Did you ever drive in Cape Coral,Fla? Probably not. The streets are a chaotic network with names that are repetitive and confusing. For example there is NE 12th Ave, NE 12th Court, NE 12thPlace, NE 12th St. and NE 12th Terrace. Even my Garmin GPS shut down while trying to find a restaurant over there. Eileen’s phone-based GPS saved the day. Our car has a built-in GPS, but it’s too scary to operate.
So we finally reached our destination, but we had to park in a large lot adjoining a strip mall which had a STOP sign within. And that’s when we looked up and saw the light show.
When I was in medical school, I would get to assist during surgery, but only to tug on retractors so that the surgeon could get a good look. One surgeon was never satisfied that I was pulling hard enough and he would say, “Lift up thine eyes unto the Lord, my boy!” I always remembered his kindly advice, and it finally came in handy in a parking lot in Cape Coral, Fla La Land.
CHRISTINA PERRI “A Thousand Years.” From the movie Twilight Saga
We went to the Barbara Mann to see the Book of Mormon. It had received many accolades, but we didn’t care for it very much. The subject matter was often pretty gross and unpleasant, plus it was anti-religious, especially towards the Mormons; as well as condescending and/or obnoxious towards a variety of groups including blacks, gays and women.
However, the musical song and dance numbers were often wonderful, such as “Hello” which opened the show (see below).
The show is about the pairs of young men who are sent on two year religious missions all over the world to try to gain converts to the Mormon Church. In the opening number, a group of missionaries dressed in their usual black pants, white shirts and ties, with name tags, perform this lively number called “Hello.” The song is about how they go from door to door, ringing doorbells, with their sacred texts of the Latter Day Saint movement.
They try to interest people in their religion with the ultimate goal of baptizing them. This show is set in a primitive village in Uganda, so the young Elders have their work cut out for them.
The Barbara Mann Theater has a high, grand entrance-way illuminated by the lights shown in the photograph above. The packed house seemed to love the show and gave it a standing ovation with whistles and cheers, although some folks around us left at intermission.
ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST OF BOOK OF MORMON with the opening number “Hello!”
By Eileen Goldfinger and Paul Goldfinger, Editors @Blogfinger.net. Photography by Eileen Goldfinger.
If you think that you can’t get authentic Italian cuisine in Florida, you haven’t visited Mario’s Meat Market and Deli in Fort Myers (southwest Fla). This remarkable food store has customers lining up at the counter where you can get incredible breads, meats, sauces, homemade sausage, cheeses, wines, desserts, and custom sandwiches. For example, one of their specialty heros is called “The Italian” and consists of salami, pepperoni, capicolo, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, hot peppers oil and vinegar on a superb role with sesame seeds. Some people can’t wait to get home, so they chow down at tables arranged outside.
The people at the counter were remarkably helpful and cheerful. Some of them are professional cooks, so they will tell you how to prepare , for example , an authentic meat dish “braciola”
We were there picking up supplies for an Italian dinner that Eileen was planning and we stumbled on a “rare” culinary event. Representatives from a large cheese manufacturer (“Leone”) from the mountainous Verona region of Italy were getting ready to “open” one of their huge wheels. They were readying a parmigiano cheese called Monte Veronese, made from cow’s milk, specially prepared for Mario’s.
What was unique about this wheel was that it had been aged for five years, much longer than most cheeses from that northeast region where much of the Italian cheese-making occurs. The storage facility is kept at 80% humidity and 61 degrees F.
No one knows how long wheels have been the motif for storing cheese, but this variety has been made for nearly 900 years. To open the wheel requires great skill and experience if it is done in the traditional way—- manually with knives. Usually they use machines.
Gabriele Leone, the owner of the Leone company, brought out some special tools. He worked very carefully, but after watching this demonstration, I was amazed that he still has all his fingers. He was cheered on by the company’s bilingual American representative Mike Tuccillo and by Mario Pica, the owner of this remarkable store.
When he finally opened the wheel, it was a very special event and the performance received a round of applause. Then Gabriele began to offer chunks of the parmigiano, which is a hard cheese that tends to crumble. It is usually sold as wedges or grated. It should be stored in the refrigerator where it can last for up to 6 months. If a little mold begins to appear, just cut it off. We tried some, and it was delicious: fragrant and tasty.