Well, it’s been a while since I’ve added to my blog. Almost a year now. Normally, I’d be musing about my favorite restaurants, spirits, or meals that I’ve enjoyed. This addition is a little different. Not my normal approach to my culinary world but as equally cathartic. I had a routine physical last November with my general practitioner. Blood work, vitals, etc. Everything seemed to be normal except for my PSA, which is an antigen test for levels in my prostate. Normal values are 0-2. Mine was 10.5 in big bold red numbers. I had no idea what the test was and decided to go all ‘webmd’ and look up what it meant and immediately got very nervous. There were multiple reasons why these values were so high. One being cancer. I made an appointment with a urologist, received a generous prostate exam, and then a month later another blood test. Same results.

My urologist was leaning towards a cancer diagnosis but needed more tests done before a confident diagnosis was given. I had an MRI which confirmed my worst fears. Malignant Neoplasm Carcinoma of the Prostate. And this was on the aggressive side of the scale. Panic set in. Now it was treatment and option time. Either have a radical Prostatectomy or Hormone Therapy and Radiation.

I was leaning towards Hormone Therapy and Radiation because I saw what invasive surgery did to my Father and it was awful. I didn’t want to have something as important to me as my prostate removed because of the obvious side effects. Incontinence, impotence, and loss of work due to a lengthy recovery time. My wife and I decided we wanted the best of the best facility to handle my treatment. Though Doylestown Hospital was convenient, only five miles away, we wanted a University Hospital to handle my case.

We met with numerous Oncologists, but our Medical Oncologist was the turning point in my treatment decision-making. He laid out a very grim path for going the Hormone and Radiation route. Two years minus any testosterone in my system to starve the prostate cancer cells because that is what fueled them. This means side effects of bone loss, weight gain, muscle weakness and not to mention any libido and possible breast growth. Yeah, that’s not going to work for me. He encouraged us to speak to a Urology Oncologist to discuss surgery because of the success rates of robotic procedures.

After discussing the pros and cons of surgery with the physician, we decided on a Radical Prostatectomy. To say I was scared to death was putting it mildly. I haven’t had surgery this invasive since I had my appendix removed when I was eight years old. I had no clue what robotic surgery was and was traveling back and forth to Philadelphia weekly for one test after another. Not to mention the risks of robotic surgery with my current weight and heart issues, I was petrified.

On September 21st, the procedure was done. My brother Jon-Paul was kind enough to fly from Kentucky to support me. What was supposed to be a three-hour event, took seven hours! I was inverted on a hospital bed, head down which put all the blood and weight shifting to my head. They had to have the entire anesthesia team from Penn Presbyterian including the head of anesthesia consult to make sure I’d make it through the procedure and live to tell about it. This made my wife and brother very stressed and understandably so. I had seven incisions in my abdomen including a five-inch incision below my belly button. They successfully removed my prostate, the seminal vesicles, and two lymph nodes. There was a concern of spread, so they had to do more than just a prostate removal. I was in the hospital for three days.

It’s been three weeks since the procedure. Cancer did spread to the seminal vesicle but the surgeon said that he removed this as well and there were no signs of tumor spread from the biopsy. Clean margins. I’m going back in November to have follow-up blood work done but I am up and about, sans the catheter but feel like a UTI has now invaded my urethra, and had a urinalysis today to confirm.

My wife Judy has been nothing short of a saint. I’ve been nothing but a depressing pain in the ass. Grumpy, sore, alone, and not feeling productive. I miss my work, and the people that kept me sane at the Tavern and this has been a huge adjustment for me. Surreal. You always watch shows where people talk about their cancer diagnosis and you never think it would ever be you. Well, that’s bullshit. Most men will get prostate cancer and never know it. Most will die not knowing they even had it, and have died from something completely unrelated. I’m very thankful I had the PSA test last November. My doctor said I could have had this cancer for two years and not known it. I implore anyone reading this my age, to get a PSA test when you get your physical. It could save your life.

