Guy Fieri is FOODNETWORKS culinary rock star par exultances .He is a restaurateur, author, game show hast and television personality, who can be seen both at prime time as well as day time. He started out, in grade school selling pretzel from a cart, to help earn travel and tuition money to go to France to study cuisine. He then attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas earning a Bachelor of Science
degree in Hotel Management in 1990. Guy spent the next 6 years in the “trade” working for Stouffer’s restaurants in Southern California. In 1996 he teamed up with friend and business partner Steve Gruber to open JOHNNY GARLIC’S, A CALIFORNIA PASTA GRILL. In 2003 he opened TEX WASABI’S a barbecue and sushi place. By 2014 Guy had open over 10 restaurants on both coasts as well as a partner-ship with Carnival Cruise Lines to open Guy’s Burger Joint fleet wide. You can get a fix of Guy from Northern California to Las Vegas to New York City and beyond!
But it was in April of 2006 that Guy became a star or at least we became aware of his soon to be omnipresence. Winning the second season of THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR Guy’s television career was launched, and away he went. Guy’s Big Bite premiered on June 25 2006. His second series (and my personal favorite), Dinners, Drive-Ins and Dives, launched in April 2007, in which Guy travels around the country seeking out the shows eponymous name sakes.2008 saw Guy team up with co-host, Mark Summers to do Ultimate Recipe Showdown. He has also appeared on many other FOOD NETWORK shows such as Dinner: Impossible in 2007 and 2009, Paula’s Party, Ace of Cakes with Duff Goldberg and The Best Thing I ever Ate. NBC selected Guy as the host of the game show MINUTE TO WIN IT in 2009 which aired for two seasons. In 2012 the FOODNETWORK teamed Guy up with Rachael Ray for the series, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-off. By 2010 Guy Frieri had become the “face of the network” his rowdy and over-the-top style began to attract a larger male audience to the FOODNETWORK something the people who ran the place, quickly took notice. Along with his Television and restaurant career Guy has written several “New York Times” best-selling books. Diners Drive-Ins and Dives: An All American Road Trip…with Recipes! 2008 (William Morrow) More Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Another Drop-Top Culinary Cruse Though America’s Finest and
Funkiest 2009 (William Morrow) Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It 2011 (William Morrow) Guy on Fire : Grilling Tailgating, Camping and More 2014 (William Morrow) Guy was born in Columbus, Ohio but grew up in Ferndale, in Humboldt County, in Northern California. Guy changed his surname to Fieri in 1995 to honor his Italian immigrant grandfather, Giuseppe Fieri. With his FLAVORTOWN food line, featuring barbecue sauces, salsas and rubs and his trade-mark shades the future looks bright for Guy Fieri. Guy lives in Northern California with his wife, Lori and sons Hunter and Ryder. With his trade mark shades the future looks bright for Guy Fieri
JAY MCGINTY, ROVING REPORTER ON ASIGNMENT FOR THE BEST PINA COLADA IN
July 10th National Peña Colada Day.
Gazing out of the window at the blue sea of the Caribbean, I was energized. Soon, I’d be in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Having spent several months living there, working and playing, this time it would be all playing. The Cocina Criolla or Créole Cooking is my favorite in the islands. Spicy but friendly, beaches inviting, weather hot, like the women. I headed for a surprise visit to my best friend on the island, also the best bartender. Someone who’ll let me crash at the beach front apartment, when I was last here. Rita, ah my lovely Rita. She is a “take no bulls**t” person, who can lift your spirit or chop you to kindling with a look and a few words. My kind of woman. It has been … how long since I’d seen her? Year and a half give or take. You see in my line of work, sometimes, time is relative. Time, space and place. Leaving the airport I head straight to “EL BATEY”, on Calle Cristo, not far from the old cathedral. This was the vacation I had dreamed about ever since that little business in St. Petersburg that I can’t talk about, if you get my drift. Soon, Rita would soon be mixing up her famous Peña Colada for me. It’s a magical blend of Rum and juice, simple, but like most things simple, very difficult to do right. I could watch her shake the shaker and pour all night long. In fact I have.
El Batey may be a bit of a dive bar, but better than most dive bars I tend to frequent. Most dives I go to are for business meetings, El Batey I go for Rita and the Peña Coladas’. The hands down, bar none best Peña Coladas’ in the world. So after freezing my backside off in Russia and drinking way too much cheap vodka, I was in desperate need of cold Run and a hot bartender, if you get my drift. I think I have earned it, and have the scars and bruises to prove it. Walking in to El Batey I knew something was wrong. Well, there is always something wrong in this place. But right now, something was wrong, wrong. Nobody was smiling (wrong), no music (wrong), a palatable smell of anger (wrong). All eyes were on me (wrong in so many ways!) But this was not my first rodeo, buck-a-roo; been there, done that, the rodeo part that is, another story I can’t talk about, statute of limitations and all that. Casually I swagger up to the bar, that’s when I saw the problem. No Rita, just some big, mean looking dude with way too much “tude.”
“Rita in?” I ask, but already knowing the answer. “Gone.” He grunted “Where?” “Don’t know, don’t care.” “She still on the island?” “Listen buddy, do you want a beer or what?” “How about a Peña Colada?” ‘We don’t do Peña’s no more.” So that was that, my vacation just became work. Hopefully I could wrap this mystery up quick and wrap my arms around Rita and my hand around a Peña, before day’s end, if you get my drift. It didn’t turn out that way, but in my line of work, it almost never does.I started my search in Old San Juan. I personally know almost all of the dive bars and hole in the walls the town has to offer. But no deal, nada. My quest was twofold: find Rita and if failing that, find a great, no make that a Transcendent Peña Colada. The Rita part could be tricky, the Peña part, give me a break, Puerto Rico is the home of Bacardi Rum. It is the life blood, mothers milk, the Jedi force that floats the island. So first things first… find the perfect Peña Colada, with its restorative powers, I would be able to track down my beloved Rita. With any luck at all, both in the same place.
