My Blog Launch … or is it My Blog Lunch?

May 30

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EGGS! Hard boiled, over easy, sunny side up, poached, scrambled, ”Adam& Eve on a Raft & Wreck ‘em”!
EGG!: Oeuf, huevo, tojas, telur, ovo, das ei, muna, uovo, ei, jajko… the same in any language you choose. This is where life has it’s start… and this is where I’ll start my journey.
I hope you too will choose to come along for the experience.Come along the “ride or the slide”. YOLKS ON US is just what it sounds like: Life with a few “Yuks” thrown in for a bit of spice- and perhaps some heat for the palate.
I’ll talk about the “food trade”… restaurants, food carts, catering weddings and such, B & B’s, workplace and school cafeterias, hash houses, fast food joints and maybe a tucked away dump that serves the best roast beef sandwich you haven’t had yet; and welcome anyone who wants to chime in with a comment or two. There will be insider insights-some facts that may not be common knowledge. After all , I become a customer too… with the same expectations as everyone. Whether you order your Curry Vegetable Wrap and Iced Green Tea from a smiling server whilst sitting in a lumpy , well worn booth or tap out your choices on a screen from Apple, Blackberry or Android (one can’t eat an Android?) to be delivered to your door; the expectations are the same. Eat or dine? The basics are the same every time. Value, flavor; a good experience that may not be memorable from it’s goodness… .but surely not memorable because it was so negative. What did they say in the trade? One happy customer tells 1-2 people; one unhappy tells 10! That is all out the door with today’s technology. Within seconds hundreds to thousands can know about an experience-good or not so good. Let’s just hope they are fair minded and qualified to comment-perhaps not always a path taken.
Let’s see what should happen; what might happen; what did happen or unluckily happened for the customer.
Do you like to cook? I will offer , what I hope will be , interesting points of view or facts to ponder.No food aspect is safe, I say. Daily study or observations of the world of food and culinary history has been a big part of my life as long as I can remember… sharing seemed like a positive thing to do. We will not be short of subjects to address, I’m sure. There will be some side trips… down dusty roads and lanes that wander and curve about. I have always said the best food is down a dirt road; no matter where you are on this planet (I know, somewhere there is lots of ice and snow).
Curious? One must be curious. Learn? Must always learn-every day. How else do we keep the human element “alive to thrive”? Moving like NATURE every day ; humans need to move-maneuvering through and over the ‘”culinary speed bumps” that pop up on this journey.Trying always to keep hold of the excitement. Willing and wanting to share what I see, taste, smell, remember, experience, learn about…
I sometimes question the directions the world of food is moving. It will go where it will go. The great thing is the powerful interest we now have in a field so diverse. Questions? How many Roasted Beet, Bacon and Blue Cheese salads with Vinaigrette dressings of the day can be successful? I happen to love beets… and bacon… and blue cheese and vinaigrette dressing. It just qualifies as a question. Pork belly? Great meat to work with… but on so many menus? Simplicity always wins out. More later to come on these issues. I’ll introduce you to Red, Jane, Thea, Edith Piaf, Lacey and Amelia. My advisers and the yolksonus.com advisory committee .Now they can’t talk , per se, but they have a lot of input if you’ll just stop to listen ; plus they freely offer up some damn fine eggs on a regular basis-especially after the warm weather rolls in. They seem to ask for little in return. Maybe there is a lesson for us to learn in those facts?
There will be lots of stories and some sagas offered . Like the first day of my apprenticeship at Le Tonneau in Marin County many years ago… what was moving in those wet gunny sacks? How about the first meal I cooked all by myself (Mom did supervise-reluctantly). I was 7 years old. Or how about the time she made me eat the birthday cake at a party where the little girl’s tipsy mom had grabbed for the Watkins’s Vanilla Extract and instead grabbed the Wright’s Smoke Seasoning! That was really bad vanilla frosting! Yuk! There were those hot summer days “on the acre” . Clothing was a pair of shorts, no shoes or shirt; one of my brother’s US Navy “Dixie cup” hats on my head-out the door at 730 AM for a day of non-stop exploring; dirt clod fights; searching for bird’s nests; trying to chase down one of those wild peacocks that had had the run of our neighborhood for 30 years! Me and the fellows would stop only when our bellies rumbled and hunger had set in .  Whose plum tree was ripe… the Green Gage, or the Satsuma, or the Santa Rosa ? Maybe we’d grab my mom’s big salt shaker with the huge handle, grab a bright red globe from the patch-spit on it and wipe off the dirt and dust-spit on it again so the salt would stick and take a big bite. Oh man, sweet and juicy –now that was a tomato !  Drips down dirty bellies that didn’t get clean until our 8 PM bath! …Or we would attack the Tokay grapes- densely covering an arbor built in the 20’s … about the days  when those noisy peacock’s ancestors had gotten  loose. It had only one large single  plant !  It was about 6 “ thick and stretched for 60 feet or so in two directions . I don’t remember my step dad Buck ever pruning it. He knew all about tomatoes ; could grow 7 foot tall corn and such (his words). Just think of the wine we could have had… well , they could have had.  (In years later I learned to admire Tokay Aszu from Hungary . ) We all would cut down a huge bunch-that was Jimmy Scotts job, he had the Cub Scout knife . Next drag that 5 plus pound, 3 foot bunch to the  water faucet and rid it of dirt, dust and spider webs. We’d stay under the arbor… it must have been 10 degrees cooler under that canopy-and dark too. Those were big, juicy, sweet and crunchy-didn’t like the seeds much-but they made good tools for distance spitting contests.. I don’t think I’ve eaten a grape from hand as good since !
Isn’t it interesting to consider ?  These memories from long ago… that they should stand shoulder to shoulder with more recent experiences and remain so bright and clear ?  Maybe some luscious blueberries from a farm stand while out on a country drive-simply washed and splayed over some homemade vanilla ice cream; or a scratch made pizza with toppings from your garden and fresh made sausage; or a birthday celebration dinner at a well received new restaurant attended by one’s family and loved ones.
Or maybe a breakfast with  two eggs you just basted with bacon grease ; some hot toast with home made peach jam  because your Mom showed you how . She now gets to sleep on Saturday…maybe til 8 AM !
Curious, isn’t it?
THINGS I TRY TO LIVE BY : Old Japanese saying (my interpretation) :  “There are many paths up the mountain, but the view is the same from the top .

