Hop Hop Hoppin’ Great Day

Easter is a wonderful time for family, faith and food. And plenty of all three. DOWNLOAD the coloring art above for your kids to color. Send me a picture of the results at skowalski@khtheat.com. Don’t have kids? Color it yourself.  :))

Easter – another great holiday in the Kowalski homestead, and another chance to enjoy some family traditions and amazing festive food!  It’s back-to-back eating bonanza – a big Easter brunch followed by a big dinner (with some snacking in between of course – now you know why I go on 4-5mile runs!). For us the whole day is a celebration of faith, family and food.  For most of Holy Week, various siblings are hard at work preparing incredible dishes for Easter, Jackie and I and the girls spend Tuesday or Wednesday preparing, seasoning, stuffing and cooking “Kowalski” Kielbasa!  This is a family tradition going back over 50 years.  Dad got the original recipe from his Mother, and passed it onto me when he and Mom moved to Florida. This tradition will carry down to the next generation as well.  I have to say, we did make a serious scheduling error one year by making Kielbasa on Good Friday – we had to wait until midnight to sample!   Sometimes we go to one of my brother’s or sister’s houses (have 17 to choose from – and with many of the kids grown, we have their homes to visit too!) but with COVID still around, we will be enjoying a smaller at home gathering this year!  We will be having a drive-by swapping of the wonderful traditional dishes on Saturday!    Below are a few traditional Easter dishes we enjoy that have an interesting history and symbolism behind them, along with a few dishes enjoyed with my “ski” relations.  As you plan your meals, (I published early so you could) think about incorporating some of these traditional foods. Then, when you gather around your table, share the stories about the history and symbolism of the food on your table.  And Happy Passover/Easter from your buds at KHT.  Thanks to culture.pl, huffingtonpost.ca, alchemy.com for the history, YouTube for video and womansday.com for the egg decorating ideas.

Click for some fun music to enjoy the tradition while reading.

Hot N Yummy – This currant or raisin filled yeast bun, best known as hot cross buns, is traditionally eaten on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent, which involves 40 days of fasting.  A 12th-century monk introduced the cross to the bun in honor of Good Friday. But near the end of the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I thought these wee buns needed to be reserved only for these special occasions: Good Friday, Christmas or for burials. The English believed the buns carried medicinal or magical properties, and Elizabeth didn’t want those powers abused. To circumvent the law, more people began baking these “powerful” buns at home, increasing their popularity and making the law difficult to enforce, so it was eventually rescinded.  When the British colonized Jamaica in the 1650s, they brought their traditions with them. Today the popular Jamaican Easter bun (which is really more of a loaf) is a variation of the hot-crossed bun, which is often enjoyed with cheese.

Eggsplainin’ the significance – Eggs are a must, and of course decorating them is fun.  Mine don’t come out so good, but they all taste the same. Eggs symbolize fertility and birth. Christians perceive the egg as a resurrection of Jesus, in which the egg itself symbolizes Jesus, who rose from the tomb.  Mesopotamian Christians first adopted them as an Easter food, dying them red to represent Christ’s blood. Eastern Europeans were among the first to elaborately decorate eggs, creating delicate wax relief designs on the shells to give to loved ones. Check out some amazing designs HERE. (I like the ice cream cones, gumball machine and vegetables plate eggs).

Start Crackin’ – Eggs that were laid during the week of Lent were saved as Holy Week eggs, which were decorated and also presented to children as gifts.  Egg-shaped toys emerged in the 17 and 18 centuries, which were given to children, along with satin covered eggs and chocolates. Easter chocolate eggs were first made in the early 19th century in France and Germany. The emergence of hollow eggs like the ones we have today came as techniques for chocolate-making improved.

 Lambmenting the past – or should I say “Going out on a lamb.” – Eating lamb is not only part of many people’s Easter Sunday meals, but it is also part of those who celebrate Passover, which occurs about a week before Easter. The roots of why lamb is often served in Christian households at Easter stems from Judaism and early Passover observances before the birth of Christianity. During the biblical Exodus story, Egyptians endured a series of terrible plagues, including the death of all firstborn sons. Jewish Egyptians painted their doorposts with sacrificed lamb’s blood so that God would “pass over” their homes while carrying out the punishment. Jews who then converted to Christianity carried on the tradition of eating lamb at Easter.

– In Christian theology, lamb also symbolizes Jesus’ self-sacrifice as the “Lamb of God.” And historically, lamb also symbolizes the onset of spring when lambs would also have been the first fresh meat available after winter to slaughter.

These put me in a pretzel – Originally created by monks with leftover scraps of dough and given to students as rewards, pretzels became a popular part of Lent celebration during the Middle Ages. Pretzels do not contain eggs, milk, butter or lard; ingredients which were avoided during lent. Thus, the pretzel became associated with lent and leading up to Easter.  Pretzels are also said to represent praying arms, while the three holes represent the Holy Trinity. In some countries, pretzels used to be hidden along with the Easter eggs. (I like to hide them covered with chip dip or mustard!)

It’s Greek to me – sweet Greek Easter bread, tsoureki, is traditionally served as part of the Greek Orthodox Easter feast. Tsoureki was also traditionally given as an Easter gift from children to their godparents. Different versions many include a citrus flavored bread topped with nuts. Traditionally it’s shaped into a braid, with a red egg cooked and tucked into the braids of dough. The bread is said to represent the light given to us by Christ’s resurrection and the red egg represents Christ’s blood. Another version of Greek Easter bread is cooked as a circle with red eggs forming a cross across the top of the bread.

Hamming it up! – The tradition of eating Easter ham can be traced back to at least the sixth century in Germany.  Back in the day, pigs were one of the few meats available to eat in early spring in Europe. In early years, before refrigeration, fresh pork slaughtered in the fall that hadn’t been consumed before Lent had to be cured for preservation. Curing was a slow process, and the first hams were generally ready around Easter time, making it a common choice for Easter feasting. Today, many families still serve ham as part of their Easter celebrations.  When Christianity spread northward, it merged with the pagan spring celebration of Eostre, the goddess of the rising dawn, with ham served during the feast. Early American settlers brought pigs from Northern Europe to America.

This can’t be Beet – White borscht, a traditional Polish soup with eggs, sausages and potatoes, is enjoyed on Easter Sunday morning.  The soup is traditionally made with items in a basket of food that Polish families used take to church to have blessed on Holy Saturday in the early 15th century. These Easter baskets were filled with things that symbolized every part of life, and their blessing was considered a sign of blessing for a bountiful year ahead – learn more at HERE.

Soup’d up. Mayiritsa Easter soup (μαγειρίτσα in Greek, pronounced mah-yee-REET-sah), is also known as Easter Sunday soup, and is traditionally eaten by the Greek Orthodox, to break the fast from Lent.  As we know, lamb is often eaten at Easter, and making Mayiritsa soup helped ensure that all the parts of the lamb were used. Visit HERE 

Kowalski Polish “ious” Favorites – check out these traditional Polish favorites.  Some of my top picks are:

Babka. Some call it the gift to the world of Polish baking. The name derives from the word ‘grandmother’, which might refer to its shape: like a grandmother’s wide, pleated skirt. The tall, airy Easter no-knead yeast cake is baked in a Bundt pan. I like it laced with rum syrup and drizzled with icing (custom dictates that it has no filling).

Makowiec.  Another Polish treat you’ll find on our Easter table is makowiec (‘mah-KO-viets’), a poppy seed roll spun like a strudel. With poppy seeds as the main ingredient, it uses the same type of dough as the babka, above. The texture is crunchy and nutty, and covered with sugar icing.

Horseradish and Kielbasa. Easter is a feast of smoked meats and ham, where KOWALSKI kiełbasa (KEEW-basa’) takes center stage. This special sausage is homemade of finely ground pork butt, with the addition of special seasonings, then covered in  thin  pork casings. Whether it’s in the żurek soup or amongst the food samples carried in the Easter basket, white sausage is mostly served boiled – sometimes with horseradish (my favorite – the fresher the better), mustard, or ćwikła (horseradish-beetroot relish).

Ham and Spaetzle.  The perfect one/two combo for Easter (spaetzle or spatzle made by one of my sisters from an old family recipe) is both a German and Polish that compliments the meat, handmade with eggs, flour, water and salt.  Of course, a little gravy on top – oh, bring it on!

Kolochy. Kolaches are Czech (and Polish) pastries made of a yeast dough and usually filled with fruit, but sometimes cheese. The ultra-traditional flavors — such as poppy seed, apricot, prune and a sweet-but-simple farmer’s cheese — can be traced back to the pastry’s Eastern European origin. I think there is some secret ingredient inside, as I can never eat just one! Another of my sisters bring these to all of us!

How about you? Do you have a busy Easter day topped off by a big meal?  What do you serve for Easter/Passover meals with your family? Be sure to share your favorite traditions and recipes.  Email me at skowalski@khtheat.com.


I’m Surely Going Nuts Today

At a ballgame, between hot dogs, beers and ice cream, I can go through three bags of peanuts. L-O-V-E them!!! I love my peanut butter, too. If YOU love peanuts and peanut butter, there’s apparel and costumes available online to prove it…by the way, I want those socks!!! Whatever, peanuts and peanut butter are a great source of the protein a body needs. Add jelly and, BOOM!! Oh, yeah!!!! Now you’re talking‘!!

