Summer food fest photo follies

I did a big photo-dump of my iPhone and found a bunch of food shots taken over the summer. I had intended to provide my usual droll commentary for each but never got around to it. Does that happen to you? Do you have a big backlog of material that never actually makes it to Publish Post? I think I throw away more than I post. Lucky for you.

Summer is synonymous with eating scrumptious dishes that might not necessarily be in my best interest from a health and wellness standpoint. I should be more mindful of what I put in my body since I have very young children and need to be around for a few more decades. It doesn’t help that I bought our healthcare plan from some guy in the Times Square subway station who was selling policies off a card table. But I simply CANNOT HELP MYSELF when faced with these masterpieces of culinary artistic endeavor. These hard/bad choices are almost exclusively related to our annual trip to Cleveland. Make of that what you will.

It’s probably because it’s what I was raised on, but I feel there’s no better pizza than what’s served on the great North Coast of Ohio. The style of crust in Cleveland is thicker than the weak, thin-crust variety served on the eastern seaboard, but it’s not nearly as thick as Chicago deep dish pizza. Like it’s place on the map, Cleveland crust is somewhere between the two.

pizza1This is the supreme-ninja-grandmaster-combo of all time; pepperoni, anchovies and onions. I’ll bet you’re having trouble breathing right now, aren’t you? Back in New Jersey I am surrounded by the IRISH, who apparently have a broad cultural disdain for the delicioso tiny, salty fish, so the only time I ever actually GET an anchovy pie is in Cleveland amongst my Italian brethren. You can’t have everything. The Italians are lousy playwrights.

For years, I have been writing ad nauseam about my bro-in-law’s ribs. Their miraculous quality. The soulful essence that billows up from the grill when he lifts the lid. They have a narcotic, almost addictive quality. This past summer’s batch were, as always, perfection and grace. It’s October and I’m still having dreams about these beauties.

There was a new item on the menu this summer. He served homemade baked beans. He MADE them! I always assumed baked beans came from a can. I didn’t know you could actually make the damn things from scratch. Boy, did they taste better than the ones that come dribbling out of a can. They looked more enticing, too. Just out of camera range: a bottle of Dortmunder Gold from the Great Lakes Brewing Company. Viva!

If I’m clutching a big fist full of Clevo ribs, that can only mean one thing; the marinara sauce is only a day or two away. I know the “old-world recipe handed down through the generations” is a tired, worn-out cliché, but that’s exactly what you’re looking at here, folks. It migrated over from Calabria, through Ellis Island to Cleveland, then to my grandmother, then mother and now sister. That’s how it’s done! One of my nieces had better learn how to make this. There’ll be a pop quiz one day.

spagetNo, I didn’t arrange the sausage and meatballs on my plate like that intentionally. I didn’t even notice it until just now. What would Freud say?

Mom’s parents immigrated from Italy but Dad’s parents immigrated from Poland. Growing up, we weren’t as steeped in Polish cuisine as we were Italian, but I still have a soft spot on my palate for it. The perogies that come off of Grandma Ski’s Polish Food truck at the Cuyahoga County Fair are pretty much an exact replica of the ones that Grandma P used to make. As a child, I didn’t have a great affinity for them and turned my nose up. But now, I gladly pay good money for something that was once free.

Take a look at “Grandma Ski.” It looks like Grandma Ski can set up a little side business as an arc welder or mob enforcer.

After your big, heavy County Fair perogie orgy, for desert you can treat yourself to one of these:


Or not. New taste sensation, indeed.

25 thoughts on “Summer food fest photo follies

  1. the Ohio pizza crust is pretty decent – we call them “hand tossed”. not too thick, not too thin…can you serve marinara with Dos Equis? And even my deep and entrenched love of bacon would not entice me to eat a bacon sundae. probably.

  2. daisy: can you serve marinara with Dos Equis? I don’t understand your question. I’ve been doing it for years and it hasn’t hurt me. Has it? Yes, I thought I’d end the post on a low note.Jo: So you approve of the pizza? Are anchovies common in London? Actually, that’s an excellent cultural question, if anyone cares to answer it.