Why I Quit Facebook

November 17, 2021

“Hi, my name is Kevin and I was addicted to Facebook.” Here’s where you all say “Hello Kevin.” I’m assuming most of you who follow or read my posts have or had a Facebook account. If you’ve never created an account, I salute you. I inadvertently stumbled upon what was considered the Genesis of social media in the late-nineties called Usenet. Usenet was around much earlier but finally buying a used computer for one hundred dollars, I found newsgroups had an array of interesting topics, had active moderators, and were a treasure trove of information just a click away on my ancient 486 computer.

Around 2003, I found a burgeoning website called Myspace. The interface was easy to navigate, you had the ability to post pictures, add a jukebox with various songs for friends to listen to, and connect with friends which I thought was extremely important considering I moved to California and most of my friends were in Cincinnati. I built a great friend base that spanned over three years. Then I discovered Facebook. Everything changed after that. Some good, some not so good.

I didn’t really get Facebook. The format seemed plain and boring. No eye candy like Myspace. The features were pretty limited but the more I used it, the more comfortable I was with the layout. I immediately started connecting with friends I haven’t heard from in years, even old girlfriends from high school. Every year, access to locating people I haven’t seen nor spoken to in decades became easier because everyone started signing up for the service.

My personal feeling about what changed for me and probably for many “users” was when news, politics, and advocate groups started to infiltrate daily news feeds. Much of which you couldn’t control because the algorithms chose what you saw from simple clicks on an article, even the most innocuous, would change how you saw videos, ads, and any news that was delivered to you.

You became the product, not what Facebook was advertising to you. I started to feel manipulated. How and what I saw would shift dramatically, especially during election cycles which I was on Facebook for three Presidential elections. It became extremely polarizing with friends who had already set up political camps and the feeling of tribalism started to emerge. Facebook started to become more annoying and antagonizing versus helpful, engaging, and fun. I believe fun was the original intent, but as with all things in life, greed has a way of destroying altruistic intentions and I started to get cranky, cynical, and depressed.

Facebook has proven that creating chaos, drama, bitter infighting, and anti-social behavior was good for business. The whole goal was to monetize your engagement. To create that dopamine rush that kept you hooked. To have you spend as much time on their platform no matter how unwell you became. You are being manipulated and aren’t even aware that you are now hooked. They shouldn’t have renamed Facebook Meta. They should have renamed it Heroin.

My engagement with accounts with polar opposite socio-political ideologies landed me in Facebook jail frequently. Over a 16 year period, I was in jail for more than 300 days. A third of this time, I absolutely deserved the time-outs. I was rude, dismissive, and angry. I could have articulated my points much more effectively but I ended up stooping to the level of their ad hominem attacks with my own. It was dumb. I learned my lesson. I can safely say though, two-thirds of the time I was given 30-day sentences, it was for absurd reasons flagged by a broken algorithm system. Commenting on innocent posts from friends of mine would immediately be flagged for bullying, harassment, or spam. I ended up having to create an alternate account just to stay in contact with friends on messenger. I missed peoples birthdays, people missed mine because I couldn’t respond and there is no way to appeal decisions. Even their appeals board would not entertain my claims.

After the last couple of times of being targeted, I realized my time was about up for this platform. Even with the 275+ friends on my list, the vast majority of those accounts fell dormant. There were only a handful of maybe 15 friends or previous co-workers using the platform. The rest just stopped posting. The platform felt stale, boring, and useless. It reeked of data mining, endless spam ads and extremist groups littered that platform with unfettered access to their users. I was stunned at what Facebook would allow and what they wouldn’t. It was all about just making money. Then the algorithms started to target my alternate account and I was officially done with Facebook.

I had proclaimed a couple of times before that I was done with Facebook, I deactivated my account and took a break to see how this affected me both mentally and physically. My initial attempt literally lasted 24 hours. I shit you not. It was as if I was going through withdrawal. I started to feel panic, disconnected, and frightened that I would lose contact with many people that I was either friends with or worked with in 15 cities. It was an awful feeling. This time it’s literally fuck it. I am not giving that platform anymore of me. They are not going to continue to monetize me and they can find another battery for their Meta-trix.

