My Great Pastime

omelet It’s probably not a secret – and my prodigious girth would testify to the fact, should you see me in life – I love to eat.  It is my favorite pastime, hands down.  Cooking, not so much, but eating?  Oh yeah.

Problem is, I have very … let’s say sophisticated tastes.  I’m not easy to please.  Obviously I don’t expect five-star meals on McDonald’s money, but I want things that are palate-pleasing and delicious.   We eat with our eyes first, so if I can get attractive on top of great tasting, all the better.  Of course, being out of work facilitates none of this, and being a low-paid worker when I am employed sort of keeps the higher-quality foods out of reach.

Another problem with good eats tends to be prep time.  The more effort required, the less likely my beloved wife and I are to be interested in doing it.  Slicing, dicing, pre-cooking, simmering, boiling, blanching, blah-blah-blah’ing … no thanks.  The prep work, I’ve found, is the greatest deterrent to cooking for me.  Interestingly, I used to think that was the part I love the most.  I figured out otherwise today, just a little while ago, while making myself an omelet.  The omelet, by the way, is one of my favorite comfort foods, especially when prepared by someone else for my consumption and made to my specifications.  Love them … loaded with bacon, peppers, cheese, scallions, maybe some jalapenos if life and tummy allow … oh, man.  Nothing tops my morning quite as well.

Anyway, my wife made nachos the other night.  Excellent, by the way, and beautifully presented as well, so I made a glutton of myself.  (Big surprise there, eh?)  Left over we had diced tomatoes, a few chopped scallions, the remainder of a can of sliced black olives, and a couple of packets of shredded cheese.  I used these ingredients – along with the open jar of salsa – to make the omelet, and topped it with salsa.  Dee-licious.  And very quick to make and easy to clean up, which is awesome.  Awesome.

So, I need a couple of things to make eating more pleasant.  Money, for one, but a line chef would be another great thing.  Oh, and a clean-up crew.  Can’t forget the clean-up crew.  What’s the point in coming up with great ideas for amazing food if you’re going to have to do the clean up yourself?

How ‘bout you?  What’s your stand on cooking?  Like it, love it, hate it, meh?

Sound off, and have a great weekend, y’all.

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

How was Your Weekend?

Beef and Corn on a Charcoal BBQ grill

I’m posting this on Monday, September 7, 2009, even though I know a good number of my readers are still on their long weekend. You’ll probably be back tonight, unless you’re like me and try to take an extra day around the three-day weekends to extend them. (That’s back when I had a job, though.) So here’s a welcome home just in case you’re not doing anything today and want something to read.

Since it’s sort of a throw-away post, I’ll keep it simple. How’d your weekend go? Did you get the things done you’d planned on? Did your plans go as well and smoothly as you wanted? (I hope so!) Did you have a barbecue over the weekend, or are you having one today?

Our family, the Darcs I mean, doesn’t have any celebratory traditions we can think of, and most of the time we’re struggling for one reason or another.  So today’s just another day for us.  No special plans, nothing we had to do or places we had to be.  (That’s a good thing in my book.  🙂 )  But lots of you do have traditional celebrations for holidays, and if you do, I for one am interesting in knowing what they are.  Did you create a new tradition this weekend?  Something you did which you enjoyed enough to want to do every year?  Some food you threw on the grill which will become a staple of your backyard barbecue celebrations from now on?

As for grilling, I am of the belief nothing makes meat taste better than fire.  I prefer charcoal grills to gas ones, but it’s hard to beat the convenience of gas.  I like experimenting with different types of methods for using our grill, but alas, it’s not always something I get to do.  Lazy and life often get in the way.  This past year, it’s been both.  and my focus has been on job hunting for many months, and that’s sort of a damper too.  But we still enjoy our long weekends, which seems weird.

To those who work, I celebrate you today. Happy Labor Day, God bless you, and keep up the good work. Some of us out here envy you your jobs, and I hope you can not only appreciate having a day in your honor to celebrate you doing the job, but can appreciate the job itself, just having one, because it’s easy to take for granted.

Here’s hoping the work week ahead of you is easy and short!

-JDT-

Where Do You Come From?

Barbed wire

A post borrowed from my new friend and blog bud mapelba.  I thought it was an awesome blog post, so I figured I’d respond by doing my version of the topic.  This isn’t HER post — it’s my answer to hers.  Pay her a visit if you haven’t yet; you won’t be sorry.

