Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mama Mia Rhthym & Lovin it Up Fluff

“What other words, we may almost ask, are memorable and worthy to be repeated than those which love has inspired? It is wonderful that they were ever uttered. They are few and rare indeed, but, like a strain of music, they are incessantly repeated and modulated by memory. All other words crumble off with the stucco which overlies the heart. We should not dare to repeat these now aloud. We are not competent to hear them at all times. ”
Henry David Thoreau
January 31st, 2012

Mother Mary Cleo celebrates her Birthday today although these last few years she seems to have grown ageless; her beauty lasting beyond that of any Oil of Olay supermodel.  My Mom is something of a delight in that her little quirks make her so extra special, so unique, so Lynene!

Memories of What makes my Mom a bit so Special:

  • 1.)    drinking Mountain Chablis on ice, mixed with Crystal Light & a splash of Diet Slice
  • 2.)    hiding little “Mommy loves you” cards in my Incredible Hulk lunchbox as a kid . . . it always put the biggest smile on my face as I quickly tucked it away before my playmates could see!
  • 3.)    a green thumb she does have as well as an infatuation . . no obsession with Hosta plants.
  • 4.)    Spaghetti with the addition of venison bologna = Good Meal
  • 5.)    Shake-n-Bake pork chops = Broken Teeth
  • 6.)    Addicted to running, this woman would rise at 5:30am and jog 5 miles every single day!
  • 7.)    The Wagner annual living room Easter egg hunt, she made that Holiday my favorite & when Easter landed on my April birthday – a bunny cake with frosted in vanilla Betty Crocker love, dusted with coconut, licorice whiskers & Cadbury egg for a nose.
  • 8.)    Her laugh . .somehow she’s able to inhale as her vocal cords replicate a donkey in heat
  • 9.)    Her whistle . . the two fingers in the mouth method and unquestionably the loudest whistle ever
  • 10.) Excursion Gag Me 1: Midwestern craft fairs with wood workings, dolls, country bumpkin décor
  • 11.) Excursion Gag Me 2: Payless Shoes, I would grow nauseous after 15 minutes and wait outside
  • 12.) Excursion Gag Me 3: Parade of Homes, endlessly driving around & admiring newly constructed housing developments . . . real exciting stuff for a kid!
  • 13.) Her tenderness to her parents and caring for them whence the downgrade started, my grandma passing to cancer and Alzheimer’s set upon my grandfather – I loved them so very much.
  • 14.) Creamy spinach-water chestnut dip nestled into a rye bread basket
  • 15.) Family uker tournaments, the siblings bickering back & forth; Mom & I were always undefeated
  • 16.) Madison Farmers Market trips – this truly was the inspiration behind my deeply rooted passion for gardening, herbs, fresh produce, artisan meats & cheeses . . . a gift which led me to becoming a successful  chef who a devotion to local, sustainable & organic
  • 17.) Our family garden – sweet corn, sugarsnap peas, damn melon never beat the winter . . this too brought forth my inner chefdom as one who intimately knew the aroma of each ingredient
  • 18.) Cheese of every imaginable kind, her taste buds have finally extended beyond part-skim swiss
  • 19.) Bathroom therapy . . . every morning I got called in while she performed the laborious application of cosmetics.  I had a momma who prompted communication through & through
  • 20.) Apparently she was the Queen of Backgammon - does that game even exist anymore?
  • 21.) A firm diet of: a blended frozen berries-yogurt-fiber concoction for breakfast, popcorn sprinkled with powdered cheddar cheese & grapes for lunch, weight watchers/jenny craig like pre-packaged meals for dinner . . . Love you Mom, but a Julia Child’s you are not.
  • 22.) Sunday movie night, a fireplace crackling & Mom sifting her hands back & forth through my hair.
  • 23.) Charlie, the stuffed animal platypus that you had custom made for me when I was but a estranged boy enamored with all the oddities of Australia.  Still my favorite gift of all times.
  • 24.) Jamming in the station wagon to the tunes of Cool & the Gang, the Neons & Gloria Estefan
I could go on for seemingly forever . . so many magical memories that this amazing woman has given me but it is her lessons of love that truly manifested within my own spark . . something uniquely different, some charismatic cause to care deeply for all that I could touch.  I haven’t mailed the card yet . . so here it is:

