Tomatoes, Figs, and Sausage

I had a bit of an unexpected day off from work, today - I had to get nasty cancerous things cut off my delicate skin - so... into the kitchen to properly heal!

It only makes sense, right?!? I mean... food is medicine, food is healing. Throw in some butter and a bit of alcohol and it's downright holistic!

Tonight's helping of healing holistic happiness comes to us because fresh figs have hit the east coast! I just love me some figs and with a really short season back here, I have to get them when I can.

But before I could start making a mess in the kitchen, Victor was making the first tomato salad with tomatoes from the garden.

Red, ripe, juicy tomatoes with Sicilian Olive Oil, basil from the garden, a bit of fresh garlic, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pure flavors and pure simplicity. If the garden gods cooperate, this will be a regular dinner feature.

And on to dinner...

My first thoughts when approaching fresh fruits is almost always dessert. Let's face it - if I had my way dessert would be renamed breakfast and treated as such. But, every now and again I have to think outside the sugar bag and come up with something savory.

Tonight is a great example...

I did a sausage and grapes a while back so the concept wasn't unfamiliar... I just needed some inspiration.

Chef Google came to the rescue.

I found a recipe on a site called Idiot's Kitchen that sounded promising... Figs, marsala, mushrooms - all things already in the house. Since I'm infirm, I didn't want to have to go to the store.

While Idiot's Kitchen used a pork tenderloin, I used apple sausage from Martin's Meats at Reading Terminal Market. I have a planned trek back down there towards the end of the month for more goodies, so I have to use up the stuff in the freezer! Apple sausage... fresh figs... sounds like a marriage made in gastronomic heaven.

Figs and Sausage

adapted from Idiot's Kitchen

  • fresh sausage
  • 4 oz pancetta, large dice
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 8 mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb fresh figs
  • 6 oz Dry Marsala (sweet will work if that's what you have)
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • S&P, to taste

In a large skillet, brown sausages in a bit of olive oil. They don't need to be cooked through - they'll be going back to finish in the sauce.

Remove the sausages and add the pancetta. Preferably, you will have a couple of thick cuts of pancetta that you can cut into 1/2" cubes. If all you can get is the pre-diced 1/4" package, just be really careful not to overcook it. Lightly saute the pancetta, rendering the fat but not crisping it.

Add the onions and cook for a minute or two and then add the mushrooms. Cook until the onions are cooked through and the mushrooms have given up much of their moisture.

Add the marsala and bring to a boil. Add the figs and reduce the heat to medium and simmer until sauce is reduced by half. Add the sausages back in and add 1/3 cup chicken broth.

Simmer until sausages are cooked through.

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

We ate this up with slices of crusty bread - perfect for dunking in the tomato juice and the fig juice. It made a lot - way more than the three of us could eat - so Victor has lunch leftovers while I'm at work.

Yes... I have to head back to work tomorrow. I took off Saturday for my niece's graduation party.

I'm thinkin' that if there are more figs to be had on Sunday, I might make a fig jam... Figs, marsala, and pistachios might go well together...





Fig Peach Rugelach

If the Apocalypse ever happens, we're going to have plenty of food in the basement! In just the past few days we have made Fig, Caramelized Onion, and Pepper Jam, 15 quarts of Victor's Pasta Sauce - made from our own tomatoes and fresh herbs - a dozen pints of hot peppers, and last night, 4 pints of fig peach jam. Right now, Victor is in the kitchen making Little Grandma's Eggplant that I will can when it's done. That's the next blog post!

At home, we had 4 pounds of white peaches that were merely okay, and, at work, there were 2-pound packs of black figs that were really good. A concept was born.

And a dessert.

The jam was easy - albeit a bit messy until I changed pots. I put everything into a large skillet to cook and reduce, and as it thickened, it bubbled up like lava shooting droplets far into the sky and all over the stove, floor, and counter. I can be a walking disaster, at times.


