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56 / M / Straight / Available
His journal posts
Feb 20, 2010
This took place sometime in the mid 1980s. I was working at a major “deal-making” law firm on Wacker Drive. It was a time of excess. We all were chasing the dollar, chasing the deal, and none of us gave much thought to the consequences of what we were doing. Investment banks and venture capital firms were pumping vast amounts of money into the stock market to roll up businesses. Garbage collectors. Veterinarians. Mom and pop drug stores. Video stores. It didn’t matter. You just kept buying and buying each crappy little business, and if you got enough of them under one name, you went to the stock market and you sold them for dozens of times what they were worth individually. It was all about the multiple. “Greed was good!” No one created anything (except vast amounts of debt). No one built anything. All we did was shift assets from one place to another, and borrow huge sums of money against the resulting pyramids.
Did you ever see the movie “Wall Street”? “Greed is good.” Michael Douglas in his $2000 Armani suits, his $200 Turnbull and Asser shirts and his $120 Sulka ties? If you worked on Wacker or LaSalle Street, you dressed like that. I dressed like that. You were a lawyer or a banker or a deal guy, and you made what was at the time obscene amounts of money and didn’t really give a fuck. We wore suspenders on our suit pants. We smoked big cigars in the office at 10:00 am. We cursed and swore and screwed and we were the damn princes of the city.
I don’t remember how I met her. It must have been through one of the early on-line “chat boards” or “CB emulators” like Prodigy or Compu-serve. We talked extensively on-line about Mastery and slavehood, about our interests and experiences. She told me that she had been trained when she was in her late 20s by a Master who was substantially older than she was. He required fairly rigorous slave training, and she was used to serving both as a service slave and as a sexual pleasure slave. Her Master was married and she’d been his little secret, she told me, for more than twenty years. But he now was in his late 70s and ill, and lived in a far west Chicago suburb (I think it was Naperville) with his wife, and she hadn’t seen him in over a year. She was forbidden to contact him, and had only a very rare email from him. Yet, she told me, he was still her One, and always would be, even if she never heard from him again.
We had exchanged office phone numbers and had talked a few times a day for several weeks. We had never met. She was the office manager of a very small investment bank which had offices in the tower opposite the office tower where my law firm was. One summer day, she called me in my office at about 10:30 in the morning, and asked if I wanted to have lunch with her in her office. I had nothing planned that afternoon, and I was curious, and somewhat aroused by the idea. I accepted. At slightly after noon, I put on my suitcoat and left my office.
Our two office towers were connected by a long, low building that held one of the city’s major commodity exchanges, and several dozen shops and restaurants, so I never had to go outside to see her. I remember an odd pleasure in being able to walk to my elevator bank, descend to the exchange floor where the shops were, walk the city block indoors, find the elevator bank that housed the elevators that went to the 38th floor of her building, and go up to her office.
I got to the suite number she had given me, and the door was the typical non-descript wooden door with a plaque on it that said something bland like “InterAmerican Financial Analysts”. With that meaningless name, the business could have been an investment bank, or a fund manager, or a front for criminal activity. These office buildings housed hundreds of such businesses in tiny 3 and 4 room office suites that commanded ridiculous rentals. I opened the door, and there was a tiny lobby with two chairs in it, and a pass-thru window and another door. She was sitting at the pass-thru, and when I came in, she rose and opened the inner door, saying “please come in, Sir.”
She was at least 50, 15 years older than I was. She had grayish blonde hair which she wore long, to her shoulders. Sometimes she’d put her hair up in a tight bun, like a schoolmarm from a prior century. Her body was trim, and she favored longish tailored skirts and pastel blouses. With her pale blue glasses, simple heavy gold chain, wedding ring and very little make-up, she had the air of a school teacher, or a librarian. She was quiet and if one knew what to look for, one might surmise she was submissive, but there were no overt signs that she was.
I followed her into the office space. There were two executive offices, both with their doors open and dark. There was a small central office area with three cubicles. There was no one else in the office. She told me that the two partners were both out of town, and she’d sent the one full-time worker home early. She led me to a small, well-appointed conference room that held an elegant oval walnut table that could seat eight people. The table was on an oriental rug. There was a matching sideboard with a telephone on it, and a small stack of newspapers and what looked to be computer print outs. At one end of the table there was a linen place mat, and on the mat was an elegant porcelain plate with a small pot pie in a white porcelain pie plate, and a salad. There was a large water goblet filled with iced tea, and a silver place setting.
