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Day 23 - St. Louis, Mo,

Oh boy! We're finally home! Good old St. Louis, Mo. in the U S of A! Ziggy was jumping up and down, and for the first time on the trip, so was I. The plane circled St. Louis and landed at Lambert Field. I told Ziggy on the flight in we were going to go down to the St. Louis Arch and hang out and talk about the trip.

We had a bunch of laughs but it was time to get home. As we driving home, I asked Ziggy what she felt like have for dinner and she said without Caponatina.

I said, you Ziggy, thats the ticket. Great idea! So we stopped off at a local bakery here and picked up some French bread. We went to another store and picked up the ingredients and headed home.

The beautiful lady to your right is Mary Zagarri. She was married to Chick Zagarri for over 65 years. He was called home to rest some 10 years ago and she was called home to rest last year. They were my neighbors for many years. She had made me Caponatina every year we were neighbors and that was good 26 years.

Each month for many years, she suffered from a rare blood disease to where she had to go in for transfusions. The excruciating pain unbearable, but, she always had a smile on her face.

Her son and daughter had called me to come sit with her for a little while so they could step out for something to eat. I was more than happy to sit, talk, and laugh with her. She didn't want to pass on in a hospital or a hospice house so she was tended to by a nurse at home. I got to speak to her for a good hour and comforted her the best I could.

I also thanked her for being my friend and told her I would miss her but hopefully, will see her again in the after life. She got up from her chair, went into the kitchen and gave me a little container of Caponatina. Here's her recipe.


To do the Caponata, first prepare the eggplant:

Take one eggplant, peeling is optional. Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch dice, salt well, put in a colander, and drain for a half hour or so.

Next, take a large heavy frying pan or saute pan, add:

1/4 cup olive oil, heat well and add:
small onion, chopped
medium stick of celery, no leaves, chopped

Saute until limp, remove. Add:

eggplant, saute until well greyed. Add:
the sauted onion and celery
1 pound canned tomatoes, drained and mashed
6-8 anchovies packed on olive oil, mashed
2 Tbl sugar, or to taste
1/4 cup good wine vinegar, red or white
3 or 4 Tbl capers

Simmer gently for about ten minutes, cool, and let mellow for at least a couple hours, and preferably overnight.

Buon appetito!

Well, the trip is over. Ziggy has taken her spot upstairs in the bed and I can hear her snoring all the way down here. So, I think I will go crash out on my couch for a little while too. Nighty night.

I hope you enjoyed our Wacky Story and had as much fun reading it as we did writing it. If we do anything like this again, you'll see it here. The End.... Or is it?