Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Let's Compare Generations

 On this election day, we have endured countless and nauseating political advertisements, riots in our streets, unending rhetoric from politicians who proclaim to work for the common good and people, yet smirk and disregard what is needed from the ground up for all American's, legislating for the will of the few rather than the will of the many, unending and false accusations that have utter divided our country, glorifying and justifying relentless flag burning and hatred for those who love this country, tearing down our past so that future generations will have difficulty understand and correcting our mistakes in the future, limiting and preventing freedom of speech solely for ones party affiliation, allowing the poor and underemployed to fend for themselves while our government prevents help purely for partisan reasons and so much more.

Because of these antics, we have only enabled and allowed this generation to continue on with this bad behavior without repercussions and the understanding of how to cope with that which makes us stronger and grow as an adult. This generation, I fear, will never grow up and learn how to cope with struggles, hardships and that which butts heads with our ideals. We teach our children to accept that which we cannot change as well as coping with outcomes that we don't agree with. Many of this generations youths do not know the meaning of complacency or acceptance. Let's put this into perspective from one generation to another and maybe we can all sit back and pull our big boy pants up or understand that the world does NOT evolve around us.

If you were born, for example, between 1905-1910 and lived a normal lifespan of 85-90 years old, as many of our great grandparents and grandparents did, you.....

-Lived through the devastating WWI, the War to End all Wars. When you were a child, the talk at the supper table, schools and on the street scared you to death from 1914-1918.

All the while hearing about about 5 million of your loved ones and fellow American's being drafted and dying on the front lines. You were scared, yet you endured and made it!

-Lived through the troubling Spanish Flu a year later in 1918 and lasting for 2 years. 

With over a third of the earth's population infected and almost 700,000 dying in America alone. You were scared, yet you endured and made it!

-Nine years later, the great Depression hit close to home...literally! Food was scarce, money non existent and jobs vanished(along with your families assets).

Lasting 10 years, your family was scared, yet you endured and made it!

-When the Depression subsided and your parents(or you if an adult)pulled yourselves up by the boot straps, WWII began. Your family, again, was called to their patriotic duty and fought for your rights and ability to feed yourself. Over a million of your friends and family were either maimed or killed during this conflict. And if that wasn't enough, you found out that over 10 million of your Jewish "family" was killed just because they threatened German ideals. You were scared,  yet you endured and made it!

-Now that you are in your 40s, a whole new 'war' broke out, the Cold War. For decades, culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis, you thought that any minute, the "Reds" were going to land on our shores and take over our country. And the possibility was all too real. We did indeed come within days of beginning a global, and catastrophic, ending to life as we were accustomed. Our fears were fueled by accusations and witch hunts that were baseless and only sought to input fear into our minds by Sen. McCarthy. You were scared, yet you endured and made it!

-Now in your 50s, you watch as your children or grandchildren are scared to death as they learn a new 'game' at school. The Duck and Cover.

These children could remove themselves from the television and family talk about the "Reds" but now this same fear rearing its ugly head at school. They were taught how to survive a nuclear attack by shielding themselves underneath their school desks! You were scared for them and yourself, yet you endured and made it!

-Now in your late 50s and the Korean Conflict breaks out and we involve ourselves in 1950. About 100,000 of our American family were wounded and almost 50,000 died. You were scared yet you endured and made it!

-Getting ready to relax for your golden years, the Vietnam War breaks out and you are worried for your loved ones once again.

For the next 10 years, you would lose almost 60,000 of your friends, family and neighbors during this conflict, and it scared you. Yet you endured and made it!

-Inching closer to finally being able to stash away some money for retirement, the recession hits close to home, preceded by the stock market crash of 1973. You couldn't get out to buy gas because of the oil crisis and the economic boom from the last World War came to a screeching halt. You many not have been scared but you endured and made it!

-The Cold War of the early 80s brought back that feeling from the 60s. Constantly worried that communist Soviet Union would launch a fearsome ICBM right into your back yard had you devouring news as soon as it became available. This threat was real and daily and we were reminded of just how powerful another land was on earth and if we didn't mind our p's and q's, an all out conflict was inevitable. Yet we endured and made it!

-Now fully retired and having learned to deal with that which you cannot change, the Gulf War begins in 1990. Being able to watch every move of our troops on television in real time only fueled your anxiety and fear but as you had done throughout your entire life, you endured and made it!

