Sauce Class

Img_0277Yesterday I took a class downtown at the Culinary Institute of America on making sauces.  An acquaintance talked me into it and I didn’t want to turn her down so I went with it.  It cost $185 and used up half my Saturday.

I kind of enjoyed it.   I can’t say I learned a whole lot.  There were a couple of demonstrations and then we were divided into 4 groups and set loose with some recipes.

It was kind of fun cooking on professional equipment in a big stainless steel kitchen with other people.  Each group had 3-4 dishes to prepare and in the end we all sat down to a huge meal.  It was all good.  I learned to make a Hollandaise sauce that I also learned is 90 percent butter and 10% eggs.  Certainly not good for your heart and I will not ever be making it for myself.  Still, I always wondered what “Holiday Sauce” was.  It’s not easy to make.

I’m also not used to cooking such large quantities.  I usually make enough for one meal for one person each time.

I would say, if nothing else, it was worth the $185 for the experience and the entertainment the the opportunity to wear the spiffy chef hat.



“No vegetables, Please.”

Wow!  It’s amazing what you will see when you’re out in the public.  Even more so in a restaurant.

Today I was having lunch in a Chinese restaurant when I overheard someone at another table ordering.

He actually ordered a dish and said, “No vegetables.”

This man obviously eats meat only and never touches vegetables.  That’s sad.  He gonna die!  Goodbye vegetables, hello heart disease.

I know.. I shouldn’t judge others but…Damn!  Really?


I am now a published author!

coverHooray!  I finished my Lonely Man Dinners cooking and advice eBook. 

It is written for single guys just starting out either going off to college or moving to their first house or apartment.  Cooking doesn’t always come naturally and can be scary.  This book is written for lonely guys by a lonely guy so you know it has what you need to get started in the area of feeding yourself.

It took me a long time to compile my favorite easy recipes and kitchen advice but it was a fun project.  I can only hope that somebody buys it now.  There are a lot of “cooking for one” books out there and I didn’t read any of them because I wanted to be sure I was writing freshly. 

Having quit my job I had more time to write so now it’s done.  Thanks to for making it so easy to publish your own eBook.  I hope sales are at least a little successful because I want to entice a few people I know who also want to write books to go ahead and do it.  In today’s world of self-publishing, there’s no reason you should not publish if you have a good story to tell. 

I wonder if I could write a book on another subject?  Possibly my fight with depression.  There are lots of those out there already but there’s always room for more and everybody’s is different.

Wish me luck and buy my book



Bread Failure #1

badbrdToday I decided to make some bread.  How hard could it be?  Apparently harder than you might think because it ended in spectacular failure.

I borrowed my mom’s Oster machine with a bread making thing.  It did not look like a regular bread making hook that you see on TV.  More like two corkscrews.  I should have known right then but I trusted Oster.

I followed the instructions in the book that came with the machine.  It called for milk which I didn’t have.  No other bread recipe I’ve ever seen needed milk but I trusted Oster.  I had some powdered milk so I figured it should be fine.

Most recipes require “Bread flour”.  All I had was all-purpose flower which the internet says is not that different.  My yeast is many years old and I’m pretty sure it is dead or just plain tired because after making a hell of a mess in the kitchen and ending up with more of a powder than a dough, I had to add more water and after sitting for the required 30 minutes, there was no rise.

A bad sign.  I gave it more time while I went out and cleaned the swimming pool.  Nothing…  I knew I had failed at that point and didn’t bother trying to bake it as a loaf.

Looking for ways to not waste the “dough” I found ideas on the internet about making Naan bread or pizza crust.  I decided to go for the easier naan option.  Just take some dough, spread it out and bake it.

Although it is edible, I would not call it bread of any kind.  It tasted more like children’s playdough after spending time in an oven.  I give up on this one.

I guess I’ll try again sometime with some fresh yeast, some bread flour and a better recipe.  I don’t see how taking all the time and making all the mess is better than spending 59 cents at the local grocery store for a loaf of bread.  It might taste better if done properly but is it worth all the trouble?  Even if the bread cost $5.00 a loaf it would still be worth it to buy it rather than make it.

On the other hand, knowing how to make bread would come in quite handy after the EMP hits us.  I guess I’ll at least put the effort in to learn the skill.



Dreamblog – The Bad Restaurant

I was working on the Air Force Base I worked at 19 years ago.  I ended up in the car of some co-workers as we drove just off the base to a restaurant for lunch.  I had a vague feeling of familiarity with the place but couldn’t exactly remember being there before.

It was a large, run-down barn like building and there were a lot of other diners milling about.  I got in line for the buffet.  When I finally got to the first buffet table, I didn’t have a plate.  The first table was mostly some weird vegetables that didn’t look particularly inviting.  Most trays were almost empty.

I got out of line and wandered around looking for a plate.  The best I could find was a wok sized bowl made from banana leaves.  It was large and floppy.  There was no way I could use that for food.

I searched around and found the people I came with sitting at a table eating a fish dinner that looked quite good.  I couldn’t figure out how and where they got it so fast.

I asked them where to get a plate.  Someone at the next table handed me a used plate with leftover food still on it.  It was all there was so I took it and found a place to wash it.

I got in line again and passed the nasty looking vegetables.  Didn’t want any.  The line then continued up the stairs where I hoped there were some better selections.

I woke up before I ever got to eat anything.  What a waste of time.



Is it safe to eat tuna?

stkstnaNo.  Seriously.  I want to know.

It was just before the meltdown at Fukushima that I discovered the awesomeness that is pre-made StarKist tuna salad.  You just spread it on bread and enjoy!  Perhaps the best invention since sliced bread.

Now that the ongoing meltdown situation in Japan is dumping thousands of gallons of radiation contaminated water into the Pacific ocean every day, the safety of consuming seafood is highly suspect.

One website I found contained real-life test data where radiation found in tuna was only slightly higher than the standard background radiation that permeates our bodies every day.  Although this might indicate that it is within our daily recommended intake of radiation, it is obvious that any radiation is bad for you.

The FAQ on StarKist’s website indicates that they do not use farm raised fish.  It is all caught wild in the Pacific Ocean.  I don’t know why it might have been preferred that way in the past but I would certainly prefer that it was farm raised now.

I have already reduced my consumption of the wonderful tuna salad spread but I can’t help craving it.  I am a big fan of seafood in general and don’t want to give it up.

The situation at Fukushima will not get much better anytime soon.  Remember Chernobyl?  Yeah.

I don’t know what I am going to do.


Digiorno – I ate the whole thing.

pzzaOy.  Willpower I have not.

This evening I had a frozen Digiorno Pizza staring me in the face from the freezer shelf.  “Eat me!”, it said.  So I did.

Digiorno is not the best pizza but as frozen pizza goes, it’s certainly not bad.  It was a cold winter day so running the oven sounded nice anyway.  I popped in the pizza and after about 20 minutes it was ready.

I ate half of it and told myself I should stop.  I was all like, “Yeah, right!” so I had two more pieces.  Getting rather full now.  Only two pieces left.  Not enough for a meal later.  So I might as well polish it off.  Two more slices down the hatch.

Booof.  Too much pizza.  It’s a wonder I’m not all fat.  Good thing I have a great metabolism.  I never gain more than a few pounds and quickly lose it to get back to my regular weight.  I am perhaps a little softer around the edges than I should be but I like it like that.  It think I look good in my speedo and that is all that matters.

Now, Cholesterol and hardening of the arteries might be a concern for the future and somebody should probably do something about that.  Somebody…