Being a foodie, my mind most days is focused on food.  What to have for breakfast? How long before lunch?  Wonder what Jackie and I will whip up for dinner – (ok, what Jackie has in mind…).  For quick satisfaction, sometimes I drift back to my childhood and seek out one of my “go-to” favorites – a simple peanut and butter sandwich (or two).  Being one of 18, Mom used to make a number of different stops on her grocery run, one the dairy and one being the bakery.  I can still remember the smell of fresh bread and filling our carts with multiple loaves.  I knew it wasn’t long before I’d be back home, spreading yummy crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jam in between two lovely slices.  A side of fritos (yea, I’d put them inside sometimes too), and I was set. These days the occasional PBJ for a snack does me wonders. I like mine toasted so that the peanut butter starts to melt before the first bite!  This month writer Kate Wheeling wrote a little history on peanut butter for Smithsonian magazine that sparked my memories and taste buds and directed me to do a bit more digging for this blog.  Special thanks to Smithsonian, Wikipedia, huffpost.com, chem.libretexts.com, the Georgia Peanut commission and The Marathons and YouTube.  Enjoy this fun “how it’s made” video and song and help me with my reader’s poll – send me an email – what’s your preference: grape or strawberry.

  • Peanuts are actually not nuts but legumes grown underground.  It’s rich in heart-healthy fats and is a good source of protein, which can be helpful for vegetarians looking to include more protein in their diets. A 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains up to 8 grams of protein and 2 to 3 grams of fiber.
  • The U.S. is the third largest producer of peanuts (Georgia and Texas are the two major peanut-producing states). More than half of the American peanut crop goes into making peanut butter. China and India are the first and second largest producers, respectively.
  • The earliest reference to peanut butter can be traced back to the Ancient Incas and the Aztecs who ground roasted peanuts into a paste. However, modern peanut butter, its process of production and the equipment used to make it, can be credited to at least three inventors.
  • In 1884 Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Canada patented peanut paste, the finished product from milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces. In 1895 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the creator of Kellogg’s cereal) patented a process for creating peanut butter from raw peanuts. He marketed it as a nutritious protein substitute for people who could hardly chew on solid food. In 1903, Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis, Missouri, patented a peanut-butter-making machine.
  • Kellogg’s “food compound” involved boiling nuts and grinding them into an easily digestible paste for patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, a spa for all kinds of ailments. The original patent didn’t specify what type of nut to use, and Kellogg experimented with almonds as well as peanuts, which had the virtue of being cheaper. While modern peanut butter enthusiasts would likely find Kellogg’s compound bland, Kellogg called it “the most delicious nut butter you ever tasted in your life.”
  • A Seventh-Day Adventist, Kellogg endorsed a plant-based diet and promoted peanut butter as a healthy alternative to meat, which he saw as a digestive irritant and, worse, a sinful sexual stimulant. His efforts and his elite clientele, which included Amelia Earhart, Sojourner Truth and Henry Ford, helped establish peanut butter as a delicacy. As early as 1896, Good Housekeeping encouraged women to make their own with a meat grinder and suggested pairing the spread with bread. “The active brains of American inventors have found new economic uses for the peanut,” the Chicago Tribune rhapsodized in July 1897.
  • It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  • Before the end of the century, Joseph Lambert, an employee at Kellogg’s sanitarium who may have been the first person to make the doctor’s peanut butter, had invented machinery to roast and grind peanuts on a larger scale. He launched the Lambert Food Company, selling nut butter and the mills to make it, seeding countless other peanut butter businesses. As manufacturing scaled up, prices came down. A 1908 ad for the Delaware-based Loeber’s peanut butter, claimed that just 10 cents’ worth of peanuts contained six times the energy of a porterhouse steak.
  • Americans eat around 700 million pounds of peanut butter per year (about 3 pounds per person).
  • By World War I, U.S. consumers—whether convinced by Kellogg’s nutty nutrition advice or not—turned to peanuts as a result of meat rationing. Government pamphlets promoted “meatless Mondays,” with peanuts high on the menu. Americans “soon may be eating peanut bread, spread with peanut butter, and using peanut oil for our salad,” the Daily Missourian reported in 1917, citing “the exigencies of war.”
  • Manufacturers sold tubs of peanut butter to local grocers and advised them to stir frequently with a wooden paddle as oil would separate out and spoil. Then, in 1921, a Californian named Joseph Rosefield filed a patent for applying a chemical process called partial hydrogenation to peanut butter, which is liquid at room temperature and converted into an oil that’s solid or semisolid at room temperature and thus remains blended; the practice had been used to make substitutes for butter and lard, like Crisco.  Rosefield was the first to apply it to peanut butter allowing the more stable spread could be shipped across the country, stocked in warehouses and left on shelves, clearing the way for the national brands we all know today.  Rosefield went on to found Skippy, which debuted crunchy peanut butter and wide-mouth jars in the 1930s.
  • The only invention that did more than hydrogenation to cement peanut butter in the hearts (and mouths) of America’s youth was sliced bread—introduced by a St. Louis baker Otto Rohwedder   in the late 1920s—which made it easy for kids to construct their own PB&Js. An average American child eats 1,500 PB&J sandwiches before graduating from high school.
  • In World War II, tins of Skippy were shipped with service members overseas, while the return of meat rationing at home again led civilians to peanut butter. Even today, when American expats are looking for a peanut butter fix, they often seek out military bases as they’re guaranteed to stock it.
  • Americans still eat far more of the spread than the people in any other country: It’s a gooey taste of nostalgia, for childhood and for American history. By 2020, when Skippy and Jif released their latest peanut butter innovation—squeezable tubes—nearly 90 percent of American households reported consuming peanut butter.
  • No American is more closely associated with peanuts than George Washington Carver.  Contrary to popular belief, George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter.  He was one of the greatest inventors in American history, discovering over 300 hundred uses for peanuts including chili sauce, shampoo, shaving cream and glue. He was a pioneer in the agricultural world, and many refer to him as father of the peanut industry. His innovations also increased the legume’s popularity and made peanuts a staple in the American diet.
  • Born enslaved in Missouri around 1864 and trained in Iowa as a botanist, Carver took over the agriculture department at the Tuskegee Institute, in Alabama, in 1896. He found that cotton had stripped the region’s soil of its nutrients.So Carver began experimenting with plants like peanuts and sweet potatoes, which could replenish the nitrogen that cotton leached. In classes and at conferences and county fairs, Carver showed often packed crowds how to raise these crops.
  • Since his death in 1943, many of the practices Carver advocated—organic fertilizer, reusing food waste, crop rotation—have become crucial to the sustainable agriculture movement. Mark Hersey, a historian at Mississippi State University, says Carver’s most prescient innovation was a truly holistic approach to farming.
  • Whether you’re a fan of creamy or chunky, peanut butter has always had a place in our culture. Perhaps the bigger question – grape jelly or strawberry jam?  I already know my favorite!

How Peanut Butter is Actually Made 
People Try American Peanut Butter For The First Time
Making a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich in Space
How to Grow Your Own Peanuts at Home



Nostalgia or the Future

I admit, I’ll eat anything. And these babies are no exception. Never met a frozen dinner I didn’t like.

Growing up my Mom was simply amazing.  18 kids (yep that’s right) all needed to be fed, bathed, clothed, schooled, nurtured and loved. Never complaining – just a constant outpouring of “Mom love.”  I was reading an article the other day, and it sent me back to one of my favorite Mom treats as a kid …TV dinners.  Those amazing inventions of meat, gravy, veggies and dessert, all organized into a foil plate.  Every once in a while, as a treat, we got to use our folding TV tables, (remember those great inventions) and watch our favorite shows while eating dinner!  I can remember later on having those thin rectangular boxes stacked up in the freezer with the name displayed (having to turn my head sideways to read which one of them I wanted next!) And I have to admit it – to this day, I still love the taste of them – the standard pre-packed Swanson specials, like turkey and stuffing, along with the multitude of frozen goodies we can find at the grocery store.  With the advances in freezers, packaging and processing, there are so many things we can find in the frozen food aisle – including international foods.  Special thanks to Smithsonian and Wikipedia for the info and YouTube for the video.  Enjoy the trip down memory lane for those of you who can relate – and shoot me a message as to your personal favorite.  YUM!!

