Category Archives: Foodie

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! 

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!

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!

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!

The Rise of Redncek Chefs
The Rise of Redneck Chefs 2

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Payback

 

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 

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. 

Crawfish bisque

2 pounds fresh crawfish or 1 pound fresh and one bag frozen crawfish tails

Crab and Shrimp boil

2 bottles clam juice

1 stick butter

6 tablespoons flour for roux

Cajun Trinity finely minced (celery, onion and bell pepper)

1 medium can tomato puree (optional)

Water to fill stock pot for boiling crawfish

Fill stock pot with enough water to cover crawfish, shrimp and other shell fish and add bag of shrimp boil.  Additional Cayenne, Lemon and other herbs may be added to taste.  Bring to boil and drop the shellfish in, only blanching to a light doneness.  Remove from the stock and let cool before peeling or you might burn your fingers…LOL.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in other stock pot or dutch oven and have flour ready to add, 1 to 2 tablespoons at the time to make a golden brown roux.  Stir constantly over low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, judging with the eye as there is really no way to say how long it will take, even for the most experienced chef. 

Have the trinity ready to add, as I do this almost immediately as the roux begins to brown and continue stirring.  When this reaches a desired doneness to you personally ( I like it still crunchy myself) add the clam juice and 3 to 4 cups of the boiling broth to the pot, let simmer over low heat for an hour. 

I actually prefer a lighter roux as the spices I add later on bring out that great flavor sensation of the head and the sweet.  Have ready fresh Nutmeg, finely grated, Cayenne Pepper to taste, Ground Black Pepper to taste, Paprika (at least a quarter cup of this great spice) and add about 15 to 20 minutes before the addition of the peeled and deveined shellfish.  The shell fish are added during the last 5 minutes of preparation.  Yum Yum….!

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Inktify

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Our goal at Inktify is to work with you to build your brand and get that in front of people! I short, through a cohesive appearance to the casual gathering, we offer very excellent embroidery and screen printing. We also have the marking post cards which I have seen realtors use to promote their current sales. 
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 Custom embroidery has a $35.00 one time set up fee for personalized logo!
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jere@inktify.com
 
Imagine, on the golf course, the golfers towel with your brand right there and a cap with your brand!  Around town, the shirts and caps with your brand!  
 
For the everyday, the pens can be custom printed for you!  
 
In printing, we have a lot of areas where we can produce! Check out our website at www.inktify.com and go to the “Order Copies” section!  Self serve there and for any discounts put in my name, Jere in that box!  Also, check out the “Booklet” tab!  
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Greetings from the Burbs!

Today, it is raining again here in West Houston and we are still watching those damn dams.  What does a suburban House Husband do without a Suburban?  We cook, chat and clean closets!  LOL  That gay agenda is really something.

I do have a special girl in my life, her name is Miss Lady.

A Broth for a Lady

Miss Lady is our Great Pyrenees that we inherited upon the passing of a friend.  She, like our other family members, are all rescues and we love them dearly.  She is getting up in years and has something that is endemic to this breed of dog, hip dysplasia.  I did my research and avoided costly vet bills by changing her diet.  By the way, she is about 16 plus years old and still trucking along like a teenager.

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Her diet now consists of broths that I have adapted from the Far East that provide the joint lubrication to interact with the chondroitin (Available through Amazon) supplements we give her.  To make this broth, I go to the meat markets for bones, knuckle bones, chicken thighs, beef hooves and such that would make the broth for various noodle soup dishes in Japan and China. Yes Dears!  Those excellent broths have very humble beginnings!

Nabeyaki Udon Nippon

Here is my recipe

3 to 5 pounds of bones with meat

1 gallon of water to begin

Celery tops, Carrot tops with carrots (any type of extra from regular cooking)

Set to boil then simmer on the stove, adding water as needed for about 24 hours.

What I end up with I split between her bowl and freeze the rest in Ice Trays as it is a great addition to any dish that requires bullion in it.

We love our kids and hope to keep them healthy and happy!

What else does a Houston House Husband do on a rainy day?  We write blogs!
Have a good day!

Jere!

Scenes from the Burbs

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Glorious Friday, what a day!  As we gently prepare for the advent of more rain here in the burbs, all eyes are on the two reservoirs, levees and the dams that contain the mighty waters of the accumulated rains and will they hold?  We sure hope so.

In the meantime, crab a cup of java and let’s chew the proverbial fat.  It’s time for Bacon!

This Wednesday past, I had an outing in the evening to another favorite watering hole and Mexican food emporium here in the burbs.  Out here, we have an interesting mix of the chains and family owned restaurants.  If you want to go where the locals go, follow the local crowds.  Enchiludas is where we head on Wednesday as it is biker night there and the food is excellent!

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Enchiludas is owned and operated by Pepe and Gladys, a couple that has a long history of being in the restaurant industry here in Houston.  The food is quite interesting and the new menu encapsulates the wonders of Tex Mex cuisine into a sometimes delicate art form.

