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Archive | March, 2013

The Sauce

30 Mar

The Sauce

I can think of no better picture to accompany this blog post than the one above.  It truly says volumes about my heritage, my blood line, my handsomeness, and the true essence of Italian food.  I believe this was the first or second time Tony had eaten my sauce, and he has always done so with gusto, as should everyone.  Funnily enough, this scungillio is a picky eater (unlike his uncles and his pop), but when it comes to my sauce on pasta, he’s at the table waiting with fork in hand as we put the plates together.

I have posted two tomato-based pasta sauce recipes on here before, and in both posts I made sure to note that they aren’t MY sauce.  I have also said that most Italians have their own version of sauce (again, I never heard the term “Sunday gravy” until I saw The Sopranos), which is most likely derived from their mom’s or nonna’s recipe. I am no different in this regard.  My mom taught me how to make sauce eons ago, and after screwing with and tweaking the recipe for years, I finally got to my version which tastes like no other I’ve had anywhere.  I didn’t even write it down until about 5 years ago; a student wanted to make her boyfriend dinner and asked if I knew how to make spaghetti and meatballs.  Writing it down was the tough part because I always had just made it, kind of like singing a tune you’ve known for years under your breath as you work away.

In any case, I truly think that an Italian’s sauce mirrors their soul to a degree, and ’tis true concerning this one.  Me?  I’m sanguine, sweet, complex, thick, and intense.  And so is my sauce.

Another essential element of a good sauce is this:

The Pasta Pot

The pot (and the readiness) is all.  Notice how it’s not perfect like a Martha Stewart ad: it has chips in it, it’s discolored, the lid handle’s a bit loose.  Yet I swear by this cast-iron beast and it’s importance in making a good sauce.  My mom swore by hers, too, which was an ugly olive green monster of a pot that weighed 15 pounds at least.  A good pot cooks everything evenly, so go to T.J. Maxx, drop $20, and you’ll have this buried with you when the time comes. It’s a must.

Half of the time, I make a Bolognese-style sauce, which is with browned ground meat in it; the other half of the time I make a marinara, which is sans meat.  With either one, you can make some meatballs or sausages, of course, which will add to the overall flavor of the sauce.  Personally, I rarely eat pasta because I prefer to make a meatball or Italian sausage sandwich on some good bread.  Make a salad to round it all out and everyone’s happy.

The Sauce

One batch will serve 4 to 6 people, usually

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 lb. ground beef, pork, or veal (turkey would work too, although ‘twould be sacrilege), browned and drained (optional)

5 cloves garlic, peeled

2- 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes (or whole peeled tomatoes crushed with your hands)

1 1/2 cups red wine

1 1/2 cups water

(*or enough red wine and water to fill one of the big cans, which is what I do)

2- 6 oz. cans tomato paste

1 tbsp. salt

3 tbsp. sugar

1 heaping tbsp. dried basil

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, depending on your spice-whimsy

and about 3 hours of time

Makin’ It:

In a large pot (like the one mentioned in my preamble), heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the onions. You need to get them brown, and it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to do it.  This is the most important part, really. It’s where the flavor of the sauce comes from.  When they’re brown, throw in the garlic cloves and, if you’re using it, the browned meat.

Carefully pour in the tomatoes.  Pour the wine and water into the cans and swish it around to get as much tomato as possible from the cans.  (Note:  I wrote 1 1/2 cups of each liquid above, but I guesstimated because I usually use the equivalent of one large tomato can o’ wine and water, as noted above.) Stir.

Stir in the tomato paste, salt, sugar, basil, and red pepper flakes well.  Raise the heat to high and get it boiling.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 2 or 3 hours until it’s thick and happy.  Scrape the sides of the pot every 15 minutes (or so) so the sauce doesn’t stick to the sides.  Taste for salt, dip some bread in there and mangia while you cook-a.

