All posts by ukitena

“My purpose is to empower students and avid artistic connoisseurs to think for themselves. I will empower students and avid artistic connoisseurs to think for themselves through my performing, teaching, speaking and jovial actions. I will empower creativity in daily life and living and give the artistic connoisseur the feeling it is ok to be creative and push boundaries in their lives and way of living.”

Casa blanca magnum

Lighting the chosen stick means I am taking the time to enjoy and relax. In todays world, that says something about the person. Regional gastronomy also comes into play with the enjoyment of the stick. 

The famous Casa Blanca cigar is a mellow handmade smoke that has been pleasing cigar enthusiasts for decades, thanks to its quality, consistency, and affordable price. 

Hailing from Santiago, Dominican Republic, these mild-to-medium-bodied cigars will provide you with a refined consistency normally found on much more expensive smokes. 

The series has a silky Connecticut broadleaf/shade and has a smooth, creamy, nutty taste, while the maduro variety features a dark broadleaf wrapper that adds a little more of a spicy kick to the blend.  

The 60 ring Magnum was my first venture into the big ring cigars after playing at a Presidential Inagural Ball in 1981. After the ball, we had an opportunity to have dinner off premises.  By the way, this cigar series pairs well with Ribeye Steaks and a robust Burgundy. That was on the menu that night and a lot of Tequila! 

Welcome to the world of the Cigar Enthusiast and Gastronomist.

Toddy Hour was always a big thing for me growing up in Memphis and Milan.  My grandfather used to come in from work as a traveling shoe salesman and have his evening toddy while dinner was cooking. 

There a few things I enjoy in life, two of them are enjoying a fine cigar and being a Chef. The two really go together well as they create a certain level of Zen. The relaxation of the cigar coupled with creating recipes that incorporate experiences around the world. Call it bringing things home to roost.  

 The flavor profiles in the Premium Cigars bring to life or accompany the gourmand experiences involving some interesting food, wine and cocktail pairings. By the way, do not forget the hops as my first experience with a cigar involved the hops of the Budweiser! Yes, I might be a redneck, so be it. Ahum. That said, let us enjoy this journey together and this is the first issue for me and for the online zine. If any of you would to become a contributor, please feel free to contact me! The publication is online and will be available in print. A true gourmand and artist creates a world full of the regional gastronomy.   Jere “Ranger” Douglas

Toddy time was sacred in our household and revered.  Along with his bourbon and branch were various snacks and my taste buds developed along those lines.  Memphis cuisine was also developing with some firm roots in the South!  I loved it….

Indoor or outdoor, this was a time for the homemaker to show off her wares to all the neighbors.  No holding back on even the place settings for this seemingly casual daily event.

As I grew up, I began hanging out in the kitchen and learning the tools of the trade. The Lobster, Filet Mignon, Bone in Sirloins, Shrimp, BBQ of all sorts, Casseroles and Petit Fours.  And my Grandad, with his predominate Cigar.

Ukis Receipts

https://www.patreon.com/posts/pickled-shrimp-29255265

https://www.patreon.com/posts/beef-stock-29334177

https://www.patreon.com/posts/29244190 Mint Julip

https://www.patreon.com/posts/28575272 Gazpacho

https://www.patreon.com/posts/28518633 Kosher Deli Dill Pickles

https://www.patreon.com/posts/27254613  Curtido

https://www.patreon.com/posts/27082899 Remoulade

In November 1976, the first week, I called Marine Corps recruiter about wanting to enlist after I had been out partying for a long day. I made the appointment for 6 AM in the morning and promptly passed out.

At some ungodly hour of the morning (6:00 AM), there was a pounding on my front door, and I crawled out of bed and opened the door and there was a Marine in summer class C dress blues with spit shined shoes saying, “I am here to pick you up to take the test”. I had to shake my head and remember what I had done last night. “Looks like I need to get dressed and really quick, Sir!” He laughed.

