Monday, November 21, 2011

Mom's Lasagna and Holiday Changes




Today I am reminicing on the old days, boy do I feel it these days. Working in retail, you miss alot of quality time with the family. It's a sacrafice you make when you choose retail as a career. This year by far is the hardest one. Looking back through the years, waking up with the smell of Traditional Roasted Turkey, mom in the kitchen beating the eggs and whisking the ricotta for the lasagna, brings a tear to my eye of those precious moments in time that were spent with mom, dad and others who have made it to the great beyond, I really missed those days. Amazing to me how the smell of food is etched im my mind.
Hopefully they are all gathered whereever they alltogether to continue those good ole days until we meet again.
Today I am making mom's lasagna, but not on Thanksgiving, but four days earlier. Some retail stores decided  to have their associate work earlier openings than normal, as this would be  important to their business this year.
So another sacrifice must be made for working in retail, by some.  All preparations must be made well in advance. There will hardly be any hours to spend with the family, my husband and son amongest the many that will need to sleep by 2pm Thanksgiving Day in order to make it through BLACK FRIDAY and the hussle and bussle, arriving to work before midnight. The fight for shopper dollars is more intense this year in this tough job marker and uncertain economy.
Black Friday is the biggest retail day of the year, it can literally make or break the business.
I have been dedicated for 25 years and am fortunate our company decided to open the same time we do every year, at 4am.
Today however leaves me feeling empty, knowing I can't enjoy my family for the full day, just one whole day, like years past because of the huge changes in competition that they feel the need to be open quicker than the next to make sometimes even negative margins on what they sell for more footsteps, it's pretty darn scary. What does the future hold for our kids? How do they hold on to fond memories from years past? Not much in the job market, retail seems to be taking over all industry, since so much has moved out of the U.S. Sometimes it's the safest, not the easiest on family life.
Our economy has turned into a power struggle for retail to survive survive and beat the good odds of losing to the competitors and closing for good.
Opening all day on Thanksgiving Day? It sure takes the meaning of what we all strive for, togetherness, reunions, the bonding that comes from families, teaching values,  one day before the biggest shopping day and now they decided to take that build up of anticipation away as well which is the fun of it for many.

Well now that I got that off my chest, we will still have all the wonderful memories mom instilled with traditions, starting with her lasagna..
No one can take those precious moments away, ever. Happy Thanksgiving, cherish the time you have and don't lose sight of what's important that day, family and togetherness.....
Mom's Lasagna Recipe From Bari
Traditional Sunday Sauce Recipe or use your favorite store bought

2 lbs of  whole milk ricotta or homemade
6 hard boiled eggs sliced thick and set aside
2 eggs beaten
grating cheese
1 lb of lasagna noodles, cooked drained and spread out on wax paper
1 lb of loose cooked Italian hot sausage drained ( for homemade sausage recipe click here)
12 homemade meatballs in sauce crushed
 4  finely minced garlic
 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
4 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella
sat and peper to taste
13x9 pan
Preparation:
Cook noodles al dente, drain and spread out on wax paper.
In a medium bowl mix ricotta, 2 eggs beaten, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 tablespoons grating cheese, mix until well blended.
In a medium fry pan saute the sausage until cooked. Add to crushed meatballs, mix together.
Layering noodles:
Line the 13x9 pan with a layer of noodles, switch directions as you layer them.
First layer place hard boiled eggs on the bottom, spread with sauce on top, grating cheese, some parsley, another layer of noodles. Next add the meat, noodles more sauce some grating cheese, mozzarella. Last layer, spread the ricotta on top and sprinkle with mozzarella, no sauce and some grating cheese with parsley. Top with noodles add sauce more mozzarella, grating cheese, rest of garlic, any parsley left. Bake at 325 until nicely browned on top.


Love to all~

23 comments:

Dzoli said...

Yes it will get busier in your job.Lucky you can enjoy after work this great lasagna:)

Jillymo said...

I couldn't agree more Claudia. It's a shame that families don't have the opportunity to have time to spend with family on this the most family oriented day. When I was a kid, you were lucky if you found even a 7-11 open to get the flash bulbs that you forgot to buy to take pics of the pretty table. Because everyone knew it was Thanksgiving, and no one expected anyone to be open before 9am the next day. And now it's faster, earlier, in-your-face retail... Oh well, "the good ole days" are gone and we move on. I hope you enjoy the time you do get to spend with your loved ones. Thanks for all you do.

Lenia said...

Delicious lasagna that make my mouth water!Happy thanksgiving week,dear!

Tina said...

This lasagna dish does look amazing. Your mom definitely had some talent in the kitchen and you are lucky that she passed these along. I am sure they conjure up wonderful memories also.
Work does sometimes envelope people's lives around the holidays and in these times it is more prevalent than ever. Enjoy the time with your family this holiday season. XOXO

Greg said...

