As you can see from the featured pictured that on the 18th of December I get an email from RJ saying that the gauntlet has been thrown. I confer with Geranium on her schedule and within 5 minutes of getting that email we are informing our favorite travel agent that we can’t be one-upped by RJ and Mal-O-Rie and to book us the same time down in Mexico.
I realize that the weekend we will be down in Mexico will also be the Super Bowl. I already knew by mid October that the Jets and Giants were out so I was ok watching a sporting event from another country. I was in London the previous Super Bowl and I didn’t really miss much. We stayed at a brand new resort and had a blast. Of course we don’t have to have much (except for a shitload of Wine and Vodka) to have a good time with the 4 of us.
We had great weather, the game was actually fun and it was good to get away from Memphis and New York for a couple days.
So who will you be emailing with 45 days notice to come to a foreign country and drink with them?
First off, I really suck at this blog thing in 2020 don’t I? Here we are VD week and I haven’t really done much on this thing. Well we have been kinda busy at work and if it wasn’t for damn RJ and Mal-o-rie making us go to Mexico last week I would probably be better. Who am I fucking kidding? I barely shower on the weekends when I am in Brooklyn….
So back when I was in the Pacific Northwest seeing Geranium we decided to get some culture on Sunday since we were kind of low key on Saturday. We decided to try out the Chihuly Garden and Art Gallery. If you are like me it sounded like Charlie Brown’s teachers voice because I wasn’t really sure who the fuck Dale Chihuly is or what medium he uses.
Let me spell it out for a coupe of you guys who are like me and don’t have room in your brain for this information. It is The Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas lobby glass chandelier guy. Now you know who I am talking about? Well apparently home slice lives in the Pacific Northwest and he has a gallery and garden with his hand blown glass pieces.
I am going to stop now because after we walked around the corner and saw the first piece it was amazing.
So if you have the chance to get to Seattle you need to give Chihuly Gallery a look. We did reward ourselves after the gallery and got some beer and food.
On the back of the door in our apartment we have one of those old school calendars. We use it for scheduling shit and to make sure that we keep the dog alive with our schedules. I took a look at it this morning as I was getting the Black Eyed Peas and Greens on the stove and here is what we had to show for with Trips;
Geranium was away 151 days in 2019. Mind you 31 of those days were when she was in Switzerland/France. That actually made us both appreciate our time together more and take stock in our relationship which made it stronger.
We saw Elton John and his Farewell Tour at The Barclays
Got to experience The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. That was a killer event.
While Geranium was away Mr. 3 First Names & Lady Lawyer and I went to see Jose Andres at his book signing.
Got our Southern Redneck on thanks to BK and saw Hank Jr and Skynrd at Forrest Hills.
Rang in the New Year at the Barclays Center with The Strokes.
Oh and we had dinner at Per Se too.
And so that I am not a complete prick I am going to end this list that we also did some horse gambling at Aquaduct Race Track.
Regarding Trips Away, I am kind of embarrassed to divulge this to you dozen readers. I mean this list is somewhat obscene. Mind you we were able to take advantage of Geranium’s international trips and my ability to fly stand by.
Hung with PNG Mike, Ellie & JD in London and watched 6 Nations Rugby with them.
Visited Northwest Arkansas for Family Christmas
Made a trip Upstate with Vivian and Stone
Made warm weather trips to; Cancun, Belize, Fort Meyers, Gulf Shores, and Dale Hollow Lake.
Went over to Philly for a BBQ at Pepe’s house.
Got to experience Barcelona for the First Time. (Got to go back)
I did 48 hours in Switzerland to see Geranium and imagine that..it was raining!
Made it to Memphis for Thanksgiving and for a work trip in September.
Got to eat some low country cooking with the ChoHo’s in Charleston South Carolina.
All in all it was a good year for us for doing the fun shit. Granted I wondered why our bank account has been low but now I know why I haven’t been able to see my feet in months.
It was a good time for trips and shit that we saw in 2019.