Ok, so when they don’t work out the way I want I always say “Luck is for smucks.”, well what I usually say is a little different, but it rhymes with luck, so you figure it out, I’m not your professor, got it. And so started my odyssey. It took Leopold Bloom all day to walk across Dublin, to his wife, Jason and the Argonauts took months to find the Golden Fleece, Odysseus took 7 years to get home from Troy. Well they were amateurs, and I’m a pro, more or less. I had plenty of “contacts” on the island and know by name a hundred different bartenders, so I started my trek hopeful, well some times “denial” is just a river in Egypt. My contacts are a less than savory bunch. It comes with the territory in my line of work. One thing I love about Rita is she never asked about what I do for a living, and I wouldn’t have told her even if she did. You see my friends, “hearsay evidence” may not be used in a court in the States, but everywhere else it will get you put away, mums the word, got it. Bar after bar, dive after dive, hell-hole
after hell-hole, I crisscrossed the island, no Rita. Some of the Peña Coladas’ were even more soul depleting then one would imagine. A Peña Colada is a simple mix of Rum, Pineapple Juice, Coconut Milk and Ice, simple and sublime. Rita’s is transcendent. Of course it would be. I just loved watching her work the shaker. Man could she work the shaker. Did I menace she was… never mind, that’s none of your business. It seems every budding “mixologist” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), has a take on it. Listen buddy, take your take and shove it. I don’t need Half and Half or Cream, and keep your shaved ice. If I want a snow-cone I’ll ask for one. Keep your chunks of pineapples and cherries; I didn’t come in for a fruit salad. And you know what you can do with the straw !
As far as the fancy-schamcy glass, don’t get me started. I’m old school (or no-school) give me a beer glass filled to the rim with Peña and call it a day. So back off and save that crap for the tourists. In one place a pencil-necked, pimply faced geek started to pour from a pre-mixed bottle. Lucky for him I was not packing heat or it would not have ended well, if you get my drift. By the fourth day I was getting well… I never get afraid (mostly). Really worried (for the most part) always paranoid (comes with the job) angry (only with a bad Peña) frustrated, that’s it frustrated. I had contacted every low life, criminal, thug, drifter and snitch on the island, or as I like to say “my kind of people.”
But , no sign of Rita. Maybe it had all been a dream, a blessed hallucination and she and her Peña’s did not exist. It wouldn’t be the first time something like that had happened to me. There was an incident in Thailand… nope, can’t talk about that, ether. So walking across a park, I spotted her. Those eyes, those lips, those legs, those… none of your business. It was her! But she had changed. Oh how she had changed. Gone were the ear rings (5 in the left and 6 in the right). Gone were the eye-brow piercing, nose, lip, I couldn’t see we tongue, or the other 4 you can’t see in public. She was wearing a long sleeve T-shirt covering her arm tattoos. But good god almighty, it was her. As I approached I noticed something else and I dropped my snow-cone. She was holding a baby. How long had I been gone? I started to do the math, year and a half. Oh boy. She saw me and smiled. “Hi” I stammered. “Ola” she purred. “Been looking for you” “So I heard” “And?” “I knew you would find me, you all ways do” Looking at her beaming face, then at the baby’s beaming face, my eyes bounced back and forth like a Pinko Ball on the Ginza Strip in Tokyo. “You look great”
“You look a little tired” I felt like I was in quicksand, my knees were weak. “Sit down” She patted the bench. I sat. “So it’s been a while” I said. “Year and a half” I was checking out the baby. Pink one-sey, a girl, dark hair, dark eyes, cute little nose. None of me but at that age who could tell. “So” I mumbled “What’s new?” Looking at Rita’s’ smiling face, and the baby’s smiling face, was like looking at a double barreled shotgun. Shades of St. Petersburg, all over again. “Her name is Jaime” Jaime – Jay, this was not what I expected, not by a long shot! “She looks like you, beautiful.” “Oh duddito, she’s not mine, I’m her nanny.”
Ok at this point I was starting to blackout. “Say what!” “I’m her nanny; her parents are professors at the University” This was good, well maybe, but then again this might not be the best time to show any relief that would be tacky. “You a nanny! Kind of a different move, job wise.” “Well I did major in Child Psychology in school” “No wonder you were such a good bartender. Child psych should be required study for that job.” “And my 3rd degree black Belt in Karate was a plus” Now that did not surprise me, I once saw her drop a guy with a round-house kick to the head. And she always called me “grasshopper”. So now it made sense. “So how long are you staying!” “Couple of days, maybe longer.” “Well I’m heading back to the house with Jaime, she and her parents are heading out on vacation for 3 weeks, here’s my new address. So anyway, I should be there after 7 or so, that work for you?” “Ya, what should I bring?” She smiled and put the baby in her strolled, kissed me and walked away, smiling. She called out “You still like Peña Coladas?”
RITA’S TRANSCENDENT PINA COLADA
In a Boston Shaker add:
2 cups Ice, cracked, one at a time, by hand, the” Rita” way
8 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice, she has her own juicer
2 oz. Cream of Coconut, not the sweet stuff
3 oz. White Run, Bacardi please!
3 oz. Dark Rum, see above
1 ½ oz. 151 proof Rum, also see above
(This is what makes it transcendent)
Shake well. Oh lord how Rita can shake. Strain in to a Highball glass, save the fancy goblet and garnish
Sit back, sip and enjoy the good company. A little salsa music is a nice touch.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, JULY 4th
We love the 4th here in Saratoga Springs. And why not, It was the Battlefield of Saratoga that marked the turning point in the War of Independence. We here in Saratoga celebrate the 4th of July in a big way. This year was a great, familyfriendly festival of delights. Starting off on Friday night, we had the FIRESIDE CHAT with “General Burgoyne”, as he recounted from his vantage point the Battle of Saratoga, and its importance to the “Colonial Rebellion”, including his stories of the people, intrigue and drama that surrounded the battle. If you are a history buff, like I am, this is always a fun and educational way to kick off the 4th of July weekend. The free s’mores for all the kids was a big hit.