  • In 1925, the Brooklyn-born entrepreneur Clarence Birdseye invented a machine for freezing packaged fish that would revolutionize the storage and preparation of food. Maxson Food Systems of Long Island used Birdseye’s technology, the double-belt freezer, to sell the first complete frozen dinners to airlines in 1945.
  • Plans to offer those meals in supermarkets were canceled after the death of the company’s founder, William L. Maxson. Ultimately, it was the Swanson company that transformed how Americans ate dinner – and it all came about, the story goes, because of Thanksgiving turkey.
  • According to the most widely accepted account, a Swanson salesman named Gerry Thomas conceived the company’s frozen dinners in late 1953 when he saw that the company had 260 tons of frozen turkey left over after Thanksgiving, sitting in ten refrigerated railroad cars. (The train’s refrigeration worked only when the cars were moving, so Swanson had the trains travel back and forth between its Nebraska headquarters and the East Coast “until panicked executives could figure out what to do”). Thomas had the idea to add other holiday staples such as cornbread stuffing and sweet potatoes, and to serve them alongside the bird in frozen, partitioned aluminum trays designed to be heated in the oven.
  • Betty Cronin, Swanson’s bacteriologist, helped the meals succeed with her research into how to heat the meat and vegetables at the same time while killing any food-borne germs.  Her history is a bit different – saying that Gilbert and Clarke Swanson, sons of company founder Carl Swanson, came up with the idea for the frozen-meal-on-a-tray. Whoever provided the spark, this new American convenience was a commercial triumph.
  • In 1954, the first full year of production, Swanson sold ten million trays. Banquet Foods and Morton Frozen Foods soon brought out their own offerings, winning over more and more middle-class households across the country.  Initially called “Strato-Plates,” America was introduced to its “TV dinner” at a time when the concept was guaranteed to be lucrative: As millions of women entered the workforce in the early 1950s, Mom was no longer always at home to cook elaborate meals—but now the question of what to eat for dinner had a prepared answer.
  • Frustrated, some men wrote angry letters to the Swanson company complaining about the loss of home-cooked meals. But for most, TV dinners were just the ticket. Pop them in the oven, and 25 minutes later, you could have a full supper while enjoying the new national pastime: television.  The top shows in ’55 were The $64,000 Question, I Love Lucy and The Ed Sullivan Show… (can you remember the name of the mouse puppet on the show?)
  • In 1950, only 9 percent of U.S. households had television sets—but by 1955, the number had risen to more than 64 percent, and by 1960, to more than 87 percent. Swanson took full advantage of this trend, with TV advertisements that depicted elegant, modern women serving these novel meals to their families, or enjoying one themselves. “The best fried chicken I know comes with a TV dinner,” Barbra Streisand told the New Yorker in 1962.
  • By the 1970s, competition among the frozen food giants spurred some menu innovation, including such questionable options as Swanson’s take on a “Polynesian Style Dinner,” which doesn’t resemble any meal you will see in Polynesia. Tastemakers, of course, sniffed, like the New York Times food critic who observed that TV dinner consumers had no taste, but later found another niche audience in dieters, who were glad for the built-in portion control.
  • With the help of Pittsburg Steelers “Mean Joe Green”, Hungry Man dinners were introduced – for those with larger appetites – (made me smile J)
  • The next big breakthrough came in 1986, with the Campbell Soup Company’s invention of microwave-safe trays, which cut meal preparation to mere minutes. Convenience food was now too convenient for some diners, as one columnist lamented: “Progress is wonderful, but I will still miss those steaming, crinkly aluminum TV trays.”
  • The production process of TV dinners is highly automated and undergoes three major steps – food preparation, tray loading, and freezing. During food preparation, vegetables and fruits are usually placed on a movable belt and washed, then are placed into a container to be steamed or boiled for 1–3 minutes. This process is referred to as blanching and is used as a method to destroy enzymes in the food that can cause chemical changes negatively affecting overall flavor and color of the fruit and vegetables. As for meats, prior to cooking, they are trimmed of fat and cut into proper sizes. Fish is usually cleaned and cut into fillets, and poultry is usually washed thoroughly and dressed.
  • Meats are then seasoned, placed on trays, and are cooked in an oven for a predetermined amount of time. After all the food is ready to be packaged, it is sent to the filling lines. The food is placed in its compartments as the trays pass under numerous filling machines; to ensure that every packaged dinner gets an equal amount of food, the filling devices are strictly regulated.
  • The food undergoes a process of cryogenic freezing with liquid nitrogen. After the food is placed on the conveyor belt, it is sprayed with liquid nitrogen that boils on contact with the freezing food. This method of flash-freezing fresh foods is used to retain natural quality of the food. When the food is chilled through cryogenic freezing, small ice crystals are formed throughout the food that, in theory, can preserve the food indefinitely if stored safely.
  • Cryogenic freezing is widely used as it is a method for rapid freezing, requires almost no dehydration, excludes oxygen thus decreasing oxidative spoilage, and causes less damage to individual freezing pieces. Due to the fact that the cost of operating cryogenic freezing is high, it is commonly used for high-value food products such as TV dinners, which is a $4.5 billion industry a year that is continuing to grow with the constant introduction of new technology.
  • Following this, the dinners are either covered with aluminum foil or paper, and the product is tightly packed with a partial vacuum created to ensure no evaporation takes place that can cause the food to dry out. Then the packaged dinners are placed in a refrigerated storage facility, transported by refrigerated truck, and stored in the grocer’s freezer. TV dinners prepared with the aforementioned steps—that is, frozen and packaged properly—can remain in near-perfect condition for a long time, so long as they are stored at -18 °C during shipping and storage.
  • This past year, approximately 130 million Americans consumed a TV dinner.
  • With restaurants closed during Covid-19, Americans are again snapping up frozen meals, spending nearly 50 percent more on them in April 2020 over April 2019, says the American Frozen Food Institute. Specialty stores like Williams Sonoma now stock gourmet TV dinners. Ipsa Provisions, a high-end frozen-food company launched this past February in New York, specializes in “artisanal frozen dishes for a civilized meal any night of the week”—a slogan right out of the 1950s. Restaurants from Detroit to Colorado Springs to Los Angeles are offering frozen versions of their dishes for carryout, a practice that some experts predict will continue beyond the pandemic.

VIDEO: Make your own TV dinner! 
Swanson 1958 commercial. Wow!



Me, too.
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))  
Have fun!!


Oh Granny

I love apple pie. So, I always get way more apples than needed for a pie. You know why? Because I also love to eat apples. Apples in the morning. Apples at lunch. Apples for an afternoon snack. An apple after my evening run. So, I ALWAYS get way more apples than needed for a pie.  :)))

It’s that time of year again.  I’m not sure if it’s the cool nights, early sunsets, changing cloud patterns or just my gastronomical clock changing, but there’s something about October and my need to eat lots of apple pie. It’s an odd thing, that lasts through the holidays too.  Maybe it’s the piles of apples at the market or the smell of pumpkin spice at the grocery store (can’t believe how many products offer a pumpkin spice version (saw pumpkin spice Spam – what a waste of some good SPAM!), but I have the craving.  My first subtle (no comments about me not being subtle!) effort to convince Jackie it’s time to bake is when I bring home a rather large array of different apples from the farmer’s market – green, golden, red, macs, Honeycrisp.  Then I try pulling the pie dish out and leaving it on the counter with the cinnamon.  Or maybe it’s the “backup” half-gallon of vanilla ice cream and bonus sized Cool Whip container.  Jackie, amazing as always, pulls out one of her favorite recipes for Dutch Apple Pie and goes to work.  I love it when the house fills with that amazing aroma of sweet apples and hot pastry dough – it settles the mind and gets me ready for the transition from summer to fall.  There is nothing quite like a slice of amazing pie ala mode! Below are some great recipes, and a little history on the delicacy and the all-important crust.  Enjoy, and thanks Smithsonian and the recipes from All Recipes, Inspired Taste, Taste of Home and Tasty.co.

