The Unorthodox Epicure — Recipe: Beef Barbacoa

This ain’t the barbacoa you’ve had at Chipotle. Nope. This is legit. If you’ve ever patronized a real Mexican restaurant on Saturday morning, you’ve probably had something close to this. But not quite. The meat in this recipe melts in your mouth quicker than the ice at Sonic. And it has more flavor than the […]

Confession No. 150 — Let 2018 begin! (Recipe: Smoked Tomato Salsa)

At this time one year ago, four of us lived in a 32-foot RV near the Galveston Bay, and we were merely toying with the idea of moving to a (temporary) home so that I could have some peace and quiet for studying. By September, that RV and our new temporary home were mostly gone. […]

Confession No. 149 — A feisty notary and my sacred blue pen: A Hurricane Harvey recovery story

It was a Tuesday just like any other these days. I had to leave the office early to deal with more Hurricane Harvey aftermath. But this time I had to forge through the Small Business Administration. Anyone who enters FEMA mitigation must first go through the SBA process, and that includes applying for a loan, […]

Confession No. 148 – When it rains, it pours. Goodbye old friend.

Chester is gone. My feelings are no different than what so many people, myself included, have experienced. The grief and mourning of losing a four-legged family member. Chester was our grey and black-striped short-haired cat. He came to us about six years ago as a wily personable kitten, born of a feral mother who’d been […]

The RV Chronicles — My own ‘Old Yeller’ story

Emotions are a fickle thing around these parts lately. I’m told such is the norm after going through a catastrophic event like Hurricane Harvey. But my mind is comparing the loss the Jimmy Rockford — a travel trailer — with ‘Old Yeller,’ and that might just take the melodramatic cake. If you’re among my 19 […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — General Tso’s Chicken Wings

Of all the Chinese joints I’ve ever eaten at, only one has creative enough to re-purpose two of its most popular menu selections in coming up with a newfangled appetizer. General Tso’s Chicken Wings. I first saw General Tso’s Chicken Wings little more than a year ago at a restaurant in Seabrook, Texas — only […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Homemade Smoked Pastrami Sous Vide

Dateline: June 30, 2017. Citi Field; Queens, NY. Mets vs. Phillies. Though the hometown starter whiffed a dozen visiting batters, this wasn’t exactly a game for the ages. But the ballpark fare — hot pastrami — turned out to be a taste of Seventh Heaven. Now, I’ve been to a lot of baseball parks through […]

Confession No. 147 — Beef jerky says a lot about a person

One never truly knows when he might be reduced to questioning his own scruples. Such self-conviction was rare for me … until Hurricane Harvey virtually destroyed our home.  A co-worker — the same guy who hung pictures in my office after a year of seeing them stacked on the counter — approached me this past […]

Confession No. 146 — Blessed are the helpers … and pure in heart

It’s been at least 10 years since I first heard the phrase ‘Do not rob someone of a blessing.’ My wife said these words to me when my father gave me $800 to buy a set of tires. ‘But Catherine, I asked for a $400 loan — for two days — so we wouldn’t have […]

Confession No. 145 — Bleach, pork and beans, and an overflow of tears

Strawberry fields really are forever. And it was here that I cried today over a gallon of bleach, a couple cans of pork and beans — and a slew of wonderful people. Catherine and I were headed to the grocery store to find some food and cleaning supplies when she diverted our trip. ‘A lot […]