Saturday morning the festivities started with the FIRECRACKER 4 ROAD RACE that went from Broadway and Van Dam Street down to Spring Street. This is a BIG deal of a race; I understand that over 4000 runners participated this year. As my family and I cheered them on, I can believe it, there was a whole lot of them. You couldn’t help but notice how many people were wearing their “competitor’s medals” all around town, all day and night long. Good for them!
Who doesn’t love a parade, I know I do. This year was as good as it gets. The ALLAMERICAN PARADE and PATRIOTIC POOCHES is a local favorite that everybody looks forward to and talks about until the end of summer. Led off by the local KOREAN WAR VETERANS COLOR GUARD, it was a star spangled event. There were historical reenactors, including Continental Army soldiers and even Benjamin Franklin. Numerous civic groups and our City Leaders were parade participants; contributions from most of the local towns were there as well. But for me, the highlight was the “Patriotic Pooches”; there seemed to be an almost limitless supply of dog gone cute little pooches, dressed up in colorful and shiny AllAmerican style costumes. You could tell that the dogs were having as much fun as their human counterparts.
This year’s celebration could not be in Congress Park due to a private event, so instead they closed up Spring Street, Putnam Street and Henry Street for a downtown party! All the activities that we have come to expect and appreciate were there. The reenactors were in fine form and were more than happy to pose for pictures with us, “Thank you Ben Franklin and General Burgoyne.”
Our famous AllAmerican BBQ & Dessert Fest was held at various locations along the Broadway Street parade route, on Spring Street and in locations throughout downtown. The $1 tasting fee is well worth it, and all profits go charity. Some of the participants were:
Backstretch BBQ, Dawgdom “Doggie BBQ”, Plum Dandy Cookies & Milk, Park Side Eatery, to name a few.
The Classic Car Show was at the Fingerpaint surface lot right off Broadway and Division Street. The “Mom and Pop” Amateur BBQ Completion, held at the Fingerpaint lot was a roaring success. (I have included the “BBQ GRILLED PIZZA” recipe at the end of this article.)
You could feel the patriotic pride swell through the crowd as Park Ranger Joe Craig, portraying a town crier, declared America’s Independence as he read the Declaration of Independence to us, just the way it happened in 1776. Then we headed over to Spring Street surface lot to hear our area’s hottest band THE AUDIOSTARS perform to a crowd of several thousand. The highlight of the day is always the FIREWORKS. They were shot off behind the Congress Park carousel. Our friends at Santore’s World Famous Fireworks did another incredible job on this year’s display which was up close and personal and was set to patriotic music thanks to our friends at Saratoga Guitar. Our eyes were still gleaming and our ears were still ringing as we made our way home from another fantastic Saratoga Springs 4th of July celebration. Every year they seem to get better and better. I hope you can drop by for a visit next year and enjoy Saratoga style hospitality and good time.
Contributing Correspondent (UpState New York bureau)
Makes four 9inch pizzas
The pizzas cook very quickly on the grill, so before you begin grilling them be sure to have all the equipment and ingredients you need at hand. Equipment includes a pizza “peel” (or a rimless baking sheet), a pair of tongs, a paring knife, a large cutting board, parchment paper and a pastry brush; ingredients include all the toppings and a small bowl of flour for dusting. Timing and coordination are crucial; if you are unsure of your skill level, try cooking the first two pizzas one at a time, then work up to cooking the final two in tandem. The pizzas are best served hot off the grill but can be kept warm for 20 to 30 minutes on a wire rack in a 200-degree oven.
For the Dough :
2 Tbsp. extravirgin olive oil
1 cup water (8 ounces), room temperature
2 cups bread flour (11 ounces), plus more for work surface
1 Tbsp. wholewheat flour (optional)
2 tsp. sugar
1 1⁄4 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. instant yeast
For the Topping:
1 1⁄2 lbs. medium plum tomatoes (5 to 6), cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2inch dice
3⁄4 tsp. table salt
6 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 1⁄2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 3/4 cup)
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil
FOR THE CRUST:
Combine oil and water in liquid measuring cup. In a food processor fitted with plastic dough blade or metal blade, process bread flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine running, slowly add liquid through feed tube; continue to process until dough forms a tacky, elastic ball that clears the sides of the bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. If dough ball does not form, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until dough ball forms. Spray a medium bowl lightly with nonstick cooking spray or rub lightly with oil. Transfer dough to bowl and press down to flatten surface; cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in draft-free spot until doubled in volume, 1 1/2
to 2 hours.
When dough has doubled, press down gently to deflate; turn dough out onto work surface and divide into 4 equal-sized pieces. With cupped palm, form each piece into smooth, tight ball. Set dough balls on well-floured work surface. Press dough rounds with hand to flatten; cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
Light all burners and turn to high heat, cover grill, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes; scrape cooking grate clean with grill brush.
Lightly flour pizza peel; invert 1 dough round onto peel, gently stretching it as needed to retain shape (do not stretch dough too thin; thin spots will burn quickly). Peel off and discard parchment; carefully slide round onto hot side of grill. Immediately repeat with another dough round. Cook (with grill lid down) until tops are covered with bubbles (pierce larger bubbles with paring knife) and bottoms are grill marked and charred in spots, 2 to 3 minutes; while rounds cook, check undersides and slide to cool area of grill if browning too quickly. Transfer crusts to cutting board browned sides up. Repeat with 2 remaining dough rounds. Brush 2 crusts generously with Olive Oil; top each evenly with one-quarter of cheese mixture and one-quarter of tomatoes. Return pizzas to grill and cover grill with lid; cook until bottoms are well browned and cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes, checking bottoms frequently to prevent burning. Transfer pizzas to cutting board; repeat with remaining 2 crusts. Sprinkle pizzas with basil and coarse salt to taste; cut into wedges and serve immediately.