23 comments

  1. Hey there Head Egg,

    One of the coolest memories around food was my senior year of High School 1974 Peauwakee Wisconsin. We know some real down home locals that lived on the lake like we did out on the far side so, decided to rig the 18 foot Thistle Sailboat and go for a visit. When we got down to that end, the aroma was spice and verdant, all mixed with ceder and smoky fish fat. As the willows gave way to a view, there was a small fire pit, surrounded by ceder shakes all damp and smoking from the fireside. They were filleting the Croppy and using a hand staple gun to attach the fish onto a liquor soaked ceder shingle! That was the BEST tasting food I think I’ve ever eaten.

    • rpullen /

      James…what a fabulous story. Thanks for letting me in on the fun. I especially like the staple gun deal…makes sense to me.
      I am reminded of how I hit the yard/garage/estate sales for years before I opened Belinda’s buying every S/S bowl and pan I could find. Who could resist .25 to a couple of dollars. Use what works. I still have some of them…like you have your memory of that great open fire fish banquet with your family, friends, and new friends. That’s what life is really about!

  2. Congaratulation Ross!!

    Great idea, great start, keep it going……

    Laurin

    • rpullen /

      You bet I will keep it going. There is so much rolling around in my head to share. The good thing is it is a choice to read or not to read. I now see what all the folks have been telling me about this blog endeavor. THANKS!

  3. Nice job Ross…..are we having fun yet?

    Cleon

    • rpullen /

      It’s curious you should mention “are we having fun yet?” From an author and accomplished story teller like you are, that is prophetic. and…YES…I am having FUN!

  4. Daniel Werner /

    Ross,

    This is great!
    Every day, when I am in the kitchen, I am always asking myself, “How would Ross do this?”
    Well, maybe I will find some answers in your new blog.
    Thank you.

    • rpullen /

      Daniel… You are too kind. How would I do it? Maybe not as well as you will. Remember, the best food and cooking comes from passion!

  5. Tim Morris /

    Well done friend! keep ’em coming.

