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The Gumbo of Blog Postage

August 1, 2009

Cześć Willie!

So, this post will probably be a bit scattered because there is so much I want to share with you! I imagine I should begin at the beginning:

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When I woke up this morning, (or mourning if you are dear Sister Agnes) I was really craving a bowl of cereal. You know how my mother’s food shopping is and how dangerous the results can often be… (remember those pretzel sticks that I couldn’t even give away? Dan wouldn’t even eat them.) But, when she was in Maine, she picked up this little treat. Simply Delicious Maple Nut Granola is apparently made by some woman working out of her garage? (I’m never sure what stories my mother tells me are true… remember what she learned about furries on her last Pittsburgh visit?) Anyway, the ingredients sounded innocent enough: Oats, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, Maple Syrup Brown Sugar, Canola Oil, Cinnamon and Sea Salt. [There are also pepitas, but that isn’t listed on the ingredients, which I kind of love.] I used them as a topper on my beloved Mesa Sunrise Flakes:

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This granola was great! I was really afraid it would be too sweet, since most prepared granolas are, but it had a really mild sweetness and lightly mapley taste.

Otherwise, I spent a large portion of the day watching episodes of Mission: Impossible with my mother. I don’t know if you have ever watched the original series, but it is pretty fantastic. You may ask what people did before 24 first aired and this is your answer. The plots are action-packed and (so) compelling enough to keep you interested, but the camp factor and absurdity make it lol-able at the same time! In the last episode I watched, part of the diamond heist was almost foiled by a playful siamese cat that was quickly disposed of with what appeared to be cat repellent. I can’t wait to watch more though since, through the wonders of imdb, I learned that every major Star Trek actor appears on MI because the same studio produced both shows! I also learned that Dan Briggs, head of the IMF (Impossible Missions Force), left the show after the first season because he didn’t want to work on the sabbath! There is also a character with your name (though spelt wrong) who is the strong man; just like you. 🙂 Okay, I’ll stop with Mission: Impossible for now…

For dinner, we ordered in again. Hey, I am very reticent to prepare a meal in that kitchen. It’s a scary place. Also, my mother asked me if I wanted pizza 5 times in the course of one half hour. We compromised on Italian food  from Three Guys. I got the Artichoke Oreganata and Broccoli Rabe on Whole Wheat Penne Pasta.

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Willie. Willie. Willie. Both of these dishes were completely amazing and it took a lot of self control to stop myself halfway. I’m already craving those leftovers. The rabe was cooked just right and was mixed with tomatoes and slices of garlic. I also think this pasta was freshly made. The taste of the pasta went perfectly with the rabe. Everything in the dish just went really well together. On the side of these lovely dishes was something an Italian meal is incomplete without:

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One thing about New Jersey, and Belleville specifically, that no other American locale will ever match is bread. I may not be Italian by blood, but I am certainly Italian by association and I know the value of good bread. This was something very distressing for me in Pittsburgh. Ordering in Italian always meant sort-of-waxy, not-crusty-in-the-slightest bread on the side that could quickly be revamped for a “hoagie.” (Spell check is right; “hoagie” is not a word.) Of course this bread was delicious. It was made in Belleville.

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

p.s. Olga, one of the Brooklyn bloggers, wrote a post today about farming/gardening and growing up in Ukraine. It was a really great post and I think you might like to read it. It really made me think more about how much my upbringing shaped my views about food and eating. Maybe I’ll do a post on that sometime soon…

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4 comments

  1. That looks like some tasty granola! Also, the picture of that bread is mouth-watering. I’m not sure if Pittsburgh’s appreciation for bread should be measured by what the cheap Italian places include in their take-out orders, however. Certainly there are other fine Pittsburgh establishments that know the value of a good loaf.

    Also, update on my last post: I was wrong! What I thought was a Klondike bar in my dad’s hands last night was actually a So Delicious Neapolitan mini ice cream sandwich bar! I was so excited when I finally got over to the freezer that night to find these little treating awaiting me. They were very satisfying and, well, so delicious.


    • I just feel that Belleville’s appreciation of good loaves can be measured by the ubiquity of great bread. You can expect it even when ordering in. I know, for example, Sunseri bread is very good, but just because the bread is available doesn’t mean the city’s population has a deep-seeded appreciation. Pittsburgh has other great things that are of greater cultural value, like say beer or pierogi. (even though they commit the travesty of serving Mrs. T’s at the ballpark…) I think it is largely due to the fact that Belleville is traditionally Italian. I don’t mean to put Pittsburgh down, I just wanted to explain the a small part of Belleville’s culinary culture. Also, I’ll just ignore the fact that you liken 3 guys to “cheap italian places” *head shake of disapproval*

      As to the granola, I may have put some on my salad today… It was awesome.

      Also, I love that your dessert treat was a “So Delicious Neapolitan mini ice cream sandwich bar.” I assume what it lacks in pith it makes up for in flavor! 🙂


      • To clarify: When I referred to “cheap Italian places,” I was only referring to those cheap Italian places in Pittsburgh, which, for the most part, are the only Italian places in Pittsburgh. I’m sure 3 Guys and many other of Belleville’s fine Italian establishments are fantastic, no doubt due to Belleville’s Italian heritage. And I guess the fact that Pittsburgh is overall lacking in Italian culture is probably a large reason why Pittsburghers don’t demand and expect great bread, even for take-out. But just because we don’t expect great bread doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate it when it finds us. That’s all I wanted to say.


  2. Hi Caitlin,

    Thank you so much for the link and recognition =) I’m glad you enjoyed my post and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts about the connections between upbringing and food.



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