I know what you are saying. “Kevin, you have an Instagram account which is owned by Facebook.” I find Instagram to be a good way to stay connected to family and friends that is void of politics, unhealthy advocate groups, and manipulation. I simply post pics, do not watch the REELS, and stay the hell away from anything controversial or antagonizing. I visit the site on average 5 minutes a day to keep in contact with people close to me. I do not, nor will not join MSN pages, any groups that are not related to the humanities. I was on Facebook hours a day. It became an extension of me. That’s really fucked up.

When I finally put the data download and deletion request for Facebook, I searched the net for a Facebook alternative. Two sites came up. One was Ello. Odd seeing this, since I actually joined Ello 7 years ago. Nothing much has changed including the number of folks using the site. It’s mostly artists which I guess is a great networking site to help give exposure to their projects. The other site I joined was MeWe. The site purports a philosophy of free speech protection and seems to be obsessed with the claim of being the only real alternative to Facebook. After about 3 days, what I realized was that what they were not short on were extreme far-right bigots, xenophobes, racists, and misogynists. It was a real bummer because even the most innocent groups I joined that included food and wine, were replete with very cruel and unkind people, hell-bent on starting flame wars with no apparent goal but other than that. I deleted my account less than a week after joining.


I’m not sure how long I will keep Instagram. So far, I’ve had success keeping within my own parameters I’ve set up for myself which is to just stay light, keep it fun, and do not go down the rabbit hole many have already done. After participating in this social media experiment, I truly feel it has changed people and not for the better of mankind. I feel social media has a created cruel, cynical, and intolerant society. It has made it easier for people to attack others with impunity, hidden behind anonymous accounts, never to truly be accountable for their behaviors. Facebook is a prime example of “too big to fail.”

You cannot have 3 BILLION users and think you have the ability to moderate this platform. It feels as if you are on a rudderless ship currently. Changing your name doesn’t change what you did or remotely repair the damage you’ve done to society. And you cannot self-govern. Building better AI to fix your problems simply causes more problems. Two people should be able to connect with each other without a 3rd party in the background manipulating what you see or hear simply to make money. There are only two paths to redemption for Facebook. Either change your business model or just shut the damn thing down. There are reasons why places like Netflix are successful and gain new accounts. You are PAYING for the service. Since Facebook is free, you really don’t have a say in how their platform is run. When you have a mass exodus from paid sites, this sends a financial message to the company. Either change or go bankrupt.

I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg will ever have an epiphany that what he’s doing is not only a detriment to society but it’s actually helping the destruction of our planet. Proceed to scream hyperbole but if you haven’t been paying attention for the last 5 years, Facebook played an integral part in our past elections. The allowance for terabytes of misinformation to propagate like a virus, not only played a key role in the outcome of the elections, it eroded the very fabric of Democracy.

My newest Hero Jaron Lanier stated so eloquently on The Social Dilemma Documentary is that if social media platforms like Facebook are not eventually held accountable and either regulated or shut down, Democracies will be replaced by autocratic dictatorships, global economies will collapse, the addressing of climate change will be forever lost and mankind as we know it will end. I do not believe in conspiracy theories. The earth is not flat, we actually landed on the moon and our government did not cause 9/11.

Unless you have lived under a rock, it’s been painfully obvious how platforms like Facebook have shifted our world on how we treat each other on a daily basis. One-THIRD of the planet uses Facebook. Lanier is absolutely 100% correct to say our survival is at stake if we stay on the trajectory we are currently on. I haven’t logged on to Facebook in three weeks. November 27th, my account of 16 years will vanish. I’m OK with that. I actually think the precise moment I decided that it was time to dump that platform was seeing that jackass Zuckerberg riding a ridiculous hover-surfboard holding an American flag. Could you be more obtuse and self-absorbed?

I’ve migrated most of my communications to text messages and innocent Instagram posts now. I have no regrets about my decision. There is a feeling of elation and a lightness. I don’t think about it, except while writing this blog post. I am also not trying to convince anyone to replicate my decision. If it works for you, brilliant. For me, it didn’t. Jaron Lanier says to delete your Facebook account. DONE!

