Yesterday I posted about a new brand of pasta sauce being made by gay couple, Josh and Brent, at Beekman 1802. You can read more about that here, and learn more about Beekman 1802. But the reason I’m posting about it again today is because I happened to see another brand of pasta sauce on a morning news show earlier today and I thought it was interesting.
First, the Beekman 1802 pasta sauce is organic and contains nothing artificial. It comes from heirloom tomatoes, and it’s priced at 7.95 for a 26 ounce jar. But more than that, 25% of all proceeds from this pasta sauce go to US farmers to help them pay off their mortgages. I like that. I know a few farmers here in Bucks County and I know how hard they struggle.
So when I heard another guy talking about his new pasta sauce this morning on TV, and I heard what he was charging compared to what Josh and Brent are charging, I had to post something about it again. This new 35.00 a jar pasta sauce I saw on TV this morning is called “Sunday Gravy.” Tony and I both have Italian American backgrounds, and we know that on Sundays the main meal of the day for many Italian Americans begins in the afternoon and there’s always pasta and gravy. Notice how we don’t call it sauce. It’s called gravy and I think that has something to do with the fact that there’s almost always meat in it.
In short, the Sunday meal begins with some kind of antipasto…cheeses, roasted peppers, stuffed peppers, etc…then goes to pasta with gravy, after that a meat course is served, and then there’s usually a salad at the end of the meal. That’s just a basic description of how it works. There’s garlic bread, and things like pizzelle.
I’m not a prolific cook, and I’m no stranger to pasta sauces that cost anywhere from fifteen dollars a jar to twenty dollars a jar, but I have never seen one that costs 35.00 a jar. They claim “Sunday Gravy” contains all kinds of braised meats and it takes hour to make. That’s true. It does take hours to make. When Tony makes a huge batch it’s on the stove from morning until the time we sit down to dinner in the evening. But that slow cooking doesn’t make it any more expensive than something that’s cooked in a half hour. And the meat thing with this “Sunday Gravy” makes me wonder, too, because traditionally it’s always been the cheapest cuts that go in to pasta gravy. I knew a woman from The Bronx who used to used chicken feet because she claimed it made the gravy silkier.
So I’m just not sure what warrants the 35.00 price tag on “Sunday Gravy,” especially compared to the 7.95 price tag on the new Beekman 1802 brand where 25% of the proceeds go to help pay off mortgages.
And this only makes me want to order the Beekman 1802 brand even more now. I will post a follow up after I’ve had it.
One of the things I’ve learned from an Amish reader who guest posted here once, is that Amish people in general are not thrilled with the way publishing portrays the Amish in romance books. Most of the time they are insulted, and sometimes they even laugh at it. According to my Amish friend, it’s never right, it’s always glorified and unrealistic, and it makes Amish people look nothing like they really are. Many times it makes them look backward. And I can personally tell you that this is NOT true. I have never met anyone brighter, sharper, and more interesting than my Amish friend. And, he has this excellent knack for writing most published writers don’t have these days.
I know we’re talking about romance, where it’s supposed to be all about escapism and fantasy. And I’ve defended that before. But where do we draw the lines? Especially if we’re insulting a group of people who didn’t ask anyone to write about them in the first place.
I know how they feel. While most of the gay fiction I read seems to be accurate and the authors to take their time to get it right, I often find discussions on blogs, and comment threads on these same blogs, where they discuss gay people as if they are gazing at them through a microscope. Most of the time it’s all hooded opinion and conjecture. One in particular makes my blood curdle. She knows it all and as far as I know she’s not even gay.
But I’m talking about the Amish now, and gay Amish in particular. I found a few links that are interesting and I think they help portray the Amish in a more realistic way.
Unfortunately for many people, their “knowledge” of the Amish comes almost entirely from TV and movies. A columnist for the NEW YORK POST wrote late last year that “Everything I know about the Amish, I learned from the old Harrison Ford movie, WITNESS.” While undoubtedly an exaggeration, this is a bit like watching a Tarzan movie in order to learn about African culture, or “The Sopranos” to gain insight into the lives of average Italian-Americans today. While such shows may be entertaining, they also stereotype and make it difficult to separate fact from fiction.
This one talks about growing up gay and being Amish:
James Schwartz was raised in an Amish community in Michigan. In a segment on HuffPost Live, he shared his struggle to fit into this group when he realized he was gay.
The reason I don’t post about this often is because the Amish are extremely private and they don’t like to discuss themselves. It’s also the reason why it’s hard to find links about them. I understand that and respect it. But I also think it’s important to break stereotypes, too, sometimes. If anyone has anything to share, please feel free to comment. I handle all anonymous comments with aboslute discretion and no one will ever know who you are.
Free Bad Boy Excerpt: The Vegas Shark
I don’t think I’ve had as much fun writing a book in years as I did with The Vegas Shark. I actually hated to see it end and that almost never happens with me. I tend to look at the books I’m writing in a more objective way and I don’t get attached to them. This excerpt has never been published in retail web sites before. It’s a scene where Chad and Treston are just getting to know each other. Treston’s hiding in the closet, listening to Chad and his annoying boyfriend that he’s nick named “Pussycat.” And that’s only because his real name is “Dare,” which he thinks is stupid. In this case, Chad’s a the bad boy, the liar, and the scoundrel. And Treston knows it. I did have to edit a few things because this blog is rated pg, but nothing’s been edited in the version for sale.