Greetings & Salutations to all our friends & family & fans!
We are embarking on our first crowd funding campaign to create the Third Season of Dish It Out!! Your support for the past two seasons has nurtured our incredible cooking series that’s –
“….one part talk, two parts cooking, three parts garlic.”
please share wide & far! No amounts too small, unless it’s garlic and every bit helps, unless it’s cayenne.
(click image to go see our Indiegogo )
We learn at an early age how precious summer is. The beautiful weather and the great outdoors and all the freedom to run around. School teaches that lesson quickly. We also learn that we have so many wonderful freedoms because those men, women and families that serve in our armed forces are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Happy Memorial Day to our readers, fans, friends and families. We’re so fortunate to live in this country with great liberties. We’re so fortunate to have the brave heroes that ensure we keep them.
For your cookout today, a great recipe for:
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus!
1 19 oz. or so jar of roasted red peppers, rinsed and dried
2 15 oz. cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and dried.
1/3 cup lemon juicer
3 T tahini paste
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 t salt
1 t curry powder
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t black pepper
Place red peppers in food processor. Add beans and all remaining ingredients. Process until smooth. Serve with pita chips or array of veggies. DELISH!
If using fresh peppers, 3 large red bells would do. Make sure peppers are cool before processing and remove any char from them.
Recipe is even more tasty with a slight dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
Where we’ve been and where we’re going is a matter of Grace. We’ve had amazing meals and events for which we are extremely grateful. We are looking to the future with great friends and loyal family, Thank-you to All!!! Hopefully our next season will be filled with brioche, ganache and the panache we relished last year. Dish It Out! experienced such great reception, we count ourselves blessed in its creation. People came hungry and are ready for seconds.
It should also make mention that both halves of the creative team mounted their weddings Season One’s inception, gracefully. Director Christopher Gregson and the lovely Operations Manager (muse) Marie Pettit
tied the knot in the great state of Texas among family and friends. Chris’s guiding eye has made DIO! a treat to the eye as well to the tummy. And the poor many has to hear Tony’s damn laugh ad nauseam in post production. Marie wears many hats in the studio, all of them in grande style. You also know Marie from her juggling garlic in Episode 5. Planning weddings long distance can be trying from the logistical stance, planning a wedding period is trying. The happy couple showed amazing verve on their first to day to taste a better life. Gracefully their exeunt flourish from the church was to the coronation music played at the end of first ‘Star Wars’ movie. Their humor resulted in a fantastic day of joy (Chosen) and jam sessions.
Producer Michael Vinton and Tony Spatafora gained a hyphen in the Blue state of Connecticut. Michael keeps all the visiting talent craftily entertained (Red Vines and Pellegrino) and the crew on schedule. Tony keeps getting in the way of the camera, for better or for worse. They married out doors by the CT River. The autumnal beauty behind them. Also not far behind them was a massive down pour driving guest to flee for shelter under tarps, gazebos and suit jackets. The happy grooms and invited loved ones accepted the blessing from above gracefully, and laughed all the way to the “I do’s”.
It’s pretty terrific to be able to do what you love, with people you love. It’s a blessing really. And for this especially we say thanks. We are coming back to you full force in Season Two. Guests, Goblets and Elves will be filling your monitors as lustful as an episode of ‘Game Of Thrones’. Okay, maybe not that lustful, we’ve dumbed down the inbreeding, and still cook on natural gas. DIO! has been on a great journey, mostly tasteful. We’ve married, we’ve tarried. We’ve tried, and fried and plied. We’ve catered, belabored. and tailored many wonderful food events that we’re gonna share with you, oh are there some great stories to share. Sound good? Well than pull up a chair we saved you a spot for you and your friend. Glad to see you, we hope you came hungry…..
Grace. I said it.
Happy Happy, and nice nice.
If you haven’t already, we are so likeable on FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dish-It-Out-With-Tony-Spatafora/136142373142982?fref=ts
, and followable on Twitter, @GetDish
Our lives are open, so burn up those lines like a Baked Alaska……..operators are standing by.
We were fortunate enough to work with Miss Charlene Tilton on this episode and share a great recipe that will thrill your holiday guests. It’s Aunty Lucy’s recipe, done by Lucy from TV’s ‘Dallas’, for Tony’s goddaughter Lucy.
“Lucy Had A Little Lamb” is a tasty tasty fun time to watch, but even better to eat. Make this and tell us at DIO how you fared. Come hungry…..
