CHEF DE LA SODA SHARES CORNED BEEF, LAY OFF THE GUV, COUNCILORS TO WEIGH IN ON PCBs, HILL 78, & UNFUNDED LIABILITIES
BY DAN VALENTI
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and to move briefly away from the flotsam and jetsam of local perfidy, hostile takeovers, and the thumb-pumpkins of politics, The Planet asked our food consultant, Chef Pierre Francois De la Soda, to submit an appropriate recipe.
The recipe is real (no joke), and tonight, in the Planet’s test kitchens, we will put it to use. In other words, those who give the corned beef and Irish coffee a whirl do so at their own risk (well worth it, in our estimation!).
Chef De la Soda writes:
As The Planet’s food consultant, I wanted to submit a recipe for traditional Irish corned beef, as well as a recipe for Irish whiskey and café. We do it to honor Saint Patrick’s Day it for your readers and followers. My recipe is not too complicated. Even for those non-culinary kitchen meteorites that have trouble making something more complicated than burger on the 4th of July
Traditional Irish Corned Beef
— 8 to 10 whole red potatoes
— 1 corned beef brisket (4 to 5 pounds)
— 2 tablespoons brown sugar
— 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
— 6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths
— 6 celery stalks, cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths
— 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
— 1 small cabbage cut into 8 wedges
— 1 teaspoon salt
— 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
— 1 bottle (12 ounces) Irish beer, Smithwick’s recommended
— Additional whole-grain mustard (optional)
1. Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
2. Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
3. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain. Serve.
— 1 teaspoon instant coffee
— 1 teaspoon sugar
— 1 jigger Irish whiskey
— 1 cup of boiling water
— Whipped cream
Mix coffee, sugar and whiskey. Add boiling water until almost full. Spoon whipped cream on top. Wait 5 minutes before drinking, ah just kidding Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!
The Planet thanks our garcon of gastronomics for this culinary interlude.
One Time to Lay Off Deval … Kinda
Governor Deval Patrick returns to Massachusetts tonight following the completion of his 10-day trade mission to Israel and Great Britain. Patrick’s been in for a bunch of criticism on three fronts:
· The deal was a junket
· He didn’t close any business agreements during the jaunt
· While he was away, Fidelity Investments announced the remaining of its 1,200 workers would be bolting its long-time Marlboro campus for either Smithfield, R.I., or Merrimack, N.H.
The flack is undeserved. First, even Ricky Roma couldn’t have closed a deal in the mere 10 days of the trip. Patrick did sign a memorandum of agreement with Israel for collaboration on R&D for the Commonwealths life sciences and environmental programs. Not sexy, but it’s something. Thing is, if the governor DOESN’T go out and try to sell Massachusetts, critics will get on him for that.
Second, let’s be rational about the Fidelity move. Patrick’s physical presence had no effect on the strategic decision. Fidelity made that long ago. If did, though, affect the announcement of the move. Patrick couldn’t have prevented the decision to move from the governor’s mansion anymore than he could from a hotel in Jerusalem.
A Move Long in the Making
Corporate hegiras of this sort do not occur in a vacuum nor do they develop overnight. The evidence strongly suggests Fidelity has had the move in place and in plans for a while. The company had previously shed 2,600 jobs in Marlboro since 2007. Clearly, the Amazing Shrinking Fidelity Campus there had to have attracted some attention from the statehouse, where some senators are in a snit over the move and want hearings. Where was the alarm back in 2007, when the job cuts began. What politician tried to find out why? Now that the horse has left the barn, the pols want in to make it look like “they’re doing something.”
Attention: To any state official who wants to waste taxpayer money this way — Fidelity works in the dreaded private sector. Companies can leave or not leave whenever they wish. However, the timing of the announcement, while Patrick was overseas downing Tanner’s Jack and mitzvahs, indicates Fidelity wanted to frost the governor.
Analysts blame Massachusetts’ hostile climate for business as the chief culprit. Fidelity, frustrated with playing the role of salmon swimming uphill, wants to move downstream. Smithfield or Merrimack will win (maybe both if the company bi-locates), and once more the state will lose big.
The local “angle” of this loss of enterprise, of course, is that Pittsfield (and the economic driver for Berkshire County) can afford nothing less than absolute intelligence and supreme ability and execution in its economic planning. Being located in Massachusetts is enough of a handicap, and anything less that perfection in local economic planning will ensure continued stagnation and deceleration.
PCBs, Hill 78, & Unfunded Liabilities: Councilors Weigh in Tomorrow
Those of you eagerly expecting to read the positions and views of city councilors on the three crucial questions that face Pittsfield, be of good cheer — The Planet will run the responses tomorrow.
FINAL TALLY: We have heard from six councilors, and you will learn much from their answers. The six took the time to address the three questions for the most part with originality and not with boilerplate. They took the queries seriously, and The Planet appreciates that much.
The questions solicited councilors’ views on dealing with PCBs and industrial toxins, Hill 78, and dealing with unfunded liabilities. The unholy trio could (and should) become the top three issues of Campaign ’11. We polled all 11 councilors. Six answered, five ignored.
Responding to The Planet, and therefore to We the People, in whose name we acted, were:
· Kevin Sherman
· Melissa Mazzeo
· Peter White
· Mike Ward
· John Krol
· Joe Nichols
Failing to answer the bell, and thus displaying their arrogance and contempt not of The Planet but of you, my dear readers, were:
· Christine Yon
· Paul Capitanio
· Jonathan Lothrop
· Peter Marchetti
· Gerry Lee
Only the Ignorant Ignore, eh, Mssrs. Lee and Lothrop?
Based on past history, The Planet “knew” (though you never know) that Lee and Lothrop would ignore our requests. They have been consistent in that one respect. They hide. They, of course, are the first to complain and badmouth The Planet (behind his back) for not including their ideas and views in our reports, analyses, and commentaries! Go figure. We held 40-60 odds for Marchetti and evens for Yon and Capitanio, each of whom at least engages in conversation with us times.
No councilor can say they didn’t know about the questions, not with the viral nature of communication in the age of social media.
The Planet thus scored a majority, 6-5, and we will clean up the views for format, style, etc. (the ideas and words we shall leave intact, for they are sacred). These positions can serve as a benchmark to measure the progress of thinking on these issues as the campaign season unravels (as surely it will this year). Ward and Lee are lame ducks. The others will be pressed on these issues and others as we move through the season.
WE DO NOT HAVE GREEN BEER IN OUR FUTURE, ALTHOUGH I’M TOLD THERE’S WHISKEY IN THE JAR. HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY. LOVE TO ALL.