November 2017


You Need An Ice Crusher. Really!!!

Yes. An ice crusher. You need one. You just don’t realize it yet.      What’s the kitchen device or utensil that you think is your most valuable possession – the one you absolutely couldn’t live without? This question oftentimes comes up when cooks assemble. Everybody usually wants to weigh in, and they get passionate and sometimes even emotional about their choice.      It might be their stand mixer or their food processor. Many mention their gourmet knives or pieces of their cookware. Other items mentioned are their coffee or espresso maker, tabletop griddle,…

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Gargantuan Henry VIII

Gargantuan Appetites. Feeding the Beast.

     We are entering the season of overeating. It begins with Thanksgiving followed by Christmas and New Year’s, and then extends through the rest of the winter. Overeating seems to give us an inner comfort and warmth we crave. At least it seems like a good idea. Then, in April, we assess what we’ve done and what’s become of us. And through diet and exercise we begin to pay for our sins. Wretched Excess      There were some whose overeating had no season. They indulged and over indulged excessively most of the…

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Holiday Side: Candied Sweet Potatoes a la Emeril

Joke: What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? About ten cents a pound. Let’s Get Something Straight      First of all, it’s time to get something cleared up. Contrary to what many people think, a sweet potato and a yam are not the same. It’s true, they are both root vegetables but they belong to different plant families: the sweet potato belongs to the morning glory family and the yam the lily family. In a nutshell yams are sweeter, are larger, but they don’t supply as much nutrition.      …

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Holiday Side: Cranberry Sauce Par Excellence

The Obligatory Side      In our family, at holiday meals (especially Thanksgiving) cranberry sauce has always been considered an obligatory side. When all of us are seated at the table, and the bowls start being passed, there is a frenzy as food is piled high on each plate. When the dish of cranberry sauce arrives, most will politely take a dap (so as not to offend the person who brought the dish). And after everything on each plate is consumed (being from the Midwest we do “clean” our plates), usually the only…

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Ham Bone-in Cooked Shank

A Real Hankerin’      Every once in a while, I get a hankerin’ (it’s the way my people used to talk) for a taste of a good ol’ bone-in country ham – the kind that my grandmother used to make on Easter. If you’ve ever tasted one, the taste was unforgettable. The Kiss Principle Applies Here      My advice is to keep it simple. Something happens to many of the commercial types. They are most likely soaked in brine and injected with who knows what resulting in an odd, artificially sweet taste. Even…

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The Gourmand

A Dinner Parties and More Extra . . . A Characterization                            The Gourmand His Raison D’être     While most eat to live, the gourmand lives to eat.  He considers voracious gluttony his raison d’être. His appetites are legendary and the amounts of food he has consumed are well-known.          Seeking haute cuisine in the most respectable of places, his opinions and judgments are sought after from cafes to bistros, diners to tearooms, and hamburger stands to supper clubs.  Although not officially a critic, he is known as the critic’s critic.  If Michelin were…

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A Dinner Party Host Often Needs A Great Side Man

What’s The Definition Of A Sideman?      Often called a “hired gun” by other musicians, a sideman is a musician invited to play a gig. It’s usually on a temporary basis where he or she provides a special or unique talent that’s needed.  A Sideman Versus A Side Man      While I’m not a hired gun, I’ve found myself serving as a sideman on many occasions. Perhaps “side man” instead of sideman is the more appropriate title. Every Thanksgiving I get to perform as a side man. My Famous Sides      When my…

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Reasons Why You Should Learn To Tango

Quote: “Suppose you had but three minutes to spend with the love of your life. What would you do? You would tango.” Why Should We Learn Tango? Tango is soooo sexy.  It’s intimacy, sensuality, and passion personified. Everyone should dance at least one tango in their life. Gentlemen can score big.  By taking tango lessons with your partner you will score an unbelievable amount of points.  It will be HUGE. This will upgrade your slow dance moves. When the music slows down, you will no longer be limited to that…

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