Our Favorite Recipes Page — a little thank-you to all of you out there for your four and a half years of friendship
[ Click on the image above to find our Recipes page. It's located in the top toolbar under ADVENTURE! and has its own dedicated section now ]
I was really touched this week by someone who wrote in on another thread and wanted to have some of the recipes for things I write about here and there; that was such a sweet and personal thing to ask and it was special to me because making food for people I care about is a big deal in my world. For instance, I would never dream of making my boyfriend Justin anything that I wasn’t sure would be great…and I would not risk cooking anything that wasn’t special if I had friends coming over for the day or if I was going to a pot-luck or something. I take a lot of pride in making things from good ingredients that taste great and are nutrition — but have a little soul and flare to them. The happiest I ever am in the world is when someone I love eats something I’ve made and they look so happy…especially when whatever that thing I made was just happens to be a favorite of mine from growing up in Cleveland or a trick I picked up here or there in the many oddball and interesting jobs I’ve had in my event planning and hospitality days.
One of the biggest blessings I’m counting today is the fact that this eclectic little political website willed itself into existence more than four and a half years ago and has given me the gift of reaching so many great people out there coast to coast — and around the world — and that things that mean something special to me can reverberate into the lives of others…even if I’ll never know it. One of the things about being a gay man that used to break my heart was that since I won’t ever have kids I felt so sad that a lot of the great things I was taught by the truly remarkable people I’ve loved would tumble into the grave with me some day…and wouldn’t get passed on to anyone else.
That was tragic to me, because I’ve been so blessed to know some of the most incredible people of our time (in my opinion)…and I just love sharing with others the gifts they gave me, even if it’s just a fun recipe for stretching out leftovers or tips to bring that grocery bill way down. It’s a humbling and awesome realization that via HB I can actually rebroadcast every wonderful thing ever said or taught to me and send that out to you and whoever else will read these essays and articles in the future…so that, through this effort, the people I love and the good in their hearts will never die…but will echo on in some form forever.
So, a gay guy from Cleveland ended up in Chicago with the ability to collect and transmit the very best of everyone he encountered in a lifetime to other good people who can carry those wonderful things on to others. I have no idea how any of this managed to happen, or why I was lucky enough to end up with that gift…but I am very thankful for it.
This will be a work in progress — and it will take a while to put a lot of these things into articles — but I started a page here on HB for the Recipes that people have asked for and will do my very best to make them as fool-proof and easy to use as possible as I write them up. I’m thinking this will be something I have more time to get to on the weekends…which is very natural, actually, since I like to cook more complicated or special things on Saturday or Sunday when there’s usually no place I need to be and I can just focus on going to the store or being in the kitchen.
I’m really heartened by the opportunity to tell you about some of the wonderful cooks I grew up knowing back in Cleveland…particularly my grandmothers, who are both gone now, but whose examples still continue to guide me today. Justin gets to hear these stories every day and I’m sure he’ll be happy to know that others will have the chance to enjoy them instead. I like knowing that this Recipes page is a chance for Erma and Emma to live on and never be forgotten and that a stranger who never met either of them might think of them now and again if that person makes one of their favorite dishes on occasion.
There’s a powerful kind of emotional magic in that for me…and in food if it’s always made with love and good intentions. I think we’re in for a very trying and exhausting four years that will be filled with austerity and privation…so maybe it’s perfect timing for the influence of Erma and Emma and the other practical and penny-pinching cooks I’ve known to reach a new audience who might be in real need of ideas to stretch household budgets in ways their families won’t even notice.
That was always a big thing growing up in Cleveland…to always make do with what we had, but to do it without complaint…though with enough flare and ingenuity that nobody noticed if you really just scraped together a bunch of leftovers and repurposed it into something new and interesting. If necessity is the mother of invention, then the ruined city of Cleveland was the maternity ward where such necessity birthed all sorts of inventiveness. I really believe that together we can all get through no matter what nightmares will come in the years ahead just by falling back on the best things we were taught growing up by people who themselves survived similar hardships.
I don’t necessarily like that this is the lot we’ve drawn at a time in history when the Left is triumphant and determined to decimate the country…but I am grateful today that I’m alive and in good enough health to do what I can to aid the continued Resistance. I’m glad we’re friends like that too, because I am counting on your own role in the Resistance to see us through. And, yes, I believe we cannot help but succeed in the end if we just continue to persevere and follow the good in our hearts…no matter if the battle ends up being a much bigger war than we ever dreamed it would be.
We will survive the Depression together.
We will endure the Obama Regime as great friends.
We will overcome the adversity all around us as allies.
We will Resist and ultimately Respond when the tide indeed turns.
I really hope you take a moment today to appreciate how remarkable it is that you are alive right now, at your particular age, when all of this is happening. I’m 35 and am so grateful that when the stuffing hit the fan — like it’s done for this country currently — I wasn’t 15 or 85 or even 45. I feel like I am the perfect age, for myself, to be in the thick of all this. I am grateful for being able to enjoy a safe and fun childhood with Reagan in the White House…and to have prosperous and relatively carefree teenaged years with the Clintons in Washington. I’m actually BEYOND grateful that in my 20s when Islam attacked us that George W. Bush was at the helm and truly rose to the occasion to hold this country together in the wake of such an evil assault. I feel blessed and lucky that things didn’t fall apart until I was in my 30s…when I’d had enough fun…and was able to get serious and make the sacrifices needed to get involved politically.
I’ve very thankful I’m gay, too, to be perfectly honest because I feel that allows me a little more freedom than a straight guy would have who has a family to worry about. Because of my political activism, I’m making 1/5 of what I did back before I started up this site and began speaking out against the Left and the Democrat Party…but nothing the Left’s ever thrown at me in terms of punishment or Alinsky assaults has ever been able to destroy me because all of the basic survival skills I learned growing up in the Thunderdome that is Cleveland have carried me through, no matter how many sacrifices those reprisals forced me to make. It’s proven to be remarkable hard to break the will of someone whose default programming was written by the privations of Cleveland in the 1980s. I am more grateful to my hometown and all it taught me than you could ever know as a result.
I think the success in anything for life rests in your personal planning…whether that is how to ultimately defeat the Left and its media propaganda machine or if it’s how to run your household in back-breaking times. The best antidote to frost-fingered fear is a warm hard and a mind of action. If you are methodical in your planning and strong in your convictions then fear of tomorrow’s unknown just can’t take hold of you. If you believe in America and what’s made this country so special for centuries then you also can’t entertain a notion that Americans will truly allow all that to fall to the wayside just because the tee-vee has told them to.
Fear has no place in this dojo.
And giving up is never an option.
So we soldier on, together. Just as we’ll survive this Obama Depression together. We will scrape together whatever we can, as best we can…and we will do that until the Left is driven from power. I don’t know why God sees fit to force Americans to endure privations like this in cycles as teachable lessons…but it looks like we’ve all been picked as students in this together here in 2012.
I’m grateful for that, because there’s no one I’d rather endure this with than you. Because we’re friends like that…and also because I know that you will also start sharing all the tricks and tips you’ve accumulated on your own to help your friends and neighbors survive the Obama Depression. I hope our little HB Recipes page can bring some joy or needed insight to anyone who’d benefit from it…and I hope it inspires others out there to investigate resources of their own to make the next four years just a little more bearable.
CLICK HERE -- to check out the Recipes page (a work in progress).
Please chime in below in comments with what you think.
© 2012, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.
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