But, I saw the errors of my ways and changed pots and cleaned up. Disaster averted and a delicious jam made. The merely okay peaches mixed well with the stellar figs and it really came out good!

White Peach and Fig Jam

  • 4 lbs white peaches
  • 2 lbs figs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pouch pectin

Wash the fruit and process in food processor in batches - some really smooth, some with a few chunks. Place in a large heavy pot with the sugar and bring to a boil, Add the balsamic and pectin and cook, stirring often, until reduced and thickened.

Place in sterile jars and process according to manufacturers directions.

I pressure-processed at 6lbs pressure for 10 minutes because of the jars I used. You could easily water bath this with standard Ball jars.

And... because man does not live by jam, alone, I made Rugelach for dessert!


  • 1 block cream cheese (8oz)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups flour

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar and mix well. Add vanilla and salt.

Add flour and mix just until it's all combined.

Place on counter and divide into 2 flattened logs. Wrap and refrigerate about an hour.

To make and bake:

Roll each log into a 6" by 18" or so rectangle. Spread with jam or filling of choice and then liberally sprinkle with chopped nuts - I used pistachios. Brush top with egg wash and liberally top with demerara or other coarse-grained sugar.

Roll and cut into 1" pieces. Place on sheet pans and bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 20 minutes.

Start with your block of dough.


Roll it out to a rectangle. Unless you plan on selling them, don't worry about perfect edges.


Spread with a thin layer of your filling and then spread liberally with chopped nuts.


Roll it up and brush with an egg wash.


Then sprinkle on demerara sugar. I keep a jar of demerara sugar and vanilla beans in the baking cabinet.


Slice into about 3/4-inch pieces and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.


Bake, cool, and eat!


A really unexpected hit. These came out better than expected and it took a lot of willpower not to just eat every one. Really, really good. I made the rugelach in a roll as opposed to the more traditional rolled wedge. If you wish, you can divide the dough into four circles, roll into 9" rounds, cut into 8 wedges, and top and roll.

My way is easier - and the end result tastes the same!

We really are having some serious fun in the kitchen. And we're going to be eating really well this winter!

Fig Jam

Last week was a whirlwind. It started with a company party and overnight in Philadelphia, brunch with friends the following day, a couple of days of relative normalcy, a train trip to Washington, DC for a Barbra Streisand concert, and then a flight to Manchester New Hampshire for a dear friend's wedding. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

The DC concert came about because I misread the date of the wedding. We had tickets to see Barbra here in Philadelphia on the 20th. I thought the wedding was on the 28th and booked plane, hotel, and rental car accordingly. A couple of weeks later I realized my mistake.


Rebooked the flights, paid the ridiculous change fees, and said goodbye to Barbra.

Then I went online, saw that tickets were still available in DC, and bought them. Used Amtrak points for the train, booked a Hyatt - where I can always schmooze my way into an upgrade - got a hold of our Nonna-Sitter, and sat back, ready for the whirlwind.

And what a whirlwind, it was. The concert was just unbelievable. Mere words cannot describe. It was just great.

And then it was off to Manchester. The flights were a breeze and we got an upgrade on the car to a Jeep SUV. The hotel was where we stayed when we got married back in 2010 and more laughing and schmoozing with the front desk ladies had us in another great room. And then we got to meet up with more friends who came in for the festivities.

Dinner at the Elks club - steak and lobster for $20 - was the rehearsal dinner, or would have been had there been a rehearsal. Huge perfectly-cooked ribeye steaks, 2lb lobsters, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, watermelon, apple turnovers, and for us, an open bar, set the tone for the night. Good food, great friends, a bit of booze, and lots and lots of laughter.

The wedding was perfect. Outdoors, casual, and low-key. We FaceTime'd friends from Seattle who couldn't make it in person - modern technology rocks - and just had a great time. Just perfect.