“Would you like to take off your coat, sir?” she asked.
I nodded, and gave her my suitcoat. She went to a small coat tree near the sideboard, and carefully hung my coat over one of the curved hangers.
“Please sit down, sir” she said, and I did.
“I didn’t know for sure what you’d like for lunch, sir, but I hope this is sufficient. I remembered you mentioning one day that in the summer you drank iced tea, and so I made you some.”
I sat, and she immediately knelt beside my chair, her head just even with the leaf of the wooden table and just next to, but not touching, my thigh. I looked down at her, her legs folded under her, her skirt neatly arranged over her knees. I spoke for the first time.
“This is lovely, miss.” She smiled up at me. “Perhaps you’d like a cushion to kneel on? That rug is pretty, but it looks thin, and your knees aren’t likely to do well with that pose for an hour.”
“Sir, I prefer to kneel like this now. Perhaps in the future when it is colder outside, I’ll accept your offer of a cushion. May I get you anything?”
I shook my head and tasted the salad. It was crisp and fresh, and lightly dressed with a simple oil, vinegar and herbs dressing. I pierced the pot pie crust with my fork, and the steam was fragrant, and I could see the fresh vegetables and chicken in the light cream sauce.
“This is all lovely, miss. Thank you.” I put down my fork and I lightly caressed her hair, resting my hand briefly on her neck. And I took the iced tea with my left hand, and took a sip. It was excellent, freshly brewed from a lightly herbal black tea blend. I picked up my fork and ate a piece of chicken.
She never moved from her position, watching me eat, and, until I spoke to her, she did not say a word. I asked her about her day, and she told me about a few minor things that she’d been doing in the office. She asked me what I was working on, and to the extent I could tell her without divulging client secrets, I talked about my ongoing projects. I continued to eat the excellent meal. When I’d drunk about two thirds of the tea, she rapidly got up and went out of the room for a moment, and came back with a pitcher filled with ice cubes and tea. She refilled my glass, put the pitcher on the sideboard, and knelt beside me again.
I rested my hand on her neck again, and asked her if there was something she wanted. I sensed she wanted to say something but would not speak unless I invited it.
“Sir, I took the liberty of cutting out some newspaper articles that were relevant to some things we’ve talked about recently. And I printed out a poem I like a great deal. Would you care to read them?”
I nodded, and she rose again, and went to the sideboard. She brought back the small stack of papers I’d noted when I came into the room, and placed them to my left on the table. She knelt again in what was rapidly becoming “her spot” at my side.
I looked at the articles. One from the Wall Street Journal was about recent public offerings in the medical device field, which she knew was an area of interest. There was also an article about a Supreme Court case we’d talked about from the Christian Science Monitor. Thinking back on this now, I realize that there was no Internet for her to search, no “google” to find these pieces – she’d clearly remembered what we’d talked about and cut the articles out of copies of the newspapers when she saw them appear days or weeks later. The articles were neatly cut out, and she’d preserved the publication “cut lines” so I had the date and name of the publication on each one. (One day much later she told me that after I left her office, she would take the articles that I seemed interested in and mount them in a scrap book so she could refer back to them should I ask her any questions.) I quickly read the articles.
“Thank you miss” I said. “These were interesting, and I appreciate your care.” She flushed slightly when I smiled and spoke to her.
I’d finished lunch, and she rose to clear my place. She asked if I wanted more tea, and when I nodded, she poured another glass, first checking that the temperature of the tea in the pitcher was still appropriate. She returned to her place.
I reached for the poem. I saw that she had chosen one of my favorites, Cherrylog Road, by James Dickey. I smiled and she blushed quite a bit. “I remember you telling me about that poem, sir, and I went and got it from the library. I’d never read anything like it, sir. When we would talk on the phone I’d think of hearing you read that poem to me. I wanted to hear it in your voice.”
I looked down at her, and began reciting the poem, which I’d long ago committed to memory.
Off Highway 106
At Cherrylog Road I entered
The ’34 Ford without wheels,
Smothered in kudzu
There was a powerful current that grew between us as I recited Dickey’s poetic memoir of sexual exploration and danger in an old Southern junkyard on a hot summer day. I looked down at her, and she raised her head to look at me. She met my eyes, rapt, and parted her lips slightly.