    So the next time you feel a need to run  to your safe room because you are made at someone or lost an election, feel the need to destroy someone else's property because you did not agree with a decision or you find the need to grab your support iguana in order to cope with an obstacle, remember how your grandparents and great grandparents were able to cope in order to function daily, eat, sleep and exist to the best of their ability. How do you think they would view the way you are acting when you can't handle something that you don't agree with....or that scares you?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A Couple More Weeks....

 (I must preface this post by assuring you that all links are perfectly safe to click on. It just sends you to the particular business and Holiday so you can see for yourself who and what I am speaking of).

     I have 2 great events coming up in the next few weeks that I would love to invite everyone to. The first one will be at the Levant Landscaping and Construction. Every year, they put out the best variety of mums and fall flowers anywhere.

On top of that, they have a huge selection of produce and Maine made gifts, crafts and edibles that are simply the best as well. Another line they have(now here is my own plug)is The Yankee Chef's line of fall treats. And I do mean treats. From apple, pumpkin chiffon and blueberry pies to pumpkin spice bread, old fashioned apple pie bread pudding and pumpkin caramel bread pudding, decorative and unique caramel apples, spiced candied apples with unique coatings and flavors(starting with watermelon, raspberry and grape in October), unique popcorn balls in October and German Apple Cake....and a few more.

To honor my National Fall Foliage Week, I will be giving away full sized Apple Crisp desserts for ANY purchase at all. It will be on Saturday, October 3, from 11-3 and only last until I run out. And even then, I will most likely dip into a pie or other dessert and start serving away.

You can purchase just one cucumber and be able to get a crisp. Buy a caramel apple, and get a crisp. By a stick of gum from the owner and I will dish you up a bowl of apple crisp. But even if you simply come in off the street and do not buy a thing, I am not going to say no to at least a sample portion...but I never NOT give away the farm at events like this.

So I truly urge you all to pop over and take home the fullest mum around(they have 1000's o them to choose from) or even a pansy and then pop over to my table, say hi while I am dishing you up a treat. If you like it, you can buy your own pan of it. If you don't like it....well, I never thought about that actually.

     My second even is with a very dear friend and relative of mine, Bob Craft. For those of you who don't know him, he owns the Orono IGA and Calais IGA(both in Maine). He has been with me since the very beginning but I really should say I have been with him since MY beginning.

He has been a staunch supporter of mine since the day we met a few years ago and has been quite an influence on my 9 year old son as well. So anyone who treats my son like family deserves my attention and respect.

Anyway, I will be in Calais, Maine IGA a week later, Saturday, October 10, from 12-4 dishing up a free hot sundae to everyone. I have a line of products in Bob's stores called It's Just That Simple. They are very popular in his stores and it is a treat to go up to my(and Bob's)ancestral stomping grounds to meet people and dole up something free as well. I always have a great time and the folks at the store are like family as well. He does an amazing job hiring only those who are personable and down home oriented.

So remember both dates and I really hope to see family and friends at one or both events. There is NOTHING more I like than to chat like a Yankee, a true Yankee!

Saturday, July 11, 2020


I have just begun to notice that I do not write much about my homelife, thinking instead of business, business, business. And I don't think that is what a blog is meant for.  I notice most people talk about more personal things on blogs and leave the business to their websites. So I think I WILL follow suit and begin pushing my website, theyankeechef.com, for cooking and use my blog for passionate endeavors and other, more intimate details. For example, many of you may be aware that my son and I spent days and days digging up the ground for a 21 foot pool.

 And to top it off, instead of having sand trucked in for the floor(under the mat), we decided to sift every bit of sand we dug and use it for coving as well.

Everything worked out perfectly, plus I saved a ton of money. A little hard work never hurt anyone.


Now on top of that, my family and I took our yearly pilgrimage to Topsfield to 'say hi' to our ancestors and what a beautiful scene we came to when we went to Thomas Bailey's grave.  Above, find the headstone of Thomas BAiley and his father Josiah of whom my book was relentlessly written. While on our way to Topsfield, we decided to FINALLY take a picture of my son Nathaniel(named after Josiah's father and founder of Baileyville, Nathaniel Bailey) with my grand daughter Aviana at 3 generations of Baileys buried in Lincoln, namely my Dad Jack, his father Samuel and his father Jesse, along with Jesse's wife Alice and my dear Uncle Val.