  • Apple pie is a longstanding symbol of America, but the dessert didn’t actually come from America, and neither did the apples.  Apples are actually native to Asia and have been in America about as long as Europeans have.
  • The early colonists of Jamestown brought European apple tree cuttings and seeds with them. The only native apple in North America was the crab apple, and the colonists found its tiny fruit “a poor substitute for Malus domestica.” Settlers primarily used the apples to make cider (the hard and soft kinds), which was preferred to water as a drink and easier to produce than beer, which required labor-intensive land clearing.
  • During America’s colonial history, planting trees was a good way to preserve a land claim; colonists who didn’t “improve” their land in some colonies, like Virginia, could have it taken away from them.
  • Apple trees are easy to cross-pollinate, meaning that deliberately producing new apple varieties is relatively simple. By 1800, writes Tim Hensley for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, American farmers were growing a mind-boggling 14,000 varieties of apple, many of which had been bred in the country. Around the same time, John Chapman, otherwise known as Johnny Appleseed, had brought the apple to American folklore fame. “Chapman’s beloved apples became ‘American’ by association.”
  • The first recorded recipe for apple pie was written in 1381 in England and called for figs, raisins, pears, and saffron in addition to apples (now why would you go and do that??).
  • There were other differences, too: early apple pie recipes generally didn’t include sugar, and their pastry crust was “coffin” pastry, which was intended as an inedible container, not a part of the pie. There are also recipes for Dutch apple pies as far back as 1514.
  • A 1924 advertisement appearing in the Gettysburg Times promotes “New Lestz Suits that are as American as apple pie.” And by World War II, the America and pie association was cemented. American soldiers would tell journalists that they were fighting for “mom and apple pie,” giving rise to the expression “As American as mom and apple pie.”
  • The secret to great apple pie is also in the crust.  It’s not a topic to be thrown about – as making “the best crust” has merit and prestige in a family.  Surprising, the history of “crust” goes back many ages – here’s some highlights:
  • The first pies, called “coffins” or “coffyns” (the word actually meant a basket or box) were savory meat pies with the crusts or pastry being tall, straight-sided with sealed-on floors and lids.  Open-crust pastry (not tops or lids) were known as “traps.”  These pies held assorted meats and sauce components and were baked more like a modern casserole with no pan (the crust itself was the pan, its pastry tough and inedible).  These crusts were often made several inches thick to withstand many hours of baking.
  • A small pie was known as a tartlet and a tart was a large, shallow open pie (this is still the definition in England).
  • Historians have recorded that the roots of pie can loosely be traced back to the ancient Egyptians during the Neolithic Period or New Stone Age beginning around 6000 BC.    These early forms of pies are known as galettes, which are essentially rustic free-form pies.  Our ancestors made these pie-like treats with oat, wheat, rye, and barley, then filled them with honey and baked the dish over hot coals.
  • Between 1304 to 1237 B.C. the bakers to the pharaohs incorporated nuts, honey, and fruits in bread dough, a primitive form of pastry.  Drawings of this can be found etched on the tomb walls of Ramses II, located in the Valley of the Kings.
  • The tradition of galettes (pastry base) was carried on by the Greeks.  Historians believe that the Greeks actually originated pie pastry.  The pies during this period were made by a flour-water paste wrapped around meat; this served to cook the meat and seal in the juices.
  • A cookbook from the mid 16th century that also includes some account of domestic life, cookery and feasts in Tudor days, called A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye, declarynge what maner of  meates be beste in season, for al times in the yere, and how they ought to be dressed, and  serued at the table, bothe for fleshe dayes, and fyshe dayes, has a recipe for a short paest for tarte:  “To Make Short Paest for Tarte – Take fyne floure and a cursey of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttel saffron, and the yolckes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye.” (where are the apples??)
  • Animated pies or pyes were the most popular banquet entertainment. The nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence . . . four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie,” refers to such a pie.  According to the rhyme, “When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing.  Wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the King.”  In all likelihood, those birds not only sang, but flew briskly out at the assembled guests.  Rabbits, frogs, turtles, other small animals, and even small people (dwarfs) were also set into pies, either alone or with birds, to be released when the crust was cut.  The dwarf would emerge and walk down the length of the table, reciting poetry, sketching the guests, or doing tricks. (where are the apples??).
  • During Charles V (1364-1380), King of France, reign, the important event at banquets was not dishes of food but acts such as minstrels, magicians, jugglers, and dancers.
  • The chefs entered into the fun by producing elaborate “soteltie” or “subtilty.”  Sotelties were food disguised in an ornamental way (sculptures made from edible ingredients but not always intended to be eaten or even safe to eat). During this time period, the Duke of Burgundy’s chef made an immense pie which opened to the strains of 28 musicians playing from within the pie.  Out of the pie came a captive girl representing the “captive” Church in the Middle East.
  • The Pilgrims brought their favorite family pie recipes with them to America.  The colonists and their pies adapted simultaneously to the ingredients and techniques available to them in the New World. At first, they baked pie with berries and fruits pointed out to them by the Native Americans.  Colonial women used round pans literally to cut corners and stretch the ingredients (for the same reason they baked shallow pies).
  • Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), a.k.a. Mark Twain, was a big fan of eating pies.  His life-long housekeeper and friend (she was with the family for 30 years), Katy Leary, often baked Huckleberry pie to lure her master into breaking his habit of going without lunch.  Samuel Clemens also had a recipe for English Pie: To make this excellent breakfast dish, proceed as follows: “Take a sufficiency of water and a sufficiency of flour and construct a bullet-proof dough.  Work this into the form of a disk, with the edges turned up some three-fourths of an inch.  Toughen and kiln-dry in a couple days in a mild but unvarying temperature.  Construct a cover for this redoubt in the same way and of the same material.  Fill with stewed dried apples; aggravate with cloves, lemon-peel, and slabs of citron; add two portions of New Orleans sugars, then solder on the lid and set in a safe place till it petrifies.  Serve cold at breakfast and invite your enemy.”

Here are some recipes to try – and yes, please stop by the office and share a slice or two.
By Grandma Ople
Favorite Apple Pie  
Taste of Home
Made from Scratch


Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



“Well done boys, well done”

The original Worcestershire sauce is the BEST! On everything!!! Burgers, steaks, sushi, kabobs, salads, p-nut butter…well, what the heck, why not?  For 185 years it’s been imitated endlessly but never bested. I know, I’ve tried them all. (I have to go get a snack.)


I just love experiments and discoveries.  I’m fascinated how engineers, scientists, and Heat Treaters go out on a limb, try different approaches, take chances, and then “discover” new ways to do things to create new inventions.  It happens in the lab, on the shop floor, and many times comes to people willing to “give it a try” when they don’t expect it. About 185 years ago today, a couple of chemists were experimenting with sauces for food.  They were trying to come up with a flavor that would improve the taste experience of meat dishes – (think meat in the 1800’s – eeuuuww!).  Disappointed by the flat taste, they put their dark liquid a barrel, and stuck it in the basement to be left it for another day.  Through the magic of fermentation about 18 months later, a new product was born, which now sits on refrigerator door shelves throughout the world.  Not an everyday condiment, but a special blend of spices and ingredients, the now famous chemists John and Billy nailed it, inventing … Worchester sauce, that has become a great compliment to sauces and recipes, as well as beverages.  Sometimes just a splash, other times a serious marinade, be sure to try the recipes at the bottom of the blog and be sure to send me your favorites (skowalski@khtheat.com).  With this great stretch of weather, I never lose interest in popping open the grill top and cooking up something new. (the suggested beverage below fits right into my wheelhouse). Enjoy. And thanks to writer Peggy Trowbridge, thespruceeats.com, allrecipes.com, healthline.com and Wikipedia for the info.

  1. Worcestershire sauce (pron. WOO cester shire) has a distinct flavor, yet it can be challenging to identify its complex list of ingredients simply by the taste. Enjoyed for generations, it was developed in August 1835 by two chemists from Worcester named Lea and Perrins.
  2. Chemists John Lea and William Perrins developed this sauce in Worcester, England. They were experimenting with vinegar-based seasoning sauces and had abandoned a batch that didn’t taste right. Sitting in the basement, the sauce fermented and developed complex flavors. The partners bottled more, and a taste for Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce spread throughout Europe, to America, and across the world. (to produce the sauce, they allow it to sit for two years with periodic stirrings; the mixture was then sifted of the solids and bottled.)
  3. After much success locally, the product took off.  By the end of the following decade Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce had already gained worldwide fame and was being exported to all the “outposts of the British Empire”.
  4. By the end of the century Lea & Perrins’ iconic orange label had been added to all bottles to ensure they stood out from copycat competitors (the label has hardly changed since) and in 1904 Lea & Perrins was granted the Royal Warrant which it holds to this day.  (the US version sports a tan paper label.)
  5. In 1897 the company opened a new factory in Worcester, where it remains in operation to this day, despite being commandeered by the British Army during the Second World War and suffering a factory fire in 1964.
  6. Now a mostly generic term, Worcestershire sauce is currently manufactured by many different commercial retailers, as well as under the original Lea & Perrins label. HP Sauce is another type of brown sauce, so named because the sauce was reputedly spotted in the Houses of Parliament. It’s similar but not the same as authentic Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment made from a base of vinegar and flavored with anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic, and other seasonings. The flavor is savory and sweet with a distinct tang provided by the vinegar. The most common form of Worcestershire sauce is not appropriate for a vegetarian or vegan diet and cannot be used in a kosher meal that includes meat.
  8. Vinegar leads the ingredient list and is included both for the tangy flavor and to preserve the other components of Worcestershire sauce. Anchovies add umami. The ingredient that gives Worcestershire sauce its unique flavor is tamarind, the fruit of Tamarindus indica, or Indian date in Arabic. The pods, somewhat resembling a brown pea pod, contain a thick, sticky pulp which has a consistency of dates and a spicy date-apricot flavor. (learn more HERE.) Ingredients for U.S. version of The Original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce include: Distilled white vinegar, Anchovies, Garlic, Molasses, Onions, Salt, Sugar, Water, Chili pepper extract, Cloves, Natural flavorings and Tamarind extract.
  9. The popularity of gluten-free diets may be one reason that the U.S. version of Worcestershire sauce is made with distilled white vinegar rather than malt vinegar, which contains gluten. To be sure your Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free, check the label.
  10. Interestingly, the version of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce sold in the U.S. differs from the U.K. recipe. It uses distilled white vinegar rather than malt vinegar. In addition, it has three times as much sugar and sodium. This makes the American version sweeter and saltier than the version sold in Britain and Canada.
  11. How would you describe the taste?  Chef’s use words like tangy, savory, sweet, and salty. The balance of those flavors makes it an excellent condiment. It is especially valued for adding the umami flavor, which comes from the anchovies. The spices included can vary by brand.
  12.  Worcestershire sauce can be used in many ways during cooking or as a condiment. It is often used as an ingredient in marinades or is brushed onto meat, fish, or poultry as it is grilled, fried, or baked. It can be used when steaming, grilling, or stir-frying vegetables. (I love to dump it into vegies when I make a stir fry or on my favorite burger).  Worcestershire sauce can be used as a condiment on sandwiches and shellfish or seasoning for salads. It is used in soups and stews for seasoning and adding savoriness.
  13. It’s relatively easy to make homemade Worcestershire sauce, but it does involve a long list of ingredients. Feel free to experiment and adjust to your taste. You can even try adding a personal secret ingredient to make the sauce your own.  You will need only a saucepan to simmer the ingredients, which include olive oil, sweet onions, tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, anchovies, tomato paste, cloves, black pepper, dark corn syrup, molasses, white vinegar, dark beer, orange juice, water, lemon, and lime.  Here’s A Recipe
  14. Prior to opening the bottle, Worcestershire sauce can be stored at room temperature.  Once the bottle is opened, it should be refrigerated to preserve flavor. The general shelf life of Worcestershire sauce is approximately two years, after which it may begin to lose flavor and aroma.
  15. Today, Lea & Perrins’ famous sauce is exported to over 130 countries around the world, where it has become a much-loved staple in kitchens, restaurants, hotels and bars. It remains as popular today as it ever has been, and is still lovingly made in Worcester in very much the same way as it was when first sold in the 1830’s.

