The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on February 6, 1974 · 14
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 14

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 6, 1974
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LIVING 14 GEORGE FRAZIER r . - - t . V Sackcloth and ashes There have been persons and periods in American history so unbelievedly drab and tasteless that we try to pass off any mention of them with either a nervous little titter or two choruses of the Old Soft Shoe. But what the hell else can you do when somebody of a nasty turn of mind brings up the name of Millard Fillmore? Personally, my interest in Millard Fillmore is purely sexual, and if nobody minds, I'd just as lief leave it at that. But the trouble is that there were also persons named Chester A. Arthur, James K. Polk, James Buchanan and John Tyler, who I'm reliably informed were US Presidents. I've also heard that there was a Martin Van Buren, but that is going to require further checking. Now, the point I'm trying to make is that during the term of these men their champions must have tried to silence their detractors by invoking the sanctity of the President. The fact that Arthur, Polk, Buchanan, Tyler, Fillmore and Van Buren were stumble-bums was regarded as irrelevant, the idea being that the Presidency is the Presidency is the Presidency. Happily, in the years since then we have become more sophisticated. Nick Dixon has made it clear that a mockery of a President can drag the Presidency of the United States down to the level of the Presidency of the American Baseball League during the term of a preposterous public charge, an insufferable windbag, named Cronin. In the proper hands, the Presidency of the United States is an office of such awesome affects and effects that it sets the style for a whole nation. Thus, those black professional football players with Roosevelt for a first name Roosevelt Grier, Roosevelt Taylor, Roosevelt Brown reflected the American Negro's sense of gratitude to Franklin Roosevelt. This is the sort of heartfelt tribute that is without guile. But a black cornerback named Nixon Something-or-other? But of course you're joshing. Nixon Grier? Nixon Brown? Nixon Taylor? That'll be one hell of a long day's journey into night. As for Sammy Davis? Tell the truth now does anybody take waiflike little Sammy Davis seriously any more? But no matter, for we're talking about human beings not about Sammy Davis or Sinatra, mummers like that, though, in fairness, it should be acknowledged that both Davis and Sinatra had a little thing called talent going for them before they became involved with public disgraces like Nixon and Agnew. The ircny of these years is that he who is so insensitive to the true nature of Watergate was, in one way or another, its architect, if not deliberately then out of sheer incompetence. What Nixon doesn't yet realize is that his actions have served to lend cachet to the authentically fourth rate. By what right other than the President's singular lack of taste did dreadful little men named Colson and Haldeman and Ehrlichman rise to such power that they flouted common decency and pried into the lives of private citizens? Who in full possession of his faculties is going to take Julie Eisenhower sericusly? Would her husband have been hired as a sports columnist on a large metropolitan paper were his father-in-law not President? There isn't one among us who isn't, in some fashion, tainted by the odd and self-serving visions of Richard Nixon. The very idea of humanoids named Rebozo and Colson and Abplanalp being treated as important offends one's sensibilities. And as if this were not enough, The New York Times, in what can only be construed as an effort to appease Nixon, hired one William Safire as a columnist. What's so reprehensible here is not that Safire used to be an apologist for organized crime's gambling interests, but that his prose style has, in a matter of months, set back the chime and cadences of the King James Version a couple of hundred years. An Administration as unconscionable and as lacking in a sense of style as the present cne causes its subjects to adopt a sackcloth and ashes mentality. In the end, it wears out its critics and, sconer or later, the pure blue flame of the prose that calls it to account begins to flicker. Even the blessed Miss McGrory seems beset by misgivings. The whole damn business is so frustrating. What in God's name do you do when you're expected to carry on an intelligent conversation with a baby-fat incompetent named Ro Ziegler? I kow of no decent person who has a kind word cn the account of Richard Nixon. Months ago, when I wrote that I wanted no part cf any supporter of the Administration, there were expressions of shock in certain quarters. Sorry about that, but the fact is that I despise Nixon's apologists more than I despise him. My god, the Lawrence Welk People. 'Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman' -- rerie-.c hy Herbert A. Kenny, Page 17. THE BUDGET GOURMET SAUSAGE WITH CABBAGE AND APPLES (Approximately 55 cents a serving) 2 pounds sausage meat, made into 12 patties 'i cup cider vinegar 1 medium onion, minced 4 tablespoons brown sugar 1 large cabbage, shredded 6 apples, peeled, thinly sliced Salt pepper freshly grated nutmeg In large casserole, cook sausage on both sides until slightly brown. Remove and reserve. Reserve Vi cup fat. Add apples, cabbage, onion to fat and cook briefly; pour off and reserve. In casserole, arrange alternate layers of cabbage and apples; season each layer with sprinkling of salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Arrange sausage patties on top. Pour hot brown sugar-vinegar sauce over all Bake, covered, at 375 for 45 minutes. Serves six. - -'- , s,- ,V - AUTHOR PETER MAAS hat appeals to nie is that lie said, AXo, I'm not going to go a-long, I'm going to try and do something' .' . ' - - V ' 4 1I I II .