07/18/17

An open letter to my friends…

A letter to the bullied

Hello my friend…

I’m writing this letter to the young man who stutters, or has an acne problem, or is just smaller than everyone else. To the young lady who never seems to know what to say, or may be carrying a few extra pounds, or who’s skin is a different color than everyone else in class.

You may not believe it, but once upon a time, I was the littlest kid in class. An only child with a sick mom, a sever speech impediment, coke-bottle glasses, and a thrift-store wardrobe…in other words, I was an easy target.

You know what I’m talking about.

Bullies made my life a nightmare from the 3rd grade, through most of high-school. With no real friends or defenders, it was a frightening, lonely way to grow up, and I still carry some of those scars, on my skin and on my heart, forty years later, and I always will.

So will you.

Bullies suck, and so does being bullied.

You don’t deserve it, you didn’t ask for it, and it’s not happening because there’s anything wrong with YOU. You are amazing. You are beautiful, and there is not another living soul on earth who is like you. That makes you a treasure beyond price.

Maybe your parents don’t understand, maybe your teachers and coaches were never bullied, and can’t relate, but you’re not alone.

You are SO not alone.

Your bullies are weak, and scared, and small. So small on the inside that the only thing that makes them feel good about themselves is to make someone else feel bad.

How sad is that?

But, you know what? There’s a gift in being bullied.

That can be hard to accept, believe me, I know.

But it’s true.

It can make you strong. It can make you brave. But most importantly, it can make you…kind.

And it’s not easy (but you’re used to things not being easy, aren’t you?)

You see, when you know what it feels like, the fear, the confusion, the betrayal, the pain…you can choose to let it make you bitter, to make you as small inside as the ones who hurt you, OR you can use it to guide how you treat others, how you speak to others in pain, how you protect and defend those weaker than you. How to choose compassion and mercy, over hate.

How you be exactly the kind of hero that you lay awake longing for.

Hate is easy, any small-minded weakling can hate. But love…love and kindness are the strongest powers in the universe, and when you have that strength, you cannot be beaten.

Because you…YOU…know.

And because you know, you have greatness in you.

You are developing a strength that many will never attain, no matter how fast, or smart, or rich, or pretty. A strength of heart, and of mind.

You will be able to see things others don’t, do things other’s can’t.

And the world needs you…desperately. They need you more and more every day, because it’s people like you…like US…that have the power to make the world a better place…because we know.

chef-perry-perkinsChoose Kindness, little hero, and hang in there.

It will get better…I promise.

Your friend,

Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

If you’ve know what I’m talking about, please share this.

If not, share it anyway, you never know who’s reading…

03/11/16

Name one dish…


EveryDay

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02/23/16
Jigsaw_Cooked_PromoStills_Fire_06aresize.0

The most important thing you’ve ever watched on NetFlix…

https://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/6y6GGK3SPxJ-Q-GII-5cb31Tt4o=/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/5908341/Jigsaw_Cooked_PromoStills_Fire_06aresize.0.jpg

“The Food industry has a vested interest in destroying the home cooking culture.”
 
If you want to know who we’re fighting against, and why…watch this amazing Netflix series based on one of my all-time favorite books, “Cooked” by Michael Pollan.

 

Here’s a preview…

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MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

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02/18/16
Depression, suicide, and bullies

Suicide, Depression, and Cowards

Depression, Suicide, and Cowards

Taking a quick off-ramp from the food to talk about something that is important to me. Dealing with the homeless and with at-risk and abused kids, we see our share of depression. Personally, I see it in the mirror every morning, just before I take that little “happy pill” that keeps my brain firing the way it should.

Saw another comment yesterday about Robin Williams being a coward for committing suicide and, frankly, it pisses me off.

People who suffer from depression don’t make thier choices from a lack of courage, strength, or moral integrity. They make choices based on the fact that depression has disengaged their ability to care.

If I take the battery out of your new car, and it won’t start, is it broken? Is it a “worthless piece of shit” (a phrase I’ve seen used more than once in reference to suicide) that’s only good for the junk yard?

How about the soldier who takes a bullet in the spine…is he weak? Is he a coward for not getting up out of that wheelchair and walking? Does he need to just suck it up? Be a better man?

Of course not.

In both cases, something vital to the end result has been removed from the process. It doesn’t matter how hard you turn the key, or how many times, the car’s not going to start with a missing battery. It doesn’t matter how brave or strong the soldier is, he’s not going to stand up and walk.

He CAN’T, because something vital to his ability to do so has been removed from his control.

This is what depression is like; it removes your ability to care. It clips the red wire and disengages hope.

Can’t you understand? To you, the decision to commit suicide WOULD be cowardice, because YOU still have the ability to CARE. Your high-handed, sanctimonious judgement and dismissal of the victim of depression, is on par with me assuming my 1992 P.O.S. mini-van is more valuable than your brand-new Lamborghini, because someone stole your battery and now it doesn’t start.