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I come from suburbs full of hypocrisy and old mafia ties degraded to an embarrassing point.  From a mother who lived her life in the bottom of a bottle and father who managed to sire children despite lacking testicles or a spine.  I come from a place of lake visits, Spanish moss and gravel and cool nights lulled by lapping waves and calling nocturnal birds.  From a place where children are seen and not heard, and where being heard is dealt with by fist and flying leather.  From a place where I’m told I’m stupid daily, will never amount to anything, will never be anything but a failure.  I come from a place where neighbors whisper behind their hands and you’re the weird kid, threatened by adults too cowardly to threaten your father and where your father hears of the threats and does nothing.  I come from a place where it was still all right to spank the kids in school, where teachers could raise their hand to their students to keep them in line, and it wasn’t illegal or abusive or considered in poor taste.  I come from hot delta winds howling day in, day out, whipping dried ragweed and grasses yellowed by dry, long summers.  I come from where winter means rain and green hills, where cows lowed in the hillside, where the rolling seismic mountains tumbled down to the Standard Oil refinery tanks laid out in rows at the end of a gravel drive.  I come from where barbed wire fences strung between leaning posts lace around the dying farms and ranches, fast fading as the world moves on and leaves the sleepy bedroom community behind.

I come from a family of weirdos allergic to alcohol who won’t stop drinking, from a family of people I met once, maybe twice before they died, whose names I can’t remember anymore.  I come from a place where guilt is used as a guidance mechanism and control mechanism.  I come from where hard times and stress means parents physically accosting one another.  I come from where your mother asks you to hit your father over the head with something heavy so he’ll stop holding her down, then she’ll get a knife and finish the job.  I come from a place where she pulls you around the corner of the house, away from your play in the backyard to tell you she’s going to commit suicide and to remember she loves you.  I come from a place where nothing is safe, no mood is happy because even when it is it could sour at a moment’s notice.  I come from a place of learning to recede into the background, trying to blend into the furniture, the walls, the crowd, the corner.  I come from a place where no one seems to understand why you’re not a social butterfly, why you’re not more outgoing, why you’re so shy.

I come from a place where books are the only escape, or drawing pictures.  I come from a place where loud music means drunken fighting again, where slurred speech is the norm, where lazy eyes and malicious glares are the expressions you’re most familiar with.  I come from a place where it’s not allowed for me to have friends visit, because that requires sobriety and by the time school was out it was anyone’s guess whether sober was true or not.  I come from a place where my imagination is the only haven, where lying is a way of life, a means of protection and a thing learned by example.  I come from a place where waking up to blood-spattered walls, floors and doors meant something happened while I slept and I didn’t necessarily want to know what it is, but my parents are gone and I’m in charge again, responsible until they get back, and I’m eight years old, with a three year old sibling.

I come from a place where a game of catch turns into a trip to the hospital and accusations and blame and an angry father.  I come from a place where everything is held against me, every grievance, every mistake, every misstep.  I come from a place where comparing you to others always leaves you coming up short, where everyone’s shown to be better than I am, where I never quite meet the expectations set for me.  I come from a place where all gifts came with strings attached, as a lien, a purchase of loyalty, obedience, or silence.  I come from a place where friends are only friends when it’s convenient for them, when I can provide them with what they need.  I come from a place where I had one friend most of my life and can’t today be sure he isn’t more loyal to them than to me.

I come from a place where I cannot win the approval of my parents no matter what I do, and where giving up becomes the only option, the only viable choice, the only way left to you.  I come from a place where God is the last resort, and never quite seems to come through when you need Him to.

That’s where I come from.  Being that I now write horror, it may have quite a bit more to do with my writing than I ever imagined it would.

Where do YOU come from?

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Well … Back to the Grind

Crew members struggle to recover a crab pot as...

Yep … another long weekend’s over, and the official start of summer has begun.

I didn’t do squat this weekend, including post a thank you for our veterans on Memorial Day (sorry guys – you’re near and dear to me, I promise; I just didn’t get to it) … or write one for today.

I spent way too much time watching the Deadliest Catch Memorial Day weekend marathon, but I’m finally all caught up with seasons 1, 3, and 4.  I’ve been following season 5 as it airs, and I caught season 2 over the last several weeks during daytime airings on DVR.  So now I’m current, know most of the back stories, and feel a little more like I know those men who are risking their necks for crab and the fishing industry.

Let’s see, what else?   Hm.  Not much.  I made homemade burritos and my beloved made nachos, so we ate well for our holiday.  We made nice sub sandwiches on Saturday, too, so I was in food heaven all weekend.  The only thing better would’ve been steaks on the grill, but … you know.  No job.

Other than that, things are status quo here.  I had a lot of fun talking to you guys about characters in TV and film, and you brought up some great thoughts on those topics.  What else do you think might be interesting to talk about?  Sound off and let me know; I’m happy to write it up.

I hope you had a blessed and happy weekend, and I’ll talk with you again soon.

-JDT-