NOBODY GOES HUNGRY AT OUR HOUSE

Standard

We have three bird feeders hanging off the railing of our kitchen back deck.  I try to keep them filled with black oil sunflower seed. They’ve been emptying with astonishing rapidity, considering the small size of the several species of bird who come to feed, usually a seed at a time.

The culprit, of course, is one extremely clever grey squirrel. (Or perhaps fungible grey squirrels take turns.)  He climbs from the ground and attaches himself upside down to a feeder, where he can considerably lower the level in one feeding.

Poor little guy.  Why shouldn’t he have his own grub so as not to rob the birds?  Yummy unsalted peanuts from the supermarket.  As soon as he discovered them, he went to work:

IMG_0151

HE ATE AND ATE.

My taking pictures from behind the sliding glass door didn’t scare him a bit.  He looked me right in the eye and went on munching.

IMG_0153

MUCH MORE DELICIOUS THAN BIRDSEED!

At last he’d had enough.

IMG_0155

TIME TO LEAVE. (AND TELL THE OTHERS?)

That night it rained.  What do squirrels do when it rains?

IMG_0158

(NOTE NEAR-EMPTY FEEDERS THAT WERE FULL THE DAY BEFORE.)

Guess we’re going back to the store today.

HISTORIC CABBAGE SOUP

Standard

IMG_1443

Don’t worry; the soup in this picture was made just a few hours ago.  It’s the recipe that’s historic. I was aiming for the cabbage soup my Russian mother used to serve when I was a little girl. Since she probably learned how to make it from her mother, that would put the recipe back to the last years of the nineteenth century. (Whether or not my grandmother acquired it from my great-grandmother, thereby making the recipe even older, is purely speculative.)

Oddly, my mother always called this historic soup “borscht” even though there were no beets in it. Whatever. It tasted very good. Competitive to the end, she managed with sly evasions never to give me the recipe. Which may have been just as well, because I recall that what she did was a complicated all-day affair involving a huge pot and “goluptsi”  (little birds) cooked in the soup.  And complicated all-day cooking is not for me, irrespective of the taste thrill at the end.  What are “goluptsi?” Big cabbage leaves wrapped around a seasoned combination of chopped meat and rice.  The soup would be the opener, the little birds the main course.

So the recipe I’m referring to here is not exactly my mother’s (or grandmother’s).  However, something that looked as if it would taste very much like their soup eventually showed up in “EAT!” —  a cookbook published by the Parents and Teachers Association of Public School 166 (Manhattan) in March 1975.  I was a P.S. 199 parent of two boys at that time and therefore felt obliged to buy “EAT!” (Especially as I had two recipes included in it myself.)

IMG_0317

The soup in “EAT!” was called “Reena Kondo’s Cabbage Soup.” The contributor of this recipe, known to us all as Miss Kondo, had been my younger son’s kindergarten teacher the year before.  She was of Polish-Jewish descent, and I am quite certain the soup recipe had come to America one or two generations prior to reaching her, probably also through the maternal line, thus escaping annihilation in the Warsaw ghetto.

Instead of goluptsi, Miss Kondo’s mother and/or grandmother had added a few pieces of cut up beef and carrots. I have omitted them. I have no recollection of cooked carrots in any maternal soups of my childhood, and my mother would never have wasted a good piece of beef by boiling it in soup.  However, stripped of these decadent refinements, the following reconstructed recipe will taste remarkably similar to what I was lapping up at the kitchen table in Washington Heights in the 1930’s. It makes at least three suppers-in-a-bowl for two adults as a main course. Easy-peasy too. And remember: cruciferous vegetables are very good for you.

[P.S.  If you can’t find sour salt anywhere, squeeze four or five lemons, salt the lemon juice heavily, and add the salted juice to the pot.]

RECONSTRUCTED CABBAGE SOUP RECIPE, CIRCA 1900

1 head of white cabbage

2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes

handful (or several handfuls) of white raisins

several pieces of sour salt (to taste)

Regulär table salt (to taste)

Honey and/or brown sugar (to taste)

2 apples, peeled and cut into eighths

Cut the cabbage into small pieces or shred it.  In sizeable pot, cover the shredded cabbage with cold water and add all the remaining ingredients except the apples, which should be put in towards the end.  Cooking time is about two hours, but after an hour or so begin tasting and adjusting the salt, lemon juice (if you’re using it) and sweetener till you achieve a sweet/sour taste you like.

