Frank Bruni

21 posts


It is commonly held that it is hard to make friends as an adult. Despite the 36 years that separated us, Tom and I were friends. On February 16, 2017 at around 5 pm he passed away. He was 95.

Tom and I met as neighbours across the street from one another. He extended a kindness to me on the day we moved in that set the tone for over twenty years.

From the outside it might have appeared that our friendship was unlikely. The difference in our ages notwithstanding, Tom was religious, conservative, with a background in science ( he had been a chemist professionally). I was none of those things. Yet we never seemed to be at a loss for something to talk about. Many’s the time that I would wander across the street ( or visa versa) and share a cup of tea and have a long chat.

As Tom started to get older I admit that I would find some pretense to cross the street to “check” on him. I don’t think he was ever fooled, but he always met me with a smile and an invitation for tea. His family has often thanked me for doing what I could in support of their Dad and for being a good friend. It is always made me feel awkward, because it was no effort. It was the quality of the man that inspired friendship and loyalty, plain and simple.

When Tom moved out a few years ago, I took to visiting with him as often as I could. As a matter of fact we often laughed that I could not visit as often as I wanted to because he was so busy. A testament to the man that so many people wanted to share time with him.

I did not attend Tom’s funeral. On that day another friend, facing the return of his own cancer needed my support. I decided that I needed to be with him. I am sure that Tom ( with his characteristic unselfishness) would have approved.

I have thought of Tom every day since his passing. I suspect that will change over time, but I hope not. People like Tom deserve to be remembered.

Remove Lice

The following treatment for Head lice was developed by Dr. Moishe Ipp research pediatrician at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital.

Mix a 50/50 solution of mineral oil and vinegar. Massage it into the hair and cover for at least two (2) hours with a shower cap. The vinegar detaches the nits from the hair shaft while the oil suffocates any live lice and makes for easy smooth combing out of any detached nits and dead lice.

Dr. Ipp claims a 100% success rate using this treatment. The treatment can be repeated as often as nessessary.

Cleaning Silver

Cleaning Silver

To clean silver or silver plate quickly & easily – Fill a large glass or plastic bowl with very hot water from the tap add 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup water softener (downy) line bowl with aluminum foil swish—–add article—-clean in 10 -60 seconds. Wipe dry—–like magic

Chicken with Mushrooms and Chickpeas

In this recipe the Chickpeas are optional. It was adapted from a recipe by Paul Prudhomme.


  • Eight pieces boneless chicken (preferably thighs)
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 1/2 c.  chickpeas
  • One large onion
  • 5 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 1/2 c. cups chicken stock

Seasoning mix   ( This mix can be used as a standard Chicken spice)

  • 1 tbsp. dried sweet basil
  • 3/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  •   1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme

Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle all surfaces of the chicken with 2 tbsp. of the seasoning mix and rub it in well.  Place pieces of chicken in a  deep frying pan and cook until they are brown on all sides.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the smaller pieces of chicken to the pan.  Place them around the perimeter of the pan, leaving the center open.  Add the  onions and all the chickpeas to the center of the pan, letting them cook while you brown the smaller pieces of chicken on both sides.  When the small pieces are brown remove them and set them aside.

Return the heat to high and add 2 c. of the mushrooms and 1/2 c. stock, scrape the bottom clear and cook ten to twelve minutes.  Add the remaining seasoning mix, onions, stock, and mushrooms, the garlic and chicken and cook until the chicken is completely done approximately 20 minutes.

When the chicken is done thicken the juice in the pan to make a light gravy.

Is Chrome OS the best ?

I have always been a closet techie. I have taught myself computers since 1982. I’m not a programmer, but I’m pretty good and yes I’m a Windows guy, sort of.

I have never been a big fan of Microsoft. They have stumbled a lot over the years but the introduction of Windows 10 is especially troublesome. Seems as if Microsoft is more interested in collecting your personal information than actually selling software. Windows 10 propensity for doing so is now well documented. So I’ve stuck with Windows 7. I realize, however; that that is not a long term strategy.

So I have been looking at Linux. Like most computer enthusiasts I have played around with Linux on and off over the years. I’ll admit I am particularly fond of Linux Mint. My big problem with Linux is the command line. It has been my opinion for some time that until Linux stops relying on the command line it will never become a mainstream operating system. Note to Linux developers, the mouse won, get over it !

Then I realized that perhaps the solution I have been looking for has been under my nose all the time. A couple of years back I purchased a small Chromebook. Since I used Google Apps for my business it seemed a natural choice. It was inexpensive and yet very capable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not without faults. But the more I used it the more I came to appreciate the “low maintenance” nature of the Chrome OS. Let’s face it Windows is needy and heaven forbid you should have to re-install it. By comparison I have reset my Chromebook in a matter of minutes in a coffee shop.

Gone are the days when I actually enjoyed tinkering with my computer. I just want it to work, and to have it not spy on me. While Google is not immune from keeping tabs on its users there seems to be better tools to secure your privacy on a ChromeBook and you are less likely to get a virus or other types of malware.

Is Chrome OS the best? No such thing. Each individual computer user has different needs. But if you live in the cloud give a ChromeBook a look, you just may be the next convert.

Rib Rub

Since I sauce my ribs I don’t add any sweet ingredients to the rub.