And speaking of graves, I am elated that my other son Thomas is the first one to say yes when I ask him to do something special for someone else. A longtime friend of mine living in Topsfield was looking for someone to clean her mothers headstone in the next town over from where I live and she offered a pile of rhubarb in consideration for me doing her a favor. Rhubarb?!?! Ahh....that was a no brainah'. Thomas even jumped at the chance of helping someone. Plus what a great learning experience for him.

And last but certainly not least is our down time.
With a youngin' to keep wet and cool this summer in Maine, Aviana and her mom Jessica(along with Thomas and I) went to the splash pad in Bangor and Aviana met her great aunt Diana for the first time along with a cousin, Lindsay.
Boy does Aviana have a huge family to get to know. A whole slew of cousins just itching to play.

Friday, May 22, 2020

My 'New' Family

It has been a few years, but finally have things worked out with my oldest boy, Nathaniel. We haven't been in touch over the past few  years because of an issue I HOPE we have worked out. And it was a shame that so long had passed too, but onward and upward I hope. He and his girlfriend, Jessica, have a little girl named Aviana. And she loves to be outside just much as the rest of us. Nathaniel and Jessica bought bikes and a tag along to put her in so she can enjoy bike rides around town.
I am glad to see Nathaniel following in his ancestors footsteps cooking in the kitchen at a local restaurant but I am still holding out hope that before summer is over, we will have our own place so we can make it a family affair just as I had the privilege of my fathers wisdom in the kitchen.
I distinctly remember my Dad offering me an opportunity of going to culinary school but I decided against it because there was absolutely no way on God's green earth that I could have learned anymore at an institution than by my Dads side since the age of 14.
As for what I want to be called as Aviana grows up? Well, one thing is for certain, Grandpa is not going to be it. I much prefer either "Poppy" or "pa pere". I am leaning toward pa pere because it is significant to me that we keep alove our French heritage as long as possible. My great grandmother was pure French and besides, pa pere sounds a whole lot less.....aged.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

My Son's First Blog

It is so nice to see the art of the violin continuing on in the family. My daughter started it when she was younger but as with most children learning the violin(*me included), it doesn't take much to lose interest. I did for many years at the same age so keeping fingers crossed that Thomas won't lose too much interest. I think the key is NOT pushing. My Dad pushed me but it was a two way street. I was not interested in playing for a while because I think I was forced to practice, which didn't make it fun anymore.
So with Thomas, I am going to take it slow, give him plenty of space to choose what to practice and when for the most part and simply make it as enjoyable as I can.
Having said that, here is a  link to his first official post of his progression on his own blog.


Friday, February 14, 2020

Why Do Ghosts Wear Clothes

   My latest book is truly a work of fun. I wanted to take a break from research, cooking and being serious and focus on some topics that capture your imagination and get you thinking. This book does that and then some.

   I also wanted to finally solve a topic that many in the religious community think don't belong together. And that is the relationship between the Bible and God in particular and other beings that may be or may not exist that are not of this earth. Many people will say that if there were other beings in the universe, then God would have said so in the Bible. This  is not the case, and i explain it in the book. 

 Here is the paperback version. The ebook version is below.

   I also have little known mysteries, enigmas and events that cannot be explained by believers and skeptics alike. I tried to bring you 'riddles' that even the harshest critic cannot explain away, or at least if they try to, the story is far more believable than what the skeptic an assert.

   I have given you over 100 just such cases from telekinetic powers, UFOs, ghosts, teleportations and simply a whole host of weird things that will really have you scratching your head.
So have fun and I think you will thoroughly enjoy reading this book. I know, I know. I told you last time I was going to write a fiction, but I wanted just one more book under my belt before I dive into those waters.

   Now here is the link and picture of the same book, but as an ebook. I need to explain that you will notice that each has a different cover and title. This ebook I had to change the title slightly because someone else wrote an ebook a few years back with the same title, so I changed it up a little. It is the same exact book though.

