A blog away from the words of me. My normal website is at ThisIsBooksMusic.com
My mom and my auntie (sisters) were talking this weekend about how they wished they had taken their mom’s love of food a bit deeper. My love of food came from my mom’s cooking and in part what my dad was into. As far as my mom was concerned, she learned in part from her mom, who was Austrian. However, she didn’t take to heart the long time and care towards making those recipes, and a lot of that love and care, along with actual recipes, are long gone. I think the only way to be able to be anywhere close to what my Omama used to make is to try different foods and have my mom go “yes, this is how mama did it”.
The issue is that my sister would love to be able to preserve some of those recipes, but my mom wasn’t taking notes. When my Omama got married in Austria to the Hawaiian/Chinese man who would become my grandfather, she brought not only the Austrian dishes she grew up with, but also learned the Hawaiian way of doing things too. For my grandfather, it was essentially… anything and everything, from stews to seafood and who knows what else. I know a sense of the foods I enjoy from what I grew up with. This includes a curry, or “curry stew”, which is the type of curry stew that is favored by Hawaiians, which is close to how some Japanese make it. I think it’s merely trying to track down a culinary part of my ancestry and seeing if it can be preserved in anyway. At the same time, to continue to look for new things along the way, find a new recipe or two that may become the next thing I may enjoy. It’s a bit like listening to music, finding what my parents and grandparents were into, and trying to go as far back as possible to listen to the source material.
All I know is that some of my food interests are an entry level of what is Austrian and German, which means I love schnitzen, goulash, and apfelstrudel. If I look down at a list of other Austrian delights, it just looks like part of the conversation my Omama would have when she was talking story with old friends.
Discovered an interesting food photo blog here called Someone Ate This, or really it should be Someone Ate This?, emphasis on the question mark. The photos consists of foods we have made at home, foods we have put together because it’s all we had, stuff we assembled because we didn’t want to go out to buy something quick and easy. As gross as this is meant to look, some of it looks fairly edible. The thing about this is that, as I try to improve my own eating habits, I can only imagine everything from the sodium content to how much carbs these things really have. I see a cheesy hot dog and in the back of my mind I was probably thinking “I’ll have two or three” while these days I would very much stay away, not even sneaking a bite. Anyway, funny blog.
On earth, we use the word “burrito” to describe a tortilla filled with things you eat. Pretty simple stuff, and I’m surprised you at least got that part right. My burrito was, in fact, filled with food. In this, you and I agree and are friends. But this is also where my lifelong hatred begins for you and anyone else whose brain has been repeatedly scrubbed with the same mixture of bleach and Pop Rocks as yours has. Because that should have killed you, but left you around long enough to do what you did to me today. Let me explain:
You’re an idiot.
Let me further explain:
Burritos are eaten from one end to the other. So that means when you assemble a burrito with motherfucking ZONES of ingredients going that direction, you create a disgusting experience for the burrito’s end user. When you make a burrito, you should put the ingredients in layers lengthwise. That way, every bite has AT LEAST A FUCKING CHANCE of getting at least two types of ingredients, and there is little chance of becoming almost hopelessly trapped in a goddamned cilantro cavern.
Have you ever eaten one of the things you make all fucking day? You should try one. They are pretty good WHEN YOU ARE NOT WILLING YOURSELF THROUGH THE FUCKING EMPIRE OF SOUR CREAM ONLY TO END UP IN LETTUCE COUNTRY.
When you eat a burrito, you don’t stand it up and bite down on it lengthwise like a fucking Rancor. Humans cannot usually dislocate their jaws, and I’m not a fucking pelican. But you must think that’s how it’s done, since that would be THE ONLY FUCKING WAY to take a bite of your crapstrosity and have it taste like a burrito and not a multi-stage rocket to the planet Fucking Disgustingupiter.
