26 June 2013

Nicola “Pop” Buono 1910—2013 ~ Old-School Seattle Real Estate Investor and World-Class Eater

My grandfather Nicola Buono, who recently passed away at nearly 103 years of age, taught me many things in life.  As my professor in the School of Good Times, he taught me a lot about food, drink and laughter.  He also taught me, at the risk of sounding a bit too fancy, the advantages of long-hold real estate investment.  Through his life he accumulated many rental properties, mostly on Capitol Hill.  After decades of ownership and appreciation, you can imagine the benefits he gained from his holdings.  Two of his last properties on 18th Avenue East just sold on hallowed Seattle real estate, and if you check out the other side, you’ll see what wise investing can do for you.  My favorite lessons centered around the simple pleasures in life.  Here are some of Pop’s tidbits for you!

Cucina Povera.  Orecchietti (Casa Fiore #58—March, ’11).  Aglio olio (Casa Fiore #29—April—May, ‘07).  Raw ciccoria—aka as dandelion greens. Capuzelle (you don’t want to know what that is.) Squid eyes for breakfast. These are all dishes that help formed my ethic both in and out of the kitchen.  The Cucina Povera of Southern Italy, or literally “Poor Kitchen”, is frugal cuisine, and it’s very much in vogue.  In honor of Pop, I am reposting the above recipes on CasaFioreOnline.com—see below.
Know Your Fig Trees.  Long before the foodie locavore craze of today, Pop knew of every single fig tree (and many other edibles) all around Seattle.  Very conveniently, he also personally “knew” every owner of said trees and other found fruits and vegetables.  I very painfully had this lesson reinforced when a luscious stand of overwintered chard mysteriously disappeared from my garden one day while I was at work.
How to Shuck an Oyster.  Christmas Eve morning was and still is the party before the party, and Pop could mutilate an oyster better than any average chef.  And, boy, did he show me the finer points on how to suck ‘em down when no one else was looking. 
Cent’Erba.  There are many stories that center around this Italian elixir of literally “100 herbs”.  100 herbs for 100+ years—I guess that was an adage to live by! 
RECIPE:  Lupini.   These odd legumes were home-cured by Pop and were always a hit at the table.  Great with beer and other munchies.  Like peanuts at the ballgame (Pop was a great baseball fan, and as the mascot for the Seattle Rainiers, he once met Babe Ruth!), lupini are equally food and pastime.  Here is a simple recipe—be sure to always pop them out of their rubbery shell before eating!  Just use dried beans and soak them in lightly salted water for 2-3 weeks. Try to change the water every day. Try the beans occasionally. If they are not done they will be very bitter out of the shell. Sometimes a scum will appear but just ignore it and change the water. When done, drain and rinse and store indefinitely in a jar of water in the refrigerator.
Orecchiette con Cim’ d’Rabb

  1. Gather, clean, and coarsely chop any variety of greens available in your garden. If purchasing greens, you can stick to the traditional recipe and use 1. 5 lbs. of broccoli rapa.
  2. Meanwhile, boil 1 lb. orecchiette pasta or any other noodle until “al dente”.
  3. Sauté 6 tbsp. olive oil and 6 cloves of minced garlic over  low heat until translucent but not brown. (Adding a few fillets of anchovy is a nice option at this stage!)
  4. Add fresh greens, salt, and pepper to garlic sauté. Cook until just tender. Drain pasta, add to greens, add a few drops of pasta water reserved from the pot, and sauté for a few minutes to meld ingredients. Serve with grated romano cheese.
Aglio Olio
  1. Boil water for 1 lb. of dry pasta, which is preferred over its fresh counterpoint for this dish. Mince lots of garlic—6-8 large cloves at least. Sauté over lowest heat in a pan generously coated in olive oil (1/3 cup) until translucent.
  2. Pat oil from 1 tin of anchovies, chop coarsely, and add to garlic. Sauté until anchovies melt. Throw pasta into boiling water. Throw a large handful of chopped parsley into garlic-anchovy-oil sauce.
  3. Drain pasta when al dente (or literally, “at the teeth”, firm and not soft and soggy), reserving a couple of tbsp. of the water. Then mix pasta, sauce, and water together and, if you like, season with spoonfuls of pecorino romano cheese.

Live a Charmed Life in Sunset Hill

7740 33rd Avenue NW
Charming brick Tudor on classic Sunset Hill avenue lined with cherry blossoms! This one's a life-style choice: serene setting, enchanting, mature  gardens to enjoy, endearing dayrooms, sunny & bright kitchen, original millwork, and the scent of The Sound just outside your window. 2nd story offers several options right now and is an excellent candidate for future expansion. Just a block away is Sunset Park, perfect for gorgeous sundowns overlooking Shilshole, Puget Sound, & The Olympics. This one will charm your socks off!

Love the 15th East Lifestyle! Introducing 335B 16th Avenue East.

Excellent value right where you want to be! Fantastic condo alternative - where else on The Hill can you get this much home in this location with a private garage and NO DUES?! Enjoy the 15th East lifestyle right at your doorstep:  stellar cafes, eateries and shops and easy access to Pike/Pine, Broadway, and Volunteer Park. Deluxe, 480 ft² top floor master suite with 5-piece bathroom, soaking tub, 2nd fireplace, and walk-in closet. High ceilings, gorgeous cherry floors, natural stone and ceramic tile throughout, crown molding, stainless steel appliances!

05 June 2013

Put Your Roots Down on The Hill!

1229 18th Avenue East
Open Houses:  
Thursday, June 6th, 11-1 
Sunday, June 9th, 1-3
Darling two-story on classic street!  Details aplenty:  large dining room with box beam ceilings and pocket doors, sweet curb appeal, 3-beds up, leaded glass, high ceilings, circular floor plan, and welcoming front porch and entry.  Rare, big, and brand new 2-car garage, newer roof, and roomy lot.  Just steps from favorite Capitol Hill environs:  19th and 15th eateries, Volunteer Park, and Interlaken Blvd.  Enjoy right away, dream big for tomorrow!

Have you heard the news?  The market has improved dramatically!  When the time comes to sell or buy your home, please let me know how I can help!