28 May 2013

Long Live The Batch Of '92...All Hail The Batch Of '13

Just for the record, and a little back story...I, in general, do not like potato salad. I do like potatoes, in a wide variety of forms and presentations. My problem with potato salad, is that no one knows how to make a good potato salad. 

Almost always they have way, way too much mayo. Or worse, Miracle Whip. yuk! Too much mustard is a common problem. Too lumpy, too dry, too bland, too crazy with wild ingredients. Anywhoo...I come from a long line of potato salad makers and eaters. My mother, grand mother, aunts(men in my family don't really cook) they all made their own version. They were all very proud but they just weren't quite right.

So when I took to teaching myself to cook in the mid to late 80's, one of my goals was to create the ultimate potato salad recipe. I too wanted to be able to enjoy what seemed to be an American tradition. Every holiday there was a potato salad of some sorts available. The grocery stores carry large tubs of the stuff for every day sale. The deli's across the country all have some type of potato salad available to the public.

I have tried hundreds of potato salads. Hundreds! And with out fail, 95% of them have been disappointing. 

It was in the year 1992, that after countless attempts at becoming the Potato Salad King of the West Coast. (claiming Salad Superiority over all west of the Mississippi) that I finally succeeded. The greatest batch of tater salad that had ever been created to that point in time had been made. It was heralded across the west as not just a salad but a master work of art. A meal unto itself. A joy to the senses.

From that point on, every batch of tater salad has been held up the standard of '92. But seeing as how tater salad making is not an exact science, each batch has it's own unique qualities that make a replica of '92 near impossible. At best they would be a pale comparison. No mater how good the current attempts, they would some how fall short of expectations. It was a common urban legend that the batch of '92 was a myth. That it didn't really exist, but it was rather a cruel joke played on tater salad lovers every where. Get there hopes up with dreams of '92 and then dash them away with some runny substandard store bought. 

Well kids, I hope you are all sitting down. Catch your breath. Wait for it.....

May I introduce, all of civilized humanity west of the Mississippi, to thee, "Batch of"13"


It has been done. It has been talked about for 21 years. Whispered about, no one daring to speak loudly as some one might hear talk of a challenge to the '92. No one would risk such ridicule. For surely, no one would attempt such a feet as to better the '92.

All except I. Yes, I, the creator of the now infamous batch of '92. For with every attempt, I think to myself that this could be it. This next batch could be the one that comes out of no where and takes the crown as the Greatest Batch of Tater Salad since the Batch of '92.

But on this day, not  only do I claim that this batch, the Batch of "13 is not only as good as the Batch of "92, but is better, than the legendary batch. Thus making this batch, The Batch of "13, the greatest batch of Tater Salad every created west of the Mississippi.

Hail the Batch of "13!

A perfect combination of flavors, textures, aromas...A culinary master work that shall live on through time as the greatest batch of tater salad ever created. No longer a side dish, for this potato salad can be eaten as a meal. Sides be dammed. From this day forward, all potato salads everywhere(west of the Mississippi) shall be held to this standard. For this is the perfection that all salad makers aspire to be. Marvel in the magnificence that shall for ever be referred to as...

The Batch Of '13.......

For those of you that would like to know what went into the batch of '13. Here is an ingredient list. However portions are a mystery as I create by taste and touch. Sorry.

russet potatoes
celery - small dice
yellow onion - small dice
hard boiled eggs
apple wood smoked bacon, cooked medium so it's still meaty
garlic jalapeno mustard
real mayonnaise
pickle relish
pepper corn blend - ground
sea salt - ground
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
red pepper flakes
season salt

15 May 2013

Killing Me Softly...

I keep telling myself that I'm doing it all for them. I have to keep telling myself. There is no other reason.

Four days of 13 hours. One day of 10 hours. By the time I get days off I'm so tired I collapse and spend much of my time off, asleep.