I don’t know about Reena Kondo, but my mother always served it with a big blob of sour cream on top.  I use yogurt. (Goat’s milk yogurt, to be precise, but we’re peculiar. My mother didn’t know about goat’s milk yogurt.)

IMG_1439

At the table, mix with your soup spoon. Serve with black bread, French bread, no bread.

IMG_1445

If you were to make it tomorrow (Thursday), you’d be all set through Saturday.  Who wants to be in the kitchen too often, now that it’s (nearly) spring?

LEARNING AND LUNCHING ON MANHATTAN’S LOWER EAST SIDE

Standard

Although many New Yorkers live in one of the four boroughs of New York City called Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island, it’s usually the fifth (or first) borough — Manhattan — that most people think of in connection with all the investment banking, legal and corporate shenanigans, theater, opera, music and other entertainments that originate in New York. Manhattan is also the part of New York where many movie stars live when they aren’t making movies, unless they live in Montana because they love ranching, or London because they love British rock stars, or tax havens because they love hanging on to as much of their oodles of money as they can. (Residents of New York City are triple-taxed — by the federal government, by the state, and by the city.)

However, that’s neither here nor there, so let’s move on — but not before noting it’s out-of-sight expensive to rent or buy an apartment at market rates in Manhattan these days, and that all those folks making the big bucks in finance, law, corporate shenanigans, and entertainment may have something to do with it.  Deep-pocket demand outpacing supply, and like that.

There isn’t much supply left in Manhattan because it’s a sardine-shaped island positioned between the East River and the Hudson River, with its tail pointing into the Atlantic Ocean (and toward the Statue of Liberty) and its nose up in Washington Heights and Fort Tryon Park, pushing into Riverdale.  The very first settlers, down at the tail, were of course the Dutch, who upon landing bought it from the resident Indians for $24 in flashy trinkets and named it Nieuw Amsterdam — or so the story goes that all New Yorkers learn in kindergarten or first grade. But the Dutch pretty soon got taken over by the English, who renamed their new property New York and began to build.

Flash forward to now.  The reason demand for housing outpaces supply is that there’s no land left to build on, it’s getting harder and harder to build up higher and higher, and it costs more and more to do it. So.  Back in the mid-19th century, however, there still was land, and the wealthy built north — up Fifth Avenue towards Central Park, leaving what was south of them for the hungry and desperate immigrants sailing across the ocean to find a better life for themselves. These people, first from Ireland and Germany but soon from Eastern Europe, began piling up in what we now refer to as “the lower East Side.”  When you look at a map, that’s near the tail end of the sardine, on the right.

Initially, the houses there were one-room affairs built side by side. Unfortunately, this mode of construction soon became inadequate for the needs of the immigrant population, and responsive real estate investors then developed the idea of the apartment house — five-story multi-family buildings with footprints not much larger than those of the one-room houses they were replacing. These new five-story buildings were called “tenements,” and when built in the mid-1860’s were thought a great improvement over jamming ten or more people into a one-room structure.

But the multi-family buildings continued in use until 1935, by which time they were considered places to move out of as soon as one could. In any event, in that year municipal fire regulations banning the use of wooden staircases put an end to their occupation as dwellings.  However, they were not destroyed because the shops on the ground floors — which didn’t rely on the staircases for access — could stay open, thereby paying for maintenance of the buildings.

Accordingly, most of them still survive, now modernized and brought up to code inside, although from the street they look much as they must have looked around 1900. Today, the Lower East Side is a place to enjoy pricey shopping and eating in historic buildings.  In addition, one of the original tenement buildings — 97 Orchard Street — is now the Tenement Museum.

IMG_1154

[The legend, which isn’t very clear in the photograph, reads: “This 1863 tenement was home to 7,000 immigrants. They faced challenges we face today — making new lives, raising families, working for better futures. Today it houses the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which presents the history of immigration. through the personal stories of generations of newcomers who built this country.”]

Visiting the Tenement Museum is an interesting experience, not only for out-of-towners who wish to learn something of the economic and social history of the city, but also for children born and raised in comfort and privilege, or relative privilege, who may have no idea what kinds of hardship their grandparents and great-grandparents endured in order to provide the next generation a somewhat better life than they had had.

And so when a few weeks ago I was invited to accompany two young children and their father on a trip to the Tenement Museum during one of the last fine Sundays before the arrival of cold weather, I was glad to accept.

