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”


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”


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”


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”


I sincerely do not know what to do. You see, I have this problem which, in all honesty, has at least a dozen solutions that I can think of right off the top of my head. But today, for me, it seems to be going much deeper than that. Question: Have you ever had someone tell you, You need to get out of your head and back in to your body? Continue reading “CHILLY OR CHILI? BOTH ACTUALLY”


Lo and behold Valentine’s Day is upon us again. Growing up my mother would put a heart shaped box of chocolates on the dining room table for us to find when we awoke. When we got older we would make Valentine’s Day cards for that special person at school and then one for my mom and dad too.  That was fun. I miss the simple part of that day where just reminding someone that you care for them was enough. The day can be fraught with peril for some where expectation can exceed reality. A good day for close kindness is wasted if the right restaurant is not picked, or flowers from the grocery store are purchased. The landmines can be anywhere and everywhere. While certainly not perfect, Continue reading “SWEETS FOR MY SWEET”


This is a re-post of a popular piece I wrote on October 18th, 2018.


I constantly need to remind myself that each of us has our own struggle and that I can no more tell a bird how to fly than tell a woman what it is like to give birth. To our city officials who seek to lecture instead of listen, I ask you kindly to consider my remarks below.


This next sentence may not be exactly true but here it is. I first remember hearing the song Soul Man while watching the movie The Blues Brothers. Like I said, that may not be exactly true because I knew the words and sang along with everyone else in the theater. Feeling uneasy about my memory, Continue reading “I AM A SOUL MAN”


Wow! What a week it has been. Do not get me wrong, I love the rain, so much so that I capture what I can to water my seedlings in the spring. For some reason I cannot get seeds to germinate with city water. I was assured by the Public Works Department that the city water here in Vallejo is of the best quality. To that end, I took a tour of our water treatment plant two summers ago and I will tell you that the water coming out of the tap up there is mighty tasty. Still, rainwater is a gardener’s best friend.


Recently, the paramour of a dear friend of mine had cataract surgery. Continue reading “I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW”


I remember living with my father after my mother passed away. It was an interesting/tricky time for the both of us. Dad was still hurting from losing his best friend of 40 years and I was starting a new business catering on motion picture sets. Needless to say our schedules were out of sync. When I was working, I was away 14 hours a day. When I was off, well, I was there all the time. For my dad, even after a long vacation, he had not adjusted to being retired and so I became the target of more than a few needling comments. Now please do not get the wrong idea. We were not the Bickersons, not at all. This was the best time for me, getting to know my father. I hope that he would say the same thing about me. I think he would. Although . . . I am sure that I challenged his thinking on more than one occasion. One time I remember in particular. Continue reading “MY OH MY, MAYA THAI”