Jim Croce’s charm and intelligence could have landed him almost any job, but his heart was still in music. To make ends meet, he took a second job with a black-music radio station, WDDS. Jim began writing commercials and was soon promoted to selling airtime. But after the third threat on his life by a pool shark in Fu-Fu’s Bar, Jim left his sales ambitions in the ‘hood.
The last time Jim went to see Fu-Fu, he saw a billboard that had been all shot up and he learned that Fu-Fu had been laid to rest on the pool table in the back room of his bar.
Jim then went back to driving a truck with his good buddy Billy Reid in the country. Jim’s “character development” during these times later inspired him to write his standards, “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” He’d take sandwiches of Broccoli Rabe on crusty Italian bread to work with him – this was Jim’s all-time favorite lunch.
Broccoli Rabe with Olive Oil and Garlic
Be sure to use broccoli rabe that is bright green with small florets and tender stalks.
2 pounds cleaned broccoli rabe, washed and trimmed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1 cup water
1 Meyer lemon, sliced thin, for garnish
Separate the leaves and the flowers of the broccoli rabe and chop them into 3 inch pieces. In a 3-quart saucepan that will hold all of the broccoli rabe, sauté the olive oil and garlic over moderate heat for about 1 minute to flavor the oil. Add the broccoli rabe and toss with tongs to keep the greens from browning. Add the water, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and cook 1 minute longer. Garnish with the lemon slices and olive oil if desired.