You will find Worcestershire sauce included in a wide variety of recipes for everything from vegetables to meat dishes, and sauces to soups.  Here’s some fun ones to try:
Red Wine and Worcestershire Sauce Marinade for Chicken
Oysters Kilpatrick
Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Tangy Pork Chops
Tasty Bloody Mary


Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



“They’re In, and boy-oh-boy are they good.”

Tomatoes are the best in so many dishes: Salads and pizzas—yep! Salsa, bouillabaisse, ketchup slathered on French fries, tacos, fresh spaghetti sauce, on any sandwich, in drinks. And tossing a tomato on the grill with steaks is a great idea, but you’ve got to see the recipe for grilled tomatoes at the end of this post! It is stupendous!!!!  Oh, and you can find that cute baby soup can bunting online, google it.  :)))


I may have written about this in the past – but, Yep.  You’ve guessed it.  Those red, ripe, juicy, tasty, yummy, luscious locally grown tomatoes are in.  In all sizes and shapes. And I’m sure loving it. With the hot weather, the farms and shelves are busting with home-grown goodness.  I stopped the other day to pick up some fresh corn – then of course I grabbed the beans, and cucs, zucchini, couple peppers, peaches, cherries – ok, so I couldn’t help it.  When I got home, I grabbed the knife, some bread, mayo, salt and pepper and loaded up some fat slices of tomatoes and “boom” – summer flavor at its finest. Then you can have the sliced meaty ones covered in a thick blue cheese dressing!  I jumped back to my childhood when Mom would fill the table with all the summer vegies and fruits. Here’s some fun trivia, and some even better recipes.  I KNOW each of you have your own favorite recipe, so please send my way – especially the salsa and sauce ones!!  skowalski@khtheat.com Enjoy!  And thanks to tomatodirt.com (amazing site), simplyrecipes.com, feastingathome.com (love that name!) and chefsteps.com for the recipes.  Plus a bit of reading music from our friends at YouTube – HERE

  1. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat between 22-24 pounds of tomatoes per person, per year. (More than half of those munchies are ketchup and tomato sauce.) I know I do my share in pulling that number up! Remember, ketchup is heart healthy!
  2. The tomato is America’s fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions.
  3. Americans consume three-fourths of their tomatoes in processed form and have increased their tomato consumption 30% over the last 20 years (mostly in processed forms such as sauce, paste, and especially salsa).
  4.  While tomatoes are perfectly safe and healthy to eat, their leaves are actually toxic, so don’t eat them.
  5. The largest worldwide producer of tomatoes is China, followed by USA, Turkey, India and Egypt.  Here in the U.S., California produces 96% of the tomatoes that are “processed”. Florida is the number one producer of fresh market tomatoes.
  6. Tomatoes are thought to originate in Peru. The name comes from the Aztec “xitomatl,” which means “plump thing with a navel”.  The scientific term for the common tomato is lycopersicon lycopersicum, which mean “wolf peach.”
  7. When the tomato was introduced to Europe in the 1500s, The French called it “the apple of love.” The Germans called it “the apple of paradise.”
  8. In different languages: English: tomato, French: tomate, Dutch: tomaat, German: TomateDanish: tomat, Spanish: tomate, Italian: pomodoro (those silly Italians).
  9. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says there are 25,000 tomato varieties. Other sources cap the number of types of tomatoes at 10,000. (Either way, that’s a lot.)
  10. Tomato is a cousin of the eggplant, red pepper, ground cherry, potato, and the highly toxic belladonna (a herbaceous perennial, also known as the nightshade or solanaccae, that has historically been used as both a medicine and poison).
  11. For the best tomato, check color, texture, and touch. A ripe tomato is uniformly colored, in a shade true to its variety. An unripened tomato has inconsistent color. An overripe tomato has soft spots and may ooze juice from cracks. A ripe tomato is smooth, plump, and glossy and not too soft or not too hard to the touch. It “gives” when you press it with a finger.
  12. The heaviest tomato on record weighed in at 3.51 kg (7 pounds 12 ounces). A “delicious” variety, it was grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986. Gordon sliced the tomato to make sandwiches for 21 family members.
  13. The largest tomato plant (a “Sungold” variety), recorded in 2000, reached 19.8 meters (65 feet) in length and was grown by Nutriculture Ltd. of Mawdesley, Lancashire, UK.
  14. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest tomato tree grows at Walt Disney World Resort’s experimental greenhouse and yields a harvest of more than 32,000 tomatoes and weighs 1,151.84 pounds (522 kg). The plant was discovered in Beijing, China, by Yong Huang, Epcot’s manager of agricultural science, who took its seeds and grew them in the experimental greenhouse.
  15. Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio – (right behind Bud Light).
  16. La Tomatina (Bũnol, Valencia, Spain), held festival held annually on the last Wednesday in August, attracts tens of thousands of visitors. The highlight is the tomato fight, in which 30,000+ participants throw an estimated 150,000 overripe tomatoes (100 metric tons) at each other.
  17. TomatoFest (Carmel, CA), coined as “America’s Favorite Tomato Festival,” was launched in 1991 and features 350 heirloom tomato variety tastings.
  18. In Ohio, the big one is the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival.  Started in 1965, the festival honors Reynoldsburg’s claim to fame as the birthplace of a sweeter, edible tomato created by resident Alexander W. Livingston. In 1870, he was the first to upgrade the wild tomato plant.  (sorry, cancelled this year).
  19. The antioxidant lycopene is a red pigment found in tomatoes. Tomatoes with the most brilliant shades of red indicate the highest amounts of lycopene and its fellow antioxidant, beta-carotene.
  20. Cooking tomatoes releases lycopene to do its work. A combined analysis of 21 studies published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention showed that men who ate the highest amounts of raw tomatoes had an 11% reduction in risk for prostate cancer. Those eating the most cooked tomato products fared even better: their prostate cancer risk was reduced by 19%.
  21.  Lycopene is fat-soluble. That means you’ll get the maximum benefit of tomato nutrition when tomatoes are absorbed in your body with the help of fats. Cook tomatoes in a touch of olive oil or pair tomatoes with avocados (in small amounts) to help your body absorb lycopene more easily.  I have been trying to find the health benefits of French fries covered in ketchup!!
  22. Eating tomatoes regularly is also good for your heart – one of the leading benefits of tomato nutrition. In a study of 40,000 women conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA), those who consumed 7 to 10 servings each week of tomato-based products were found to have a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women eating less than 1.5 servings of tomato products weekly.
  23. Eat 1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomato (or 1 cup of tomato sauce or ½ cup of tomato paste) daily to get best tomato nutrition benefits. According to a study in Cancer Research, the tomato-broccoli combination shrank prostate tumors in lab animals by 52%.

Q: Why did the tomato go out with a prune? 
A: Because he couldn’t find a date.

Q: How do you fix a sliced tomato? 
A: Use tomato paste, of course.

Q. Why did the tomato blush? 
A. Because he saw the salad dressing.

Q. What’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom? 
A. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Q. How do you get rid of unproductive tomatoes? 
A. Can them.

Fresh Salsa – Pico de Gallo

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Grilled Tomatoes

Steve’s Fresh Tomato Sandwiches
– big, thick slices of fresh summer tomatoes, spread mayo on soft bread, salt & pepper – (ta-da!)



