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November 20, 2015     Post-Gazette
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November 20, 2015

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POST-GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 20, 2015 PAGE 13 anna Babbi lnonno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance Thanksgiving is next Thurs- day and my family is going to do something a bit different this year. We will celebrate the day in Florida. My son, John, announced that he and my daughter-in-law, Beth, were going to head to her parents for the holiday because they would be here for Christmas. Cousin Ralph usually has us over, but his family is constantly grow- ing due to the fact that it now includes his married children's in-laws. The best alternative is to head to Florida. My son Mi- chael informed us that he was coming home and we are rerout- ing him to Florida, also. Some close friends will be joining us for dinner and a few more will join us later for coffee and my new invention. I have come up with something that expresses my ethnicity and the State of Florida. I've invented something called the Key Lime Canoli. I will let you know how it tastes. I discussed with Loretta what we will need to put together Thanksgiving away from home. We've never done it before. When we traveled to my cousin Ralph's, we were assigned cer- tain parts of the meal, and Loretta would prepare them. This is different. We will be flying to Florida just a couple of days prior to Thanksgiving and the concept of having to put everything together, last minute, is a bit unnerving. We then discovered another way out of the stress. There is a deli close to us where we often eat breakfast. They have a Thanks- giving Day special. They will prepare a complete turkey din- ner, New England-style, for as many people as we request. We called, and now they will handle everything. I already have the wine, beer and soft drinks in the Florida house, so with the work being done by someone else, I can relax. This isn't the way it was years ago, when Nanna and Babbononno were alive. The women in my family, headed by my grandmother, would begin to prepare for Thanksgiving weeks ahead of time. Over cof- fee, the ladies -- Nanna, my mother and my aunts -- would determine how many people there would be at the dinner table, and add in amounts of food for a few more, just in case. Let's see, there were Nanna and Babbononno, that's two. Mom, Dad and me, that's three more, five total. Add in Uncle Paul, Aunt Eleanor and their two daughters, Paula and E1- lie, that's four more, nine total. Uncle Gino and Aunt Ninna made it eleven (They didn't have any kids yet.} Last, but not least, would be Uncle Nick and his lady friend, soon to be wife, Aunt Dorothy. This made the total thirteen. You might say that the number is unlucky, but the size of the crowd at the dinner table would never have stayed at thirteen. There were always paesani of Nanna and Babbononno who might be alone and they were always invited. These additions justi- fied the "just in case" statement I used earlier. Once the number was de- termined, the shopping would begin. Most of that was left up to Nanna and my mother. Now, you have to remember that this was a point in time when I was just a kid. There were no supermarkets. You shopped at specialty stores. Nanna would take me on the trolley to Mav- erick Square in East Boston where a poultry slaughter house existed. During the other weeks of the year, the women of East Boston would head there, pick out their chickens from the cages where they were housed, and have them slaughtered, de-feathered and dressed ac- cording to Kosher law. This place (I've forgotten the name) came into existence when East Boston had a large Jewish population, but that was many years earlier. When the Italians discovered the quality of their products, the place stayed alive. Nanna would pick out the turkey she wanted and begin to bargain with the salesperson who was attending to her. She would speak to him in Italian and he would argue back in Yiddish. I don't know how they communicated, but my grand- mother always got the bird she wanted, cleaned and dressed the way she wanted, and for the price she wanted. After the turkey was paid for and placed in my grandmother's black oilcloth shopping bag, we would head back toward Central Square to buy the other things she would need for Thanks- giving. We would stop at Sal Lombardo's butcher shop, where we would pick up the hamburger to be used for meatballs. Next, there was Kennedy's butter and egg store on Bennington Street, where Nanna would buy eggs that would be included in the pasta she would make from scratch, and for the stuffing for the turkey. We would continue on Bennington Street until we ar- rived at Brooks Street and then stop at several stores for more items necessary for a Thanks- giving dinner. John Sava's and Tilley's Markets were as close to what you might call super- markets. Here, Nanna could pick up the canned goods she needed to make her gravy. As we progressed up the Brooks Street hill, we would stop at Umana's Bakery. Guy Umana, brother to Mario Umana, was the owner and would always have a tray of Sicilian pizza on the counter. Two slices were my lunch and I loved it. As we progressed up the Brooks Street hill, there were several other stores that Nanna would stop at. First, on the next comer was another butcher shop. Here she would select the meats that would go into her gravy. The next stop would be at a green grocer's where she would pick up fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The last stop was at a mom-and-pop operation on the corner of Brooks and Eutaw Streets. Here my grandmother would pick up anything she had forgotten at the other stores we stopped at, and also play her number for the day. The propriStor would handle the numbers the old-timers would play on a daily basis for a nickel or dime. The legalization of the State Lottery killed this part of the game of chance for the old-timers. Once home, Mom and Nanna would examine all the ingre- dients that were bought for Thanksgiving. They