Tag Archives: Cooking


I’m a lot of things — writer, biker, geek, handyman, and all around good guy. (This is where the light glimmers off my shiney whites.)

But one thing I am not is a cook. Oh, I can open a can of beans with the best of them. I toast a mean bagel and I can even work my way around a grill turning a porterhouse into a meal instead of shoe leather.

But to work my way around a kitchen, slicing and dicing, food prep, sauteing and such. That’s not me. I’m doing good to boil water.

Yesterday I thought I might try my hand at cooking scallops. Growing up along the South Carolina coast I was raised on seafood and hush puppies. (If you are quite unsure what a Hush Puppy is, go here.)

You see, I’m on this diet and I have to have simple meals that includes seafood high in protein and low in calorie. Trust me when I say I love Scallops and was pretty much certain I would screw them up. By the end of it I would have something akin to golf balls except without the bouncy dimpled texture.

But I was willing to risk it.

With the diet I couldn’t cook it in oil or butter so I was handicapped out of the gate. I sprayed the pan with a good coating of cooking spray, turned the flame on slightly above low. (My biggest fear was burning the outside and under-cooking the inside.)

I had nine medium to large scallops, thawed and ready to cook. Once the pan had warmed I placed them all in the center in a tic-tac-toe pattern.  A little garlic salt and some black pepper and away we go. After about 4 minutes or so, I turned the scallops over and gave them a nice cook on the other side for another 4-5 minutes.

I can sum this up with three words… Oh Em Gee!

These were so good. Cooked to perfection.

So with the salad (picante sauce for dressing), scallops, and a peach, my lunch amounted to around 150 calories.

I’ve actually been surprised how much you can eat with a low calorie diet.

I don’t miss potatoes… I swear I don’t. No really… I don’t.


Fruit Cake gets a bad rap

Fruit cake is a holiday desert, loved by few – despised by many. In its various shapes, sizes, ingredients and texture, the fruit cake has become more than a Christmas desert. It is the brunt of jokes in family circles and vilified by comedians coast to coast.  Johnny Carson joked that there really is only one fruitcake in the world, passed from family to family.

Speaking of The Tonight Show, we have Jay Leno to thank for introducing us to the Fruitcake Lady, Ms. Marie Rudisill from Monroeville, Alabama.


I’ve been seeing this outrageous personality for years. A little known fact: She is Truman Capote’s aunt. His mother was her older sister.

Speaking of Aunts, one of mine used to send me a fruitcake every year for Christmas. I am one of those odd human beings that actually likes good fruitcake.  Anyway, the annual fruitcake would show up every year the week before Christmas. You practically needed a fork truck to move this thing around. My concern with this desert was not its weight, but its proof.  You see I think she started the liquor soaking in August so that it would be all ready to go out before Christmas.  My friends would say, “Why don’t you slice me off a sip of that fruitcake.” I’m surprised the ‘Revenuers’ weren’t showing up looking to tax this thing.  Anyway, I figured out I had an allergy to alcohol and had to ask my aunt to stop sending the annual fruitcake.  I still get a bit weepy when I think of having to do that.

At times I’ve been compared to a fruit cake, as in: “nuttier than”

Reality is like a fruitcake; pretty enough to look at but with all sorts of nasty things lurking just beneath the surface. ~A. Lee Martinez