When you call someone a coward for something they have no control over…well there’s an old saying that “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

And frankly, anyone who would put down a victim is nothing more than a school-yard bully…and everyone knows who the biggest coward in the school yard really is…

-Chef P

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

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10/20/15

Just what makes a “foodie”…?

What is a foodie

First, some definitions:

Foodie is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. The word was coined in 1981 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr, who used it in the title of their 1984 book The Official Foodie Handbook.” (From Wikipedia)

Nicole Weston, in her article, “What is a foodie, anyway” (February 10, 2006), says, “Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste who may or may not be professionals in the food industry, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news.”

UrbanDictionary brings the conflict to a whole new level:

“A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation. A foodie is not necessarily a food snob, only enjoying delicacies and/or food items difficult to obtain and/or expensive foods; though, that is a variety of foodie.”

So…back to the original article. The author states:

“I’m surprised by a prevailing assumption I often come across that being a foodie means having an overwhelming desire to cook — to recreate the work of masters in one’s own kitchen. I think that’s pretty presumptuous and in some ways, devalues the art of fine dining. Being a foodie is more about appreciation than recreation. It’s about being adventurous enough to try new things and to savor flavor combinations you never dreamed of.”

Unfortunately, the comment box was closed.

Well, if you hang around here much you know it takes more than that kind of thing to shut me up.


MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.

 


So, I’m moving the conversation over here to explore a little deeper.

Here’s my completely subjective .02 –

If you’ve seen the Pixar classic, Rattatooie, then you may remember one of the critic Anton Ego’s lines, following his “enlightenment” near the end of the movie. “Not everyone can be a great chef, but a great chef can come from anywhere.”

I think that the foodie/cook issue may be a similar juxtaposition – in that, you don’t have to be a great chef (or even like to cook) to be a Foodie, but most Foodies become passionate about cooking. I do know one thing, of the dozen or so friends and acquaintances that I consider to be hardcore foodies in my own little world, every single one of them loves to cook.

So, do you consider yourself a “foodie?” If so…why?

What do YOU think the defining characteristics of a Foodie are, and do they include a passion or interest in cooking…or are there any the defining characteristics at all?

Okay, I’m gonna go make a sandwich.

– Chef Perry

 

PS – Looking for a great book on the subject of Foodies?

Here’s my favorite:

How to Be a Better Foodie: A Bulging Little Book for the Truly Epicurious – Sudi Pigott

How to be a Better FoodieBulging with information, this little book is a delightful celebration of food that will appeal to anyone who is fiercely dedicated to finding the finest, latest, rarest, and most delicious culinary knowledge.

How To Be a Better Foodie serves up entertaining and informative morsels to satisfy even the most insatiable cravings, such as:

  • Unusual delicacies—prawn shells, radish leaves, parmigiano reggiano rind and more
  • The latest in culinary trends such as belly pork, wagyu beef, lotus root crisps, green tea iced meringue, and sous vide preparation
  • International foodie pilgrimages and an almanac of seasonal delicacies

With quizzes to test the reader’s foodie prowess, illustrations throughout, and page after page of compelling food facts, this book offers revelations for even the most advanced foodie as well as a wealth of tidbits for the eager novice.

 

08/24/15

“How Hot Dogs Are Made!!!” (Today’s stupidity alert…)

 

Okay, so THIS bit of Facebook idiocy has been shared with me a half-dozen times this morning, typically with the all-caps subject line, “OMG…IS THIS TRUE???????????”

Short answer? “OMG…NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

*sigh*

My friends…please, PLEASE, engage your higher reasoning capabilities before you swallow (or God forbid, share) an enormous load of BS like this:

No, this AIN’T how hot dogs are made!

I have been to hot dog processing plants, and there is no machine that grinds up whole pigs like that grinder, nor in there need for one. That video is scrapped together from several different processing plants (note the different logos and uniforms).

First of all, those are whole, un-gutted animals they’re throwing in those grinders, which would violate about a million FDA laws. My guess is that that shot is taken from a dog-food plant somewhere.

Also, any hunter will tell you that the introduction of bile, fecal matter, urine, etc., would make the meat inedible (believe me, you would taste it!)

Most of the rest of the scenes were stolen from THIS video, which shows the real process:

Second, it would be an enormously expensive waste to use the whole pig, prime cuts and all, for hot dogs. The wholesale cost for whole hogs is $2-3 per lb. (believe me, I know) while John Morrell Hot Dogs sell for .99 for a 16oz package…you do the math.

Typically, it’s just going to be the scrap parts and trimmings from the butchering process…which is what sausages and terrines have been made out of for centuries.

This is simply one more ham-handed propaganda attempt (you can tell by the manipulative, slightly-creepy background music) to dupe the slack-jawed hordes of FB members who will run, quacking in panic, at anything the see online.

My guess is that if you could track it’s origins back far enough, you’d end up at the desk of some militant vegan or animal-rights organization.

Which makes me want to go buy a hot dog for lunch.

My point? ~ Please stop helping the ministry of disinformation by believing, or distributing, this kind of stupidity.

