Category Archives: Food

All good things …

In 1981 I moved to Houston from college in Golden Colorado to begin my career in the oil patch. West Houston. Katy. Not much was out here back then. Nonmacher’s Bar-B-Q was one of the few food establishments in the area at the time.

Texas BBQ. In my opinion, the best in the Katy area. If I understand correctly, Nonmacher made a name for himself selling BBQ at the Houston rodeo and other venues. John even gave me the recipe for his smoked pork loin that he sold only on Saturdays (two pork loins tied together with butchers twine, stuffed with onions and jalapeños, encrusted in lemon-pepper and smoked). I have made it several times, but it was always easier to get it from him.

But the area grew and many restaurants opened including many BBQ restaurants. Nonmacher’s was in a small strip center with only a few parking spaces. Most of his business was take away.

Nonmacher’s BBQ got some bad press in 2011 when some customers were offended by the “Let’s play cowboys and IRANIANS” poster hanging on the wall. This poster was from the Iran Hostage Crisis (1979 – 1981), a time when U.S. and Texas sentiment toward Iran was understandably negative. The people offended by it had most likely not even been born until well after the event.

John Nonmacher died of bladder cancer in 2013 and his wife Trudy continued to run Nonmacher’s BBQ after his death.

I went get some BBQ today and discovered that they had closed. As the sign says “All good things must come to an end“.

Nonmacher’s BBQ on Facebook

John Nonmacher on Facebook

John Nonmacher Obituary

Academy

Like a scene from the sci-fi movies Arrival or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, National Guard Black Hawk and heavy twin-blade Chinook helicopters fly over my house inbound to and outbound from the Academy corporate headquarters that is adjacent to my subdivision. The top floor of the parking garage serves as a makeshift heliport. Other floors of the parking garage serve a sleeping areas for a variety of first responders, including Texas State Troopers, who have come in from all over the state. Elsewhere in the parking lots, the National Guard has established bivouac with tents, trucks, and communications equipment. Several fuel tankers are also deployed.

Academy Sports and Outdoors (http://www.academy.com/shop/en/store/company-info) is a sporting goods and outdoor equipment company headquartered in Katy Texas next to my subdivision. The first Academy store opened as a tire shop in San Antonio in 1938. It turned into a military surplus store, then began offering sports and outdoors equipment as it evolved into the present day Academy Sports + Outdoors. They have more than 230 stores in 16 states, supported by more than 23,000 team members throughout the South, Southeast, and Midwest. My next door neighbor is the director (manager) of one of the nearby stores. Several of their IT folks also live in my subdivision.

I recently spoke to one of their corporate accountants who estimated that Academy had already donated over a million dollars worth of supplies, equipment, and services to the ongoing Hurricane Harvey relief effort. The photos below attest to part of this contribution. In addition to providing lodging and logistics for first responders, the Academy corporate headquarters and distribution center has also opened their cafeteria to their guests providing both room and board. 

I am very proud to have Academy as my neighbor. If you live near an Academy store, stop by and thank them for the support they are giving the greater Houston area in this time of need.

View of the Academy headquarters from the south

 

View from the west (street view)




 
 One of the back parking lots

Threadgill’s Armadillo 

Timing is everything …

The Mrs and I decided to take a road trip from Catbeard Manor in West Houston to Threadgill’s Armadillo World Headquarters restaurant in Austin. http://www.threadgills.com/

Little did we know it was the final weekend of SXSW. http://schedule.sxsw.com/

Miraculously we just pulled into the parking lot, found the one remaining handicapped parking spot (the Mrs MS grants us tags), and immediately got a table.

 
The Mrs had a top shelf margarita “Herradura”. I had coffee (designated driver). She had fried catfish with “corn off the cob” and sweet potato fries. I had meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy (after having meatloaf at home for the past two nights*).

Life is good …

 
* the definition of a meat loaf fetish

The Womack House

The Womack House restaurant was incorporated in 1981 on FM* 1093 east of Fulshear TX, a few months before the Mrs and I moved to Katy TX from Colorado fresh out of college. It was famous for “family style country food” and we ate there often when our kids were little.

Our first son was born in 1983. Coincidentally “Pancho and Lefty” by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson debuted the same year. The song was still popular several years later and I bought the cassette of the album. “Pancho and Lefty” was one of my first son’s favorite songs. The Womack House had a lounge (bar) and at the time a country-western singer named Clell Conner was a fixture. After dinner we would often retire to the lounge and Clell would play “Pancho and Lefty” for us.


From the Houston Chronicle …

“It was located in an old house with a big front porch with several porch swings,” according to Linda Linn .