. . . For I knew that Doris Holbrook
Would escape from her father at noon
It almost felt as I recited the poem that she became that sun-browned Southern girl of Dickey’s long-passed youth, idly walking thru the ruined cars in the hot Georgia sun, waiting for the moment to meet her boy lover in a wild grappling in the back of a ruined car. And for a long moment, I was that boy.
. . . Getting ready, already,
To go back with something to show
Other than her lips’ new trembling
I would hold to me soon, soon,
Where I sat in the ripped back seat
Talking over the interphone,
Praying for Doris Holbrook
To come from her father’s farm
And to get back there
With no trace of me on her face
To be seen by her red-haired father
Who would change, in the squalling barn,
Her back’s pale skin with a strop,
Then lay for me
In a bootlegger’s roasting car
With a string-triggered I2-gauge shotgun
To blast the breath from the air.
I read the poem for her to the end, looking at her eyes shining up at me, her lips parted. I could feel her breath just slightly stirring my pants’ leg as I sat at the table. And she gave me, for a moment, that feeling of wild abandonment that the poem always called up for me, a feeling I’d first felt, riding my bike on a hot Wisconsin night up Lake Drive, away from the girl who’d fussed and cried and pouted and finally in a reckless act took my virginity in Estabrook Park one June night some 20 years earlier.
. . . Up Highway 106, continually
Drunk on the wind in my mouth,
Wringing the handlebar for speed,
Wild to be wreckage forever.
I finished the poem, and looked at her for a moment. Her face was flushed, and her eyes were bright. Then I stood up. She rose and went to the coat rack where she’d hung my suit coat. She came to me and held it for me to put on, adjusting the collar, and flicking a few flecks off the lapels. She then walked me to the door of the office suite. I turned and held her upper arms with my hands, leaned forward and kissed her on the mouth. A firm, dry, closed - mouth kiss. I said “thank you, miss” and she smiled and said “you are very welcome, sir.” And I opened the door to the hallway and left.
After that first lunch, she would call me once a week on average, and ask me if I wanted to come to lunch. It became a ritual for me to put on my suit coat, walk out of my office to the elevator, descend the 40 stories to the mall floor, walk the block to her office tower, enter her elevator block and go up the 38 floors to her small office. Sometimes I’d stop in one of the stores and buy her some flowers, or a small gift. But usually I’d just stroll to the end of the building and get on an elevator to her floor in the second tower. Some weeks would go by and while I’d hear from her in a brief phone call, or receive an email, she wouldn’t invite me to visit. In a few rare weeks, she’d ask me to come over twice. We exchanged the occasional email, mostly to share schedules. We rarely talked on the phone. But somehow the two dozen or so times we had lunch in her office remained shining days on the calendar, and I know I looked forward to her call asking me to visit her.
Each time she’d serve me a simple lunch. I remember shrimp or chicken salads on excellent, home-baked bread. Once, a quiche with asparagus and bacon. In the fall, more pot pies (I teased her that she served me a winter dish at our first meeting in the summer, and she blushed and said that she knew her pot pie was excellent, and her desire to please me surpassed the etiquette of the season. How could I remain even slightly churlish after that?) Once she brought me a “Shepard’s Pie” with a mashed potato crust, and once an excellent beef stew. I never figured out if there was a kitchen hidden in the office or if she’d made everything at her home; it didn’t really matter as each dish was elegant, tasty and beautifully served. She refused to eat in front of me. I never knew if she ate any of the food she prepared for me, and indeed I never knew if she made it, all or part of it, or if she bought it from some wonderful hidden caterer.
And at each lunch, I’d read something to her. Often it was a poem. She shared my love of poetry, but we had wildly different tastes. I taught her modern, conversational poets like Dickey, or William Matthews or Thomas Lynch. Her favorites were classics. Keats. Yeats. And Donne, who she adored. Once a month or so I’d read her John Donne, and she’d glow, kneeling beside me, watching and listening to me read.
Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glistering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breastplate which you wear,
That th'eyes of busy fools may be stopped there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you that now it is bed time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off, such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th'hills shadow steals.
We’d also talk a bit about our lives, and our families and my work. There was a husband that she was attentive to, and she said she loved, but he wasn’t “the type of man who could understand her need to serve”, she said once. There were three little yippy dogs that she doted on, and would, if I let her, talk about in baby talk and silly phrases for an hour. And there was her Master, who she rarely mentioned, except to say that she understood he was doing poorly, or she hoped was doing well.
And as I left, there was always that one chaste kiss. At times I’d reach up and lace my fingers in her hair, and pull. She’d sigh a bit, and I’d feel her relax into my arms. But there was never anything more physical than my hand on her neck or patting her hair, and the closed-mouth kiss just before I went back to my office.
