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.
It’s soup season. One of the reasons I do embrace soups (just not soup season) is the one pot/tummy filler concept. Soups can be a big dump in one pot, add some bread and a salad, and the tummy is filled quickly, and you spent almost no time laboring over your dinner.
A lot of soups can be done in the slow cooker, but I threw this one together in about 20 minutes, and reheated it for dinner. The cheese and the ham combined with a flour and milk base create a stick to your ribs consistency, and a fun, kiddie-like crowd pleaser, combining cheese and corn.
This is from TASTE OF HOME magazine:
2c cubed peeled potatoes
½ c sliced carrots
½ c sliced celery
¼ c chopped onion
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ c butter
2c whole milk
2c shredded sharp cheddar
1 can (15oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 ½ c cubed cooked ham
In a large saucepan, bring the water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 8-10 min or until veggies are just tender. Remove from heat, but do not drain.
In another saucepan while the veggies boil, melt the butter and stir in the flour till smooth. Gradually add the milk, and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add this to the veggie mixture and turn up the heat.
Throw in the corn and ham and howdy! You are back on the farm!
The only satisfaction I receive from the fall weather is change of fashion: hues melt into darker silhouettes, textures are heavier and more fitted, sweaters are a staple, and my favorite, admittedly, is the OTK boot. It’s the only thing I don’t mind saying I actually like to wear.
I fell in love with these pants from THEORY because they are fitted, and can accommodate an OTK boot very easily, and dark enough they don’t make my short legs any shorter. The fall mesh of black and gray is not so heavily opaque, and accommodates a bright top very easily. The only caveat with anything from THEORY that has stretch, and these leggings are all about stretch and fit, is you may need to go up a size. They also tend to be a little short waisted, so someone like me who has hips and a—may need a little more material.
You know Free People is my fashion kryptonite! I love this top, paired with a “funky” lace bra or bralette. With my boobs, I always need support, so although I’m not a huge Angel fan when it comes to every day braziers (lol) I love these bras for that show it off open back. They have underwire and a front closure for support. Not a daily staple, but it makes an open back so inviting.
I would do a black or even gray OTK boot to compliment this pair. I tend to like a stretch boot which gives me a leaner line, and a sexy hug, but if you are endowed with skinny thighs, you can do a slouchier look.
Fall sucks, but shopping doesn’t.
Most people do experience some kind of winter blues, or the winter doldrums as we call them, well, in the winter. I experience the fall F-OFF in September.
I really do think I might need an evaluation for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but we won’t go there right now. However, I do start hating September, without even giving it a chance, starting around August 1, and although I perk up right after Thanksgiving, I mourn summer like a kid whose carnival goldfish passed away in that cheap bowl two days after throwing a ping pong ball in there.
There was a great commercial from Staples which aired for a few years in a row. I pee in my pants watching it, but I cannot understand the concept. It is not the most wonderful time of the year … there is no free time, my shorts are clinging to my legs like a frightened child on the first day of school begging me not to put them on the shelf, it’s getting dark at 8:30, my kids are grumpy, my grill has entered into a depression, there is no frolicking in the pool after camp, no sleeping in till 7:30, no grabbing ice cream after dinner, trips to the shore. Need I go on about bikinis, tanned legs and icy ombre pink drinks from Starbucks?
But, there are those, who personally and commercially try to get me to love Pumpkin Spice Lattes, sweaters, pumpkin and apple picking. Guess what, you can’t make me love fall. I think it sucks. Back to routine, homework, after school activities that have me embedded into the leather of the driver’s seat of my car so when I get up you see the indent of my coolie. Oh, I have tried to love the fall, and all it’s beauty, which really doesn’t show up until November, and by that time, fall has started to collide, with the 8th deadliest sin, winter.
Does anybody understand what is about to happen here? You all bitch when it’s too hot, “Holy crap, I’m sweating like a pig … omg, this is too hot, ugh, I can’t deal … I’m dripping … I’m melting…” Ahhhh, but when it’s 20 degrees outside and your ass slips on that piece of ice developed by a crying pipe when you walk in to get your toasty latte in the morning wearing your ugly parka with the fur hood, you are cursing the winter and crying “where’s Spring!?” like church goers who go back to God when they find out they are terminal.
The only thing I like about the winter is a big frieking blizzard that knocks out power, shuts down the neighborhood and keeps everyone home. I can stay in my pjs and watch my kids fight over the best cookies to make and take a nap mid-day.
So, personally, I hate the fall. It’s a prequel to winter, which is even uglier, but fall is like winter’s pimp … trying to sell it in sexiest way possible by appealing to your sense of smell, sight and touch. But, really, you get a cheap, decrepit, dead, broken down season that gives you a five minute thrill from November to January, but has you crying from regret every moment after that.