We have 2 radio stations that switched to Christmas music 10 days before Thanksgiving. By the time Christmas gets here no one is in the Christmas spirit any more. Do the stores really make that much more money by being open at night? I was just listening to the radio and they said Black Friday isn't even a big savings day any more. The best time to save money is last 2 weeks before Christmas.
By the way the lasagna sounds wonderful.

Curt said...

I don't envy you having to have anything at all to do with Black Friday. I guess I'm fortunate to have the holidays off from work still, but I do miss the big family get togethers as a kid.

Angela said...

I so agree with you, people should be home with their families, not out working (or shopping). I wish people would put an end to this by not going to the Thursday sales.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Good luck with all the craziness! You're awesome - what a terrific classic lasagna!

Cake Duchess said...

Ciao Claudia-I feel for you and know that this year will be tough for many in the retail business. Enjoy the moments together that you have this Thanksgiving. Your mom's lasagna looks delicious. Happy Thanksgiving and hugs. xxoo

Reeni said...

That's terrible Claudia! I'm sorry it's going to be a short holiday for you all to spend together. Your lasagna looks incredibly good with the sausage and meatballs! My Grandpa's side was from Bari too!

Christine's Pantry said...

Good luck working black Friday. You are right, job market is terrible. I've been looking for work for 16 months, filling out online applications going on interviews and nothing yet. I may have to try and get into retail. Your lasagna looks great.

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

I actually hate black friday! The thought of getting up so early to fight people in the stores for some clothes just doesn't seem worth it. I hate crowds! But, I definitely don't hate this lasagna! We will be having my grandma's homemade lasagna as our first course on Thanksgiving!

redkathy said...

Opening all day on Thanksgiving Day... Our values are being eliminated, which is the source of ALL the problems we now face. Money and things are first and all else second. What if everyone cherished family and friends as much as you and I. Can you imagine the amount of joy... It would resonate around the world!!

Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Claudia!

redkathy said...

BTW- I made your pumpkin pie recipe last night. Can you believe it's the first pumpkin pie I EVER made?! OMG hubby said it was the best pumpkin pie he ever ate! I have to agree with him... Thank you :)

Vicki Bensinger said...

Hi Claudia, I know how you feel. The past few years I helped out during the holidays at a kitchen store. I hated working when my family was all home and in from out of town. I do hope you get to spend some time with them.

As for your moms lasagna it sounds fantastic. I adore lasagna and will print this recipe. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Drick said...

I am a traditionalist in that I do not think of Christmas until after Thanksgiving, do not participate in Black Friday regardless of saving a buck... I have yet to want anything so badly as to get caught up in that maddening rush and have yet not been able to find what I want at a fair price in the latter weeks following... good luck this week and season and don't forget to enter - only a couple more weeks left & you got a perfect record...

Trix said...

This culture is so overly consumerist it's pathetic ... I am so sorry you have to suffer for other people's greed. I wish you had more time to spend with your family, but I really hope that the time you do have is wonderful and memorable. xoxo

Claudia said...

I am hugely disappointed in so many stores opening at 12:01 a..m. on Black Friday. I understand the need - in this economy - but I do feel that the same presents would get bought - at 6 a.m. I worked retail for many years during salad days. I liked the hustle and bustle of the holiday. I just wouldn't like being deprived of my holiday. It is a beauty - that your parent gave you - the recipes and the time together at the table. The lasagne is stunning and happily - lasagne can be made early. Wishing you "catch up" time later!

bookcasefoodie said...

I am so glad you commented on the early store hours. This is self defeating. A day to say thanks and being torn from the family. It is wrong.

Your lasagna is right.

bookcasefoodie said...

I am so glad you commented on the early store hours. This is self defeating. A day to say thanks and being torn from the family. It is wrong.

Your lasagna is right.

Catherine said...

Dear Claudia, I don't know when shopping became the focal point of family. People schedule their gathering around when a store will open. This is such a shallow way of living. I know that times are hard. They are hard for everyone. So much has been lost in this transition. I wonder what these youngsters will remember. Their parents going shopping?
I know that your family will have Thanksgiving everyday. You are a wonderful person with your values in tack.
Blessings from your friend, Catherine xo

Lizzy said...

I'm glad making one of your mom's cherished dishes can bring you comfort. It sounds fabulous!

Yes, I agree with you...Black Friday has gotten out of control. I'm sorry it affects your life and family time...that stinks!

Denise @ Creative Kitchen said...

I totally agree with you about the stores opening now on Thanksgiving day. I really hate that they are cutting into a day that should be set aside for family and togetherness. It should be sacred. So sad....

Denise @ Creative Kitchen