Sunday, July 22, 2012

To each his own...

You've heard the phrase, " each his own" ?  It's meaning,  every person is entitled to his or her personal preference(s).

I'm certain you've heard of Paul Newman?   Actor,  film director, professional race car driver.

But have you heard of Newman's Own?

Strange how people connect, network and become acquainted.  Through the many books I've read and music I've heard, that circle of literal and musical artists and their interwoven relationship/ degrees of separation is astonishing, well at least to this writer. There are thousands of examples, but lets focus on one for now.

Paul Newman and one of his best friends started Newman's Own food company. His best friend being, A.E. Hotchner. If you're not familiar with Mr. Hotchner, he's a biographer/author who wrote the biography of one of his best friends, Ernest Hemingway. 

Who'd of thunk it that one of Hemingways' best friends is in the basement of Paul Newman's home, concocting a mixture of special ingredients to create, Newman's Own Salad Dressing.

 Since, 1982, Paul Newman and his foundation has given over $300 million to various charitable foundations and is the organization behind the children's camp called, Hole in the Wall Gang, named after the gang in his movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

You can learn more about Paul and A.E's relationship and the company Newman's Own in the books:  Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good : The Madcap Business Adventure by the Truly Oddest Couple

and...Paul and Me: Fifty-three Years of Adventures and Misadventures with My Pal Paul Newman
Two wonderful enriching books about life, friendship and seasoned with entrepreneurship. 

Speaking of salad dressing, I recommend Newman's own Lite Honey Mustard, drizzled over some romaine lettuce, vegetables, a circle or two of a red onion and a quartered strawberry, which I whipped together last night.

For the main course, Shrimp Scampi.  Where'd I find the recipe? In a book of course! A cookbook and to be exact, it;s called, Cook This, Not That!: Kitchen Survival Guide

Starting with olive oil, Newman's Own of course, I started the saute process.  Now, the recipe calls for a variety of serving options. I chose linguine.  Helpful hint: This being the first time I've attempted this culinary cuisine, I highly recommend having the linguine ready for serving before sauteing the shrimp. Why? Cause it takes very little time to cook the shrimp, garlic, onions etc, which is great but you have to hustle if time management isn't your strong suit and forgetting or waiting to cook the pasta later, I rushed through it.  Next time, will be better.

However, it turned out scrumptious. With seafood being the main ingredient I struggled with the wine selection, white, red, white, red. Then when I chose pasta as the bed, I uncorked a bottle of Kings Estate Pinot Noir that I brought back from my trip to Oregon.  A great pairing.

Musical ambiance was provided by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jimmy Durante through the miracle of music transmission - an iPod, well and outdoor speakers too.

All and all a great meal, cooked through the guidance of a book with ingredients while using some ingredients that serve a  charitable foundation. (bare with me on the photo format, for the life of me I can't seem to get them in landscape view.)

So, my stomach wasn't only full, but my heart too. Using Newman's Own dressing and olive oil, I not only fulfilled my appetite but by using two of the many products of Newman's Own, I've contributed to improving the lives of terminally ill children, if only for a brief moment.

His pizza is pretty good, pasta sauces are fantastic and the "Oreo-type" and Fig Cookies are delicious.

Bon Appetit, not only for your hunger, but for your heart too!


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