Monday, February 28, 2011

Anna Sultana's Pigeon Stew - Chicken Stew, Maltese Style

On Saturday I posted, with some variations, Carmela Soprano's Poached Chicken with Pesto.  
No big deal.
Well, does everything have to be a production?

I've been trying to pair up Carmela's and Ma's recipes.
This is another easy one.
This also calls for poultry.
This also calls for some variations.

If you saw the movie Mary Poppins you probably remember the scene where she's singing about feeding the birds.
If you saw the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation you probably remember the scene where Clark thought good old cousin Eddie would love to eat a squirrel.
The squirrel that made Clark's mother faint.

Okay... try to forget those scenes when reading this recipe.

Yes, it calls for pigeons.
Don't sing Feed the Birds.
Substitute regular, un-boneless, un-skinless chicken breast.
Baby chicks are just as cute as pigeons.
Or get fancy and buy some cornish hens.
Nobody feels sorry for cornish hens.

Feel better now?

Don't sing Feed the Birds.
It's payback time.
Feed the family.

                        Pigeon Stew
Clean and chop
4 potatoes
4 carrots
4 tomatoes, peeled
In a large dutch oven heat
1/2 Cup butter
4 large chicken breasts or cornish hens 
Remove chicken from pan
Fry in same pan
6 small onions, peeled and left whole

chicken and chopped vegetables
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 Cup chicken broth
Bring to boil

1 Cup peas
1 Cup red wine
Simmer gently 1 hour
Serve with spaghetti or rice if they're big eaters.

And don't sing Feed the Birds.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sam Katz & the Crazy - Being 60 (week 42 - by Margaret Ullrich)

Last Sunday A and a few friends continued the purging of B.

When neighbors saw the grey Honda instead of the truck, or the white car, or the 
U Haul, they figured B was totally gone.

During the evenings, Christmas lights were turned on, as a welcome home.
People began parking in the bay again.
Life was returning to its usual hum drum self.
It was good.

A and friends returned during the evenings to continue the cleanup.

No one envied A the job of cleaning the mess left by B.

B was a smoker.
Circles of sickly greyish yellow had to be scrubbed away from ceilings and walls.
They had to be repainted.

Then there's the trash.
Since last Halloween, the garbage cart has sat ignored in the snow.
B wasn't big on throwing out garbage.
Or recycling.

A few days ago we were surprised to hear a muffled thwacking noise coming from A's yard.
Near the neglected garbage cart.

Oh, dear.

We've been having an unusual winter.
Now we're in a deep freeze, with windchill bringing temperatures of -40.
But, for a few weeks we had a thaw.
On one hand it was considered a blessing.  
Our ground is saturated and if the snow melts all at once in the Spring, we are in danger of bad flooding.
But a 'freeze and thaw' can cause other problems.

About a year ago, Mayor Sam Katz introduced rollaway garbage carts to our section of Winnipeg.
Progress and all that crap.
The problem is, the houses in our area weren't designed for the carts.
Many houses don't have garages, just open carports.

Where to put the cart on non-pickup days? 
I mean, it doesn't exactly look great in the living room near the door.
Our houses are about 25 years old.
Porches were out of style then. 

Most folks try to keep the carts sheltered, or at least cleared of snow.
It's another winter chore, like clearing around the hydrant.
Most folks aren't lazy fellows.
Lazy fellows who don't toss out trash.
Violent, lazy fellows with a peace bond on their heads.
Vindictive, violent, lazy fellows about to be tossed out.

A lot of garbage can build up in four months.

A's house has an open carport, not a garage.
The cart has been sitting in the yard.
It hasn't been moved for four months.
The snow around it has been getting thawed and frozen.
A block of ice now has a death grip on the wheels.
The ice is like concrete.
The cart is unmoveable.

Thanks to the new system, garbage bags are not picked up.
The only way to get rid of crap is in the cart.
Tough nuggies if you can't move your cart.
Officials don't care what's been happening.
Not their problem, buddy.

Folks are trying to be neighborly, making room for a bag.
It's going to be a slow process.
A's cart will be a frozen lawn ornament until April.

We're Winnipeggers.
We can survive winter, City Hall, garbage and bums.

The purging of B continues.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Poached Chicken with Homemade Pesto Sauce

Last week I prepared Carmela Soprano's Pizza Di Scarola, which, I admit, was a bit of work.