Who said you can never go home? Besides several lawyers with restraining orders and angry townspeople holding torches? We all make mistakes. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you don’t have to explain yourself. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it. Home is, fill in cliché here, I’m tired. I spent a fair amount of time on the CT Shoreline, or as I call it, Yankee Key West. It’s a charming series of towns by the CT River and the Long Island Sound. The local people are an amazing clatch of colorful personalities. All tasty in their own right. I’d blow through the area between acting jobs, just long enough to piss off the lawyers and townspeople, meet some cool people and sally forth. (not her, but you get my meaning) I was taught at an early age the good people find each other. I’m a firm believer in this. Actually I’m not very firm from all I’ve eaten lately, but again I digress. Birds of a feather and all that.
It was on one of these Foxtrot through Yankee Key West that I found another good person. Slightly after Star Wars and just before cell phones I met Hedy. She was a senior bartender at a rooftop deck on the main drag. I was naught but a child in his early twenties. I was the day guy who cut her fruit and stocked her beer and cleaned what she missed. An apprentice to the magic I like to think. Pecking orders. The establishment’s owner conceived this money-maker renovation and built the enormous platform atop his prime rib seafood shanty. It was kind of like a ginormous deck chair for hundreds of tourons (tourists-morons) to come tumbleweed through and eat a basket of fried clam strips. It required a doubling of staff and a bitch of a stair case to the main kitchen. It required us learning how to shuck and jive. We had a raw bar. It still haunts me. Hedy and I worked well together; I’d run my young ass down to retrieve all our hot orders and she’d shuck the half shell orders standing still under an electric fan. I should mention the humidity on the CT Shoreline’s cruel. Did I mention the stair case was a bitch? Moving on. This deal seemed fair at the time.
Hedy was always sharing great stories and I loved hearing them. Her easy manner let her talk to anyone about anything. This impressed the hell out of me. I learned lots from people like her. We had a mutual love of good living, good eating and good stories. With her fresh from Key West and me thinking my next adventure was going to be Hollywood we bonded quickly in our tales of revelry. I don’t recall seeing her after this one summer in the early nineties.
One day she arrived to work beaming on the previous great night’s episode. She regaled me on how she had been in a chef’s kitchen (she was always meeting people and gaining invites) learning to make a veal stock. The chef, his wife and Heddy laughed, drank wine and nibbled while tending their cauldron. They created a tasty little liquid which she shared. It blew my mind one could do this outside of restaurant of a culinary institute. Her glow of having savored the experience was right pretty on her. It makes me smile to this day.
Which brings me two decades later and without my prized mullet to my story. Dish It Out was on the road recently eating our way around Yankee Key West whilst visiting family for the holidays. We had just left a very early appointment with our wedding caterer Andrea (much more on her and Cloud Nine Catering soon) feeling peckish. The sights and sounds of Deep River called me back to my youth. That and a reasonable hunch that I wouldn’t be easily recognized with out my Billy Ray Cyrus hair style and MC Hammer baggie pants. We explored the main drag, finding an old dive bar that had provided me a supposed good time or two. Aah, Calamari’s, the name says it all. It was cloudy. The memory, not the day. When the Whistle Stop caught my hungered eyes. Also if I don’t feed Mick on a regular basis he tends to claw at the interior of the car and chew on stuff. It’s not pretty. In we went.
The clutter on the counter charmed me. Jars of exotic teas and lemonades provided a defense line from surly early morning New Englanders. I figured it was psychology to put medium bright colors in front of their faces to lull them out of their mid winter doldrums.With enough bric a brac to occupy their wait. Overthinking it? I don’t believe so. Then again a multi ink pens activate my ADD. The smallness that was the cafe was Gulliver-esque. We got a warm “Good Morning. Anywhere you like..” from the waitress and the lady working the griddle. I saw a stack of plates to the chef’s right that were the same Corning plates we had growing up (aw, heart). They were inexpensive and plentiful. This broad was seriously prepared to cook. She had enough sauces and containers around her to make a Hogwart’s professor nervous. It was her smile that was familiar, and the sparkling eyes. Oh, wow. It’s Hedy. I tuned in on the voice and it all came back to me. Hadn’t thought of the upper deck summer in years, and I went right back there. I could feel the stiff uniform, the humidity and the cold little necks clams to shuck.