Hello, my name is Carbunkle Trumpet. I am one of those Food Snobs that you read about who travel the world eating endangered or banned species. Relax Francis…we weren’t eating the banned French Ortolans like they ate on the show Billions. Confession – I may have enjoyed the fuck out of my Fois Gras but was still legal to consume as of the 22nd of December. What makes the last Saturday before Christmas so great? The service, the wine pairings, the food, and the overall experience are top notch but it is the company that sits at the table that makes it so special.
Back story – if you are just stumbling on this blog and the Per Se part of it let me recap for you. Homeless Tim and a group of barristers about 12 years ago started having an annual dinner at Thomas Keller’s 3 Micheline Star restaurant on Columbus Circle named Per Se. Keller also has French Laundry on the west coast and TAK Room here in Hudson Yards but Per Se is considered one of the pillars of gastronomical dining here in New York. When we moved her we got the chance to dine at Le Bernardin with Baby Fine Hair and her mother the first month of living here. Mr. 3 First Names and Lady Barrister inquired if we like fine dining. We told them yes and they said they would see if they could extend an invite to us for their Christmas dinner group. We didn’t’ really think much about it as this conversation was going on over drinks in Lower Manhattan and as you can guess…..alcohol was being consumed.
So in December of 2015 we attended our first Per Se Dinner along with Asian Fireman and V.Q. (She gets the full title retired since we didn’t have a repeat this year) and a cast of others. We attended every year except for 2 years back due to a scheduling issue but it wasn’t until this year that I really took stock in the table.
The crux of the Christmas Dinner Cast are; Homeless Tim who is the scheduling /’knows the guy’ to get us the primo table. Mr. 3 First Names and Lady Barrister, you may have heard me speak of them before. Then you have the Asian Fireman/Grey Suit guy and his wife V.P.. But let’s not forget Bobcat (another barrister) and her husband the Professor. Then you throw in Geranium and myself and you have a unique dinner experience. Oh we had some dessert guests joining us later but more on that later.
This year we were celebrating not only Christmas but we were celebrating someone who kicked the shit out of cancer. As we were siting there, by the way, this dinner took 6 hours from start to finish. I really enjoyed the conversation and what I call “peeling the onion” with the different cast of characters at the table. I could try to explain but I know I can’t do it justice.
Put it this way; how can you explain the conversation dynamics of the table with someone who is a high School history teacher, a person who has been sober for 25 years and yet still enjoys our conversation while we get loose tonged during the course of the night. There is a couple who have 3 knuckleheads at home, meanwhile the other 3 couples only have 4 legged kids at their homes and don’t know what it means to have kids banging on their heads with a Stage 4 Hangover. And then there is that guy who hates white wine.
Again, I am going to stop and put up some pictures so Iuka Mississippi’s own can shame me for posting food pictures.
Like I said, the meal, the wine, the service is over the top but the folks at the table make it all the better. Honestly – I would be ok if Homeless Tim one day called and said that he got our Christmas Dinner at Waffle House. Sure I would be disappointed but knowing the cast of folks at the table and I would be ok with that.
Again, Thank you to Tim, Jess & Dan for the invite.
So Game Day is coming to Beale Street. Congrats to the Memphis Tigers on becoming a relevant and respected football program. Hey I recall those Larry Porter days…yikes! But seriously I am proud of those fans who have braved empty stadiums and shitty teams. You guys have earned having Game Day tomorrow and I hope you make this former Memphian proud and roll out for this!
Now for you handful of rummy’s that I may or may not have slung a beer with in the past 10 years. Game Day, if you have never seen it live, is going to be a bit boring. They will have some spots where they will interview the coach. Do a feature on Memphis and make it a tear jerker but in a good way. The Guest Picker will come out which peaks a lot of noise, and then by the grace of God Corso better put on a Fucking Tiger head. Sad to say – The rest of the show is going to be boring. Now read my words you select few – JUST BECAUSE IT IS BORING THIS ISN’T THE TIME TO GO DO IRISH CAR BOMBS OR SILKY SULLIVAN DIVERS! You are an adult now and this isn’t BBQ fest. You have a full day of football and the game is going to be late so unless you want Liberty Bowl Stadium to resemble Death Valley down in Baton Rouge…..lay off the booze till the afternoon.