One day in the fall, I read to her from the Jewish bible. It was near the high holy day of Yom Kippur, and I read the Akedah, that tragic, awful and yet ultimately wonderful story of the obedience of Abraham to his God in preparing to murder the old man’s only son at the Lord’s command. The actual story is short, comprising only 24 verses in the Book of Genesis (22:1-24) but it forms the core of much of Jewish belief. I explained to her that this story is always read on Yom Kippur in the synagogue, and my entire life I’d heard learned Jews explain the meanings and nuances. But no one who talked about this difficult story could ever get around or get past the central idea – that the supposedly loving and benign God of Abraham wanted Abraham to kill his son in a show of devotion.
And He said: 'Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'
She knelt and gave me her entire attention while I read the short verses. Again, there was a connection between us, deep and unsettling. I felt that I was that old man, being called upon by One that I’d serve, to prove something no one should ever have to prove. And in some odd way, she was the young boy, obedient and trusting, waiting for me, her father, to decide what was best for her, for him, for the both of them. And waiting for the sharp steel of the ritual blade to score her throat.
And he said: 'Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him; for now I know that thou art a God-fearing man, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from Me.'
That day, as I finished lunch, and finished reading, she looked up at me, with tears beginning in her eyes. Quietly she said “Sir, my Master is dying. I’ve heard that his liver is failing, and he is hospitalized.” I reached down and pressed her head to my thigh. She began to cry, first quietly, and then with louder sobs. I moved my hand to stroke her neck, and before I could caress her, she reached up with her hand, never taking her face from my leg, and took my hand and firmly put it on the bun of her hair. She held her hand over mine, pressing my hand into her hair, until I laced my fingers in her hair and slowly, steadily pulled. And we stayed like that, her sobbing against my leg, my fingers knotted in her hair, for over an hour. Then she shuddered, and pulled her face back, and looked up at me and said “Thank you sir”. I stood up and again, gave her the one chaste kiss that had grown to mark the end of our lunches, and I walked out her office door and went back to my office. All afternoon my hand would idly trace the wet patch of worsted wool on the leg of my suit pants.
About a week later, she called to say her Master had died, and she would be unable to see me again “for a while.” I never saw her or heard from her again. In some ways, it was the most deeply satisfying submissive/Dominant relationship I have ever had.
Jan 2, 2010
Ambushed. Ambushed. Set up and knocked down like a bowling pin.
He's 11 weeks old. 11 pounds. All black. Warm. Soft. And somehow a trip to Petco for bird food turned into THIS!
His name is Ragtime. Or Raggs.
Dec 26, 2009
Issued by The National Weather Service
1:19 pm CST, Sat., Dec. 26, 2009
... WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CST THIS EVENING...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW... WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CST THIS EVENING. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
* TIMING... SNOW... HEAVY AT TIMES... WILL TAPER OFF VERY LATE THIS AFTERNOON OR EARLY THIS EVENING.
No tapering off, yet. Big fluffy fat flakes have been falling steadily since before dawn. the Weather service says 5-10"; right now, there's 6" on my deck railings and just shy of a foot on the ground. Our little private road is barely passable, and when you get to the hill just before the highway, you aren't sure if you are going to make it. But we were out for breakfast and to stock up the pantry -- we're good for a few days if need be.
* ACCUMULATIONS... AN ADDITIONAL 2 TO 4 INCHES OF SNOW WILL FALL THE REMAINDER OF THE AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY EVENING. THIS ADDITIONAL SNOWFALL WILL BRING STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL TO 5 TO 10 INCHES IN A SWATH FROM DE KALB COUNTY EAST NORTHEAST INTO THE WESTERN AND NORTHERN SUBURBS OF CHICAGO.
Daughter came out for Christmas with us at our "open house" we always have (not a bit of new snow in downtown Chicago). She came back and spent the night, expecting to go home to her apartment in the city. That isn't happening! So she's stuck here with the parents. She and her mom are cooking -- one of their marathons. Sauces, now: mornay, marinara, and something else, all to be jarred and saved. We are commiserating with her change of plans (she was going out this evening with friends) but I think her mom secretly is thrilled she's stuck with us for the weekend.
* HAZARDS... IN ADDITION TO THE SNOW... SOUTH WINDS OF 10 TO 20 MPH WILL CAUSE THE LIGHT AND FLUFFY SNOW TO DRIFT BACK ONTO ALREADY CLEARED ROADWAYS... PARTICULARLY IN OPEN AREAS.