-."'"...t-sVaBM "i- -"' 3 - sis ' ' . . - - t i I innraTi ii r in i r mi run it 71 AI Pacino in title role of "Scrpico" and New York detective Frank Serpico himself. Frank Serpico: A Mr. Clean in exile By Bruce McCabe Globe Staff Frank Serpico is a former New York City police detective whose exposure of corruption in the force led to the creation of the Knapp Commission in 1971, an ambitious effort to cleanse the largest police department in the United States. Subsequent to the investigation, Serpico was shot in the head in a drug raid, an episode many policemen feel he was "set up" for. He survived the shooting, resigned from the force and went to live in Switzerland, off, among other things, the money from the highly successful paperback and movie that bear his name. (The film, starring Al Pacino, opens today at the Cheri and Pi Alley Theaters.) Serpico was a brooding, intense loner who shared his Greenwich Village apartment with several women, wore an earring and loved the opera and ballet. He was also a crack shot, a karate expert and a superior undercover nark. Very few people could get a handle on him. One who feels he came close is Peter Maas, 44, an investigative reporter and magazine writer who wrote the book, "Serpico," and who was in town the other day to promote it. "Serpico was a first generation Italian-American with no contacts," Maas said, puffing away on a cigar in his suite at the Ritz. "He's what the country is supposed to be about." Maas says the fact that Serpico was a cop is "incidental" to him. "It adds drama to the story, the fact that his life was in danger and so forth, but what appeals to me is that he said, 'No, I'm not going to go along, I'm going to try and do something.' " According to the book and the film, Serpico witnessed wholesale payoffs to fellow officers to overlook illegal gambling operations and large scale sales of heroin and other dangerous drugs. After efforts to be transferred from the command where he saw the payoffs taking place, he brought his information to the attention of superior officers who did nothing about it. Serpico told of what he had seen to a friend, a young detective, Sgt. David Durk. Together, they took Serpico's story to one of Durk's "connections" in City ft If lit r ,iu.t - ? Hvte iswfr- I Fussy strike gold at specialty shops By Otile McManus Globe Staff Nate Kaplan, who's worked at Mal-ben's, the Massachusetts avenue specialty store, for the last 12 years, is the kind of man who collects and loves to tell favorite stones. He took particular delight last week recounting a tale of two jars of truffles, with price tags of $70 each. As Nate tells it, Glen Gordon, Malben's owner, offered a $5 commission to the man who could sell them. Nate had no trouble unloading the precious merchandise. "I sold one jar to a woman in Brook-line. She took it home and put it in the refrigerator. Her maid took one look at it. thought it had gone bad and threw it out. One maid was out of one job," Kaplan said. The majority of people in this world would probably take one look at a truffle and go and do likewise. The fungus, considered by many arbiters of the palate to be the most delicate of delicacies, looks like a black golf ball. Specialty stores, like Malben's, always have them stocked. Even more amazing in this the age of spiraling food prices and diminishing food dollar value, a certain kind of consumer continues to buy them. Harold Brown, the manager of Car-dullo's in Harvard Square, explained that he has an assortment of truffles ranging in price up to $139 for one eight-ounce jar. "I keep this one to show people what they look like," he said holding the jar as if it were a slab of liverwurst. "But customers buy them regularly." In Bloomingdale's gourmet area $120 worth of truffles (that's seven ounces) sits openly on a shelf amidst tins of pate, terrines of foie gras and jars of lumpfish and salmon roe caviar. "Price is not an object here," explains John Sultan, the 27-year-old manager of Bloomingdale's Chestnut Hill food department. "Price is a secondary consideration for our customers." Glen Gordon, who bought Malben's five years ago, agreed with some reservation: "Price is immaterial. Of course, there are people, even wealthy people, who are cost conscious. They'll ask you how much things cost before they buy them. But they'll buy them." People are buying and buying regularly and in quantity at gourmet and specialty food stores in and around the city. Yes. there are two categories. A gourmet food shop is a place that sells specialty items only. Bloomingdale's, the Cheese Shop in Belmont, Malben's or Cardullo's could be included in this category. A specialty food shop is a place that carries a gourmet line but doesn't turn up it's nose at frozen food, soap suds, peanut butter or marshmallow fluff. DeLuca's on Charles street, Sage's in Cambridge, Belmont, Charles River Hall, a mayoral assistant. They then went to the city's commissioner of investigations. Nothing