Eating with Gusto!

As someone who loves to cook, I will tell you that my most favorite thing of all is to cook for someone who loves to eat.  Someone who, when you look at them, you can just tell is enjoying their food.  The look of joy on their face, the “audible eating” sounds being made (the mmm’s and the oh’s), and sometimes even the speed with which they eat give away the pleasure they are experiencing.

Sometimes – depending on the food – I AM that person.  But yesterday, I got to watch that person.  Jeff and I went to Shakedown BBQ (I’ve previously written about Shakedown) with my mom and dad to celebrate Father’s Day.  While we were there enjoying our food, I was seated so that I could see a table at which two brothers sat.  Not too long after our food was delivered, their food was delivered too.

Creepy as it may be, I am a people watcher.  I love to see what’s going on around me – especially in a restaurant. I love to peek at what other people ordered.  From time to time I even like to listen in on other people’s conversations – perhaps I shouldn’t admit this; but if you’re being honest, you’ll admit it too.

The brothers both ordered sandwiches.  I should take a moment to tell you that almost everything at Shakedown is Flintstone-sized.  So when I tell you the sandwiches are big, I am not kidding.  If I had to guess on the conservative side, I’d say the brother facing me had a sandwich that was a minimum of 5″ tall. But more than likely it was even taller than that.

Jeff commented to the tall-sandwich-brother, when he picked up the sandwich confidently to begin eating it, that he was a better man than Jeff – who had ordered a big sandwich and was using a knife and fork to help him eat it!

As I watched (I tried to be discreet) tall-sandwich-brother (whose name I now know to be Zack) eat his sandwich, I knew he was a kindred spirit.  There was a look of pure joy on his face – even while there was barbecue sauce running down his arms.  He didn’t care in the slightest that he was a mess – in fact, the mess may even have enhanced the whole experience for him. I thought for sure he would never finish the sandwich; but as he did I was smiling….thrilled for him that he had!

Just before I looked away, I saw him close his eyes, smile and sigh.  Before he had a chance to clean his hands, I asked him if I could take his photo.  I explained (hopefully not sounding like too much of a stalker) that I appreciated the gusto with which he delighted in his meal and wanted to share it on my blog.

Zack agreed to have his photo taken….so, here’s to you, Zack!  Thanks for being real and letting other people see you enjoy your food!  In my opinion, it was quite a compliment to Chris, the owner of Shakedown, for Zack to unabashedly devour his meal.

shakedown

Confucius reminded us, “Wheresoever you go go with all your heart.”  Please, please listen.  Love with abandon.  Laugh excessively.  And eat, like Zack, with gusto!

It Ain’t My Mamma’s Potato Salad

Picnic season is upon us…..the temperature and humidity are both climbing, the sun goes down later and it’s the season of long weekends, vacations, graduation parties, and other outdoor festivities.  That means it’s picnic food time!

This is the time of year – you know, between Memorial Day and Labor Day […] Continue Reading…

Philadelphia in 36 Hours or Less

I cannot believe it’s Saturday already.  I’ve been wanting to write this post all week, but I’ve had a busy one so I’m just getting around to telling you about the trip Jeff and I took to Philly last weekend.  We went to celebrate my birthday (happy birthday to me […] Continue Reading…

Tubtrug! Gesundheit

I recently attended a meeting of the Rudy Gelnett Memorial Library Food for Thought Cookbook Club.  If you’re wondering about the evening, read my post entitled Food for Thought.  Today, however, I am referencing my time with that group for a different reason.

Today, I opened a box from Gardener’s Supply […] Continue Reading…

Becoming a Better Cook

One of the things I like best about working at The Kitchen Shoppe & Cooking School is the variety of items that make up my “job description.”  Among many others, one of the things I am responsible for is maintaining our Facebook page.  I know you’ll probably feels sorry […] Continue Reading…

Moroccan Kimchi!??!