IMG_1119

IMG_1122

Unfortunately, one is not allowed to take photographs inside the museum. But there is a gift shop with many books of pictures, memorabilia and other trinkets for sale. Here are some of the books:

IMG_1131

IMG_1124

IMG_1132

IMG_1123

If you’re nowhere near New York and therefore unlikely to visit the museum, all of these books may be purchased online at: shop.tenement.org

There are also less instructional souvenirs, probably not worth the money — but little people do have big eyes. And it all does go to support the museum:

IMG_1133

The museum offers eight hour-long tours, each focused on a different aspect of immigrant life in New York.  One of the daytime tours is designed for children; that was therefore the one we attended the morning we went.  It was about family living conditions at 97 Orchard Street.

First we met with an attractive young woman who said her name was Ellen.  She spoke with the children on the tour as if she were a third- or fourth-grade teacher. (She had a blackboard, and asked the children to imagine this and that, and said “Good!” a lot.)  Ellen explained the house we were in had been built in 1863-64, and had five floors, four apartments on each floor, and three rooms in each apartment. At some point in the 1920s, two toilets were installed on each floor, and pipes brought cold running water to each kitchen sink. But before then there had been no running water in the house.  The only water pump was in the back yard behind the house, so all water had to be hauled upstairs in pails. The pump was next to four wooden latrines with doors.  We were able to see all that as we exited, after the tour.

[Although the children didn’t  hear this in the morning presentation, another tour leader in the afternoon told us that the proximity of the latrines to the well water resulted in frequent deaths at 97 Orchard Street from infant diarrhea. This second tour leader also took us up one flight of stairs, now lit but originally entirely dark and then lit by a single gaslight on the wall. The stairs were no wider than two feet from wooden banister to wall. Think of that when you learn, in the next paragraph, how many people used them to go up and down in the dark, or near-dark, several times a day.)

After writing 5-4-3-2-1 on the blackboard (for number of floors, apartments per floor, rooms per apartment, and toilets per floor in one building), Ellen asked the children how many families lived in the building. Those who knew how to multiply five times four called out the answer: Twenty!   One of the adults accompanying the children on our tour then asked the average size of the families.  Ellen told us that when the house was built, there were about six or seven people in each family, but later there could be as many as ten children, meaning twelve people per apartment.  That meant there must have been between 120 and 240 people using the very narrow dark stairs every day — to go work or school, or to use the latrines, or to bring water, coal and food up by hand.

Ellen then asked the children to imagine that they and their parents had lived in Italy on a farm, but their parents had decided to come to America because they heard  life could be better here. They could bring only one suitcase with them. What would they put in it? Would it be hard to leave everything else behind? And how would they feel in a big city, when all they had known was farm life?

After those discussions, we went to visit one of the ground floor apartments, furnished as it probably was in 1916. There we were greeted by “Victoria” — played with brio by an actress in period costume impersonating a fourteen-year-old Jewish immigrant girl from Greece. “Victoria” had been living in this apartment for three years with her family. They had arrived in 1913. She had nine brothers, but she was the only girl.  However, her mother had a big belly again, so perhaps there might be another girl.  Victoria was very chatty (in her strong persuasive accent), but only in response to our questions as Italian immigrants just off the boat and wanting to know something about life in America.

“Victoria” explained how ten children and two parents could sleep in three tiny rooms when there was only one double bed in one of the rooms. (The parents and the very youngest ones slept there, in the bed and on the floor.) The older brothers slept on the floor in the other room, wrapped up in rug-like pieces of cloth with a thick nap on one side. She — the only girl — slept in a similar rug-like wrap, but apart from her brothers, on the small kitchen floor.

“Victoria” also told us that children in America had to go to school  till they were fourteen (this was 1916), but when she had arrived three years before they had put her in kindergarten because she didn’t know English. When she became fourteen she had only reached second grade.  But her father said that was enough school and now she had to work. So she helped him make aprons three days a week, and helped her mother three days a week with all the work her mother had to do to wash and clean and cook for a family of twelve. However, one day a week was for herself. On that day, for a penny, she could see a moving picture with her girlfriend. She explained that it was a series of pictures that moved and told a story, but without words, so you didn’t have to understand the language. There was music, instead. And for another penny, she could buy an ice-cream. And for a nickel, if she saved up for it, she could once in a while ride far away to a beautiful place in the north called Central Park that was like being in the country.

Someone asked “Victoria” how much rent her family paid for their nice apartment. She said it was on the ground floor, so it cost more than the ones upstairs because it wasn’t as hot in summer and they didn’t have to bring everything up and down the stairs. That’s why it was twenty dollars a month.  The ones on the top floor were only ten dollars. She also tried to impress on us how expensive it was to light the gas lamp in the kitchen: it cost 25 cents to turn on the gas meter.

