Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Happy Anniversary and Steak Picado

A special dinner tonight for my wife and I. Today is our anniversary.  The rain was coming down hard. We didn't feel like driving to a restaurant. So we did the next best thing, or maybe it was the best thing.

I gave the wife a break. I made Steak Picado, with sirloin- the only meat I use for picado - along with bell peppers, onions,  carrots, tomato, garlic and tomato sauce.  Homemade pintos with bacon, Spanish rice and tortillas.

At the first bite I knew we made the right decision to dine in at home.

Steal Picado is not a spicy dish. Hence the hot Serrano chile. I gotta have some heat.

Happy Anniversary to my wife. I love you. God Blessed us both the day we met.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Camping, Old Friends and Good Memories

 I have been going through some old photos and this one jumped out at me. It captures another time for me. I'm fixing breakfast, directly across from me is my late friend Steve Wallace and my life long friend Ken Robledo is behind the camera.

It was 1980 and we were at the Colorado River. That's my old (new at the time) 1979 Toyota Landcruiser. That's Steve's guitar leaning against the Landcruiser.
The tent in the photo once belonged to my parents and they put it to good use during the 60's and 70's. They used that tent for all their camping trips.My father passed it on to me and I used it til it just became a rag. They got their money's worth out of that tent.
All these years later and I still remember what I made for breakfast: Chorizo con papas (Chorizo with potatoes) with a couple of fried over easy eggs and tortillas. Too bad there was no Facebook.
A long gone time with good friends and a very good memory.

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Arroz con Pollo

Tonight's Supper.. Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

There are certain dishes that I cook that, in order to be "Authentic ", need to be made with traditional methods and ingredients.  I am a stickler for authenticity in anything I cook (within the boundaries of my limited skills) but I tend to stray from tradition with arroz con pollo. I add linguicia sausage, the sausage of Portugal.  

Back in the early 1990's, about thirty years ago, on the MD-11 line at McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach, California I worked with a Portuguese man, around my age, give or take a year. We were eating lunch together and he pulled out a sandwich on a roll. As he was eating the sandwich he began making sounds. I mention this because this is something I do when I am really enjoying something.

Well, I had to ask," What kind of sandwich is that?"  "It's a linguicia sandwich". Up til that time I had never heard of linguicia.  He brought me up to date on everything linguicia and then he said the magic words a man like me loves to hear, "I have another one if you want it!" Well, I don't have to tell you what my answer was. Still, to this day, it was one of the best sandwich I have ever eaten.

I cannot, for the life of me, remember his name but I think of him every time I eat linguicia. 

Anyway, one day I had the idea to add the linguicia to my arroz con pollo and I have made it this way ever since.

God Bless you, stay safe and eat good!

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Soup)

"A recipe has no soul. You as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe." - Thomas Keller

The ideal weather today for Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Soup). Hearty and hardy, as well as nutritious.  I grew up on this soup. I was feeling a bit under the weather but I'm feeling better by the second. Lot's of good stuff in that bowl.

Monday, January 29, 2024

At Rose Hills Memorial Park

 A few pics from earlier today at the Rose Hills Memorial Park. Jeri gave the headstone a good cleaning. There is a good view from Nathan's graveside of downtown L.A., Rio Hondo Community College and the San Gabriel Mountains. Also a photo of the Rosemill Store and Flower Shop where we buy our flowers. Rosehills is a beautiful home for Nathan.

We prayed and said our goodbyes. We will love that boy forever. Happy Birthday Grandson.

After we left the Cemetary we met up with Meranda and the girls and she took us to Seal Beach for lunch at A Slice of New York Pizza on Main Street, our favorite pizza joint. We took a stroll around town before heading back home. A beautiful town, reminiscent of Uptown Whittier, with the added bonus of the Pacific Ocean and a pier.

Happy Birthday Nathan Joseph Guardian

The routine is the same. We wake up, have our coffee and breakfast, wait around, maybe watch the news until one of us invariably says, “It’s time!”  We get in the truck and make the drive; about four miles or so. About a ten, maybe fifteen minutes’ drive. Not much talking on the way. We stop at the Rosemill Flower Shop on Workman Mill RD. The routine is the same here too. Jeri begins the search for the flowers she wants while I wander around looking at some of the other merchandise. Eventually she finds the flowers she wants, we pay for the flowers then we are on our way again. Still not much is said. In a few minutes we approach the Rose Hills Memorial Park. We take the short service road into the cemetery and make our way up the winding hilly road. We are here to visit our beloved grandson Nathan. 

Today is our first born grandson’s birthday. He would be twenty-three today. He was just short of four months when he passed. It is an understatement to say he is still loved and still missed by his family. I often think of the boy he would have been, now I think about the man. My wife and I still grieve. Especially in our private moments. It will always be this way. Our time with Nathan was short, the pictures are few but the memories live inside of us. God Blessed us with Nathan and we continue to be Blessed by him. That has not changed.

I sit on the bench near Nathan. The placing of the flowers, cleaning of the headstone and cleaning of his little area is her job. It has become, in some ways, her sacred mission. I do not intrude. When she is done we sit with Nathan for about an hour. We pray and say our goodbyes.

Keep my daughter Meranda and my granddaughters Mariah and Maddie in your prayers today.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Pledge of Allegiance

It has been many years since I have had to recite the Pledge of Allegiance out loud. It is etched into my heart and psyche, along with the Lord's Prayer.  It is something I believe in and live by.

I grew up in a different time. I cannot speak for any other high school but at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, California in the early 70's  during the early morning hours before classes started, if you were on school property when the National Anthem was playing you stood still and you kept quiet, it was a matter of respect. You did not move until it was over. 

To my way of thinking, it was a good way of life, even if life itself was not perfect. 

Just my thoughts for today. God Bless you and may God Bless America.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Happy Birthday JoJo

Happy Birthday to our youngest  grandchild, Josiah, or as we affectionately call him, JoJo. He turns three today. An amazing and affectionate boy. He is one of our Blessings. This kid stands up for himself but he has a gentle nature. Nana and PopPop love you JoJo.