A Mother is the hand that reaches out to help.  The smile that comes with each success. The eyes that see it as we are.  The heart that wants our happiness.  There’s love in every thought you , Mom, and a world of thanks in every wish for all your dreams come true.  Happy Birthday

There is no Hallmark message that could ever truly translate my feelings for you as a mother, a best friend, a mentor and a teacher.  Each year that passes, I ask myself “how have I come to possess such talent, such unequivocal desires & passions, such magnitude of creativity?”  The answer always arrives in the image of a nurturing mother & father whom each contributed their own unique qualities & uncompromising love.  And perhaps the true test of that love has been my own faltering footsteps; my struggles as a boy outsider grappling to earn your praise through accomplishment & success  . . a man standing apart from the rest; having wrestled with change and won each round, but so often lost the match.  

You’ve been by my side through it all, endured my tears, shared my triumphs, lifted me in sorrow and carried me through the invasive tornado.  Together we have survived, those wounds healed by your touch and the scars marking memories of our epic journey through this often calloused life.  There is nothing quite like a mother & child bond, our hearts beating to the same rhythm no matter the distance .  We are kindred spirits that dance, we are resolutely headstrong in our thoughts, we are fragments of the same spectrum.  I love you mom and thank you for being the maternal illumination of my life.  Today we celebrate your birth, your contributions to not only me but our family, community and friends.  May you have many more years of merriment as the cherry blossom you are!

With endless love – your Son

I never seem to get cards out on time if at all . . . no proper excuse these days as I have the time and in this case I actually have the card right here by my side.  Sorry Ma, but I’ll be with you in just a few days, making some fresh mango margaritas, shopping on the promenade for our next dinner, shuffling the deck before another hand of Uker . . . more memories, more healing for me, more mom.  So, a recipe in tribute to my mother could only come as my very favorite thing that she made.  It’s kind of white trash Midwestern but just so damn, damn good – I give you Pistachio-Pineapple Fluff!

With Culinary Blessings,
                       Chef Scotty

Pistachio Fluff
“sweet-n-tangy, fluffy like a cumulus cloud of maternal memories”
  1. Mix pudding with pineapple and juice.
  2. Add cool whip and mix well.
  3. Fold in marshmallows.
  4. Smooth into a 9 by 13 pan. Chill at least 2 hours

Friday, January 27, 2012

Monogamy to Dr. Phil & Chicken Puff Pastry by Rachel Ray = Irony

“There is no remedy for love, but to love more.”
Henry David Thoreau

January 26th, 27th

Went to the doctor at 8am on the morning of January 26th to inquire as to where/why I am currently hosting a little party for a family of mucus and its viral cousins.  “Stab away honey, I ain’t got no fear of those needles”, I sincerely proclaimed.   Four years of allergy shots every week has a tendency of numbing ones reaction to the stainless steel needle.  I honestly have to tip my hat to the team at my medical facility; everyone is consistently so amazingly kind and polite.   Following Operation Fix me Up, I headed South on the Amtrak train toward the OC, where I was shuttled to my sisters residence.  From there, prepped and pimped out my adorable nephew, Logan, for a modeling shoot later that evening in San Diego; I was to be his chauffeur & guardian, one of the liberties of being self-employed I guess.

In my last journal entry, I was without reluctance in designating my true feelings about self-worth.  Today, partially drugged, I offer my apologies for that offense and every offense going forward – consider my bondage to be truth in whatever word or form it may be delivered.  Back tracking to the events of my Wednesday, I spent several Shock-top beers with the always amicable Bishop  . . friendly in the way that is an open offered trouser sort of thing which is hardly offensive seeing how Bishop is handsome, charming & drama free.  I did manage to be productive whilst holding down more than my worn, leather bound  stool quite nestled up to granite bar embroidered by an elephant adorned brass railing.  Artwork in spontaneous formation and in true testament of my outlook on relationships, I created a mini series of bar napkin origami entitled, “blank, angled, bent & broken”  Which brings me to the discussion of this entry in questioning the very nature of our relationships, primarily in the context of “the f’k buddy.”

