Monday, February 23, 2015

Thoughts of my Dad

Thirty five years ago today my father died. That's him in the late 20's standing proudly in front of his drugstore on Kings Highway & E. 5th Street in Brooklyn. He named it in honor of his alma mater, Fordham University. And from that time on he had dual identities. 

As "Joe Fordham" he tended his neighborhood flock of folks seven days a week. For those who were too nervous to see a doctor, he kept sterilized scalpels and sutures behind the counter. As a mixologist he could make cough syrup palatable in a dozen flavors, including Coke. He taught youngsters how to read and helped them construct school projects in the middle of the store. He taught himself Spanish, which allowed him to communicate directly with some locals. There were always characters hanging around. Yossel, the sad sack who ate his nightly dinner of two hot dogs while sitting on a wooden chair next to customers waiting to have prescriptions filled. Four Fingers Brown, with a tout sheet in his deformed hand, was always just going to or coming back from the race track. He once gave me $10 when he bet on a long shot named Bonnie, and she came in. 

Someone gave my Dad a machine gun, taken as a souvenir of war. He used it to display boxes of Ex-Lax being shot out of the barrel across the store's front window. And occasionally took it outside. One day two men in raincoats, with official government IDs, confiscated it. 

But there was always something else to play with. He had a legendary sense of humor that stayed with him until the end. At home he was just Daddy, able to construct anything using a few tools. He once built a wooden cabin in the country, complete with running water & electricity, where we spent time in the summer. He cooked breakfast & drove me to school every morning through elementary school. When I was ten he taught me to drive on the grass in a 1939 Ford pick-up truck. I was so short that I had to stand leaning against the driver's seat in order to reach the clutch.

Since 1982, with the skilled carpentry help of my brother, I have installed the 9' long leaded glass sign from his drugstore in four different houses. It will be lit today for 24 hours as a tribute to him. Thanks for the memories & I miss you Daddy!! I'm baking one of his favorites and wish I could share it with him.

During the Village Studio Tour this past Saturday I demonstrated how to make bread/pizza using the dough from the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day". If you missed the demo but would like the recipe handout, let me know. I can give you a copy on Friday when you pick-up your order or email it to you.

THIS WEEK'S MENU     Pick-up   Fri  Feb 26   1-5 pm
A perennial favorite that blends the tartness of fresh cranberries with the mellow sweetness of fresh Florida oranges...all within the gentle embrace of your hand. How perfect!

Each cookie has its own personality & unique flavor profile. Some are seductive, using the allure of Belgium chocolate to get your attention. Others invoke memories of childhood or a less complicated time. Find your match amongst Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Orange Walnut Belgium Bittersweet Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Pecan Coconut Belgium Milk Chocolate. 

My legendary chocolate delivery system made with melted Belgium bittersweet chocolate throughout, toasted fresh almonds, chocolate chips & very little flour. Sold in packages of 4 because you must have more than one.

The perfect way to enjoy the unique flavor of silky homemade Meyer Lemon Curd perched on a crumbly shortbread base. Topped with powdered sugar, it provides a symphony of textures & flavors in each bite. Highly recommended by my Brooklyn contingent.

A Sunday morning favorite, this classic Jewish flatbread from Flatbush is a thin dough covered with sauteed onions, poppy seeds & salt. Softer at the edges; crackling in the center. Schmear with butter, cream cheese or memories. 

A personal sized open faced pie made with my buttery hand crafted pastry, filled with my riff on Spanakopita plus the welcome addition of quinoa. Filling enough to be a light meal for one or share as a side dish. Can be frozen and reheated.

Inspired years ago by a loaf I had while visiting Minorca. This crusty boule boasts over 8 grains and seeds throughout its tender crumb. The complex flavors are brought out by toasting. I love it with a steaming bowl of oatmeal & as my go-to sandwich bread.

JAM or CHUTNEY  $4/jar
We're down to four flavors that I've made in small batches with locally available fruit, including Keitt mangoes & Meyer lemons from my own pesticide-free trees. Choose from: Mango Chutney, Ginger Pear Chutney, Mango Meyer Lemon Jam, Simply Strawberry Jam.

No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives EVER!!


all items in limited supply... first come, first served

PICK UP FRIDAY 1-5 pm at Bonni's Treehouse

in the Village of the Arts

   932 12th Street West 

(down the driveway thru the white wrought iron gate) 


or call me at (941) 746-6647 


 Hugs from my kitchen,


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