If you’re making meatballs or sausages, put them in during the last hour of cooking and serve them on the side.  Pour the sauce over your favorite pasta and pass the parmigiano.  Pour some vino, raise the glasses, say it loud, and say it proud:

Acqua fresca, vino puro,

Fica stretta, cazzo duro.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

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Watermelon Cooler

29 Mar

Watermelon Cooler 5

It’s that time of year when the little birdies sing, the leaves burst forth upon the trees, mosquitoes swarm across nations infecting thousands with malaria, Canada begins to thaw (eh), environmentalists reaffirm California’s drought status, and high school seniors think it’s June already, even though that’s two months away, and plan ditch days regularly.  Ah, such jocund happenings necessitate refreshing cocktails and maybe some low-level shock therapy.

As I noted in a previous post, I was a bartender (rather than a pretentious, dick-like “mixologist,”) at T.G.I. Fuck-All for some years.  Towards the end of my tenure there, infused vodkas became the “in” thing and, I admit, they can be good.  The best part is that they’re easy to make.  Take a fruit or veggie of choice, cut it up, put it in a bowl, pour in a bottle of vodka, and chill it.  In a few hours, you have a new flavor o’ vodka.  Easy peasy.

This watermelon cooler has lots of variations.  I and my wifey tend to prefer the less sweet cocktails, so this one is a bit more refreshing in that I top it with soda water.  But, if you want to sweeten it up, top it with some lemon-lime soda or ginger ale to get there.

Watermelon Cooler

To make a watermelon-infused vodka: Cube up or scoop some watermelon into a big bowl.  Pour in a bottle o’ vodka, cover, and let it chill for an hour or more.  Then, either strain the vodka out or simply remove the watermelon chunks.  Eat some of those soaked watermelon pieces and you’ll be talkin’ to both Jesus AND Buddha, let me tell you.

Ingredients for one cocktail:

a few slices of fresh, peeled ginger

a few basil leaves

1 small ball or scoop o’ watermelon

2 oz. of watermelon vodka (a big shot, in other words)

2 lime wedges

Soda water

Makin’ It:

In a mixing tin or glass, muddle the ginger, basil, watermelon ball, and vodka.  All “muddling” means is to smash the hell out of the ingredients so they combine and all get happy together. For this, I used the thick end of a wooden spoon because I’m ghetto like that.

Fill a glass with ice and strain the vodka mixture over it.  Fill it with soda water, squeeze the lime wedges in there, and garnish with a scoop or two o’ watermelon and even a basil leaf, if you’re sexy.

Again, if you like sweet, use ginger ale or 7Up or something.  You can even add a shot of simple syrup (sugar water) if you have it around.

Easier than Catholic nymphomaniac after Lent.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Maple Cereal-Crusted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Blue Cheese

21 Mar

Maple Cereal Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Blue Cheese 2

This recipe is an example of an invention arising from shopping whilst being hungry.  Generally, I think it’s a bad idea to shop when you want some sustenance because I, for one, will buy everything that sounds good.  The next day, I will look in the fridge and cupboard like I would at the tousled sheets of an erroneous one-night-stand and, similarly, might say to myself, “What the hell was I thinking?”

On this occasion, though, I came through a winner, no double entendre intended.  At Trader Joe’s, I had the puritan-esque boneless chicken breasts awaiting me at home, and I chased around my 4-year-old as he hurtled his dwarfish “future shopper” cart towards the Achilles tendons of every calm, optimistic shopper without a 4-year-old with them (the ones with them tend to congregate near the wine and spirits area).  One area that he found quite interesting was the cereal area; I noted his interest because of the six boxes of cereal crammed in his cart.  As I began to put them back, I noticed the Trader Joe’s Maple Pecan Clusters cereal.  For whatever reason, be it my stress at the store or my hunger or both, a light came on in my head.

I remembered a maple syrup chicken thingie that Emeril made some years ago.  Blue cheese was involved and I was rendered a drooling fool at the finished product.  Now that I can improvise a bit, I got to thinking that this might work for me.  I had some blue cheese crumbles in the fridge, so it was high-time to experiment.  The flavors of maple and blue cheese seem to work together, almost like they would likely be common in Vermont or something, like a natural selection.

