Monday, June 27, 2011

Father's Day and our Anniversary


Well, first of all there hasn't been too much to blog about, food wise. On Father's Day weekend, we traveled to the Catskills for a birthday party for a good friend. They asked everyone (about 40 people) to bring a dish to share. Naturally, I made something that was enough for at least 10 people as did most other guests. The result was enough food to feed the entire 42nd Division. We had to leave early to travel back to the city because the next day was Father's Day and my granddaughters expected me to come early. They live at the beach 
(on Rockaway Peninsula to be exact) so we dined outside on their deck facing the bay which is formed by the peninsula. My daughters (all three of them) are no strangers to the kitchen, so the food was great. Pictured above is an appetizer of fried eggplant rounds with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil. We also had cheese ravioli, steak pinwheels pictured above, salmon (for Neeta) and a salad I made of cherry tomatoes and watermelon. Oh, did I mention the platter of Italian pastry for dessert? My daughter Patty who prepared the meal used mostly semi-prepared food which she obtained at great cost from Italian delicacy stores which is how you entertain if you juggle two kids with a high powered job that splits you between New York and Boston every week. I couldn't do it.

The following weekend was our sixth wedding anniversary. We ate a quiet dinner together on Friday night with a movie afterwards. On Saturday, we ate out at a noisy restaurant in Brooklyn which served enormous portions to enormous Italians who have never learned the knack of speaking so that only the people at your table could hear the conversation. Sunday, we returned to a quiet dinner in the afternoon and after some exercise, one hour of the Mets game while CW shot the breeze with her sister in the bedroom, then two good movies ala Netflix (which we love) before bed at 10 PM. The food I'd like to share about concerns the salad I made for Father's Day and the salsa I used to dress the fish we ate on Friday night.

Pictured above is a version of a"summer salad" my mom used to make back when the produce stores carried locally grown vegetables. Mom would simply slice a tomato or two and dress it with some fresh basil or dried oregano and olive oil. She would add some sliced onion and let it sit while she prepared the meal, returning to it occasionally to gently mix the tomatoes in the oil and serve it (at the end of the meal) with nice crusty bread. In my hubris, I thought I invented the idea of adding watermelon chunks to the salad to give it a different, sweeter taste. I have since learned that many cooks use a variation of this salad. (Fame alludes me again!) I also had the idea of making a variation of the salad by adding some heat.I tried it for Friday's anniversary dinner by adding some hot sauce and habanero chilies and lime juice to the salad. I actually prefer to make the salad with quartered cherry tomatoes and red onion mostly for aesthetic purposes.The hot version can be used as a topping or as a dip.

I noticed I'm nearing my 100th post and I'm getting a little sick of myself, so don't be surprised to learn that I'm starting another blog. The only trouble is I have no idea yet for what to write about. More later!


  1. Sounds like two lovely holidays. I have seen a number of salads that use watermelon, but I have yet to try it. Now I will have to give it a go. I hope you don't stop writing about food Joe. I look forward to reading your posts and always like to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

  2. Well, if I can come up with more dishes or topics I haven't written about, I will keep up. I just never saw the point of blogging about someone else's recipes.I'm looking for a new slant. We'll see.

  3. It sounds like you had two wonderful celebrations.I hope you continue to share your knowledge with us, Joe. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary