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Good morning you adorable GUSadorables!!!!  I'm writing this diary on Easter Sunday at night.  I wanted to savor the day and reflect on amazing connections.

I also have to figure out if I'm doing my link to The Innoculation Project correctly -- REMEMBER they post at the same time my pure genius of a Sunday GUS open thread is posted which is 10:00 a.m. EDT.  Don't think I haven't noticed some of you haven't gotten your asses out of bed no matter which coast you are on.  If silkie can comment from the wrong coast -- the rest of you have no excuses.

Oh, wait, I forgot why I'm here:

GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please -- join us!  We kindly ask that politics be left out.  

    You can also click the GUS tag to view all diary posts, or access the GUS Library at dKosopedia for a great list of stop-smoking links. Check it out! GUS library.

    A message to ALL quitters. You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit.  We won't give you a bad time and we consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.

    Quit Keeper widget which is an outstanding aid for those beginning the difficult path to quitting.  It lets you know how long you haven't smoked, how many cigs you haven't smoked, how much money you've saved.

   Quit Smoking Counter    h/tGDbot.  For those of you who have had a problem with Quit Keeper or want a different counter!


I know we have buddies who are religious -- from multiple religions -- and non-religious.  One thing many folks have in common is the family event or memory.  If your memories are bad or you have no family events, join me with the one I had today (which, will be 2 days ago when you read this post).

I'm stressed to the limits.  I didn't want to be with anyone this weekend.  My dear friend asked me to come for Easter dinner at her mother-in-law's house.  I first said, "thank you, but I don't think I'd be good company."  She's like an angel -- knows when to ask again and accepts a nay or yea.  I finally said I'd love to join her family.

This morning (which is the 2 days ago morning) I regretted my decision and got more stressed out.  No way was I going to beg off at the last minute but I felt like I would be miserable company.  Well, if you have a holiday celebration with great people, you are blessed and I was blessed.

I listened to family stories which reached back into the 19th century.  Two women who are mid-80s talked about their parents and grandparents.  Amazing, wonderful, should be written down stories.  The food dated back to (at the very minimum) the 19th century as to the origin of recipes.  Typical Italian (or Indian or Jewish or name a zillion ethnic groups) -- a pinch of this, a toss of that, watch the tomatoes we grew in the garden, set the lasagna for x amount of time . . . .

The home was built by my host's father.  He was a stonemason and the foundation is incredible.  In the basement was/is the summer kitchen.  There is a gorgeous wood-fired stove/oven that looks to be in mint condition.  An old ice box (yes -- ice, not electricity).  A Hoosier -- which, for me is the most coveted kitchen thingy ever.  

We ate, we talked, we laughed, I missed my Mom.  History of families is critical.  We are not all important Google/Wiki people.  We need to treasure and pass on our histories.  Not all the stories are completely true -- that is why they are so marvelous.

Here's a recipe for Pizza Rustica.  My host had her own recipe which differed but the concept is the same.  She used prosciutto instead of sausage.  There are other names for this recipe depending on dialect.

Pizza Rustica from Giada De Laurentis


2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 (12-ounce) bunches fresh spinach, stemmed, coarsely chopped (about 12 cups), or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut-leaf spinach, thawed and drained
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped
4 large egg yolks, beaten to blend
Pastry Dough, recipe follows
1 large egg, beaten to blend


Position the rack on the bottom of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sausages and saute until golden brown, breaking the sausage into pieces, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts and the juices evaporate, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Squeeze the spinach to drain as much liquid as possible.

Into a large bowl, add egg yolks and beat lightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add the sausage, the spinach and prosciutto to the mixture and stir to combine.

Roll out larger piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 17-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch springform pan. Trim the dough overhang to 1 inch. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dough-lined pan. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round. Place the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges of the doughs together to seal, then crimp the dough edges decoratively. Brush the beaten 1 large egg over the entire pastry top. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the top. Bake on the bottom shelf until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Let stand 15 minutes. Release the pan sides and transfer the pizza to a platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Pastry Dough:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, beaten to blend

2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Blend the flour, the butter, the shortening and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in the eggs. With the machine running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, with 1 piece twice as large as the second piece. Flatten the dough pieces into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Butt can (16+ / 0-)

    puppy sleeping

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 06:02:29 PM PDT

  •  Good morning! (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the shout-out in the diary. Truth is, nowadays I wake up earlier than I'd like to, and it's nice to have places like this to hang out in the morning hours. :-)

    The family gathering sounds wonderful, and (except for the Italian-ness of it) sounds like many from my youth. Oh, the nostalgia!

    Hoping to get in a nice long walk this afternoon since they say we won't have rain again for a few days!

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:28:10 AM PDT

  •  I finally did it! (10+ / 0-)

    Today is day six for this non-smoker.  For now I'm using the nicotine gum, listening to meditation music, knitting to keep my hands busy, and walking.

    I'm also giving up my evening "refreshments" to ward of the weight gain.  I feel great actually.  The knitting sure helps.  Anybody want some dishcloths?

    "If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones." John Steinbeck

    by BluejayRN on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:38:37 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad you decided to go (9+ / 0-)

    I know the feeling all too well, wanting to hole up and be alone with your stress or misery or "not ready for company"'s my default response to feeling overwhelmed, in fact. And family relationships and histories are so complicated that nearly anything can trip that switch and trigger the impulse to retreat.

    But how wonderful when we push past that and connect, even for a short time, with people whose own complicated histories and relationships would be unknown to us otherwise. To get to hear those stories and taste those recipes and be drawn into their circle a bit is like an unexpected gift, and (as you say) a reminder of the value of our own histories and experiences.

    My family had no pizza recipes...indeed, no real Italian recipes at all, just odd little bastardized New England versions of Italian favorites. Except for Nana G.'s marinara & meatballs, which she SWORE was from a recipe printed in the newspaper in the 20s that originated with the family of executed anarchists Sacco and/or Vanzetti (she couldn't recall which one). :-D

    Donald Rumsfeld is a blood gargling psychopath.

    by Vacationland on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:45:56 AM PDT

  •  A little something by the Subdudes (8+ / 0-)

    Let me tell you a story about where I come from
    Hop in the car and take a ride through the countryside
    Up on the hill lies your granddaddy, Grady
    He made a living down in Monument Valley

    Now he lies up on the hill
    I remember when he used to say

    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me
    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me

    But I forgot now you've got your own car
    Girl by your side and you're going too far
    Aunt Josie said, "My, how big you have grown!"
    Too big to call you my baby, my own

    When I see you, I still wanna cry

    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me
    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me
    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me
    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me

    I've got the stories, I've got the memories
    Some that cry, oh and some that laugh
    I've got them saved up like your pennies
    Oh, little baby in your piggy bank

    And now time has passed and you're so far away
    Can't get used to not seeing you each day
    But there's one place in the back of my mind
    Where I can go to see you anytime

    And for you to me, forever you will be my

    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me
    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me
    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me
    Sugar pie, sugar pie, sit by me

  •  Good morning, that puppy picture is very very (9+ / 0-)


  •  The diary reminded me... (8+ / 0-)

    ...of a long-ago Christmas. It was the only time I ever took a boyfriend home to meet my family, and that Christmas morning he got an understandable case of cold feet at the prospect. I laid into him with a lecture about how my sister had planned on him for the meal and how there would be an empty place at the table. The whole nine yards.

    So I convinced him to go after all, and after we'd left and were driving back home across the Bay Bridge, he started to cry, telling me it was one of the best Christmases he'd ever had and that my family was SO nice, and thanking me for making him go.

    These things do sometimes work out. :-)

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:37:19 AM PDT

  •  Hello, my dear gc2 (and everyone else)! (9+ / 0-)

    Your recipes always look so very delicious. I wish I were more ambitious about cooking. Well, it will probably return.

    I too am glad you went & had such a lovely holiday. Good for you and lucky for them, too.

    I know you're probably at work, but when you have the chance, please check your Kosmail. TYVM.

    Hugs and happy Spring to all. We are having a strange spring here, which is actually fine: nights below freezing, and daytime highs in the 50s. Gradual is good.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:39:35 AM PDT

  •  Oh, my. (7+ / 0-)
    The home was built by my host's father.  He was a stonemason and the foundation is incredible.
    Got any pix?

    I love old houses, in no small part because they tend to have basements where one can view the foundation.  

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:01:59 AM PDT

  •  G, a day late---and certainly, dollars short; but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GDbot, Vacationland, anodnhajo

    who's counting?  

    Anywho, good diary, and may the GUS folks keep at it.

    And, G, chk your emails....

  •  Happy Wednesday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "The name is a calque of the Latin dies Mercurii "day of Mercury", reflecting the fact that the Germanic god Woden (Wodanaz or Odin) during the Roman era was interpreted as "Germanic Mercury." *

    The Creation narrative in the Hebrew Bible places the creation of the Sun and Moon on "the fourth day" of the divine workweek. *

    "just one more mile to go"

    by anodnhajo on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:28:57 AM PDT

    •  Happy Wednesday to you too! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I may put up my diary a bit early today. We'll see how it goes.

      Everybody do the Wednesday Dance!

      Donald Rumsfeld is a blood gargling psychopath.

      by Vacationland on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 10:08:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL @ that video (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'll probably have to check in on your diary tomorrow AM.

        Man (or woman), it's quiet here. GUS here. It's always quiet here here. Well, except for the 90 minutes or so it takes me to pedal 25 miles or so. And the cats mewling and peeping. Chrissy is one of the peepy-est cats I've ever known, just in general, but Peach gets downright loud at times, and walks around with one of two small stuffed toys (one is a Noil from Neopets, the other is a Hartz buzzy vibrate-y pull the tail and it scoots across the floor furry mouse) in her mouth looking for me.

        "just one more mile to go"

        by anodnhajo on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 11:33:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's been quiet all week! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Must be one of those things, I guess. Plus flumpty hasn't been around much.

          It's usually quiet in my place too, esp. without my temporary kitty Jack (who had a plaintive little two-note meow he was not afraid to bust out pretty much anytime). I did get bird noise today, though, when a whole bunch of starlings (I think?) found the suet and seeds I hung up over the weekend. There were about a dozen of them going to town on them and making all kinds of noise!

          The Flying Spaghetti Monster is my Co-Pilot

          by Vacationland on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 12:39:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Okay GUS peoples (are you out there?) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Wed PM GUS diary is posted here. Hopefully folks will show's super-quiet this week!

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster is my Co-Pilot

    by Vacationland on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 03:08:09 PM PDT

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