You can have a beer or two in the morning. Tio Trumpet isn’t going to chastise you for having a Bloody Mary to settle the nerves. I mean you are on Beale waiting for the team pics but please add pause to your game folks. Also do us a favor and come up with some good signs for us folks who will be watching from the Cigar Inn? My buddies will be busting my balls if we give a bad look.
Seriously have fun and when the Tigers win Saturday night make sure you avoid any TV cameras. I still have vivid memory of Didi getting on the news after the UT game. He was wearing a blue pom-pon on his head saying “We kicked their ass!” Then my dad called me the next day and asked if that was him.
You got this and I expect to see some familiar faces on TV. I will actually be going to the Memphis Watch Party on Saturday night. Hey @pcolinjr – where are we meeting again? @jensized you want to get out before the marathon? Who am I kidding they don’t read this dribble. I am excited for Memphis and am happy that those friends of mine who have been enduring the Chuck Stobart years now have a day in the sun. Can you tell us hog Fans what that feels like?
Now the pics of the week.
So in the words of Rocky Kasaftes’ beloved Mother – “You boys don’t get into much trouble and remember my words…Nothing good happens after midnight!”
One should always pay proper homage to their southern roots. What does this mean folks???? A trip to the FloraBama and Waffle House!
Recall when Sean Brock and Anthony Bourdain went to Waffle House and these words were muttered?
“You don’t come here expecting the French Laundry,” Brock says. “You come here expecting something amazing.” “This is better than the French Laundry,” Bourdain replies.
No disrespect to Thomas Keller (Landlord and Mr. 3 First Names – Cover your eyes) but in the south the Waffle House kicks the shit out of French Laundry and twice on Sunday Morning! After a quick trip to the Florabama RJ and I asked our driver if they would drop us off at the Waffle House for a small meal. We arrived just before midnight and after a brief wait were ushered to a seat at the counter.
In proper respect to Sean Brock & Bourdain, I ordered a Pecan Waffle as an appetizer which puzzled RJ and settled for the 2 eggs fried, Scattered, Smothered, Covered X 2, Bacon and toast breakfast. I believe that RJ chowed down on a Philly Breakfast plate but when I recalled looking over there it was gone!
Maria – is there a Waffle House around these parts? I see a couple in PA.
Again apologies to Jenn for forgetting the hashbrowns in the Uber. I blame RJ for leaving it!
In an effort to save a little money since we are about to go on vacation we have been cooking a little more at home. Also with Geranium being on the road the last thing she really wants is food from a restaurant. For my inspiration on new dishes I have been reading Jose Andres’ book “Vegetables Unleashed”.
I really like the book and the recipes in it because cooking foods that are from a different culture really opens you up to new flavors and tastes. It is no secret that I started cooking from watching the chefs at Chez Philippe when I was a waiter there. “What do you mean that you don’t have heavy whipping cream in your fridge? How the Fuck am I to cook?” Yes I was trained to cook Classic French Cuisine. Thankfully the food shows gave me some balance but with “Vegetables Unleashed” it really puts you on notice.
For the menu we made a couple weeks back included;
Miso Roasted Asparagus (before this I had no clue what Miso was)
Microwaved Cacio y Pepe (Parents you need to make this for your kids)
Sesame Yogurt Corn on the Cob
Jose Andres’ Famous Beefsteak Tomato Sandwich
Lots of Wine and a little Tito’s
Apologies to Taco Girl who probably just fried her laptop because she was drooling on her keyboard.
