Thursday, April 28, 2016

(Keep Feeling) Fascination

This was one of those dishes that by all reason shouldn't have worked but even looking at it now I remember just how good it was that evening.
Due to the fact that I had Mexican Chorizo, I decided to go that way with the flavors of my Cauliflower Steak Pizza.  Roasted 'steaks' topped with spicy sausage, tomato, jalapeƱo, mushrooms, onion and cheddar cheese coupled with an cool avocado crema over brown rice.
Sometimes things don't have to make sense to be amazing. Like catching this sweet marching band seemingly going nowhere on my way home from work.

Friday, April 22, 2016

All You Gotta Do is Hold Him and Squeeze Him and Kiss Him and Love Him

The death of Prince was huge and a shock to the system.  A mass internet and communal mourning. Something new to me although I just experienced it with Bowie.  What is puzzling me is how valuable true musicians are to our society and what a huge imbalance we have right now with showing our ongoing respect and appreciation.  I knew that was true but a bit surprised to see so many people express the same sentiments on his passing.  I mean to feel it so strongly.  It made me think about how unbalanced our treatment of musicians is as compared to say a sports athlete.   Music and musicians are still treated like optional, nonessential entities.  That is so untrue for most thinking caring people.  No matter the genre, music is incredibly important to your growing, exploring, celebrating, mourning and even a perfect outlet for anger and confusion, heartache and depression.  Gifted musicians should be fostered and nurtured and given access to tools and healthcare by our communities.
Very special artists that come with beauty, exceptional talent, heightened creativity, innovation, and the unique ability to touch a huge portion of the public or even ones that deeply move a smaller portion deserve not only our support, but our acknowledgment overall as a society that this is extremely positive, valuable and important.  It's been said by the greats that to get to these areas where it is safe and open to create, whether it exists in the universe or inside of their own heads, these folks have to visit hard places and the work involved is nothing less than that of a trained national athlete.  Perhaps even harder in ways because art is fickle and can't be conjured even with musical training.
And yes I will mourn Prince the man but my thoughts today are why do we wait for them to die to truly honor their work.  I'm not saying to idolize or praise the individual but to treat the work as a sacred thing, because it is.  Just as we have a place for classic paintings in museums, surely we can do better than just the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tonight I baked chicken thighs with a spicy dry rub and coupled it with a chunky guacamole over black rice simmered in a zesty lemony chicken broth.  I'm trying to induce flair with affordable everyday ingredients that don't take a lot of time but make the diner feel important and cherished.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

And the Band Played On

Today I feel like there is a creative revolution going on out there and in here and in me and in friends, in P, in society, in my town , in my family.  As much as there are deep rooted troubles, corruption, and lies in the world today, the dying of values and ethics, hell, maybe because of that, there is also a huge wave of master art.  In television, in music, in writing, photography, paintings.  And it makes sense being there is so much uncertainty.  We have extreme, sometimes scary new weather now as a normal, our political system pretty much collapsed entirely.  Our food is unsafe to eat and too expensive.  Companies are outright poisoning us deliberately and it seems everywhere you turn all the crooks are getting away with all their bullshit.  Hatred is considered being Christian and the least spiritually conscious people are being given the most amount of air time.
I was so lucky to be a young tween and teen ripping the shrink wrap off of a brand new album that would prove to become a classic rock, country, funk or soul recording.  How many times in the 60s or 70s did that become true, even the 80s but less often for me.  As a matter of fact when you realize it, it already was exceptional at that first listen, whether we knew it or not.  We witnessed so many brilliant musical offerings. The listener didn't make it historical, the magic happened in the writing and in the capturing. Sometimes you knew right away and others it took a week or so before it sunk in.  It's like those documentaries you see of would be iconic musicians sitting around together before it all became true.  They were there but how could they know how special the time was, at the time.  But I do feel there is specialness in this time.
Maybe during highly charged social change there opens up gates of prolific genius. There certainly is an abundance of material.  There is struggle and hardship, anger and the questioning of appointed authority. I feel like time has come today and we are here now.   Maybe for the music industry it's a chance to do it better, cleaner.  Less greedy assholes more integrity.  Money could come but in doses that don't kill everyone.
Here and there I feel my own cooking revival happening.  But it's not a rehash, it's fresh.  Like this baked chicken bone-in breast.  Simple things like adding baking soda and lots of garlic and onion powder, a little curry and much higher heat, really takes these bird hooters to the Penthouse suite.  The meat is super juicy and the soda gives a little crisp to the jazzed up skin akin to your good memory of KFC but without all the grease, guilt or breading.
And FINally, a rendition of my mom's Mexican rice but using a good grained brown version.  Super hard to get right but boy did I hit something this time.
At the very least if the world is ending, we'll have some great send off tunes.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Even the Losers, Get Lucky Sometimes

On one of the bleakest blocks of my commute there appeared my 100% white leafed trees!  I once a year spectacle only available for a day or two at most. I thought I had missed the opportunity and yet there it was. Never give up on your small lame wishes.
My crispy baked chicken thigh recipe is getting tiresome but it's just so damn good that I couldn't resist.  White meat was never my thing but done & seasoned right, can be a juicy, unblemished consistency perfection.
I'll say it. Bok Choy is healing.  It just is. And it's comforting.  Talk about juicy.  Whatever bursts out of that stuff must be straight from the gods.  Unlike other steamed vegetables, this one is a giver.
My last accompaniment to the plate was my neverending attempt to make my mom's famous Mexican rice using good long grain brown rice instead of the white short grain.  Almost but not quite there yet.  It needs more cooking time to get tender enough, possibly a final bake off in the oven will do it.  I'm getting closer. though.  The other hardship is getting the flavors just right.  White is like a blank canvass whereas there is good bite, texture and nuttiness to the brown.  The spices need adjusting to compliment and not mask its natural attributes.
I will get this right before I die off.  It's a promise to self.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Another Glimpse of the Madman Across the Water

Best yet baked chicken tenders.  Dipped in seasoned flour, then an egg wash, then chili sprinkled crushed corn flakes mixed with Panko crumbs. Thin sliced the breast meat and pounded it out then soaked it in milk and Louisiana Hot Sauce beforehand. Topped them with fresh pico de gallo.
My nephew sent me a record that I made mention of on a FB post that was featured in a yard sale across the country.  What a thoughtful thing to do!  Takes a lot of effort to mail something out these days. Caring is a lost art. Plus a trip to the post office, get the box, tape, find the address.  What are considered modern day hassles.  He had no idea how much he had sent me because there is So much life attached to this album and these early Elton John recordings for me.  Elton John was music that my sister Rachel and I discovered ourselves.  Since we grew up with the many and awesome musical influences of our older brothers and sisters and parents, we learned to seek out music that moved us and Elton was sort of our first musical frontier solo. After the bubblegum bullshit that is.  I combed over every detail of his offerings while slightly inebriated.  My sister was more social than me.  I would more often than not take time off school for personal days.  My dad always had great stereo systems to play his Tex-Mex records that just needed slight knob adjustments to be able to accommodate my new sounds.  So many mornings after my parents left for work would I lay on my back with the album in hand in front of the large wooden stereo furniture just listening and daydreaming.  Finally there was a placeholder for all of my personal feelings and thoughts.
This morning a getting ready for spring breakfast featuring orange pepper potatoes with green eggs and bacon.