Well, I ran to the shower and jumped in. I didn’t care the water was cold as I didn’t want to mess this up. When I got dressed two minutes later, we ran downstairs and into the van and it was off to Downtown Memphis for the ASVAB test. I took the test with hangover held high and after the free lunch, I fell asleep in the chair at the recruiting office. The Sgt. came back and woke me up to tell me the test results for back. He had this look on his face of concern and that made me concerned. Did I flunk the test? He fiddled with some papers and looked up at me and said, “Mr. Douglas, you have scored the highest I have ever seen on this test. You have a choice of anything you would like to go into in the Marine Corps.” I said, “Well, I have always wanted to be in the Marine Corps band and that’s what I would like to do.”

Back in the day, I was young!

What I learned from this period of my life is to be prepared to walk through the gates when they open up to me.  Test the waters and see if it is what I need or if it is a repeat of something I have already done. I do not like becoming stale in my approach to living and make each day an adventure

In 1976, I met someone as a young Marine fresh out of boot camp, another Marine that opened my spirit and soul to a world of compassion, self- discipline where Puritanical Ideas became obsolete and a spiritual awakening that was over whelming happened! The exploration of the pain/pleasure paradox is a continuous adventure.

As a cigar boy, good times, good drinks, good cigars and good food go together. A cigar man is the one that takes the time to enjoy a very full life and takes the time to enjoy a good cigar.  In a hectic world, it seems necessary to have that time to relax and enjoy camaraderie or solitude.

To lite up that roll of leaf is to say, “Screw the world, it’s MY time” and dare anyone to take that away. 

Living an Aficionado life is gorging on every aspect of living and challenging staid societal norms, perhaps rendering them asunder.

Gearing up in leather or denim is part of the process with the final putting on of the leather gloves to absorb that fantastic cigar smoke, is erotic and sensual.

Lighting the chosen stick means I am taking the time to enjoy and relax.  In todays world, that says something about the person.  Regional gastronomy also comes into play with the enjoyment of the stick.

The famous Casa Blanca cigar is a mellow handmade smoke that has been pleasing cigar enthusiasts for decades, thanks to its quality, consistency, and affordable price.

Hailing from Santiago, Dominican Republic, these mild-to-medium-bodied cigars will provide you with a refined consistency normally found on much more expensive smokes.

 The series has a silky Connecticut broadleaf/shade and has a smooth, creamy, nutty taste, while the maduro variety features a dark broadleaf wrapper that adds a little more of a spicy kick to the blend. 

The 60 ring Magnum was my first venture into the big ring cigars during a Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Iwakuni, Japan.  By the way, this cigar series pairs well with Ribeye Steaks and a robust Burgundy.  That was on the menu that night and a lot of Tequila!

Today, I follow in those traditions as a homemaker/houseboy and relish the time I spend in the scullery concocting charismatic culinary adventures. I commenced my migration to Cigars as a young Marine and I proudly carry that inheritance forward!

Take time for a Casa Blanca today!

As a cigar boy, good times, good drinks, good cigars and good food go together. A cigar man is the one that takes the time to enjoy a very full life and takes the time to enjoy a good cigar. In a hectic world, it seems necessary to have that time to relax and enjoy camaraderie or solitude. 

To lite up that roll of leaf is to say, “Screw the world, it’s MY time” and dare anyone to take that away. 

Kidney stones and good health

There a few things I enjoy in life, two of them are enjoying a fine cigar and being a Chef. The two really go together well as they create a certain level of Zen. The relaxation of the cigar coupled with creating recipes that incorporate experiences around the world. Call it bringing things home to roost.

Become a Patron!


The flavor profiles in the Premium Cigars bring to life or accompany the gourmand experiences involving some interesting food, wine and cocktail pairings. By the way, do not forget the hops as my first experience with a cigar involved the hops of the Budweiser! Yes, I might be a redneck, so be it.
Ahum. That said, let us enjoy this journey together and this is the first issue for me and for the online zine. If any of you would to become a contributor, please feel free to contact me!
The publication is online and will be available in print. A true gourmand and artist creates a world full of the regional gastronomy.

Jere “Ranger” Douglas

I am aging and that’s ok. Recently, I went back to the VA with another bout of kidney stones. That could be a downer for a lot of people, but, we have access to all of our records through MyHealthEVet online. For me, that’s a treasure trove of information as I understand the lab results and they always run a battery of tests.

