Dad, Church and Our Sunday Morning Breakfast Table

breakfast 768 blog

Honoring All Dads on Father’s Day

For me, Father’s Day is a special day, not only was I lucky enough to work alongside my Dad and learn the ins and outs of the business, I also got to experience a very special tradition growing up, Sunday Morning Breakfast. In our house, Sundays were all about family time. We rose early, all went to church (a topic for another post…18 in our family), and then returned home for a big breakfast. Dad would run the stove and cook all our favorites: eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage gravy, pierogis, crepes, and my personal favorite, ground meat on toast. Breakfast seemed like it lasted for hours, as my brothers and sisters and I could eat and eat! We laughed, poked and joked together, telling our tales and events of the week, as my Dad held court watching over us. I remember how proud he would be watching us all spend time together just being one big crazy family and I have been blessed to be able to carry on this tradition with my daughters as well.

This Father’s Day, enjoy time with your family, and if the kids are around, cook ‘em breakfast and let the magic of being Dad, and family, happen in your house.



KHT Heat Style Slow Cooked Ribs

A job worth doing is worth doing well. Especially if it’s a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job!

ribs blog 768

At Kowalski Heat Treating, there’s two things we love –  thermal processing and great food.  And for me there’s simply nothing as tasty two step char-grilled ribs.  The secret, like many of the jobs we have here, is slow cookin’.  Here’s a recipe we love.  It’s a bit of work – what you may consider a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job – but believe me, well worth it.  Serve with potato salad and a cold beverage like lemonade or your favorite Cleveland-based Great Lakes beer.

Give ’em a try, and then send me a note or call me on Monday and let me know how they turned out. And if you have a favorite barbecue sauce, please pass it along.


Servings: 8

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 pounds baby back pork ribs (8 racks) or St. Louis-style spareribs (4 racks)
  • Low-salt chicken broth (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade barbecue sauce (try ketchup, few tablespoons of honey, Franks Hot Sauce and a good splash of Italian Salad Dressing


Prep: 20 min total: 2½ – 3½ hrs

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil; generously sprinkle rub all over ribs. Wrap each racks individually and place on baking sheets – ok to use more than one sheet.
  • Bake the ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours for baby backs and 3 hours for spareribs. Carefully unwrap ribs; pour any juices from foil into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup; reserve juices. Let ribs cool completely. DO AHEAD: Ribs can be baked up to 3 days ahead (the flavor will be more developed, and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through). Cover and chill juices. Rewrap ribs in foil and chill.
  • Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Add broth or water to rib juices, if needed, to measure 1 1/2 cups. Whisk in barbecue sauce to blend.
  • Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce.



What Is Your Quest?

Sharing Our 40th Year Anniversary with Monty Python and the Holy Grail

monty python art 768 blog

Forty years ago, dad had a simple vision. Seizing on his belief that a small group of hard working men and women could provide a new level of heat treating innovation, science and service to northeast Ohio manufacturers, he set out on a new quest, something “completely different”, launching his own company focused on solving customer problems. Today, Kowalski Heat Treating continues this tradition by continuing to provide innovation and problem solving for our customers PIA (Pain in the @$%) Jobs!

Also in 1975, a small team of British comedians decided to “try something different” by launching their second feature length movie, based on their surreal BBC comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, written and performed by its members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. The movie was called, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and launched the zany comedy troupe in the US. Loosely structured around King Arthur’s court, but with a silly approach, it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in comedy and movies.

How many of you remember the scenes – Knight’s riding on imaginary horses, throwing a cow over the castle wall, the Knight’s of Ni, the airspeed velocity of a ….. (you know!), the Holy Hand Grenade and the forever famous Black Knight. Monty Python went on to write and produce numerous ground breaking shows, movies and comedy sketches.

For fun, leave me a voice message at 216-631-4411 and tell me your favorite Monty Python character/skit/movie line or scene – I’ll listen to all of them, and award a few winners a brand new KHT “Holy Grail” Coffee Mug.