BBQ GRILLED PIZZA
RENAISSANCE PLEASURE FAIRE 2015
RENAISSANCE PLEASURE FAIRE 2015
The past is a different country – They do things differently there. (L. P. Hartley, Author 18951972) Welcome to The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, and yes, they do things differently here. If you are a frequent visitor to the Faire, you know, and if it’s your first time, don’t worry, be happy
and have some fun. Because fun is what the Faire is all about. It’s a place of fantasy and whimsical delights and yes, dreams. The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire is held on the weekends from April 4 th 10am – 7pm, (Rain or Shine!) at the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area in Irwindale California, 17 15501 East Arrow Highway, about 15 miles East of Los Angeles, 35 miles West of San Bernardino, 35 miles North of Long Beach and about 600 years from anywhere you might be.Tickets are $28 for Adult, $15 for Children (512) and Children 4 and under are free. Parking is $10. ( ) If you have been to the Faire then you know the drill, you just seem to have more fun in costume, but it’s not a requirement. So if you are a “newbie” don’t let it scare you, just come as you are and relax and enjoy. Or you can rent a costume at The BellRose shop just inside the entrance, with prices ranging for $18$65 ( )
Food & Drynke:
There are more than 20 food vendors to choose from. There is everything from the traditional Roast Turkey Legs and ToadintheHole and fish & chips to the more exotic, such as salmon braised in balsamic vinegar, and quiche. Desserts are plentiful and calorie laden, which is just fine because you are going to walk them all off as you stroll the Faire, right? Of course there are many a grogshop to cure your thirst, so drink up and enjoy. For the dedicated few who take their Ale seriously, the PUB CRAWL is held twice daily, 11:30 and 1:30, tickets are $45. You’ll get a guided tour to 6 different Pubs and a drink at each, along with song and any debauched merriment that might ensue. Tickets go fast so go to (www. Renfair.com) for advance ticket orders.
The stunning array of merchandise is a sight for the eyes. With over 125 artisans displaying wares ranging from authentic Renaissance clothing to oneofakind fashion pieces handcrafted from silk to exotic leathers. There is handblown glass and delicate jewelry to drinking horns, the range is truly impressive, oneofakind objects d’art fit for a King or Queen. The artisans are dedicated to bringing to you the finest works that they lovingly create, in the spirit of the Renaissance Faire. You will be sure to find a gift for a friend or a treasure for yourself, something to remind you of the incredible time at the Faire! There are several arts and craft workshops at the Queens College, where you can learn the skill of beadwork, basket weaving, Celtic drawing and more. It’s a good place and time to pick up something to wear the next time you come to the Faire.
The fun is nonstop; everywhere you look there is something to give you a smile. There are 13 stages to bring the Renaissance alive. There are magicians, circus acts, a hypnotist and even a Birds of Prey demonstration that will thrill you. There are daily tournaments where the Knights of
the realm do battle in the quest to become the Queen’s Champion. Jugglers and the odd jester vie for your attention as you promenade the many paths in the Faire village. Or sit a spell and enjoy one of the many plays and farces put on by the Poxy Boggards (a drinking group with a singing problem), The Merry Wives of Windsor belt out a bawdy song or two and the Belles of Bedlamcomedy troupe.
Stuff for the Young‘uns:
The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a fantastic way to introduce the kids to a bit of living history. It beats the heck out of a stale and dry lecture; this is interactive education at its entertaining best. (Ok, not all of the costumes are totally authentic to the time period, just don’t tell
the kids, they won’t ask, anyway!) There is no end to the amusements to be enjoyed. From face-painting to rides and crafts, if you have always wanted to get you kids interested in history, the Faire is a great step down that path. Plus, kids love to eat with their hands, it’s messy and fun!
Stop in at Merlin’s School of Magic for a rocking good time, as Merlin searches for a new apprentice, and things go wrong! And leave with a certificate of “Apprentice” of Magic. For a totally interactive adventure sign up for KID’S QUEST! Help Captain Scarlett Seaworthy (and her parrot Squawks) embark on a quest to recover treasure. Prizes are awarded to those brave enough to complete the quest. Tickets are $5, at the Information Booth.
RenQuest – A Pirate’s Life for Me! :
It’s a totally interactive way to be part of the Faire. Tickets are $10 at the Information Booth or go online at . You will be given riddles, clues, spells and hunts. Participants will directly interact with Faire performers, artisans and merchants throughout the village. Your
quest is to earn accolades and collect rewards as you try to become a member of the “Crew of the Twisted Claw.”
All Hail the Queen:
No day at the Faire would be complete without seeing Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth Tudor, and her courtiers. Be sure to give a genteel bow as they promenade about the village. And give a hearty hello to His Lord Mayor, Barnabus Blyss, a fine fellow if ever there was one. (And
try to avoid the flinty stare of the Sheriff.) For a most memorable time make reservations for a special tea time with Her majesty. The Guild of St. Cuthbert presents “A Tea with the Queen” which includes a “meetandgreet” with her Royalship with scones, tea sandwiches and a souvenir tea pot. Seating is very limited and reservations required. Go to ( ) for more information. A day at The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a memorable occasion, be you 5 or 105, the color, special, sounds and smells will linger on for a lifetime. So I urge you to please attend. There are Renaissance Pleasure Faires all across the country so I urge you to pack up family and friends and attend one soon. You will be glad you did. We part as friends most fine, Mem’ries shared like riches rare, We toast this day with Ale and Wine, Oh this day at our fine Faire (Stu Venable, Jr.)
FATHER’S DAY 2015
Sometimes you just can’t catch a break. Father’s Day is my day. All I want to do is sit in front of the TV and watch my beloved RED SOX’S play. I bought a 60 inch HD-TV and the satellite dish’s game package so I never had to miss a game. That’s what TIVO is for, am I right? The day started out in a grand and touching fashion, the kids, Curt aged 11, Manny aged 9 and Alice aged 5 along with their mother and my beautiful wife Lisa age never to be reviled, paraded in to the bedroom holding a “breakfast-in-bed “ tray. “Happy Father’s Day!” rang out from their collective maws. Alice, still in her MY LITTLE PONY pajamas’ dove on to the bead, thankfully before my wife sat the tray down. “The kids made you breakfast and even got you a brand new coffee mug.” There was a smirk that I detected and wasn’t sure I liked. Upon closer inspection of the meal before my I realized what she was hinting at. “It says World’s Greatest Dad” Alice said, pointing at the mug of coffee. Yes indeed that’s what it said all right. The problem was in the color scheme, it was white with blue pinstripes, no, this can’t be, not blue pinstripes, please not that. I turned it around and there it was… the most hated logo in all of Boston. The New York Yankees. I know I tried to smile, as I looked at Lisa, who was doing her best not to fall in to a fit of laughing hysterics. Alice, still pointing at the mug, piped up “Its blue daddy, everything you have is red we thought it would be nice.” “It is Pokey, it is.” was all I could say with the smile frozen on my face. Curt just stood there, his usual sullen self and Manny, the perpetual motion machine bounced up and down with his usual loopy grin, said with a veneer of pride “We made you breakfast too.”
