I remember flipping the channel one day and landed on channel 9, our local PS station, only to hear Joseph Campbell talk about Sir Galahad and the Holy Grail. Galahad was the bastard son of Lancelot and was renowned for his gallantry, his purity and the most perfect of all the knights. The Grail Legend, in my mind, is to constantly seek and strive to be better in life and to do so with Continue reading “LET THERE BE LIGHT”
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.
TIS THE SEASON
TIS THE SEASON
It is said that shared joy is doubled joy. I am a firm believer in all things that bring double joy. You know like, a pair of German Shepherds, a package of Reese’s Peanut butter cups and that second smoky, sweet whisky cocktail enjoyed at the end of a long week. (Speaking of which, good God Savage & Cooke, when can we try your whisky?)
Earlier this week I did a thing that In all honesty I rarely do anymore. I cooked. Continue reading “TIS THE SEASON”
ON FOOD AND COOKING
Years ago I dated a charming woman who took me home, for Sunday dinner, to meet her parents. Upon hearing that I had been a chef, her mother immediately scrapped the mac and cheese idea and put out her best meal: Turkey, stuffing, gravy, the works, in July. I remember that she sat nervously, watching me as I took in my first few bites. Now I am going to Continue reading “ON FOOD AND COOKING”
SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER
My first barbecue was So I Married An Axe Murderer. I was hired to be the personal chef for the movie’s star, Mike Myers. (Rob Fried and/or Cary Woods: Guys, if you are considering a remake of Rudy, I am still game to travel with you. I’ve got this great idea for a trailer setup and can even prepare Keto! Just saying.) Back to it. Not being a fanatic of pop culture, the first thing that came to mind was Michael Myers the goalie mask wearing slasher from the John Carpenter film: Halloween. My first day on set a crew member looked at me and said, “Not Michael Myers, Mike Myers from Wayne’s World”
“OH.” I said, still not convinced.
That was my first barbecue. In the movie industry we Continue reading “SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER”
SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY
“Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Don “The Snake” Prudome, Shirley “Hot Rod” Muldowney. Come on down to the Fremont Raceway. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.
Listening to my radio at night, as a young man, I would always laugh, then mimic the announcer whenever that announcement would come over the air. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Some of you may remember this, others might have enjoyed a slightly different version. It all comes down to the same chant. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. While I never made it down to the Fremont Raceway to see the “Big Daddy” race, this announcement has become more than just a memory to me, it is a flipping Continue reading “SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY”
MY POOR DAD
Birthdays for me, and should be for everyone, a special day. I am going to stop here to make an acknowledgement to mothers. I personally feel that they should be celebrated every year on the day of their child’s birth. I mean, they did all the work for 9 months and were not able to have a drink the entire time. My friend Jane is pregnant with her first child and I Continue reading “MY POOR DAD”
When I think of my sister I remember two distinctive things. One, she taught me how to spell Wednesday. “Wed-nes-day” she said. The reason I remember this so well and so clearly is that the brief interchange shocked me. Why? Good question. You see I grew up in a family with five children and my sister is five years older than me. At dinner we sat on opposite sides of the table and we rarely spent any time together, not even fighting. I guess it shocked me because it is most likely the first memory of anyone helping me with a challenge. The second distinct memory I have is when I was 17 or 18 years old. She had moved out, gone to college and gotten a job. She asked me out to dinner. This is unique because, like I said, we rarely spent any time together. I was flattered because of the attention but also because I was doing this adult thing: Continue reading “WITH PRIDE”
WHAT THE TRUCK?
“Do you have a job yet?” The voice on the other end of the line asked.
The year was 1991, I had recently graduated from the California Culinary Academy and had just, two days prior, returned from a month long driving tour of Europe with my buddy Dale.
“No.” I said, with no apparent alacrity, anticipating the crush of credit card debt that was headed my way.
And so it all began, the call that changed the direction of my life. Within a week’s time I was cooking for none other than Continue reading “WHAT THE TRUCK?”
Now I like Fridays as much as the next person. First, and because it was pay day, my father used to say, “The eagle flies today.” Second, being the end of the work week, many of us go out to blow off some steam. Now we have some great steam blowing venues here in Vallejo: Mare Island Brewery, where I was found last night for a pint. Napa Smith Brewery, where I was found earlier in the week . . . for a pint. The Townhouse, downtown, where I was found . . . okay, you got the picture.
Last Friday night was different. Last Friday night was not just about blowing off steam. It was about something much deeper and closer to the heart. Continue reading “POSITIVELY VALLEJO”