So, to you September, the longest month of the year, the month who seems to have eight weeks and each day is Septmber 1st. You pumpkin, sweater lovin’ kool-aid drinking fall culters, you aren’t fooling me. I want my summer back, and September is the beginning of the end … to the most beautiful season, summer. But, in May, we will all be back with a vengeance and a beach towel.
As fall crept its way into my house last night, summer kept it’s arm around my shoulder and whispered, “It’s all gonna be alright….I’ll be back soon. It’s 85 degrees outside … I’m here for a little while. Don’t cry. It will all be fine.”
But, as I turned on my oven to make one of my favorite one dish wonders, I realized in order for summer to come back to me, my true love, I would have to part with lost leaves, short, dark days, frozen pipes, the after school routine, and grilling. We have returned to the ugliness of pre winter and the renaissance of the creative casserole, cooking dinner before 11 a.m., and making my menu for the following week on a Thursday.
So, let me introduce to you, to one of my favorite, therapeutic, comfort foods … pastina. Isn’t that everyone’s favorite comfort food, or do you have to be Italian? Giada’s Baked Pastina Casserole is a cure all for the autumn blues.
This covers four hungry apple pickers. Adjust the recipe for your clan.
You will need:
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pastina until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. (Even if there is still a “bite” to the stars, pasta cooks even after you drain it).
While you are waiting for the pasta to cook, sauté the chicken breast with the olive oil, and after a few minutes, add the onion and garlic, cooking until onion is soft, and chicken is cooked.
Dump everything: the pasta, chicken mixture, diced tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, salt and pepper into a large bowl and combine.
Butter an approximately 8x8x2 baking dish with butter or spray, and spread your pasta mixture in the dish.
In a small dish, combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle on top. This can remain at room temperature until you are ready to bake it.
When you are ready to bake, cut up some of the butter and dot on top of the casserole.
Bake at 400 until golden brown, probably about 30 min.
HIP MOM HINTS:
1.I use prepared chicken breast like Perdue Short Cuts so nothing has to cook through. It’s much faster and I still sautee’ the meat with the other ingredients to get the flavors to mesh.
2. If your budget allows, try purchasing items like, onions that are already chopped or peeled. What a time and an eye-saver! I would make a terrible sous chef because I hate all the prep. Sometimes I get chopped celery, carrots, etc, depending on what I’m making. Many grocery stores have already cut up stuff just for this purpose.
I cried as I took my first spoonful, but my kids were happy, and in the end, that’s all that counts, right??? Questionable.
I think I told you I really found a compadre last year with my slow cooker. We do like each other, now. And since it’s back to school time, it means back to the cooking grind. So, I found her in my pantry, gave her a light kiss on her little chrome cheek and started to fill her with stuff to make the first Tuesday back to school feast.
Introducing, one of my kids favorites, tacos, in a “dump” form: Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Pico de Gallo from www.eatingwell.com
You will need:
Easy: Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl, spread on the meat, and brown each side just for a few minutes, a total of five minutes just about. Save half the mixture.
Throw the onion in the slow cooker. Add the browned beef. Whisk the broth, tomato paste and remaining spice mixture together and pour over the beef.
Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. Shred the beef with a fork, and stir back into the liquid.
Serve your shredded little Mexican mixture with Pico de Gallo and Lime wedges, with sour cream, shredded cheese and some shredded lettuce ...or your favorite taco toppings.
HIP MOM HINT: Rice and beans on the side will make this a fiesta.
Back to school? OLE’!!!!
It’s getting to be that time of year again … time to sharpen the Ginsu collection, study Food Network Magazine for the spice of life to make my kids happy, and get back in the weekly culinary game. I decided to start early since the complainers are done with the chef being on vacation.
I do 95% of my grocery shopping online. I’m far from a tightwad…as a matter of fact, I am a total over spender, but this saves me oodles and oodles of time, and I get what I need for the week, rather than eating my way through aisles 6 and 14 and buying all sorts of crap because the new packaging looked really edible. But, when I DO get to that gluttonous mecca called the food store, I am a check out magazine addict, especially cooking ones. I think my drool has hit the cashier a few times as I turn the pages while shoveling hot Cheetos into my mouth waiting for the customer in front of me to realize it’s totally ok to bag your own stuff.
Jackpot of the summer: Food Network’s Summer Pasta Cookbook. And, it’s sexy cover girl, Pappardelle with Fresh Corn is my choice for the hottest summer pasta recipe.
Pappardelle is one of my all time favorite pastas. Everyone has their favorite pasta, but no one can really tell you why. They kind of all taste the same, so it must be a texture thing, a fork thing, or a childhood memory thing. I like the thickness and ease of eating and twirling on my fork .. very unladylike.
You will need:
Here is the full recipe:
You can make this your summer pasta swan song, or extend your summer into your winter … I like to do that.
Winter bites. Totally.