The Second Annual Minden Cioppino Fiesta – 1/27/15

3 Feb

During the last Official Tim Baptista Memorial Crab Cioppino Feed, I won the official cioppino recipe as well as a big cooking pot and giant wooden spoon. Last year, Raley’s, a local grocery store had a big sale on crab and I decided to try my luck at cooking the recipe. It turned out well and I decided to do it again this year…even though the crab sale didn’t save as much as last year.

My good buddy, Dick Schmidt came across the “hill” (aka the Sierra Nevada mountains – at our age, we never say “over the hill.”) from Sacramento to join us…hence the wonderful pictures that will accompany this Buzzard Notes entry.

Dick arrived the day before the Fiesta and we took a ride around the Carson Valley to try to espy some bald eagles.   As I reported last year, they arrive as the calving season begins. There were a few calves out in the pastures and we think we saw a couple of eagles about 200 yards away as well as a sand hill crane. No good pictures there. So we went to the Nature Conservancy beside the Carson River where I knew was an eagle aerie off in the distance. Sure enough, we did see 2 a pair of eagles. YEA!   We weren’t up close and personal, but we did see them. The big clump of stuff in the tree is the nest and the dot next to it is one of the eagles.  (Don’t forget that you can enlarge a picture by clicking on it)

The big clump of stuff in the tree is the nest and the dot next to it is one of the eagles.

The big clump of stuff in the tree is the nest and the dot next to it is one of the eagles.

We walked a bit on the banks of the Carson and noticed some special structures on the banks. Volunteers had cut willows from nearby stands and bundled into “wattles.” Live staked willows were woven into the structure with the wattles that were placed along the banks. We think that not only was this an artistic effort (they called it a sculpture on the sign) that it would also help with a flood control effort in not letting the banks wash away. (Lord knows that we don’t have a chance for a flood unless a miracle happens and we get 20 feet of snow in the mountains soon…the drought continues here in Nevada, too). Anyway, the wattles were interesting to look at.

Wattles on the Carson River

Wattles on the Carson River

Dick took a nice picture of Job’s Peak reflecting in the Carson River.

Dick took a nice picture of Job’s Peak reflecting in the Carson River.

As we left the Genoa area, we took the obligatory photo of the ever-present deer that live in the area.  I love to look at them but wouldn’t want all these critters eating up my flowers and lawn.

These four deer were part of a herd of 12 that were dining in a resident’s yard.

These four deer were part of a herd of 12 that were dining in a resident’s yard.

The next morning dawned and Dick found me outside feeding “my” birds. I like to get out early before they do so as not to disturb them as they come in for their morning feeding. Bless his heart, Dick held a light and documented this feeding. I also give the birds fresh water each day because the birdbaths and the tins on the ground are often solid ice. There is no other fresh water for the birds and once I started, I felt obligated to continue because they were looking for it.   It was about 19 degrees that morning.

Hanging a feeder

Hanging a feeder

Filling the birdbath and the tin in the background

Filling the birdbath and the tin in the background

So it was the big day and after breakfast at a place called “Cowboys,” we began to prepare the cioppino sauce. We chopped, diced, sautéed, opened cans, added wine (and brandy), sniffed, tasted and finally let it reduce for several hours. This was quite a process that was fun to do but kind of tiring.   I didn’t realize how tiring it was until the big day was done. I can really appreciate how hard the Baptistas worked to feed 600 people and I was only feeding 15.

Adding a drop or two of the "sauce"

Adding a drop or two of the “sauce”

Dick is the cut up here with the celery

Dick is the cut up here with the celery

He had a green thumb with the parsley.

He had a green thumb with the parsley.

Me with the cioppino pot with paint buckets inside.

Me with the cioppino pot with paint buckets inside.

We stirred and added and stirred some more, all while BC waited around for a handout…except that she doesn’t like crab. What a crazy cat!

We stirred and added and stirred some more, all while BC waited around for a handout…except that she doesn’t like crab. What a crazy cat!