I always get a little nervous making ravioli. Worrying about whether the mix is correct, will it lose flavor after hitting boiling water, will they break open in the process, will they, will they, will they? Procuring fresh pasta sheets locally is not easy.

I couldn’t find any place near me that sold them. What I traditionally used in the past were wonton wrappers. They are extremely versatile and have the same consistency as pasta. The local Kroger carried two different sizes. I opted for the smaller wraps for individual ravioli versus the large sheets that are used for egg rolls.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to create for the filling. First, I was thinking smoked salmon, cream cheese, and fresh chives but ended up deciding on jumbo lump crabmeat and ricotta. I added lemon zest, lemon juice, and a citrus blend seasoning salt.

For the sauce, I created a beurre blanc using a great white balsamic vinegar, white wine, garlic, bay leaf, basil, heavy cream, and butter. It turned out excellent. I garnished the ravioli with chopped basil Chris brought from his garden and then shaved pecorino tartufello over the ravioli. The cheese has the same consistency as port salut but has bits of truffle in the cheese. It was delicate and didn’t overpower the dish with the truffle flavor.

Chris brought over his great homemade pesto and he created crostini with golden cherry tomatoes, tossed in extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper that were oven-roasted and then cooled. He assembled them with a layer of ricotta, the pesto and then topped them with the tomatoes. The combination was superb.

I have to say, this was one of the better dishes we enjoyed and it was fun resourcing the product and creating it. Not to mention the complex flavors.

I was fortunate enough to live in an area that had some of the best Latin American food outside Mexico. Peruvian, Salvadorian, and Mexican Taquerias were scattered all over the San Francisco Bay Area. Concentrated in The Mission District of San Francisco was a myriad of excellent and cheap restaurants that put their heart and soul into their kitchens.

Attempting to find places in the Tri-State area I was told about a restaurant in Covington’s Mainstrasse District called Frida, named after famed Native Folk artist Frida Kahlo. The building is beautiful, spacious and also has a taco window, in case you want to grab a quick bite, then sit at one of the many picnic benches in the park.

This wouldn’t be classified as a traditional Taqueria or even an authentic ethnic restaurant. Their claim to fame is “Latin Street Cuisine”. and has many different influences including American. My guess is this is American-owned but pays homage to different Mexican and South American food trends. In the two visits to Frida, the execution was focused and the food was well presented and very good.

My first visit, I opted for a chicken burrito and a fish taco as seen in the pictures below. The flavors are balanced, the plates were nicely designed, the fish was crispy, seasoned well, and hot! My only gripe is when you put wet ingredients like toppings for the burrito, you are then obligated to eat with a knife and fork which causes the paper that is lining the serving tin to shred throughout the course of the meal, thus leaving you with having to sift through the food you are eating to discard the shredded paper.

In order to not have to navigate another burrito paper lining debacle, I decided on four tacos. Two fish, a beef and a chicken. Each one of them had a unique preparation and the beef resembled almost a braised short rib consistency and was delicious. I also ordered the chips and salsa sampler with a tomatillo, peanut satay, and traditional pico de gallo salsa. The peanut sauce was my favorite.

Each visit was accompanied by their house margaritas. I don’t want to get on a soapbox here, but you can serve a shrug-inducing screwdriver, gin and tonic or greyhound anywhere and get away with it. What you don’t want to fuck up are margaritas. I’ve had some of the shittiest margaritas in my time from places I dined as well as places I worked. It is imperative that you put some effort into this amazing drink or you will lose my business. Frida nailed it. Not heavy on the bar mix, the lime juice shined through and you could taste the tequila. Some spots I’ve been, windshield washing fluid gave these drinks a run for their money. No Bueno!.

I suggest early afternoon on weekdays to enjoy a carefree lunch and afternoon saloon. Both times I went around three o’clock and it was empty. By the early evening, the place was packed. I can see why.


