden, Connecticut, arguably the birthplace (New Haven area) of (thin crust) American pizza!

There are businesses there advertising APIZZ, not PIZZA!

As there have been for over one hundred years. 

Turns out, the Italian immigrants who settled this region were from Naples, and made Margherita  (thin crust) pizza.

And called them ‘apizz’.

8. APIZZA

Perhaps less well-known, although no less delicious, is New Haven-style pizza, known in local vernacular as apizza. New Haven-style is thin like New York pizza, but if you walk into an apizza parlor and order a “plain,” you’ll get one without mootz (pronounced as foots), or mozzarella.

Apizza and mootz both come from the dialect of Naples immigrants who arrived in the area in the early 1920s. Apizza is pronounced uh-BEETs, with a silent final A.  (Mental Floss)

While we’re on the subject, some parts of the country call them ‘pizza pies’.

3. PIE OR PIZZA?

While to east coasters, it might feel perfectly natural to say “pie” when referring to a whole pizza, not so for those in other regions. In an informal poll I conducted, “pie” was described by west coasters as “pretentious” and “only something someone in a movie would say,” while one Brooklynite described those who didn’t use “pie” as “heathens.” The reason for this sharp divide is unclear. (Mental Floss)

Others, no mention of pie (some places think you are requesting a dessert!)

Great.  Now I’m hungry, with no pizza places open (0730 AZ time)! (And this is the 5th largest metropolitan area of the United States!  A travesty!)

Doesn’t matter, I’m broke, anyway…

Kitchen Secrets

Well…A kitchen secret.

Okay, for anyone who cooks, not a secret at all!

I don’t cook as often as I used to.  This is because a combination of neuropathic foot pain and the lesser availability of funds for quality ingredients.   In short, standing for any length of time is painful, and I can’t afford the fine ingredients I would like.  Yes, I’m a kitchen snob.

Also, my roommate gets cabin fever and likes to go out – even if it’s for ‘cheap fast food’.  So, there’s that.

I recently posted my standard recipe for Garlic Goldfish.  A staple in my Christmas household for over 30 years.  I used to use Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce™ initially, because many times it was the only brand available.  And certainly the most famous.

But, in recent years, with my income having been cut (going on disability), I felt the need to cheapen the recipe.  After all Worcestershire is Worcestershire, right?

WRONG!

The past few years, I used whatever was on sale, sometimes a ‘name brand’ in condiments, like French’s™, other times Ralph’s Brand (my nom-de-brand for a generic product).

And I found the Goldfish have suffered for it.  They just didn’t taste the same.

SO, after making an initial small batch using French’s this year, I bit-the-bullet and spent the extra .75 and went back to Lea & Perrins™.

What a difference!

Now I can visit my Sister this Christmas Eve with confidence.

Accompanied by quality Goldfish, and my ex-wife (it’s a long story).  🙂

goldfish

FTC – neither Lea & Perrins, French’s, Ralph’s Brand or Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers gave me anything!  Go make your own!

 

Drugs Of Choice

donutsI’ve an addictive personality.  I come by this honestly, as both my parents were also afflicted.  It killed them both.

Before you get all worried, I’m not addicted to tobacco, as my Mother was.  My Father liked his cigars and his alcohol.

And his excess food.

The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) – too many refined carbs, too much protein, too much white sugar.

I, too, like food.  Sometimes to excess.  Including sugar.

And, I’ve been diabetic since 2002.

The Good Rev. Paul posted recently regarding Krispy Kreme DonutsNow, I like LOVES me a good doughnut!  The problem is unlike normal folks, stopping at one, for me, can be difficult.  And here in college/commuter town USA, we are surrounded by doughnut shops!  The ubiquitous Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, and many local emporia.

SO…I must make the choice.  And sometimes I partake.

Fortunately, it’s not too often, and not a dozen-at-a-time.

I’m reminded of a cartoon, long ago in Playboy.  (Buck Brown?  Gahan Wilson?  Which I was unable to locate it on the ‘Net)

An older couple in their rocking chairs, on their front porch.  Both are quite obese.  And they are chowing-down.  Between them is a large bucket of fried chicken.  Just visible, to the side of the house, is a square, striped building(!?)

And one says to the other, “Sometimes, I wish they hadn’t moved in next door…”

Today, give me strength.