A Toast to Charles Strite!

toaster art 768 blog

As you know, heat treating is near and dear to our hearts here at KHT. Everyday we strive to “make history” with our efficiency, consistency, performance and reliability, never taking for granted any one of our customers or customer’s jobs.

Well, nearly 100 years ago, a gentleman named Charles Strite also contributed to heat treating history, by patenting something we’ve come to rely on each morning – the pop-up toaster. (Filed for U.S. patent on May 29, 1919. Patent #1,394,450 was granted on October 18, 1921 for the pop-up bread toaster)

He hated that the toast in the cafeteria of the plant where he worked was always burned because it required a busy human to keep an eye on it. So he took on this PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job and figured out a way to automate the toasting process so it wouldn’t burn.

Before the electric toaster, sliced bread was toasted by placing it in a metal frame or on a toasting fork and held over a fire or kitchen grill. The first electric toaster was actually invented in Scotland in 1893. It was a crude device known as the Eclipse. It still relied on users to end the toasting process and was not very fire safe.

So, while some tried to flip the bread, it was Mr. Strite who invented the automatic pop-up toaster. History shows many innovations since – dual sided toasting, wider slots, auto-drop feeds, and numerous interior and exterior material innovations.

This weekend, make yourself some toast and thank crafty Mr. Strite for tackeling this PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job. Oh, and try one of my favorite toppings – honey. Yum!




The day of hot dogs, tears and flags.

flag background 768 blog

Memorial Day. A day to remember why we get this day off. A day to remember that freedom is not free. It must be protected, nurtured and respected. So enjoy this day off. Have a hot dog. And give thoughts, even prayers to your countrymen & women who are serving in our military, have served and who have given up their lives to make freedom mean something uniquely American. God bless. See you next week.



Tech it out!

certificate 560 email

We are proud to announce our continued ISO 9001 Certification. Each and every one of us at KHT values your business and we hope you understand that this certification represents our dedication to you within every process, procedure and action we take.

Here are the eight main business principles we strive to exceed:

• Customer focus
• Leadership
• Involvement of people
• Process approach
• System approach to management
• Continual improvement
• Factual approach to decision making
• Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

We want you to know that it’s not just about performing tasks to conform to the ISO 9001. It’s about performing every task for the mutual good of our businesses. Yours and ours. Simply put, it’s a culture thing here at KHT. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.

— Steve



We All “Deserve A Break Today”

Big_Mac 768 blog

McDonald’s. Still one of my favorite places to eat.

It’s hard to image “micky dees” started 75 years ago today as a single restaurant and has grown to become the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants (70 million customers a day in 119 countries across more than 35,000 outlets) – WOW. Coming from a family of 18 (I’ll save that for another post), as a kid, going to McDonald’s was a big deal – my own burger, fries and a drink.

Founded by the McDonald brothers Richard and Maurice, McDonals’s started out selling hotdogs, and then converted to a simple barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, CA. It became “McDonaldized” in 1948, and then franchised by the famous Ray Kroc. Ray had a simple vision applying production line thinking to the business – quality materials in – quality finished products (and happy customers) out.

As a businessman, I really appreciate the core of their business – consistency (something very near and dear to us here at KHT) and their guiding principles (QSC – Quality, Service and Cleanliness). When I get the urge for a Big Mac and fries, no matter where I am, I can almost taste the food, and know it’s going to be good – (I’m still hooked on the fries).

At Kowalski Heat Treating, we strive every day to meet your requirements and to delight our customers – and we love it when you return again and allow us to apply our knowledge and skill to your never ending PIA (pain in the @%$) jobs. My guys take great pride in delivering for you, load after load.

40 years ago, my dad, Robert Kowalski, had a vision – to provide top quality heat treating to area customers and help them grow their businesses. His principles are still with us today – honesty, family, hard work, integrity, quality, and faith. And as we celebrate our anniversary this year, we in a way salute the McDonald brothers in their vision.