  3. Ohio Pizza better than Gotham?Ribs…Dos Equis…Scrabble = good time.We(Myself, wife, parents) are very close to buying a food truck and working the sports tournaments scene down here. Looking for names likeSausage Fingers rolling house of slopetc…

  4. SF: Yes, sir, Ohio pizza is better. To me. Food trucks are all the rage her in Manhattan. You can get some astonishingly good lunches from them for under $10 bucks. There’s one cart that sells German food and they’re called “The Wurst Cart in Manhattan.” Do you guys watch Food Truck Race on the Food Network? We’re addicted.

  5. I’ll pass on the anchovies, but the ribs look delish!Just last weekend, the MoS said that we should have a perogy making day soon, and make about 20 dozen or so. They are not hard to make, just time consuming…. but taste oh, so good!!!PS – Nice job with the sausage and meatballs. *snickers*

  6. I haven’t had pizza (with or without small salty fishies!) in almost 4 weeks! Or chips (fries) or burgers or KFC or Abrakebabra! I’m fading fast, (actually, I’m fading too fucking slowly for my liking!) send food parcel now! Nice pics. :¬)

  7. Daisyfae said “hand-tossed”, which to an English ear suggests a quite different topping. I had to swallow several times during that post, which gives an uncomfortable link to the previous sentence.Re Jo’s question, I can’t speak for London, but 250 miles away up here anchovies colonise pizzas all the time. I’m not sure about them. I find them a bit overwhelming on a pizza. Would it not be cheaper to eat a packet of salt?Wish I had I way of making my pizza for you, a recipe that I got off someone in Austin (yes, your Austin, in Texas). No guarantees but apart from the one I had in Sardinia, it’s the best I’ve ever had, he said modestly.Blimey, food gets me talking. Enough!

  8. Ponita: If you’re going to hold a perogie orgy, I’m coming! Even if I have to crawl across the border. What do you put in them?map: I guess you can always click on the pic of the pizza, enlarge it, and lick your monitor. Once you return to fighting weight remember, everything in moderation. These things will come back to you.SB: Welcome to America. looby: I am strangely satisfied to hear that you eat anchovies that far north. As though my tastes have been validated by you nice folks. Food is the international language.

  9. Mashed potatoes with sharp cheddar cheese and bacon (previously fried up crisp and crumbled). Boil them, then brown in butter and olive oil, serve with sauteed onions and big globs of sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. They are the best!!!Come on over… there will be lots to share! If you’re going to crawl across the border, wear knee pads. 😉

  10. Ponita: That’s my favorite kind! I hope my passport is up to date. Do you ever fry them or are you strictly a boil type of gal?nurse: Daisyfae is on the fence. Perhaps you can split one with her. I can assure you that a bacon sundae will never pass my unbearable lips.

  11. I boil them first and then pan fry. I have not deep fried homemade ones, but have had them that way many times at restaurants. I prefer them pan fried in butter but will even eat them just boiled! With sour cream and onions, of course. Can’t leave those off!I’ll let you know when we set a date to make them. 😉

  12. Pointa: I actually don’t recall ever having them pan fried in butter but that would certainly seem to be the WAY TO GO with these. Why didn’t I think of that?dinah: A fantastic clip. Thanks! I pray the practice migrates its way to New Jersey soon.Pat: Best/most timely WV ever. Did you make that up?!

  13. I do not pretend to speak for all of the Irish but this Irishman is no fan of anchovies. Your brother-in-law’s ribs look amazing. I was wishing for a taste as I was reading about them and looking at the pictures of them. Great stuff. I’ll be underwhelmed now by whatever I eat today, tomorrow and in all likelihood Sunday but the visual feast you provided was outstanding nonetheless.

  14. I came over here from Pat at Past Imperfect to wish you well from your flu experience. I have to believe you are better if you can even face talking about all this food. Now I’m sooooooooo hungry. Glad to know you are better.

  15. AK: I don’t like to reduce any race of people to a cheap stereotype, but thanks for reaffirming my contention that the IRISH do not eat ANCHOVIES. Ever. Have you tried them at least?Hi GA. Thanks for the visit and your kind words. It struck me like a blow to the side of my head but was completely gone in about three days. A miraculous recovery!SF: At least it’s a healthy addiction.

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