The less controversial title would be “friend with benefits” of course, but I think that hides the raw, vulgarity of this modern day sociological intercourse.  Is it right or wrong?  We won’t bother to ask the church officials for their opinion, but take it from a scientific perspective.  Are we really meant to be monogamous?   Humans like to think of themselves as a faithful species, but when it comes to true fidelity, many other animals offer better examples of how to keep a relationship together.   In fact less than 4% of the worlds animals are known to form lifelong paired bonds yet monogamy is almost inexistent, as creatures that do pair for life, occasionally have flings on the side and still move on to another should their partner die or fail to perform in bed. 
The only known animal in the world that this has yet to be disproven is the prairie vole.  

Staying faithful is extremely hard for animals, as the males are programmed to spread their genes and females to get the best genes from the best males for their young – humans are hardly an exception.  Instead, monogamy requires an individual to invest its entire reproductive potential on a single mate. This puts lot of pressure on each individual to choose the best mate, which, is a bit tricky and presents the true question of “how many of us married our true love?”  With a divorce rate of over 50% in the United States, I’m hardly convinced that number is anything more than 2%.  So what next then?  Well, my hypothesis now backed up by Science, let me recap a tangible experience that I was able to participate in as a bystander.

Sister Mary Cleo, her twins and I randomly run into a old colleague of hers accompanied with her two year old daughter.   After pleasantries are exchanged, each provided a brief overview of their current day to day lives including their current existence as wives & mothers , which ultimately prompted my sister to ask,  “So what happened to Ken, you two were perfect together?“   Apparently this gal had an amazing man on her arm the entire time of their acquaintance.  Sister Mary Cleo was shocked to hear that this Ken Doll Lover was in fact . . not the father of this woman’s child.  From there this lady opened up about how “Ken” was “the one, the one that got away, her true love” but that Ken just wasn’t ready for full commitment at that time and they went separate ways.  She had settled for a good man that she loves – but that he’d never match up to her feelings for Ken.  
So with that story in mind, speaking as a novice of relationships but who similarly thought “the one got away” . . the real question is, Is it better to settle for companionship as something inferior but more realistic than seeking out than the acquisition of that “true love” or . . . is it perfectly fine to seek out these mutually beneficial friendships?  And if one is to go the route of a marriage of convenience, is it really that fair to persecute those that go for financial stability?  I mean if it’s conforming to the expectations of society (ie: marriage & children, well . . if you’re gay that’s a little more open) than who’s to say that selling yourself short of “true love” is any worse than those that go for the gold?

I fear that more often than not it boils down to: offer up your heart, lest it be broken & left to solitude, or offer up your genitalia and concede to practicality.  This is an open discussion, so feel free to post your comments on this issue at hand.  Till then, I favor the “snuggle buddy” in providing temporary relief with regards to companionship & affection . . . I just can’t shake the hopeless romantic thingey!

With relationship blessings,
                     Chef Scotty

Lovebirds: Chicken in Pastry by Rachel Ray
In posting a recipe by Rachel Ray, I guess I am offering up some cynical perspective as her personality and approach to food pairs well with today’s discussion.  Affection & love is “on the Air” but the entire show is about convenience, easy-application, efficiency and marketing for financial gain.

  • 4 pieces skinless chicken breast, boned (about 8 ounces each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (11 by 17-inch)
  • 8 slices Italian fontina cheese, slices should be 2 to 3-inches square and 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick, cut in 1/2
  • 1/2 cup fig preserves
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cut each piece of chicken in half across the breast giving you 8 equal portions. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the chicken on both sides, 5 minutes total. Remove from heat.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pastry into 8 pieces. Place a piece of cheese on each pastry square and top with spoonfuls of fig preserves and the chicken pieces. Pinch and seal the dough up and over the meat and cheese, seal with egg wash, flip the pastry packets over and brush the tops with remaining egg wash. Bake 12 to15 minutes, until golden.
For entree portions, simply leave chicken breast whole and cut the pastry into quarters. Trim off excess dough and use it to decorate the pastry with small cut outs such as heart shapes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

State of a Bunion, Pucker up & Chili a la Attitude

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion.”
Henry David Thoreau

January 25th, 2012
(Are you on stage, jiving with a groove or that lady down below disgusted with the smoke bellowing out? Shit lady, you have front row seats to Cool & the Gang - choke it down!)