    • rpullen /

      As you see Tim I find myself merging on that freeway that all you happenin’ people travel so well. I’m not sure I’ll be in the fast lane ever; but I sure am enjoying what this medium is all about. It just fits my motto- to learn something new every day. I will keep on doing that as long as it’s fun.

  6. Dana Barron /

    Meandering musings from my favorite foodie.

    XOXO – Dana

    • rpullen /

      The fact that I qualify as a “favorite “of my friend Dana is a real treasure. I plan on meandering…I like that word…quite a bit. THANKS!

  7. Julia Kudla /

    Reading your first entry, I realized how long it’s been since I asked myself ‘what would Ross do’, and called you to find out. Want to know why? With you in my life, encouraging me, sharing your ideas and stories, I’ve become a confident cook. And along the way, I’ve even taught you a thing or two.
    I’m so excited the rest of the world gets to have you as their friend. Challenge us, Baby!

    • rpullen /

      My dear friend….your comments are priceless. I just try to respond…and if I’m lucky along the way, there is some sort of positive impact that I can be aware of that was created! By the way, you are a great cook; I’m not to sure i had much to do with it, but THANK YOU! You know you can always bake better than I’ll ever be able-and preserves/pickles/jellies too. You have a handle on that too. It’s a good thing that some folks we don’t know may get to share what we have done for years…and “that’s a good thing” (As my friend Lynn Gray always says)!

  8. I love the ramblings/meanderings! Can’t wait for your next instalment. A favorite summer food memory – camping with the family – breakfast of pancakes topped with yogurt, local honey and just picked, Oregon wild berries.

    • rpullen /

      Chantal…those ramblings and meanderings? I have been passing them on for years-ask my close friends. Thank you so much for the positive take on this venture. Now I get to have a bigger audience-this is such a strange medium. Very cool and very curious at the same time.
      Your summer food memory! I can smell and hear the crackling fire; topped with a big ol’ cast iron skillet getting those pancakes toasty and tasty. Honey and fresh picked berries…YUM. The only thing we didn’t have was yogurt. The first time I saw it in a store was at a Safeway in Canoga Park, Ca. in 1954. It was in a mason-type jar; it was separated with the odd colored watery whey at the top. My Mom loved all things healthy; she said “people in Bulgaria eat this and they live for a 100 years!”. I did not have the nerve to try it-not at 11 years old. It surely was a damn sight better than the rows and rows of “soda pop yogurt” we see in stores now. At least we have the good-for-you kinds too. I discovered Greek yogurt last year…have it every day.

  9. Donna Nevedale /

    Yahoo Ross, glad you got this up and running.

    Your friend
    Donna

    • rpullen /

      Thanks so much, Donna. Hope you’ll take a look from time time.

  10. Dave Cota /

    Congrats Ross! A great start. I would love to hear an insiders take on supply chain and how it translates into pork belly saturation. I.E. same distributors on same routes = same trends on same menus. Then again, who am I kidding… I get most of my insights here: http://www.greattacohunt.com/

    • rpullen /

      The trends? I think bright ,talented (and the not so….) chefs and cooks get on a trend easily; like any facet of our society. Dave, you should be the one to agree on this…being in the big wide International Film Biz! Some times being different ends up being the same. My solution: SIMPLICITY and PASSION! Always works.
      Thanks a bunch for the LA taco scene website connection. I’ll be sharing that with my friends.
      Muchos Gracias, Hombre!!!!

      • Tom C. /

        “Greatacohunt”, love that site. As for those of us who think we are actually Mexican-like me. The food is awesome and I crave it all the time. Here is a tidbit. I’ve spoken to many people who have moved or traveled from SoCal. They all say you can’t beat the Mexican fare in South California. “In Wisconsin, they just don’t get it”, In Texas, “Tex Mex is OK but I like San Diego Mexican food better”. Enjoy and eat well!
        -Tom

        • San Diego Mex food is primo…agreed. But cheating is going on-Mexico so close Ha!Ha! Funny thing is (Who have believed it) Portland Oregon now is coming on strong. The Mexicans came here for agricultural jobs in the early 80’s and thank goodness , they brought their food with them. Authentic styles from many regions. Boy, are the rest of us lucky!

  11. Anonymous /

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