So, this week I thought I'd do something simple.
This is so simple, I don't know how she had the nerve to include it in the book.
Maybe she was tired from making Pizza Di Scarola, too.
Oh, well, winter is dragging on, so we all can use a break.

Okay... in the Fit for a Bride chapter of Carmela's Entertaining with The Sopranos is a real quickie.
It must be something they pull out when someone has to elope.
Or maybe for Janice, when she's picked out another husband and they're not sure how long he'll last.
It doesn't exactly scream "Party Time".
Well, how much effort would you put into a wedding dinner for Janice?
Me, neither.

This week's recipe is Poached Chicken with Pesto.
It feeds a crowd in a hurry, so it might be good to file away for a gathering.
When you don't want to bother much.
Like for Janice.

It calls for 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast.
If you've got a box of chicken breasts sitting in the freezer - yes, it was a good price - then here's something that might jazz those birdies up a bit. 

Oh, I would serve the broth, too.
Carmela just drains it, but I mean, throw in some veggies and pasta or rice after removing the chicken, cook a bit more and you've got another course.
Even Janice would eat it.
Or feed it to Bobby's kids.

Pesto can be made ahead of time.  Just cover and keep at room temperature for up to an hour, or refrigerate overnight.  It'll get a bit stiff in the fridge, so let it warm up and stir before using.

If you're really in a rush, there's nothing wrong with pulling out a jar of prepared pesto.
I don't think even Tony can tell the difference.

Summer will be back.

                        Poached Chicken with Pesto

In a blender, coarsely chop
1 Cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 Cup packed fresh parsley leaves

Add and chop fine
1 large garlic clove
2 Tablespoons pine nuts

With the machine running, slowly add 
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Add to taste
Blend until smooth.

In a dutch oven bring to simmer
4 Cups chicken broth
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
Make sure the breasts are covered (add water if needed)
Bring the liquid back to simmer
Cover and cook 5 minutes
Turn the breasts and cook 5 more minutes
Check if a breast is done in the thickest part

Remove the chicken and let cool about 5 minutes

Cut the chicken into crosswise slices and fan the slices on a platter
(or leave them whole and give everybody knives)
Drizzle with the sauce 
(or have it on the side so people can avoid it, if they'd rather)
Garnish with basil sprigs and lemon slices, and serve
(or sprinkle with parsley - not everybody likes basil)

Would I make Poached Chicken with Pesto again?
Using the simpler instructions.
Especially in the summer since it doesn't need the oven.
And I'd serve the broth.

Another recipe down.  Twenty-nine more to go.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Anna Sultana's Torta tal-Lampuki - Fish and Vegetable Pie, Maltese Style

Hope the kids didn't get excited and expect something like a take-out pizza.
Just tell them it's a learning experience.

If the kids got to this post first, they're probably going to be expecting something like a cake from a fancy bakery.
Again, sorry.

Just a reminder, pizza is Italian for pie.
Torta is Maltese for pie.
Pie covers a lot of territory.

Torta tal-Lampuki is a lot easier than Carmela's recipe.
It's pretty much the same idea, but more like a pie.
You use puff pastry instead of home made bread dough.
You can find boxes of puff pastry in the frozen food section.
It's got lots of caulifower, onions and tomatoes.
But, it also has fish.
And you're going to have to do some substituting.

Lampuki is a common fish in Malta.  They're in season from mid-August to December and, according to the Maltese, they migrate in the Mediterranean Sea.
Yeah, right.
Lampuki won't even go near Sicily, so guess what your chances are of finding them in North American stores.

Okay, time to improvise.
Ma used bluefish, especially when Pop bought some fresh from the returning fishermen in Sheepshead Bay on Long Island.  Get a fish with a bit of density to it.  Sole will just melt to mush in this recipe. 

Oh, you can use any kind of olives you like.
Ma's not as picky as Carmela.

                        Torta tal-Lampuki
preheat oven to 375º           
bake 30 minutes, until pastry is golden brown 

Cut into portions 
800 g (about 2 pounds) fish
Dip in flour and pan fry lightly.
Remove any bones and set aside.
In a dutch oven fry over medium heat 
2 onions, finely chopped

3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 cauliflower, chopped
1 Cup fish stock
Cook until the vegetables are tender.