And April Andres says she once spied Nolan Ryan dining there.

Bonnie Meyer, a former employee, remembers serving “huge platters of chicken-fried steak, catfish, meatloaf, chicken and dumplings and all kinds of fresh vegetables.

When she worked there, she says, “the (waitresses) had to wear old-fashioned floor-length peasant-style dresses, and we would often sit on the swings outside waiting for our first customers to arrive.

“We kind of looked like the girls on the Chicken Ranch in La Grange!” she adds.

According to Chronicle archives, Womack House closed in 1994.

 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

I remember they had little galvanized pails of warmed saltine crackers.

Today I had lunch with an old friend at a Chinese restaurant in a new subdivision near Fulshear. All of this new construction sort of snuck up on me over the years. Roads that I remember as dirt roads out in the country are now four lane boulevards with large tree-filled medians. On a whim, I decided to drive out to Fulshear and see if I could find The Womack House. 



It is now a day care facility, but it is still there (complete with porch swings).

Memories …

 
* FM in Texas stands for Farm to Market road 

References 

http://m.chron.com/entertainment/article/Womack-House-1647309.php

https://www.corporationwiki.com/Texas/Fulshear/the-womacks-house-restaurant-inc/31942959.aspx

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/ricewrc/00535/rice-00535.html

DVD Episode 139 Jan. 16, 1982: Landmark Inn, Castroville / H Graham-Clocks, Marble Falls / J Wilson-Antique Guns, Pyote / Clell Conner-Cowboy Singer, Liberty / Spradley-Telephones, McGregor

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_and_Lefty

 

PS “Pancho and Lefty” is a current staple on the Mrs playlist today. She has both the Merle and Willie version as well as a couple of Townes Van Zandt versions.

 

PPS At one point we had a vinyl album (33 1/3) of Clell Conner’s music that we bought from him at The Womack House. If I can find it, I will address in a future post.

A picture …

is worth – as they say.

I previously told you I had lost 40+ pounds and was below 300 for the first time in I don’t know when. I think I also told you that I had replaced my size 56″ jeans with 52″ and then 48″.

You may also recall that I have been out of work since last March when I got laid off in the oil patch down-turn. I thought my savings would last longer than they did. I have started aggressively looking for work, but nothing so far. 

This brings up the question of interview clothing – can’t wear jeans. What about my old work khakis?



Not quite halfway there – but it is an impressive start when viewed above.

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

When I brought my Prius into Toyota last week, my service writer and I got into a discussion of diet, and health, and weight loss. I told him about the Wahls Protocol and our need to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. He asked me if I had ever see Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. “Oh, man, you have got to watch this,” he told me while pulling it up on his computer. “Unfortunately,” he warned me, “it has become an infomercial for the Breville Juicer and Joe Cross’s Reboot Program.” My only comment way was that juicing removed all the fiber, while acknowledging that physically eating all the fruits and vegetables recommended by the Wahls Protocol was daunting.

I stopped by Toyota today for a status update and learned that the battery pack was still in shipment, due to arrive this week. I also decided that before I saw my service writer again that I was going to watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. I watched it on NETFLIX. When I began researching it for this blog post, I found the full version on YouTube (below). It is absolutely worth watching.

Keep in mind the whereas the movie focuses on juicing, the most important takeaway should be that we need to shift our diets away from fast foods and processed foods toward diets rich in a broad spectrum of fruits and vegetables. Personally, I am impressed by the weight loss depicted in the movie. It gives me hope.

Juice Plus+

In a previous post, The Next Best Thing, I told you how I found out about Juice Plus+.

    Fast forward to the fall of 2016 (last year). Our diet was poor once again – too much dining out and too much takeout. We had both gained weight and were not feeling our best. While having a late breakfast at the cafe nearest to my house, I eavesdropped on a conversation between several ladies sitting next to me. The topic had turned to the tribulations of dealing with a cancer diagnosis in a loved one. As I got up to leave, I stopped by and offered my support and best wishes. They asked me about my point of reference and I explained that my wife had MS and the road had been a rocky one. One of the ladies asked me what if anything we had done to deal with it other than the doctors, medicines, and hospitalizations. I went on to tell them about the Wahls Protocol, how we benefited from a diet high in fruits and vegetables, our difficulty in actually being able to eat as much as we needed, and our eventual return to our old unhealthy diet and way of life.

    One of the ladies asked me if I had ever heard of Juice Plus+.

I answered that hadn’t. She gave me her business card and some brochures. I studied the list of fruits and vegetables that Juice Plus+ Orchard, Garden and Vineyard Blends are comprised of and realized that it was everything I had been striving to eat enough of. I have included the nutrition labels below (tap on each to enlarge).