2 Tbsp of Smoked Salt ( substitute Kosher salt)

4 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

2 Tbsp Onion Powder

1 Tbsp White Pepper

1 Tbsp Dry Mustard

1 Tbsp  Nutmeg ( or preferably one freshly ground Nutmeg bean)

Optional 1/2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper (or to taste)


This recipe will make two Lasagnas with leftover sauce. Since the sauce takes a long time to cook it is best to make it one or two days before and refrigerate ( warm before using). Please make the sauce in a non stick pot as tomato sauce has a tendency to burn.

Note: to make a rice lasagna, substitute 2 cups Italian style cooked rice for the lasagna noodles and mix with meat sauce before layering. This will make one rice lasagna.


2 packets Lasagna noodles ( preferably good quality Italian noodles)

4  28 oz cans San Marzano (or Italian style) Plum Tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

One well marbled medium size roast or any well marbled piece of beef (ground beef can be substituted or a mixture of ground beef and ground pork)  approx. 2 lbs (Note on meats. Which meats you use is a matter of taste. You can use anything that flavors the sauce to your liking. My favorite is a well marbled piece of beef. That said I have used all of the above, as well as whole sausages.)

2 large Onions chopped

2 cloves garlic chopped

12 Hard Boiled eggs sliced (6 per Lasagna)

2 balls Mozzarella grated

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

8 oz aged (approx) Provolone Cheese sliced

Salt & pepper to taste



Olive Oil


Brown the meat in olive oil. If using roast it must be cut up in pieces and browned in batches then removed from the pot.

Fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.

Add the meat back to the pot.


Add the tomatoes and break them up with a fork add tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. At this point add enough water to top up the pot. Cook over low- medium heat (the pot should bubble but not boil) for about approx. 5 hours ( stir once an hour or so) until the roast has separated into strands and the tomatoes have broken up.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions less one or two minutes. The noodles should be mostly cooked but slightly under-done. Drain the noodles and run them under cold water briefly to make them easier to handle.

In your lasagna pan start with a layer of noodles 4 or 5 per layer, add a layer of meat sauce then grated Parmigiano, mozzarella, provolone, and sliced egg. Repeat until the pan is full. Do not put eggs on the top layer.

Bake uncovered in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 45 mins to 1 hour.

Pizza Sauce

1 28 oz can San Marzano (or Italian style) Plum Tomatoes

1 large Onion
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
Add the tomatoes and break them up with a fork. Cook over low- medium heat for about 45 mins. Let cool.

At this point I like to blend the sauce in a food processor and refrigerate so that it goes on to the pizza cold but this step is not necessary.

Pizza Dough

3 cups Bread Flour & 1 Cup Cake & Pastry Flour ( for thinner crust reduce cake & pastry flour to 1/2 cup)

2 tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Level tsp yeast
Pinch of sugar

First thing in the morning  proof the yeast in about 1 1/2 cups warm water. Add the pinch of sugar. When the water bubbles and froths’ stir it.

In a food processor add flour, salt and blend dry. Add the oil . Then with the food processor on the dough setting slowly add the yeast mixture. When fully incorporated, turn the dough on to a floured surface and vigorously knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough is slightly sticky and springs back.

Place the dough in a large oiled bowl (make sure all side of the dough are oiled) and let rise all day. ( if doing the night before place finished dough in a large oiled plastic bag and refrigerate. Take out in the morning and separate into 4 dough balls and let rise all day in a warm drought free place. 

When ready to make pizza shape the dough balls into 9-10 inch rounds and top with your favorite toppings. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees and then broil to finish the top for 1-2 minutes watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.

September 2020 – Update

For a while now I have been making my pizza dough 4-5 days ahead. So if I want pizza for Friday night I make the dough Monday, I refrigerate it in bulk for a slow rise. Friday morning I separate into balls and let them rise and warm to room temperature until it’s time to assemble. 


The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs



There was an old man who lived by the side of the road and sold HOT DOGS.

He worked very hard, was happy in his work, and he made very good hot dogs. He had a big neon sign in front of his place telling how good his hot dogs were. He greeted each customer cheerfully and served them quickly, carefully, and with a smile.

He thanked each one for coming.

And the customers came and brought their friends, and they bought his hotdogs.

The old man increased his wiener and bun orders. He bought a bigger coffee maker and ordered a bigger stove to take care of his growing trade. He was so busy that he could no longer keep his own books, so he hired an accounting service.

And then something happened.

The young CPA was appalled, He said “haven’t you been listening to the radio? Haven’t you been reading the newspaper or the business magazines? The situation overseas is terrible. The Domestic situation is worse. Inflation rages out of control, there is violence in our cities, there is no confidence in the federal government and the war overseas goes poorly. We poise on the brink of a financial crisis. This is no time to expand!”

The old man thought,” Well, this fellow has been to college, he reads the newspaper, he listens to the radio, he talks to other business people and he ought to know.”

So he cut down on his wiener and bun orders,  cancelled the order on his new stove started closing two hours earlier, turned his thermostat down to save on fuel and turned off his neon sign to save energy.

And his hot dog sales fell, ALMOST OVERNIGHT.  By the end of the month his business was off 30%

“You’re right, young fellow,” the old man said to his young CPA, the country is on the brink of economic disaster.