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PAGE 12 POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 18, 2015 11 Ray Barron's The best Christmas gift of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up with one another. And so, my dear readers, please do not send me Christmas cards with mustard stains on the. Seriously, we do enjoy receiving Christmas gifts such as baccala, biscotti, and cannoli. Stinking ideal A new restaurant in Moscow is giving adventurous diners the chance to eat their meals out of the toilet. At the Crazy Toilet Caf6, customers sit on real toilets and eat lavatory- themed dishes. The $8 lunch starts with a brown mushroom soup served in a mini toilet bowl, followed by a swirly sausage on a bed of mashed potatoes, and ends with whipped chocolate ice cream. The caf6's manager, Inga Yaroslavskaya is certain the establishment will be a success. "It's not everywhere you can get good food from a toilet bowl at very reasonable prides," she says. Yes, she is flushed with success! Wow! Diners at a Florida hibachi restaurant were treated to a surprise dinner guest when an alleged burglar fell through the ceiling and landed on a table. Police said Justin Grimes, 30, climbed through the ceiling tiles in the res- taurant's bathroom with the aim of crawling to the manager's office and stealing a lockbox full of cash. But when he stood on a weak patch of ceiling above the dining room, he came crashing through. Grimes tried to run, but patrons tack- led him and held him down until police arrived. Ah, December 18th. On this date in 1916, Betty Grable was born. Also on this date, Anto- nio Stradivari, Italian violin maker passed away. A day they will never forget. Brent and Kyle Pease can't be stopped. The Atlanta brothers got off to a good start in the recent New York City Marathon, with Brent pushing Kyle, who has cerebral palsy, in a racing wheelchair. But half- way through the race, one of the chairs wheels broke. Brent tried carrying Kyle, but realized he'd never make the distance. They stopped at a bike store to ask for help, but the wheel was beyond repair. Determined, Brent used a rope to tow Kyle the remaining 13 miles while two other runners balanced his chair. "It was truly amazing," said Brent, "a day well never forget. In 1932, Margaret Thome Bekema had to drop out Of high school. Her mother had cancer, and the then 17- year-old had to take care of her three young siblings. "It was hard," Bekema said. "I loved high school and had lots of friends." Last week, the now 97-year-old great-grandmother finally received her diploma from Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids Michigan, after one of her relatives reached out to her school."I don't know how to express my thanks," she said at her graduation ceremony, surrounded by friends and family, with tears in her eyes. "I'm sorry-I'm just plain chicken." Police in Prince George's County, Maryland, began visiting predominantly black high schools to teach students the proper way to behave when being arrested. France's state-owned electric company cut off power at the Prime Minister's house in 1995 after records showed Premier Edouard Balladur's $343 payment was late. Electricite de France, blaming "an unjustified procedural error," switched power back on the next day. Coming clean! Drew Barrymore doesn't want anyone's pity, said Simon Hattenstone in The Guardian (U.K.}. The former child star had an almost unbelievable wild upbringing. She starred in E.T. at age 7, was partying at legendary New York nightclub Studio 54 at 9, and went into rehab for alcohol and drug addiction at 12. When she was 13, Barrymore relapsed and slit her wrists, leading her mother to send her to a mental hospital. "It was horrible and dark," she says of her 18-month stint in the hospital. When she finally left the hospital at 14, Barrymore took her doctor's advice and legally separated from her mother. Now 40, married, and a mom herself, Barrymore says shell never let her daughters follow her path into child acting. "My children are going to be safe and so loved that they won't need a film set to make their life better." Well, on February 22"e, Drew Barrymore will be celebrating a birthday. She was born in 1975. Send her a card! Her address is: 1122 S. Robert- son Blvd. #15, Los Angeles, CA 90035. For those of you who would like to contact Frank Sinatra's daughter, Nancy Sinatra, her ad- dress is P.O. Box 69453, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Citrullo! Florida business executive Richard T. Clary, 41, was accused of embezzling about $500,000 from his employer to support