Orchard Blend

 
Garden Blend


 

Vineyard Blend



Note the NSF certification label. I did. Check them out HERE. Also note the Kosher certifications.

Long story short, I placed an order. The Mrs and I have been taking the Orchard, Garden and Vineyard Blends for a few months now as part a healthier diet and lifestyle. I like the ability to get a wide spectrum of fruit and vegetable micronutrients and oxidants in a convenient capsule form (they also offer chewable versions). With Juice Plus+ we actually manage to eat the fruits and vegetables we do buy. 

I am the original sceptic. I live by the old Russian axiom adopted by Reagan in dealing with Gorbachev – trust, but verify – so I did some additional research. The efficacy of Juice Plus+ has been documented in more than 30 Juice Plus+ research studies conducted in leading hospitals and universities around the world. But that is for another post.

For now, in the spirit of a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words, I give you three short videos.

How Juice Plus+ is Made

Published on Dec 31, 2013 | Juice Plus+ Vice President, John Blair, shares how Juice Plus+ is made. From being picked at the peak of ripeness to the proprietary drying and encapsulation process. See it all! 

 

Behind the Scenes at a Juice Plus+ Farm

Published on Oct 28, 2014 | Take a look at what happens when we’re filming footage at one of our beautiful farms.

 

Juice Plus+ Farm to Capsule

Published on Apr 23, 2014 | Hear Meredith Martin, Juice Plus+ Director of Marketing Support, and Liza Pepple, Juice Plus+ Director of Supply Chain, talk parsley. Then stick around to hear Juice Plus+ growers share how they ensure good, quality produce goes into all Juice Plus+ products.

 

Interested in learning even more about Juice Plus+? Look HERE

Fruits and Vegetables

In a previous post I told you about Terry Wahls and the Wahls Protocol. Below is a 19 minute interview of Dr. Terry Wahls by Dr. Rhonda Patrick from 2014. In the interview they discuss the importance of micronutrients and antioxidants in the diet and the importance of eating a broad range of fruits and vegetables and the impact it had on Dr. Wahls life.

 

Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? Consider Juice Plus+

The Next Best Thing

Those of you who have followed this blog long enough know that my wife has suffered from Multiple Sclerosis since being diagnosed in the late 90s. It is the reason why the heroine of my serialized sci-fi novel The Nudist War (a new take on the Zombie Apocalypse) has MS.

In the spring of 2014, I posted about my discovery of the Wahls Protocol. The Wahls Protocol, like many other “paleo” diets was not unique. It was but the latest in a long line of “discoveries” that we are what we eat and that diets rich in fruits and vegetables, low in carbs, sugar, and processed foods go a long way toward preserving and even restoring health.

I documented our progress on the Wahls Protocol and have included links below. Go ahead and read them. Most are short. I’ll wait. I promise.

Wahls Protocol

WP0

WP4

WP7

WP11

WP14

WP41

WP – 6 months

Good. You’re back.

If you read through each of the posts above, you saw how profound an impact a diet high in fruits and vegetables had on our health. If you didn’t bother to read through the posts above … I will summarize: we both saw a dramatic improvement in our quality of life.

HOWEVER – we both found it physically challenging to actually eat the amount of fruits and vegetables – and – drink the amount of water required. Not to mention that a diet that high in fruits and vegetables elevates the term “regularity” to a whole new meaning. By 2015 we had “fallen off the wagon”.

Fast forward to the fall of 2016 (last year). Our diet was poor once again – too much dining out and too much takeout. We had both gained weight and were not feeling our best. While having a late breakfast at the cafe nearest to my house, I eavesdropped on a conversation between several ladies sitting next to me. The topic had turned to the tribulations of dealing with a cancer diagnosis in a loved one. As I got up to leave, I stopped by and offered my support and best wishes. They asked me about my point of reference and I explained that my wife had MS and the road had been a rocky one. One of the ladies asked me what if anything we had done to deal with it other than the doctors, medicines, and hospitalizations. I went on to tell them about the Wahls Protocol, how we benefited from a diet high in fruits and vegetables, our difficulty in actually being able to eat as much as we needed, and our eventual return to our old unhealthy diet and way of life.

One of the ladies asked me if I had ever heard of Juice Plus+.

 

Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?

 

The SEVENTY2

Just ran across this on INDIEGOGO. Looked interesting. You might agree.