One key issue that keeps popping up is the lack of necessary vitamins and nutrients that can prevent most of the maladies. For me, it is a combination of lack of vitamins A, B, D, E, and K. Now, should I wring my hands, throw in the towel and such or take a proactive approach to deal with these issues. I’ll take the latter and I turn to diet.

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Number one, I am cutting out the fast foods. Those are usually loaded with very little in the way of nutrients and hold little redeeming qualities. The McRib was a favorite of mine for a quick lunch but after I found out that it could sustain a nuclear blast and be around with the cockroaches, that was no getter for me then. To change that habit, I put my handy dandy grill to use and smoke a couple of pork shoulders every two weeks. They call me the portion queen for a reason! Break out the Ziploc bags and play chop-chop with the smoked pork. I have enough from each smoking session to last two weeks. I also smoke a couple racks of ribs and when that’s done, the next week, I smoke some chicken and turkey. Again, portions.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/pulled-pork-29361211

Let’s bring the cheeseburger back in a different way!

Something else I keep on hand is this Pickled Shrimp! Full of good calcium and other nutrients.
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On a daily basis, I have a breakfast of rolled oats or grits, with heavy cream and lots of fresh butter. Brown, organic sugar has a place here for me also. Couple that with two scrambled or over-easy eggs, hash browns, toast and a steaming cup of coffee for starters. If I get a wild hair, I also include kippers, smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese, capers, and homemade jams.

For lunch, I do a soup and sandwich or a big bowl of homemade Pho. The bone broths or chicken stock I make add enough collagen to my diet to keep my joints lubricated and working, thus, pushing osteoporosis away. I do not want brittle bones to happen. For the sandwiches, it is on bread that I make so I know what is in it instead of some of the store brands. Of course, there are cold soups such as gazpacho and creamy cucumber along with sardines (which are full of calcium) and a boiled egg.

For God’s Sake, don’t forget the pickled green beans!

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Dinner consists of a good protein with the classic starch and green leafy things. Dessert has to be homemade and I enjoy cheesecake like there is no tomorrow!

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Payback

JKROQ

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The Payback Cigar is making a comeback! The creator of this fantastic stick is also a USMC Veteran that served in Japan in the Nineties. My review is a bit esoteric, like me, and includes some of my experiences over four decades of performing in Japan.
When I was studying with the greats, one of the pleasures after grueling lessons with Balter, Marcellus, Mack, and Bernstein, was to enjoy a good cigar with them or on my own.

He takes a puff and looks at the large Fu mask hanging on his wall. “There’s only so much I can do on my own.” Matt Booth, creator of the Payback Series of Cigars

For more on this fantastic stick and my journeys, follow me at Patreon!

Miyajima Island, between Iwakuni Cho and Hiroshima is an example of a completely isolated island, not overly developed with the freshest…

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The q

With September fast approaching, it’s time to plan for the annual gathering of the clans and the Labor Day Cookout.  Time to stock up the humidor with Southern Draw Jacob Ladder, Drew Estates Ligo Privada No. 9, Asylum Schizo and Jack Daniels! 

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Gather round the pit, men! BBQ Ribs, shoulder, and chicken with all the fixins! Boots are always welcome and pickup trucks.  Party down to the music of Charlie Daniels, Lionel Richie while drinking Cold Budweiser.

To lite up that roll of the leaf is to say, “Screw the world, it’s MY time” and dare anyone to take that away.  I learned how to cook in a small Tennessee town and the methods I use are pretty much why I say “I’m a Redneck Chef!” and I am not alone in that.  I smoke, drink, cuss, dip, cook, eat, live, laugh and love all at the same time.  Here are some of the cigars I like along with Marlboro Reds and Copenhagen Dip.  

If you would like to follow along, on this intriguing gastronomic journey, this is one of the ways to do so.  For a mere 15 dollars a month, you will receive Bons Vivants , a weekly newsletter, face time through podcasts and personal emails from me and others!  This is a one time offer!

The Menu!

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The smoking of the meats take a while, so the party starts when the smoking begins! 