* IMPACTS... TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN WELL BELOW FREEZING CAUSING SNOW TO ACCUMULATE ON UNTREATED ROADWAYS... RESULTING IN ROADS BECOMING SNOW COVERED AND TRAVEL HAZARDOUS THROUGH THIS EVENING.
I have a cherry wood fire going in the Finnish oven. I have the gas fireplace blazing in the main fireplace. Its a touch smoky, cozy and makes the snow falling on the lake outside the picture windows pretty and not threatening.
Hope you and yours are snug and warm.
A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW IS ISSUED WHEN 6 OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW IS FORECAST TO OCCUR. THE HEAVY SNOW WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL... KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD... AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
Dec 19, 2009
I'm not sure what I was going to write about today, but as the title suggests, it was replaced by our having to put down our old dog today. Hollie (the collie) was a rescue dog who we adopted 11 years ago. The rescue group claimed she was two, but her teeth and general appearance indicated she was at least four or five, and had a hard life before coming to us. She had muzzle scars and tooth grooves indicative of a dog which charged the chain link fence she was kept behind, and she had been "debarked", a nasty operation which slashes a dog's vocal cords.
She was however always a lady. In a house where the animals tend to be male and fairly raucous (dogs, a tom cat and parrots) she was a calm, sweet, dignified girl. And she didn't take any crap, giving an errant younger puppy (or a grabby child) a gentle but firm nip to back them off. I always thought of May Sarton's wonderful poem about her dog Toby's death when I watched Hollie, because of her precise, somehow feminine gait:
He of the noble head, Remote and tragic air, He of the trim black feet -- He is gone. He is nowhere.
The past twelve months were rough for Hollie. She was nearly deaf, partially blind, and had become incontinent. She was confined to a large area near our laundry room which, while it was comfortable for her, isolated her from our other dogs and made her less a part of the family. She was very arthritic and on a maximum dose of doggie steroids. She had lost a lot of weight, despite moves to "senior" dog food. Moreover she was often confused, and had lost a lot of motor skills. A week ago, in a terrifying incident, she ran out past my wife, through our yard and down to the nearly-frozen lake where she plunged into water that had to be no more than 35 degrees. My wife couldn't get her out and we thought we lost her, but she pulled herself on to the shore, and we wrapped her in blankets and warmed her. She came back a bit, but didn't eat for several days. In a dog that already had lost about 20% of her body weight, this was not good. We made the decision that unless the vet had some major solutions, we would give her a gentle, dignified death.
I think one reason we keep pets is they serve as markers for events in our lives. My daughter was a young teen-ager when we got Hollie, and had just lost her dog to illness. I remember her brushing and grooming Hollie shortly after we got her, making her a beautiful dog for everyone to "oooh" at for a family party. Now she's a young woman with her own home and she came to spend the day with us to remember the family dog. It was as these things often are, bitter-sweet; I will remember Hollie's delicate paws and needle-nose for a long time.
Dec 13, 2009
I've been feeling down the past few weeks, largely because I seem to be re-living a failed relationship too often, and I've had really creepy "new relationship" events -- like 4 bad first dates (THANK YOU, OKC!) BUT this post has NOTHING to do with all that emo, except maybe evidence a great leap forward, so please, read on.
I did somehing I've been meaning to do. If you read some of my profile and writings, you pretty much know that we are sort of house crazy and house proud around here. The truth is I'm not so much proud as in awe that I'm fortunate enough to have found this wonderful place and to be able to live here. Its part of that very non-Christian sense of "being blessed" I talk about.
But anyway, this house has deeply affected my wonderful wife for the good -- she is happier here than she has been since our daughter left home. And a couple of weeks ago, she went a little nicely nuts. We were at a local nursery/gift store purchasing a Christmas ornament for the "Grab Bag" at a party we get invited to every year, and I caught this wistful look in her eye. Two hours later we left the Nursery/Gift Store several hundred dollars poorer, but with a gorgeous Balsam wreath that looks like it was made for our living room (with the floor to ceiling rough stone fireplace, and the wreath centered on the stone), a 5' tall wrought iron obelisk and several strings of jewel lights to make said obelisk a post-modern tree.