You always read comments from people asking “If you were on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you?” Without getting into any personal details on the other two things I’d bring with me, one thing is for sure that would accompany me would be a well-made plate of fried chicken. Yeah, I know what you are saying. This guy is friggin’ nuts. I offer no apologies. It is an admitted weakness. Especially places that can really execute it well.

One of my all time favorite places in Cincinnati that served some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had was The Hitching Post which was nestled in the little mini strip mall bordering Hyde Park, Oakley and Norwood. You’d never would notice the storefront if you drove by but the smell of that amazing chicken would be like a Siren’s Trance luring you into the deep fried rocks of Nirvana.

Unfortunately, The Hitching Post shuttered thus leaving me flailing for options to satisfy my need for this amazing dish. There were not many options in Pennsylvania so my hunt for a replacement was on!

I’ve heard rumors of a place in Northern Kentucky that was supposed to have a cult-like following in regards to fried chicken. It was call the Greyhound Tavern on Dixie Highway in Fort Wright Kentucky. I’d never been there before but many family and friends swear by the food.

I decided to take a leap of faith and venture out into the unknown as a solo diner. I sat at the bar, ordered a Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald. That beer went down as fast as the ship itself. Deliciously malty, smooth and with great carbonation.

I didn’t waste any time with the menu. I never opened it. I knew what I wanted. The bartender looked into my eyes, and could see what my soul desired. Their house-made fried chicken.

The breaded four-piece half chicken came with two sides which I opted for Coleslaw and mashed potatoes with gravy. On Monday and Tuesday, they offer an extra side and a biscuit special for a dollar less but when I ordered the special, it was obvious because of the volume, they pre-fried the chicken then heated it up. This time, I took my Nephew and Brother out for his birthday on a Wednesday, and the chicken was made to order.

I have to say, the Tavern became my new all time favorite fried chicken spot. Perfectly seasoned, moist, hot AF, and the sides were delicious. The mashed potatoes were made in-house, and the gravy was sublime. My brother had the chicken as well and loved it. I highly recommend this place but go early. It fills up after five o’clock and was packed when we left.

This was the special fried chicken night


Bro Can Cook!

July 24, 2021

I’m currently staying at my brother’s house for a week-long visit. We are pretty simple folks. Nothing has to be too fancy and we look at food pretty straightforward. Today, he decided to ramp up his breakfast game and the result was pretty damn good. I’ve worked in upscale brunch places on and off for several years. His creation, though simple would be an excellent grab-and-go item for the busy commuter in the morning.
He made from delicious bacon, sausage, and cheese biscuit cups. He proceeded to make scrambled eggs, sausage that was chopped, and then rolled out biscuit dough with a little bit of flour and places the biscuit dough in a muffin pan, then spoon in the mixed egg and sausage mixture then top with shredded cheddar cheese. After about ten minutes, VOILA! Breakfast is served. Add some fresh fruit and it was a great filling meal! Nice job JP!!!

As I resurrected my blog after an extended time in limbo, I didn’t think that I would be focused on cuisine that spans from South America to Spain. I’ve always enjoyed the flavor combinations that are derived from fresh ingredients and the spices that make this food patently unique. I picked up some Red Snapper at a local grocery and some simple vegetables. It was to be a quick meal to keep things lite since my diet has been all over the board recently.

I managed to find purple potatoes, which are also called Peruvian purple potatoes. They have the same texture and taste as red bliss potatoes but are bright purple. The colors tend to fade when boiled but still have a nice colorful hue. They are different than the purple Okinawan sweet potatoes which I cannot seem to find anywhere but these worked perfectly for the dish.

The aim was to make a simple has combining fresh-cut corn, potatoes, red onion, , chives and some smoked apple wood seasoning. The combinations were great. Sweet corn flavors with a hint of smoke and some heat.

I used a blackening seasoning for the snapper and seared the fish in a cast-iron skillet. I then decided on a smoked Romesco sauce. It’s a simple Spanish condiment used on various proteins such as fish, chicken, or beef. It’s a combination of roasted peppers, tomato, garlic, chili flakes, red wine vinegar, and in this case I used smoked almonds instead of regular sliced almonds. The result was a deliciously tangy and complex sauce that worked very well with the fish.