Bloody Marys are important to me waking up!  Without that, the fire will not be lit! 

Bourbon soaked cocktail weenies with dipping sauce
This is a fun little dish to have in an arsenal of appetizers. The tradition is to stay halfway sober after having a helping or 6 of Grannies Special Winnies. Her original recipe included Moonshine simply because she was from Tennessee. 

5 cheese queso with fresh chips

Pickled Shrimp 
This recipe will make you slap you momma!

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Boudin Balls
Taking store-bought Boudin to a different level! Served with Remoulade Sauce.
Way down yonder in New Orleans! I simply love this dressing. I make it by the gallon, especially in the Spring and Summer months. There is a story here. When I turned 18, my mother took me on another trip to the Crescent City. We started out having about ten dozen oysters on the half shell before switching to the Shrimp Remoulade. I was hooked.

Charcuterie Board with meats and cheese from around the worldAll Meat Hot Dogs with chili and cheese to tide us over until dinner
Keg or Coolers? That is the question.  I vote for coolers and some BYOB 

The big event! 

After all day at the smokers, time for the full monte. Smoked Pulled Pork with JK’s BBQ Sauce 

Smoked Pork Ribs with Tennessee Dry Rub or JK’s BBQ Sauce

There are many ways to use the meat of the shoulder or the Boston Butt cut. Since we are a home of three, we have at least three to four different meals based on that smoked pork. It’s always fun and involves me at the smoker having a cigar and perhaps a cold beer or glass of sweet tea. The wet mopping sauce is another specialty of mine and I have taken this to an art form. Smoked Brisket with JK’s Texas Brisket Sauce

German Potato Salad

https://www.patreon.com/posts/29256450

Desserts

Peach Cobbler
What is the South without a cobbler on the table? Cobbler are a mainstay below the Mason Dixon and when the fresh fruits are in season it’s nary a day that goes by without something like this coming out of my kitchen. 

Lemon Pound Cake

Strawberry and Cream Cheesecake

Cantaloupe Ice Cream

If you would like to follow along, on this intriguing gastronomic journey, this is one of the ways to do so.  For a mere 15 dollars a month, you will receive Bons Vivants , a weekly newsletter, face time through podcasts and personal emails from me and others!  This is a one time offer!

Become a Patron!

The Rise of Redncek Chefs
The Rise of Redneck Chefs 2

Payback

 Become a Patron!

The Payback Cigar is making a comeback! The creator of this fantastic stick is also a USMC Veteran that served in Japan in the Nineties. My review is a bit esoteric, like me, and includes some of my experiences over four decades of performing in Japan.
When I was studying with the greats, one of the pleasures after grueling lessons with Balter, Marcellus, Mack, and Bernstein, was to enjoy a good cigar with them or on my own. 

He takes a puff and looks at the large Fu mask hanging on his wall. “There’s only so much I can do on my own.” Matt Booth, creator of the Payback Series of Cigars

For more on this fantastic stick and my journeys, follow me at Patreon!

Miyajima Island, between Iwakuni Cho and Hiroshima is an example of a completely isolated island, not overly developed with the freshest seafood in Japan. The First MAW Band performed at the recognition day of the first atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima. I needed a break after that experience and took a liberty to spend the weekend on the island. It was an experience, in 1978, that I have returned many times to this idyllic place to find rest for a troubled soul 

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My existential experience in lighting up a Payback is so comforting to my inner soul and reminds me of the Sakura festivals in Honshu Prefecture of Japan. 

Sakura in Japan
Sakura, sakura Ya-yo-I-no so-ra-wa Mi-wa-ta-su ka-gi-ri Ka-su-mi-ka ku-mo-ka Ni-o-i-zo i-zu-ru I-za-ya I-za-ya Mi—ni— Yu-ka-n
Torii Gate to Miyajima Shrines.

 Shinto is the underlying spiritual belief system of Japan and has developed over eons. The life, traditions and respect come from the core values of Shinto. Purity, Makoto – Sincerity, Harmony with Nature, Matsuri – Festivals, Focus on Now. Shinto is involved in every aspect of Japanese culture: it touches ethics, politics, family life and social structures, artistic life (particularly drama and poetry) and sporting life (Sumo wrestling), as well as spiritual life. 