Thank you,

Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.

 

 

07/1/15

A public apology to Chef Chris

Apologizing and admitting I’m wrong is not something I like to do.

I’m not good at it.

You might say…it’s not my “gift.”

However, when I am proven wrong, which fortunately seldom happens (okay…admitting that I was proven wrong seldom happens, that first one happens all the time…) I step up.

A few years back, we had the great honor of taking part in the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation’s “Starry Night Auction and Fundraiser” at Roloff Farms. It turned out to be the first in what’s now a long list of great events and great memories where our MY KITCHEN Outreach has joined up with our amazing pals, Amy Roloff and Lisa Dixon.

At this event, we set up an area to bbq, and cooked and served our pulled pork sliders to the guests as they arrived and checked out the auction tables. It was hot outside, and under our tent, with two huge grills going, it hovered somewhere between oh-my-lord, and the-Devil’s-armpit hot.

It was hot.

We worked hard, sweated a lot, served a lot of great food, and just generally had a heck of a good time.

(Here comes the part where I have to admit I was wrong…enjoy it…)

Watching the episode a couple of months later on TV, I noticed that, if you were super fast with the pause button…we actually made it on the show!

That's us! (it helps if you squint)

So, I thought this was pretty cool. Then caught THIS glimpse…

IMG_4149 (800x450)

Yes…the horror…Chef Chris caught red-handed, sauntering out of the event tent with a cold beer, while Chef Terry and I are left sweating like pigs in a hot-tub, serving pulled pork, and perishing of thirst.

Shocking…truly shocking.

So, I have, with all self-righteousness and moral high-ground, given my dear friend and faithful business partner no end of merciless grief, at every opportunity, in the years since over this gross betrayal on his part.

Fast forward to this afternoon…

I’m re-watching the episode on my phone and, as usual, grumble as I catch the moment of Chef Chris’s selfish betrayal…and then something caught my eye.

Something terrible.

Something I didn’t want to see.

I freeze-framed back through the scene, and sure enough…

IMG_4147 (800x450)

Yup, to my everlasting shame…that is me, beer in hand, leading the way.

I humbly beg forgiveness. I was wrong…I am pond-scum…no, I am worse than pond-scum…I’m a McRib Sandwich.

HOWEVER…

If you look carefully (and believe me I have) you will note that NEITHER of us rat-bastages are carrying a SECOND beer for poor Chef Terry, who we have obviously and heartlessly abandoned to work in the hell-tent alone, while we selfishly made a run.

We should both be horse-whipped, or live on nothing but Buster’s BBQ for a month. (Personally, I’ll take the horse-whipping, thanks…)

I. WAS. WRONG.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go throw up.

Humbly,

Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

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07/1/15

Freakshow recipes from the 60’s & 70’s


My old pal Tristen sent me this Buzzfeed link today.

The post has pictures and (some) recipes for “21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes”…I think he was expecting more horror on my part.

Chef Frank L. PerkinsSeveral of these were things that they were teaching students in culinary school when my dad went in the late sixties (and forever considered a complete waste of his time, lol…)

I remember things similar to Frosted Ribbon Loaf, and Shrimp Sandwich Roll.

They were very into covering everything in pastels back then. I blame it on the LSD.

Anyway, these were the good, the bad, and the ugly that caught my eye…

Igloo Meat Loaf

Family Circle / Via rochellesvintagerecipes.blogspot.com

Actually Pretty Awesome: Igloo Meat Loaf (above), Glazed Potato Salad, Jellied Tomato Refresher. I think those three would make a great dinner!

Ham and Bananas Hollandaise

McCall’s / Via vintagerecipecards.com

Might need to try: Super Salad Loaf, Shrimp Sandwich Roll, Baked Stuffed Salmon, Ham and Bananas Hollandaise.

The Atora Steak Puddings – which I think is really only off-putting to us because of the use of the British term, “Pudding.”.

#21 – which I’m going to guess is a canned salmon mousse with an avocado glaze (our refrigerator and oven were that EXACT shade of green!)

Not so sure: Perfection Salad, Liver Sausage Pineapple (this is a presentation issue, it probably tastes great).

Spam ‘n’ Limas (again, I like the ingredients, just seems like a stretch to call it a “recipe”)

Perfection Salad

McCall’s / Via vintagerecipecards.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear God No: Lime Cheese Salad (they lost me at lime jello and onions, but I love that they call canned chunk tuna with mayo and diced celery a “seafood salad”, lol.

Lime Cheese Salad
The “Banana Candle” is, of course, on the “No Way” list. I actually have seen these before on one of my favorite BBC food shows, “The Supersizer’s Go”, it was the 60’s episode and this was a very popular recipe at “swingers parties.” Eww…and, um…EWW!

 So, for me it’s a mixed bag, so of these are strangely familar, some leave me curious, and some I’d like to acid-wash from my brain (though I’ve probably served my daughter just as strange…)

Any of these I really need to make and post?

Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

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