We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken Parm and Running

      This was a good day.  For all of us.  One of the best in my recent memories...we started off waking up at 8:15 and got a running start, as we need to walk out the door by 8:45 to make CCD and 9:00 a.m. Mass...It was like a 3 Stooges comedy show, as we literally ran by each other, shouting encouragement ('Yeh, nice hair Tonio!''  "You just need shoes now Aut!"  "Dad, don't forget your belt!") and we did it! Driving north towards the Catalina's, their highest peaks kissed with yesterday's snowfall, the sun bringing out all of their glory.  Got to CCD just as the prayer circle started...and, wait a minute!  Andrea, Lexy and Breanna beat us there!  But we still beat Lupe, Manny and Monsi!!
     Lupe, Manny, Angie, Andrea and I took up a pew at Mass - Monsignor Tom was giving Mass today - this always starts my day out well, as he is so inspirational and I remember his visits with Kim and how much they meant to her.  Today was not different - during the homily, he talked about how Jesus was about to raise Lazurus from the grave - after being dead for 4 days, the people did not want to roll the rock from his tomb back, for fear of the smell.  Jesus was at first exasperated, then angry, saying, here, let me help - I'll make you believe!  And, of course they did!  Msgr told us to look for pieces of our life, that were, perhaps dead in us and roll back the rock! 
      I've been reading a book by Charles Stanley, called "When Your Children Hurt" - Charles Stanley is a pretty gifted Christian Inspirational writer - I've read several of his books.  In this books, he tells stories of losing loved ones and how to help our children through it, so it is pretty relevant right now.  One of the families he's speaks about, finds solace in keeping moving, never stopping and I could immediately relate to that - if we don't slow down, we won't dwell on things - and it's working!  I spent so many months in  the absolute and icy grip of terror while Kimmy was in the hospital - but I never stopped moving.  Stanley has a whole chapter on how to lose the fear - I wish I had found this book back in October - so if you know anyone going through something like this - suggest this book!
         After church, to keep moving, we all headed over to Viro's for breakfast.  It was packed, and half of the people there were Vito's relatives!  About 15 of them had just returned from a breast cancer walk over at Tucson Medical Center, where Andrea works - she had done a lot to coordinate and prepare this event - Vito's son, Joe and his wife Deanna and much of her family did the walk this morning and said they were thinking about Kimmy during the event.  Vito's mom, Enza and dad, Vincenzo, spent some time with us, delighted that Angie could communicate to them, as her Spanish is close to the Italian dialect they speak!  Vito's cousins, who lost their dad, Angelo, to cancer several years ago, were there, Maurizio and Franca and their families - it was a wonderful day to visit.  As always, the food was great (everyone loved Vito Jr's and Nikki's omelets and Erica made me a perfect cappuccino, as always - I joked with Nick that Napoli was going to overtake A.C. Milan for the Serie A lead!  They haven't been this good since Maradona played for them back in 1986!!).  I promised Manny he could try a cappuccino next week...
           Then, we split up.  Tonio and I took Monsi, went to Target and then back home so they could be entertained by Bella. These two play so well together, sharing a love for Lego's!

 Angie took Lexy and Autumn to meet Andrea, who took them to see 'Soul Surfer' and shopping at 'Justice', the girls absolute favorite store.  I picked Cody up at his friend Wyatt's house and dropped him off at his friend Jesus' house, where he will spend the night so Jesus' mom, Monique can take him to school for me tomorrow.  All the kids had a blast today, playing with friends, Autumn having a 'girls day out' and it was so nice to visit with everyone today and see the bambini beaming! 

Andrea dropped Autumn off in time for dinner, after a fun day, she gave the movie two thumbs up!  Here, she is sporting a new shirt that her cousin Jackie sent her!

          Over dinner, we shared more 'favorite Mama' stories...I made chicken parm for them tonight, yet another of Kimmy's specialties!
          Here's what to do:

          Mix 3 tblsp of olive oil with 1 tsp of fresh rosemary, 1 tsp of fresh thyme leaves, 1 tsp of fresh Italian parsley leaves, 1 tsp of fresh basil leaves, all finely chopped and 3 cloves of minced garlic.  Take 8, thin bonless, skinless chicken breasts, pound them and brush them with the olive oil mixture.  Salt and fresh ground pepper them to taste.

They should be snuggly nestled safely in the big skillet (do not, under any circumstances, use your 'nice pot' for this endeavor!).
         Heat up a large, oven safe, skillet over high heat and add the cutlets.  Cook just until bornw about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove the skillet from the heat.
         Heat the oven to 500 degrees.  Spoon marinara sauce (you've got Kimmy's recipe already, right?) over and around the cutlets.  Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over all cutlets and then sprinkle 2 tsps of parmesan cheese over each cutlet.  Take 2 tblsp of butter, cut it 8 ways, and place a piece on each cutlet.  Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through - about 4-5 minutes.

           I serve this with angel hair and, Autumn's favorite, sliced tomatoes - just drizzle the slices liberally with olive oil, sprinkle oregano, sea salt and lots of freshly ground pepper on them!
Of course, a nice loaf of crusty, Italian bread is a nice compliment to these dishes.  We talked about how Kim always went above and beyond to feed us fresh cooked, no boxes, pre-mixed, meals, that were healthy and tasty!  It meant a lot to her...and we are using her recipes daily!

I think I've beat the fear thing.  Days like today, really help us make progress. I have found that you can't necessarily outrun being scared and these people we shared Mass and breakfast with and who took care of our children, Msgr Tom's homilies, books like Charles Stanley's, have helped me face the horror - and let me tell you, Sunday/Monday's had been the hardest - like having my own, private spook house, where I'd dream and relive my last night with Kimmy in our home, over and over and over - now, I'm through it and able to focus better on helping the bambini heal - mostly Tonio, who just about daily brings up how badly he misses Mama.  Autumn has done such a nice job journaling, channeling Kimmy and Cody, too, has grown so much and continues to inspire me, daily.  I'll keep them moving, healing and helping others.
 It's all about the bambini...


"Do no fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your god.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand" Isaiah 41:10


  1. Dave, I always love to hear when you guys have good days! I miss Kim so much and every time I have that thought I am immediately filled with thoughts of how much YOU all must miss her. This blog is so great for all of us! And the recipes, well those a total bonus! I'm gonna have to try the sliced tomatoes prepared that way! How exciting! Well, hope you have a great week! I'm sure I'll see you around school!

  2. Thanks Ami...yeh, we sure do miss Kimmy, but she left us with so many wonderful memories. At dinner tonight, we looked around our home, that Kimmy made so beautiful for us, and so special and we're thankful...let Autumn know how you like the tomatoes - she'll make those for an after school snack sometimes! Dave