The RV Chronicles — Stained silk and happy tears (Recipe: Fiery Jalapeno Relish)

Most people would chalk up a chili-stained silk shirt as an unfortunate incident. When said blotch comes two bites prior to a glob of mustard to the pants, it becomes a bad lunch. But not for me. After tweaking my Fiery Jalapeno Relish, I was bound and determined to celebrate the new baseball season in […]

The RV Chronicles — A mushroom-Swiss burger for the ages

Fine. So, the burger doesn’t deserve the credit here. But it is a damn good burger. And that’s because I broke the rules. Your typical mushroom-Swiss burger is built with the cheese beneath the meat and bottom bun, then dressed with sauced mushrooms and a bun topper. These are usually good, but damn if the […]

The RV Chronicles — Maybe it’s the beer talking, but I’m no longer ashamed

Fine, I’m not ashamed … Just a little embarrassed.  Still, sometimes the best therapy is to just lay it all out there and move on.  Thanks perhaps to the beer tastings today at a regional grocer, I’m ready to confess. I have been a quitter for the past 25 years, or so. No, I didn’t […]

The RV Chronicles — Tailgating at the Jimmy Rockford (Recipe: Brats in a Blanket w/ Caramelized Kraut)

This ain’t no stadium parking lot and the only games being watched are piped through tacky little parabolas mounted atop cinder blocks. But it’s a tailgating atmosphere any time the mosquitoes are buzzing. A stroll to the laundry room, pool or trash dumpster brings an audible cornucopia of soundtracks — everything from Kenny Chesney to […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Fried Calamari bathed in Thai Sweet & Hot Dipping Sauce

I told you about two years ago about the tenderizing power of milk.  Just in case you’re late to the party, here’s the bottom line: the enzymes break down muscle tissue, and that makes for more tender meat. It works with chicken, warm-blooded animals like bovine and swine — seafood. Now, before you go soaking […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Classic Tex-Mex Salsa

There was a time when I had to be forced to eat Mexican food. It’s true. ‘I have news for you two,’ my mother told my sister and me. ‘You’ll have to eat the special tonight.’ ‘But why?’ I asked. ‘I like the chicken-fried steak. That’s not fair!’ The time was about 1978 and the […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Asian Chicken Salad w/ Ginger Sesame Dressing

I remember a time when I felt sort of ashamed in many restaurants. As I would sit and enjoy something fried, drenched in gravy or dripping with luscious fat, there always seemed to be someone nearby who went the salad route. And it rarely failed that we’d exchange glances — mine friendly and theirs usually […]

The Unorthodox Epicure: Sausage Gravy — the Real Deal

Let’s be honest. Sausage gravy-covered biscuits aren’t exactly on the menu at Club Med — or the the Deborah Heart & Lung Center. Unlike most other breakfasts — Philadelphia Scrapple notwithstanding — sausage gravy is to breakfast what coal mining is to careers: Done daily, it makes for a good, but shorter life. Having grown […]

Confession No. 129 – Getting there is not what it used to be

I got the key to the highway; Billed out and bound to go. I’m gonna leave here running; Walking is most too slow. — Eric Clapton There was a time when I was content to travel. It was a time of Hot Wheels and coloring books; we ate homemade roast beef sandwiches as we traced […]

Food Snob Chronicles — The 2014 Ballpark Tour: Milwaukee

The word secret can be quite special. Just ask the heirs to ‘Col.’ Harlan Sanders, any Coca Cola shareholder or a Milwaukee Brewers fan. The mere mention of a secret recipe causes sales to spike and legends to begin. And that lore only gets better — if not cloudier — with age. The secret recipes, […]