Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In Austin and Liking it

This was one of the most physically and emotionally challenging moves that we've ever been through.  Physically because we had to move a sofa bed, among other things, to a second floor apartment by ourselves.  Brad did most of the work.  I had no will power and hated every second of it.  

It did't help that we were both completely drained emotionally.  Let's get something straight.  I didn't decide to put my dog down because we were moving to the second floor.  The second floor was simply the catalyst that forced me to stop ignoring how badly he had degraded over the last year.  I can't count how many times I cried last week.  Slim and I had been together since I was 19 years old, and he had seen every major milestone in my life.  Now, here we were, about to embark on a new journey in life and he wasn't going to be there.  We said our goodbyes and I laid him to rest at my Dad's place next to our favorite horse.  He is still missed.

In order to get here we also had to let go of our house.  Technically, I guess we didn't have to, but we did not want to be landlords again and we outgrew it a long time ago.  Old houses are special.  You become a small part of it's long history.  And when you work to restore it with your own blood, sweat, and tears, it makes the house that much more special to you and that much more difficult to let it go.

We're here now!  It took a lot out of us, but we made it.  We're mostly unpacked and settled and getting into our new routines.  My daughter started at her new school and loved it.  She says that she already has lots of new friends, although she can't remember any of their names.  Brad and I are having a field day with the unlimited food options.  Yesterday we had Greek for lunch and Peruvian for dinner!  I used the workout center on Monday night.  I don't mind apartment living at all and so far we have used every amenity available.  Pool (two of them actually), gym, movie theater, dog park... I live on a resort!  Last night I went on a tech free run around the neighborhood.  I went down the street, then under the street on a green belt trail that goes into the community I've pegged as the one where I want to buy a house.  It was fantastic.  It felt like I was back on the greenway in Charlotte.  There really are some places that are more difficult to run around, and Celina was one of those places.  No sidewalks, narrow highways, and a community of drivers who weren't keen on sharing the road.

I also went to the Hot sauce festival on Sunday.  This stuff is going on all the time in Austin!  And things are definitely weird.  I think my family is going to fit in nicely.

-Hugh Jass

Friday, July 15, 2011

Diamond in the rough

 Today's lunch was at one of our favorite places here in Charlotte, Diamond Resturant.  It is owned and ran by the same people who gave "The Penguin" the cult following that it has.  So for all of you who have no idea what I am talking about let me give you some back ground.

"The Penguin" is a local dive burger joint that has been a Charlotte icon for lots of people for 10 years.  The people that started it split up and took on the Diamond Restaurant.  The menu mixes Southern classics with a mix of multiple other cuisines.  The Penguin was featured on Diners Drive ins and

Diamond Restaurant took the favorites from "The Penguin" and added alot more to there menu.

 I was looking forward to gettin some grub, Braden was super excited, can't you tell???

 I love the decor and the condiments on each table take me back to eatin with my grandparents when I was small in little diners.

 Alecia and Alaurie were both ready to have some good home cookin.
I love the fact that the big hot sauce here is called Texas Pete's, and I am a Texan and have never heard of the stuff.

I got the fried oysters, french fries, vinegar slaw and hush puppies.

They were awesome, lightly breaded and they still had lots of flavor.  You could taste the fresh cracked black pepper and corn mill in the breading.   The vinegar slaw is simple and delicious.  It is basically shredded cabbage soaked in apple cider vinegar. The fry's are simple but hand cut and perfect. the hush puppies remind me of my grandma's.   I filled up but it did not weigh me down like fried foods tend to do.

Braden and Alaurie had some spaghetti.  They loved it and  licked there plates clean.

Alecia had the Salmon sandwich, sweet potato fries and vinegar slaw.

Once again simple preparation with great ingredients well put together.  She loves there sweet potato fries, they are crisp and flavorful.  You can really tell that they take there time and put alot into the preparation of these dishes.

Alaurie never eats well at restaurants so the fact the she attacked her food until it was all gone, says alot about how good it is.

I savored every bite as you can tell.

Alecia was eatin here fries two at a time she was lovin them so much.

Then at the very end, since the kids were so well behaved and eat all of there food with no fuss (that is a victory in it's self) we got them some velvet bunt cake for desert.  It was light and airy, but full or flavor without being too sweet.  The icing was nice and creamy and slightly sweet. 

All in all a amazing lunch, If you come and visit us in Charlotte we will definatly take you there.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back and ready for action

Hello all, It has been a while since my last post.  I am back and in full summer swing ready to cook up some great summer creations and do some entertaining. Since the inside of our house is laid out a little strange and since we have a great back yard, we have opted to set up outside with some new duds to enjoy the space.

The next area that we enjoy, and will hopefully be adding to my list of fresh ingredients for recipes is my small garden and fresh herbs.

Just starting to get my crop of cucumbers for salads and pickles.  I cant wait to start eating them.

Alecia loves her lemon-balm for making her own tea.

This would be my freakishly tall collard green plant.  I have to trim it down and see if it will start producing  big leaves again.  For now I have a collard tree.

Also this year we are planting alot more flowers in the yard to enjoy.

I have some pumkin plants that have shot up from last years crop that I guess left some seeds behind.

For know I am working to get things set up where I can get back to cooking and playing around with recipes.  I have been working on my hummus and pita bread and this weekend will be brisket for the first time in the new smoker. That's all for now.



Monday, February 28, 2011

Good bye roaring 20's, Hello 30 something.........

Holy crap I can not believe I have blown through my 20's already. When I look back it seems like it flew by and it seems like the last decade was super long.  I could not be more proud of my major achievement in my almost 30 years.  That is finding the most amazing woman in the world and starting our amazing family.  There have been lots of up's and down's over the last 10 years, and she has been by my side the entire time.  I love my life and would not trade it for anyone else' s in the world.

       To elaborate a little on my best friend and the mother of my children, I would like to recognize the things that make her  the amazing woman that she is.  First and foremost, she is a fabulous mother to our children.  I am amazed everyday at how she can take care of two kids, a house, and still work out/run and still have the energy to put up with me.  On our journey here to North Carolina I would have never made it with out her love and support.  She is so true to herself and ensuring that she is a unique person. I know that our children will be well rounded and amazing people just because of her.


      So after a great weekend I have the next three days off to enjoy with my amazing family and maybe cook some great stuff.  A special thanks to my mom and dad for all of the crap that they put up with as I grew up.  Who else could deal with a son who gets his truck stuck in a plowed field on Christmas and then totals another truck on Thanks giving. I know that your positive influence and the fact that I have a great extended family who was always there for me is the only thing that got me through all of the crazy times.  And then there is my big sister......What to say about my big sister?????  She is always there for me when I need advise (like if I get mom anything other than a gift card for Christmas she won't like it) and reminisce on the good times and the bad.  Like the women in my life (my wife, mom, sister and grandmothers) she is a strong willed and very talented person who helps round out what I call my life.

I am a very lucky man in every aspect of my life.  I can't wait to get back to Texas and surround myself with the other people I love.

Here is to my next 30 years, may they all be spent as well as the first 30

Stay Hungry