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
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~
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