Speaking of Emeril and culinary improvisation, I also remember him making quite a complex dish on his show.  One comment he made has stayed with me through the years and has calmed me down in the kitchen every time I cook, especially for guests.   Midway through the dish, he said something along the lines of, “If this works out, you’re a star.  If not, don’t worry about it!  Order some pizzas and everyone’s happy!”  To this day, if I make something that truly sucks, I will look at my wife and ask, “What do you want on your pizza?” and it’s all better immediately.  No regrets, just education.  And that is how I approached this dish as well.

Lastly, any Maple cereal will do for this.  In fact, cereal crusted chicken can take on many forms, I am guessing, so the limit is your imagination.

Maple Cereal-Crusted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Blue Cheese

Serves 2 (for 4, double it, wise guy)

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup blue cheese

3 tbsp. butter

1 sliced green onion (parsley would work here in a pinch)

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp. milk

2 cups maple cereal with nuts (any will do)

1 tsp. salt

Makin’ It:

Preheat the oven to 375°.

After washing, drying, and trimming the breasts, lay each one flat and cut a 2 to 3 inch pocket into the thickest part in the side of each.  Try not to cut through the top or bottom, but if it happens, big whoop.  You’ll survive.

In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese, butter, green onion, and black pepper.  Smash this all together with a fork well so it’s like a blue cheese butter (duh).  Divide it and stuff each breast with the mixture. With a small metal skewer, close and secure each pocket so it won’t open in the oven.

Mix the beaten egg and the milk.  On a large cutting board, use a rolling pin (or something similar) to make the cereal into crumbs.  Season this with the salt and toss it a bit.  Dip each breast in the egg mixture and then roll it in the cereal crumbs and coat generously.  Place each breast in a baking dish (glass or metal).  If you have left over crumbs, sprinkle them on top of the breasts in the dish.

Roast this for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165°.  Remove from the oven and let them sit for a few minutes.  Remove the metal skewers and serve.  You’ll get this:

Crusted Chicken 1

Notice the mashed potatoes and gravy.  Fuckin’-A.  It was all to die for and it passes for an any weather dish.

So, my adventures and hunger brought me a winner.  If you try this, I think you’ll be pleased.  If you aren’t, pizza and sex are the same: even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Carol’s Burritos

19 Mar

Mom's Burritos 012

I have written before about the recipe books that I inherited from my mom after she died.  I cannot emphasize what a gift this is.  It’s a walk through the kitchen of my youth plus a lot (and I mean A LOT) of recipes she never got around to making.  But in those recipes she never made, I see my mom clearly. I see what she loved to eat, who she was friends with, who she worked with, what she was reading, what caught her eye, or what she envisioned to make for people when they came over and received arguably the most exceptional hospitality for which one could ask.  She decked out the table whenever someone came for a meal not to impress, but simply because she was a lady, and in her generation, that’s what ladies do for guests.

The recipe books themselves are a marvel from the past.  They contain her own original recipes, some typed (not word processed) and some hand written in the uniform Catholic school-taught cursive of the 40’s and 50’s.  There are recipes from the neighbors that we had on our block that bring me back to the Fourth of July parties at the end of our cul de sac.  There are obsolete notecards with the “Recipe of the Month” on them from the local realtors who dropped by to chat or just to leave their information.  There are pages meticulously cut from Bon Appetit or Sunset or Better Homes and Gardens.  There are recipes that one would never see at a restaurant or house, but perhaps were the “in thing” 30 years ago.  Lastly, there are some recipes that are missing.

When I got the recipe book, my mom’s sister, my aunt Charlotte, who is just like my mom in the entertaining and lady department, said that I need to find her burrito recipe. Indeed, my mom’s burritos are legendary.  Since she had three boys and a husband from the old country, she knew how to feed large appetites and large amounts of people, especially considering that each one of our friends knew about my mom’s cooking by the time we each turned 12.  Her burritos went a long way, and you can’t eat just one.  They just didn’t last long at our house, and when you make them, you’ll understand why.