happened. Finally, they went to the New York Times, which published a series of articles based partly on the information. Mayor Lindsay responded, eventually appointing the Knapp Commission to investigate police corruption. Serpico was later shot in the drug raid, resigned with a disability pension and left the country for Switzerland. "He travels, he still wears dungarees and there are still girls after him." Maas says, adding he saw Serpico over the Christmas holidays when ne came back to New York for X-rays and to see his parents. "He could have done 40 TV shows, but he didn't want to do any. He doesn't like New York right now. He's trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life." One of the problems Serpico had to come to grips with, Maas says, is that, after he was shot, "he became what is called a 'hot item.' " Up to that time he was just a young man with enormous idealism, a profound 0 l rri r mj?L & Nate Kaplan of Malben's with foie gras, $35, and caviar, $85. (Ellis Herwig Photos) Plaza or the Sage-owned Newton Centre Market could be included in this category. The stores used to sell to what was known as the "carriage trade," a euphemistic phrase which covered the monied, the educated and the ancestored. The carriage trade knew from Evian spring water, Droste chocolate, Wilkinson jams and jellies Pommery mustard and Twin-ning's tea. Each of the stores undoubtedly still have customers who drive up in chauffer-driven limousines and drop $50 for a tin of fresh Iranian Beluga Malossal caviar. The rich and the famous are regular customers as well. Arthur Fiedler bought a Smithfield ham at Bloomingdale's recently, Mrs. Ron Lonburg filled her shopping bar; at Malben's Massachusetts avenue store last Thursday, Mrs. Derek Bok has things sent regularly from Sages and store managers report to have seen a ubiquitous Julia Child on their premises. SPECIALTY SHOPS, Pa ?e 17 sense of ethical values instilled in him by hard-working parents who, Maas says, 'fought and sweated and made a place for themselves and taught this kid what America stands for." What Serpico was up against is detailed to stunning effect in both book and film. Maas says that the first thing he encountered after signing with Serpico to do the book was a rumor that Serpico had been on the take himself and had informed on others to get himself off the spot. Maas spent weeks checking it out until he was satisfied that the young 11-year veteran of the force had not taken a dime. A recurring question since the popularity of the book and the film is how atypical a policeman Serpico was. Is an honest cop so rare that his story is worth $400,000 to the movies? . ' The question is posed in a recent article in the Times in which Sgt. Durk, who no longer sees Serpico, speaks critically of the film's representation and says: "Sure, there were cops who hated Frank for what we did but there were others who cheered." - Maas smiles at the quote. "Where were they?" he says. NUTRITIONJEAN MAYER On judging meat cuts Q. You say a dieter should learn to judge the amount of protein and fat in a cooked serving of meat. I know about steaks and chops, but what about some of the less expensive cuts? A. In some cases, there's not too much difference in yield between the expensive and the cheaper cuts. Oven roasts, for example, purchased with the bone in, provide between six and nine ounces of lean meat per pound, while a chuck roast or pork roast provide from six to eight ounces. Between porterhouse and round steak there is a considerable difference, however. A porterhouse yields about six ounces of cooked lean per pound of raw meat, while round steak provides anywhere from nine to twelve, ounces per pound. Fish is not only an excellent source of protein, low in fat and, in particular, in saturated fatty acids, but fish is also an excellent buy from an economic point of view. For example, fresh fish fillets which may cost as little as $1.20 a pound (and frozen fillets are generally available for substantially less) yield about ten ounces of cooked fish per pound. At that price, a lour-ounce cooked serving costs only about 48 cents. l. i nave always Deen puzziea Dy ttie term "water added" on some hams. Can you explain wthat that means? A. The technolocrv of bam nrnduct.ion has come a long way since herds of pigs roamed the forests of France, and the Gauls first began curing hams. In those days, they salted the meat, then let it smoke over selected woods for two davs and finally hung it to dry and preserve. Although long-cured and aged hams are available in this country, in general ' the curing process is much faster and produces a milder flavored product. Cur-ing still involves the use of salt for flavoring and preserving. Sodium or potas- ; sium nitrate or nitrite, which combine with the meat pigments, produce the typical red color of cured meat. And sugar is added for flavor. These ingredients, and sometimes others, are usually disbursed ; by pumping brine into the arteries. If this curing process results in a weight increase of up to 10 percent, Federally inspected meat plants must label the ham "water added." And if the increase in i weight is greater than 10 percent, the product must be labeled "imitation." Dr. Jean Mayer is professor of nutri- lion in the Harvard School of Public Health. He was chairman of the White House Conference on Food Nutrition and i Health. r

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