Remembering good friends
Special to the Nevada Appeal
I had planned on writing this column about the Farmers’ Markets that will be starting this month on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-7:30 p.m. at the Pony Express Pavilion and the downtown Third & Curry Street Market that will start Saturday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Things change, life happens and so does death.
Our good friend Charlie Verveka died last month and so did our neighbor Bill Mally. Joan and Bill Mally have lived on Minnesota Street since 1968 when Bill built three duplexes including the one they still called home. You couldn’t ask for better neighbors, well you could, but you would be hard pressed to find them. We are a pretty close knit group on this end of the street. Everybody watches out for each other, their houses, the dogs and will even get your paper and mail if you’re not around. We are always borrowing this and that, offering advise, asking advise and sending food and goodies across the fence all the time. Bill and Joan set the tone for all this happening in our neighborhood and we were fortunate to have called him neighbor for more than 35 years.
Charlie and Shirlee Verveka started out as customers at our restaurants but soon became close friends. Everyone liked Charlie. He was easy-going, funny, and one of the most giving doctors in Carson City. I don’t think the word “no” was in his vocabulary. I want to share a funny story that happened at Charlie’s celebration of life at Adele’s after the service. The service was short and everyone headed over to Adele’s for a little libation and lunch. I was sitting outside and turned to say hello to someone I knew. They were sitting on the veranda with their ice tea when we came in. She asked me if something was going on today. It turns out they had come in for lunch and didn’t get turned away because the hostess thought they were just early birds from the service. I asked them please to stay because I knew Charlie would not mind at all and have a drink and eat some lunch. When I told the story to Shirlee she said, “That’s just like Charlie, making friends even after he’s gone.”
Everything came together very quickly with everyone pitching in to make sure it all came off without a hitch for this wonderful family. In the same way that you need help coming into this world, you need just as much when you exit. Thank goodness for family and friends. Shirlee wanted to give us something for helping and even though we said no, she did it anyway, so Ralph and I are using it to help buy food for the cooking classes that I’m teaching at the Boys & Girls Club this summer. The Veverka’s have always been supporters of the club and I know Charlie would have approved.
I have an abundance of mint in my garden right now and these next two recipes make good use of it. Mint is so refreshing you can put it in almost any drink.
Citrus-Mint Iced Tea
1 quart brewed Darjeeling tea, chilled (or your favorite), I used peach ginger
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1⁄2 cup pineapple juice
Juice of one lemon
1⁄4 cup sugar or more to taste (add sugar to tea while stir warm, it dissolves better)
1⁄4 cup lightly crushed mint leaves
Mint sprigs for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Stir well before serving. Serve in tall glasses over ice and garnish with mints sprigs. Serves 6.
This next recipe is my version of:
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Cous Cous
1⁄4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used Calolea Meyer Lemon, available at the Third and Curry Street Farmers’ Market)
Splash of Trader’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
1⁄2 cup chopped green onions
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh mint
1⁄2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1⁄2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in fourths
In a sauce pan combine 1 cup of water with butter salt, bring to boil and remove from heat, add cous cous. Stir well. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then add olive oil, lemon juice, splash of vinegar, onion, parsley, mint and tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste, toss lightly and refrigerate. Fluff with fork before serving. Serves 5.
• Linda Marrone has been a Carson City resident since 1973 and together with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone’s Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin’s Cookin’ Catering.