So I set about trying to find this recipe in those books and, lo and behold, there isn’t one.  My mom probably made these so many times and so often that she didn’t even think to write it down.  She told me once, but that was years ago and I have since forgotten the specifics.

So, my brother Chris saved the day with this one since he got the recipe some years back, and thus he gave it to me in a voice mail, which is how my mom would have done it too, come to think of it.  I thought about sprucing it up for the photos for this blog post with some sort of swirly sour creamy sort of thing, but if I did, they wouldn’t be her burritos any longer.  These photos, this is what they look like, pure and simple.  Still, mine are not exactly like my mom’s, but even if I had the recipe in her own hand, they never would be unless she made them for us.

Carol’s Burritos

Makes about 10 burritos

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp. oil

1 lb. ground beef

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chili powder

1 16 oz. can refried beans

1 4 oz. can diced green chilies

1/4 cup vegetable oil

10 burritos-size flour tortillas

Makin’ It:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion.  Cook them until they’re soft, about 5 minutes.  Add in the ground beef and get it brown, making sure to break it apart as it browns.  Once it’s brown, drain off the fat. Add the paprika, cumin, salt,, and chili powder.  Mix it well.

Add in the refried beans and the chilies.  Mix this well and warm it through.  Remove it from the heat and set aside.

To make the burritos, take a tortilla and put about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the filling at one end of the tortilla.  fold the sides in and roll it up, making sure that the ends stay closed.  Repeat this until you run out of filling (you might make more or less burritos depending on how heavy your hand is with the filling).

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until a drop of water pops back at you (that’s when it’s ready).  Carefully put in two burritos and fry them, turning them once or twice to get them a golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  They’ll cook faster as you make them, so be careful to watch the coloring of the tortillas so as not to burn them.

Drain them on paper towels and serve either alone or with some hot sauce or salsa or sour cream or whatever.  These taste even better cold, in my opinion.

Mom's Burritos 007

I might suggest doubling this if you have more than three or four people because they’ll get devoured quickly.  Thanks Carol!

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Ginger Chicken with Mushrooms

16 Mar

Ginger Chicken with Mushrooms 3

The five or so local grocery stores all know me on a first name basis. I go to the market six days out of the week, sometimes twice a day if I forget something.  I didn’t think much about it until I ran into a former student at the nearest Vons.

It’s amusing to see students, even former ones, outside of the classroom because they usually get nervous as hell and ask me some of the most outlandish questions to fill the uncomfortable air.  I think the idea that a teacher has a life outside of school trips them out, and many of them are just beginning to acquire the social skills necessary to navigate out of the teenage universe, which can be daunting.  I will tell them in class, “I don’t just fold up and go in the closet when you leave.  I actually live.  I wear shorts. I even have feelings.”  The fact that I have a child, I know, makes them realize at some point that I had to have sex at least once, which probably just turns into an imaginative wonderland for them as they listen to me prattle on about how memorizing the beginning lines of Chaucer’s Prologue to the Canterbury Tales is a rite of passage for any English-speaking human. Or perhaps I adopted, so then I never had to “do it,” which would make things easier for them, I’m sure.

Anyhow, the student at Vons had graduated the previous year.  She asked me, “Are you still at Pioneer?”  This is my favorite student question, and I get it often from graduates because they have no concept of a “career” yet; they think that I might just decide to quit teaching and move on whimsically to start working on the Christmas tree lot seasonally or fill in the void at the mall’s coffee shop to make ends meet.  This naivety is among the reasons why they’re endearing to me and why I love teaching them.

She then proceeded to tell me that her friend works at the store and that she said that I come in there every day, and that it’s kind of weird.  I attested that I do, indeed, shop often because I need certain ingredients for what I’m making, of course.  What I didn’t tell her is that going to the store for alcoholic beverages accounts for much of my ubiquitousness on those premises.