Monday we drove out to the middle of Nowhere, New Hampshire to meet another dear friend who lives in Vermont for lunch. Another great time. Then it was back to Manchester and to the Irish pub where we had our wedding reception. More laughter and fun. Airport, home, and back to work and reality.

While we were gone the garden exploded and more tomatoes and even more peppers were ready for picking.

I brought home a pound of figs not knowing what I was going to do with them and first thought a pepper and fig jam was in order - and then was reminded about a caramelized onion and fig dish I had once made - so it became a Fig, Caramelized Onion, and Pepper jam.


I caramelized an onion, processed the figs with the peppers and sugar, cooked everything down, and proceeded to start eating it.

Fig, Caramelized Onion, and Pepper Jam

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lb figs
  • 3 hot peppers - more or less, to taste
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Caramelize onions in skillet with a bit of oil until they are nicely browned.

Meanwhile, process figs, sugar, and peppers in food processor until well-mixed.

Add a hefty splash of fig balsamic vinegar to onions and let it cook down. Add the fig and pepper mixture to the onions and cook until it is thick thick thick.

Stir in a bit more fig balsamic and taste for seasoning, adding a bit of S&P, if desired. Place into a clean, sterile jar, cool, and refrigerate.

First thing I did with it was put it on a chicken breast and served it with a cheesy rice stuffed bell pepper - also from the yard.


I have pounds more peppers I need to get canned before I head off to work, today.

And tomorrow Victor is making pasta sauce form the ton of tomatoes we have in the freezer. I'll jar it when I get home!

So the whirlwind is slowing down and we're back to domestic normalcy for a few more weeks before we head west to my nephew's wedding in California.

But we have some of the best memories of some of the best people on the planet.

We really do lead a charmed life.



Chicken with Shaved Cantaloupe

This is a bit of a spin on a Bon Appetit recipe from the latest issue. Their recipe was for pork cutlets with a cantaloupe salad. The pork became chicken, the julienned salad became shaved ribbons of cantaloupe, the sliced pepper became sambal oelek... red onion instead of green... You know... just how I always follow a recipe.

I love recipes. I read cook books like other people read novels. I've just never been convinced they are sacrosanct in a non-commercial setting. I get that in a restaurant setting things need to be consistent. I remember a hundred years ago when I worked at The Red Chimney in San Francisco, the owner, Ed Taylor, was in the kitchen every night at 5 to 5 tasting the Bearnaise Sauce - and if it wasn't exact, it was thrown out and redone until it was. When I worked in health care, it was paramount that recipes were followed exactly so everyone knew exactly what the patients were - or weren't consuming.

But at home? Pffffft! It's whatever goes.

This was fun because the chicken marinated in shredded cantaloupe before it was grilled - something I shall be doing, again.

Chicken and Cantaloupe

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup grated cantaloupe
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Mix together and place in baggie with chicken. Let marinate about an hour, give or take. Grill over fairly hot heat until cooked.

Meanwhile, make the cantaloupe topping.

  • 1/2 cantaloupe thinly sliced - use a mandoline, if you have one
  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sambal oelek
  • chopped parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 scant teaspoon fish sauce
  • pepper
  • chopped salted peanuts

Mix the cantaloupe slices with the onion, sambal oelek, parsley, lemon juice, pepper, and fish sauce. Place atop the cooked chicken and finish with chopped peanuts.

This one is a definite keeper. I can see a few different variations on this theme. Cantaloupe really is refreshing and it's the perfect fit with a summer meal.

Maybe next year we'll grow some cantaloupe out in the south 40!



Cherry Upside-Down Polenta Cake


Ah... what to do with 2 pounds of fresh cherries...

If you're a normal person, you just grab 'em and eat 'em. If you're me, you turn them into a dessert. I was actually a semi-good boy with this one. It's not nearly as over-the-top ooey and gooey as I could have gone. And not a drop of heavy cream!