And so they did, sort of. The frozen waffles had been toasted to a car the same color as the coffee, there was a nob of butter that was as hard as something found in a quarry, a barely realized drizzle of syrup and a heaping helping of GOOBERS that bizarre mixture of grape jelly and peanut butter, yummy. OK, they tried, so….. I picked up the mug to take a swig of coffee, when I realized that they had neglected to wash it before filling it with my morning brew. There was a thin layer of dust floating on the surface. Curt snarled “Mom wouldn’t let us use the coffee machine so it’s instant.” Oh well, no Jamaican Blue Mountain roast for dear ol’ dad today. The waffles were amazing, not good or even eatable, just flat-out amazing, the same way a train wreck in amazing. “They got cold when we made ours, so we toasted them again” Manny burst. Yet they were as cold as a tax man’s heart. Alice apologized for the seeming lack of syrup, saying “We ran out of syrup (on their waffles, no dough) so I gave you what was left on our plates, and some Goober’s too. The hits just keep on coming. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good PB&J sandwich; it’s just that I can’t stand grape jelly. It’s a holdover from my childhood, all my mother would ever buy is grape jelly, OH the horror. But there it was smack dab in the middle of my cold burnt waffles. This day was off to a rootin-tootin good time, I could feel it in my bones… my old….creaking bones. “OK kids, let daddy finish his breakfast and get dressed so he can take us to the mall” The MALL, on a Sunday, on Father’s Day, et tu, Brute? She just smiled and said “Don’t worry, you will be home before the game starts.” Then gave me a kiss and removed the tray. “You can get a Cinnabon and a good cup of coffee there.” And so it went, any semblance of a relaxing day to myself, dashed on the rocky shores of THE MALL.
A short time later we were on our way, Lisa had a short list of items to acquire (not that that would preclude a few dozed extras), Curt sat in silence his mind controlled by whatever space alien that funneled sound into his I-Pad that had been securely attached to his skull, Manny, bouncing to the rhythm of his own beat and Alice chirped away about some new MY Little Pony thing-a-ma-bob. That she was sure, everybody in school had by now, just not her, the back of her little hand to her little forehead in a most diva-like swoon. Well Christopher Arthur Thomas come –on-down, this-is-you-life, welcome-to the-party, it’s going to be a great day, yeah right. Well there was always the Cinnabon and coffee, so I have that going for me, which is nice. The second we hit the doors Curt and Manny split in opposite directions, Curt to the music store and Manny to the cooking specialty store. Lisa, Alice and moi, head to the Neiman Marcus, I guess Macy’s just wasn’t expensive enough. The good thing was we had to pass the food-court. I made my excuses and ditched to girls in favor of a high calorie, high caffeine fix. I don’t think they even noticed that I was M.I.A. Being a parent I decided to do the parent thing and snoop on the boys. Manny was in hog heaven and the Sur la Table, I like to think I’m a typical father, I had hoped that my sons would love baseball as much as I do, but that’s just not going to happen any time soon. Manny wants to be a super-star chef not a super-star outfielder, but I’m cool with that, different strokes and all that. Watching him bounce around the store I can see the excited look in his eyes as he picks up some sort of kitchen contraption and examines it like a jeweler would a diamond or ruby. He even answered another customers question (without being asked, I might add) not bad for a 9 year old, if I do say so myself. After about 45 minutes I cornered him in the pressure cooker section and said “Come on Bobby Flay, we need to get your brother and then hurry up the girls and get home.” The game wasn’t going to watch itself. Curt was easy to find, if there is a keyboard in sight be it electric of the old fashion kind with strings inside you will find Curt. With a little more resistance than Manny we were finely off to Neiman Marcus the shrine build by gold American Express cards and husbands guilty concusses.
Walking to the far end of the Mall, I had to suppress the smile that was deep down in my soul. Lisa had found a 2 week cooking school that we enrolled Manny into, and she had found a music teacher for Curt. We were waiting until next week to spring the surprise on them. That and a $200 gift card at Sur la Table for our budding chef and a Yamaha DGX250, a 76 key full sized keyboard for soon to be “America’s Got Talent” winner, no pressure, mind you. Lisa was on the look-out for some MY LITTLE PONY accessories that Alice didn’t already have, no mean feat considering her bedroom was a museum to all things MY LITTLE PONY, but thanks to the spirit of capitalism there would be more to come, of that I was sure. Somewhat to my surprise we found Lisa and Alice sitting on a bench waiting for us. As we approached I did a quick bag count, only 4, not too bad. “I got a great deal on a couple of blouses that were on sale and a new set of pajamas for Alice, and a little something I think you will enjoy” tapping a bag from Victoria’s Secret with the toe of her sandal. I gave my watch a quick peek and said “Well, let’s roll” visions of the game dancing in my head.
