Q: I am a longtime CVS customer (I lived most of my past life in Rhode Island and Massachusetts before moving to Naples nine years ago). So, I have been watching the progress of the new CVS at Davis and Santa Barbara, which is near to my home. I recently e-mailed CVS as to when the opening would be, and the answer was January 2011! Figuring that was a typo, I wrote back, but they assured me that, although the building appears to be nearly complete, the 2011 date was not a typo! What's up with this?
— Richard Furgal, Naples
Future home of CVS in East Naples
A: CVS plans to open that new pharmacy on the southwest corner of Davis and Santa Barbara boulevards in 2010, not 2011, said CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis.
"We're really waiting for the access from Santa Barbara to be cleared. That currently doesn't exist," DeAngelis said.
Once access to the store is clear, which is expected to be about the middle of next year, CVS will open the store, he said.
"We have taken possession of the building and we are paying rent on it, so we're anxious to have that taken care of so we can open," DeAngelis said.
Q: What’s the status of the Children’s Museum of Naples being constructed at the North Collier Regional Park? Construction was at a fever pitch, but lately it has slowed to a crawl. Is there a projected date for a grand opening?
— Len, Naples
A: Construction of The Children's Museum of Naples was delayed only temporarily until additional building materials arrived, according to Executive Director Joe Cox.
"We were waiting for the roofing to come in," Cox said. "If you drive past now, you'll see the roof going up. Things are picking up again. We are on track for a fall 2010 opening."
Although the 30,000-square-foot museum is being constructed in the North Collier Regional Park off Livingston Road in North Naples, it is a private, not-for-profit cultural institution that is leasing this space on the park grounds. See the museum's progress from its groundbreaking earlier this year through construction this spring and summer in a slide show on the museum's Web site, www.cmon.org.
Additional information is available on the Web site, or call the office of The Children's Museum of Naples at 514-0084.
Q: Do you have any idea where in Naples we can buy Pineapple Pie? We've looked in the different grocery stores and Walmart, etc., but can't find one anywhere. Thanks.
— Sharon K., Naples
A: After I put the word out, a few readers wrote in with interesting information or recipes for pineapple pie. Although the initial quest was for a local place to purchase this unique dessert, I am hoping that sharing the responses I have received so far will help in some way.
"Your inquirer must be from Connecticut or thereabouts," Jenine from Naples writes. "Yes, pineapple pies made with canned crushed pineapple and lattice crusts could be purchased in mom/pop bakeries, and commercial bakeries also offered mini-hand pies packed in individual boxes. Locally, Costco's decadent Fruit Danish combo now includes a pineapple filling."
While I readily admit I had not heard of a pineapple pie until this question came in, the treat brings back boyhood memories for William Zeleny of North Naples.
"My mother used to make a delicious pineapple pie. It was basically a lemon meringue pie with canned crushed pineapple added to the filling," Mr. Zeleny writes. "In those days, crushed pineapple only came in heavy syrup, so it was necessary to reduce the amount of sugar that would otherwise have been added to the filling. Now that crushed pineapple comes in unsweetened juice, this reduction in sugar may no longer be necessary."
The most extensive response I received about these special pies came from Naples resident June Gates, who shared with me her sweet recipe for Canned Crushed Pineapple Pie.
"In 1971, I used this recipe for a high school senior boys vocational class," Ms. Gates writes. "The boy in the class who was assigned this pie went home and baked it for his mother, who shared it with a neighbor, who hired him to bake several for a dinner party she was having. When he graduated, he was hired as an assistant chef in a large hotel restaurant chain."
I usually count on Doris Reynolds for this kind of thing, but here is June's special recipe:
CANNED CRUSHED PINEAPPLE PIE
1. Soak 3 T. of Minute Tapioca in 1/4 cup of water for 5 minutes in a 2-quart saucepan. (The acid in the pineapple juice retards hydration of the tapioca).
2. Drain the juice from a No. 2-1/2 size can (2-1/2 to 3 cups) of crushed pineapple in a strainer.
3. Add to the water-tapioca mixture: 1/3 cup of the juice drained from the pineapple; and 1/8 tsp. salt.
4. Heat the tapioca mixture, with constant stirring, until mixture boils.
5. Stir in 1/3 cup sugar and the drained crushed pineapple (Splenda may replace sugar).
6. Pour mixture into unbaked 9-inch pie shell and top with vented unbaked crust. Crimp edges together.
7. A 2-inch-wide strip of aluminum foil around the top edge of the crust will prevent over-browning.
8. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes until crust is lightly browned and filling starts to bubble through the vent holes.