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

IMG_6965

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 […]

Confession No. 144 — The flood water is just the beginning

Mario and me after a(nother) exhausting day.

Our days and nights have become a blur. We overdrew our energy supply a couple days ago and are operating on adrenaline fumes and combustive emotion. I’m so exhausted that I had to double-check with my wife about today’s day and date. Such, as I’m learning, is just one of the many effects of the […]

Confession No. 143 — The sun shines on Houston

It’s been said that the sun will come up tomorrow, and it did in Houston on this late August day. That bright light truly came much earlier for my family, though I wanted to doubt its presence.  “We’ve never had best friends,” my wife said to me. “Mario and Linda are our best friends, I […]

Confession No. 142 — The human condition is alive and well

Yours truly, with Mario ~ Easter Sunday, 2017

So long as you believe everything you see, read and hear these days, the human race is going to hell in a hand basket. We care nothing about anything. Except maybe ourselves. I held similar beliefs … until a few days ago. My family and I are residents of the greater Houston area. My 19 […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Serrano Ham-Wrapped Asparagus

asparagus wrapped with Serrano ham

If there’s one thing you should know about Serrano ham, it’s this: Grandma didn’t serve this stuff at Easter during your childhood. Nope. Well, unless you lived in Spain as a child. Whereas the ham we (North Americans) are used to is a smoky juicy delicacy in itself, our friends in Spain serve up this […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Barbecued Spiced Fish

Barbecued Spiced Fish —

Store-bought barbecue rubs are a lot like the jars of salsa that sit across the aisle. They’re a dime a dozen. Sure, most of them deliver on their promise, but there are very few varieties out there that are truly special. Lucky me, I found one. It’s from a very small company called Rubbin’ Right. […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Easy Peasy Chickpea Salad

chickpea salad in bowl

There have been plenty of times that I’ve mocked delicious restaurant fare, but it was always planned. Take Schlotzsky’s, for example. I ate their funky sandwiches for 20-some-odd years before finally making a copycat worthy of sharing with my 19 loyal readers. Same thing with Pizza Hut’s Supreme Sandwich. I grew up on it and […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Bread Cheese. Who knew?

Bread Cheese — Just warm and cube it, and let your taste buds run wild.

I know my Manchego. Bries and Blues — well-rounded. I’m even sharp when it comes to Cheddars. But Bread Cheese? What in tarnation is Bread Cheese? Lucky me. I found out in the most unlikely of ways. ‘Adam, you’ve got to try this cheese,’ Catherine told me as I dodged scooter-drivers and cart-pushers at my […]