Validating ones worth is nothing to be ashamed of!  Last nights "State of the Union" should speak volumes to that . . I promised to refrain from politics, but I'm saying it "President Obama inspires me as an American citizen, an entrepreneur, a human being with a conscious of accountability; I only wish he was allowed to tazer these fools (our elected congress & senate) into submission.  Today, I essentially told my consulting client that he’d have better luck fishing for Bluegill in the epicenter of Mt. Kilauea . . hope he wears sunscreen!  Ok, so I was more professional than that, but sincerely, I feel it necessary to address my self-worth here.  I have exceptional experience and skills in the food & beverage/hospitality industry and there is no value in selling myself short.  I’ve “done my time” in catering countless charities and scratched along earning little to non-existent profit all for the titles of Southern California’s Top Green Caterer 2004 (or was it 2005?) and San Diego’s Best Caterer 2009 & 2010, and well . . . the pride & confidence that comes with delivering an amazing, incomparable product & service.  Pride, Confidence & Egotism.  Maybe we should separate these concepts as defined by the Dictionary:

A feeling of pleasure from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Be especially proud of a particular quality or skill.

noun.  arrogance - haughtiness - vanity - conceit
verb.  glory - boast

  1. The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust: "we had every confidence in the staff".
  2. The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

trust - faith - reliance - belief - credit - credence

The practice of talking and thinking about oneself excessively because of an undue sense of self-importance.

egoism - selfishness

I think these words speak for themselves and again serve as a point of interest with concern to our current political shenanigans, but I should explicate that I’ve personally been judged many a time before, such is the result of anyone wanting to create change, make a difference and impede the status quo.  I feel yah Obama!.  In my industry, the problem here in lies with offering a service that is somehow perceived to be negotiable. That is to say – no fixed price.  When you go into a grocery store you simply have to make the decision of whether or not you want something and are willing to pay the sticker price; whether you truly need it or just want it.  No bargaining, no debate or exchanging offers of what you value that product at – the price is set in stone.   

Having concluded that catering & consulting are subject to this frustrating and often demeaning process of haggling over price . . . I’m confronted with the realization that I must again modify my course of occupation.  (Note: I did in fact conceive Eden & the Chi Cuisine product line as alternate routes to getting around this playground obstacle of ostentation but . . well, somebody sort of shit on that one!) With more than conceptive kernels stewing above, I am hell bent on producing some overly buttered and extra salty popcorn to gratify my ambitions.

Kiss my Ass” would be an appropriate tattoo, but I’m afraid it would open me up to world of gay rhetoric . . probably get a lot of dates though?  I am off and running with a multi-million dollar concept that I believe there is a huge market for, a large profit margin, easy to duplicate, and well – so much simpler than catering and event production.  Backup plan – I’ve got that delicious job offer on the table with an amazing company and I go to work for someone else.  I’ve got no more than three weeks to figure this out so no more sulking over bitter melon – Scotty needs to polish this up and secure funding.  I am confident, proud & while I do have an ego (as we all do) – it’s humbled as porcupine that has lost his quilts.  

Seriously?  How could anyone think that I’m cocky when I drove a work vehicle for the last ten years (Stella – “the Angry Lesbian” white jeep Cherokee with over 277,000 miles, no radio, no working air conditioning and at the end of her life – no working windows), I buy only one pair of shoes  a year, work 90 hour work weeks religiously, take no tropical or cultural vacations, consume 94% of my meals at work and generally have invested every dollar made back into my companies and employees (ok –s o most of that is past-tense at the current moment).  To those people, I pleasantly extend my penis and wiz all over their face with a sense of urgency . . I’ve played nice with fire, been burnt more often than not and quite capable of extinguishing some undeserved attitude and resentment.  Was that harsh?   Definitely not very Buddhistlike!  Oh, well – I’m on point and that seems to garner my little spirit self-respect by the pint load.  I'm celebrating good times ahead, ain't nobody, ain't no thing gonna stop me . . .I hope the same for our President!

