A Good Braise

In cooking school we spent a whole session on braising
(which is kinda making a stew)

The Hard Sautee
Put some color on Brussels Sprouts, Jalapeno Peppers, Corn Mushrooms

Deglaze (add acid judiciously, you can always add more)
Then: Cook Root Vegetables and Starches

Add Beans and Greens

And Garnishes:
Mushrooms and Peans

Chicken, Seafood

Frozen Pea

Finish with: Mustard

A Good Nights Sleep

Back in the fraternity we had a Cold Air Dorm
What is a Cold Dorm? (Bustle)

I like to sleep on the floor (on a pad) and sleep weeks on the ground while camping
(after a night in a luxurious hotel bed I woke up practically crippled)

I like to go to “bed” early (and also get up early)

Obviously, winter in the Midwest is the best season for sleeping with long nights and cold temperatures

A Nap is also good thing

A Good Job

I remember my first job out of college and realizing the important difference between education and experience
(between going to school and going to work)

What a reality check. This is working for a living and I was terrified.
I knew I couldn’t bear to do this the rest of my life, so I went back to school.

And my boss wondered why I was going back to school

And my second job was a Good Job. I had a mentor, a man retired from a large company who had patience and time to teach me.

Since we spend a good deal of time on the job, it is important to have a Good Job.

Imagine how important it is to look forward of going to work?
What a blessing it is to have a job that challenges and delights you.

Oh, to have:
An understanding boss
A company capable of paying you the compensation which you deserve

Over my years in the workforce, I have experienced large companies and small companies, generous employers and greedy bastards, pleasant work environments and one where I feared transporting cockroaches or bed bugs back to my home.

In my mind, the perfect job allows one to bike to work
I wish I was more environmentally proactive,
but my ride to work doesn’t spew noxious fumes into the air other the carbon dioxide which I exhale
(I dream of a work place which also has a shower)

A Good Run


Norm McDonald’s great interview show on Netflix with Jane Fonda (also great interview with Drew Barrymore) revealed that at 80, is now the same age as her father Henry when he filmed “On Golden Pond”

I tell my contemporaries of this, and they have never seen “On Golden Pond,” which puzzles me.

Anyway, Jane says that the reason that she looks attractive and alert compared to Henry (who in truth was playing the part of an old man losing his memory) is fitness. Taking care of your body and your mind.

Quality of Life
Sense of Well Being

We notice that what we gain from Marathon (26.2 Mile) Training is the ability to run a great, fun and enjoyable 10K (6.2 Miles)

Although we seldom finish the 26.2 race, we certainly benefit from the training, fit-in-our-pants, sleep well, have a sense of accomplishment, etc. When we run in the morning, there is a sense of accomplishment and well being.

A Good Stew

The challenge is to not create a pot of “mud”
(not like a “bad painting,” where you combine vibrant colors, but end up with a muddy brown hue)

A Good Stew is a colloration of ingredients, with each component identifiable
So you cook some things separately
and you add some ingredients late

Beans and Rice
Garbanzos and Brown Rice

Greens and Grains
-Farro, Barley, Amaranth, Quinoa

Some Spices and a Crumbled Chipolte
-Corriander, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper

A Sauté of Vegetables
-maybe the hard stems of asparagus (reserving the tender tips)
-maybe the peeled stems of broccoli (reserving the florets)
-the stems of greens such as kale

Preserving integrity of ingredients and not over-cooking

Use of Stock

Big Pieces of vegetables
-a large piece of rutabaga
-sweet potato
-tender tips and florets

Some Meat
-chewy piece of skirt steak
-lamb shoulder or stew or sale
-large pieces of poached chicken, marinated
-frozen seafood stew mix
-frozen raw shrimp

Frozen Corn or Peans
Sliced Mushrooms