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me
a quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



Like Spicy Sunshine

Mustard has been around since 2,000 BC. (give or take) Who’d have thought that such a little seed could still bring so much happiness to so many faces and be popular enough to support so many brands at the store. All so I can have mustard on my hot dog!!  :-)))) 


Spending time on the back patio, and especially over the grill, is a relaxing treat for me.  With the weather being amazing these past few weeks, I’m finding Jackie and me visiting the local grocery store and talking about “what we’re gonna have on the grill tonight.”  With my love of food, I’m good with just about anything – chicken, chops, steaks, ribs, fish … even the simplest meals, like dogs and burgers, get me going.  And of course, I just can’t have them without tasty mustard.  Just the word mustard starts the debate – traditional yellow, brown, “stadium”, wine, grey poupon(pinkies up please) and more.  Being a Clevelander, we’re a bit partial to Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard – a brown mustard made by Bertman Foods Company, a Cleveland, Ohio, food manufacturer and distributor which has produced several varieties of mustards since 1925 – AND the tasty version sold by The Davis Food Company called Stadium Authentic Mustard.  Being Cleveland and sports related, of course a controversy as to the “best”. A little history:

Bertman’s spicy brown mustard, has been used at sports stadiums in and around Cleveland for over 90 years, including League Park, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Jacobs Field, and Progressive Field. Joe Bertman, who was known for coming up with food solutions for his commercial customers, created the mustard for League Park, one of his top accounts, in the garage of his home in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood.  Bertman’s is well known to sports fans and was declared the “signature concession item” by ESPN.com writer Jim Caple. In 1966, Cleveland had one local brown stadium mustard until David Dwoskin, one of Bertman’s sales reps, decided to step in.  In 1971, Dwoskin registered the name “The Authentic Stadium Mustard” for his new company Davis Food Company.  In 1982 he obtained exclusive rights to sell to both wholesale and retail markets as well as stadiums, arenas and other venues. In the early 1980s there was a disagreement between Bertman and Dwoskin because Dwoskin was producing his own mustard under the Stadium brand through his own company.  A spicy standoff.  Today, both mustards are sold in grocery stores, specialty food shops, and online. The trademarked “Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard” is sold at Cleveland sports venues, and as a competing brand to David’s Stadium Mustard. We’ll leave it up to you to choose your favorite.  While you are deciding, here’s a bit of trivia to make you the smart one around the grill next time you are rolling the franks and flippin’ the burgers.  Thanks to Wikipedia, and thespruceeats.com for the info and recipes.  Enjoy!

– Mustard has been one of the most widely grown and used spices in the world for many centuries. It is believed to have originated in Ancient Egypt. The Greeks used mustard as a medicine and a spice. The Romans emulated the Greeks using it as both food and medicine as well, ascribing it as a cure for anything from hysteria to snakebite to bubonic plague.

– Mustard is one of the earliest spices on record, appearing in Sanskrit manuscripts around 3000 BC. It is thought to be one of the first crops to be domesticated, and mustard was used throughout ancient Egypt, India, and China.

– The Romans brought mustard to Northern France where it was eventually cultivated by Monks. By the 9th century Monasteries were producing considerable amounts of income from mustard sales.

– The origin of the word mustard is believed to have come from the word Mosto or grape muss, a young unfermented wine which was mixed with ground Mustard seeds by the French Monks.

– Prepared mustard as we know it, began in Dijon, France in the 13th century encouraged by the Mustard loving Pope John XXII of Avignon who created the position of “Grand Moustardier du Pape” or the Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope for his idle Nephew who lived near Dijon.  (I think of myself as “Grand Heatoure of de Metale”).

– In the early 19th century, the British became the world’s first mustard millers – milling the heart of the mustard seed to a fine powder and they established mustard as an industrial food ingredient. The yellow Mustard that we know today was introduced in Rochester New York in 1904 where its pairing with the American hotdog gave rise to its popularity.

– Mustard, the condiment, is made from the tiny round seeds of the mustard plant, a member of the Brassicaceae family. In order to release their flavor, the seeds must be broken—coarsely cracked, crushed, or finely ground—then mixed with enough liquid to make a spreadable paste, which can then be used as a condiment or as an ingredient in many culinary preparations.

– Mustard has a long shelf life of one to two years and comes in many varieties: yellow, brown, coarse, extra spicy, flavored.  The name comes from mustard in English, moutarde in French, mostarda in Italian—is thought to come from a contraction of the Latin mustum ardens meaning “burning must.” This is a reference to the spicy heat of mustard seeds and the ancient practice of mixing the ground seeds with must, the fresh, unfermented juice of wine grapes.

– Mustard was originally used as a medicinal plant rather than a culinary one. Pythagoras employed mustard as a remedy for scorpion stings, and Hippocrates made mustard plasters to treat toothaches and chest colds. While some people say mustard contains beneficial minerals such as selenium and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, most of the nutritional value of the condiment comes from the food it is served with.

– While there are about 40 species of mustard plants, only three of them are used to make mustard: black (Brassica nigra), brown (B. juncea), and white or yellow (Sinapis alba). Mustard, however, takes many different forms depending on how the seeds are ground, what liquid is used (vinegar, wine, juice, or water), and what other flavoring ingredients are added.

– White mustard, which originated in the Mediterranean, is the antecedent of the bright yellow hot dog mustard we are all familiar with. Brown mustard from the Himalayas is familiar to many as Chinese restaurant mustard, and it serves as the base for most European and American mustards as well. Black mustard originated in the Middle East and in Asia Minor, where it is still popular, primarily as a spice in seed and powder form.  Different types of mustard seeds can be—and often are—blended to combine their different characteristics and make a kind of hybrid mustard.

– Seeds can be cracked and used as a seasoning before or after cooking, as they are in many Middle Eastern cuisines. Seeds are also often used as a pickling spice.  Oil extracted from mustard seeds can be used for cooking. High-quality mustard oils can be drizzled over finished food like olive oil to add spice and flavor.

– Mustard powder, either on its own or in a blend of powdered spices, can be used as a dry rub or sprinkled on food as a seasoning agent before grilling, roasting, or sautéing. Ground mustard can also be used to make your own prepared mustard.

– Prepared mustard is used widely as a condiment and goes especially well with charcuterie, classic dishes like choucroute garnie, baked ham, and, of course, hot dogs. Other flavorings—honey or garlic, for example—can be added to prepared mustard, and it is also frequently used as a cooking ingredient.

– While we usually think of mustard as a condiment to slather on hot dogs or just about anything else, it can also be used as a key ingredient in cooking. Prepared mustard is used in sauces, dressings, and marinades, where spicy flavor and creamy viscosity is desired. And mustard seeds, powder, and oil can be used too.

– The green or red leaves of mustard plants are edible, delicious, and widely used in many cuisines, but they come from other species in the Brassicaceae family. Mustard greens, on the are high in vitamins A and C.

– While there is great variation in taste from one kind of mustard to another, there are some basic flavor characteristics that you will find in just about every type and manifestation of mustard. There is always an element of spiciness, from very mild to burning hot. Hot or not, there is also an underlying sweetness from the plant itself, and there is usually a subtle but persistent aroma of yellow mustard flowers.

Salmon, Whole-Grain Mustard and Dill Tartlets
Mustard-Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Groninger Mustard Soup
Wet Mustard Rub  

For me, mustard goes with hot dogs and hamburgers, a splash in potato salad, corned beef and ham sandwiches (or pretty much any sandwich) and in sauces on the grill.  What are your favorites – shoot me an email, and any great recipe too.  skowalski@htheat.com

Q:  What do you call mustard you think you may have had before?
A:  Dijon Vu.  HA!  Happy Friday




Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!







More Please

Whether the farmer grows them or you grow them, potatoes are GREAT!! And when they’re turned into potato salad they’re greater yet!!! Just check-out some of the recipes below, I have.


Growing up in a big family (yes, I’m one of 18 children – world’s bravest Dad and Mom superheroes!) I always enjoy going to family cookouts.  Now that my siblings are married and my kids are grown and hosting parties along with their cousins, I can pretty much find a place for a great cookout every day!!  The food is always amazing since each of us have our own personal favorites – whether grilled brats, hot dogs,  hamburgers, chicken, chops, steak or ribs putting their own culinary twist on things!  Add some corn on the cob, watermelon and one of my favorites – potato salad.  As a kid, as I would be filling up my plate (actually plates!), I’d smother my hot dog in yellow mustard and ketchup (none of that green stuff for me), grab a couple buttery ears of sweet corn and gently balance my  plate with a juicy slab of chilled watermelon, making sure I left enough space for the creamy delight.  Often before I could reach out to grab the spoon to dig into that giant bowl, mom would give me the look that said, “Easy does it Stevie.” I had to control myself navigating that bowl of rich, mayo-drenched potato salad, as I made sure to fill the spaces leftover on my plate.  After I got married, I moved into a whole new phase of food love – my wife Jackie’s cooking.  This includes her magnificent potato salad (no Mom, not starting a battle here).  How can I describe it – expertly cut potatoes, symmetric celery, onions, fluffy hard-boiled eggs, creamy mayonnaise, dash of mustard and of course her well-guarded spice combo.  Unfortunately, I can’t be filling multiple plates with potato salad anymore, anyone who knows me understands why!  Here’s some info and tips (thanks streetdirectory.com, NPR, NYTimes and of course Jackie) to help you get rolling.

– Potato salad has been around for many cookouts. It was first introduced to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. These early potato salads were made by boiling potatoes in wine or a mixture of vinegar and spices.

– The more American version of potato salad is rooted in German cuisine and came here with European settlers.

