The one about cooking

  
This is not my greatest work. However. If you have ever read any post about my work-when it comes to food-it’s pretty much Picasso. 

I used to burn water. 

I remember one time throwing a pizza off the front porch (because fire) 

Oatmeal was a mistake. 

Unless your plan was to feed the entire cast of Lord Of The Rings.

I pretty much lived on yogurt and ramen and would drink vodka and then stay up late writing and say things like … 

 
And then I started really trying to cook again… When I started seeing L. And then we started doing Blue Apron. Which is pretty fantastic. 

And super fun. 

You just get your meals delivered to you. And you cook them yourself. 

Hence,you learn to cook. 

And boy am I learning. 

Pretty much all the ways you can cook salmon and lamb burger. And make a salad out of things a southerner would never look at and say “I bet I could make a salad out of that.” But -great day -is it good. 

I mean good. 

So this is salmon burger. 

Which even if I had burned it and dropped it down the stairs …you’d have to admit…still beats burned water. 

Every day of the year. 

Every day. 

The kid with the rubber band gun

  

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A lot of people have been congratulating me lately on my engagement. And their children find it incredibly interesting. There’s one kid,who always thinks I’m Tony Stark…

 (Little kids think I’m a superhero and adults think I’m JFK JR…but there’s nothing like the elderly and their deceased grandchild to bring it back down to earth.) 

He was just standing there, shooting me in the throat with a rubber band gun,asking questions. “Why did you want to do that?.” And then his sister wanted to see a picture of the ring…so I showed them a picture of the ring and they both said …”buy me a ring like that!” And then my Larynx was shot with another rubber band…and the question was asked again…”why did you buy her a ring like that?” 

“I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and grow old together rather than apart.” 

They just looked at me…

His sister tilted her head and then said “I think you liked her too.” I laughed “Maybe just a liiittle bit.”  – Another rubber band bullet – “you like her!! You like her!!”  They both were saying it. “Well,you have me there. We do like each other. Very very much. I guess I can’t hide the truth from two clever people like you.” 

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In other news…

People have been coming up to me and telling me…”I was up ’till 3am reading your blog…I read all of it.” I really don’t know what to say to things like this…I just thank them. Because I am thankful.Without you guys I’m nothing I just can’t get used to people actually reading anything I write.

But if it’s…I don’t know what you call yourselves these days…teenagers I guess,we will go with teenagers.It is substantially easier…I say, “did you get to the dark matter? …the stuff that echoed Trent Reznor? …then you didn’t read all of it…but be thankful for that. You stopped just in time.” 

And they look at me and say “you don’t look like the sort of person that would listen to Nine Inch nails…” And I just laugh and say “it was a very strange time in my life and I was very young.Be glad you weren’t there. Trust me.” 

3

Cooking is so much easier now. Today I made chicken.Frickin’ Fried Chicken.And a salad that I didn’t understand-but it was so good-did you know,almost every meal requires Olive Oil? I should have invested in Olive Oil. Forget motor oil…invest in cooking oil.  

I’m drinking cold coffee…which still smells almost like warm coffee..I think I like the idea of coffee…I just never really finish it…which drives L crazy…that’s what we will call her …L…

Everyone thinks I’m on a diet because we started cooking…this is not the case…but I will eat anything. And L knows this. And she will tell you too…because I am just glad to be eating. Before ,I just had yogurt and vodka. I never cooked until we started dating. And then I started making meals and soup for her to take for lunch. Many of which ….were not that great. I can’t believe she even finished them. I remember getting one text that said …”this is great. But. salt and pepper dude,embrace it.” 
But – from burning water.To fried chicken? And sharing recipes with people?? Not bad. Not bad at all. 