95% of survival situations are resolved in 72 hours. But those first 72 hours are extremely critical. With this in mind, our kits are carefully curated to provide you everything you need, and nothing you don’t to get through those vital 3 days. We aren’t weighing you down with things you will never use, and we don’t sell you things that aren’t going to help. Just the essentials, organized so even the most inexperienced among us will have the tools and instructions to change their situation for the better. https://unchartedsupplyco.com/company/our-story


https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-seventy2-the-world-s-smartest-survival-kit-backpack#/

https://www.unchartedsupplyco.com/

CHEMEX | Restored

Not long ago I posted that I had been gifted a vintage CHEMEX coffee carafe. After taking it apart and cleaning it, I foolishly attempted to recondition the leather thong that holds the wooden insulators together by soaking it in leather conditioner. When I tried to put it back together today the old thong disintegrated. 

So I did what I should have just done in the first place. I drove to a nearby craft store and bought a length of new leather thong. The CHEMEX is now assembled. Filter paper had previously arrived from Amazon. A bag of whole bean “Christmas Blend” was obtained from the new Starbucks that opened up around the corner.

I followed the ritual as described below

Quite satisfactory … and satisfying.

TG at Cat Beard Manor

With copious amount of Chef Jimbo’s Hawaiian BBQ Sauce * …


 

Sweet Potatoes

 

Stoking the coals 

 
Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs marinated several days in Chef Jimbo’s Hot Lava Sauce (diluted with pineapple juice)

 
Acorn Squash stuffed with walnuts and pure maple surple ** (top shelf)

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with walnuts, raisins and maple surple (bottom shelf)

 

 Chicken and Corn on the grill



 

 Please … to the table …


 

Sooooo … full … let the cleanup begin

 

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving 

 

* Courtesy of Maggie

** Roses are red and violets are purple, sugar is sweet and so is maple surple

Blue Buffalo

If you have been reading my blog long enough, you know that the Mrs suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and diabetes. She is a shut-in and cannot cook. So the cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc. by in large fall on me. OK, so we got a maid who comes for a few hours, one day a week. That helps some, but still leaves me with a lot to do. I also have a full-time job (at least I have a full-time job – for that I am thankful).

Anyway, in an effort to get a grip on things I signed up for Amazon Prime. It’s fantastic, I never have to leave the house to shop. I can order everything I need from Amazon and get it shipped free to my door within days. What I love most is that everything is ALWAYS in stock and I can find even the most obscure items or brands with ease. I also have Amazon Subscribe and Save, which let’s me schedule automatic re-supply shipments of the necessities of life (you name it, they gots it).

So now I had everything but food squared away. I suppose we could subsist on MREs, but we wanted something healthier, cheaper, and better. We discovered Blue Buffalo. It is fantastic. The food is delivered once a week. It is fresh food that you prepare with step-by-step instructions. All natural ingredients, no by-products. Three different two-person meals at a price that is cheaper and more convenient than delivery or even fast food. Healthy. Nutritious. Delicious. Seriously, you should check out Blue Buffalo.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Oh wait, did I say Blue Buffalo? I meant Blue Apron.

Homeless Guests Welcome At Tabrizi’s Restaurant For One Week

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout …

The Feels

Last week, Michael Tabrizi, the owner of Tabrizi’s, a catering venue and restaurant in the Harborview residences, asked for volunteers to help him organize a “Homeless Restaurant Week.”

Tabrizi hopes to serve anywhere from 900 to 1,000 homeless guests at his restaurant during the week of July 20. And now, Tabrizi says, he has more volunteers than he needs, and his staff is “refusing to get paid” for that week.

“I don’t want to turn volunteers away,” Tabrizi said. Instead of helping to prepare or serve meals, volunteers will be invited to sit down with homeless guests over a dinner of chicken Cordon Bleu in sage cream sauce, spring salad, sparking apple cider and ice-cream waffle cone.

Michael-Tabrizi in front of a shuttle bus

Tabrizi said his homeless restaurant week came after a brief encounter with a homeless person, to whom he gave his a few dollars and his business card, with an invitation to come see him…

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What genetic engineering and organic farming have in common

If you can excuse the pun … food for thought …

ideas.ted.com

Genetic engineering and organic farming are often set up in opposition to one another. After all, how could one agricultural practice that eschews any influence other than Nature coexist with another that is cultivated in a lab? Well, in the household of Pam Ronald (TED Talk: The case for engineering our food) and Raoul Adamchak, they live together up close and personally, as the genetic scientist and organic farmer are married. Recently, the couple discussed the complexity of modern agriculture, what they see as common misconceptions of genetically engineered crops — and the implications these have on those who need food the most. Here’s their take on this hot topic.

The problem with genetic engineering is the communication. “Most consumers accept most science. But there are a few cases where established science is rejected by a segment of the population. Consider for example: vaccination, evolution, global climate change and plant…

View original post 1,458 more words