We never did get around to asking about baths, or how to earn money — other than by selling from pushcarts, which was how many newcomers began. But our visit with “Victoria” was enough to give the children on the tour a vivid idea of how different her life was from theirs.  She did add at the end, though, that her father was hopeful they could move north to Harlem soon, where there were more Jewish people who spoke Ladino, which was their language in Greece.  Most of the immigrants at 97 Orchard Street spoke Yiddish.

After we thanked “Victoria,” said goodbye and left, Ellen offered us an astonishing additional piece of history.  The real Victoria — on whom “Victoria” was modeled — did soon thereafter move to Harlem with her large family, and then later to Long Island, where she married and had two children of her own, a boy and a girl.  The boy eventually became an astro-physicist who worked for NASA.

Lunch was an entirely different experience. We walked to Katz’s Delicatessen — established 1888 and verifiably kosher — at the intersection of Houston and Ludlow Streets, about four blocks away.  There, as the menus printed on the paper placemats proclaimed, one could find sandwiches, on rye or “club” bread, of hot corned beef, hot pastrami, hot brisket of beef, roast beef, tongue, turkey, salami, bologna, liverwurst, chopped liver, garlic “knobel” wurst, or any combination thereof — as well as platters of any of these things — all with dill pickles and pickled tomatoes on the side.  Also available were five kinds of hot knishes, potato kugel, noodle kugel, chicken noodle or matzo ball or split pea soup.  Still looking? You could have a plate of lox, eggs and onions.  Side dishes of steak fries, home made potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad and baked beans.  Hot dogs and hamburgers for the kids.  Seconds for anyone who had room for more.

Thirsty? No problem! Choose from Dr. Brown’s soda, celery tonic, cream soda (or diet cream soda) draught pitcher beer, Katz’s own seltzer, a New York egg cream, or one of the usual fizzy things — orange soda, root beer, cherry or grape soda, Pepsi (or diet Pepsi), 7-Up (or diet 7-Up).

Then — if you’re a bottomless pit — you could also order dessert:  “New York cheesecake,” carrot cake, sponge cake, chocolate cake, one of the assorted fruit pies, or a “seasonal” cake.

[I’ve left out the “tossed green salad” (which I bet no one orders) and the assorted juices, hot or iced tea and coffee. Don’t hold it against me.]

But don’t think it’s a snap to order any of this.  Remember the movie, “When Harry Met Sally?”  Remember the scene where Sally fakes an orgasm over a sandwich and a lady at the next table (actually the director Rob Reiner’s mother) tells the waiter, “I’ll have what she’s having?”  Remember that?  That was filmed at Katz’s.

IMG_1145

Maybe because of the movie, maybe because the servings at Katz’s are huge, maybe because Katz’s is the last of its kind — you have to FIGHT for a table:

IMG_1136

IMG_1141

IMG_1135

IMG_1137

We got lucky.  As I pushed my way towards one of the few places against the wall where waiter service is available, the skinny little guy who lets people have one of them decided he liked me.  He said it aloud to our small group, “You can stay here.  I like her!”  I blew him a kiss. “A kiss yet!” he exclaimed, wiping his hands on his Katz’s apron.  “Extra pickles for the table!”

[You see? Sex — if you can call it that — works everywhere!]

Did I mention the servings were huge?  Yes, I did.  But I have pictorial evidence as well.  I ordered a bowl of pea soup and half a liverwurst sandwich on rye. The half a sandwich was at least three inches high.  Here’s the liverwurst I had to take out of it before eating it open-faced. [One of the younger members of our party ate the half slice of rye bread I didn’t want, but nobody was interested in the extra liverwurst.]

IMG_1139

I couldn’t finish the bowl of thick homemade split pea soup or my share of the table’s steak fries either, and I’m not a dainty eater:

IMG_1140

IMG_1138

[The children’s father, who did manage to knock off nearly all of his hot pastrami sandwich on rye, bottom right of photo, explained he had only had a banana for breakfast and that was why he was able to finish.]

So were we sated?  Ho-ho-ho.  Passing up Katz’s New York cheesecake (under other circumstances tempting), we trotted across the street for artisinal ice-cream.  Made in a “laboratorio!”

IMG_1148

Thought I was kidding, didn’t you? Where else would a “gelato” be made artisinally, but in a “laboratorio?”

