Category Archives: Far East

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. 

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! 

Become a Patron!

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!

Become a Patron!

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!

Become a Patron!

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 

Become a Patron!

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.