Life's too short to eat bad food - Me

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Make 'Em Laugh

Once upon a time, to be specific in 1945, the newspaper unions of New York went on strike. (There is still some clout in such actions, but is much diminished).  To attend to the needs of the City's youth deprived of the Sunday comics, and in a completely politically astute calculation, NYC Mayor Fiorello La Guardia directed the City owned WNYC to read them each week. These were read by La Guardia himself, in his weekly radio show.

The "funny papers" have value.

Recently, the owners of The Buffalo News directed the removal of most of the comics, as well as puzzles and part of the opinion page.It pissed me off. Keeping up my subscription was hard enough to justify...

In any event, I gave voice to my disappointment by submitting a proposed article for the daily "My View" column. I didn't expect it to get published, and they did tur it down for not meeting the guidelines for that column.

So, I thought Id share it here:

Sunday, July 11, 2021

A Flock of Seagulls

When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think
sardines will be thrown into the sea - Eric Cantona.
Being the first step in my journey toward the larger world of tinned seafood.
The first pick from my Father's Day hoard was Les Mouettes d’Arvor Sardines in EVOO w/ Lemon Confit & Chilli Pepper.
 Les Mouettes d’Arvor translates to the Seagulls of Arvor. The favorite football team of Jacques Gonidec of Concarneau, along Brittany's southern coast. Along with his parents he created Conserverie Gonidec, a canner of high quality seafood, including sardines. Brittany was once the center of seafood canning in France much as Stonington, Maine and Monterey, California were in the United States. In fact, modern canning began during the Napoleonic Wars, the invention of one Nicholas Appert, and in the 1830s, following Appert's method, the fish canning industry was flourishing in Brittany. Today Conserverie Gonidec is the last traditional seafood canner in the region.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Something Fishy

Is this chicken what I have or is this fish? I know it's tuna. 
But it says chicken. By the sea. - Jessica Simpson

It's been a while since I blogged. I guess I just lacked the right inspiration. But over the last months, I may have found that inspiration in the form of can seafood products – also known as tinned fish.
I'm not talking about canned tuna here – not that there's anything wrong with that. When I want a hunk of fresh tuna loin seared rare, I'm going to buy the freshest piece of fish I can find. When I want a tuna sandwich I look for chunk light tuna in oil. I also have no objection, not that it matters, to canned salmon for salmon salad sandwiches. I only object when these are served in cooked preparations. Thence came nightmares of my youth.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Twenty Years (Five Years Later)

Only a man who’s been burned knows what hell is truly like - Sandor Clegane

Twenty years ago today, I almost died.

I came home from presiding over a successful meeting of my Masonic Lodge, did some work and went to
bed. I woke the next morning in the Intensive Care Burn Unit of the Erie County Medical Center. I wasn’t expected to survive the first twenty-four hours. Ten days later I was released.

It is that simple, and that complex. It was the worst nightmare that you can imagine. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. It almost killed me, but it saved my life.

To understand how I can look back on a traumatic event as a blessing, you have to know my life as of April 21, 1994. I was wretched.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Elegy From a Cook (revisited)

My first (and only) shot at moving from Sous Chef to Chef at a another restaurant came at the urging of Fred Rzemek. I had known Fred for years, starting as one of his Lawyers (we even held our holiday parties at his various restaurants). He is the one who first induced me to enter cooking as a career, and when he decided to open Fredi, I was on board. Fredi was located in the quiet village of Clarence Center, part of the Town of Clarence – the next town east of here. Fred, and later Fred and Maggie lived in the coach house out back. The slogan “City Chic, Country Charm” summed it up.

My tenure there didn't last long – several issues had been building, including health and family. I would still pop in for the occasional shift when Fred needed me. At least until it caught fire a few years back, and Fred and Maggie moved back downtown.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Eighteen Years

ElliePepperI like children, if they're properly cooked. - W.C. Fields
Eighteen years. I was sous chef at a lovely suburban restaurant called DACC’s (I have mentioned it before, but the name was an acronym for Dan and Alice Welch, John “Crash” Cracchiola and Caren Ashkar– the owners. (Alice was out of the picture by that time.) I was having a hoot as a cook. It may have been the first time I was really happy in a job. Ever.

When I left the Law, I had no idea of how my career would change. I had no idea I would finally marry. Even then kids were not part of the equation. Then Trish got pregnant. We lost that one, but the idea of being parents had planted its seed in our brains. In 1998, we found out Trish was pregnant again. This time, it took.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Tale of Two Dinners

It was the best of Dinners, it was the worst of Dinners – apologies to Mr. Dickens.
Today’s Buffalo News carried two stories about dining. The first, in the way I read the paper,  was about the new Coach of my Bills entertaining some our best players from the Glory Years, at a downtown Steakhouse. I can only imagine the discussion.
The other was a review of a long standing Southtowns Beef on Weck institution. It was a gathering of friends and family. I was at the latter. As much as I would have liked to have listened in at the former, the latter provided a much more satisfying dining experience.
I’d take it anytime.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Life's too short to eat bad food -