And guess what else, player? You probably can’t guess anything, because I’m pretty sure you’re just a mop with a hat on it that fell over and spilled some shit into a tortilla, but just in case, here’s what:
Humans also don’t eat burritos like fucking corn on the cob. Like a fucking typewriter from one end to the other a little at a time and then DING next line. But today I wish I had tried that. Because at least THEN I would be able to eat some rice, then beans, then be all like HEY BEANS I’LL BE RIGHT BACK JUST GOING OVER HERE TO THE GUACAMOLE FOR A SECOND.
My experience was more like HEY BEANS IT’S JUST GOING TO BE YOU AND I FOR A MINUTE UNTIL I CAN FUCKING EXCAVATE THE RICE FROM BENEATH YOU BUT BY THEN YOU WILL BE A FADING MEMORY OH HEY I WAS WRONG I’M IN THE FUCKING CHEESEOSPHERE NOW RICE MUST BE NEXT I HOPE IT’S NOT ANOTHER FUCKING SALSA POCKET.
You built this thing life a fucking pack of LifeSavers.
And don’t even fucking think I’m about to open this shit up and re-engineer this nonsense. I ALREADY PUT A HOLE IN IT WITH MY FUCKING MOUTH. YEAH. THAT’S HOW I DISCOVERED YOU FUCKING SUCK AT LOOKING AT THINGS. I AM NOT GOING TO DO FUCKING TORTILLA ORIGAMI TO GET THIS SHIT BACK TOGETHER.
You’re the worst thing that has ever happened to the universe, you owe everyone everywhere an apology for this burritobomination, and I hope your babies look like monkeys.
This restaurant was definitely before my time. The name may seem funny: Kentucky Beef? Look at their mascot: it’s Colonel Sanders. Look at what it says below: Kentucky Roast Beef? So wait a minute: Kentucky Fried Chicken had a roast beef subsidiary?
Apparently they did. While Kentucky Fried Chicken remains the leader in fast food chicken restaurants (although one can easily find much better), I was not aware that they got into the roast beef business, and why? They wanted to create a restaurant that was in direct competition with Arby’s, who started in 1964. As the Raffel Brothers were slowly branching out from their Ohio roots, the KFC people realized hey, we want to get into that too. After looking at the Arby’s Wiki page, I also learned something about their name. I always assumed that Arby’s, whose slogan at one point spelled out their name so that it would also say America’s Roast Beef: Yes Sir!, was a reference to them selling roast beef. Instead, it was a reference to Forrest and Leroy, the Raffel Brothers.
Kentucky Beef not only made roast beef sandwiches, but as you can see on the sign, they were into making ham sandwiches. Not sure if that was just ham and a bread (or biscuit) with cheese, or with some “fix-ins” on the side, but this did not exist in my world growing up. As for the photo, this was taken at its location in Bellevue, Washington (the Meydenbauer Center is in its place). The Kentucky Beef logo was similar to the KFC font of the 60’s and 70’s, but maybe it wasn’t so much that Arby’s were really that good, it was just that when it came to fast food, everyone had their preferences and a roast beef sandwich may have been “too much”. The business failed, and some Kentucky Beef restaurants would later be converted into KFC’s, until there was no trace of Kentucky Beef anywhere.
If the idea of having Kentucky Beef seemed odd, it seemed Colonel Sanders (or at least the company) wanted to get into the hospitality business. Yes, I am speaking of a Colonel Sanders Inn.
Recent news of Ikea wanting to open a chain of hotels in Europe may have seemed odd, but things like this has been happening for years, or at least the line between brand name, entertainer, and business merged. Comedian/actor Bill Cosby was one of the men behind the Tetragrammaton record label, comedian/actor Jerry Lewis had his own chain of movie theaters, and the Nintendo company of Japan, whose origins were always game-related (they started out making playing cards), once had love hotels. Maybe these love hotels are Mario’s true roots.
Nonetheless, Kentucky Beef is just a part of a huge line of ideas that became failures, although for a brief moment they each had a chance in becoming a success, big or small. I find them to be interesting, for while some of them may not be well documented, existing photos and information that is out there offers a glimpse of what was and could’ve been.