6 olives, chopped
Season with 
salt and pepper

Line a pie pan with 
300 g puff pastry
Put half of the vegetable mixture in the pan.
Put the fish on top.
Cover the fish with the rest of the vegetables.
Cover the vegetables with the remaining 
100 g puff pastry

With a pastry brush spread some 
milk or beaten egg 
over the top crust.
Prick all over with a fork.

Bake until golden brown.

Torta tal-Lampuki is also handy for picnics.
It's great as a light main course.
Kids like it, too.
As long as they aren't expecting fruit when they bite into it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cul de Sac Crazy VI - Being 60 (week 42 - by Margaret Ullrich)

Last Sunday Paul and I wondered if B would ever leave.

A's white car was still parked in the back. 
No sign of A.
No sign of B.

That Monday we celebrated a subdued St. Valentine's Day.

At 4:00 am, on Tuesday morning, we woke to the sound of a car's engine being revved.
B was back to his old habit of idling his engine.
No one else was up at that hour.
Really, our neighbors keep pretty regular hours.
Some oil sheik ought to name a kid after B.

At 7:00 am we woke to see the white car back in the bay.
We knew the drill. 
No one else was going to park there.
No one wanted to risk meeting B.
B exercised that car more than he did himself or his dog.

At 1:00 pm Paul glanced outside and saw that the car was gone.
After what happened last week, that was pretty daring.
We wondered if the CAA locksmith would be paying our bay another visit.
Within 15 minutes the white car was back. 

Then B did something totally, and I mean totally, out of character.
He shoveled the walkway.
Okay... he only shoveled to the edge of his property line.
He left the snow on the boulevard part of his walkway.
Still, for him, that was an amazing bit of effort.
Something we'd never seen him do in the 10 years he was here.

Was he going to start taking care of the property?
At 1:30 he drove away.

We'll never know if he changed.
We expected him back within the hour... that night... the next day.
Neighbors turned on their Christmas lights to celebrate.

On Thursday, February 17, at 12:00 pm, Paul just happpened to glance out the window.

Like I said last week, timing is everything.

A Security Experts van was parked in front of A's house.
A CAA locksmith van was parked in front of A's house.
A grey Honda was parked in front of A's house.
Lo and behold, A was getting out of the Honda.

Our neighbor's house became a hub of activity.
Locks were changed.
Alarms were tested.
By the time they left, the place was a Winnipeg Fort Knox.
There was even a warning sign on the back fence.

On Friday, February 18, the bay was quiet.
No sign of security experts or locksmiths.
Had we imagined it?

On Saturday a mustard-colored truck, loaded with boxes, parked in the bay. 
A few other cars and vans came to the bay.
People, including A, were heading into the house.

The purging of B had begin.


B was always whining about being a war orphan.
We're talking the Viet Nam War.
He was still collecting orphan's benefits.
They were deposited in an American bank.
B knew how to 'stay under the radar'. 

He was proud of his Southern roots. 
He insisted on having a huge Canadian Flag on a pole between our houses.
That's how it was done in Texas.
As former Americans, he expected us to understand.
We didn't.

When the flag waved in the breeze, it shredded on our house's stucco.
B came over and complained.
We explained that we couldn't move the house.
He bought a smaller flag.

He reminded us of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind, with his disregard for anyone else's needs or feelings. 
Everyone existed to serve him. 
He really expected someone - anyone - to take him in and care for him.

He couldn't be expect to take care of himeself.
Not at 50.
Not after a lifetime of being a sponge.
A lifetime of hare-brained schemes that would 'fly under the radar'.
He was regarded as mentally challenged at best.
A con artist at worst.

His attitude and behavior wore thin quickly.
He never knew how anyone felt.
After a while, all we could think was "Frankly, I don't give a damn." 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Pizza Di Scarola - (escarole or romaine or spinach bread)

On January 15 I posted the recipe for Carmela Soprano's Mostaciolli, some very nice chocolate cookies with rum frosting.

Yes, I know that's a long time to go without a Soprano recipe.
I'm sorry.
But, I hope you've enjoyed the other recipes, or at least found them useful.
I mean, there isn't an old Italian recipe that uses up some of the stuff we bought for the holidays.
Stuff like Ritz crackers, which can pass in an apple pie.

Waste not, want not.