I lived in California for over fifteen years. It’s a place I called home for almost a third of my life. I met my wife there, landed my first executive chef job there, and met some amazing people from all over the globe. It’s also where I was exposed to some of the greatest food I’ve ever eaten. When you think about San Francisco, the first thing that comes to mind is the food scene. During my time, there were over three thousand restaurants crammed into seven square miles. This is not an exaggeration. You had global cuisine at your every beck and call.

What many don’t realize, is that there is also a myriad of restaurants in San Francisco that are as equally as amazing as Michelin-starred restaurants which don’t carry names like Michael Mina, Alice Waters, or Nancy Oakes. These are little hole in the wall Taqueria’s that are all over the area but mostly located in The Mission District. I worked in the Mission for over three years. You can find any cuisine that starts from the top of Mexico down to the tip of South America.

Mexican, Peruvian, Honduran, and Salvadorian restaurants were my most favorite but you also had some Spanish Tapas restaurants that served cheap and amazing food. I’ve always have had an affinity for meats, spices, and vegetables from Mexico and South America. I worked in a restaurant that had cooks from six different countries working in my kitchen.

I was exposed to those amazing Salvadorian meat or cheese-filled griddle cakes called Papusas. My friend’s wife from Mexico introduced me to a meat and hominy soup that blew my mind called Posole. I learned how to make a proper hot salsa from my Mexican cooks. I had Beef Tongue for the first time. It was a life-altering experience that I never would have enjoyed unless I made the trek to California and I will be forever thankful for what I’ve learned while on my culinary journey in that incredible state. I do miss it.

The great thing about being back home is having friends who share the same enthusiasm for Latin/Hispanic food. Chris Mundy who in his own right, loves to dabble in this simple fare. But there is nothing simple about the flavors. Smokey, salty, acidity, spicy, and above all, fresh comes to mind when creating and eating this food. Chris is no slouch. If anyone has ever seen his “Jam Band” dinners, you realize he puts a lot of research and effort into what he prepares. Every meal seems carefully executed. I admire that.

This will be our second collaboration. Both have South American themes. In no way am I trying to replicate exact dishes of any specific country, but it’s more of an homage to the ingredients utilized to create dishes that I’ve learned from my friends in California and will always appreciate.

Chris made an Aji Verde sauce. Traditionally, the sauce comes from Andean countries like Columbia, Bolivia, and Peru. It is a mayonnaise-based sauce with cilantro, jalapeno chiles, red onion, and lime juice that is pureed and served as a condiment over fish, chicken, or beef. In Chile, they substitute lemon juice and is called Aji Chileno.

I made the ultimate trip to Jungle Jim’s, warned my knees about the size of the place and my brain about the hordes of people I’d encounter. I took and deep breath, and pushed the cart through the door! Yay! First step!

The place is huge but I had my list and made just a short pit stop by the wine department. I picked up various items for our dinner including Mojo seasoning which is a Cuban meat seasoning that I thought would go great with the chicken because of its citrus properties. I also picked up a cast-iron skillet. Yes, I always need this in my life.

The base of our meal was Peruvian beans, white onion, diced tomatoes, garlic, white wine, paprika, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Though Jungle Jim’s didn’t have Peruvian beans, white and red beans were a suitable substitute. I also topped the beans with sauteed arugula with fresh lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt.

I purchased a whole Amish chicken which I deboned into quarters. Dusted the chicken with the Mojo seasoning and pan-seared it in the cast iron skillet. I transferred the chicken to the oven at 350 degrees for a half-hour and then in a heavy pot, added olive oil, and brought the heat up to high. I sauteed the onions, added garlic to sweat then deglazed with white wine. I add the beans and tomato and then slowly incorporated the paprika and salt. Adding salt early and reducing the sauce of the beans can make the beans very salty. I finished with lemon just a put aside.