While the pot was simmering, we prepared the crab

While the pot was simmering, we prepared the crab

...and the shrimp

…and the shrimp

When the sauce was just right, we added the seafood and stirred some more. At just the right moment, Scott came over with his truck and carted the cioppino pot over to Jolee’s house where the Fiesta was to take place. There just isn’t enough dining area in my house for 15 people.

I also want to show you that I donned the appropriate attire for the Fiesta in wearing my new CJ’s Steak and Seafood t-shirt (not from Italy, but rather Princeville, Kauai)

I also want to show you that I donned the appropriate attire for the Fiesta in wearing my new CJ’s Steak and Seafood t-shirt (not from Italy, but rather Princeville, Kauai)

This is the finished product.

The finished product.

Cioppino servings in paint buckets, ala Baptista Cioppino Feed. They had red buckets, but I couldn’t find them. I also wanted to have lobster bibs but I couldn’t find any place in Carson City that carried them.

Cioppino servings in paint buckets, ala Baptista Cioppino Feed. They had red buckets, but I couldn’t find them. I also wanted to have lobster bibs but I couldn’t find any place in Carson City that carried them. Next year?

After we were all served, we all dug in, fingers and all and supped with delight. You can see that no one was holding back.

After we were all served, we all dug in, fingers and all and supped with delight. You can see that no one was holding back. We’re already looking forward to the Third Annual Cioppino Fiesta.

After dinner, the little kids went into the TV/living room to play video games. Dick got a cute picture of them playing.

Note Dalan has his own game chair while Megan made her own poor man’s version constructed of a cardboard box. Pretty ingenious, I think.

Note Dalan has his own game chair while Megan made her own poor man’s version constructed of a cardboard box. Pretty ingenious, I think.

Monstro, the dog, chilled out with his ball. A dog’s life is tough at the Tristao house

Monstro, the dog, chilled out with his ball. A dog’s life is tough at the Tristao house

Dick caught a picture with a bit of frost on the sagebrush in the open space in back of my house. It’s a pretty sight at dawn…if you like that sort of thing. Good thing I do.

The next morning, Dick caught a picture with a bit of frost on the sagebrush in the open space in back of my house. It’s a pretty sight at dawn…if you like that sort of thing. Good thing I do.

 

It was back to reality the next morning with a doctor’s appointment and then a tour at the museum. But Dick and I went out to breakfast one last time at Mom and Pop’s, a small café across the street from the NV State Legislature building. The food is good and not pricey.

They serve just about the world’s largest cinnamon rolls as witnessed by this picture. This one filled the entire entrée sized “to go” box. They are pretty good!

They serve just about the world’s largest cinnamon rolls as witnessed by this picture. This one filled the entire entrée sized “to go” box. They are pretty good!

Thus endeth the Cioppino Fiesta Saga. It was a lot of fun and I’m so glad the Baptista family had their Cioppino Feeds and that I got the recipe to continue enjoying this terrific food. Hooray!!! (or Ale! in Italian)

*For those of you not familiar with the Baptistas. They are the family who so generously donated their son, Tim’s, heart that allowed Bob to enjoy the Gift of Life for more than 8 years.  Their original Cioppino Feeds plus a Memorial Golf tournaments were the main vehicles they used to create endowed scholarships in Tim’s memory at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep School in San Francisco.  They are all very special people.

 

2 Responses to “The Second Annual Minden Cioppino Fiesta – 1/27/15”

  1. alexandra snyder February 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    Cora, You sure look so happy living this new wonderful life. I am so happy for you. I miss you and think of you often. Love, Alex Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2015 15:37:20 +0000 To: alexsnyder7@outlook.com

  2. Connie Raub February 3, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

    Well you have done it again, Coralee! You look great in the kitchen with your C.J. Seafood T from Hawaii and your big pot doesn’t even make you look fat! I DO love the Wattles! Such good Nature/Decor! I love ALL the pictures – of course you had the BEST Photographer! Great to have a pictures of you doing your bird thing so early in the morning. And what lucky birds they are! Well, congratulations on a rich Cioppino sauce and an even richer life! It looks like everyone was having a good time, including the animals. Love, Connie

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