If you’ve been reading for a while or you’ve known me for any length of time you know I’m always looking to try something new – so a few weeks ago when the Fermentation Creation food fermentation kit arrived at the shop and Dan gave me one to play with I […] Continue Reading…

Food for Thought

A special note of thanks to the wonderful women – especially Gretchen – at the Rudy Gelnett Memorial Library Food for Thought Cookbook Club for making me feel so welcome last night!

 

I spent the evening celebrating one of my favorite cookbooks – The Silver Palette by Sheila Lukins & […] Continue Reading…

Saturday’s Pizza on the Big Green Egg

I spent the day on Saturday at The Kitchen Shoppe hanging out with folks who were learning about the Big Green Egg.  I’ve written about the BGE in previous posts and believe I have explained that to call the BGE a grill is the understatement of the century.  Yes, […] Continue Reading…

My New Favorite Condiment!!!

So I recently discovered a new condiment and I am ADDICTED with a capital ADDICTED.  So much so that Jeff asked me if I plan to put it in everything I cook!

What is it?  Calabrian Chile Paste! It is made by crushing Calabrian peperoncino (dried peppers) with olive oil.

It […] Continue Reading…

My Own Kind of Kind

American writer Henry James once wrote:
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
While I agree, I also think he forgot one…..the fourth is to make kind.  Or at least to make […] Continue Reading…

Hope & Blueberry Macarons

As a cooking instructor,  I go into each class with a passion for the food I am presenting, gratitude to be able to do what I love and hope. Hope that I don’t cut off a finger, drop something, burn myself or otherwise get myself into an embarrassing situation […] Continue Reading…

In Deep Shishito

OK, true confession time…..I began writing this post on December 4th.  I know, I know….it HAS been a while since I’ve written.  But in my defense, Christmas time in retail is REALLY busy!

So let’s pretend it hasn’t been 44 days since I started the post.  I KNOW you can grant […] Continue Reading…

The List

I’m crossing things off the list.  No, not the naughty list, although it is that time of year.  This is a different holiday list.

Since Jeff and I are hosting Thanksgiving for my family at our house, the list making began yesterday.  I can’t complain about the process of making the […] Continue Reading…

My Sweet Spot

Many years ago I read a book entitled “Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot” by Max Lucado.  I didn’t know it at the time I read it, but there were big changes coming down the pike in my life!!! Fast forward to today and I’ve […] Continue Reading…

A Day Out

Jeff and I love meandering…..and we love it even better when our friend Ron comes along!  So when we found ourselves with a free day on Saturday, rather than spend the day inside doing housework (which trust me our house could really use) we decided to take a ride.

We […] Continue Reading…

Something’s Brewing…..

No, it’s not a witch’s brew….although there ARE those who would insist that if I am involved in the process it IS a witch’s brew!!!  It’s actually a pumpkin beer.

Now, I must confess right off the bat that I’m not much of a beer person.  I like a cold one […] Continue Reading…

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like….Fall

Every year I vow to decorate our house for the seasons and every year I am rushing around at the last minute (the 30th of October for Halloween, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the 23rd of December for Christmas) putting up the same old decorations.  But not this year.

This […] Continue Reading…

Stonewall Kitchen: Butter Chicken Simmering Sauce, etc.

Toward the end of our vacation (about which I have not yet written) Jeff and I went to Stonewall Kitchen in York, Maine.  We had been there previously, but it had been some time so we thought we’d take a quick spin through Stonewall again…

Well, that’s funny….a quick spin….it’s […] Continue Reading…

The Gift of Blue Apron

Several weeks ago a lovely couple came into the shop.  They were staying in a nearby hotel and were (1) looking to occupy some time and (2) hoping to get a recommendation for a good spot in Carlisle for dinner.

They explained to me that they were on their way […] Continue Reading…

Vacation Part 3: Kayaking & Camping

So much to write, so little time……

I put up a mini post about the kayaking and camping trip while we were still on vacation, but I wanted to give you more details….so here goes!!!

We started our kayaking adventure at the LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School at 8:00 am on […] Continue Reading…