Al Capone’s Soup Kitchen

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  1. Al Capone might have been a criminal mobster but despite his horrible deeds the man did some good as well. Fun fact printed expiration dates on milk are a thing because of Capone The story goes that a relative of his got sick due to sour milk and he was livid about it so he campaigned for milk to have expiration dates on it (not sure about the validity of the story but its been around for a very long time)

  2. A spray of spice is a very old school terminology. Basically back then they would bundle certain spices together and dry them in order to preserve them, cooks called this a spray after folks who called the same practice with flowers a spray. Does this mean they used an entire bundle of dried spices then?! No. To Use a spray of spice would mean that you would break off a single piece of the spray and use it. So beside being fresh, you were essentially the right amount.

  3. I don't want to whine, but as a chef, I think the meat should be seared properly first and the tomatoes should be used to deglaze the roasted aromas of the meat and onions when at higher heat, not only poured and warmed up in the mix. Can't describe what a difference that makes! Nice video though!

  4. Like all of history, Al Capone is a complex, multifaceted individual. Was he a ruthless gangster? Absolutely, yes he was but that was in the context of his business and dealings. Take the soup kitchen as an example. At a time when you have millions across the nation who have lost everything, and thousands in Chicago without work or food there are 2 options. 1) Let "the system", which has absolutely no interest in common person, dictate aid from Washington while in the mean while desperate people are doing desperate things in the city to feed their children. Or do option 2, which, while enhancing Capone's reputation (and why shouldn't it) is also taking some of the pressure off the city as a whole by lowering that desperation and making it so there is not a huge surge in street crime. My family was lucky in that during The Depression, my great grandfather (Swedish immigrant) worked in the steel industry and was able to keep his job but I was still able to hear stories and learn lessons from them about hard times. Chicago used to be far more of a community with a lot more people who had been in the city for generations. While it is not the same these days, certainly on the Northside, there are still some places where you see that old sense of community where even the less than legal elements protect their own. There are still some nice little Italian restaurants, with amazing food, the video poker machines, and the big dudes in ill fitting suits in the back booths. You mind your business and have a good evening, but you be damn sure that if you start messing with the nice people in that neighborhood with the mindless violence that plagues the rest of the city, someone's going to be scraping what's left of your body out the bottom of some dumpster or the Calumet River.

  5. I used to live in Al Capone's old house in TN. He used to rent a presidential suite when it was a hotel. There are tunnels underneath the city where he would ship all kinds of things. They go all the way to the mountains. I used to go into them when I was younger, but we stopped when we got chased by something. After years we finally think it was an emaciated bear. We just saw glowing eyes, hair, and a slender frame.

  6. Recently, over the holidays, with an Army grandson home from Germany, we were discussing food and family trees. My six sons, aged 50-42, were explaining to the grandkids that I never had actual recipes for soups, stews or casseroles. Each time they were different. Every time I made something for a meal it consisted of what was on sale, for really cheap, and what was in the pantry or leftover. My dumplings are made from Eclair dough, baking powder biscuits, cookies or cakes, baked stuff, needs recipes. But the other stuff, cooking, you can use what is at hand. I don't make oxtail (used to be cheap)stew anymore because, if you can find them, they are expensive ! Cheap meals have shifted focus with changing affordability of ingredients. Try beef shank if you want the nostalgia. Soup kitchens today follow the same time honored style. What they can get that is cheap, donated, filling, easy to cook /serve and familiar.

  7. I'm an old woman now, but when I was a young girl (9-12) I used to go with my grandmother to visit the elderly at a nursing home here in TX. They were such wonderful people with amazing stories of their lives when they were young. One man in particular I loved to visit because I loved his accent & he was always dressed like he just walked out of a silent movie. Real classy like…. Anyways, one day we're going through his old photo albums & there he is with AL CAPON!!!! Not just one pictures, but almost an entire album! He idolized Al, claiming that he saved the lives of millions. He didn't just have his soup kitchens, but he handed out blankets, food, etc, to help anyone in need. Now, I'm a young girl, but I started thinking, "What made you leave Chicago for a little ole' hick town down south?" His reply? Turns out he was one of Al's tax attorneys!! & had to go undercover because, well, you know…..bang bang. He swore he wasn't the one who helped get Al arrested, but Al was after them all. Life lesson learned…..Listen to the elderly. They were AMAZING when they were younger.

  8. curious about the rigatoni issue, i tried to check out. While DeCecco MEZZI RIGATONI ("half rigatoni" literally) n26 exist, seems that "whole" rigatoni stop at 24 for that brand. Considered that the picture shows something that resemble something more similar to "mezzi" (shorter and larger than normal rigatoni) could it be that in the US our (italian) "mezzi" simply got named rigatoni at the time of that recipe book for simplicity?

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