At The Ta­ble With Thomas Celona

The Phoenix - - COMMUNITY - Bette Ban­jack The Ta­ble Let Bette hear from you: ban­jack303@ver­i­ Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cook­ing with Bette Ban­jack,” as well phoenixvil­ (search bar: Ban­jack) for this col­umn. Find Bette on Face­book by search­ing “Bette Ban­jack’s D

The in­ter­net world has grown to have a ma­jor im­pact on to­day’s work force. But at times, it keeps us from in­ter­act­ing on a faceto-face ba­sis.

Af­ter work­ing to­gether for over a year, Thomas Celona and I fi­nally got to meet in per­son.

Thomas is my li­ai­son to The Phoenix, Re­porter & Item and the ed­i­tor of the pa­per. Each week, I sub­mit my col­umn to him.

He is the re­gional ed­i­tor for 19 weekly news­pa­pers in the Philadel­phia area for Dig­i­tal First Me­dia. Most of the news­pa­pers in our area are un­der the um­brella of Dig­i­tal First Me­dia.

We talked about how most of the news­pa­pers no longer have a phys­i­cal lo­ca­tion to work out of. Most of the work is done from home base. He does go into the of­fice sev­eral times a week.

We spoke about how the printed news­pa­per in­dus­try has dwin­dled. We both felt that an ac­tu­ally news­pa­per to hold in the hand is still im­por­tant to many read­ers. Many daily pa­pers are now weekly. It the ad­ver­tis­ing in these pa­pers that keeps them afloat fi­nan­cially.

Phoenixville had a news­pa­per back as far as 1871 — The Mes­sen­ger. Sev­eral pa­pers later in 1888, a pub­li­ca­tion be­came known as The Daily Re­pub­li­can. There are still some of us around that re­call when the pa­per was The Daily Re­pub­li­can. It was in 1975 the name changed to The Evening Phoenix. In 199,2 the pa­per be­came known as The Phoenix. To­day, the ac­tual ti­tle is The Phoenix, Re­porter & Item.

Thir­teen years ago, Thomas came to the area from Rollins­fored, N.H., to at­tend Vil­lanova Univer­sity. He grad­u­ated with an English ma­jor.

As he felt com­fort­able in the area, he stayed, first liv­ing in Con­shohocken, now liv­ing in the East Falls neigh­bor­hood of Philadel­phia near the Schuylkill River.

As a run­ner, Thomas uses Kelly Drive as a run­ning path. This year was the first year he ran and fin­ished the Broad Street Run. His time may have not been the win­ner, but he is happy that he fin­ished. Thomas likes to play ten­nis and has taught the game.

He and his cir­cle of friends like to step out evenings and week­ends to fun spots. The Philadel­phia area has so much to of­fer, there is al­ways plenty to do. He also likes to go to Phoenixville to check out the food and brew­eries.

He has a younger sis­ter, Kasey, along with his par­ents Mary­beth and Steve Celona.

Thomas likes to cook healthy for him­self. Usu­ally on Sun­days, he preps meals for the week. He leans to­ward Ital­ian and Mediter­ranean fa­vorites.


6 bone­less-skin­less chicken thighs

½ tsp. pa­prika

¾ tsp. rose­mary

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pep­per

2 tsp. olive oil – di­vided ½ yel­low onion – chopped 1 cup broc­coli – chopped 1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken broth 1 cup spinach leaves Sea­son chicken thighs with the rose­mary, pa­prika, salt and black pep­per. Heat one tea­spoon of olive oil in a skil­let. Add chicken and cook for about two min­utes on each side. Trans­fer chicken to a plate.

Heat re­main­ing one tea­spoon olive oil in skil­let. Add onion and broc­coli, and cook un­til ten­der. Add both the chicken broth and quinoa to the skil­let. Bring to a boil. Let sim­mer for 15 min­utes. Add chicken back into skil­let, and cover. Cook for ad­di­tional 15 min­utes, un­til chicken is cooked through. Add spinach, and keep on stove un­til the spinach wilted.


Thomas Celona

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