Recall the post when I was bitching about cooking for one person? Well Geranium did it to me again…..she ordered another Marley Spoon on her way to Seattle. By the way L.J.Z. – I have supported your ass now for 3 years….. When are you going to send “Banker Man” to one of my eye-talian suit guys? *If you are wondering what I am talking about. There is an un-written rule for us fellow sales reps that sell tickets on the double decker buses. You always support your own*
Anyway I informed Jackie, our evening desk person, that I would be cooking for her because I had 3 meals to either cook or trash. She was excited and didn’t bring dinner last night. The order that you have to cook proteins for Marley Spoons are in this order; Seafood, Meat/Pork and Vegetarian. ****Imagine that, the food that the cow’s shit on can last longer****
Last night I made the grilled salmon and grilled vegetables with a red pepper pesto sauce. I cooked it to the recipe directions (ish) by using a cast iron skillet plate that I have had for years. If you are not sure what I am talking about it. This is a cast iron rectangle plate that has a flat side and on the other side is ribbed for her pleasure. TRANSLATION – This gives you the open flame grill marks if you are not cooking outside on a Weber charcoal grill. I made the dish to the directions and grilled the Broccoli, Squash, Red Onion and Salmon in the apartment using the plate. I take it down to Jackie and fellow peer and they are freaking out on the grill marks.
“Did you go down to the 3rd floor and use one of the outside grills? (By the way those fuckers are electric) I inform them I made it in the apartment and used a plate.
“Oh, you made this on a special plate that I will never need unless I have to cook inside, I will be fine ordering from Seamless or Uber Eats.”
I look at Jacky and ask her if she has never cooked on an open flame before. *She is originally from Barbados* and she says that she has. I told her that if I didn’t have a plate I could have made due with a bakers cookie cooling rack and my stove. It was right then that I lost the poor girl and realized that the millennial generation needs to step it up. Seriously you fuckers may starve to death if the microwave gives out or Uber Eats can’t deliver.
*Back History – I grew up in the time when there wasn’t a food network. There wasn’t a cooking demonstration at William Sonoma. There certainly wasn’t a cooking show on TV. I mean I pretty much learned how to cook watching my mother/father or the maid. However in this case, I learned how to cook at the ripe age of 23 years old from the chefs at the 4-star Chez Philippe Restaurant in the Peabody Hotel Meanwhile I while living in the Shrine Building in downtown Memphis.*
I have said many times that I am little shit. No seriously, I admit it openly. Poor Geranium, while we were dating, grew tired of eating all the Heavy Cream dishes that I would make each weekend. To my defense, I would watch the guys on the line make these dishes nightly. I would think “I could do this!” Actually, I am surprised I didn’t kill her because I later realized that the chefs would par-cook the proteins and I just watched the finishing moment. In other words, my shitwas half cooked.
“The way you make an omelet reveals your character.”
He was referring to if you bring a person home for the night you at least owe him/her a decent meal before they are about to do the “walk of shame.” Millennials you need to start paying attention. You need to go buy you some items to put in the kitchen before you buy that Cross Fit membership. Then you should start playing around with cooking by watching You Tube or a cooking show. Try your dishes on your friends or that roommate that you always hate. This way when you are ready to cook for someone special you will be ready and not burning an a simple omelet for that one-night stand. Seriously folks, eggs are sold by the dozen. I even taught the Lady Killer how to break an egg without breaking shell. I mean, you need to do this and do it with grace. Wait till his mother, *who is the author for the title of this worthless dribble* finds out I have made the lady killer more marketable.
Changing the Subject yet again – My nephew when he was 12 fucking years old made Philly Cheese Steaks for Geranium and I. He was self-taught and figured it out from watching YouTube. *Of course Geranium was right behind him but he wanted to cook and by GOD he made dinner with little to no help…..And it was good too!* People, this is not brain surgery. Go forth and learn how to feed yourself! I am not asking you to field dress a deer, I am asking you to cook a decent burger and then serve it to someone.
So, in no consequential order this is the list of items that one should have in their kitchen. Jose Andres goes big baller with a Juicer but I say do this in baby steps. So here is what I say you need;
Bottom Line is Try Different Stuff.
Try to cook something other than your normal drunk food.
And if you have a new Kitchen Toy or recipe please don’t be bashful. I love things that are different.
I recall it like it was yesterday. The first text came from GrainbinGirl at like 7:AM (6:AM Memphis Time) then the next came from Pepe. “Anthony Bourdain was gone and by his own hand.” *Disclaimer – I have lost many a good friend and family member by their own hand. This post is not in any way shape or form trying to speak of this horrible disease. Sadly it takes too many good people*
So the loss of Antony Bourdain has bothered me for a while. Now that I have just finished up on a whirlwind tour with Shawna (yeah, I am serious when I use real names) I miss him even more.