Talk about not catching the proverbial break. As we approached the SUV Manny giggled “Hay dad, what’s wrong with the car?” He was right; it seemed to be listing to the left. “Daddy, daddy the tire is flat!” “yeah, Pokey, but only on the bottom” way my response. Lisa stashed the bags in the back as I lugged out the spare. “Why don’t you call triple A, you paying them every month, let them come out and change it.” Lisa could always be counted on to come up with a sensible solution in times like these. “Works for me.” Twenty minutes and a sore ear later I informed my brood that the truck would be here in anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour and a half. The groans were expressed all around. “Ok, big guy why don’t I stay with the car and you take the heard over to Lolita Cocina’s for lunch I’ll call you when he gets here.” “You sure, wouldn’t you rather go?” hopping but knowing the answer anyway. “No, you get them fed and I’ll burn up some minutes talking to mom.” She said waving her phone at me and digging her Blue-tooth out of her purse, smiling. “You heard you mom, it’s fed and watering time.” Once seated it didn’t take long to get lunch on the table, Curt ordered a giant all-in-one burrito stuffed to the max with pork, green sauce, rice, beans and what looked like 2 pounds of cheese, covered in more of the green sauce, Manny got the Chicken in Mole sauce, rice, beans and steamed chayote squash (figures) and Alice went with her regular, taquitos filled with chicken, I got the combo taco, enchilada and rice, no beans. Curt dug in to his burrito like a person with a mission, I was surprised he didn’t snap the cord to his ear phones, Alice ate her taquitos like the delicate little princess that she is and Manny moved his plate and rearranged his food like a professional food stylist before diving in. Me, I just ate; my mood a tad bit on the glum side. The Chicken Salad that we ordered for Lisa arrived just as she called to say the cavalry had arrived. Hoofing it back I checked my watch, it was going to be close, but at least I had the TIVO to fall back on, so no worries, right? Bidding the tow-truck operator a fond e adiós we strapped in.
Turning the key, only to hear the dreaded tick-tick-tick, the death rattle of a dead battery. I was about to spew forth with a string of profanity that would make a sailor blush, when I caught the look in Lisa’s eyes that said in not uncertain terms NO WAY, BUSTER! I mumbled “batteries dead”, to which mister cheerful Curt chimed “No kidding.” Lisa whipped out her phone and started to speed dial, “Triple A” she said. Only triple A said 1 to 3 hours, and also added that we should have reported this when the tow-truck was here last time, with a smiling voice. Well isn’t that a kettle of fish. There was a car parts place about two blocks away so I pulled the battery and drafted Curt to walk with me to get a new one, cute comments do have a cost, buster. I knew the battery was going bad for some time, but like most of us I thou, I would have the time to get it checked out, my bad. Turns out the problem was a small crack in the case and a slow leak of battery fluid, which the guy at the parts store pointed out to me, or more precisely at my pants, which were in the process of dissolving. Looking at Curt I said “Not a word, ok.”
He just shrugged, like No Big Deal. Pulling in to the drive way I knew the game was long over, but what the heck, I watch it after Lisa and I get the kids dinner and off the bed. Sitting back in my trusty old Lazy-Boy, I was set. On the TV tray was a Sam Adams, a bag of pretzels (the little skinny ones) and a bowl of blue cheese dressing for dipping. I’m not allowed to eat peanuts in the house, the last time it took Lisa over an hour to vacuum up the shells, next time I would have to replace the carpet. Pokey came in wearing her new My LITTLE PONY pj’s and climbed up on my lap. I picked up the remote and hit menu, scanning for the game. NO GAME! I tried again, check the time, check the
date and then did it over and over again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, nope no ball game. Just a 5 hour marathon of MY LITTLE PONY. “Pokey, did you program the TV to record your pony show?” “Yeah, My LITTLE PONY” she said pointing at the list. “But don’t you have all of this on DVD in your room?” “Yeah, but this is better, the big TV, and
look daddy the ponies play baseball, see.” Ah, the single minded vision of a 5 year old is truly inspiring.
So there we sat watching the ponies play baseball as Alice dribbled grape juice from her sippy-cup on my shirt. When it was over I told her it was time for bed, and to wash her hands and face and brush her teeth, with her, you guested it, MY LITTLE PONY toothbrush. She gave me a sticky grape kiss on the cheek “love you daddy”. “Love you too Poky” and headed off to bed, Manny came in to say good night, “Is it OK if I read this article in bed?” holding up a copy of SAUVER magazine that he bought today. “It’s about the best baseball parks to eat at.” “Sure, which ones do they recommend?” “Oh, it’s so cool, Sushi in Seattle, Dodger Dogs in L.A. and brats in Milwaukee.” “How about Fenway?” “Don’t know, haven’t got that far.” “Love you dad” he gave me a quick hug and bounded off. Curt slouched in; I almost didn’t recognize him without the head phones. “Hay dad, sucks about the game and all.” “No biggie, there another game tomorrow.” “Yeah but still… Oh and the coffee mug, this morning, it was a joke you know.” He pulled a mug from behind his back; it was red and white, with the holy-of-holys logo of the RED SOX’S on the back and Worlds Best Dad on the front. “Happy Father’s Day.” Holding his hand out we fist-bumped and he started to leave then turned around and said, “Love you dad” “Love you too Curt.”Lisa came in and sat on the arm of the Lazy-boy “Sorry about the game” “Yeah but the little ponies aren’t too bad, the pink one is a heck of a good center fielder” “So what are you going to watch” hooking her thumb at the TV. “I don’t know, may be The Great Escape for the umpteen time.” She slid off the arm and on to my lap, wrapping her arms around my neck, whispered into my ear,” Sounds fun, well, I going to go to bed, might even try on that little number I picked up at Victoria’s Secret, today.” That was not even a debatable issue, “Let me clean up this mess and I’ll be right up” She gave me a kiss and said “Happy father’s day you big lug.” Well, it was a Father’s Day, maybe not the one I had wished for, that’s for sure. But then again I did get to celebrate in the company of my family, to see them doing what they loved to do and really, that is just about as good as it gets.