The original recipe came from Bon Appetit about 10 years ago, I think. That was back when I actually still liked the magazine. They've pretty much lost me, nowadays. I stopped subscribing several years ago but had a subscription to La Cucina Italiana - another Conde Nast magazine I loved and always found recipes to make. Conde Nast ceased publication of the US version of La Cucina - it's still available in Italian - and I ended up with a subscription to Bon Appetit in its place. I should have taken the cash refund.

Oh well.

I have a folder full of recipes I've cut out of magazines over the years and if I actually stopped and made the recipes I already have, I wouldn't have time to make any others. I have slowed down on the cook book acquisitions, though. Well... except for the digital ones I keep downloading. But that's different. Sorta.

The cake is baked in a skillet, which makes for easy prep and clean-up. You will want to use a straight-sided pan - and one that can go into the oven for 45 minutes or so. It also calls for a couple teaspoons of balsamic vinegar in the cherries. I used a really nice, aged balsamic because we have lots and I figured if I'm going to pit 2 pounds of cherries, I'm going for the gold, so to speak.


Cherry Upside-Down Polenta Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds pitted fresh cherries
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup stone-ground polenta or cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • hefty pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix 1/4 cup butter with brown sugar and vinegar in 10" skillet. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Add cherries and bring to boil. Remove from heat.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together. Beat remaining 1/2 cup butter in large bowl with sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternately with milk in 2 additions mixing until just blended. Beat egg whites in another bowl with cream of tartar and beat until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into batter to lighten slightly. Carefully fold in remaining whites. Spoon batter over cherries in skillet, then spread evenly to cover cherries.

Bake cake until top is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in skillet on rack 5 minutes. Place cake plate atop skillet and carefully flip. Leave skillet atop cake 5 minutes. Remove skillet. Rearrange any cherries that may have become dislodged. Cool at least 45 minutes.



A few cherries stuck to the pan but they were easily placed back on the cake.

And it's a winner! Not too sweet and with a nice little corn crunch from the stone-ground corn. I'm thinkin' that this will be good with fresh peaches when they arrive...

I'll have to see what other fun I can have with this...

Summertime Cooking


One of the true joys of summer is the bounty of fresh fruit available. I'm one of those guys who just can't bring myself to buy berries and watermelon and peaches grown in the southern hemisphere in December. Besides being ridiculously expensive, the stuff generally has no flavor. Can't do it.

But come April I start thinking about it. And in May and June, I'm ready. I can't wait to bite into a peach and have the juice run down my arm. Or bite into a strawberry that is actually red, ripe, and has flavor! And apricots and plums and nectarines... I'm definitely a stone fruit kinda guy although, if I can find an old-fashioned watermelon with seeds, I'll pick one up. When they bred the seeds out of melons, they bred the flavor out, as well. I prefer things to be as local as possible, but east coast living is different than west coast living. Early in the season I'll settle for northern hemisphere.

So tonight's bountiful bowl consisted of nectarines, strawberries, and ranier cherries, with a bit of mint and a drizzle of Fico D'India - a prickly pear liqueur we picked up in Sicily.


Any excuse to pull out a bottle of booze, ya know?!? We have several different flavors - orange, cinnamon, and a fiery red something or other I picked up at Mount Etna - that will all be used in due time.

Good fresh fruit doesn't need any enhancements but needing and playing are two entirely different concepts. I like to play.

I also played with a baked bean concept we came up with at work.


Baked beans, bacon, onions, and a mustard-based BBQ sauce. Nonna - who says she doesn't like beans - had a big helping and twice said how much she liked them.

And then there was the chicken breast big enough for three.


Crispy crispy chicken-bacon-skin for Victor. That's actually another thing - boneless skinless chicken breasts - something else with no flavor. All I added to this was salt, pepper, and a dusting of garlic powder. It was tender, juicy, and bursting with chicken flavor. What a concept.