Okay... along with the complaints about where are the Soprano recipes, I got a few 
e mails that were a bit friendlier and more useful.

One lady asked that I not bunch together Carmela's and Ma's recipes.  
She prefers the 'one recipe per post' format.
Since she went to the trouble to write to me, I'll try her idea.
Carmela's on Saturday.  Ma's on Monday.
The Being 60 posts will still be on Sunday.

Another woman said she'd like some vegetarian recipes.  
I hope she'll like this week's recipe, even though it calls for anchovies. 

The problem is that I'm using Carmela's Entertaining with The Sopranos.
It's the same problem Julie Powell had when she was using Julia Child's cookbook.
Who eats sweetbreads?

I sometimes substitute if I can't find - or afford - an ingredient.  
But, I mean, a recipe for roast pork would be a bit odd without the pork.
Tony likes his meat.
Carmela had enough problems with him without trying to turn him into a vegetarian.

This week's recipe for Pizza Di Scarola is also in the Holidays chapter, but it's a handy dish for any time of the year.

It calls for escarole, but you can substitute romaine.
My Sicilian Aunts did it that way.
In winter they also used frozen spinach, pre-chopped.
Their Moms did, too.
So, go argue with them.

Carmela said imported black olives.  
Yeah, she would.

This is called a pie, but it's more like a loaf of bread with a filling.
It could be handy for a picnic, too.

Summer will be back.

                        Pizza Di Scarola

Oil a 12-inch pizza pan         
preheat oven to 425º           
bake 40 minutes 

In a small bowl sprinkle
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/3 Cups warm water
Let stand 5 minutes, then stir.
In a large mixer bowl combine
4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 Table spoons olive oil
the yeast mixture
Mix and knead, adding flour, until a soft dough forms.
I t should be smooth and moist, but not sticky.

Place dough in an oiled bowl.
Turn to cover all sides.
Cover and let rise in a warm place 1 1/2 hours.


Place in a large pot 
1/2 Cup water
2 1/2 pounds escarole (or romaine or spinach)
       washed well and trimmed
a pinch of salt if you like salty
Steam gently about 10 minutes.
Drain and let cool.
Wrap the escarole in a paper towel and squeeze out the liquid.
Chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
In a dutch oven cook over medium heat about 3 minutes
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 2-ounce can anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
Stir unt the anchovies are dissolved.
Stir in
3 Tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
1/2 Cup sliced, pitted black olives
the cooked escarole
Stir until well mixed.

Divide the dough in half.
Roll out half on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle.
Place it on the oiled pan.
Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border.

Roll out the remaining dough to a 12-inch circle and place it on top of the filling.
Press the edges together to seal.
With a small sharp knife make a few slits on top so the steam can escape.
Bake until browned.
Serve immediately or allow to cool.

Would I make the Pizza Di Scarola again?
Especially in the summer.
Using romaine.

Another recipe down.  Thirty more to go.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cul de Sac Crazy V - Being 60 (week 41 - by Margaret Ullrich)

Timing is everything.  

Last Sunday Paul and I were enjoying the prospect of a life without B. 
Windows open during summer nights. 
Gardening without the fear of B wanting to talk. 
Usually about some hare-brained scheme that would 'fly under the radar'.  
Hanging laundry without the fear of B wanting to talk. 
Sitting in our yard without the fear of B wanting to talk.  

We weren't alone in picturing a B-less future. 
During the siege, cars had been discreetly hidden in carport and garages. 
Neighbors had begun parking in the cul again.  

After lunch we played a game of scrabble. 
Then we went out for a walk. 
Wouldn't you know.....  
At that moment a middle-aged stranger was leaving the house next door. 
He looked nervously over his shoulder.  
He asked us if anyone was in the house. 
Conditioned by years with B, at first we said we didn't know anything. 
The fellow said he was working for the 'little guy' (A) and that he had to serve the 'big guy' (B) some papers. 
Oh..... We told him B had left on Monday, January 31. 
The fellow smiled and said he'd report that B had left, and that they would have the locks changed.  

While we walked, we marveled at our going out the door at just that moment. 
Timing..... coincidence or destiny?   

On Tuesday, February 8, at 2:00 am, Paul was returning from the bathroom when he heard something below our bedroom window. 
Below the bedroom window near A's house. 
Not the window facing the street. 
He looked outside and saw a honking big U-Haul truck was wedged between our houses. 
A three seater. 
Big enough to take a fair amount of household furniture. 
Stiffling a groan, Paul returned to bed.  