would plan out the menu together. First there would be the kitchen table with antipasti. Cut up Italian bread, an assortment of chees- es, cold cuts, olives, hot peppers and marinated mushrooms and eggplant would start out the dinner When it was time to sit down, the first course would be escarole soup with pasta and t/ny meatballs. Next would be Nanna's homemade ravi- oli, followed by hot and sweet sausages, chunks of beef, pork, lamb and meatballs, all having been cooked in her homemade gravy. Vegetables would follow, all prepared with garlic and olive oil. Then salad and later, fruits and nuts. There would be bottles of homemade wine and soda (tonic for us Bostonians) placed strategically on the table along with loaves of cut up Ital- ian breads, maybe two or three different types. Later in the day, or early evening, dessert would be served: canoli, sfogliadelle, badiggini, and an assortment of Italian cookies and biscotti. These were accompanied by both Italian and American cof- fee and an assortment of after dinner drinks. I didn't mention the turkey. Well, it sat in the middle of the table, and for all intents and purposes, could have been made out of plastic. No one ate any of it. This was an American holiday, celebrated Italian-style. GOD BLESS AMERICA -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 For in~rmafion about advertisingin the Post-Gazette, call 617-227-8929. On Sale Now! THE NORTH END Where It All Began The Way It Was by Fred Langone SALE PRICE $19;95 Plus Shipping & Haridling On Site at The Post-Gazette 5 Prince Street, North End, Boston, MA MASSACHUSETTS PORT AUTHORITY NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS Sealed General Bids for MPA Contract No. AP1532-Cl ENGINE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS FOR GENERATORS, ALL MASSPORT PROPERTIES, BOSTON, BEDFORD, FRAMINGHAM, AND WORCESTER, MASSACHUSE'n's, will be received by the Massachusetts Port Authority at the Capital Programs Department Office, Suite 209S, Logan Office Center, One Harborside Drive, East Boston, Massachusetts 02128-2909, until 11:00 A.M. local time on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2015, immediately after which, in a designated room, the bids will be opened and read publicly. NOTE: PRE-BID CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT THE CAPITAL PROGRAMS DEPARTMENT (ABOVE ADDRESS) AT 10:00 A.M. LOCAL TIME ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2015. The work includes THE PROVISION OF LABOR, TOOLS, EQUIPMENT, AND INCIDENTAL MATERIALS FOR THE PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF ENGINE DRIVEN GENERATORS INCLUDING WEEKLY, MONTHLY, AND ANNUAL SERVICE AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS AT THE AUTHORITY'S PROPERTIES FOR A PERIOD OF THREE (3) YEARS. Bid documents will be made available beginning WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2015. Bid Documents in electronic format may be obtained free of charge at the Authodty's Capital Programs Department Office, together with any addenda or amendments, which the Authority may issue ahd a printed copy of the Proposal form, The estimated contract cost is EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($850,000). A proposal guaranty shall be submitted with each General Bid consisting of a bid deposit for five (5) )ercent of the value of the bid; when sub-bids are required, each must be accompanied by a deposit equal to five (5) percent of the sub-bid amount, in the form of a bid bond, or cash, or a certified check, or a treasurer's or a cashier's check issued by a responsible bank or trust company, payable to the Massachusetts Port Authority in the name of which the Contract for the work is to be executed. The bid deposit shall be (a) in a form satisfactory to the Authority, (b) with a surety company qualified to do business in the Commonwealth and satisfactory to the Authodty, and (c) conditioned upon the faithful performance by the pdncipal of the agreements contained in the bid. The successful Bidder will be required to furnish a performance bond and a labor and matedals payment bond, each in an amount equal to 100% of the Contract price. The surety shall be a surety company or securities satisfactory to the Authority. Attention is called to the minimum rate of wages to be paid on the work as determined under the provisions of Chapter 149, Massachusetts General Laws, Section 26 to 27G, inclusive, as amended. The Contractor will be required to pay minimum wages in accordance with the schedules listed in Division II, Special Provisions of the Specifications, which wage rates have been predetermined by the U. S. Secretary of Labor and/or the Commissioner of Labor and Industries of Massachusetts, whichever is greater. The successful Bidder will be required to purchase and maintain Bodily Injury Liability Insurance and Property Damage Liability Insurance for a combined single limit of $10,000,000 Said policy shall be on an occurrence basis and the Authority shall be included as an Additional Insured. See the insurance sections of Division I, General Requirements and Division II, Special Provisions for complete details. This Contract Is also subject to Affirmative Action requirements of the Massachusetts Port Authority contained in the Non-Discitmination and Affirmative Action article of Division I, General Requirements and Covenants, and to the Secretary of Labor's Requirement for Affirmative Action to Ensure Equal Opportunity and the Standard Federal Equal Opportunity Construction Contract Specifications (Executive Order 11246). The General Contractor is required to submit a Certification of Non-Segregated Facilities prior to award of the Contract, and to notify prospective sub-contractors of the requirement for such certification where the sub-contract exceeds $10,000. Complete information and authorization to view the site may be obtained from the Capital Programs Department Office at the Massachusetts Port Authority. The right is reserved to waive any informality in or reject any or all proposals. MASSACHUSEITS PORT AUTHORITY THOMAS P. 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