And it wasn't "enhanced with up to 22% solution." Do you read the packages of chicken - or anything else you pick up at the store? They factory-farm a bird to be a certain size and weight by a certain day and then inject them with a 'solution' to make them taste like chicken.

That's not a solution, that's a problem.

Tomorrow is looking to be another bright, sunny day, so it's time to hit the kitchen and see what gastronomical delights we can come up with. There's nothing planned, so I can spend all day in the kitchen if I feel like it!

We shall see...


Nectarine Squares


This is a bit of a no-brainer bar cookie that really works well with thin slices of fresh fruit. I've made it it peaches, plums, and nectarines, so far, and I imagine just about anything would work - including bananas or thin-sliced or chopped cherries. Or apricots. Or whatever looks good at the grocers or farmers market.

What's nice is there is no additional sugar in the filling - just a thin layer of fresh fruit.

Nonna loves them. She's finding lots of reasons to get up and head into the kitchen for one of those "as long as I'm here" moments!

Nectarine Squares

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 3-4 nectarines or peaches

Preheat oven to 375°

Butter a 9×13 inch pan. Mix together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices. Cut cold butter into dry ingredients. Add egg and mix well.

Press 2/3 of the crumbs into buttered pan, pressing well.

Layer nectarine slaices over packed crumbs.

Sprinkle remaining crumbs evenly over the top and bake about 30 minutes or until top is slightly brown.

Cool and then cut into squares.




Pear Crumble


Fresh pears. Yum. I had picked up 4 pears - 2 bartlett and 2 reds - on a whim, and when I got home, decided it was dessert-time!

I started off by peeling the pears and then slicing them fairly thin. I put them into a bowl with about a quarter cup of flour and the same of melted butter. I added in about a half-cup of brown sugar and a tsp of vanilla - and a tad bit of nutmeg. After it was all mixed, I placed it in an 8"x8" pan and topped it with about 2 cups of pumpkin granola.

I covered it with foil and placed it into a 350° oven for about 40 minutes.

It's a no-brainer simple concept. Just about any granola will work - as will just about any fruit.

The beauty of a dessert like this is you really can't screw it up. It's fruit and a bit of sugar with a topping. You can add ice cream on top, or whipped cream - or serve it as-is. Warm or cold.



Ham, Peppers, and Pineapple



We're still getting peppers from the garden and I'm still working on ways to use them up.

These suckers have been good this year - nice and hot. In fact, they've been getting hotter as the season progresses. Nonna was eating them when we first started harvesting them, but they've gotten  bit too hot for her, now.

In keeping with my sweet-and-savory like, I decided ham steaks with spicy pineapple would be a good combination.  I chopped up two peppers, sautéed them until they were limp, added a small can of pineapple chunks, and cooked it down until it was thick.  I added a pinch of salt and pepper, but no other seasonings.

Sweet and spicy.

Peach pepper Jam Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes

Peach Pepper Jam

Peach pepper Jam Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes


I had peaches. I had fresh peppers from the garden. I had canning jars. Time to make some jam.

Every summer when peach season hits its peak, I think of my sister, Arlene, and the peach orchard she used to live on. It was peach-everything back in those days. Pies, cobblers, salsa... just eating them out-of-hand with juice running down your arm. Good times, indeed.

Fast-forward to today, and I have 4 pounds of pretty awesome California peaches and a dozen or so long hot peppers that are just waiting to be chopped and boiled and placed into sterile jars.

I don't have any fancy canning equipment, so I stick with high-acid items and the basic water bath. Maybe one day I'll get a pressure cooker - but it probably won't be this week.

Canning is not difficult and it's not even particularly time-consuming. That being said, I remember my grandmother canning vegetables and jams back when I was a kid in a sweltering kitchen.  She mostly did paraffin-topped canning where thin layers of paraffin wax were poured into the jars and built up to about a half-inch to seal them before the lids were added. My mother flat-out refused to can. Being able to buy frozen and canned vegetables at the store was a luxury she totally took advantage of.

