Every person who is committed to a cause needs a mentor. A sensei if you will. The Karate Kid had Mr. Miagi ( this is a reference to the original Ralph Macchio version not the newfangled Jayden Smith rendition, and yes I am telling my age). Steve Young had Joe Montana. Luke Skywalker had Obi Wan Kenobi. Chef has Yoda.
Now Yoda is a kindly aged woman at church who has skills. She is known for her culinary talents and great hospitality. I am always entertained by her conversations with Chef about random food preparations. The thing that makes it so great is that they talk about all that rib sticking food, when you listen closely, I promise you can hear Paula Dean smile and say Y’all. I know I smile and drool. So last week they were sitting at a table talking about turkey preparations. And the inspiration sent Chef into the week with many new designs and recipes.
When I mention that there were many new designs, let me take a moment to first properly set the table. Chef’s turkey preparation has always been JUICY. Let me say it again…JUICY. I don’t think you understand. The continuous 48 along with Alaska and Hawaii are all subject to the second most popular holiday of the year. Because the settlers survived and made friends with their neighbors the indigenous people, they had a feast and introduced to the lore of gastronomy, the tryptophan laced and often dry bird we all know as turkey. Because of the annual challenge of producing a turkey that does not remind you of the Gobi Desert. This challenge has led to the introduction of new preparations like the deep fried Cajun turkey (always fry with peanut oil folks). But Chef gets a moist, succulent, juicy turkey breast while -- wait for it -- roasting her turkey. Yeah Boyee!!
It was 4 years ago when Chef first prepared dinner at the house and the legend of her skills was born. I will never forget Top Flight’s face as he first sampled and later named the “Crack Roll”. Top Flight works under the auspices of the Homeland security to secure our friendly skies as a TSA. On this particular day, he came over after he had finished his shift. We still had bounty: turkey, coffee braised short ribs, brown sugar glazed lamb chops, cornbread dressing, candied yams, southern greens, and the like. Top Flight sat down looking at his plate. He said grace. Without breaking eye contact with the meats on his plate, he took a bite of the crack roll. Then after three of four chews, he slowly turned to his right hand to understand what was tantalizing his taste buds and palate. His eyes widened then he quipped, ”these are crack rolls!” The name has stuck ever since. The same day a non-lamb eater was converted. She told us she didn’t like lamb, before she knocked back two chops. Her eyes were wide and she was seen scratching her neck as she said “C’mon man” as she left. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.
So I said that to say Chef’s recipes were already strong, but it was good to see her fine tuning her craft with her conversations with Yoda. We needed it because Thanksgiving Day this year was busy.
Now that we have had the moment to recuperate, we turn our attention to December where we are looking to expand our operation to a permanent location. There is a swanky little Spa Salon where our tasty bites and morsels would fit in quite well. I don’t want to let the menu out of the bag, but there will be a sampling of great food. Who would’ve thunk it? We didn’t. But there is nothing like the joy that our food brings. The reaction of Top Flight will permanently be etched in my mind. It makes me want to tell the world…
Life is short…eat something memorable.