Saturday, December 7, 2013

flex your immune system

Is there a wonder-food at only four bucks a pound packed with Omega 3, protein and iron and rich in Vitamin B-12?

You bet there is. Let’s cook mussels for dinner.


Like other shellfish they’re a bivalve drawing water to filter plankton, but that brings grit into their shells.

They attach to the ocean floor with little strings called a “beard”, and both the grit and that beard has to go.


Scrub them, yank the beard out and put them into a pot filled with icy cold water and set them aside. They’ll draw in new water discharging the grit. 

Throw away any mussel that does not close tightly.

They are dead. Do not eat them. 
We want to kill these mussels ourselves :-)

Change the water two or three times over 30 minutes while you chop shallot and garlic and open a bottle of white.

See the tiny bubbles?

They are discharging air, 
drawing water inside and cleaning themselves.

SO WE CAN EAT THEM like the Belgians do!

Cover the bottom of a sauté pan with chopped cloves of fresh garlic and shallot, then soften over low heat in butter.

Add salt and pepper.

More butter.

And then pile the cleaned mussels on top.

Now pour about a cup of white wine over the shells and as the wine steams up from the bottom, the shells will begin to open. They are dying. Ha ha.

Cover them if you must to keep them in the wine vapor. Eventually they will all open up and you can chew them right out of their shells.

And that’s it, serve them in a bowl with the soft onion and with good crusty bread for dipping into the broth.

Get some exercise. Pull a mussel.

And wine about it.

put your hands on the wall. Please.

If you’ve lived in New York these past 20 years you know our crime rate has dropped like a rock.

Police Commissioner William Bratton served under Giuliani and presided over the period of steepest decline.

He was extremely polite but tough on the perps; a soft-spoken law and order guy hard on people who do not agree with him. 

But his results earned him national accolades.

His “bottom up” philosophy first perfected in Boston worked very well here, too, and he continued this work in Los Angeles to similar effect.

Now he is coming back.

Mayor-elect de Blasio has indicated his re-appointment, beginning on January 1st.

I think this should work very well. 
De Blasio is a liberal man.

William Bratton may turn out to be just the sort of cop’s-cop Bill de Blasio needs.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

oh you better watch out


where does your neighborhood rank?

Take the number of people in a neighborhood and divide by the crimes per year, and you have the DNAinfo’s Crime and Safety report.

Head out to Staten Island if low crime is your priority.

The safest neighborhood in NYC is essentially a suburb of New Jersey, Tottenville is as far from the bustle as you can get.

The UpperEastSide comes in at #14, very safe and no surprise.

Washington Heights is in the middle of the pack at #24. 

But safer than Woodside, Queens!

Coney Island is actually safer than both Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill in Broooklyn.

And our own Pelham Parkway endures fewer crimes than East Harlem or even hipster Williamsburg.

Home Sweet Home comes in at #59. 

Mott Haven is not crime-free but still safer than Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill or even Dumbo.

As you’d expect Hunt’s Point comes in only three up from the bottom, but only two ranks lower than trendy Flatiron in Manhattan.

And still safer, statistically, than Greenwich Village. 
Who knew?

The take-away? 
Cliché’s are rarely true. 

Relax and enjoy, we live in the greatest city in the world!