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One of my faves is Ceviche. It’s not on the menu but if I am planning to go there, I call ahead and get Pepe to make it.  Then, it’s a feast of Ceviche, Queso Flamado, Chips, homemade Salsa, Margaritas and a lot of fun.  There is no pretense here, just good food and good friends.

You might ask, why are we hanging around bikers?  Well, I’ll be honest, I would rather hang around people that are comfortable in their skins and that have my back. Enchiludas has a great policy that everyone is welcome from families to party animals and we all cohabit together in Margarita bliss for the evening.

Another favorite on the menu is the Seafood Soup that can be custom made by Pepe and the staff there that includes tilapia, muscles, crab, shrimp, octopus and sometimes even crawfish!  Enchiludas also serves up a great Crawfish boil that is not that pricey and a great bargain!

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The band that evening was a Rhythm and Blues duo that took me back to my roots in Memphis, Tennessee.  Man, these cats were cooking with gas!  Two brothers, known as the “Black Cats” with some interesting professional experiences that we shared during their breaks.

Black Cats
Other menu items that are of note include the Enchilada plates varying in price, the Burritos that are humongous, the Shrimp wrapped in bacon and embedded in a fresh jalapeno and the variations on Chorizo!  Yum Yum!

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Have a great weekend!  If we float by, grab the cooler and refill it please!

From Casa Ukitena in the Burbs of Houston.

Jere

From the Burbs of West Houston!

Greetings and salutations in the suburbs of Houston! It’s great to be writing this blog and as this is the beginning of a new day for me, I would like to start off by saying we lived in the suburbs of Houston. Now you may ask, Houston is so big, where the suburbs? I’m particular HOA is located outside the Beltway’s which means you have to have two green cards to get here. We also live in a floodplain which can be quite interesting concerning the recent floods we’ve had here.

 

All that aside, we live in a very diverse. Houston. The restaurants in this area are not five-star they are more family oriented which is very unique. One of our favorite places to go is El Matador. El Matador is an interesting neighborhood establishment where every Tuesday night, Rodney plays the piano or tickles the ivories as the case may be. Writing has been playing for a long time and we know we are at home when I hear the music I grew up with and realize I’m a bit ancient, hee hee hee hee. The food at EL Matador is a mix of Tex-Mex, Colombian and pure Mexican. Of course I like margaritas but isn’t that what a househusband would like?

 

On Wednesday usually consist of going into town which is a great effort on our part. I tell my spouse Jody, but I can drive from Memphis to Jackson, Tennessee quicker than we can get downtown Houston. However, with the advent of the Westpark toll way, it cuts down on driving time for about 15 minutes depending on traffic. Of course, one must take into account the highway 59 parking lot as it can be atrocious at times. Going into town, we usually hang out in the Montrose area. Montrose area in Houston is a hot spot for multicultural experience, something I really treasure! We lovingly refer to Georges Country Sports Bar as the Cathedral of St. George since that’s where we gather together, especially on Sunday afternoon.  Beginning on Wednesday, I attempt to make the vestry committee meeting. There a lot of plans have to be made for the Sunday services at Georges. Oh, sorry. What I meant to say is that the Cathedral.

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“This is right up there at the top of the list for a bar outing in Houston Montrose area.  Great bartenders, good drinks and usually some club function going on.  OH, and Sunday’s, football season, come in for a great crowd to watch the games along with dollar vodka’s.
Very clean, well maintained, good times and good friends.”

There are a lot of restaurants in that area that Jody and I really like. The go to place for us is Barnaby’s! Barnaby’s has the menu that will knock your socks off. The serving sizes are enough that when we order separate meals we had enough for the next day. I usually like the salads and Jody really likes the chicken WONTONS. He likes of so much that even the hot sauce we had to find the Chinese markets.

 

Next place we like is the Ripcord! The Ripcord has undergone some changes from a full-time leather bar to more of an open community gathering spot. The owner, Brad, has opened up the space and invited artists in various disciplines and to show and promote their wares. Speaking of wares, Chip Ware and his spouse have opened up a new shop in the Ripcord. I highly recommend Montrose area of Houston.

 

Getting back to West Houston, the homeowners association here seems to be operating still in the 80s. Me, I am a creative type person and I need room to breathe. Perhaps there is a chance to turn things around and install solar panels, a usable landscape, more economical energy-saving products and bring things up to speed with 21st century. Now, in Texas, the homeowners associations are very powerful and seem to be able to get away with anything. So, I have to learn to work within the system and change it.

 

So, what is a Houston househusband to do at a time like this? Leave it for squeezing it? Fit in or stand out?

Jere Merman Style

 

I believe it’s time for a cocktail or better yet a cigar and a glass of sweet tea on the veranda that doesn’t exist yet. Blasted homeowners associations that I have to draw up plans and submit for approval around in the backyard. Oh well enough for now, see you next time!

Me 2016