Crime nuts to good soup, all flavored with Gilroy garlic

Always a good feeling when we’re able to, perhaps, help catch
the bad guys.
Always a good feeling when we’re able to, perhaps, help catch the bad guys. Whether it’s the weekly wildly popular Most Wanted feature we publish or the latest – a high-quality surveillance video of the two punk thugs who executed an armed robbery at Bozzo’s Union 76 station on First Street Monday evening just after 7 p.m. – it’s a community service to be able to pitch in. Thanks to GPD’s Jim Gillio for getting it out to the public. Hope our readers can help catch the culprits by recognizing either of the two caught on video and calling police at 846-0335. Meanwhile, I’m buying my gas at Bozzo’s …

Greg Bozzo, not the gas station owner, is now officially the volunteer president of the 2010 Great Gilroy Garlic Festival. He and (and please say this in the reverent and hushed tone) “The Ancient One” – his father, Sam – thereby become the first father-son combo plate to be at the festival’s helm. Congrats, couldn’t happen to a classier duo.

Every time I hear Jed York interviewed, I’m encouraged about the future of the 49ers. He seems, at his young age, to have the best attributes of his uncle, former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo. He’s committed to keeping the 49ers in the area, passionate about building a new stadium and rebuilding the winning tradition and he understands the historical legacy left by the greats … Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice. When he says our mission is “To win with class” it’s clear he gets it. Wonder if he would be a celebrity chef/guest for SakaBozzo at the Fest? Anyway, I think the 49ers are going to do just that in the not too distant future. If I lived in the city of Santa Clara and had a chance to vote on building the 49ers a new stadium, it would be a no-brainer.

Always seems like it should be a no-brainer to get the ketchup out of the bottle, but it rarely is. That’s why I love my mother-in-law’s handy-dandy trick. Just gently bang the neck of the bottle – on the Heinz bottle, tap it where the number 57 is – and out it flows.

Out flows $54,000 from the Garlic Festival’s bank account into an effort to protect the steelhead trout along a tiny stretch of Uvas Creek. Anyone against helping protect the steelhead trout in the creek? Not too many. Anyone think that preventing some silt from flowing into the creek in a small area is going to make a big difference? Not too many, either. I agree with former Santa Clara County Game Warden Henry Coletto: In the big picture, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever …

Doesn’t make any sense either for the city to go broke paying public employee retirement costs. But that’s where we’re headed – Gilroy has $30 million in unfunded liability (who said sell the new police station and turn it into condos?) due to its own foolish and irresponsible generosity and that of binding arbitrators who continually hammered the city in contract negotiations. Well, now the bell is tolling. Our fair city is likely going to pay for the unfunded liability by borrowing – sort of like getting a cash advance on a new credit card to pay the old credit card’s balance. And, of course, the public employee retirement system folks at CalPERS are singing the same old song after losing $100 billion in investments … “Don’t worry, everything will be fine – you don’t have to pay us for another few years …” Will government ever learn? Will our City Council members ever have the spine to take the good fight over binding arbitration back to the ballot box for voters to overturn it? Timing is everything, and the time is ripe.

Time is ripe to buy a lottery ticket, too … Press release: “MEGA Millions® Jackpot Grows to $144 Million … no one matched all six numbers in Thursday night’s MEGA Millions draw, the jackpot for tomorrow night has grown to an astounding $144 million” … let’s see, the California state deficit is $20 billion, so if the state won the lottery Thursday night … It’s unfathomable, really, perhaps writing it out will help – $20,000,000,000. C’mon California voters, stop the bleeding, spending must be slashed. Vote that way before it’s too late.

Be too late very soon to buy Station 55 Restaurant downtown. Word is, there’s plenty of interest. Former local car dealer turned chef, Adam Sanchez, who is also the only recent local winner of the Great Gilroy Garlic Festival Cook-off contest, is preparing to make the leap to restaurateur … Jeep Chile, Mazdasalada and VWBrats on the sports barish menu?

It’s not too late, given the extended deadline, to become royalty, as in the 32nd queen of the Garlic Festival. Next Friday, Feb. 5, is the new deadline. Winner gets college money, a chance to show off their talent and experiences that will last a lifetime.

Lifetime good karma and a yummy midweek meal for those who support the Pasta Tre Colore high school choir benefit Wednesday, Feb. 3, in the Gilroy High cafeteria from 5 to 8 p.m. Takeout available. $8, 847-2424, ext. 2288. Great deal, great program.

Great soup … perfect for a cold winter’s day – or for your Super Bowl party, and I’ve tested it on mi familia. Consensus: delicioso. Richard Arioto, professional chef and tasting room manager at Solis Winery, sent the Lentil and Sausage Soup recipe out to wine club members recently. Ciao for now!

Lentil and Sausage Soup

1 pound lentils

Olive oil

2 large yellow onions, medium dice

3 medium leeks (white & green part cut in half long ways)chopped and rinsed.

5 medium carrots, medium dice

8 stalks celery, medium dice

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped fine

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons freshly grounded black pepper

3 32oz boxes of chicken stock

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup tomato past

1 pound lamb or kielbasa sausage (cooked)

1/2 pound Italian sausage cooked and crumbled

Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cover lentils with boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes, then drain. Add some olive oil to a large stock pot over medium high heat and saute onions and leeks for 10 minutes; add the thyme and cumin and saute for 5 minutes longer, stirring making sure not to burn. Add the carrots, celery and saute 8 minutes longer; add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes longer. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste and lentils, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the red wine, cooked sausage and simmer for 8 minutes longer. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

*NOTE – this makes a lot soup. You can freeze your leftovers.

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