Doesn’t it sound just super gross? Remember I come from a long line of cooks and survivors who did not let an animal die in vain. We use all the parts … every single one. In reality, that’s what post Thanksgiving turkey soup is … turkey carcass soup.
I cook a feast on Thanksgiving. It’s quite the catharsis, and rewarding. I also lose about five lbs. every holiday because I get full picking.So, it’s really a symbiotic relationship, the bird and me. When Thanksgiving Monday comes and we are back to the grind before Christmas, I keep it simple, and really, it gets no simpler than shoving a turkey rib cage into some flavored water and letting it boil for a few hours. Let the stove do all the work. What you will need:
Saute all the veggies with some olive oil and kosher salt. (Except the bay leaves). When they are tender, throw in your turkey body. (IF there is meat on the bones, leave it alone. Fill the pot up about ¾ of the way with cold water. Throw in the bay leaves, bouillon, season with some salt and pepper and stir.
Turn the pot on simmer.
Stir every hour or so, and let cook for a minimum of three hours. You will know you have accomplished this herculean task of making soup when your house smells like, well, turkey soup.
You may have to turn it off earlier than dinnertime, and reheat it. That is fine.
When you are ready to reheat, or eat, get another pot, and dump everything in the soup pot into a large strainer positioned on the extra pot. Now the fun begins. Pull the meat off the bones and throw it back into the broth, and search for any bones and ditch them. Throw all the veggies and the meat back in the broth. Throw away the bay leaves.
Cook your tortellini separately. If you cook them in the broth, the pasta absorbs all the liquid and you have very swollen tortellini and no broth.
I put them aside to be eaten when you eat the soup.
Decorate with a little Parmigiano and there’s dinner. EASY, EASY EASY.
They say you never forget your first love. My only problem is that I knew my first love totally existed, but there is no way in hell he knew I existed. Like really, no way. He was seventeen years my senior and when I fell in love with him, I was ten and he was twenty-seven. But, I was determined to make it work. I had many long term family goals with him, and it would all come to fruition, even if only in my own mind.
I was dreamy-eyed, not even a teeny-bopper, yet, but I will never, ever forget how I felt every time I saw him, and made up stories in my head about how he would fall in love with me, even at such a young age. We would break all May-December age barriers and he could care less if I didn’t even have my twelve year molars or a drivers’ license. He would just fall madly in love with me and wait until we could get married when I turned eighteen. Then we would just stay starry-eyed and have lots of babies, and I would be the envy of every teen girl turned soccer mom. That’s how it would work. My only problem lie in the logistics of making this all happen: how could I meet David Cassidy and make him fall in love with me? In my pre-pubescent mind, we had a house, a family, I was a big deal on the Hollywood wives circuit, and he adored me and nobody else. Nice try…
Well, here I am forty years later, and guess what, it never happened. And even worse, he’s gone. Just gone. hocking to find out that David Cassidy was just that, a mere mortal. He had organs that succumbed to years of torture and abuse? He was not built like Steve Austin? He was whatttttt? A human, created from other humans with chromosomes and pitfalls? This was impossible! A teenage nightmare! Yet, at 67 years of age, the fantasmagoric, pretend, fantasy boyfriend of every girl in my age group, and possibly even twenty years older, left none of us with a chance at fulfilling the same celebrity-commoner relationship enjoyed by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, and today, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. David left this world on November 21, 2017, only to return in a Partridge Family rerun or a downloaded album on I-Tunes. It actually left me with a void and a heartbreak I wasn’t prepared for, or maybe a scar that my childhood died along with him, or the cockamamie fantasy of ever being Mrs. Cassidy was really a goner.
I guess the fact that I am married with eight children really wouldn’t have been an obstacle. I would have somehow worked around it, even if David and I just became friends. (Wink wink). We would love him and bring him into our family, since I think that’s what he may have needed most, and the lack of it drove him to a life of sloppy and fearless debauchery long after Keith Partridge cut his hair and hung up his hip huggers.
