No more leftovers! And two great new finds.
By Judi Gallagher
I do not enjoy leftovers—my food philosophy is “been there, done that!” While my husband is on his second towering plate of leftover turkey, smothered in gravy and mounted atop a pile of sausage stuffing and too many other carbs to mention, I am nibbling on Romaine lettuce with cold turkey and mayonnaise. (Does the side of jalapeño macaroni and cheese count as a leftover since I didn’t try any the day of the big feast?)
The day after Thanksgiving we rented Prairie Home Companion, a nostalgic film about the woe-be-gone days of live radio. I suppose the turkey leftovers were apropos for such a flick; but a turkey salad was as far as I was going, and trust me, it was full of crunchy vegetables, far away from anything mushy that filled a casserole dish last Thursday.
Therefore, our neighbors are now delighting in leftover casseroles and turkey and our two freezers are packed with leftover stuffing, fabulous for stuffing mushrooms during the rest of the holiday season.
Prize Pies and Pasta
For all those Midwesterners who have e-mailed me asking where they can find a good pie like those they grew up with in the heartland, have I got a find for you: Midwestern Meats in Venice (324 Tamiami Trail, 941-488-0600) has homemade pies your grandma would be proud of. It was well worth taking a drive there last Wednesday to get a few for Thanksgiving. The previous weekend, we had ventured to the Island of Venice specifically to “test drive” the apple pie. With a half pie in hand and two plastic forks, we hid around the corner and put our holiday pie-tasting game faces on. Within two minutes, we were back in the butcher shop, ordering two apples and a peach.
Make sure you poke over to the produce stand right next door for wonderful fresh fennel, tomatoes and a variety of garden-fresh veggies. Exhausted yet exhilarated from our tour of pies, we next ventured over to Luna’s Ristorante (200 Saint Augustine Ave., 941- 488-3089) for a delicious bowl of fresh mussels in spicy marinara and garlic bread. Luna’s is known for one- pound bowls of pasta; do not miss their rapini in garlic butter sauce—eating dark leafy veggies never felt so good.
Now that we have discovered real Midwestern pies in Sarasota County, do you think there is any hope for real Chinese or an authentic Jewish Deli? Hey—a foodie can only dream!
Calling all great holiday cooks: We are still looking for a winning holiday side dish. Send in your best recipe for a chance to win a $100 dinner at downtown’s delicious Bacco’s Restaurant. E-mail your recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org.