Colorado food / Eating / Food and Cooking

Giving thanks for food journalism, the right stuffing and a perfect pie

By John Lehndorff
(November 22, 2014) – Ten years ago today I stood in a corner of the kitchen at Rioja restaurant in Denver on opening night with my pad and pen in hand. I went home and finished my year-long research chronicling the birth of a restaurant. It would become a 16-page, advertising free special section in the late, great Rocky Mountain News called “Pressure Cooker.” I remain very proud of it and the fact that Rioja has not just survived but thrived in an industry where most startups fail. Not many publishers today would devote those resources to such a story. I was reminded of time’s flight by a nice blog post in Westword:
You can read the original story here:

The stuffing lives on

Nanna and Papa Mazzola and grandkids including my brother peter on Papa's knee. This is probably 1953.

Nanna and Papa Mazzola and grandkids including my brother peter on Papa’s knee. This is probably 1953.

This week I’ll be making my family’s traditional Italian sausage and potato (no bread!) turkey stuffing with my sister Lisa for Thanksgiving. Here’s one version of the stuffing’s story which I wrote in 2009 for the Aurora Sentinel:

Pie words of the week
“Once broached, the subject of pie produces a passion that is seldom equaled by other foods. If your mother made pie, you long for it nostalgically. If your mother didn’t make pie, you long for it psychiatrically. Sure, there is the occasional rogue eater who has no pie ties or brings up the heretical subject of non-fat crust. But for most of us, the issue of pie is one of sorting out cravings–from deep dish to shallow, from one crust to two.”
– Robin Chotzinoff, Westword

Plan ahead
November 27 is National Bavarian Cream Pie Day.

John Lehndorff is a veteran Colorado journalist, host of Radio Nibbles, author of “Denver Dines,” and former food editor of the Boulder Daily Camera, dining critic of the Rocky Mountain News, and chief judge at the National Pie Championships.
Radio Nibbles:
Yum Ethnic Dining Guide (Aurora CO):
Worth a drive:
Cuba Bakery & Cafe
15028 E. Mississippi Ave., Aurora
Breakfast, lunch, dinner Mon.-Sat.; closes 4 p.m. Sundays
No alcohol
Notes: Limited seating
This freshly opened Cuban café serves the real thing. The Miami-style menu boasts papa rellenas (fried potato and beef fritter), chicken empanadas, and lechon (roast pork) with fried plantains. The sandwiches are served on freshly baked Cubano loaves. Classic desserts jam-pack a glass case. Try the guava and cheese pastries, rice pudding and flan accompanied by sweetened, dark-roasted Cuban coffee.

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