Christopher Arthur (Big Cat) Thomas
Contributing Writer (Boston)
FATHER’S DAY 2015
THAR BE TROLLS
“And no skiing until you’ve finished your homework”
“And don’t stay out too late, you know it gets dark early”
That’s how my day started, just about as normal as my days get. But manoman it didn’t stay that way. Hi, may I introduce myself? My name is Adeline Venture; I’m just a normal girl with rather unusual parents, well, they aren’t weird or anything like that, it’s just that they have unusual jobs. They work in the movie business, A.K.A: The Biz. Mom is an awardwinning SteadyCam operator, and dad is an award winning personal chef, and they work… well…everywhere. Hong Kong check, Rio de Janeiro check, Cairo check, Rome, Paris, Berlin, London check, check, check, and check. And I get (haveto) go with them. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not, and sometimes it
can be scary. Guess which time this turned out to be? My friends don’t call me AdVenture for nothing. Being stuck in the middle of Norway at the end of October is not the worst place to be, but I can think of places I’d rather be, right now: like back home in beautiful downtown Burbank where it’s 80 degrees and sunny. Here in Røros its 5 Celsius, translated that’s 23 degrees Fahrenheit, another translation, IT’S DAMM COLD! But it’s not too cold to go skiing, homework or not. I love to ski, crosscounty, or as the rest of the world calls it Nordic, and here in Norway, skiing. Back home I tried out for my schools cross-country team and track teams, I love to run. But, due to my parents’ (and my) travel schedule I was never around enough for the coach, so I was aced out. But next year I go into the 10 and mom and dad agreed that I should be able to have the “High School Experience” so I’ll get to stay home with my Aunt Sue and be just a typical student. Oh, and if you think that the fact that my parents work in The Biz, well so do most of the parents and a lot of the students in school, so, no biggie.
“Olga, I’m going out, are my skis and poles in the shed?”
“Yes Adeline, did you finish your school work?”
“Yes. (I lied) See you later.”
“Don’t stay out late, and stay out of the forest, it can get very dark and …..Dangerous” Hindsight always being twentytwenty, I really didn’t catch Olga’s tone when she said Dangerous, but then again maybe I should have. I’ve only been into the forest once, and that was with Rolf, Olga’s husband, (note: Olga and Rolf run the bedand breakfast we were staying in. They are really old, as old as my parents, like
30 something). We followed a trail for about a mile or so until we came to a small bridge. Rolf suddenly turned around and said “This is far enough.” And we skied back to the BandB. At the time I really didn’t give it much thought, that’s one of my more endearing qualities, and will most likely end up on my tombstone “I Didn’t Give it Much Thought”. As I skied across the hillside the sun was bright, the sky a brilliant blue that you would never see in good ol’ L.A. The air was so clean it hurt in a good way. On a day like today I felt like I could ski forever, or until I dropped. Little did I know just how right I was. Leaning on my polls and taking a nice long drink from my water bottle, I could see the path that Rolf and I had taken leading into the forest, and it didn’t look dangerous to me, sort of like some place I’d meet Bambi and Thumper. Strapping the bottle to my belt I pulled my goggles over my eyes and kicked off, it was downhill and I picked up speed, bending into a racing tuck I hit the trail and sailed into the forest at speed. Using great (if I say so myself) leg and pole action I felt like an Olympic athlete as I schussed along. The thing about forests is they tend to get cold and dark pretty quick. But I knew I had a good hour before I had to be back, as I crossed over the tiny bridge, well that’s when things started to get strange. Gliding along on the trail, the snow was soft and smooth, but sliding across the bridge it was ice.
And not a smooth ice, more like gravel, it was all I could do stay up on my skis. The trail started to twist and turn and I could see the frozen
stream off to the side, now a steep ravine, not too deep but I really did not want to go there. It was starting to get dark any way, so I figured it was a good time to turn it around and head back. That’s when I heard something, something I really did not like the sound of it. I stopped so I could turn around; the trail was so narrow it was the only way. Standing there for a few seconds at first all I heard was my own breathing, then there was something else. At first it sounded a little like a growl, and I thought: WOLVES. I’m not someone who panics, not like my friend Janet; I was the one who always stayed calm. But no one said anything about wolves, so there was no need to panic. But Ohmygodwolvesohmygodohmygodohmygod! In the nanosecond that it took for me to go from standing to velocity I silently apologized to Janet. I thought I could see some sort of movement through the branches, and there was definitely the sound of something snapping. It could be twigs of branches or freakin’ Sequoia’s, I didn’t care, I just wanted to get the heck Out. Of. Here. Fast. Having watched a lot of ANIMAL CHANNEL stuff I’d seen what a wolf pack could do and it was not attractive not by a long shot. I had to get out of here…fast. The snapping of branches was quickly turning into crashing and it was coming in my direction. And there was a new sound, something like a cackling laugh, not like anything or anybody I have ever heard, something not from this world, anyway. I had to go faster, faster than whatever was chasing me. And it was gaining, I was double poling and knee kicking for all I was worth, which at this moment didn’t seem like much. If this was a biathlon at least I’d have a gun but no dice and any way I hated guns, or at least up until this moment, now I wished I had a tank. There were shapes behind the trees and bushes on both sides of me and what I was sure were red glowing eyes. What the heck was that all about? They were getting closer. If I could just get to the bridge maybe, just maybe, that might slow, whatever they were, down. Gawd I hoped so. The air was freezing cold and burning my lungs. I didn’t care, I had to keep going or else. Man, I didn’t want to think of the OR ELSE. Even in the darkness I could see the bridge, it wasn’t much of a bridge but right now it was all I could I could think of, and that was better that thinking about whatever was gaining on me.
As I hit the bridge the gravel like ice made me lose my balance, that’s when something grabbed my right ankle! Screaming, I kicked my leg free which caused me to swerve toward the left side of the tiny little and ohsonarrow bridge. Caching the edges of my skis I double poled with everything I had. That’s when it happened again! I felt something try to grab my left leg.
“NO!!!” I foolishly though that if I could get over the bridge I would be OK. Now I knew that was a very foolish and possibility fatal delusion. I had to keep going, but I didn’t have much else left in the tank. I was running on fumes, this was it. The noise was gaining. The growls, the snapping branches, cackling and inhuman laughter, getting closer and closer. I didn’t have a chance. Sorry mom, sorry dad, I love you.
