April 4th 2017
Whoa Nelly! It’s been a while hasn’t it? As life goes, on occasion, things got a bit hectic there for a bit. Usually “no news”...is dull...but “no news” is also known to be “good news”. I got a bit of news, one of those things is my Dad’s struggles with his health (insert frowny emoji here) there is really no point in going into details but for the last several years he has faced some serious setbacks. He is still here to tell about it so that in itself is pretty admirable. I think our society needs to be more open and respectful towards age related issues, add ageism to the agenda, but Dad has again dodged a bullet and I was chatting and laughing with him via telephone 10 minutes ago and I am very glad we could. My oldest child is 10! That’s a decade….a decade is a large chunk of existence….that feels like a milestone (cue the inspiring “eye of the tiger” style music) I remember folks telling me when she was a newborn “how fast it goes” and I remember in my sleep deprived mind thinking how bad I just really wanted to shower....but it is…..time goes by...before you want it to and you try to preserve a tiny little taste of the moment before you lose it. A big shoutout to instagram for helping out in that department, I ain’t much of a scrapbooker myself so digital recording helps me. Last month's degustabox was a winner, I made that pretty pizza at the top of the page with the Boboli crust sample, and it turned out quite well. You can really barbeque chicken anything if you follow a few simple steps:
Chicken, cooked, it can be breast chunks, or thigh shreds, or ground. Just cooked in advance, about two cups worth.
½ or more cups of barbecue sauce, feel free to chose your own adventure here, I really like that I can buy Podnah’s at Freddy’s!
Smoked gouda...trust me….a few handfuls
Red onions or green onions, do you.
Cilantro good for contrast and adds a fresh element.
Bread like product, premade pizza crust, homemade pizza crust, pita, French bread, country bread, gf pizza loaf, cauliflower crust for you pinteresters!
Bacon is optional
Heat your oven to 450 degrees, top bread of choice with sauce, chicken, cheese, bacon, onions...bake 10 min or so….remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.
We went to Astoria….again...I have these fantasies sometimes to escape the perils of urban living, like when I have to move a homeless camp to park or hit another pothole in traffic, I imagine what life would be like if I lived in Astoria...no one blocking my driveway! Smoked fish ery’day! BEER! But then I zip back to reality and realize that I really actually like where I am….but I do love checking out Astoria homes on Zillow! Anyway, we went to Astoria for a few days while the kids were out on Spring break and for Ava’s birthday it was awesome...well there was one steamer pail of sandy clams...but besides that it was awesome. I, of course drank great beer, ate good stuff, and had fun, but this trip I also met some “characters” you know the type, kinda chatty, but not in a creepy way, randoms that you meet at coffee shops, bowling, shopping, or at crab shacks. You don’t encounter these types often, but when you meet an authentic stranger it can really make the human part of life more inspiring...you will never see these people again, but you had an authentic conversation in that short meeting...and authentic conversations are hard to come by in the city.
One of these “characters’ was “Fast Eddie” he was the sole cook and employee on duty when we went to a crab shack on the way back to Portland. He took orders, handled the cash, cooked, and served! And while doing all this with a rather busy crab shack, he narrated stories about his life. I knew when he told me to ladle my own chowder he would a great guy to work with. He was quite “Fast” indeed and everyone was happy. As he was busing our table as we left I asked if I could take his picture and he seemed rather flattered, he posed by the door to the kitchen and was quite proud, it was inspiring and he seemed familiar to me, like the ghosts of all the cooks who were mentors in my cooking journey. Sadly, Eddie told us that he had a heart problem that was pretty serious and that he isn’t quite as fast as he used to be, but I told him he could smoke guys half his age...and he seemed pleased. My favorite line was when a guy walks in and says “What’s good?” and Eddie says “Everything is good, this is the best seafood on the coast, I fished Alaska for 35 years..what kind of question is that?” then he up sold them a plate of crab cakes…...priceless.
I really like people...but sometimes I need a recharge….and changing my scenery sometimes makes what I already have show its full worth and my full admiration.