Hugs and exclamations scared the patrons for a moment but they aptly resumed their daily bread. We filled in the last two decades, her with raising children me with racing around. She’d been in the Cafe for 15 years now, I’d been in six states (not counting disarray) She was exactly the same, and told me I was too. These moments are pretty cool. Coming home and all that rot. She sat us back down, picked up an enormous cinnamon bun with thick with icing like I wish I had hair. She sliced it in half like a bagel, rolled it in vanilla french toast batter and griddles us a little nice nice. “Ooooooh, that’s really going to suck” Mick and I thought. She put it down with her compliments to start our bfast. Oy. Then came my Cannes Benedict; herbed chevre, fresh organic baby spinach, shallots, bacon and eggies. So good. I don’t want this holiday to end (loosens belt) I’m not sure what Mick was eating as he had his head down too, meaning he couldn’t be disturbed. You know how you never bother a bear or large dog when their eating? Same rules apply in our relationship. Hedy makes her own granola, sauces, soups, stocks (surprise!) and specialty spreads. She makes outstanding hash; clam, ham, corned beef and pastrami. You never heard of clam hash? Oh, well welcome to New England. She does breakfast and lunch. She’ll cater your wedding or even your family picnic. Need a romantic dinner on the beach? Yeah, she’s got that for you. And all the while raising two great kids. Hedy Watrous’ The Whistle Stop Cafe’ on N. Main Street in Deep River is a little slice of home. Thanks Hedy, I was glad to come home and find this little slice.
Note to wedding guests, this place is a must do.
And no lawyers or angry townspeople were hurt in our Eating Across CT Shoreline Odyssey.
The Whistle Stop Cafe
108 N. Main Street
Deep River CT 06417
AAAAAaaaaaaaah, home for the holidays! Dish It Out is Out! Literally, we’re on the road. Eating a frenzy towards New Year’s. Boot camp has been replaced with food camp. No carb left behind. Cleaning your plate is the highest compliment (and in some countries, so is belching). Seconds is expected, thirds is the new black. Doctor who? Long armed people eat better. I can’t believe that’s not margarine. Feed me, Seymour. Reckless abandon. Need I go on? Oh, but I will.
Christmas Eve has a tender place in my
heart, stomach, heart. It’s a fantastic night for eating special foods and for getting together with the near and dears. A couple lifetime’s ago we used to gather with my awesome Godmother and her five children. (Aunty Mary will get her own post) It was a standing event at which we’d eat some fantastic stuff. My cousin Joey’s calamari; amazing. Aunty Mary’s clam chowder is still the benchmark for comparison. There was always good eating. As I got older I had to have my own Christmas Eve Open House. I made great efforts in decorating, cooking and hosting. Truth be told, I have more than a normal amount zeal for the holiday in my DNA. Tinsel in the cards, wreath on the truck, I’ve been seen wearing antlers. I am a man on a mistletoe. The stakes were high, and soon the guests would be. I would see to it with witty holiday napkins and carefully suspended glass ornaments, with nicely garnished canape plates and spicy cocktail onions that we would eat drink and be merry (or sally or trish or carole) We would make that little cottage by Long Island Sound as full of laughs and love as our stomachs would soon be. Hey, it was Christmas Eve.
That’s what makes the night for me, the gathering and the grazing. There may be no room at the Inn, but there’s gonna be a spot with the Spats’. It’s important to me to put the year to an end in the prescence of good friends and family. Equally impressive is the care that we put into our food then. This extra love put into every bite is awesome to me. We eat the things not made regularly or that are for special occasions only. We use the good olive oil, the good china. Our near and dears are in the house, we’ve all made it another year, come hungry and all that. I suspend my exercise regimen (and sometimes my fat pants) during the Holiday Season. I think it provides me with more time to enjoy the meal. I can always walk the meal “off” and have a conspiratorial visit with a loved one. Quality time’s made here.
In fact, our recent trip back east was strewn with quality time and great visits. Mick and I stayed with Jo Jo who saw to it that our glasses were never empty and the bed was warm. We made sure that all of her dogs received an equal amount of attention. I swear there were ten of them. Alright, maybe three. Jo and I served time together in a restaurant cursed with great food and shiftless owners. It was our salad days if you will. A fantastic host, she put us up to stay even while having her family for dinner the next day. She had snacks ready to drop on our first night of tasty crackers, shrimp, cheese and olives. I could live on this. She then buried us in homemade meatballs, sauce and spaghetti. Oh, and she took care of any extra space with broccoli rabe and sausage stuffed bread. In case the bed was lumpy the bread in the tummy could be slept on. We pulled out the war stories and stopped short of the photo albums. While the time disappeared with the wine, night became day. We awoke to wrap and run. Down the stairs we bound to find her holiday dinner going on all cylinders. Her family was arriving any minute but breakfast made with love, was awaiting on the back burner. . She couldn’t send me to a family dinner hungry, it was after all a very long 45 minutes until. We stayed two more nights and contemplating Occupying Guest Room.
It was a Christmas Eve like any other; Awesome!