 

Living with Crohn’s

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I’ve gained
15 lbs
In one month
That puts me at
157??
Now I’ve
been at this for three months
It feels like
This working out thing
Isn’t working out
But I feel great
So that’s something
And I’m hungry
All the tiiiime

But I will tell you this
Everyone tells you
‘eat what you want You’re young’
This is a lie
You are what you eat
I almost died
twice
because of what I was eating
The American diet
Will kill you
I had no energy
I was depressed
And no appetite
But I am finally enjoying
Energy
And
I feel great
If I could tell you one thing
It would be
Surround yourself
With people who believe in you
We need human contact
Isolation will not help you
“These are the days that must happen to you” -Whitman
Use them to make memories
Live your life
You only get one

Vintage 1889 casual dining

Fort Payne
At the big mill
Downtown

Vintage just opened last week
And I have to say
It’s fan-tastic
Sandwiches and soup
Cakes and cheesecake
Live music
Beer and wine

A courtyard out back with strung lights across the alley
A water fountain
It makes it very calm and very relaxing
A good place for lunch
Or a date
Or just drinks with friends
If you’re ever in fort Payne Alabama
Do look into this place
You just have to see it
And taste it

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Bottega

I had lunch with my sister today
And had to share this place
I’m sure it’s no secret
But it is hands down phenomenal
Bottega
Located on highland ave in Birmingham

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Breadsticks with olive oil
Margherita pizza
Hands down the best pizza I have ever tasted .Ever .
I cannot believe I have been looking at this place through my sisters window for three years or so maybe more .
And never went down to try it .
My friend sent me a txt and said GO eat there . So I did . And voila ….

Saturday

Saturday . I like Saturdays, mostly because it means I get to be off on Sunday and Monday . But – now that it’s football weather , it means I get to miss every game this season . Again. My boss knows I’m a Saban fan , Roll Tide, so I do get off for the Iron Bowl and National Championship . The two which alter the very existence of life and how we function in The business world . Entire business deals hang in the balance of these games … Friendships are lost and made … There isn’t a city official or vehicle or anything to be seen during these games … Our city becomes a ghost town … And I don’t even live in Tuscaloosa . It’s quite entertaining .

I also like the people who come in the store on Saturdays …
There’s Marlboro man . A farmer from Michigan , always buys two packs of Marlboro lights . He has a different kind of rough about him. Kind of walks like his joints are made of rusty chain links . He always updates me on his trips back to Michigan. Or he’ll tell how he met his wife while living in Texas , how when he was young he had a huge ” big ass job with a firm that made him the shit ”
And how he had to have a yard with trees and his own space … So he could function while he had this job just to relax. It’s always small talk …
We just stand by his F4million and something Diesel ( it’s the biggest truck I’ve ever seen )
And we talk about life .
Saving money , making money , what makes you happy . Really happy .
For him , it’s family , going back to Michigan for a farm wedding , everyone sits on hay bales and they cater with food raised off their farm , no tux , just nice comfortable suits , friends and family . In Michigan you’re raised around beer and drinking … ” but there’s still what we call city slickers , they come in and think they’re big shit and get drunk , ruin everything , trying to prove how much of a man or how grown they are …”
It’s always great to talk with this guy . It’s just great .

And then there is another older guy …
He always has a story to tell … These are short … But brought to memory by whatever his total is .
Maybe it’s the cal of an old British gun he used back in “’79 while hunting on the FL GA line …”
You just never know …
He’s a little more spontaneous …
We talk … Well … I listen …
While he talks about women , cooking , and living . He always asks me about my love life , if I’ve started school and
I should really go into marketing , I would be the only man in class …” prospects any man would envy… ”
And on and on …

There are lots of people
And stories …
Yes
I overlook a lot
Screaming children , angry people ,
But I notice a lot
A Mother who gives her son the toy from the machine BEFORE she begins her shopping … Reverse psychology …
Kid doesn’t ask for a thing the whole time he’s in the store .
Children are my favorite
I’ve had kids dressed as iron man jump out of isles and punch me in the gut
Other kids spit on me
but all of them remember my name …
And most stop crying when I walk up
Special needs children calm down when I stand beside them .
5 year old girls sing me their favorite 5 songs they learned this week ,Just before they Educate me on why I should watch The Ninja Turtles .