I did a quick saute of olive oil, garlic, arugula, lemon juice, and sea salt. Mounded the beans on the plate, topped with the sauteed arugula, arranged the cooked chicken over the beans and arugula, and topped it all off with Chris’s great Aji Verde sauce. He also brought a seared Halloumi cheese with mint and watermelon and the whole dinner was amazing. Cheers!

In my attempt to find fun ingredients to prepare, I discovered a small grocery store in Hartwell called Country Fresh Market. They offer a variety of dry goods, meats, prepared foods, and a killer beer and wine department. The prices are competitive as well. I managed to get my hands on some beautiful Spring Onions.

I also picked up Pork Loin, Honeycrisp Apples, and other various items that will help compel me to cook versus eating at chain food outlets.

It’s a fairly straightforward dish. I roasted the Spring Onions and Apples with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper. I pan-seared the Pork Loin and roasted it with fresh sage. I made a simple Mushroom Couscous and then prepared a Balsamic Pan Gravy which was Beef Broth, Balsamic Reduction, and cracked Black Pepper. I reduced it to a glaze.

I let the Pork Loin repose, sliced half, and then kept the other half whole to give a contrast in texture. The result was a great, balanced meal. The whole process took me about a half-hour. No, there were no leftovers….

Bon Appetit!

When one is met with peculiar family dynamics that have not been encountered before, there are two paths to take, especially when there is potential for conflict. One option is to stand your ground, watch the cortisol levels rise like Mount Vesuvius, and in the end, never accomplish the result you were trying to achieve. The other option is to simply resign to the fact that this is life as we know it for the time being, so just sit back and try to enjoy the roller coaster ride.

I’ve been in this situation for five years with limited access to a home kitchen. My wonderful wife has taken on the arduous task of cooking for three people daily. It keeps everyone fed and the conflicts are minimalized. I for one, love what my wife prepares. She’s a great cook.

This current respite I’m enjoying has allowed me to cook again. Not in a professional kitchen where one can hear this old chef’s bones crack like stepping on celery with every bend, stoop and pivot, but at a home setting where the wine flows like a waterfall and the setting is calm, peaceful and creative.

My friend of almost forty years Chris Mundy came over for a nice, simple dinner collaboration. He in his own right, is an elevated cook with a great palette, a keen sense of creativity who isn’t afraid to push the culinary boundaries that would make most of our family members wince at the very mention of “Chimichurri.”
He was going to his family’s cabin in Michigan and we both had ingredients we wanted to cook that wouldn’t last the week he was in Michigan so we decided on a pot luck dinner. The result was pretty spectacular.

I’ve adjusted my expectations on where to shop while I’ve been back. I haven’t had the opportunity to make the trek to the infamous Jungle Jim’s where you can procure everything from Rattlesnake to a hot sauce that would give the Sun a run for its money. So, until then, I have been relegated to the big box corporate grocery stores that I also encounter where I live. To say the least, the choices were grim.

It makes sense to stock their shelves with items that the residents of that area would purchase. I get it. I was hoping for something a tad more exotic than Strip Loin Steaks. Perhaps even frozen Duck Breast would suffice? Unfortunately, Strip Loin was the only choice.

I purchased some Applewood Smoked dry rub for the steak. I roasted some fresh Cauliflower, Crimini Mushrooms, and Radish with fresh herbs and olive oil. We combined these with fresh Blue Lake Green Beans. I decided on butter basting the steak with fresh herbs and garlic. I love grilling steaks but butter basting creates a rich, yet artery clogging euphoria that grilling seems to miss.

I let the steak repose and sliced it thin and placed it over the vegetable melange and topped it with Chris’s homemade Chimichurri Sauce which is like an Argentinian pesto, made with parsley, oregano, garlic, chili flakes, vinegar, and olive oil. It is used as a condiment on anything from eggs to vegetables. His version was excellent.
We added a Garbanzo Bean salad and we both shared wine. It was an excellent collaboration. It felt good to cook again. I’m hoping to keep this trend up during my stay.

Next stop. Jungle Jim’s. Just don’t tell my wife.