Recipe: Another Thursday meal – from 10/29/09

|June 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It’s Thursday alright! A favorite day for me.

I went to the “barns” yesterday in the city – no they are not real barns like you would find on a farm – but they’ve been called barns my whole life. They are wholesale supply houses – all in a row – or should I say in rows. And as the years go by – some look worse than ever! A couple have remodeled – the rest I think they are just waiting for them to fall down. You can buy anything there – and there is also an outdoor market that they run all year ‘round. There are sausage vendors, beer distributors, those that sell only fruits and veggies indoors, dairy, meats – anything at all.

But that is where you can buy in bulk, buy all the fresh meats, veggies, fruits, dairy products, etc. for restaurants, stores, hotels, and other businesses. My whole family has shopped there since the barns were built. After all – many have had restaurants. I love being able to shop before dawn and get back home. Then I don’t need to put up with all the city traffic in the morning. At that time everything is stocked and fresh – they close between 1 and 4 in the afternoon, depending on the vendor, so it’s definitely a early-bird shopping experience.

It’s got that “comfy” feel to it – although it is so old. Many memories of filling grocery flats with food for an army and bringing it home to cook for the army.

Although it’s no longer an army, most of the elders have passed – and my generation is soon going to be the elders of the family. To think that soon I’ll be the family “Don” —–

You can also buy restaurant dishes, silverware, pots and pans, and all the goodies for trimming restaurants. Ninety-five percent of my dishes are restaurant dishes. They last forever – that’s how it is in my family. Several of my great aunts took on jobs working at the local china business – they made many of those dishes that I have.

Not only do I buy food items, “wares”, pots, pans, etc. but I usually buy all my waxed paper, foils, etc. in bulk, It’s much cheaper to have large rolls of foil in two different widths around for several years than to have to buy it weekly or monthly. Better quality too. And if I need any other paper products – I can get them there.

Yesterday was a day to pick up some odds-n-ends – a bag of yeast for making bread (for $3 I can make a ton of bread, pizza, calzones, cinnamon rolls, etc.), a gallon jar of pepperoncini is a must in my house and I only paid $4.85 for it; a jar of pepperoni in the store is close to $4 and there is nothing in it. I purchased a whole provolone cheese – for salads, sammies, grating on pizzas, etc., some is in the freezer. I bought the institutional size of the herbs and spices that I needed – they cost from $6 to $9 each – once again – brand name – and those little jars by the same company on the supermarket shelf will choke you. I grabbed a whole liverwurst for quickie sammies to pick on – we are liverwurst people here and as long as it is in the refrigerator I hear it calling my name and I run to it. (I’m bad!)

When I make meatloaf and stuffed cabbage rolls, I sometimes like to put tomato soup in the meat/filling and also use as a sauce on top. Our supermarket is selling condensed cream of tomato soup (the 10 ounce cans) for up to $1.59 or more a can. Sometimes I need two for the meatloaf or cabbage rolls. For $3.40 each, I purchased the institutional sized cans of the same soup – I’ll have soup leftover to enjoy with grilled cheese, or just to drink after raking leaves (or shoveling) as a tummy warmer. I even bought cream of chicken and cream of potato – great for making casseroles – or should I say – my “fishes and loaves” – and these institutional cans cost no more than or even less than 2 regular size cans.

Another thing I purchase there is tuna fish. A can of tuna that is over 4 pounds costs only $7.65. I don’t have the time, patience, and I don’t want to put my money into the cans on the supermarket shelves that are filled with water or oil and there is no tuna in it – just a few flakes. If making several sandwiches and using some in macaroni salad I would need to open 10 cans or more at more than a dollar a can – buy institutional – it’s cheaper and at least it has chunks of tuna in it – not just a few flakes.

I’m also able to buy eggs on steroids there. Trust me – the eggs they sell don’t even fit in the cartons they are so big! A dozen is cheaper than a dozen in the supermarkets by at least 60 cents.

And I bought pepperoni. They way we go through that here, I need to buy it in bulk. Got a LARGE jar of maraschino cherries for baking as well.

Grabbed a few more goodies, and the nice gentlemen there packed my trunk and car (too bad they couldn’t come home with me and help put it all away – that is the down-side of grocery shopping) and I was on my way.

After making dozens of trips to unload the car (dang boxes were too heavy to lift – had to empty by hand!) I was ready to start to get ready for today.

Using a gallon of whole milk and some lemon juice (this time), I made my homemade ricotta cheese.

Today, it’s Thursday, I’m Italian – it’s pasta for dinner. I made my homemade meat sauce, made my lasagna noodles, assembled my lasagna – and we had a great dinner.

I made a salad of green beans, diced provolone, and pepperoni, tossed with a basic vinaigrette made from olive oil, red wine vinegar, Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, basil.

We still break bread on occasion in my house – it’s just a tradition – crusty Italian to complete the meal.


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