Jon, Redeemed

Long-time readers may recall with a chuckle posts from the past about our pal, Jon — who, it always seemed, had ten thumbs when it came to cooking.

Or perhaps rather, it might’ve been a convergence of confusion and disinterest when it came to matters of the kitchen, as he made periodic attempts to host us for under-prepared dinner parties, or arrived triumphantly at a friend’s dinner party with a huge slow cooker full of his famous Jack Daniels-and-Coke sausages. (Recipe, in Jon’s words: “Jack Daniels, can of Coke, polka kielbasa. Cook the shit out of it.”)

Presenting dinner by Jon

Presenting dinner by Jon

We love Jon. So it is always with a bit of culinary trepidation but joy in our hearts that we accept a dinner invitation, as we did the other night. I typically offer to bring something, hoping he’ll ask me to bring the entire dinner (as he sometimes does). But this time he was firm: “Don’t bring anything.”

I obliged… mostly. (Preferring to not take chances on the beverage front, I did bring a bottle of wine.)

Jon would be serving tacos. In the past at Jon’s, we have had pizza and hamburgers, and he has often sought my help: “What do we need to do to make this taste good?” That would not be the case this particular evening. Jon opened the door and welcomed us with a heretofore unseen confidence.

For appetizers, there was cheese and crackers — the former, deftly sliced and fanned across the plate; the latter de-boxed with an almost theatrical flair.

“Can I get you a taco, Seanie?” he asked. I nodded enthusiastically, excited to watch his next move.

The taco

The taco

And then he presented it: a perfectly executed gringo American taco. The store-bought taco shells were crunchy, yet yielded just enough to the bite, revealing a layered interior of toothsome, authoritatively spiced ground beef, chewy and briny grated cheese, gossamer cubes of red tomato and the cooling crunch chiffonaded (i.e. chopped) iceberg lettuce. And, presciently avoiding another typical pitfall of the gringo American taco dinner, Jon provided plenty of everything — since there were thirteen of us, and you can’t eat just one of those tacos… nor two… nor three.

I could almost hear the collective cheer rising from Jon’s East Coast family, who had gotten used to reading about his foibles and missteps on this very blog. Jon was triumphant, having redeemed the family name and his own culinary dignity.

We looked forward to future dinners at Jon’s. What would he pull out of his chef’s hat next? Spaghetti and meatballs? Stir fry? Soup!??

Jon’s recipe: “Get some boxes of taco shells and a package of taco seasoning. Make the ground beef. Scoop some beef into the taco shell, top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. And some onions and guacamole if you like.”

Consider the gauntlet thrown down — especially you East Coast Bucks!



9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser
    Dec 18, 2015 @ 14:27:09

    Sean sounds like a good time! Happy Holidays to you & Family. Cheryl


  2. Chuck
    Dec 18, 2015 @ 16:40:09

    Sean…thanks for the report. We east coast Bucks will be seeing the LA clan tomorrow and we’ll be expecting Jon to treat us via his new found cooking skills. Thanks to you for setting such a good example.

    Happy Holidays to the Colgin clan!



  3. Jessamine in PDX
    Dec 21, 2015 @ 06:50:42

    Yum, I could definitely polish off quite a few of those! Jon reminds me of a friend of mine named Heather. She was part of a rotating dinner club I was part of years ago. We usually alternated bringing an entree, side dish or dessert. Once for taco night, she was supposed to bring rice and beans. Instead she brought a box of Rice-a-roni…teriyaki flavor. I still laugh when I think about it.


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