And I tend to make smaller batches of things. It really is different doing it because I want to rather than having to in order to feed my family. Talk about being spoiled. Today was just 24 4-ounce jars. Perfect for gifts at Christmas!

Peach Pepper Jam Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes


The peppers we're growing are pretty hot when left unseeded, so I seeded them before chopping them in the food processor. And I didn't peel the peaches. I rarely peel anything. I also chopped the peaches in the food processor but left a few chunks for texture and interest.

Peach Pepper Jam Tim and Victor's Totally Joyous Recipes


24 jars later... 15 minutes in the water bath, and every one sealed.

Peach Pepper Jam

(makes about 24 1/2-cup jars)

  • 4 lbs peaches, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups minced hot peppers
  • 2 cups white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 pkg powdered fruit pectin

Finely mince peppers in food processor. Finely chop peaches in food processor.

Mix pectin with 1/2 cup of the sugar.  Add it, along with the peppers, peaches, and vinegar to saucepan.  Heat to boil, stirring occasionally.

Add remaining sugar, stirring well, and let boil at a full rolling boil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, skim foam from top, and place in hot sterile jars.

Wipe rims, top with lids and rings, and process in boiling water bath about 15 minutes.

It came out spicy-sweet! Perfect for topping chicken or pork - or on a  cracker with cheese...

I don't know how many more peppers we're going to be getting... I'm hoping to be able to can a bunch of them, as well - I just used up my last jar from last year - but the bounty doesn't seem as prolific as last year...

We shall see...



Pork Tenderloin and Peach Salsa

I think this is one of my most favorite food combinations.  Peaches, onions, and hot peppers atop well... just about anything.  I've used this on flank steak, chicken, pork, fish, and even with tortilla chips.  Versatile, indeed.

Peaches are pretty much my favorite summer fruit.  I remember the pies my grandmother made from peaches from her neighbor, Mrs. MacNamee.  Summertime was always great at their house.  Grandma and Grandpa had strawberries and grapes - and a chicken coop! - and Mr Brown on the other side of them grew watermelons.  My brother and I actually stole his seed melon one year - it was the biggest in his yard - and, while he knew we did it, couldn't prove it.  We barely escaped that one.  Boy, was he pissed. We laid low for a long time.

But back to peaches...

My sister, Arlene, lived on a peach orchard for many years and we definitely had our share of juice-down-the-arm peaches.  From salsa to pies, to jams and preserves, we canned, baked, cooked, and otherwise consumed peaches all the time.  It was good eating.

Peaches on the east coast haven't always been as good as the California peaches from my youth, but we've been getting a pretty good supply from California the past few years that have made my tummy smile.  They're perfect for pies, cobblers, salsas, fruit salads, or just eating out of hand.

Here's my quick salsa recipe. It takes seconds to prepare.

Peach Salsa

  • 2 ripe peaches, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers. minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Mix ingredients and chill.

This time around I actually used one cayenne pepper from our garden and it added all the heat we needed.

The fruit can be switched out to plums, strawberries, apricots, or whatever suits your fancy.

For the tenderloin, I just rubbed it with a bit of chipotle powder, salt, and pepper before putting it on the grill.  Also really basic and simple.

It's going to be sad to see them go for the season...



Grilled Peaches

There's a new cheese in town.  White Stilton with Peaches and Cream.  It's pretty outrageous.

It tastes more like ice cream than it does cheese, and my first thought after tasting it was that it would make an outstanding dessert.

Naturally, I was correct.

I didn't need to delve too deeply for this one - just put it atop a grilled peach.  And that, alone, would have been great, but I wanted to take it to that next level.  Walnuts and maple syrup did just that.

I grilled the peaches and set them on the plates.  On went the cheese, and then the walnuts and syrup that I had heated together.  It added just the right amount of softening power to the cheese.

I could have had several of them.  I see more in my future.