When I started off Home Ec in the 11th grade, I was really quite a sight to behold. It was 1980 and Klecko had heavy metal hair that lurched past his shoulder blades.
My wardrobe was pretty simple as well. A pair of Levi's straight legs, a white Springsteen V-neck T-shirt and a black leather jacket.
In 1980 there was no diversity in the western suburbs high schools of Minneapolis. The student population was entirely white.
About 80% of these kids were "jocks" and the other 20% were "freaks".
Jocks were the clean cut kids that cheered rah-rah and wore Members Only jackets. Freaks smoked 2 packs a day and almost always had 1/2 ounce of weed tucked into their S*** Kickers.
Klecko was in a curious position because he had-had a heart to heart with the Polish Christ and wanted to stand in line with the other dolts who always wanted to taste and touch, and feel as much, as a man can.....before he repents.
So I was living on the clean. I think at this time, I know at this time I was dating Sue McGleno.
My problem was difficult however. I didn't want to add to my singed brain cell count, but at the same time.....I wasn't about to go Wally Cleaver either.
So for that entire year, all I did was cook/bake and carve an 8 foot totem pole.
My Home Ec group was different than it had been in Jr High, back in middle school everybody knew one another so cooking was always social.
But at Armstrong Senior High, our student population was like 1/2 a million kids. You didn't know many people in your classes.
I do remember we got placed into pods of 4, and I don't remember 1/2 that pod, but I do remember Terra. Terra was smoking hot with that puffy 1980 hair style, and she had a collection of pastel sweaters that almost drove me as crazy as her Calvin Kleins that she painted on each morning.
During our first class it was apparent that she was going to ignore me, I mean she had to, jungle law declared this. I was a former freak who still looked like a freak, and she was a Molly Ringwald "Breakfast Club" princess.
As the year progressed I didn't think anymore about her than I would think of JLO today, I mean sometimes a girlio's just out of your league.
But as time passed, and Terra watched my mad culinary skills, I think she was intrigued and had one of those forbidden love things going on.
Often times she would cast off our leper partners and the 2 of us would cook alone in our space of tranquil bliss.
It was so Westside Story because we kinda grew crushes on one another.
One of the quickest ways for a boy to expedite love, is to make sure that you don't let the girl touch the dishes after dining, washing plates is a mans job.
I know - I know, you Sue McGleno fans are thinking....."I thought you were dating Sue McGleno at the time. well...I was, but when you are a 16-17 year old boy, you always need a "who next?" on a back burner.You don't envision that you will be lucky enough to plug into a lifetime partner.
When the school year got to close to the Christmas break, Terra started asking me if I was really a burn out. She said she had heard stories about how I had done some illegal things with chemicals, instatuted a bookie service, and participated in some physical altercations that her friends classified as beat downs.......
"Terra, that was then, and this is now kid, ya just gotta trust me."
She also lobbied for me to consider a haircut and wardrobe change, and I always assured her that was just around the corner.
Danny Klecko's coplete life makeover was a progress in work.
But the one thing that Terra really needed to know, the one thing that made her uncomfortable, the only thing that constituted a complete deal breaker was whether or not I smoked weed, because with her....it was evil, a product of the devil himself.
I really was clean at the time (like maybe 10 weeks) and assured her she had nothing to worry about. Her concern was strange because we never talked of dating, we had never done anything social, but who knows....maybe I was on her back burner as well.
Deck the Halls with bows of Holly, Fa La La La La, La La La La
The Christmas Holidays kicked in, and sure enough....all of a sudden my Jewish girlfriend got all Christian since there was presents involved.
I don't remember what I got Sue McGleno, but I do remember what she got me. One of her friends gave me the heads up that she bought us a pair of those God awful necklaces where the pendant is severed in 1/2 like 2 jigsaw puzzle peices, and each one of you wear your 1/2, indacating that when you are apart, you are worthless, but together...you were whole.
I would have sooner died that wear that thing. Can you imagine? Wearing something like that is an automatic reduction of 250 street cred points....daily.
So, Sue McGleno lived 10 miles away, I didn't have a car, so almost everyday I hitchiked over to her house.
Dude, I have a whole series of hitchiking Blog posts I could talk about LOL, but when you hitch everyday, around the same time, often times people who are running a simular scheadule will pick you up out of habit.
One such case was a trio of guys who often times were my Saturday ride. I don't remember any of their names, but I do remember that everytime I hopped into the back of their station wagon that the whole car was engulfed in smoke, just like a Cheech and Chong movie.
These guys were always-always crisp. When we first met, I was known to "partake" of a little medicine with these cats, but Danny Klecko was a changed man.....God - Country - Self...heh heh.
So on this particular day these guys were heading out to the "range" where they would take out their muskets and fire "black powder" guns.
You know, like in the Thomas Jefferson movies.
The thought of these guys being waisted and pointing primitive fire arms actually made me laugh. On more than one occasion they invited me to go along, but I just lied and said I was a pacifist.
So now today, on that day, it was really cold out. I was numb when I piled in. One of the guys told me that before they bumped me off on 63rd, that they would have to make a quick stop to some Gander Mountain kinda place took restock on black powder.
Beggers can't be choosers, I tagged along.
When I look back, I don't know why, but I went into to the store with them.
In the car these guys were comedic and actually kinda funny, but in public....Dear Lord of Bialystok, they were like chimps that had been released from the circus cage.
Up and down the aisles, up and down the aisles, the boys were racing shopping carts, accidently bumping products off of shelves and laughing so hard that even the redneck store employees coulndn't help but smile.
Nobody likes a taker right?
So keeping in the spirit of things. Klecko picks up some gnarly looking bear trap, turns to the trio and says......
"Dude, you'd have to smoke a pretty big blunt to deal with the pain that this boy would pass out huh?"
The guys starting laughing, I continued laughing, then all of a sudden my 3 buddies kinda shut up and stared over my shoulder.
When I turned around to see what they were looking at, it was Terra, and her father.
"Merry Christmas Danny McGleno" she said, but deep down I knew she didn't mean it.
I got busted celebrating smoking weed and stepping into a bear trap amongst my peers (all of whom looked like Charles Manson clones), and now I knew there would be a penance to pay.
Mine was that Terra started cooking with the cast offs from our pod, and little Danny Klecko went to the corner, with little Jack Horner, and finished his 11th grade Home Ec class without the benefit of companionship.
Often times I've thought about looking up Terra just for kicks. If I did, she'd probably think I was some kind of junkie, but if she just gave me one short hour.....I know I could win back her attention with this recipe.
Cake Au Saumon
1 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of shredded gruyere chese
6 ounces of cooked flaked salmon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix the flour,b-powder and eggs into a stiff dough.
In another bowl, mix milk,oil,garlic,lemon juice,and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave.
Pour this liquid mixture on top of the flour and mix until smooth
Stir in cheese, salmon and pepper.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, and then reduce the bake temp to 350 for the remainder of the bake.
If you are using 1# foils, your complete bake time should be close to 40 minutes.
*Remember, as this piece finishes it's bake, it will pull away from the form.
** Also, most forms don't need to be sprayed or greased. This loaf has enough oil to let it slide out on it's own, if you add more....you risk deep frying.