Understand, I'm Jewish, at least by affiliation. I've never had a tree, lights (except the menorah) and this whole "decorating" thing is VERY weird to me. She is a spritual wanderer, having been raised Lutheran, turned B'Hai (briefly), converted to Judaism and at one time very Orthodox, then drifting away from Orthodoxy with its patriarchal views, through Reform Judaism and drifting to Unitarianism (its not that far a leap), and now Buddhism/naturism. She is currently an emerging and well-respected writer about religion and its losses. She is deeply spiritual, and totally unlikely to hear the herald angels sing, if you catch my drift. (If you don't get my drift, what I'm saying is she is COMPLETELY not Christian, and would find Christian symbols pretty repugnant. But winter lights and boughs and such...not so much, apparently.)
SO what did I do for the past few hours? Well...lets say...Nothing. But magically some odd little (Christmas(?)) elves came out to the house and decorated. They put special bulbs in the outdoor and deck lighting. Then they amazingly strung jewel lights along the deck edges visible from the road and drive, outlining the deck in a shimmery net of lights. Oh, and they outlined three big picture windows in the house in bright diode lights. The weird thing is the elves were named Zvi, Dov and Yussel, and the ONLY colors of light they seemed to be able to find were bright starry white and deep Hannukah blue. *GRIN*
We are going out tonight to have supper with family. The timers are all set up. When we drive home and up the private road to the house...I think there are gonna be some happy tears.
And I feel great.
Best to each of you and yours. I hope this is the most wonderful of winter holidays, however you celebrate.
Nov 16, 2009
For a few weeks now, Mrs. Emp. and I have been wanting to try making Okonomiyaki.* With her love of all things Japanese and my love of all things foodie, it seemed perfect. So we bought some of the many different ingredients and set out to make a big savory cabbage filled pancake!
I'll spare you the stories of home-made Dashi (NO ONE makes their own Dashi except Iron Chefs and my wife, apparently). Imagine a chunk of smoked, cured skipjack tuna (or bonito) that has the feel and look of a block of dense balsa wood, and one small woman's attempts to shave "curls" off of it without the traditional Katsuobushi kezuriki (think a food-grade carpenters' plane). I don't know, maybe the bloody knuckles adds to the flavor.
So then the big moment...flour, eggs, cabbage, tenkatsu, all in a bowl, with the yummy human sacrifice Dashi mixed in. It LOOKS like a perfect batter...and we pour it into a large fairly flat two-handled pan (like one you use to make paella) and it sizzles in nicely.** And it sizzles...hmmmmm.... I saute the sausage separately, drain the fat and throw it in to the nicely cooking pancake.
Did I mention this thing is BIG? And here's the rub. We made one big, beautiful okonomiyaki. Like 16" across. A frisbee...no a discus of savory goodness. Sizzling on the one side where its getting nice and brown and a touch crunchy. And the wife says "OK....Turn it over".
How? And there's the rub. I got it OUT of the pan, cooked side down, on the "pizza peel" (the only flat food clean surface big enough for it). But...getting it back into the pan...not so good. It sort of...splooged...all over the pan...and the burners...and the stove top.
Not good at all (sigh). It was delicious I must say. The parts I salvaged.
Now I have to tear down the stove top and clean. and clean. *SIGH*
*Don't know what it is? Think savory pancake with cabbage, bacon and all sorts of yummy flavors. There are TONS of websites about Okonomiyaki now that its become a trendy food. This is my favorite, not so much for presentation, but information: http://okonomiyakiworld.com/index.html
**Why, you ask, did you use the pan when you have that amazing Viking Range with a griddle built in? Well, the pan is non-stick and we wanted to minimize oil in cooking. And maybe I was prescient, as using the griddle would have resulted in an even BIGGER mess. Ah, yes, dear reader, I said EVEN BIGGER.
Nov 11, 2009
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Oct 31, 2009
We tend to spend Halloween quietly around here. My wife and I usually don't go out, and more and more we spend it with family. The reason is that my younger brother died, unexpectedly, on Halloween eve, 2004. We spent that evening in the emergency room, and a few hours after midnight, at his bedside, just after he died.
I don't have any horrible feelings about the holiday, or the general revelry that it occasions. I don't have a problem when friends talk about their plans or after, their wild times. But for me, the few days leading up to the 31st of October are contemplative. I miss him very much.
Oct 22, 2009
Oct 15, 2009
I just want to say appropo of nothing, if I were hiding in a box in the attic while the whole country thought I was dead or 20,000 feet in the air in a helium balloon, my father would have beaten me within an inch of my life when I showed up.