a $5,000-a- week lottery habit. Assistant State's Attorney Timothy Collins said that in three years of play- ing the lottery with other people's mon- ey, Clary ap- O O O parently won ~, only about $2,500, which he simply used to buy more losing tickets. Ah, gambling! Steven Sebestyen reminds us, the young people of the United Stated squander over ten billion dollars a year on games of chance. This does not include weddings, starting a busi- ness, passing a car on a hill, or buying a television set. Steven's attractive and astute wife, Theresa, thinks gambling is frequently a means of getting nothing for your money. The naked truth! In Florida, Jeremiah Johnson, 18, arrived at court to answer a charge of driving without a license, but a bailiff told him he couldn't enter the courtroom wearing shorts. Johnson left briefly, and then returned wearing nothing. Polk County Judge Michael Ralden sentenced him to 179 days in jail for contempt of court. Stay awake! Demographics have finally caught up with China's one-child policy, said the South China Morning Post in an editorial. Since the late 1970s, China has allowed urban couples to have one child and rural couples to have two, so long as their firstbom was a girl. Because of a traditional preference for sons, women often abort female fetuses, skewing China's sex ratio to 118 boys for every 100 girls. China today faces "the prospect of millions of men without women," and "children without siblings, aunts, or uncles." But that's not why the Communist Party an- nounced that it would start allowing every couple to have two kids. The reason is China's rapidly graying population. By 2053, over-65s will make up 35 percent of the population of about 487 million people and the country simply doesn't have enough young workers to support them. The government expects, at most, an additional 3 million births a year, which won't be nearly enough "to reverse the rapid aging population" or to reach a fertility rate of replacement level. China will soon be a nation of elderly people, and it will be the state, not families, that will have to take care of them. Not many people are aware that the popular singer Don Cornell is an Italian-American. His true name is Louis Varlaro. Don was born in New York City. In brief, real brief, Don had many hit records. He also has been inducted in the Big Band Hall of Fame, hailed as the Entertainer of the Year, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Don is recognized as a "Who's Who" among Italian-Americans. Thanks, Al Natale, for the info. A Quote from singer Cyndi Lauper: People used to complain to me all the time, "I can't even hear you sing because your clothes are too loud." And so we bid farewell to the noted actor A1 Molinaro who recently passed away. Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Italian immigrants, .Molinaro was the youngest of 10 children. As you know, Molinaro was in the cast of Happy Days. When the show ended in 1984, Molinaro launched a chain of Midwest diners. He left the limelight, refusing to appear in films and TV shows that, in his opinion, weren't family- friendly. "I'm so square that I won't be in a movie that has four-letter words in it," Motinaro said. One of Hollywood's most gifted directors, Frank Capra, was born in Sicily in 1897, and spent his sixth birthday in steerage on a 13-day ocean voyage to America. Although he is perhaps most famous for his film It's a Wonderful Life, his film portfolio includes Mack Sennett and Our Gang comedies. His film American Madness was based on the life of banker A.P. Giannini, founder of The Bank of America. Capra won three Academy Awards for Best Director and died in 1991. Come New Year's Eve we will think of Guy Lombardo, who passed away on November 5, 1977. The famous Guy Lombardo is at Pinelawn Memorial Park and Cemetery, Farmingdale, Long Island, New York. The mention of Guy Lombardo reminded me that the East Boston icon Sal Lombardo passed away quietly at his home in Quincy on November 15, 2008, at the age of 86. A dear old friend Frank Arricale passed away on November 17, 2008. Gee, there are two noted writers who are buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge: Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Ah, the mys- tery of life is death. Nothing improves a man's appearance as much as the photograph the newspaper uses with his obituary. _ AMERICA IS A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME ..... Mangi! You Eat!) : ........................................... : ,: := Benvenutil Nothing says pranzo di Natale (Christmas lunch) like a steamy dish of cappelletti