Decisions, decisions! So many flavors to choose from!

IMG_1150

But eventually each young person got a plastic dish of two small scoops for $4.25 (plus tax), and gustatory happiness was complete. (I understand their father later explained the principle of inflation whereby “Victoria’s” ice cream cost a penny and the laboratorio’s gelato cost 425 times as much — but I wasn’t there to hear the explanation, so wouldn’t dare paraphrase. I’m sure you more or less understand the gist of it already.)

Then we waddled back to the Tenement Museum for another hour-long tour, focussed on economic issues.  (It was from this second tour leader that I obtained the information provided earlier about one-room houses being replaced by “modern” tenements in the mid-nineteenth century.)  We visited a second-floor apartment as it looked when occupied by its original German tenants in 1865, and there heard about the limited social support structures then in place for a family with four children when the father took off for parts unknown. After that we moved on to one of the last apartments occupied, in 1935, after electricity had at last arrived, and cold running water, too.  There was a framed photograph of FDR on the wall here, and a radio looking very much like one I barely remember my parents owning when I was a small girl, and even a bathtub — although the tub was in the small kitchen, covered by a slab that served as a table when the tub was not in use; when a bath was contemplated, the slab needed to be removed and the tub filled with water heated in pots on the gas-fired stove.

But I’m sure after all that food at Katz’s, you’re in no mood for more sociology and economics.  So I shall leave you on Orchard Street, gazing up at the fire escapes that were a feature of every New York apartment house, even when I was growing up:

IMG_1121

And if you want to pick up a few more books in the museum shop before calling it a day, here are three somewhat lighter in content than the ones we looked at earlier in the day:

IMG_1126

IMG_1125

IMG_1129

Don’t tarry in the shop too long, though. I forgot to mention it’s quite a walk to the nearest subway.  Also it’s not so easy to find a taxi if you wait till four in the afternoon. That’s when the day guys go home and the evening drivers are just coming on duty.

But if you get out on the street and wave your arms wildly, maybe one will stop for you.  Especially if you’re 83 (even if you don’t quite look it), stand straight, smile while you’re waving, and have pretty good legs.  Blowing the driver a kiss as he seems to be slowing down for you can’t hurt, either.  Good luck!

EATS FROM THE MAD MEN ERA

Standard

[This one’s for you, Liz.]

An acquaintance who’s a fly on the wall of this blog  — she’s posted only one comment since she began following it and has no gravatar — recently let it be known over lunch that what she likes best are the pieces about literature and food.

The literature I understand. She teaches literature courses.   I met her in a writing group.  She writes.  She’s invited to read aloud what she writes in public places where people buy drinks in order to listen.

But food pieces?  In my blog? There have been just three in the nearly eighty posts I’ve done so far.  One —  about big pot minestrone — was because I really do often make minestrone in a big pot when it’s cold out, since it’s good, good for you, and lasts at least three days.  The second food piece came about because, as a promise to Bill, I was making something for the first time and thought, “Why not two birds with one stone?”  That one,  Brisket for Thanksgiving, I can’t even take credit for.  The recipe came from The Jewish Festival Cookbook. However, it did turn out to be quite tasty, if you’re as fond of onions and garlic as we are. The third was the upside-down roast chicken piece, which even I thought unmemorable when it came out of the oven onto our plates and then online. But I’d been stuck for something to write about, went to the kitchen to console myself, and found in the fridge both leftover roast chicken and a blog idea.

In short, a blogosphere cook I’m not.  So when I asked myself what I could do for my food-loving follower, I knew I needed help from a friend. In this case, the friend was old, and spotted with grease.

IMG_0317

Here’s the first page, just so you understand we’re talking about a very old friend indeed.

IMG_0320

In 1975, I was a P.S. 166 mother twice over.  [“P.S.” is the acronym for “Public School” in the New York City school system.] I had an eight-year old in Mrs. Koch’s third grade class and a six-year old in Miss Wishny’s first grade class. (Don’t ask who Tanya Kaufman was. If I ever knew, I’ve forgotten.)  It behooved me to contribute at least one recipe to this fund-raiser of a PTA cookbook.

IMG_0314

My kitchen repertoire wasn’t much to talk about even in those days.  To make my contribution  — and not shame my children by absence from this important Parent-Teacher effort — I had to look still deeper into the past, to that halcyon period between husbands one and two when I worked as an advertising copywriter in New York. (Although only once at an agency actually on Madison Avenue.) In that capacity I wrote snappy headlines and body copy for products to be advertised in glossy women’s magazines: clothing, shoes, lingerie, perfume, shampoo, furs.  [Never cars, refrigerators, butter, bread: back then you needed a Y chromosome to write about those things.]