After this meeting, I have gotten a bit self-conscious about my shopping frequency, but not enough to change my ways totally.  Still, I will now try to “make do” with what I have in the kitchen, MacGyver-like, and see what happens once in a while.  Such is the case with this Ginger Chicken with Mushrooms.

When I opened the fridge, I had mushrooms and ennui-inspiring boneless chicken breasts.  I did some googling, found this recipe (http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,honey_ginger_chicken,FF.html), tweaked it a bit, and embarked on my mission.  It’s quick to make, easy, and awesome.  Serve it over rice and some stir fry veggies and you’ll be whistlin’ Dixie.

Ginger Chicken with Mushrooms

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 bunch of green onions, sliced into 1/2″ pieces

1 large chunk o’ ginger, peeled and finely minced

2 tbsp. oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. honey

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Makin’ It:

Heat the oil in a skillet (if you have a wok, have at it) over medium high heat.  Add the chicken cubes and saute them until they are browned all over, about 7 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and set aside.

Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes (if you need to add a bit more oil after removing the chicken, then do so).  Raise the heat, add the garlic and mushrooms, and saute for 2 minutes.  Return the chicken to the skillet.

In small bowl, combine the soy sauce and the honey.  Pour this over the chicken mixture.  Add the ginger and mix it all well.  Saute this for about 5 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the green onions and serve.

Ginger Chicken with Mushrooms 4

This dish is so simple to make and quite fulfilling.  The ingredients are easy to find too.  If you have trouble with anything, I’ll meet you at the market to help you.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Cucumber-Ginger Fizz Cocktail

10 Mar

Cucumber Ginger Fizzy

Last night, we set the clocks forward and, after a week of cold rain, it has been perfect weather here on California’s central coast (perfect=mostly sunny, 70°, slight breeze).  This paradisaical atmosphere began this morning when I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and thought ’twas Monday.  I started my morning routine of reading both the local and global news and then, of course, getting onto Facebook. It was then that I realized my error.  It’s Sunday, dammit.

To make the most of it until the house woke up, I watched two of the Up series films (28 Up and 35 Up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Series)), which began my day existentially.  It would follow, then, that a cocktail would need to be made both to embrace the fantastic weather and to enhance my connexion with the universe and life’s journey.  For that, I turned to Martha Stewart, of course.

I have said numerous times that, before I began teaching high school, I was a bartender at T.G.I. Sodium’s for a few years.  During that time, I acquired quite a working knowledge of making drinks.  But nowadays I feel sorely out-of-date.  It seems that “mixology” became the trend at some point in the 2000’s, and dickheads calling themelves “mixologists” were making infusions and syrups and wacky martinis and everything else under the sun to get people’s drinks on.  For the record, I am a bartender, not a “mixologist,” as I consider bartending more than just making drinks; a bartender provides an atmosphere of comfort, understanding, patience, meticulousness, promptness, and jocularity. A “mixologist” sounds like a pompous asshole, truth be told.

My wife and I found this cocktail a few years ago and I make the ingredients a couple of times a year.  It’s very simple, really, and the cocktail itself is one of the most refreshing drinks for which one could ask.  I have served this at cocktail parties and people can’t seem to get enough of them.  I figured I’d share both my existentialism and a great warm weather drink.  Cheers!

Cucumber-Ginger Fizz Cocktail (thanks to Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

Makes a bunch o’ cocktails

750 ml bottle o’ vodka

2 or 3  English cucumbers, 1 or 2 peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 left whole

lime wedges

soda water

ginger simple syrup

Makin’ It:

For the ginger simple syrup, over medium-high heat, bring 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, and 1 big chunk of peeled, sliced ginger to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover, turn off the heat, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  Strain it, discarding the ginger, and you have it.

In a glass bowl, combine the vodka and cucumber chunks.  Cover it and chill it for at least an hour.  Discard the cucumber and you have it.