That’s when the trail made a hard left turn, only I didn’t see it. Suddenly I was airborne and hurdling down the ravine. I stuck a perfect telemark landing: right knee forward, left leg back arms out. (Yay me!) Then my lead ski caught on something and I was airborne again, only this time head first, (Not so yay me.) I hit hard, skis popping off and my poles were gone. I could hear things breaking and hoped it wasn’t me. Thumping to a hard stop on what felt like a flat surface, I just lay there, barely able to breath. Skis gone, poles gone, goggles and one glove were who knows were. So this is how it was going to end, eaten alive by a pack of crazed, growling, cackling laughing wolves. I bet they had rabies and bad breath as well. Oh the humanity. That’s when I saw it, what it was I wasn’t sure, but it was there, right in front of me. It was as big as a bear. Great… eaten by a bear, perfect. This bear had long red hair and a long red beard. What the…? Red eyes that almost glowed and it was carrying an ax, what the hell kind of animals are running around in this forest. A giant redhaired bear, a giant redhaired bear with a beard. A giant redhaired bear with a beard and red eyes carrying an AX! I must have hit my head harder
that I thought. Suddenly it raised its ax and bellowed… “STILLHET!!!!! BLI BORTE!!!!! ”
A giant redhaired bear with a beard and red eyes carrying an AX that speaks. This was going from scary to bizarre to just plain weird. A great big capital W… WEIRD. Even though I was dizzy from the fall and my ears were rigging from the roar, I could tell that whatever had been chasing me was crashing through the bush in the opposite direction, I hoped. The bear or whatever it was lumbered over, towering over me it said “Er du såret?”
“A…a…a…I don’t understand”
“Ah, a Yankee, is good, is very good.”
I didn’t think this was the right time or place to tell the bear guy I was a Dodgers fan, so I let it slide. “Are you hurt?” “My ankle hurts but I don’t think it’s broken, if you could help me up, I’ll let you know” Judging from the way I screamed, we both knew my ankle was a lot worst that I had thought. He/It/Whatever helped me sit. Then He/It/Whatever picked up my broken skis and poles and even found my missing glove. Reaching down, he grabbed the back of my jacket and lifted me up like a lunch pail and walked me over to a sled filled with logs, gently plopped me down and smiled.
“A…a…a…thank you, mister….?”
Truly some of my best dialog, if I do say so, myself.
“I am Thor……Thor Limbo, at your service” Smiling, gave me a slight bow of his head and turned to the horses attached to the sled and said
“Trekk.” And off we went. Thor knew the way back to Rolf and Olga’s place and we were there in good time. He explained (lied) that I had had a simple fall and it was no big deal, never said that I was in the forest, what a guy! But before he left he whispered to me, “Stay out of the forest little lady, “THAR BE TROLLS.”
Needless to say mom and dad were upset about my ankle, but then it wasn’t the first time I had ever banged myself up. My best friend Janet and I are internet savvy enough to know that maybe what ever happened in Vegas stays in Vegas, but whatever happens on social media stays alive for ever, so this story would just have to wait until I got home. Just one more tale in the life of Adventure, see you next time, and Fred that’s Peace it Norwegian.
Contributing Writer (World Wide)
PUMPKIN BREAD for THANKSGIVING
In a medium bowl add:
5 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Flour
1 Tbsp. Butter
1⁄4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Salt
Mix until at a crumb like texture, and set aside
In a large bowl combine:
2 cups Flour
1⁄2 tsp. Baking Powder
1⁄2 tsp. Baking Soda
In a medium sauce pan, over medium high heat combine:
1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin puree
1 1⁄2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1⁄2 tsp. ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground Clove
Stir and cook down to 1 1⁄2 cups, remove from heat
In a separate bowl combine:
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1⁄2 cup Vegetable oil
Whisk until smooth.
In a medium bowl whisk to mix:
1⁄4 cup Buttermilk
4 large Eggs
Add dry ingredients, a half at a time into the wet, mix well
Add 1 cup Walnuts, toasted and chopped, mix to combine
Preheat oven to 350F degrees
Grease 2 loaf pans, divide mixture evenly into each
Sprinkle on topping
Bake for 4550 min.
Cool in pan for 20 min.
Remove from pan to a cooling rack for 1 1⁄2 hours, or serve warm.
DRUNKEN AMERICAN PUMPKIN PIE
Drunken Pumpkin Pie
1 1/3 Cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons Bourbon (a little more if you like!)
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 Heat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl, mix flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the oil with fork
until all flour is moistened. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with
fork until all water is absorbed. Shape pastry into a ball. Press in bottom and up side of
9-inch glass pie plate.
2 In large bowl, beat eggs slightly with wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar,
the cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ginger, cloves, pumpkin and milk.
3 To prevent spilling, place pastry-lined pie plate on oven rack before adding filling.
Carefully pour pumpkin filling into pie plate. Bake 15 minutes.
4 Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake about 45 minutes longer or until knife
inserted in center comes out clean. Place pie on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2
5 In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream and 2 tablespoons sugar with electric
mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Serve pie with whipped cream. Store in
VALENTINE’S DAY IN AUSTRALIA
Valentine’s Day in Australia is much celebrated festival in Australia and it’s popularity is said to be increasing by the year. About 90 per-cent of the people in the age group of 18 – 24 and 45 per-cent of people above 50 are said to celebrate the day. People in Australia utilize Valentine’s Day festival as an opportunity to strengthen bonds of love with family, friends, collegues and neighbor’s with simple acts of love.
I’m Valentine’s Day Celebration in history, Valentine’s Day festival has a history of extravagant celebratons in Australia. It is said that during the Australion gold rush period miners became extremely rich due to the new wealth found from the Ballarat Mines. These mines ordered extravgant Valentine’s a mounting to thusands of pounds at a time. Some of the most lavish Valentine’s were made of a satin cushion and were perfumed ornated decorated with flowers and colored shells. Some were even adored with taxidermied humming bird of paradise. This valuable treasure used to be kept in a neatly decorated box.
Valentine’s Day Tradition in Australia. Just as in several other countries, people in Australia celebrate Valentine’s Day by presenting cards and flowers to loved ones. While exchanging paper cards is a common way of getting Valentine’s Day these days more and more people are using SMS and E- mails medium to express their loved ones. Survey reveal that men in Australia buy more cards than women do. Happy Valentine’s Day!!