Thankfully, the nearest are at least a mile away, and I’ve no funds.  And, it’s ‘cold’ out (40° – sorry, Rev. Paul!)

🙂

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Visit Portland And Grab a Good Steak…

Joel posts THIS!:

Here comes a link from Landlady to further damage my calm…

State Supreme Court Finds Dogs Are “ Sentient Beings,” Not Mere Property, In Landmark Ruling

[T]he court granted legal significance to the dog’s “ sentient ”—his capacity to experience feelings, and pain.“It is really a landmark ruling,” says Attorney Lora Dunn of the Animal Legal Defense Fund—which filed an amicus brief in this case, on behalf of the winning side. “In this specific context, the animal sentience matters.”

Find me an animal, from an earthworm to a gorilla, that can’t feel pain.

“A landmark ruling?” That’s a scary ruling. “Feelings and pain?” By that definition, the rabbits currently infesting my yard and the pork currently warming my stomach are or were sentient.

I recognize that the word has such wide meaning as to be essentially meaningless. But as far as I can tell, the Oregon court just outlawed meat-eating. And for that matter, the ownership of all animals.

PETA (and their fellow four-footed travelers) must be dancing!

In homage to this well-thought-out (sarcasm) decision, I bring you the following, courtesy of Tamara:

a tamara steak

(Now, if I could only afford a good one… 😦  )

“A Pizza Is Like A Woman…”

Hot, crusty, cheesy, pepperoni…no WAIT! 🙂

I like symmetry.  Things that go together, in balance.

A woman with a huge, uh, chest area, doesn’t appeal to me.  The same goes for the bottom area.

IF the rest of her doesn’t match!

(And I don’t like Kardashians just on that principle!)

(I’m speaking in generalities here – please don’t write angry missives.)

And PIZZA.

I LOVE PIZZA!  Probably too much.

Many folks have moved here (the Valley of the Sun) from New York and Chicago.  And Connecticut!

And started their pizza places.  Some quite yummy!

My all-time favorite is RED DEVIL.  Started in 1960 by the Digeno family, their Margherita-style thin crust pizza is the BEST.  With quality, savory sauce and toppings.  Sadly, my roomie thinks their crust is too tough, and the location near us is not of the same quality as the original.  😦

But, it all goes together.

In search of ‘other’ pizza, we sometimes try other places around the Valley (when we have money).  We have found some that were pretty good.  Brooklyn V’s, owned by a NY couple and her ex-husband(?!) in Gilbert is pretty good.  And reasonably priced.  And the cannoli and tiramasu are to die for!  Good crust, quality toppings – but (for me) the sauce is meh.  No ZIP!  Not even savory.  Ketchup.

We only go there when J. has a medical procedure in the East Valley, and we have money, anyway…

Recently, we found a long time Valley favorite, Spinato’s.  Ken and Elaine Spinato came to the Phoenix area and opened their business in 1974.  From Chicago.  The thin crust is to die for.  And they don’t skimp on the quality toppings.

But (again) with the sauce!  Slightly sweet, and no spice!  MEH!

It must all go together!

If only RED DEVIL would share their sauce recipe!  Or Tommy’s on Dunlap (long out-of-business)…

The search continues, both for the perfect pizza and the perfect woman.

(Of course, I’m broke until the 20th, so the search will have to wait!  Both pizza and women require money.  Wait – that didn’t come out right…)

SIGH.

Great, just like reading Brigid, now I’m hungry!  Hoist on my own pizza…

(FTC – I pay for my own pizza.  Get your own!)

RedDevilPizzaCouponsPhoenix

 

Pinteresting! (Or Not)

I recently ‘joined’ Pinterest, another (self-serving) social media website wherein one chooses topics in which one has an interest (guns, humor, history, watches, pets for example), and pictures, articles, recipes, essays, things-for-sale appear in a hodge-podge of stuff from other members (aka PINS).  One may simply view them, expand them for more in-depth reading and/or comment on them.  PIN them to review later (as more are always being added.)  And, of course, add their own PINS to the group conversation!

The ultimate time waster!