In the mornings I wake up a few minutes before Mr. Man goes to school. I take him. That's it. That's all I get to see the little guy today, or the next three days. I come home in time to hear,"Gotta go".
Sometimes I get a very quick, tight lipped peck. Passionless. Emotionless. Some day's all I hear is the "Gotta go" before I hear the door open and close as she leaves.

She talks about moving. Our future. Once in awhile She says things like, she loves me and that she cares. A few weeks ago she said I had a cute butt, as she grazed a cheek with the back of her hand.

That's as close as we get. A few minutes a day. As intimate as room mates.

That's it. Every day. Day after day. That's it. And it's killing me. Slowly killing me. Every day. Every time she says something even slightly caring. Every time she touches me then pulls away, it's killing me.

I don't know how to live a passionless life. I need to have a lover I can share with. I can hold and touch and kiss and know that it's "us" against the world trying to make a better life.

Instead I live alone with my child and his mom, and I'm working two jobs for 70 hours a week for practically nothing, and it's killing me.

14 May 2013


First, I should never write while I've been drinking. It always makes for awkward conversations later.
OK, even non drinking writing leads to awkward conversations but the former stands.

Second, I will never understand people as long as I live. Any of you. You are all a giant mystery to me. I used to think that I could read people pretty well. That was apparently a gift that can be lost when not used on a regular basis. Use it or loose it as they say.

Mainly I will never understand her. Her words and actions don't always mesh. I thought that I had been misunderstanding. OK, I'm very sure I have misunderstood much of what has happened but some if it has been in writing. I have it, ink on paper. I read things over and over and compare them to the things I hear. I compare them to the things I see. They don't go together.

Somewhere along the line, the rules have changed. The goals have changed. Everything seems to have changed. Except me. I don't feel like I've changed. Yet I realize that everything is speeding past me. Forever changing around me. It all seems to contradict itself. We want one thing but we ask for something else. Then seem confused when we get either.

I don't get it. Blissfully happy and unaware, then poof!

Sadly, love is not one of life's' constants. It does contradict itself as well as the people it devours.
There is no explaining love. It is what it is. It's fabulous and wonderful. Until it isn't.

06 May 2013

What's In A Name...

So I'm listening to a gallery manager and a gallery owner argue about names. Some of my paintings don't have names they have numbers. Like "Chadette no 38."

To me that is the name of the painting. Apparently, to some it's a sign unprofessionalism.

Besides all of that it made me wonder about the names I have used, and not used.

I have only used Theresa once. I have never used: Kim, Deloris, Trisha, Julie, Jeanie or Precious...

Kim was my first real love. She ended up breaking my heart. I dated several other Kim's. One owned a golf course. One had a mow hawk and was an awesome lover, although it was brief. One was a jockey.

Deloris was a teacher in high school, while I was a student.Although not my teacher.  OK, technically I was out of high school at the time but she was awesome. She had a beautiful 65 Mustang Fast back. A  wonderful metallic green. Her boy friend wrecked it. She taught me quite a bit.

I met Trisha Coffee at a party. We went to different high schools. She had just broken up with her high school stud. We talked, we made out. I saw her a few days later. I played the piano and made jokes and she laughed, we had fun. We went to the fair, where she ditched me when her stud showed up. She was only trying to make stud jealous. Which worked because they ended up back together. She was so hot.

Julie was a sports friend. She played softball while I played baseball. She was a tom-boy. She was cute and fun and she was killed in a car accident when she was 17. And I miss her.

And Jeanie...There has always been something about Jeanie. We have been off and on as long as we have know one another.

Precious asked me once if I thought Jeanie was "my one". 

Honestly I have never really thought of myself as having a "One". I go where my heart takes me. I really figured that Precious was "my one". Until recently, if there was going to be only one. It should have been Precious. Maybe I don't have a one. Maybe I missed my one. Or screwed up my one.

I have never named one after Precious or any of her names.

It's funny that I have a hard time naming my paintings after the women that have meant the most to me.