Home Cooking

My liver must think I’m an asshole.  I suppose some people with poor judgement also think I’m an asshole.

Mistakes are better seen as discoveries.

Some differences between a home cook and a (quality) professional is that the professional takes recipes, ideas, and dishes a step or two further than the home cook.  We add things beyond a written recipe, use advanced techniques, we have access to better and hard to find ingredients, and we (most of us) cook to please, not just to feed. With that said, I know some fantastic home cooks that have given me some great dining pleasure.

Typically, when I’m invited to someone’s home for a meal, I don’t care what they make. I’m usually just happy to eat a meal sitting down for a change. Chili dogs, tater tots, and a seat at your table are good enough for me.  I’m not saying that I’m looking for an invite, but I’m off on most Mondays

I’ll never forget the first time Jennifer and I ate at Mehmet and Mary Odekon’s house.  He’s from Turkey, and a great home cook. It was a spread of Mediterranean-Middle Eastern delights that have since inspired me often in my own cooking.

I don’t always enjoy cooking at home.  While we do have a much bigger kitchen in our new house, with a large island,  I’m just not used to the flow there yet.  Also, I can’t use the same level of heat sometimes required for restaurant level cooking.  We really need an exhaust hood at some point.

An awful lot of people think Jenn is so lucky to be married to a chef and they ask if she gets great meals every night.  Silly people, I work at night.  Of course, I work during the day too.

I do enjoy cooking for friends and family at home, especially dinner parties.  With lots of wine.

The Yawning Duck.

I’ll be having hernia surgery next Tuesday. I’m sure, based on the increasing discomfort level that working all summer with the hernia wasn’t the best thing to do.  During the busy season however, you suck it up and do your job.

It cost me 30 bucks in co-pay to get checked for said hernia. I’m sure there are cheaper ways to get a similar experience.

I was born with an umbilical hernia, and had surgery at 6 months of age. I do not have a belly button as a result.

I have no place to keep lint.

I have won many bar bets due to my lack of a bell-button.

A big influence on me, when it refers to service in a restaurant was a 1982 visit to a new restaurant, Cafe Capriccio. Billy Karabin was our waiter.  Then, working there years later, I learned what was possible when it comes to service.

Service, really good service is a constant pressure, like a tourniquet.  If you let loose a bit, the bleeding may not be controlled.  The kitchen is the same way during a dinner rush.  While the experiences of the front of the house and back of the house are different, they’re the same.

My brother Dan passed away 10 years ago at the age of 48, My sister Elaine 15 years ago at the age of 43.  They were twins. Their birthday is Thursday. Cancer, both.

Noodles and eggs, Schlitz, and the band Chicago. The good Chicago from the 70’s, not the crappy version of the 80’s.

8 thoughts on “Home Cooking

  1. Another terrific read. Good luck with the hernia. Compared to your last surgery, it should be a walk in the park. Spot on re Chicago. They were at their best in 1970 when they called themselves Chicago Transit Authority before Terry Kath died.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the blog, and agree that Chicago were at their best in the 70s. I’d say that when Terry Kath died, that was pretty much when their particular music died. And yeah… I still have both original American and British (for variety) pressings of everything up through 7. Classic stuff. Thanks for the great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry for your loss Dominic, always too soon – way too early in their case. Pretty much best thing I’ve done in the past 20 years is live next door to Café Capriccio – awesome people as you know and awesome food. I’m grateful.


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