(examples)

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 42 Pics:

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 42 Pics

Gilboa 9mm AR-type submachine gun:

Saved from guns.com  (Gilboa 9mm AR-type submachine gun)

I’m new at this, but this PIN caught my eye:

Product Details

Undercover Bracelet
A useful tool for covert and undercover operators, those that travel abroad in unstable countries, or anyone at risk of being held unlawfully.
A leading federal law enforcement agency asked for a special emergency handcuff key for their undercover operatives.
The Undercover Bracelet is the result.
This unique handcuff key is designed to always be situated at the optimum location for access and deployment – right next to the wrist.
Disguised as a common “gummy bracelet”, this rubbery flexible bracelet won’t draw even a second glance when worn in most environments.
This device is completely non-metallic, even the key portion.
The key, which is permanently affixed to one end of the bracelet, serves as the connector joining the two ends.
The key is not visible when the bracelet is worn.

It is quickly accessed by just yanking on the bracelet, exposing the key.

The bracelet accommodates wrists up to 10″, and can be cut down to fit.

Weight: 0.2 oz.
Patented
Made in USA.
On Amazon – $18.47
On Pinterest – $9.99 !
And joining Pinterest is FREE!
(FTC – neither Pinterest or Amazon gave me anything.  Get you own key!)

Breakfast of Champions!

I accompanied my roomie J. to a medical outpatient procedure yesterday morning.  All went well.  We have another one today, arrival time 0700 (Tuesday)

Afterward, we went out for breakfast (brunch?).  It was after 10 AM.

The Henhouse Cafe, in Gilbert Arizona

We visit here often after roomie’s East Valley medical stuff – if it’s in the morning.  If it’s later, we have a lunch place we visit – when we can afford to…

We both tried something new (for us) this morning.  The Lemon Blueberry Mascarpone Pancake.

You’ll note this is not pancakes.  Not plural.

The Henhouse Cafe is notorious for it’s LARGE pancakes!  We guessed wrong (and each ordered one) when we should have shared!

image

Health Warning

burgerFrom Ref Desk, one of my daily reads…

FACT OF THE DAY:

Burger King’s Triple Whopper with cheese has an amazing 1,230 calories. Hardies Monster Thickburger has 1,420 calories and 2,770 grams of sodium. Carl’s Jr.’s Double Six hamburger has 1,520 calories and 111 grams of fat. Most people need only 44-66 grams of fat per day, and most of them should come from sources like nuts, fish, and olive oil. – Provided by RandomHistory.com

I love how in their scary facts fat grams are listed in only one of the three examples!  Of course, one may extrapolate from the two items previously listed that they, too are not low in fat.

And, these hamburger sandwiches are named – presumably to attract customers – Whopper, Monster Thickburger and Double, respectively.

The Nanny State, in it’s infinite wisdom, has seem fit to force purveyors of food items to provide us – the ignorant public – with statistics and facts regarding the content of their wares.

As if we didn’t suspect a Monster Thickburger was unhealthy for us.  Or a dozen doughnuts.

Duh.

WHAT? Not Garlic Goldfish, AGAIN! :-)

The Garlic Goldfish (a perennial favorite Christmas snack) have arrived! 

Actually, they were assembled by yours truly, in a couple hours standing at the iron skillet, Worcestershire, Blue Bonnet margarine and garlic powder at-the-ready.  Then slow baked until dry and toasty.

(For the uninitiated, this is a snack I’ve made traditionally for years.  Originally, I made standard Chex Mix, with the requisite addition of peanuts, pretzels and the like.  With a tablespoon of this, a dash of that.  I determined two things – people singled out the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers for consumption so the other ingredients were wasted, and screw this tablespoon-dash thing!)

I cover roughly 9/10 of the bottom of the skillet with Worcestershire, add 1/2 a stick of margarine, and sprinkle garlic powder generously.  Then marinate a pan full of crackers until they soak it all up.  Transfer all to a turkey roasting pan and bake @ 300* or so, turning every 10 minutes of so to check for burning, until they are all dry and crispy.  (I use Blue Bonnet because it’s cheap and takes the high heat.)

I used to make these in massive quantities for Christmas when I was employed and bring them into work.  It became such a tradition that folks would start asking me in September if I was bringing in goldfish that year!
🙂

Consumer Warning – they are QUITE addictive and go great with beer!  People consuming these snacks needn’t be concerned they will be molested by vampires, or members of the opposite sex. (Unless they, too, have partaken of the garlicky treats!)

FTC – neither Blue Bonnet, French’s Worcestershire, Pepperidge Farm Crackers or anyone else gave me anything!  I bought and assembled it all myself.  Go make your own – and Merry Christmas!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…