So next time you are in the area, swing by, and we’ll go treat ourselves at McDonald’s – as I’m sure you deserve a break too. And just for fun, call my voicemail at (216-641-4411) and sing me your best rendition of the Big Mac jingle – I’ll pick my favorites and send you one of our brand spankin’ new KHT coffee mugs.



Do You Like Ice Cream?

ice cream close-up 768 BLOG

Yea, Me, Too!

Most of you know eating is one of my favorite pastimes. And afterwards, there’s nothing like ice cream … unless of course there’s also pie, or cake, or cookies … But I’m talking ice cream now.

For my tech/info gang, here’s some specs we uncovered:


  • US industrial production of ice cream begun in 1851 in Boston, MA.
  • The largest consumption of ice cream is here in the states, where one average person consumes 48 pints of ice cream per year.
  • The most popular flavor of ice cream is of course vanilla, followed by chocolates, strawberry, cookies n’ cream.
  • Ice cream cones were invented during 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, when large demand forced ice cream vendor to find help from nearby waffle vendor. (PIA Job for sure) – Together they made history.
  • Over her entire lifetime, one daily cow can produce enough milk for 9,000 gallons of ice cream – it takes 12 gallons of milk to create one gallon of ice cream.
  • Historians remember that Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) loved to eat snow flavored with nectar and honey.
  • One average sized cone of ice cream can be finished off in 50 licks.
  • California is the larger producer of ice cream in United States. During 2003 they alone made 121 million gallons of this cold treat.
  • Ice cream “Brain Freeze” effect is triggered when cold ice touches the roof of your mouth, which causes blood vessels in the head to dilate.
  • End of the World War II was celebrated by eating ice cream.
  • Biggest ice cream sundae (24tons) was created in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1988.
  • There is 273 calories in one cup of vanilla ice cream. (ok engineers – about 30K per year – plus or minus the syrup & nuts)
  • Ice cream can be made in many types – ordinary ice cream, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, reduced-fat ice cream, sherbet, gelato, and others.

KHT OFFER:  Email me your love of ice cream – I’ll pick “my favorites” (just like I do at the counter) and send out Mitchell’s gift certificates.

Find more info at




Hey, Guess who turns 40 this year!

Well, besides KHT.

Erno Rubik & cube

Erno Rubik and His Invention. Photoshop magic by Unknown

Good guess!

As you know, we’ve been all about problem solving for 40 years here at KHT, especially your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs. And as it happens one of my favorite toys also shares our 40 year anniversary – the Rubik’s Cube.

In the mid-1970s, Ernő Rubik worked at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest. Although it is widely reported that the ‘Cube’ was built as a teaching tool to help his students understand 3D objects, his actual purpose was working to solve the structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart. At the time he did not realize that he had created a puzzle until the first time he scrambled his new Cube and then tried to restore it.

Rubik obtained a Hungarian patent HU170062 for his “Magic Cube” in 1975, the same year we were born. His original design has 8! (40,320) ways to arrange the corner cubes – Seven can be oriented independently, and the orientation of the eighth depends on the preceding seven, giving 37 (2,187) possibilities. With 12!/2 (239,500,800) ways to arrange the edges, the rule is that the combined arrangement of corners, edges, and centers must be an even permutation. For our mathematical friends, the formula reads: {8! \times 3^7 \times (12!/2) \times 2^{11}} = 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 – which is approximately 43 quintillion. To put this into a linear perspective, each permutation could cover the Earth’s surface 275 times.

So next time you find your Rubik’s Cube in the bottom of your toy box, think of KHT Heat and our love of problem solving – oh yea, and remember when you are trying to solve the cube, the world champion solved it in competition – in 38 seconds.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia’s page on Rubik’s Cube. You can read a whole lot more there.