– Main ingredients included: potatoes (many different kinds to experiment with), hard boiled eggs, celery, sweet onion and depending on where you grew up – Hellman’s mayo or Miracle Whip? (we’re a Hellman’s House).

– Potato salad is a dish, usually an appetizer, made, obviously, from potatoes. However so, it still varies throughout different countries and regions of the world. Potato salads are more classified as side dishes than salads for they generally just precede or the follow the main course. As far as I am concerned, it could be the main dish!

– Many would claim on having made the best potato salad and would offer the truest and most authentic way of making it. But no matter what is said by many, the best potato salad, or any kind of salad at that matter, is purely of personal preference. Some like their potato salads mingled and just oozing with its dressing, some would prefer theirs to be really soft and tender, and others would want their potato salad to be crispy.

– Potato salads are definitely a popular menu choice of various chefs and cooks for preparing food for a large crowd, and since they can be made in large quantities with utter ease, they can also be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until it is their time to be served.

– You must never worry about emptying your wallet when going to the grocery store to buy whatever ingredients you need for you potato salad. The ingredients needed for potato salads are inexpensive and very much affordable. Thus, you do not have to worry about making one yourself because it is, in fact, quite easy.

– You would need two pounds, or approximately six large potatoes which are peeled and quartered.  Of course, you have to cook the potatoes in boiling water for approximately fifteen minutes, or when the potatoes are already barely tender. You have to check every minute or so after the first ten minutes have gone by. Once you have confirmed of the cooked status of your potatoes, cut them into smaller pieces. After that, just leave them be so that they will cool down.

– Then, you should mix the other ingredients you have also prepared in a large bowl. Once you are confident that you mixed them finely, add your already cooled potatoes, and then mix them, altogether, well. When all these are done, chill your self-made potato salad, but just do not forget to stir it a couple of times during the chilling time you have allotted for it.


Jackie’s Tips for Making Great Potato Salad

– Use waxy rather than floury potatoes, such as Yukon gold, red bliss and fingerlings. They have a creamy texture yet keep their shape well when cooked. Although russet potatoes are exceptionally tender, they don’t hold their shape well when boiled and tend to get mushy.

– Cut potatoes into equal-sized pieces so they will cook evenly.  Use the freshest ingredients you can find to mix in.  Experiment with “crunchy” vegies – tiny carrots, cucumber, peppers, radishes – you pick ‘em!

– Don’t overcook potatoes. Take them off the heat while they’re still slightly firm. Drain and let cool before assembling the salad – hot potatoes will flake and get mushy.

– With or without skins? It’s a personal preference. If you leave the skins on, be sure to scrub them well before cooking. Peeled potatoes work especially well for absorbing sauces such as pesto and dressings.

– Season the potatoes while still warm to absorb the flavors more fully.

– Eat right away, or let flavors meld?  I’m all for making and letting things blend – Steve on the other hand can hardly wait, but for sure loves it more days later!

– Chilled or warm – coin flip here.  Warm potato salads taste best the day they are made; however, cold potato salads often taste better the next day. If you’re making potato salad ahead of time, hold off on adding raw onions or fresh herbs until just before serving. You’ll avoid unpleasant pungency and keep your herbs looking fresh.


Super Fun Recipes to Try: 

Jackie’s Homemade German Potato Salad: 
Recipe came from the Italian mother of one of Jackie’s Mom’s childhood friends! (WOW).  Serves 6-8 – unless Steve gets there first!
½ lb bacon
6 large potatoes
1 small onion diced
2 Tbs flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp celery seed
¾ cup cool water
½ cup vinegar
Fry bacon until crisp.  Reserve 1/3 cup bacon fat.  Boil whole potatoes until fork tender.  Drain then peel and slice while a bit hot.  Mix the flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, water and vinegar in a small bowl.  Pour vinegar mixtures into reserved bacon fat and heat until it boils for 1 minute.  Pour sauce over sliced hot potatoes and diced onions.  Serve hot, topped with bacon pieces.

Other recipes to try: (just click the links)
Lemon Grass Ginger Potato Salad
Arugula Pesto Potato Salad
String Bean And Potato Salad With Prosciutto
Patriotic Potato Salad


Potato Music to get you Smiling for the WeekendCLICK



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a quick email
with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!





Smokin Good!!

Smoked meats are fantastic!!! And smokin ‘em is something we can do ourselves. You could build a smokehouse in your backyard for $27,500. Or get the awesome Meadow Creek TS250 Barbeque Smoker Trailer (second photo down) for only $7,195. See that baby HERE.  But most of us will opt for a less expensive option providing the same results. Check out all the smoker options, meat options, helpful tips, a couple of great recipes and some great smokin music in the story below. Haaaaaaaaaappy Smokin!!! 

Now that the mercury is starting to climb, it’s time once again for me to revisit an interest I can’t quite stop thinking about when in the backyard – smoking meats.  Now, for sure I am no expert at all – just a lover of things that come off the grill (and all the other items that fill my plate).  There is no doubt, a good piece of smoked meat is a work of art — it takes time, talent, and know-how to get it right. Even if my fellow “smokers” disagree on the finer points, I’m confident we all agree on one thing: smoked meat is freaking awesome.  To get things started, I searched the internet for some good “basics” on meat and equipment, and then included some of my favorite recipes… (honestly, is there anything better than juicy smoked and barbequed ribs?? (ok, brisket is right up there).  Be sure to check out the links below for additional info – crank up your grills and have fun.  And if you happen to hit the jackpot on a favorite recipe, be sure to send it over for me to try (skowalski@khtheat.com ).  As I am writing this all I can think of is ribs with some of Jackie’s great potato salad! (which will be for a whole other post).  Thanks to Wikipedia, themanual.com, heygrillhey.com, thefoodnetwork.com, youtube.com.

  • Smoking has been used as a way of preserving and flavoring food for many thousands of years.  Our ancestors discovered, probably by serendipity, that foods exposed to smoke lasted longer before spoiling.
  • Smoking processes and methods have been passed down through generations and are still very much in use today around the world.  In some countries, these time-honored techniques form part of the essential yearly ritual of preserving fish and meat, especially in autumn to provide protein over the winter when hunting proves less bountiful.
  • In Medieval Europe, when an animal was slaughtered (often pigs) much of the meat was smoked for preservation.  Many smallholdings had dedicated smoke houses where the meat was smoked and stored.  The less affluent hung their meat high up on the edges oftheir hearth or fireplace at night.  Ashes were placed over the embers to extinguish any flames which produced an ideal Smoky environment in which to preserve their fish or game.
  •  Through years of culinary trial and error, humanity has determined the best smoking techniques and, in the process, elevated the age-old practice to a level of mastery on par with any other cooking endeavor.
  •  There are entire books written on the subject, but contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take years to learn how to smoke. Here’s some information you need to know to dive right in and start smoking meat like pro within a day. First things first, though; you’ll need a smoker.

Types of Smokers

  • Electric smokers use electricity to heat up a rod (or similar heating element), which then causes the wood to smoke. These are the easiest in terms of heat control since all you have to do is turn a dial to adjust the temperature. They also tend to be the most expensive, and they impart the least amount of smoked flavor compared to the other options.
  • Propane smokers work almost exactly like electric smokers, but use a gas-fueled flame instead of a heating element to make the wood pellets smolder. These are pretty simple and might be a better choice for people in areas where electricity is expensive or scarce.
  • Charcoal smokers are a favorite among barbecue masters, who believe that charcoal imbues more flavor compared to propane and electric. Charcoal smokers tend to be cheaper, but you also have to buy charcoal every time you want to smoke. Charcoal also requires you to start and maintain a fire without the help of modern technology.
  • Wood smokers are definitely the way to go for the purest flavor, but they require the most attention and care out of all the options because they’re harder to keep at a constant temperature. For this reason, I would recommend wood smokers after you’ve learned the basics.
  • Pellet smokers are similar to wood smokers, but the wood has been condensed into a convenient pellet form (hence the name). However, they are much easier to use. Instead of splitting firewood, stacking it, and babysitting the flame, you simply load the pellets into an oven-like compartment. The only downside? Like their electric brethren, pellet smokers tend to be expensive.
  • Combos – more serious cook/chefs like to buy combination gas grills and smokers – this can get expensive, but down the road may be the best option for you to truly enjoy the art of outdoor cooking.

Best Meats to Smok

When hunting for the right chunk of meat, try to pick something that will benefit from the slow-cooking process. Don’t shy away from cuts with lots of connective tissue and fat known as “marbling.” A generous marble will make the finished product more succulent and delicious.

  • Beef brisket is a go-to and great “starter” meat, and you can never go wrong with ribs.
  • Pork shoulder is another meat that lends itself to smoking.
  • If you want to smoke a steak, the bigger the cut, the better.
  • You might also turn to your butcher shop for some lesser-known cuts like tri-tip and chuck eye, just to see what happens. Who knows, you may fall in love with a new cut of meat.

Wood For Smoking Meat
This is the flavor engine, along with your rubs and sauces.  Experimenting is big part of the fun, so try different woods and wood combinations – nice excuse to keep cooking too!