I don’t know why these things happen
I don’t know why for my bday
Mrs Kathy is bringing me cake
Mrs ,Williams; home made spaghetti sauce
Ms Abby is Mailing a box of home made cookies from MN .
Some other guy is bringing me home made Blue berry Wine .
I just know
People are nice .
Even with all the Syria
And all the pain
The broken hearts
The confusion
The games that Au fans are going to lose – again .
It really is a nice life …
You just have to see people .
One person at a time .
and get to know them .
That’s what it’s about .

That’s what it’s about .
You can’t change a person
You don’t have to open up to them
Tell them what you’re about
But you can listen
Most people never listen
People are always showing you what they’re about , who they are …
You just have to look differently .
And pay attention .

I’m not saying any of this to brag
I have the worst memory
Like I don’t know why anyone finds me interesting or anything …
For example …
An old friend of mine tells me about a drink I should mix ….
Vodka ,
white grape juice ,
cream soda
( I hate cream soda . She knows I hate cream soda . Why cream soda? )

I get home
Decide to try it
I have no idea what she said
Can’t remember
Something about root beer ?
I have root beer
Vodka and root beer
Close enough
( let that sink in )

Worst.
Worst..it was sooo bad .
Furthest from ” close enough ”
I thought I was gonna die
I almost threw up
It was terrible
Good thing I left an open bottle of root beer on the counter .

I wish you could have seen her face when I told her just how bad HER recommendation was .
After she stopped laughing …
” I never said anything about root beer and besides you left out the white grape juice , well done .”

Like I said , I don’t know , I don’t have a clue ..
But everything is temporary …
That’s something I can’t shake …
As Christians we are constantly ready for death ..
But how many of us are ready to live ?
I’ve seen so many people leave …
Nothing lasts forever
we are constantly making ourselves
Trying to figure ourselves out
Trying to fix things
Each other

I don’t know
My thoughts are pretty simple
Be good
Be honest
Be sincere
Do better
Work hard .
But most of all…
Be real .
The world is flawed
But we don’t have the world
We have each other
The people in front of us
The people passing us
The people leaving us
The people meeting us
You don’t have to be anything
Just the best you that you can be.
That’s what I tell the kids anyway .
Be the best you that you can be .
If you find yourself thinking about someone , let them know .
” .. I thought about you today … ”

It’s a small act , like a smile .
Or a hug .
But don’t we like those things ?

So it’s Saturday
I like Saturdays .
Especially now that the leaves are turning crimson …
Roll Tide .

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Vintage

There is a new business coming
to Fort Payne Alabama
This September

And I got to look inside

Now the unique thing about this place is
It’s inside an old mill
Downtown has many old buildings and mills
It used to be the sock Capitol of the world
The city has been looking for
investors in hopes of restoring them
And utilize them as apartments
And diners
All of which would maintain a historical and unique appearance

I can’t tell you what Vintage Casual Dining’s food will taste like yet
But-I can guarantee its gonna be cool

I walked in to this two floor building
And Sinatra is playing on the radio
It felt like I stepped into an old club
Something historical
Something secret
Which is convenient given the fact that
This building was once a secret club back in the day
But that’s another story .

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Living with Crohn’s

I have Crohn’s disease … I don’t know that I have ever mentioned it before . But I do . I know this, because when I was 18, I fell over at work with stomach pain and was rushed to the hospital. 7 days and a 22 inch resection of my small intestine,later. I was sent home . I very nearly died.

