Did I tell you the time…
I caught my leg under an elevator.
This is about a friend from childhood, Sal Tecce, whose father, at the time, owned one of the most prosperous and well-known Boston Italian restaurant, called “Tecce’s.”
This is about little Sal who had two little friends, Richie Gambale and Dom Capossela, Richie not with us on this day.
We lived near an alley which, on one side, backed into a large commercial building that took deliveries by means of an out-of-date elevator activated by hand-pulling a rope that started the pulleys that brought the elevator up and down.
We often played on this elevator.
A small, three-foot wide loading dock framing the elevator shaft provided our play area.
The game was to call the elevator down from the floors above, grab hold of the platform as it appeared above our heads, and pull ourselves up onto it to ride down the four feet remaining before it reached street level, our home base.
Then to send it back up by pulling the rope again, jumping off at the last moment before otherwise we would be stuck on it for the ride up.
Where we might get caught with no place to run.
We figured these things out.
We were rascals.
On our good days.
This not a good day.
As I pulled myself up to the platform floor, I slipped and fell to the loading dock, my right foot under my thigh, my folded leg extended beyond the dock into the shaft.
It only took a second for the elevator to reach the leg and vise it against the shaft wall.
I screamed in pain and fear.
A scream that would have sent most eight-year-olds running for help, leaving me to God-knows-what.
He didn’t have to think.
He just jumped up on the elevator, pulled the ropes to send it up, and jumped off.
He draped my arm around his shoulder and carried me out to the street where the street corner society that was Boston’s North End took over: friends, siblings, parents called in short order.
After these years, my leg still sports a sizeable scar.
But the use of my leg was never diminished because of an eight-year-old who kept his composure.
Still grateful after all these years.
October 5, 2018
My 178th consecutive daily posting.
Time is 5.20am.
Boston’s temperature will rise to 60* under sunny skies.
Question of the Day:
What are the Guides Michelins?
Love your notes.
Contact me @ email@example.com
Web Meister: Not satisfied with my current meat thermometer I emailed Howard and asked if he had a good one.
Here is his response.
From: Howard Dinin
Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2018 8:31 AM
To: dom capossela
Subject: Re: meat thermometer
Funny you would ask.
I was just using mine, last night. I made Spatchcocked Red Chili Chicken (Adobado)… which incidentally was incredibly good, especially if you like spicy food.
Anyway, the virtue of this one is, it’s Taylor, which is the brand I usually have ended up with for years and years. It’s digital, which means there’s no questioning its accuracy in a reading.
The probe is very very slim and adjustable.
It also has an infrared sensor which reads the surface temperature of very hot things (as in, not the high end for poultry—165°F—but the high end for deep frying fats, which is 375°F) without having to touch anything. I made corn crusted catfish deep frying it, and used the thermometer then too.
There are much cheaper ones (it’s possible even Taylor makes one), which are more compact, and sort of like the digital thermometers made for measuring fever levels in humans, like they sell at CVS. But I wouldn’t trust them for durability in a kitchen, and I guess the principle is the same, so why mistrust it just because the temperatures are higher?
But this one is a champion. And I know there are very much more expensive ones, but that’s like insisting on only buying BMW, when a Honda or Toyota are likely as good for the basics of transportation, not as finicky, and with enough, rather than excess, technology and reliability built into them.
Anyway, I’ve bought two of these. One for down here in Philly and the other in N.H.
Taylor also, of course, has always made those nifty little pocket pokers—meat thermometers with a tiny round “instant reading dial” (they’re not) that slip into a nylon sleeve and that chefs like to stick two or three of into their pocket on their tunic, or the really racy ones stick them into the little pocket on the sleeve of their tunic, so they can whip them out with a flourish. And they are accurate to a point (I have three or four of these lying around; they’re very cheap, relatively), because they’re good for a quick read.
But I haven’t used them since I got this little number.
Since you asked.
Planning for a trip inevitably means planning meals.
For some trips meals are more difficult to plan for than others.
Fortunately, Tuscany has a surfeit of excellent restaurants, more than two dozen of them Michelin-starred.
Our initial plans assume we will be dining at one of these restaurants every night we are there.
That makes planning easy but drains the pocketbook, to the tune of about $250.00 a night.
I just finished a trip that included admiration for various landscaping.
Then I walked through Boston’s Public Garden, in full late-summer bloom and felt very grateful that my daily route took me twice through this space.
So lucky, we in Boston.
Answer to Quiz Question:
Michelin Guides (French: Guide Michelin) are a series of guide books published by the French tire company Michelin for more than a century.
The term normally refers to the annually published Michelin Red Guide, the oldest European hotel and restaurant reference guide, which awards up to three Michelin stars for excellence to a select few establishments.
The acquisition or loss of a star can have dramatic effects on the success of a restaurant. Michelin also publishes a series of general guides to cities, regions, and countries, the Green Guides.
The Michelin guides use the following definitions for starred restaurants:
One star - Very good cooking in its category
Two stars - Excellent cooking, worth a detour
Three stars - Exceptional cuisine, worthy of a special journey
The Guide also highlights restaurants offering "exceptionally good food at moderate prices", a feature now called "Bib Gourmand,” Bib being the in-house nickname for the hundred-year-old company logo: the Michelin Man.
These restaurants must offer menu items priced below a maximum determined by local economic standards.
The allocation of stars is done annually by Michelin, based on anonymous visits by their inspectors.
The precise definition of what is looked for in a restaurant in order to gain a star is a closely guarded secret of Michelin.
However it has become a highly coveted accolade, partly due to its perceived integrity – unlike many guides, Michelin takes no advertising no hidden fees.
Good morning, my friends.
Some early thoughts for you.
So grateful to be sharing your company.