  • Alder has a light and naturally sweet flavor, which makes it great for pairing with fish, poultry, and any white meat.
  • Applewood has a fruity and sweet smoke that pairs wonderfully with pork, fish, and poultry.
  • Hickory has a strong and distinct flavor that’s ideal for red meat, especially ribs.
  • Pecan gives your meat somewhat of a fruity flavor and burns cooler than most other barbecue woods. It’s similar to hickory and is best used on large cuts like brisket and pork roast, but can also be used to complement chops, fish, and poultry.
  • Maple has a sweet and delicate taste and tends to darken whatever meat you’re smoking. It goes well with alder, oak, or applewood, and is typically used for poultry and ham.
  • Mesquite is undoubtedly the most pungent wood you can smoke, which means it can easily overpower your meat if used improperly. Avoid using mesquite with larger cuts that require longer cooking times. You can also use it with a mix of other woods.
  • Oak on the other hand, is great for big cuts of meat that take a long time to cook. It has a subtle flavor that will emerge the longer the meat is in the smoker.
  • Cherrywood is best suited for red meat and pork; it also pairs well with alder, hickory, and oak.

The Importance of Brining
Brining your meat keeps it from drying out during the smoking process. It’s all about science — the salt in the brine makes the proteins in the meat more water-absorbent. When sodium and chloride ions get into the meat tissue, their electrical charges mess with the proteins (especially myosin), so they can hold onto moisture more effectively and lose less of it during the cooking process. For optimal moisture retention, soak your meat in a brine for 10-12 hours before smoking.

In its most basic form, brine is nothing more than salty water, however, it benefits from the addition of herbs and spices. To make a good base, add three tablespoons of salt to one quart of water, then throw in whatever else you prefer. Brining is a bit of a double-edged sword: It helps meat retain moisture but also makes it saltier. Some chefs use sugar and molasses to combat the salty flavor.

Keep it Low and Slow:
Low and slow is the key to good meat. Keep your temperature between 212 degrees Fahrenheit and 230 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results. These lower temperatures generally won’t cause the meat’s cell walls to burst, which helps make the meat more succulent and allows it to retain nutrients.

Yummy Recipes: 
Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket: CLICK
“Oh Baby” Baby Backed Ribs: CLICK

Songs to Smoke Meat To:
You Tube Favorites: CLICK





Get Comfy

I love to eat. That’s an established fact. Set a plate of Comfort Food in front of me and you have a friend for life.  : )   But I’m amazed at how much food I can wear without even eating. Check out these wardrobe finds (left to right, top to bottom) They match the 20 yummy comfort food items listed below. 1)  Mac & Cheese  2)  Lazagna  3)  Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup  4)  Mashed potatoes  5)  Spaghetti & meatballs  6) Chef Boyardee  7)  Entenmann’s  8)  Pancakes 9)  Fried Chicken  10)  Chili and Saltines  11)  McDonald’s  12) Pie  13)  Ice cream  14)  Little powdered donuts  15)  Chinese food  16)  Sugar cookies  17)  Oreos  18)  All other cookies  19)  Chips and dip  20)  Couples PIZZA shirts!!

Like you, I never thought we’d be experiencing anything like the past few weeks.  God bless our President & VP, Health Experts, First Responders and ALL the brave health care workers for their amazing efforts.  With our personal “stay in place” requirements, (so far, we’re still open here at KHT and proudly processing your PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs! During my time keeping an appropriate distance from my team, I thought of what I usually think of, and that’s FOOD!  Not just your run of the mill meals, (I’m lucky, as Jackie is an amazing cook, way better than me!) but rather that stuff that is not necessarily good for you “comfy food”.  You know, the stuff that just makes you feel good at every bite.  Now, the experts will tell us there’s nothing good in comfy food (too much of this, not enough of that) but my hat goes off to the scientists who have figured out how to trick our brains into eating the whole box/bag.  So, to be fair, along with your sensible diets, and routine exercise plans, and getting lots of sleep,  taking your vitamins AND WASHING YOUR HANDS … here’s a list of really FUN stuff to eat – so we can feel a little better about our situation.  I’m sure I missed a few favorites in my top 20, so be sure to call me or email with your additions to the list.  Thanks to buzzfeed and shape.com for the “sensible” recipes.

1. Macaroni and cheese from a box.  Hard to know why we love this so.  I can’t eat mine without a bit of Russian dressing.  How about you?  And, aside from the traditional curved noodle shape, what’s your second and third favorite – alphabet or cartoon shapes?

2. Frozen lasagna. Don’t even start with me. Stouffer’s gets that job done faster than I can even read a lasagna recipe from start to finish.  And I never can wait long enough for it to cool down.

3. Grilled cheese and Campbell’s tomato soup.  This one is a total “Mom memory” for me.  Steamy hot soup, gooey cheese, and multiple dunks. Although Jackie simply shakes her head,  I also add wonderful bread and butter pickles to the mix. Remember, grilled cheese should be cut with a knife and fork.  Oh, bring it on!

4. Mashed potatoes.  Doesn’t matter what the other sides are, just make a big well with the spoon, drop in butter or yummy gravy, and dig in. GIVE IT TO ME.

5. Spaghetti, red sauce and meatballs.  Two ways – all mixed together to get the yummy taste infused with the noodles or think sauce piled high on top (so I can taste some of the naked pasta) – a little cheese sprinkled on top, and fresh garlic toast (2 piece minimum) – STOP THE BUS!.

6. Chef Boyardee anything.  This one’s not at the top of my list – but for those who love ‘em, go for it.  The tiny meatballs are a hoot. – granted my favorite was always SpaghettiOs!

7. Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish twist.  Entenmann’s “anything” is usually good – hot cup of coffee, a little butter after 15 seconds in the microwave (like I need that too) and a knife – toughest part is when to stop.  When I’m tired of the sweet fruit fillings, I jump to coffee cake and crumb cake.

8. Pancakes. Any kind of pancakes. – Plain, blueberry, cinnamon are my top three (chocolate chip too) – and of course maple syrup – sticky, gooey, hot and sweet – side of eggs and bacon – leave me be!

9. Fried chicken. Plain, KFC, Popeye’s, freezer microwave, with gravy, as a snack, as a meal.  With biscuits and mashed taters.  Grilling is fine, but just nothin’ like fried chicken especially with KFC’s coleslaw!.

10. Chili with saltines.  This is a seasonal favorite, but on the list for sure.  I love ALL chili – hot, sweet, lots of beans, lots of meat, and of course LOT OF HEAT!  Little cheese and onions on top and I’m good to go.  Add a few Fritos and it’s to the moon and back!  Next time you have Chili, try adding a teaspoon of horseradish to your bowl, you will never be the same!

11. McDonald’s. (mostly the fries) We’re all alike – we see the arches, think “oh, not so good for me, then our taste buds kick in – “just some fries” will do, until we get to the window … Big Mac, two hamburgers, large fry, big Coke … “dessert with that” – ok, gone this far.  And how good is the ketchup with the fries – (you want some right now don’t you?)

12. Pie. Basically, all of the pies.  Apple rocks (warmed in microwave, then alongside vanilla ice cream) – but for me ANY pie is just fine.  And, of course I’ll have seconds – duh!

13.  Did I just say Ice Cream.  (this could be a blog post all its own) Vanilla – just the way God intended  with chocolate, bananas, nuts and don’t forget Maraschino cherries with a little juice does it – along with EVERY flavor invented by man – big scoops, small spoon, topping to pick from – heaven!

14. Those mini powdered doughnuts from the gas station.  Probably surprised you with this one. You know, the tiny white ones – can slam a sleeve in no time.  And if they are out, I can always grab one of those cinnamon circles – sticky and oh so good.

15. Chinese food from the mall or strip center.  Just the words “15 minute” over the phone gets me going – yes, of course I’m there 5 minutes early>>> not sure I’ve had a bad meal – hot, spicy, traditional – all good – and those deep-fried egg rolls should be outlawed!

16. Any frosted sugar cookie from the grocery store, seasonal or not seasonal.  You know the ones they put by the checkout in the clear plastic containers.  I think they actually talk when you approach – “please, take me home, I’m held hostage here at the store -save me”.

17. Oreos – Ok, I waited long enough – doesn’t’ matter the color, or thickness – bring ‘em on.  Dunked in milk of course, unless I’d rather twist and teeth scrape the white filling.  Question – is it ok to put the scrapped halves back together, and then milk dunk?

18. All other cookies on the planet.  Nuff said.  And where are those damn girl scouts with the thin mints – seems like an eternity since I placed my order.

19. Chips and dip.  This is almost illegal.  So many choices of chips to choose from – all good, even the weird spicy oddball flavors.  Cleveland’s own Lawson’s Chip Dip still number one – followed by all the other fat laden, over salted, saturated fat, likely toxic concoctions – can you say Frito SCOOPS!

20. PIZZA!  Saved it for last.  Not sure where it fits on the list – again, for me anything goes (except for those little fishy thingie’s – ew!)  Fat, thin, NY, Chicago, frozen, right from the oven or take out, I am very happy sliding down a few pieces – how about you?

I am now going for a long, long, long walk to get prepared!



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos. The next week there could be 15 logos. And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing. But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post. On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count. Just in the pictures area. Got it? Good.  :-))))  Have fun!!