Chef Scotty calling like it is!

Chili a la Attitude
So this recipe is won’t tame the spirit, infact it’s likely to inflame it above and below but it’s well worth the temporary paralysis of pain.  Some iron skillet cheddar cornbread, bag of Fritos or dollop of Sourcream will help offset the effects if you so choose. Feel free to ad lib with ingredients - after all, we all got's our contributions to make!!

  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika (see Notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • About 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (see Notes) or regular crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beer (India Pale Ale or pilsner)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) pinto beans, drained
  • Sour cream, sliced scallions, and/or grated cheddar for topping
  1. 1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon, stirring until it just begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add onion, lower heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 7 minutes. Uncover pan, stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute.
  2. 2. Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef; break it up with a wooden spoon and stir gently until it loses its raw color, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in spices and 1 tsp. salt and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially, and cook 30 minutes.
  3. 3. Add beans and cook 10 minutes, uncovered. Season to taste with additional salt. Serve warm, with toppings on the side.
  4. Smoked paprika from Spain's La Vera area (pimentón de la Vera) and fire-roasted tomatoes are sold at gourmet, specialty, and Whole Foods stores.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Pretty Kitty, Layers of Friendship & Lasagna

A Friend is one who incessantly pays us the compliment of expecting from us all the virtues, and who can appreciate them in us.”
Henry David Thoreau

January 24th, 2012

My lungs are still speaking in tongues of mucus but in general, I feel alive . . which is to say that yesterday, I felt somewhat dead.  The sun is shining brightly, burning away the excess moisture that has accumulated over these past few days of rain and although I didn’t make it to the gym this morning – I do believe I have the courage to make an afternoon run.

Sheliqua Veroquat (aka: Shelley, Kitty, Mittens, Lovebug) is a good friend.  A new friend in the sense that I’ve only known her for a Quaker’s quilt of time (a little over a year), but oh how we’ve naturally and expeditiously grown inward and outward over that time period.  After all, it was she alone that took it upon herself to make certain my 35th birthday did not go uncelebrated as we clambered westward in her aging, forest green Subaru; a fantastic road trip to the Scotch pine forests of Idyllwild.  Numerous bottles of champagne were drunk without care or remorse, gourmet meals forged from way over-priced firewood and a feeble attempt to teach my beloved Veroquat the game of Uker – blissfully consumed as a pair of parakeets we were! There are only so many friends in this world that there is an equal exchange without pretension, assumption or conflicted emotion.  Sheliqua & Scotty are fortunate to possess such an exotic  friendship.  I’m very proud of my little Washington State transplant, a recent divorcee that scrounging to make ends meet as she paves her way through a Microbiology career in earnest attempt to create something new for herself.  We both are hell bent on a better life, survivors of transformation and intent on "cashing in" on our karma – laughter before tears, we will conquer all obstacles . . . this is a friendship that will withstand the sands of time.

What makes a good friend?  When pondering this question I am drawn immediately to the words: selfless, gratitude, respect, trust, patience, generosity, kindness . . .  I have been blessed with so many beautiful people in my life and the most recent trials have certainly exposed those true to their nature, those that would have me as penniless before constituent of fortune, those who would answer that call when nobody else could even hear the ringer, those that cherish me just as much for my weaknesses as my strengths.  Integrity!  That’s one that I had forgotten to mention!  Oh, boy how integrity plays such a part of true friendship for if one is not solidly founded in morals & ethics than how else are they to equally contribute to another?

