The Cheeseburger Martyr

On our flight from Havana to Los Angeles, there was a Cheeseburger Martyr.

There are many things to be thankful for on your flight from Havana to Los Angeles. You have just experienced one of the most fascinating countries and warmest people in the Western Hemisphere; you will soon have access to your car, grocery stores and bank ATMs; you live in a place where you are free to say whatever you want about the government.

The Cheeseburger Martyr, up first to get his carry-on before anyone else

There is no reason to be shitty.

The man looked pleasant enough as he boarded and sat down in the row in front of us — grandfatherly, fit, Patagonia-esque dress, a kind smile. The facade would soon be betrayed, however, when the food service started. More

Of Kim Jongs and Cauliflower

In December of last year, I predicted 2017 was going to be the “Year of the Sandwich” on this blog. But at the rate I’m going, it’s shaping up to be Year of the Korean Food.

Speaking of Korea — and the North in particular — that fat little squirt Kim Jong Un, the Baby Leader, sure is turning out to be a provocative one. I included his father, Kim Jong Il, the Dear Leader, in a previous post about Korean short ribs. And as batshit crazy as that cat was, this new Kim makes him seem positively Lincolnian.

Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un

In one of his first acts as leader, he had his favorite uncle executed. He’s been developing nuclear warheads, and has recently launched a barrage of medium-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. Barring the U.S. going to war with Japan — and I say that only half facetiously, given the unpredictable nature of politics and policy these days — I will be cruising those very waters with my family this summer, visiting Japan, Russia and Korea (South). Hopefully we will not get hit by one of Kim Jong Un’s errant missiles. More

Kim Chee to the Rescue, Again!

It was Super Bowl Sunday, and things were not going well.

A few evenings earlier, I had awoken in the middle of the night with one of those sneezes that tells you immediately a cold is imminent.

We had friends for dinner Friday night, and despite feeling a bit under the weather, I cooked and ate and drank and toasted and laughed. And then went to bed. And didn’t sleep a wink — the entire night.

My medicine

My medicine

I got up, jittery, tired and sick. And went for a run. When I got home, I showered, took a Benadryl, climbed back in bed. And slept for four hours. When I woke, I felt wildly out of sorts — even sleepier than I had been, my vision skewed, my depth perception practically non existent. More

Taco, I Can’t Quit You

Bruce was having trouble posting a comment on my “Goodbye, Year of the Taco” post.

“What did you want to say?” I asked, being that I was now standing beside him in person and could simply accept the comment first-hand.

“I was going to ask why the Year of the Taco has to end.”

“Well,” I replied, “It doesn’t really end. That was more for the narrative and thematic purposes of my blog.”

He looked puzzled, but the answer seemed to comfort him.

The kids and I on the hunt — the prized lion's mane!

The kids and I on the hunt — the prized bear’s head!

As it happened, we were at Bruce and my mother’s house deep in the forest of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley for our annual holiday visit, and there would be tacos on the menu. Our second evening there, we had a crab feast. The next day, the leftover crab made for a perfect lunch of one of my favorite tacos. More

More Cool Gadgets That Take Up Space You Don’t Have

The best obscure one-use gadgets come from Europe. My friend from Austria gave me a spaetzle maker. How often to YOU make spaetzle?? Probably less often than I, which is a couple times a year — often once around Oktoberfest. The spaetzle maker takes up almost one whole drawer all by itself. But when I make spaetzle, I sure am happy to have it.

The spaetzle maker

The spaetzle maker

I also have a raclette stove, which takes up the better part of a whole cupboard shelf. Raclette is an Alpine French cheese that you melt on tiny skillets, and then mash together with boiled potatoes and cornichons. The last time we used it, George W. Bush was president. But boy, is it cool. More

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