in brodo. Cappelletti in Italian translates literally as "small hats" because of their shape. This traditional pasta fresca (fresh pasta) comes from the Reggio Emilia province of Emilia-Romagna. This northern Italian region is inter- nationally known for food excellences whose origin and quality are controlled, guaranteed and certified to the highest Italian standards. Mortadella, culatello, prosdutto di Parma, pasta brands like Barilla, aceto balsamico di Modena, Parmigiano Reggiano, piadina and Lambrusco wine are some of the many staple products of the region. Cappelletti can be ricotta-stuffed or meat-stuffed and are tradition- ally homemade, wrapped dosed around the finger and given the shape of a small hat. When served in capon broth on Christmas Day, they are called cappelletti in brodo (cappelletti in broth). Enjoy them with a generous sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and complete the meal with a slice of panettone or pandoro and a gener- ous portion of torrone. Don't forget to make the traditional brindisi (toast) with the finest Italian spumante and to play tombola as well as your favorite card game this Christmasl Buon Natale a tutti/ CappeUetti in Brodo FOR THE CAPPELLETTI FOR THE BROTH 3cupsflour 1 capon (or cornish hen) 1 cup grated 1 onion Parmigiano Reggiano I carrot 1 cup ground pork 1 celery stalk 1 cup ground ham cup ground chicken breast 3 Tbsp unsalted butter 5 eggs Extra Virgin Olive Oil Ground nutmeg Salt and pepper to taste lh paration: Prepare the broth the day before by combining in a large stockpot the capon or the hen cut into pieces with the onion, carrot and celery. Cover with cold water and add a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil on high heat, then simmer for about 3 hours. Skim foam and fat. Leave the pot overnight in the fridge, then skim every remaining bit of fat as it solidifies when refrigerated, making a light, flavorful broth. To prepare the cappelletti filling: heat the butter in a skillet and gently cook the ground pork and chicken breast for about 15 minutes. Add the ham and continue cooking for another couple of minutes, then leave to cool. In a bowl mix the cooked minced meat with the grated cheese and one of the eggs, add some nutmeg and salt to taste, combining everything well. Make dough with the flour, pinch of salt, little oil and the remaining eggs, knead until smooth and elastic. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thin sheet and cut into a 1.5 inch squares. Place about a teaspoon of filling into the center of the square and fold over the dough diagonally so that the opposite corners meet. Press the edges of the triangle carefully and fold the triangle over the tip of your index finger and press the two overlapping tips together so that they stick. Continue until your cappelletti are done, then leave them to rest for a couple of hours. Bring your broth to a boil and cook the cappelletti for about 10 minutes. Serve hot with abundant broth and a generous sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Buon appetito! Cappelletti in Brodo PER I CAPPELLETTI PER IL BRODO 400 g di farina 1 cappone o 1 gallina 300 g di Parmigiano Reggiano 1 cipolla 200 g di polpa di maiale tritata 1 carota 200 g di prosciutto crudo 1 costa di sedano 100 g di petto di pollo 50 g di burro 5 uova Olio extravergine di oliva Noce moscata Sale e pepe Preparazlone: Immergi il cappone o la gallina in acqua fredda e portala ad ebbollizione assime con la cipolla, la carota ed il se- dano. Prepara il brodo il giorno prima affinche' durante la notte la parte grassa possa solidificarsi nella pentola riposta in frigorif- ero e possa essere asportata al mattino per rendere il brodo piu' digeribile. Per il ripieno dei cappelletti: in un tegame con il burro cuoci per 15 minuti la polpa di maiale ed il petto di pollo tritati. Aggiungi il prosciutto e continua la cottura per qualche minuto. Fal raffreddare. Unisci alla came il formaggio e 1' uovo, aggiusta di sale e noce moscata amalgamando bene il tutto. Prepara un impasto con la farina, le uova rimaste, un filo d'olio ed un pizzico di sale. Tira una sfoglia sottile, tagliala a quadrati di 3-4 cm di lato e poni al centro un cucchiaino di ripieno. Piega la sfoglia a triangolo facendo aderire bene gli orli. Avvolgi ogni triangolo intomo alla punta dell'indice sovrapponedo e sigillando bene i due angoli. Fai riposare i cappelletti per un paio d'ore prima di cuocerli nel brodo boUente per circa 10 minuti. Servili caldi in abbondante brodo spolverizzando con parrnigiano. Buon appetito! If you would like to cook with me go to www.speakasyoueat.eom