When my father comes into the restaurant in the mornings, it is by far the best part of the day. Pop comes in full of pepper and it’s the best time to talk to him.
Being that we are in the middle of the election of our next president, I went to my father and asked him his thoughts. He has seen many presidents elected, witnessed more than his share of wars, seen the economy go up and down like a yoyo and cast many votes.
Me: Hi Pop!
Pop: Wey Luigi. Whatsa going on?
Me: Not too much Pop.
Pop: Whatsa a matter for you. Youa looka like you gotta ask me something.
Me: No Pop. I just wanted to get your opinion
Pop: Oh no. what did you do.
Me: Nothing Pop, listen….
Pop: Whatever you do, don’t buy it.
Me: What? No pop, listen please…
Pop: You no needa a new car!
Me: No, But I just wanted your op…..
Pop: Youra car is like a brand new why you want a new one?
Me: I don’t know. Pop listen.
Pop: Well you know ita is a kinda old. Youa gotta problems with it?.
Me: No, Pop!!!!!! I need to ask you something else! Please listen!
Pop: Whya youa getta so mad. Youa need to rilasar (relax). What is it?
Me: Who you going to vote for president?
Pop: Whayyyyy? Thisa year itsa tough choice.
Me: I know. What do you think?
Pop: Well whena I wasa young, we had no much choices of whata to eat. Ita was during the war and there no is mucha to eat. Sometimes we hadda beans and other times we hadda beans.
Me: What?! What does beans have to do with the president.
Pop: Youa shutup anda listen. We hadda the pig once but the Nazi’s theya steal it. Another tiem we hadda the polli (chickens), theya would steal those too. But no matter what we always hadda the beans.
Me: Pop. I don’t understand
Pop: Listena, youa very smart. Itta no matter which one you like and wicha one you no like. Ifa you have the pig, theya take it. Ifa you have the polli, theya take it. But you always have the beansa no matter what. Capisce (understand)?
Pop: No matter who wins. Just be happy you have the beans. See?
Me: I guess……. You know Pop, somehow you can say something that make absolutely no sense at all and yet it makes perfect sense.
Pop: Thatsa what I mean! Nowa tasta the stufato (stew) Ima making.
Me: Ok Pop. Thanks. I think
I guess I’m going to vote for beans. Whichever candidate that is.
2 pounds Italian sausage cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups water
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
2 medium carrots, cut into bite sized chunks
2 celery ribs cut into bite sized chunks
2 small onions cut into wedges
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil, thyme and rosemary, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 cup Coppola’s roasted garlic sauce
½ large green or sweet red pepper, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, over medium heat, brown sausage; drain. Add the water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, roasted garlic sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour or until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
Add the green pepper and parsley; cook 12-15 minutes longer or until pepper is tender. Discard bay leaf.
Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; gradually stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve over potato gnocchi