A few hours later, when I awoke, Paul told me to look outside. 
He didn't have to say which window. 
Checking that space had become part of our routine.   

Like I said, timing is everything. 

At 11:00 am we noticed a CAA locksmith van leaving the bay. 
B had told us that he'd changed the locks when the Peace Bond was posted against him back in November. 
Hmmm..... on Sunday the fellow had said they'd have the locks changed. 
Had the CAA guy changed the locks so A could re-enter his home? 
But, there was a U-Haul blocking the door. 
Wasn't B inside, grabbing everything not nailed down? 
Did B just ignore the locksmith doing his job? 
Not likely.  

Where was B?  

At 1:30 pm A's white car drove onto the lawn and blocked the U-Haul, which was just sitting there, like an oversized lawn ornament. 
B got out of the passenger side and calmly walked past the U-Haul to the front door. 
Within minutes he stomped back to the car.  

B had overplayed his hand. 
The deed was done. 
The locks had been changed.   

We could see across the bay a neighbor on his cell phone, looking out his picture window and pointing at A's house.  
Then the neighbor came and had a few words with B's buddy.
Ah..... A had a spy watching and reporting.   

A is a quiet sort of fellow, who embarrasses easily and likes to keep his problems to himself. In the 'opposites attract' vein, B is a blabbermouth, who thinks everyone agrees with him. 
He had tried to enlist our support back in December.
Fat chance.
B's friend seemed like a calm sort, if a bit misguided. 
After the neighbor returned to his house, the buddy pulled out his cell phone. 
We could see our neighbor in his house, back on his cell phone.   

At 3:53 a different locksmith came. 
Our neighbor came over and talked to B and the locksmith, who looked like he wished he were in another line of work. 
The locksmith did his own cell phoning and chatted with B's friend. 
B was in the car, sitting low, as if hoping no one would notice him in the middle of all the commotion. 
Yeah, right. 
About a half hour later, the locksmith and A's white car left.   

At 6:00 pm the white car came back. 
For some reason, B thought the door would magically open for him. 
It didn't. 
B returned to the front seat of the car, and started pulling at his hair and pounding on the seats. 
It was a dandy tantrum. 
B's friend watched him, as if suddenly discovering a whole new side of his 'misunderstood buddy'. 
Maybe the light dawned. 
Who could tell..... I mean, he was B's friend.  
Then B left the car and marched out of the bay. 
He wasn't dressed for the weather. 
We wondered if he'd gone to buy a bottle and drown his sorrows in a field. 
Okay..... we hoped he'd gone to spend the night in a field. 
It was a cold night.   

On Wednesday, February 9, at 6:10 am the U-Haul van was driven off. 
We don't know who was driving. 
At 7:15 am A's white car was driven back and parked by the curb.   
B left the car and entered the house. 
The friend drove off.   

On Friday, February 11, A's white car was parked in the bay.  
At 5:00 pm B's friend was back in his silver compact car and parked on the front lawn.  
About a half hour later he loaded some old furniture into the back of his car. 
At 7:00 pm the friend drove away.  

On Saturday, A's white car was gone from the bay. 
Could B have driven away?  

When I went to get groceries I saw it was parked in the back.   


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lindy's Cheesecake with Red Cherry Glaze, New York Style Cheesecake - Margaret Ullrich

Valentine's Day is coming up.  
Last year, around this time, I talked about Carmela's New Jersey Cheesecake.

That led to the Great Cheesecake Battle.
I know better now.
Never dis anybody's cheesecake.

But, in every genre, there is an icon.
In horror, there's Stephen King.
In cheesecake, there's Lindy's.

I know, nothing can compare with the Co-Op Refrigerator Cheesecake.
But, Lindy's has a certain mystique.
It conjures up Broadway, theater, glamor.

Here, for a night to remember, is the recipe for

                        LINDY'S CHEESECAKE
In a medium bowl combine
1 Cup sifted flour
1/4 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Make a well in the center
1 egg yolk
1/4 Cup soft butter
Mix, with fingertips, until dough cleans side of bowl.
Form into a ball.
Wrap in waxed paper.
Refrigerate about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400º
Grease the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan.
Remove the side from the pan.
Roll 1/3 of the dough on bottom of springform pan;
trim edge of dough.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile, divide the rest of the dough into 3 parts.
Roll each part into a strip 2 1/2 inches wide
and about 10 inches long.