Earlier this year, I woke up with similar pain.
I knew exactly what to do , go to the hospital and prepare to die . I was totally prepared too… my gut was killing me , swollen , like a rock. The nurse gave me morphine … Which did nothing. 15 minutes later, I was ready to kill myself and then them . When asked how I was feeling , between 1 to 10. I said “pain ? It’s about a solid 13. ” well,that’s odd , I thought we just gave you morphine ”
“Oh funny thing. I was on a morphine drip once so , you know , it’s not working . ”
They came back with something they called ” just the thing ” and it lit up the back of my brain like the 4th of July burning my nose …. I was chill , man . Chill . But totally prepared to die .

My doctor was obviously more of an optimist than myself .. He chose to keep me for a few days and keep giving me what I now called ” the good stuff ” for pain , along with some other stuff .
I had an obstruction and inflammation … It was serious .. My stomach had shut completely down . All systems , NO .

Had I had surgery, I could have died, or live a life forever altered – in ways I don’t like to think about .
But Dr optimist and his plan worked ..over time, All systems No. Changed to, All systems GO . And I was ready to live again . I was told,however, if I didn’t change my habits and see a dr regularly my life expectancy would be 29 to 30 .

Crohn’s is hard to explain …
It’s inflammation , all through your body . Affecting all your major organs – even the ones you don’t think about . Ongoing inflammation , untreated, turns to cancer in about 10 years .
So you have a few flare ups every few years , a couple surgeries . Boom cancer then you die . At least that’s how I heard it. At the time .

I’m 24 … This shouldn’t be a problem but it is . I don’t know why .

However , I changed my diet , I eat living food . Salads , fish , I even drink wine … An occasional vodka to keep my anxiety down . And I take my meds .
But the biggest thing is, sleep.

your body rebuilds itself through sleep so much so , that after so many years … 7 or 11 ? all your cells have been replaced or should be . Sleep , but only deep sleep . without sleep – you die. Another equally important thing is – working out . Work- your – core . Even if you feel like shit . Work your core . Drink water , lots of water . Oceans Of it.All seven seas . you can never have too much water .

Working out fights depression , helps your heart , and your core , it fights inflammation and keeps you feeling better – period . But I still take my meds. Now an interesting side note -sex does the same things … It does … Fights stress , heart disease , depression .. Cancer . I just found that interesting .

Back to the subject . My dad and everybody else in my bloodline was diabetic . So I was always praying ” god don’t let me get that … Or anything else related to it ”
Never saw this coming .
But it is what it is
So there you go .
I have Crohn’s disease …
I’m one in a number
Take care of your body
If you don’t , who will ? .
You only get one .

The food we eat matters
The decisions we make
Touches everyone close to us
Not just us
Food builds cells , which builds us .
It will either make you or break you .

Life is such an adventure
It’s made for people like us
The romantics
The journalist
The foodies
The storytellers

It would be a shame to waste it
Inside a hospital

I’ve been to the edge , I know what it is to be unhealthy .
I’d really like to know the other side
My goal is to see just how healthy a man can be
How long can I live ?
There’s too many things for me to do
So much of the world I haven’t seen
I’m just getting started .

The spot

Recently I wrote about some cool places in Mentone . Well, there is a cool new business here in my home town . https://www.facebook.com/TheSpotCoffeeShop

Called The Spot

It’s retro and fresh . Something we need . Every Friday they have live music. Sometimes karaoke ….and you can purchase local art here as well .
So if you’re ever in Fort Payne Alabama , former sock Capitol of the world ….And need a caffeine fix
This is it

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The wildflower cafe

If you’re ever in Alabama , preferably Fort Payne Alabama , you should drive up into Mentone just outside of Fort Payne on the mountain . Where you will find anything from Miracle Pottery to The Wild Flower Cafe . https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wildflower-Cafe/136038716125

It’s a nice place , with almost a Nicholas Sparks feeling to it .
Prices range from 10 to 30 dollars …
I highly recommend it for a date night . Or a tourist stop for lunch or dinner . With photos and art on the walls for sale it’s definitely a must see for anybody . For anybody will find something they like here .

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