My husband obviously had no fear that David and I would become star crossed lovers. He’s the one who bought me tickets to David’s concert here in NJ a few years ago at the NJPAC. I was the youngest female in the room, and I swore the women in the audience were going to start taking off their bras and panties when David began to croon “I Think I Love You.” Of course he would spot me in the audience and it would be all over for the rest of them…but that didn’t happen. My husband felt the need to assuage my desire for David by taking me to hear him sing after he found a love letter I had written him that he needed oxygen to recover from after reading because he could not control his laughter. I didn’t find it very funny. I thought the letter, professing my undying love and desire for him written in crayon on that triple spaced penmanship paper they give you in Catholic school was rather tempting and seductive.
I decided a long time ago that both of David’s wives were not pretty enough and undeserving. First Kay Lenz and then Sue Shifrin whom he was married to for 25 years just until 2016. I guess maybe they weren’t really ugly, it’s just that he was so beautiful I couldn’t figure out the attraction. It was all out of jealousy, really. He never met me. Lol
I didn’t realize until the last few years, what an unfortunate train wreck David had become. I’m not sure his life of addiction was born from something in his unfulfilled home life, or genetic. I remember seeing his mugshot from a DUI he was nailed for in Saratoga, NY, and I was horrified, yet mesmerized at the same time. What happened to Keith? Where was his hair, that perfect smile, that perfect skin? Keith was long, long gone, and it seemed David could not adjust, many years later to the not-so-teenage idol any more, and just crumbled into the private sector. I was sad. Very sad. I still loved him, but the image was daunting.
As stories poured in after his death at an untimely 67, even the posthumous accounts of his shattered life could not dissuade me from the fantasy I carried for forty years. As a matter of fact, it made him even more human and I felt he really yearned for “normal,” for “real,” for a home-cooked meal or a meatball on Sunday. Something he probably never had.
I read a piece about him where he was pulled over for a DUI and the cop who stopped him was named “Tom Jones.” Well, guess what an open door that was. Apparently David looked up at him and said “What’s new pussy cat?” Shows some bravado and a sense of humor. The timeliness of the one liner may not have been the most judicious, but I am still laughing about what a great line it was.
So, as I look back on the unrequited love I shared with David, I know that one of the reasons I loved music so much and broke into singing was because I couldn’t get enough of him. He wasn’t a great singer, a great actor or a great dancer, but there was enough of something that launched him into superstardom and into the fantasy of every teenage, drooling, swooning girl in the 70s. Even though so many years passed and David pretty much wrote his own destiny, there is a piece of my heart he will always have that will never belong to anybody else. I joked with my friend who was my rival for David’s fantasy wife, that had he met me now, I could have fixed him. And, now, 50 to a 67-year-old guy would be “hot.” LOL
Farewell to my first true love. May you now find what you were lacking in your life, and thank you for giving a little kid a dream that would never materialize, but one so beautiful, it would last a lifetime.
Please read my coming soon interview with Ann Moses, who I am so excited to connect with. For those of you who remember Tiger Beat (I do!), Ann was an editor there and had exclusive coverage of David and the Partridges. We will be giving away a copy of her book, “MEOW, MY GROOVY LIFE WITH TIGER BEAT’s TEEN IDOLS.” Don’t touch that dial.
My mother used to laugh at the New York Times cooking section on Sundays. She was a well accomplished cook, and her roots came from eating tripe and veal brain from my grandmother’s kitchen. The reason she ate tripe and brain was obvious: immigrants wasted no part of the animal. The Italian mantra: if we have it, we cook it, whatever the F it is. So, when she saw the recipe of the week was stuff like Spaghetti Carbonara or Fu-Fu Polenta, she would always rebuke the culinary selection with comments like, “Really, we ate this stuff because we were poor, and now it’s on the front page of the food section?” Hey, everything old is new again, even in the kitchen.
She had an issue with Carbonara because it was something that she could throw together when she didn’t know what to throw together that night.
It’s so painfully simple; pasta, eggs, cheese, bacon; that it’s frustrating what a culinary delicacy it has become. “Carbonara,” in it’s simplicity means relating to coal, or in this case, the burnt bacon more than likely. Some say it’s origins go back to the prostitutes who beckoned the soldiers during WWII ... oh no, wait, that’s another recipe ... alla Puttanesca. But they say the soldiers had few rations that they took bacon and eggs and threw them on the pasta.