My "revised" team is one of stability, sound reason and logic – Dad would be proud.  My family is my structurally uplifting spine as my friends are my biceps, my hamstrings, my tendons that pull and push me through the day to day transactions of living.  I alone own my heart and while it still aches a bit of lost love . . . it has enough responsibility in keeping the rest of things moving along, pumping the oxygenated blood  throughout my body, sustaining the most basic of purposes, preoccupied with so many involuntary tasks that the emotional desires fall short of any immediate necessity.  Hell, I’ve got to get rid of this mucus before investing such stock in the concept of true love again - tell then, I'm more than gratified with my beloved family & friends.

A recipe for friendship could entail some classic comfort cuisine, it could take you back to collegiate years of gourmet deposed ramen noodles, it could recollect a moment of poptarts & champagne on a sunrise that arrived a day early . . or was it that we just hadn’t made it to bed yet?  I give you lasagna which certainly qualifies as the piece de resistance of layered love.  Make it the day before & serve up with some garlic cheese bread and Caesar salad – a simple meal for you & those closest to your heart.

With Culinary Blessings,
                   Chef Scotty, Richard the III, Cletus to some,  Fool to others & Friend . . well they know!

Basic Lasagna Template
There’s no point in me adding my own secret twists here as Lasagna is just one of those things that you follow your own intuition.  Much like friendship, it is what you put into it and even better with a good bottle of red vino.

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil leaves (or ¼ C. fresh basil)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Over medium heat cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sniffling Raintea of the Lameragon Tribe - that I am para Hoy!

How can any man be weak who dares to be at all?”
Henry David Thoreau

January 23rd, 2012

So for me – this is the real New Years Day, the Chinese New Year of 2012 - the Year of the Water Dragon.  How appropriate that it’s still raining up here in Los Angeles, washing away the smoke & tar, exposing all for it’s true colors . . at least outside that is.
Recapping Sunday’s events – Mr. Wilson and I hit up brunch with Captain Caveman . . nothing special but I did partake in a delectable side of biscuits & gravy.  At about 10:30am, Bishop & I attended our District Nichiren Buddhist gathering at a house in West Hollywood.  It had been too long since I had participated in group “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” and it was quite euphoric, I need to keep that daily task going for sure.  Afterwards, Bishop & I went for coffee to catch up on his recent affairs – he is a great guy, a Phoenix transplant that is a worthy friend by every means.  More friend “catch up” early evening at Hamburger Mary’s for cocktails before scurrying over to Marco’s Tratorria for some badly needed starch – truffled parmesan fries, chicken pesto pizza, fruite de mar, lobster mac-n-cheese, warm foccacia – so, so, so stuffed.  You know that feeling that you should have stopped eating hours ago, but it was so damn good you just continued scarfing up more meal?  Let’s just say, I had to make a dash to Sav-On for a refill on lactaid (something my father’s genes gave me that I don’t particularly care for as a chef – lactose intolerant I am).

It’s Monday afternoon now and I’m moving slow . . real, real slow.  Combination of the moisture enhanced air, pillow pockets of carbon like bronchioles & something living within my lungs that likes to spit up not fire, but something of a sluggish, mustard yellow fluid.  I prefer to abstain from using the word “sick” and instead refer to these moments as “feel like ass”  I’m rather lucky during these rare times of “under the weather” as I simply sleep off the symptoms.  Equipped with my fresh, organic ginger & lemon tea . . I strain to punch the keys on my labtop, lest I mention the neurons misfiring as I attempt to command my ineptness. 

I think is best that I concede today to my state of patheticness & rise another day to claim my dragon ambitions.  A recipe . . hmm, how’s this – go to the grocery story and select a box of cereal that appeases your inner child (for me it was always Cocoa Pepples or Lucky Charms . . which I would eat all of the little marshmallow treats and leave the cardboard bits of cereal for my brother).  Remove a bowl from your cupboard & fill ¾ of the way with your selected cereal.  Add your preference of milk (the day of whole, skim or 2% has long since passed away . . now you have Soy, Almond, Cashew, Hemp, Rice Milk . . . too many choices) and consume with a spoon.  If you’re like me and my father – don’t forget to take your lactaid or else suffer the consequences of bloated Buddha belly.

With tiresome blessings,

ps:  I should mention that my quest for Boo Berry cereal ran a solid seven years . . the most elusive of the family of monster cereals. . it was my childhood crack.