BOOK’S #FOODIE: Do they still sell De Beukelaer’s chocolate wafers? I used to love these as a kid, as it was one of my mom’s favorites. They are German and the wafer was essentially similar in taste to a Kit Kat, but one big wafer instead of it being four individual sticks coated in chocolate. The wrapper in the image above is older than the one I remember, but it was similar in size and dimension. They were sold in Honolulu, had the same brown and gold coloring, but with a different design/font scheme.
This corner store in Kalihi on the island of Oahu used to have the best Chocolate Soldier milk and the choice NeoGeo video games. While I am not from Kalihi, it seemed my dad had every other reason to head over there.
For those who don’t know, Kalihi is a neighborhood outside of Honolulu proper, but considered a part of Honolulu by everywhere else. The reason why my dad came here? Well, we can either talk about his interests, his taste in food, or the stereotypes. Let’s cover all three.
My dad was a car buff. My dad had friends everywhere, and Kalihi was no exception. If he needed to go look for his Filipino friends, no problem. He had to hunt down his Portagee buddy? No problem. People in Hawai’i love cars and love to fix cars, and if they’re not souping up their ride, they’re in the garage or at the junk yard looking for parts. Odd, considering that for the most part you can only drive around in circles. Then again, the same can be said for any city in the United States with car buffs.
As for the food, Kalihi is the spot for a lot of things. You have Gulick Delicatessen was mandatory for chow fun, hash patties, and all kinds of food that represented Kalihi’s plantation roots. Then you have the pastele shop just around the corner, and across the street from that, abd the awesome Tasty’s Chop Suey. There used to be Kam Bowl, the bowling alley that was also known for its great food too, very much Hawaiian style “comfort food”. Also, down the street you could go into another section called Kapalama where you can find the Kamehameha Bakery, Helena’s for Hawaiian food, and much more. As a kid, I also grew up with hearing the commercial about a hamburger place that was not McDonald’s. It was in a blue building with a blue logo and it was called (all together now) “Kenny’s…. at the Kam Shopping Center in Kalihi”. There was also a Kalihi’s diner in the same shopping center that was orange, and eating in there felt “classy”, which as a kid meant having to put my socks and shoes on. Then of course there was Tamashiro’s Fish Market, which everyone else but me hated because it was where everyoen bought fish. Being the pen and paper kid, I only went in to ask for change to buy a pen from the vending machine. My dad also loved Bob’s BBQ, and when my family returned home earlier this year, they discovered it was still there so they had lunch for themselves and in honor of my dad. Or watch the guy at the 2:27 mark who proudly says “Kalihi is also the capitol of food.” Indeed.
Stereotypes? I call Pauoa home, which some have given the nickname “Portageeville” for its healthy population of Portuguese residents. Kalihi has been everything from “broke” to “poho”, “run-down” and I’m sure people now use the word “ghetto”, but there are also those who will tell you that Kalihi is Filipino central. However, you can also go to Waipahu and call that Filipino central. I am certain there are parts of Kaimuki that are Filipino central. Hell, I loved in Portageeville and every time I walked past a small cluster of homes a few yards away from Kamamalu corner store, I was in Filipino central. There’s the saying “you hear roosters or chickens? Filipinos must be nearby. By 9am, you no hear chicken? Going be chicken adobo tonight.” I’m part Filipino as well, so no cries of racism.
As for that corner store, my uncle lived in an apartment right around the corner. We stayed there one year when my family and I came back home, and my uncle told me “this is where the Filipinos are, so you goin’ hear da bok bok bok in the morning” and sure enough, once the sun came up, that was your alarm. There were chicken coops everywhere, but if someone decided to open it up and let them loose, you never knew where the chickens would be. They might be down the street, heading to the corner store to play NeoGeo, or they might be right out the window. It was time to “wash face, brush teeth, find breakfast, and go.” It wasn’t the best of conditions, but it was family, it was free, and it was still home.