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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Restaurant Named 2 - Ronald Reagan's Chili Recipe

You know how when you slow down your car and roll down your window, you know how the people on the sidewalk or streets will slowly gravitate towards your vehicle to see what you want?

Most of these souls will be trusting right? Most of these people will flash a thoughtful smile and peek their head into your fishbowl to see if you need help with directions or any such thing.

Thats not how it works for Klecko, maybe it's my intimidating stature. Perhaps it's my fashion forward hair...I don't know, but what I do know is people kinda recoil a bit when the passenger windows slides down and the Last American Baker explains he is lost.

Yesterday was my first day back at the plant since the Fair and before I even had a chance to sit down in my chair, our office receptionist informed me that we had a problem over at "The Muffin Man" and somebody was going to have to run them out some bread.

So Klecko real quick changes into his monkey suit and floppy hat, then goes into the shop and pulls the items that are needed and tosses them into the baby bread truck.

"Muffin Man" I asked myself.....are they serious?

Our company is getting large enough that our client base can grow quickly or rotate in unpredictable intervals.

But how does a place called Muffin Man really exist? Cuz is really doesn't ring any bells?

So I look on the invoice, and this place is on the exact oppisite side of town, and worse yet, I will have to travel through downtown during rush hour to fix their problem.

If I haven't mentioned it, I am by far the most directionally challenged person you have ever met. I can hardly navigate my own house w/o a G.P.S.

Drive-Drive-Drive, and Drive a little more. What seemed to be a century passed, and I found myself in Saint Louis Park. I was within striking distance of my desired location.

The address on my invoice was 6800 Excelsior, but my Tom - Tom started blinking and shouting out at me "Recalculating-Recalculating".

The adresses's on the avenue went from 6600 to 7000 all in one jump, could this be a ruse? Was this bread incident a cruel joke?

I swear to the orphans of Warsaw, I had no options left, so I began circling the strip, and everytime I saw a pedestrian I'd cautiously pull up, roll down the window and ask....

"Excuse me Mam....do you know the Muffin Man? I'm trying to hook him up."

You can imagine the responces right...LOL?

So the place ended up being in a hospital and when I unloaded the product in their kitchen, I shared the story of my plight with a crew of 20 something girls with tattoo's.

They roared.

One of the girlio's, the one who was washing some of the prep utensils examined the invoice and smiled while informing me that the Muffin Man had changed addresses a lifetime ago.

We were now on Louisiana Avenue.

The rest of my day followed suit, so by mid afternoon, I was mentally and emotionally spent.

I decided I was going home and unplugging from life for the evening,I do this 3 or 4 times a year, but one thing I've learned is to run it by Sue McGleno before getting my heart set, cuz there is nothing worse than crashing onto your couch in your underwear, and then having a wife drop a list of immediate demands on you.

So it's after 7 p.m., Klecko didn't lift any weights, none of the dogs got walked, and just as he slid into his coach groove, his mind was set on watching the season debut of Monday Night Football but......

But, wouldn't you know it, Sue McGleno plopped on the coach as well informing me and every Angel of our Lord, that she too was taking the night off.

Sigh.

Sue McGleno isn't a huge football fan, so she took the TV remote and tuned in Turner Classic Movies.

The second 1/2 od "Don't Bother To Knock" was on. Thats the movie where Marilyn Monroe plays a whacked out babysitter who ties a kid up so she can shack up with Richard Widmark.

The movie was filmed in 51-52-53ish so the blond bombshell was still pretty young.

While I surveyed the attributes of her youth, Sue McGleno continued popping my fantasy bubble by making comments about how Richard Widmark liked to hike up his trousers and secure his belt just at his nipple level.

At this point, I had to forego my own fantasies to inform my wife that mentioning men and their nipples in a single sentance was not just breaking Man Rule #289, but it was also a Cardinal sin and could land her a** in hell.

When the film finished, and the T.C.M. host came out to run a postmortem on the film Sue McGleno asked me if I knew how Marilyn got discovered.

