Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. Back in the 60’s it came in a little foil pouch and my mother would stack them in the second extra drawer. We may have called it the spice drawer but really, the only spice in that drawer was Lawry’s. The remainder of the items to be found in the drawer were Betty Crocker coupons, left over to go chopsticks, maybe a soy sauce packet or two and the odd recipe mom clipped from a magazine.
Lawry’s was mom’s go to seasoning for . . . almost everything. Certainly spaghetti. I recall a story told by my sister. Continue reading “TACO NIGHT”
It is heating up, here in Vallejo. Yesterday was warm enough for me to quit work early. I remember my parents telling me this story about when they were newlyweds. After my father returned from Korea, a battalion aid medic, he was transferred to an Army base in Texas. He and my mother lived off base in a small house with one bedroom and no insulation. Now here is where I think the laws of physics come in handy. On hot nights, too many to count in Texas, Continue reading “IT’S HEATING UP”
It was awkward. I was a young adult and definitely not experienced. It was not the first time that I “stayed over” at a friend’s house but on those other times I needed to run off to work early. This particularly lazy Sunday morning in Marina Del Rey, I had nowhere to be and to tell the truth, I was hungry. So when the idea of breakfast was suggested I said, Yes. Continue reading “WANT TO GO TO BREAKFAST?”
Last night at dinner we spoke about the now closed Nantucket, located at the bottom of the Carquinez Bridge in Crockett. It was my father’s favorite place to go. To this day I really do not understand why. He was a fisherman, by sport, and loved seafood. For some reason he was taken with the Nantucket. As a young man I was never much of a seafooder. I did like when he would Continue reading “SOME DAYS I RECALL”
“Hi, my name is Tom.”
“And I am a cheater.”
Collective loud gasp.
Yes, last night I cheated and ventured outside of Vallejo for dinner. In celebration of a birthday I traveled to Oakland to enjoy a stunning meal at a well renowned 2 star restaurant. As much as I love Vallejo, this was an experience of a lifetime. This chef does not need my praise, he earned both of his stars the hard way. The décor, the service and the food . . . impeccable. I admire anyone who is intent in their work and performs and their highest level. I witnessed this with every movement last night. Whether it was the line cook, wine steward, waiter or pastry cook. Each movement was exact, precise and thoughtful. We sat at the Chef’s Table and watched as every dish was plated. Incredible.
I enjoy food and have little spare time so I am prone to rushing through a meal. Except, when the meal is exceptional. This one was. At these moments I sit quietly and observe. These are the exceptional moments that I cherish in my life. Rarely have I enjoyed food of such quality.
Will I return? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Sometimes a perfect moment needs not repeating. Thank you Chef and staff.
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Until next time,
Eat Well and Smile Often
The first of May. Spring is in the air and I have noticed two things that take me back to my early years. The sensory memories, I find, are the strongest. Well, technically speaking, I guess that they are all sensory memories. What I am specifically referring to are those of sound and smell. This past weekend I caught the scent of charcoal and pine smoke in the air. One of my neighbors had a backyard fire going, presumably to barbecue, and it smelled like they used pine cones or needles to help start the charcoal along. The aroma gave me a sense of comfort and emotional warmth. It is a familiar smell that I associate with good times, happy times. As I walked a little farther the scent faded as did the emotion.
Continue reading “JOHN JACOB JINGLE HEIMER SCHMIDT”
(Read to the tune of Wednesday Morning.)
Thursday morning at 5 o’clock
And the muse won’t set in.
Anxiously pacing the bedroom floor.
Writing, deleting, I hoped to say more.
I think that it has happened. I think that I have Continue reading “THURSDAY MORNING”
I know that what I am about to say is crazy, but it is true. When I was a young boy I did not like pizza.
What?! Pizza is the food of the gods, you say, and today I agree with you. But when I was a man of a mere eight years old, my tune was different. I was four of five, in the lineup of children in my family. My mother spent countless hours Continue reading “OLD NAPOLI”
The other day while driving in the hills, I started humming the tune ‘It’s a Long and Winding Road Da-da Da-da.’ I have never really been clever, it just seems like the neurons fire as they please and the result just pops out of my mouth. Have you ever rewritten a song as you are singing it? You know, followed a melody but coopted the lyrics to entertain others, Continue reading “WALK WITH ME”
I remember when I first learned the word Kitsch. I was a young man, in my late twenties, and managing a restaurant for the first time. The local newspaper wanted to write a story about the restaurant and my boss asked me to give the interview. The restaurant was large, two story, and built of a framework of open beams. It was not laid out in a grid fashion rather more of a meander up stairs to different levels. It was called the Vintage House and there were Continue reading “KITSCH”