Friday, June 1, 2007


i found a new thrift store, on the south side of bethlehem, quite close to my community garden. i'd driven past a few times and finally got to go in.
the first thing i spotted was this awesome pirate print stretched across a wood frame- i took it inside since it had no price and ended up paying $5 for it. not sure what to do with it- i think it ought to go to my nephew.

i asked if they had more furniture and the salesgirl pointed me downstairs. i walked down into a poorly lit, dank basement...and manuevered my way through the rows of couches, bedroom sets, elementary school desks, and suitcases that formed an intricate maze. a sheet hung in a doorway that led to another room...and sort of wanted to get out of there. i was torn between feeling like this was a prime place to be kidnapped, and searching for the perfect vintage vanity. in the end, i didn't see anything worth staying in the creepy basement i headed back upstairs and checked out the clothes. And just so you know- this picture isn't really showing just how dark and creepy the basement was- i was just scared of someone jumping out of the sheet covered cave and killing me so i only took one quick picture.

nothing else caught my eye but i'd definitely go back- with pepper spray or a large man.

you say to-may-to.

I know these two old italian ladies, leftover great-aunts from an old boyfriend. They live alone, cook every day, and nap in the afternoons- I aspire to grow old like them.
I visit occasionally and between forkfuls of homemade pasta, I ask marge cooking questions, determined to learn her secrets.
We use the same cookbook, but everything she makes tastes better. My lastest query was concerning her homemade sauce- I follow the same recipe, but mine always tastes bitter... just not right. She pointed out I was probably using the wrong brand of canned tomatoes- and shuffled right down into her basement to bring me two cans of her own- Rienzi Whole with Puree being her top choice:

So wednesday night I began my experiment- I used her tomatoes and bought another brand- more expensive than I usually buy (just cause they didn't have Rienzi)- I also never used whole with puree, but crushed tomatoes.
Here are the results:

The sauce I made from her tomatoes was definitely superior- for one thing- the tomatoes themselves were bigger and softer and easier to squish by hand. The brand I bought contained golf-ball sized tomatoes that were a bit more tough-skinned.
In the end, though, I mixed the two sauces and continued with my dinner plans- making chicken parm. I had a huge craving for this and bought thin chicken cutlets and slices of thin mozzarella (like they make it at a local restaurant)...
The fresh grated romano I bought smelled amazing- I believe this is the brand Marge uses- it comes from a local cheese factory in Nazareth.

Here's the final shot- there's probably something a little weird about taking photos of food I cook- but with all that work and only my roomate to appreciate it, I feel I need to show it off a little more- plus it reminds when I'm looking for dinner ideas later.