   I have to add one more thing to this post that makes me super excited. My youngest, Thomas, has decided to pick up the violin now. So I went to my friend Rob at RDL Strings in Bangor and got him his first REAL violin, a full size that will last him the rest of his life. Anyway, he was tickled pink, as my Dad would say, when he got it a couple days ago. Now to hopefully keep him interested, He is the last of my children that can keep the fiddle playing going for the fourth generation. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, January 10, 2020

A 400 Year Old Fart

Well, that got your attention, didn't it? And I am not kidding when I tell you I am going to GIVE you a recipe for a fart that IS 400 plus years old! Let me tell you, though, about what is the most inconceivable and odd "mistake" that has been kept as such, regardless of the connotation.
The reason for this post to begin with is because I celebrated my birthday yesterday and there was ONLY one thing I wanted, being a simple Yankee. While most of you will cling to a classy meal as something that stands out above the rest or you simply like to 'brag' about your Pan Seared Goose Foie Gras with a Balsamic Reduction on Crisp Citrus Watercress......what brings me to a culinarily fulfillment is enjoying a meal that my father or grandparents made every Saturday night. Not only was it satisfying in every sense, but to this day, it stands out above any meal I have ever had. Last night I had Baked Beans(from a recipe of my fathers), brown bread, cole slaw, potato salad, a slab of grilled, REAL, ham(for those of you who may think it a Swamp Yankee and beneath you, then you can say pan seared)and true Indian Pudding. So need I say more as to the intent of this post now?

On November 7, 1480, Martin Rodkyns received an order from the ship Sanctus Spiritus, owned by John Stephyns. There was sugar, honey, wood and cork.

                                           And Marin received...4000 farts of Portugal.

Thinking this may have been a type by the author of this cookbook, I began my research. Nope! It truly was called a Fart!

In a cookbook printed in England called A book of cookrye. Very necessary for all such as delight therin, 1591, there is a receipt(recipe)for Farts of Portingale:

"Take a quart of life Honey and set it upon the fire and when it seetheth scum it clean, and then put in a certaine of fine Biskets well serced, and some pouder of Cloves, some Ginger, and powder of sinamon, Annis seeds and some Sugar, and let all these be well stirred upon the fire, til it be as thicke as you thinke needfull, and for the paste for them take Flower as finelye dressed as may be, and a good peece of sweet Butter, and woorke all these same well togither, and not knead it."

Three years later, another English cookbook called Good Husewife's Handmaide for the Kitchin, 1594, there is a recipe called Farts of Portingale.

"Take a peece of a leg of Mutton, mince it smal and seasopn it with cloues, mace pepper and salt, and dates minced with currans: then roll it into round rolles, and so into little balles, and so boyle them in a little beefe broth and so serue them foorth."

But I will say that in all likeliness, the word Fart started out as a typo somewhere along the lines and, although crude, the name stuck.

Today, sadly(I think), there is only one fart that anyone makes anymore and they are Nuns Farts. Yup, these Canadian original, cinnamon-like pastries are actually called Pet de Soeur, translated as sisters(Nuns) Fart. One day I will make them because they are simply a flaky pie crust cut into long strips, coiled as you would a cinnamon roll and baked. Once out of the oven,you drizzle a mixture of melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Here is a GREAT recipe from my friends at https://www.recettes.qc.ca/recettes/recette/pets-de-soeur

 Its funny to read about so many Canadian Food Historians trying to find out why these are called farts. One saying because a Nun farted in a kitchen when they were making them one day, making the other Nun laugh so hard she accidentally dropped her rolled up pie crust in hot oil. Of course this is foolish not only because of the question why was she rolling pie crust to begin with, but we have the original recipe for Farts, which is a dough.

Heck, even Mozart lamented on Farts when he wrote to his mother in Mannheim:

"Madame Mutter!
I like to eat Butter.
We are, Thank the Lord,
Healthy and never bored.
Our trip is bright and sunny.
Though we haven't any money;
We enjoy the company we keep,
We are not sick, we do not weep.
Of course, the people I see
Have much in their bellies, just like me,
But they will let it out with a whine,
either before or after they dine.
There's a lot of farting during the night..."

....wait! Wrong kind of Fart..sorry about that!

To end this post, I DID make a fart, and here it is. Was simple a meatball simmered in beef broth. So go ahead and make you favorite meatball and simmer it in broth until if floats. Cover it with gravy or demi-glace as I did and have at it.