JOHN JACOB JINGLE HEIMER SCHMIDT

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”

OLD NAPOLI

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”

WALK WITH ME

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”

KITSCH

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”

TACOS JALISCO MY FRIENDS

Van de Camp’s Pork and Beans. ‘Nuff said. IKR?!

 

I was raised in a budget minded household by parent who had been raised in budget minded households, whose parents had in turn been raised in budget minded households. While we, as children, were often afforded an animal protein at each of our meals, my mother rarely missed an opportunity to ensure we also had complementary proteins. (“Hi, how are you? OMG who did your hair? It looks amazing!”) A family fan favorite has always been beans. My Aunt Priscilla was the guardian Continue reading “TACOS JALISCO MY FRIENDS”

I JUST DON’T TRUST MYSELF ANYMORE

It is said that you really cannot hear something until you are ready to hear it.  Others say that the Universe knows and provides. While many believe that it is the will of a Deity. I am not smart enough to know which, if any or all, are true. To me it is kind of like this: You see things when you see them. Wow, that was vague. Let me start again.

 

One of my favorite, Continue reading “I JUST DON’T TRUST MYSELF ANYMORE”

SHOPPING CENTER SURPRISE

When I was small, number 4 of 5, my parents rarely took us out to eat. Can you imagine, 5 kids under 12 years old at a restaurant? But, my father knew that my mother needed a break so we packed up the car, drove 5 miles, two towns over, to dine at the Smorgasbord. The theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies is running through my head. “This here’s a story about a man Continue reading “SHOPPING CENTER SURPRISE”

OUR COMPANION

From Miriam Webster:

‘Companion’ comes from ‘panis’, the Latin word for bread. Originally, the word was used to describe someone with whom you shared a meal.

The com- in companion means “with.” The second part comes from panis, the Latin word for bread or food.

I remember sitting in my bread making class at the California Culinary Academy and hearing this description. It was a seminal moment for me in my food career. As we all do, sharing a meal with someone, breaking bread Continue reading “OUR COMPANION”