For this post I plan on speaking about some of Tony’s quotes that I hold dear to my heart. His friend Jose Andres said it best in his latest book in the tribute;
“To our friend Anthony Bourdain, who
spent his life planting seeds”
That man put a bunch of seeds in my head and I owe it to him to make them grow and experience some of what he got to see. Let’s be honest….the Cock Sucker had the best life in the world and I am so grateful that I can try to do as much as I can!!! Enough with the chatter. Here are my favorite Bourdain Quotes in no sequential order and some notes;
changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things
slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and
travel — leaves marks on you.” –
Loved my trip to a small town in Switzerland. You don’t get the same experience
in the larger towns. Here I was just an American who couldn’t speak French and
didn’t know I needed to bring a bag.
you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to
travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find
out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.” – Or if you are 49 years old do this
and load up on the ADVIL! I am not going to lie, the travel I did to see Shawna
was tough but I look back and loved every minute of it!
“The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.” – I landed at Heathrow exhausted but figured out the Tube Schedule, walked my ass through the rain and got to the hotel. I could have wimped out and paid a King’s Ransom for a Black Car but what is the point if you aren’t going to see and experience Rush Hour into London on a Friday?
“I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m also a big believer that you are never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.” – This was 100% Barcelona! I only had a list from The Notorious NFG but it was going to be a total wing it. I love that town. I want to go back and I want to go back now.
heavily with locals whenever possible.” – No Comment
learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Loved our visit
with English Mike & Ellie as well as our visit with The Tour Agent and Curly
Sue in Switzerland. I know that our paths will cross again and when it does. I
plan on picking up from where we left off.
body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” – It is very well documented that I
smoke cigars, drink alcohol on occasion, and need a cholesterol pill. Sure, I try
to keep myself leaning towards the cleaner side of life but what’s the point of
living if you can’t slide down butt naked on a sheet of ice. Yes, I ordered the
damn goose liver and I loved it!
“I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.” – I am hoping she never reads this but I so disagree with Z-Squared and her guerrilla vacation tactics. I love her to death and will be that “3AM phone call guy to come bury a body” guy but I can’t vacation with her. Let that shit roll off the back.
And will I finish with this one. I will always have the deepest respect and love for Ernie and Lynn Mellor for giving an out of work carnie a job.
“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Nothing is better than standing over a hot smoker busting balls and or discussing life. I am always appreciate of the visits with the Asian Fireman in Woodlawn.
So, if you have not figured out by my already 900 words this is telling you to go out and explore. It doesn’t have to be in a different country. It can be in a different part of your home town.
All you have to do is be friendly, be respectful and always be humble.
Rest in peace Tony. I am still pissed I didn’t get to drink with you at Billy Mark but that is more for a selfish reason.
To honor you I will try to see as much of this world as you did.
To my 7 out of 15 readers who are not from Memphis; there is a DJ in Memphis who would scream her battle cry “Its Friday Bitches!” on Fridays when she opened her show. Naturally “The Lady Killer’s” best buddy, Christopher Blaine Jarman would bring it down a notch and just say “It’s Friday Snitches” because he was the afternoon guy and he knew that kids were in the cars at that time. Shout out to the Jar!
I have had a couple of people ask me what the hell is going on since I have been on a Blog writing tear lately. What can I say, when Geranium is back in town the world revolves better. Thank you to all of you who commented on my Say No To The Bag/Styrofoam post because that has been on my mind for a couple of days since my return from Switzerland. Actually last night I went down to Target to get a couple of things and naturally I brought my Old Lady Cart and LL Bean bag. The cashier informed me she is required to put scanned items into a bag because it is a security issue. This is going to break TCB’s Mom’s heart but Target is a huge contributor of plastic bag waste. Even though I was putting the bagged items in my buggy the bitch still double bagged it. I counted 16 plastic bags after I got home. They got to do better!
Anyway here are some pictures that I have taken for the past 3 weeks.