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More Recipes: Sangwich Numero Uno; Snack of the Moment; Dear God, What Have I Stumbled Upon?; Remembering Joey; I Thank God for Baseball

AH! The Joy of October ... AGAIN!

Champs of April, Chumps of October ... a movie, a concert, a baby, and ... PIZZA!
October 2002

So ... another season of the greatest game ever invented has come and gone, and with all due respect to our millions of fans in New England, and, more specifically, my many dear brothers from Boston now living in New York, HA HA!!!! I told you so!

Every year since 1918, I have to hear ... "THIS is it ... THIS is THE year"... And every year I say the same thing ... "It's April! ... It's May! ... It's June! ... We'll be there in Sept. & Oct. when it COUNTS!" ... I tell them ... You Boston people are the champions of April, May & June ... you are men of great moments ... little moments! ... ultimately unimportant moments. We YANKEE fans are men of championships, of SEASONS, of the big picture."

But these facts don't stop my Bostonian friends from torturing me and TRYING to ruin MY baseball season ... to no avail! ... I suppose next year will be the same ... 84 years of frustration and torture will continue ... You will tease us ... tell us how "This year will be different ... it's a new season," when in fact the possibility of winning is the ONLY thing you will again cling to ... You have new owners, a new manager, 2 of the best hitters in baseball, and when healthy, the best pitcher in baseball ... and you're out of the playoffs! ... so, you are headed in the right direction but let's not forget, ... as a city, as a sports town, as a cool place ... you are a nice little New England college town. BUT PLEASE ... DON'T COMPARE YOURSELVES TO THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD ... THE CENTER OF ECONOMIC, CULTURAL, AND SPORTS greatness ... the SCHMATAH CAPITOL! ... THE PLACE WHERE HANDSOME DICK MANITOBA AND HIS TRUSTY DICTATORS LIVE! ... WHERE HDM HAS HIS WORLD FAMOUS BAR! ... WHERE HE RESIDES AND HAS CHOSEN TO RAISE HIS FAMILY!

So PLEASE my dear Bostonian amigos ... brag about your Pats ... about the glory days before 1918, about Teddy baseball, but don't insult my intelligence by EVER COMPARING YOUR 84-YEAR-DROUGHT BASEBALL TEAM TO MINE, OR YOUR LITTLE COLLEGE BURG TO MY GREAT HOMETOWN ... NEW YORK CITY..., love, HANDSOME DICK MANITOBA.

* * *

So far Jake Blum is winning the HDM baby boy contest ... My 4 middle name possibilities are ... Koufax, Mantle, Blassie, and Manitoba, unless I change my legal name from Blum to Manitoba as I'm thinking of doing! ... To the people who ONLY talk about shit, and piss and a lack of sleep when telling me about what to expect when having a baby ... to you I say CHECK YOUR MOTIVES! ... what is your problem? ... I have so many friends who have kids, AND taking everything into consideration, have nothing to say except how whole it makes you, how it adds so much to your life and how it is the MOST WONDERFUL, INTENSE, and SATISFYING experience they ever had ... and that includes diapers, vomit, etc., etc. ... Saw Marianne Faithfull with the missus the other night ... eh! a little too Piaf for my tastes ... Saw a movie about my old pal ROCKETS REDGLARE, by LUIS FERNANDEZ DE LA REGUERA ... It was fuckin' great ... what a guy ... what a character ... what a movie! ... I miss running into Rockets and having him tell me a five-minute story that took him an hour! ... This film had great editing and Rockets' five-minute stories only took seven minutes.

* * *

Admittedly ... I'm running out of ideas (at the moment!) for a new recipe from scratch ... so what I'm gonna give you is a food idea, not necessarily a recipe ... When I go to my favorite pizzeria in NY, 5 Roses Pizzeria, @ First Ave. btwn. 10th & 11th streets, and see my favorite little Polish Pizza Maker, Krystina, I usually order a slice with sausage, or anchovies ... then I proceed, after ordering said slice well done, to dump a heaping amount of hot red pepper flakes, black pepper, and grated cheese (usually to the astonishment of anyone watching!) ... Sometimes I am not PRECISELY in the mood for the offered extras in any given pizzeria and yesterday I did something new and exciting in the world of "slice, please"... Something I am telling you to do ... If your neighborhood pizzeria says no to your request, you either have to get yo' sef a new pizzeria OR re-invent your relationship with the people in your old one.

I went around the corner to Russo's, the best little eye-talian pasta and mozzarella store in the East Village, (e.11st.) and got some sliced (THIN!) hot sopressata, and some black olives (the little chewy cured kind with red pepper flakes on 'em AND pits!) ... I proceeded back to 5 Roses and said, "Krystina, would you put these olives and sopressata on a slice for me?"..."Yes, Richie, how you want me to do it?" ... "O.K.," I answered. "First gimme a plain slice" (which she handed me without question) ... I then put the cured olives on top of the plain slice (keeps 'em moist ... moist iz good!), then tore up into tiny little pieces, about 6-8 THIN slices of hot sopressata, and added them to the top of the newly olived slice ... THEN I covered the whole thing with a liberal amount of grated cheese, black pepper and a little more hot red pepper flakes (for extra Zing!) ... you need only put in the oven for 2 minutes and out comes FOOD GENIUS!

You have now transformed a slice of pizza into ... A SLICE OF WARM, CRUNCHY, DELICIOUS PIZZA, EVERY BITE DELIVERING CHEWY WARM CURED OLIVES (don't forget to not bite too hard on the olives, AND spit the pits out) ... AND EVERY BITE FILLED WITH LITTLE CHEWY PIECES OF SHREDDED, SPICY WARMED SOPRESSATA ... not to forget the extra added grated cheese! ... This, I presume will now make a trip for the local pizzeria for "a slice, please" a thing of the past ... and don't forget ... She, or he, should only charge you for the price of a slice!!!! THE BEST PART OF IT ALL!!! Just offer your pizzamaker the leftover meat and olives (or whatever you chose to add to the slice) and all parties, as Krystina was, should be de-lighted!

See ya in the playoffs, GO YANKEES!, lottsa Love,