For more on this fantastic stick and my journeys, follow me at Patreon!

THe Monthly Magazine from JK.

Shopping

My supervisor! Miss Ethel

I have had a blast today, shopping at the Aisian Markets in Houston.  I actually save 150 dollars by bargin shopping and have stocked my pantry with the necessary items.  You will not believe this, but Napa cabbage, on sale, for ten cents a pound I bought 30 pounds and am making Kimchee for future use.  I am also making Cortido just because along with grinding pork and beef for freezing. At 99 cents a pound, I bought a lot of the beef and pork. Thank god for my KitchenAide mixer with attachments! 

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I also have a 25 pound bag of potatoes that I bought for 99 cents.  So, I am making Gnochi simply because I can and backing it up with this sauce. i do refuse to pay 5 dollars for two tomatoes at HEB, therefore, my Victory Garden is producing a lot for me and mine.  By the way, Hubert E Butts, HEB, was a native of Memphis, Tennessee along with Mr. Sanders of Piggly Wiggly fame.  I am so glad to be a native Memphian. 

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So, to the nitty gritty.  Today, it’s Saturday and I am in the creative mode.  Shopping is done and now it is time for chopping.  Miss Ethel has some new boxes to play in and Mr. Humphrey is wathching old Western Movies on the Tele.  

Today, I have Pinto beans soaking in one pot and butter beans in another. Tonight, I am making thisbeef dish along with this Strawberries and Cream Cobbler!  it is really tasty! Today, I have Pinto beans soaking in one pot and butter beans in another. Tonight, I am making thisbeef dish along with this Strawberries and Cream Cobbler!  it is really tasty!

August newsletter

Greetings on this first full week in August! 

Today, I am putting together food for the rest of the week and I have decided on a Creole/Cajun influence with the seasoning of Louisiana. 

First off, I am making my Remoulade Sauce to keep in the fridge for salads and such.  I garnered this recipe from New Orleans a long time ago and have put my touches on it. Along with this, I will be making the Emeril Creole Seasoning. This is a catch all seasoning combination made of dry spices and can be kept in the spice cabinet.

  Please help keep this going! Donate here if you wish

Please help keep this going! Donate here if you wish

I will be making Ceviche as it another thing I can keep for a lunch salad or dinner appetizer. It’s also good for breakfast. I am waiting until next week to do my cold Smoked Salmon better known as Lox for bagels and such. The Creole flavors are a mix of many cultures, developed over the ages in New Orleans and the Bayous of Louisiana. 

Moving right along, my Pickled Squash is always a keeper.  It pairs well with pickled Onions and Tomatoes in a multiple course dinner.

Shrimp Creole is the citified dish for New Orleans! The flavors are fantastic and while it is considered more cultured than the Cajun Jambalaya, the flavors are close. I always thought that the only thing separating us from each other is some type of arrogance on both sides of the fence. Perhaps that is why I consider myself as a personal representative of when the Cajun met the Creole, they produced me! I will be using the Lobster and Shrimp Stock from here.

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The Piece De Resistance is a subtle Cioppino from the fantastic city of San Francisco! 

Have a great week! My work is cut out for me. Always check the sales at the local markets and purchase well. Be creative and enjoy life! 

The Body mechanic

Are you a mechanic or at least take good care of your vehicle? What happens if you let the radiator run dry or the vehicle run without any oil in it? The engine will overheat or lock up and then you must replace the entire engine. 

What happens when the body runs out of oil and water along with essential nutrients to keep it operating at pristine levels? The body seizes up and leads to heart attack, stroke, decreased immune system, free radicals taking over which leads to cancer, liver failure, heart attack and stroke. That’s not good at all. I took the bull by the horns, in the eighties and began to take care of my body better than I did my vehicle. Life changed for the better then. By the way, my first car was a brand new 1976 Camaro and it lasted me 15 years. When I sold it, it was in pristine condition. 

Today, let’s talk about liver and immune system health and how to amend meds that can sometimes be destructive on the internal organs.