I've always heard that one day when Ronald Reagan was on some Hollywood set, he noticed her putting together an airplane with a rivot gun.

Reagan was no dummy, he knew excellence when he saw it.

As Sue McGleno questioned the authenticity of this claim, the T.C.M. host announced that the next film they would show would be "NIAGARA".

That's the one where she plays and adulterous who likes to make out with boys around the waterfalls.

In the opening scene, Marilyn is laying in bed buck naked, there is nothing but a thin sheet that covers her decency, a thin sheet that will act as a protective veil which might entice me beyond reproach, or save me from eternal damnation.

Sue McGleno knows me pretty well. She could see the fog horns and sirens spinning in my mind, and in her best Sue McGleno tone she reminded me.....

"Don't forget, tonight you are unplugging from everything, that includes Sue McGleno, so if this movie is going to be too much for you, maybe you should go back to football!"

Klecko knows restraint, kinda.

As I continued watching the movie and framed the beauty of those waterfalls, it occured to me that my destination for my lifes final goal had just become complete.

Listen Mister when the lottery I win, I ain't ever gonna work in no bakery again.

You know why? One of Klecko's secret dreams is to open a restaurant, let me tell you about it.

The concept would be called "2".

It would be a small raunt that only had 2 tables with 4 chairs each.

Each day I would would wake up and prepare soup-stew or chili, and bake fresh bread.

The people who attended (after making reservations months in advance) would not have any input in the ordering of their meal because they would simply get what Klecko served them.

Because my place would be trendy, and on everybody's bucket list, I would have to add high end cheese to accompany the bread.

The "2" bar would pour Scotch, Vodka, Whiskey or Milk.

The only hitch is that since Sue McGleno would be my server, you know she'd get pissed if she didn't get her sweets, so who knows?

Maybe I would ask Gilson to move to New York with us.

I think the Niagra Falls area would be perfect.

People honeymoon there year round. Klecko would love to be surrounded with that young-love-karma.

Wouldn't it be great to have water falls an an aesthetic for your diners to focus on.

Then when the love birds finished their romantic meal, they could conclude their evening with Klecko reading them love poems on the Maidens of the Mist boat tour.

I'll bet I would look fetch in a yellow slicker

Anyways, I got a girl friend (we'll just call her Krissy Baywatch) who resides from that part of the country, and she has assured me that the location would be great.

I guess like the White House or Graceland, this is just another American landmark that is plopped in the midst of a seedy ghetto like neighborhood.

Bottom line is that your audience is captive and more than likely to throw their coins, time and attention at you.

About the time the plot thickened, Sue McGleno dismissed herself, but before doing so, she dangled the clicker over my head, then looked at the buxom vixen on the television screen and asked me if I was going to behave.

The answer was obvious........

"Baby, you can always trust me!"

I didn't receave the parting look of assurance I was looking for though.

whi is it that brunette wives never trust their husbands in the company of blondes?

Ronald Reagan's Chili Recipe
(Modified with respect by Klecko)1/2 cup bacon drippings

1 soupbone (hambone is preferred)
2 cups chopped onions
4 chopped garlic cloves
2 pounds coarsely ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups red wine (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon beef base
4 cups canned whole tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups of cooked black beans
2 cups of cooked white beans


PREPARATION:

Soup Bone -
Stick your soup bone in the broiler and torch that sucker. The key here is to get the marrow flowing out of the bone. This usually takes 15-20 minutes. If you get it a little scorched, it's no big deal, scrape the ash off and throw the finished bone into the kettle.

Using a 1 1/2-gallon heavy pot, melt bacon drippings. When hot, sauté onions and garlic cloves. Add ground beef and chili powder. Stir until meat is well browned. Add red wine (optional). Add salt, beef base, tomatoes, bay leaf and sugar. Simmer chili meat, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Add your black & white beans to the meat. Simmer chili con carne for 1 hour, covered over low heat, stirring gently from time to time. Test for flavor.

P.S. Don't forget that Klecko has added a pinball machine to this Blogsite, feel free to scroll down and see if you can top his high score.

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