To make one cocktail:

Fill a collins glass (or whatever glass you have) with ice. With the leftover whole cucumber, peel it and shave some of it, but not the seeds.  In other words, make cucumber strips and put them in the ice. Add 1 shot o’ cucumber vodka, 1/2 shot of ginger syrup, and fill it with soda water.  Squeeze one lime wedge into the drink, stir it with a straw, and you have it.

I haven’t had one person not fall in love with it.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Lentils and Grilled Italian Sausage

8 Mar

Lentils and Italian Sausage 010

In an Irish accent, I said “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph” when I took a bite of this tonight.  God-DAMN I love when I go with the mojo, improvise, use the knowledge I’ve gathered as well as some research and the package instructions, and just make a taint-masseuse of a dish.  Such is the case with the Lentils and Grilled Italian Sausage above.  ‘Tis easy, deep, primal, and altogether exemplary.

I learned how to cook lentils from my Aunt Anna. One day, I wanted the lentil soup that I had had so many times at my nonna’s, and my pop told me to call his sister, my aunt, because she makes it best.  I’ll never forget that phone call, truly, because it was the first time I actually reached out to a relative for a food recipe, which is something everyone should do if they want to learn how to cook what they love from their childhood.  She told me that the recipe is simple, revealed the ingredients, and then she threw forth the little tricks to make it exceptional, like using beef broth and the right amount of salt. Only the pros do this, and from memory.  That was the beginning.  Since then, I’ve made lentil soup, pasta with lentils, Indian spiced lentils (it will be on here later), and a bunch of other recipes with them.

So tonight’s a Steak and Sherlock Night, meaning that I get to make whatever my giant heart desires because the wife is at the in-laws with the kid.  Moreover, lentils aren’t her favorite.

A few days ago, I bought some red split lentils from Trader Joe’s (http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=767).  Since spring is about two weeks away, I have a limited time to indulge in the hearty winter meals that I love.  Thus, tonight the stage was set for some lentils and Italian sausage.  The recipe below is mine.  You can use any type of lentil, but look at the package and adjust the cooking time and liquid for the lentils accordingly. The split red lentils I used tonight, for example, take about half the time than whole lentils (go fucking figure).  I’m clever like that.

Lentils and Grilled Italian Sausage

(Serves 4 Irvine-like People drinking Chardonnay Lite, or 2 Gluttons)

Ingredients:

2 cups split red lentils (or any type of lentil, but adjust the cooking time accordingly, wise guy)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup diced onion

2 carrots, peeled, split lengthwise into quarters, and then sliced thinly

1 big celery stalk, diced

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 cup red wine (vermouth or white wine works too in a pinch)

5 cups beef broth (again, adjust according to the lentils)

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt (Be careful with this. Use a bit and then taste it later.  The broth and the sausages will give it lots of salt, too.)

3 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley (regular works too, kiddo)

4 grilled Italian sausages, sweet or hot depending on what blows your hair back

Parmesan cheese

Makin’ It:

Over medium high heat, heat the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid or a pot with a lid.  Add the onion, carrots, and carrot.  Cook them for about seven minutes until they’re soft and happy.  Add the garlic and cook one minute more. Add the lentils and get them coated with everything.

Add in the wine, broth, pepper, and salt (again, careful).  Bring it to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low.  Cook it for 13 minutes or until the lentils have absorbed most of the liquid.  Uncover it and taste for salt and adjust accordingly.

To serve, spoon about 1 1/2 cups in a large pasta bowl.  Top with slices of grilled sausage, parsley, and parmesan.  You will get this:

Lentils and Italian Sausage 002

A small side salad would probably lighten this up a bit but, personally, fuck salad with this.  I want more of the lentils and sausage, the world be damned.

Warm up some crusty Italian or French bread, and you’re getting laid tonight, even if you’re alone.

And before the first bite, raise the glasses and say it loudly, say it clearly, and make conservative people repeat it unknowingly:

Acqua fresca, Vino Puro,

Fica Stretta, Cazzo Duro.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013