The key to authentic carbonara is you need to cook the bacon or pancetta (even better) till it’s sizzling, burn your hand off hot, and mix it with a mixture of raw egg and Parmigiano cheese. The hot oil from the bacon will cook the egg, and the whole thing takes like twenty minutes, including boiling the water.
However, Americans, unlike the Italians, will bathe in fat and grease, so nothing better than adding cream to your grease for good measure. Giada does give in to the American way here, but I will admit, it was fat-cell amazing.
Click here for the link.
I guess somewhere in in the early 80s, to the best of my recollection, I was attracted to baseball. Looking back, I’m not sure if the attraction was to the sport or the guys who played it. In reality there were some really ugly ballplayers, but as soon as they put on a uniform and grabbed a glove, they were instantaneous hunks, ready for battle, similar to Vikings who put on those masculine Malmström, Doeplers and titanium chest protectors, butt ugly but so ready for battle they made the shield-women drool.
I think the Bronx pinstripes did me in, and after watching one game on PIX 11, it was all over. I dragged my friends into the Yankee milky way with me, and the X chromosome section of Yankee Stadium was born. My friend Annette and I used to drag her very, very patient and unaware father to all these games, and we ran around the stadium eating, drinking Pepsi, (no soda allowed in my house), and learning the sport we thought would land us baseball husbands. Needless to say neither of us scored a star athlete, and as the years went by, although my love for the Bronx Bombers has never wavered, I got a more adult glimpse into what it’s probably like to be married to a professional athlete, and well, I think I’m waaaaay better off.
Somewhere between say, 1984 and 2017 I had the privilege of working with the Yankees in a few capacities and made a few connections along the way. Some, I was honored to meet like the Scooter, Phil Rizzutto, and my baseball sweetie and Montclair, NJ heartthrob, Yogi Berra, and some were just such stuffed shirts they probably wear the same suit to bed and cut deals in their dreams. But, God always has a plan, and in the mix, somehow, I had the privilege of meeting the classiest guy in baseball, (next to Yogi), former Yankees manager, Joe Girardi.
Joe and his wife, Kim unbeknownst to me took a Perillo tour in 1995, before they became parents. When I met Joe for the first time in Toronto about ten years ago, the first thing he said to me was that he took a trip with us. I was so impressed that he humbled himself as Yankee skipper at that moment to approach me. Since then, I have done a few vacations for Joe and Kim, making arrangements for the Girardi family with simple, demand-free plans. Joe and Kim are easier to work with than the every day no celebrity client.
Whether we were in the throes of planning a trip or not, I would text Joe here and there to say “great game, way to go, etc…,” and he always responded, even to little old me. I was impressed with each and every response, because it was just that, a response. I have nothing to offer from a sports perspective, a gazillion dollar contract laced with endorsements, or a huge, money making appearance. He responded because I reached out to him, and as important, unimportant, impressive or unimpressive my text was at that moment, he took the 20 seconds to acknowledge it. (And, of course, we are paesani). This speaks volumes of a man who cares about those around him, and who acknowledges the “little people,” the same as if his agent were calling.
Was I caught off guard when the Yanks and Joe parted ways? I can’t say I was shocked because the Yankees didn’t win, and Joe’s contract was petering out. The Yanks need to win, even when they aren’t winning, and I guess this didn’t sit well with the higher ups. I always felt a manager really was about morale, and not a babysitter for MLB players who get paid a million dollars an at bat to produce. But whatever, I’m not on the innards of a billion dollar team. I’m just a thirty five year boy crazy observer.
Maybe Joe was finished with the Yankees. Maybe the Yankees were finished with Joe. Maybe we just won’t know. But what I do know is that underneath the shroud of “celebrity,” which can effect those who have been laureled with this dubious distinction in sometimes the most egotistical way, there is Joe Girardi, the guy who has embodied all a Yankee should be, or all they perceive to be, or, rather, all they want you think they are: clean shaven, handsome, classy, suit donned winners. Joe, wherever you go, you are a winner. Thanks for always being, well, a nice guy. And in the end, that’s what gets you to heaven.