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Diggin' It!   
ISSUE #6                                                                             FALL 2009
In This Issue
Bennett Participates in GCBX Project
Recipe Corner
Change is difficult, but often essential to survival.
Employee Anniversaries
James Hunter
6 years
Jake Lough
5 years
Serafin Ramos
 5 years
Bennett Contracting will be closed over the Christmas and New Year's holiday period starting on Thursday, December 24th and returning to work on Monday, January 4th, 2010.
Fall is here and even though we don't enjoy the colorful changes of leaves that our friends up North do, most everyone here is looking forward to cooler days and evenings after a long, hot summer. We're moving along at a pretty good clip here at Bennett Contracting right now. We hope that you, too, are finding the "bright spots" in what can otherwise be described as a very interesting year.
Clearing Camp Xrayd
Bennett Contracting spent a Saturday in August clearing out palmetto scrub in South Sarasota County to facilitate the construction of a new obstacle course for the CAMP X-RAYD program (EXamining the Realities About Your Decisions). The program is a component of the Teen Court program, which was created in 1988 to reduce juvenile crime through an effective alternative to the traditional court sytem -- a trial by student volunteers that are set up exactly like a court system.
 Obstacle Course
CAMP X-RAYD guides the first time offenders through physical training (including the obstacle course) and an intense "reality tour" including visits to the morgue, jail and emergency room. Substance abuse classes and monitoring of graduates is also an important part of the program.

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Police Athletic League Program Director John Cox worked closely with members of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange and the community project was completed in a matter of weeks, with funding, manpower and materials all donated by GCBX members. GCBX Executive Director Mary Dougherty-Slapp and current GCBX President Jeff Charlotte coordinated the project.
JOB UPDATE: Where We're Diggin' Now!
Atwater Sidewalk project
Just before the start of the 2009-2010 school year Bennett Contracting was awarded the Atwater Sidewalks Project by Jon F. Swift Construction. The 6-mile sidewalk project began in mid-August with a "Priority 1" goal to complete a number of connecting walkways for school children to use to get to the new Atwater Elementary School. Priority 1 was completed with a little time to spare before class was in session Aug. 24th.
A new Mobil gas station at the intersection of Portal Crossing and SR 64 is being constructed by J E Charlotte Construction and our team is handling the site work for the Lakewood Ranch project. And we are now working on the third Phase of construction for The Out of Door Academy for the school's athletic fields for Willis A. Smith Construction. In addition, we just finished a lift station installation in Palmetto for the West Coast Tomato Group.
JASON'S MADE FROM SCRATCH SPAGHETTI SAUCE (with Meatballs & Italian Sausage)
Some of you know that Jason's Mom, Cheryl, is from a big Italian family. Growing up Jason loved her homemade spaghetti sauce-- made from scratch for a big, Italian family dinner every Sunday night. Jason took his Mom's recipe years ago and made it his own and it's the only sauce we eat in our house. He doesn't work from a recipe so I had to follow him around the kitchen last Sunday to write down everything he did. The great thing about a recipe like this is that you can modify it to suit your tastes... so have fun and start your own "Italian Family Dinner" tradition. Sauce can be served over spaghetti, ravoli, used in lasagna, whatever you like! Made from scratch sauce takes awhile, so plan for about an hour of prep time, but the result is well worth the time and effort and you'll have a lot left over! I mean a lot! And don't forget the garlic bread!
2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes (we like Cento)
salt and pepper to taste
3 bay leaves
dried basil, oregano, thyme, italian seasoning (to taste)
1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
3 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 package of Italian sausage (approx. 5 - 6 sausages)
1 pound lean ground beef*
3/4 pound ground turkey meat*
approx. 3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs 
2 eggs
2 small cans of tomato paste (Contadina brand is good)
1 cup nice red wine
Start by chopping the onion and mincing the garlic and set aside. Open the cans of peeled tomatoes. Blend each can individually in a blender and then place in stock pot. Add salt, pepper and dry spices.
Combine the ground beef and turkey (*You can use all ground beef instead, we just try to make it a little healthier!) with the Italian bread crumbs and eggs in a large bowl. Form 2 - 2 1/2" meatballs (should make approx. 10 - 12 meatballs) and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with EVOO and heat to medium high. Cook the onion and garlic in the oil and remove to the sauce pot. Using the same pan (add more EVOO if needed) brown and cut up the Italian sausage. When cooked about 3/4 of the way through, remove to sauce pot. After cooking the sausage, use the pan to brown the meatballs (again adding oil if needed). If you have time to let your sauce simmer (which we recommend) you can cook the meatballs for less time and let them cook in with the sauce. When the meatballs are browned remove to sauce pot.
In the same saute pan, cook the tomato paste on high heat continually moving the paste around the pan being sure it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. Add 1/2 cup of red wine and let it reduce into the tomato paste. The paste will thicken a bit and turn very dark red when it's done. Remove to sauce pot.
Stir all ingredients into sauce pot and add more dry spices and salt and pepper (if desired). Simmer on low heat for at least an hour for best results.

Serve over your favorite pasta... and Mangi!
Happy Halloween! Which, by the way, means Christmas lights are probably already on display at your favorite store. Yikes! Now THAT is scary!

Alisa Bennett