Put together springform pan, with the baked crust on the bottom.
Fit dough strips to side of pan, joining ends to line inside completely.
Trim dough so it comes only 3/4 way up side of pan.
Preheat oven to 500º

Combine in a large bowl of electric mixer
5 (8 oz/250 g) packages of cream cheese
1 3/4 Cups sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Beat, at high speed, just to blend.
Beat in, one at a time
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 Cup heavy cream
beat just until well combined.
Pour mixture into springform pan. 

Bake 10 minutes.
Reduce oven tempurature to 250º
Bake 1 hour longer.
Let cheesecake cool in pan on wire rack.
Glaze top with Red-Cherry Glaze.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

To serve:
Loosen pastry from side of pan with spatula.
Remove side of springform pan.
Cut cheesecake into wedges.

                        RED-CHERRY GLAZE

Drain and set aside
1 can (1 lb) sour red cherries, packed in water
  reserving 1/2 cup liquid
Combine in small saucepan
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
reserved cherry liquid
Stir until mixture is smooth.
Bring to boiling, stirring, over medium heat.
Boil 1 minute.
The mixture will be thickened and translucent.
Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 drops red food color
reserved cherries
Cool thoroughly before spooning over cooled cheesecake.

Makes 2 cups glaze.

Serve with the Arts section of the New York Times.

Next week I'll cook up something from Ma and Carmela's Entertaining with The Sopranos.
I promise.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cul de Sac Crazy IV - Being 60 (week 40 - by Margaret Ullrich)

Alrighty... on January 30 at 5:00 pm we last saw that neighbor B's buddy had wedged his car perpendicularly between A's white car and B's green truck in the cul de sac, while B was shoveling snow onto the little circle in the middle of the cul.

Both cars' hoods were up.
The friend was trying to boost some life into A's white car.
After sitting there for three months, it was going to take a while.
No surprise B needed his buddy's battery.
No point B trying to use his truck for the breath of life.
He always had the motor running for an hour before it could move.
It was always on some form of life support.

It was dark and cold that night.
With the windchill, it felt like -37.

Working outdoors at night wasn't at all unusual for B.
B always kept what folks in the cul called 'Vampire Hours'.
No matter the weather, no matter the darkness, B was outdoors after the sun went down.

You got it.
In the summer, when we were enjoying long, long Manitoba days, B would wait until about midnight to mow his lawn.
After dark, when he wasn't mowing, he would pace the space between our houses and yell on his cell phone.
For some reason he never understood he didn't need to yell.
He also never understood that neighbors who worked 9 to 5, slept 10 to 6.
Really, he never understood.
Folks gave up explaining.
They just shut their windows and cranked up their air conditioners.

Back to January 30...
It was going to take a few hours to revive the white car.
After shoveling snow onto the little circle, B shoveled a path to his front door.
Then, at 9:00 pm, with his buddy guiding him, B backed his truck against his front door.
No shrubs were run over.
The white car was still in a coma.
The friend decided to stay the night.

Paul and I went to bed.
We didn't expect miracles.

On January 31, at 6:30 am, we awoke to the sound of a truck being bitch-slapped.

It wasn't the gentle sound of snow being brushed off the hood.
The poor thing was being slapped, much as one would slap a torture victim back to consciousness.

After he had beaten the truck enough to get its attention, B started his motor.
We didn't get our hopes up.
We also noticed that both cars were gone from the cul.
We didn't know or care what had happened to them.

The motor ran for most of the morning while B tossed garbage bags into the shotgun seat.

Then, at 11:05 am, B got into the driver's seat, and went tearing off the front lawn.
He hung a sharp left to the entrance, then a right and roared north.
The sun came out.

We still didn't get our hopes up.
I mean, he'd driven away before.
Oh, we checked.
The white car was resting quietly on the uncleared carport.

It's been a week.
B hasn't been back.
The cul has a new look without the white car and truck blocking 
The air is cleaner.
Really cleaner since we haven't had a truck's motor running.
Our bathroom vent is right over where he had been wedging his truck.
No exhaust fumes in the bathroom.