Most of today was reflecting on the past 10 years on a national and personal level. I can’t stop watching the stories of every day heroes just doing their jobs, knowing the odds were stacked against them. I can’t stop thinking about the many spouses and children who kissed their loved ones goodbye that morning. Or the last phone calls from an airplane that would be going down within the hour. Or the story about the Tunnel to Towers run that retraces the steps of firefighter Stephen Siller. Stories like this give me hope, make me sad, make me think, and most of all, remind me of how blessed I am.
On September 11th, firefighter Stephen Siller had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn. He was on his way to play golf with his brothers on that bright clear day when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. When he heard the news, he called his wife Sally to tell her he would be late because he had to help those in need. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear, then took his final heroic steps to the World Trade Center. When Stephen drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it was already closed to traffic . With sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back, he ran through the Tunnel, hoping to meet up with his own company, Squad 1.
When the day was winding closed, I had a nagging headache and didn’t feel like making anything elaborate. I wanted comfort food. Something to warm me up inside. Something familiar and even good for me.
Let us never forget.
- 3 bacon strips, diced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup half-and-half or 1.5 cups of milk
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
- 1 cup Shredded Cheddar cheese
- Minced fresh parsley
- In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender.
- Stir in flour, salt and pepper; mix well. Let cook about 2 minutes to get rid of raw flour taste. Stir to keep from sticking. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil;
- Add the potatoes, lower the heat to med/low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Turn heat to low when done.
- Add half/half or milk, hot pepper sauce, cheese, and crushed bacon bits; heat through, but DO NOT BOIL.
- Garnish with cheese and parsley.
- To reheat, set pot on stove and start with a low heat, increasing to med-low over 10-15 minutes. Never let it get above a very slow simmer.