One year I shared an office with a person even younger than myself.  Her name was Gina.  What I chiefly remembered about her by the time of the P.S. 166 cookbook, other than her quick-and-easy college girl’s recipe for spaghetti sauce, was that the summer we sat together in our two-desk office under our one giant ceiling fan, she wore a lightweight summer suit in dark blue without a blouse. That’s right:  just bra, panties and Gina underneath. No panty hose either; bare feet in high heels — a very European look in those days. It was probably a money thing; she had only the one suit to wear to work all summer because she was saving furiously to get herself to Europe, which she did the following year.  But it seemed sexy and daring at the time, even if she could never unbutton her jacket when the fan stopped working.

Although it was not until 1975 that Gina’s Spaghetti Sauce made its appearance in EAT! — Section VII, Dishes From Around the World —  the recipe for it was therefore really from the Mad Men era, dating back to the late 1950s or early 1960s.  I can’t guarantee that those folks from the television series ate this in between their cigarettes, triple martinis and double scotches. But it was exactly the kind of food all the rest of us were then chowing down:  heavy, caloric, not at all healthy, and delicious.  However, I can guarantee that Gina’s recipe did not come from Italy, despite the “From Around the World” come-on.  She was pure WASP on both sides at least four generations back, with a last name to go with her genealogy.  [Perhaps the casting aside of blouse, slip and stockings and the subsequent flight to Europe was an act of rebellion?]

You will need a couple of proactive atonement days of salad and broiled salmon before you do this thing. So you can dig into it without guilt when it’s done.  But it really is very easy.  You could make it with just one onion, three cans of tomato paste, and a pound of ground beef, plus water and seasonings.  But to gussy it up a bit, I’ve added garlic, parsley and wine.

IMG_0313

Ingredients:

1 lb. extra lean ground round.  (You could also use ground sirloin, or even buffalo, which is leaner.)

1 large onion, roughly chopped.

Lots of chopped garlic.

Three cans of tomato paste.

Chopped parsley, as much as you want.

At least 1 heaping tsp.each of dried basil, oregano, cumin.

Salt, pepper, pinch of dried fennel, pinch of sugar and red wine. (None of these are in the photo.) The wine and fennel are optional. The salt and pepper are not.

Instructions:

1.  Brown meat on one side in large frying pan (cast iron, if you have one), together with the chopped onion and chopped garlic.

2.  When one side is done, turn and crumble meat with wooden spoon. Continue until thoroughly cooked.

IMG_0322

3.  Empty the three cans of tomato paste on top of the meat, add an equal amount of water (three cans full) and mix. You could substitute red wine for half the water.

4.  Add some of the chopped parsley, all the seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Throw in a pinch of sugar.

6.  Stir thoroughly.

IMG_0325

6.  Adjust heat to a simmer and go away.

7.  Return to kitchen every twenty minutes or so to stir, so that meat doesn’t stick to the bottom of pan.  Add more water and/or wine as needed.

8.  After an hour, it should be thick and savory.  Stir in more chopped parsley.

9.  Turn off heat and leave in pan for at least two more hours.

IMG_0328

10.  Reheat (with addition of water or wine if necessary) before serving on spaghetti, linguine or fettucine. A generous sprinkling of grated or shaved parmigiano cheese on top is a good idea, unless you’re dairy intolerant.

Note: Some people have also used this sauce for lasagna.  That’s more work though.  And more fattening.

Second Note:  When after thirty-nine years I made it again yesterday so as to have some photos to show you, I used gluten-free pasta. That’s not part of the recipe (and wasn’t even around when Gina was wearing her suit), but does help assuage subsequent remorse.

Third Note:  In EAT!, I estimated this much sauce would serve two people “opulently,” three “adequately.”  Those two or three people would have had to eat like pigs.  This much sauce is more than sufficient to serve two people generously for two days, with enough left over for them to have a modest portion one more time on a third day. Alternatively, you could go on stretching it ad infinitum, as long as there’s wine left in the bottle.

Fourth Note:  If you double the recipe (using a bigger pot) because you’re going to serve it to guests, call it Sauce Bolognese, or Beef Ragout.  It’s the same thing, but sounds fancier.

IMG_0330

ENJOY!